Thursday, July 30, 2009

What makes you happy?

Have you ever sat down and written a list of what makes you happy? Lately I've been trying to remember what made me happy when I was a kid. Like, what were the things that really made me crap-my-pants happy when I was 7 or so? (it was really nice to remember how much I used to love to swim in the ocean):

*Art Projects
*Road Trips

I know there are a million platitudes associated with this topic, but I just feel like it's so important to really figure out what makes you truly happy and then to go out and do it. Because you live and then you die and you're not going to reap any benefits from sacrificing yourself to guilt or obligation, those things aren't going to matter when you're gone. You really have to enjoy life while you're alive (because you aren't going to enjoy it when you're dead!), and the sooner you figure out what you enjoy, the more you're going to get out of being a living, breathing human being. This has been my little personal philosophy for my 30's so far... obviously take it with a grain of salt, I also feel like people are totally mutable, as well as circumstances, and every aspect of everything, but anyway, right now, today, I feel like happiness is everything.

So while looking at my list of things I loved when I was 7, I started thinking about things that make me happy now; it's pretty similar, just add bikes, music, cooking, making-out, and clothes.

I've been trying to keep all these things in mind as I figure out what to do next career-wise. Honestly, I'm not sure I'm cut out to sell my art, or move around in the art world. The paintings I have lying around my house right now I want to keep, and new ones aren't springing forth. It's so complicated and boring. And in the end, I don't want my art tied into my financial survival, I'm too much of a stolid, security loving person for that sort of life...

So I've decided that my new career is going to be that of a Romance Novelist! Or at least I think it'd be a fun experiment. I've decided to really study the world of Romance for two years, like I'm in an academic program. I'm going to read nothing but romance novels, watch romance movies and read trade magazines. . . I sort of picture it being like that movie Supersize Me, where that guy eats only McDonalds for a month, just to see what effect it has on him; I want to immerse myself in this Romance novel culture and see what sort of writing comes out of me after a while (to be clear, when I'm talking about being affected by Romance Culture, I mean in an intellectual way, not really in a romantic relationship way. Like I don't expect it to make me a better person to date or something. Nor do I think I'll want to wait around for a bare-chested Scotsman to come to my rescue after I take a tumble from a runaway horse, ahem).

I know that there are a lot of books out there that tell you how to write romance novels, and that the "how to write a romance novel" business is itself a cottage industry, but that doesn't deter me at all, I still totally want to study something in depth, and this topic fascinates me. And I just think it'd be really fun to write a cheesy romance novel. I read somewhere a long time ago that 50% of all revenue from books was from romance novels. I also read that in order to write a good romance, you have to respect your readers and respect the genre, so I'm going to do that too. I get escapism. I get why some women would buy these books and read them and I want to explore that further.

Lastly, I'm so excited to pick out a pen-name! Like, Georgette Fox, or Lily Cummings, or Loretta Bixby. I would totally appreciate it if you have any pen-name suggestions to post them! Also, if you have any suggestions of good romance novels to read, post those too! Right now I'm thinking about reading everything on this list of the top 100 romance novels I found via Google. Of course I'm also going to hit up all the greats, like Danielle Steel and Nora Roberts, and maybe even those Twilight books. But I'm going to ease myself into it by re-reading Vilette and some Jane Austen, because I still totally love that shit.

I've given myself one huge caveat though, and that's that it has to be fun, I have to enjoy it. If I don't have fun reading these books and writing about romance, then I won't go on. No point in forcing something like this, eh?

Does all of that sound totally wacky? I totally get how weird it may seem, but for right now this plan totally feels right. I hope to blog about the process too (seeing as how I'll be using a pen-name, shouldn't hurt anything).

Ok, that's quite enough blog-action for today. Off to the movies in a bit. . .

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Inside of a shell

Right now I'm obsessed with shades of peach, pale pink and cream. I want to re-decorate a room in my house to be like the inside of a shell.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Complaint's Choir. . .

In Norwegian there is an expression that goes something like, "You sound like a choir of complaints." So these two artist decided to form actual complaints choirs. Apparently everyone involved has a really good time! There is something really fun about complaining together. I don't want to over-think it, lets just enjoy it. . .

Below are my favorites, for more, just search for 'complaints choir' in YouTube:



Chicago (not totally my favorite, but I thought I should include one in English)

Friday, July 17, 2009

really quick

All I want to say is that I want that pink octopus chandelier! whoa.

