Lady Folk and Blues I

This new work, which is the second of a new and on-going tribute series, was inspired by my love of blues, jazz, folk and gospel music.  I so admire these artists, whose throaty and gutsy homage to heartbreak and survival are soundtrack to my own creative process.

Tess Farnham, "Lady Blues I," mixed media collage on watercolor paper

Tess Farnham, “Lady Blues I,” mixed media collage on watercolor paper

features (clockwise from top) Koko Taylor, Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Lena Horne, Billie Holliday, Nina Simone, Marie Knight, Ella Fizgerald, Bessie Smith. (click on image to see print)

 

 

New Work this Week and Just Listed

on Etsy as prints:    https://www.etsy.com/listing/153717200/decor-impressionist-fine-art-painting

Tess Farnham, "Study in Lavender and Light" acrylic on canvas, 24x30

Tess Farnham, “Study in Lavender and Light” acrylic on canvas, 24×30

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/153717200/decor-impressionist-fine-art-painting

Hot Fingers Close Around the Stem: The Erotica of Flowers in Prose, Poetry, Paintings

John William Waterhouse, "Gathering Flowers"

How can one help shivering with delight when one’s hot fingers close around the stem of a live flower, cool from the shade and stiff with newborn vigor!  ~Colette

Such is inspiration that gives one more reason to spend time as supplicant of the garden again.

When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.  ~Chinese Proverb

The flower is the poetry of reproduction.  It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life.  ~Jean Giraudoux

Even if you think the Big Bang created the stars, don’t you wonder who sent the flowers?  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

--Berthe Morisot, L'hortensi

Inspired by all of these, I made some flower art too:

Shakespeare Called the Moon a Moist Star 

When the earth laughs, a flower is born

Emerson once said something

to this effect—Think of a river somewhere—

anywhere. . .the hillsides painted

in guffaws, titters, tulips. Silk chapeau

and bawdy cackle.  The Turks say tulbend

or turban.  At the time of tulipmania,

one might have sailed across an ocean

or the English Channel—simply for a love

of tulips.  The Wind Trade they called this

tuberous pearl, spring-blooming,

unearthed and exchanged for its weight

in seventeenth century florins.

I once read having an orgasm

is like laughing out your legs.  When the sky laughs

might we expect an exhalation

of small planets? A star shower preceded immediately

by a gravity of salmon underneath our skins

Somewhere somebody is thinking,

Perhaps it is the moisture that makes

all the difference

Snowflake, raindrop

silk tassel, periwinkle—

you see? Oh, yes—milk thistle, day lily

and sweet sweet William.

–Tess Farnham (MIdwest Quarterly, 2003)

A bread and butter fashioned of flowers. ;)     http://www.etsy.com/listing/97529448/floral-abstract-impressionist

New Work: Impressionist Still Life with Lilies and Roses

--Tess Farnham, "Still Life with Lilies and Roses" acrylic on canvas, 20x24

 

http://www.etsy.com/listing/96843548/cottage-chic-spring-decor-print-with

New Work: Marilyn in Solar Eclipse

So this is how I lifted myself out of the doldrums over the weekend.  I just put myself into Marilyn’s dress and went to outer space.  If you look closely, you will see the car that jumped over the moon!

Heeere’s the Weirdness: New Work with Lovecraft Today

Marginalia (collection)

Image via Wikipedia

So a couple of weeks back, I told you about my friend in Sweden and our gift exchanges across the miles.  And that most of what I send is work he’s inspired in one way or another.

This time I was working to incorporate the various facets of weirdness that make him so endearing, but also to include the one I keep overlooking, one that’s nevertheless an important part of who he is including fascinations with the dark side that I will always try my best to understand.

So here is the work/Christmas and birthday gift I’ve done for him; a mixed media incorporating some 3d feathers, photo collage, random design and glitter. . . and I’ve added/collaged/embellished a found monster  head from Lovecraft, just to show I’m a good sport.  And you know, by placing him in a nice garden setting with lots of flowers and romance, am reaffirming for us both that there will always be room in my world for weirdness.

Cthulhu Angel Embracing the Muse

http://www.etsy.com/listing/90510932/lovecraft-inspired-cthulu-angel-embraces

Flying Saucers, Evolution of an Abstract, and Losing My Ruby: A Couple of Unrelated Stories that Turn Out Totally OK in the End.

So in spite of everything that has happened in my life lately, including a rather embarrassing extreme close encounter with some rather