There's a wall sconce too that's maybe even better!

go here

you have to scroll down a bit, but it's all pretty good stuff. . .

(ok, leaving in a few minutes to go camping at Cape Disappointment! See you next week!)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Peaches with Buffalo

On my last visit to the Portland Art Museum I was totally captivated by the painting 'Peaches with Buffalo' by Sherrie Wolf. Isn't it amazing? It's even more incredible in person, so I encourage you to go to the Art Museum right now and see it for yourself. Check out all of her amazing paintings here:

(also, I think blogger cropped the picture awkwardly, so please go to her website to view it in it's entirety!)

Also the M.C. Escher exhibit was great too, really surprised me, because usually when I think of Escher I think of mid-90's dorm room posters; but I really loved his early woodcuts depicting the book of Genesis! They were done in a style unlike any I'd ever seen really, but I felt like the plants were rendered in a manner reminiscent of European folk art, and you know how much I love European folk art, (especially Scandinavian and Eastern European varieties)... Anyway, I think folk art must've influenced him a lot for that series and thusly must be why I love it so. . .

I meant this blog entry to be just a short blurb about the Sherrie Wolf painting, but now that I'm ruminating on my visit to the Art Museum, I also want to mention that I always seem to genuinely enjoy the printmaking exhibits in the basement. I think maybe I should take printmaking up, because those basement exhibits are consistently delightful and inspiring for me. The prints of Beth Van Hoesen are on exhibit now, and they are so delicate and sweet, they totally suck you in. I loved the tiny prints of bees; I think they were actual size.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Quality Famous

I love love love John Lennon and Yoko Ono, I think they had this beautiful presence and fun, amazing, creative life. Oh can't you imagine being young and in love and dressing up and playing music and making videos like this:

One thing you may notice is that there are loads of neat famous people in this video! Like Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly and Andy Warhol, fellow Beatle George Harrison, and even Phil Spector (sporting a very Portland-ish studded cuff!) Anyway, I was trying to think of our contemporary equivalents for these famous people. As in a fantasy where I could maybe live this same life, here in the present; but who would I choose to make a cameo in my arty video? And I couldn't really come up with anyone, maybe David Lynch? But David Lynch on his own would a very different video make, nes pas? Ok anyway, the point is, all of our famous people lack quality. That is, they are only famous for being good-looking, not for being a true genius at something. This video could not really happen today, or at least, not have the same delightful impact on me personnally. I dunno, maybe you can name some famous recognizable contemporary artist and blow me out of the water. I'm stumped for the time being...

I kinda hate your wordy artist statement

AAAAARRRG! I hate artist statements. Every artist statement I've ever read has contained one of the following words/phrases: "Dichotomy" "Inherent" "Explore" and "Human Condition."

Seriously, I hate this stuff so much. People make their artist statements as wordy as possible to the point that they say jack-squat about anything. I'm so tired of Dichotomies being explored; why doesn't someone explore a 'Trichotomy?" or maybe even something like a 'Septchotomy;' that would way more accurately describe what it's like to be a human, or the condition of being human. I'm done with dichotomies, is that some patriarchal binary thinking or what?

Why does art that's supposed to be visual also have to be accompanied by all this wordy jargon? It's so insular to the art community that it borders on total meaninglessness at times (the art and the jargon).

So there!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

2 things

(1) I can't believe that I haven't posted it on here yet, but I have a website for my art! phhewww, finally. I made it myself on my fancy new computer, and you can see it here:

(2) The other thing is that I did yoga tonight at my friend E.Bookout's and I feel amaaaazing. Warm and loose as a noodle, can't wait to crawl into bed with my book. I think yoga's gonna become a habit. I really liked the spiritual and meditation aspects to it, you feel so whole and relaxed afterward...

(2.5) Kale smoothies are pretty great too. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Regret and Remorse

Did you know that the French have very specific and separate meanings for the words 'regret' and 'remorse?' 'Remorse' is when you feel badly about something you have done, and 'Regret' is when you feel badly about something you haven't done; and culturally they tend to view regret as something a bit more mournful.

Sort of beautiful and poetic don't you think? It's so interesting how culture can influence language and vice versa. If we Americans were more specific with our use of these two words, how do you think it would affect us?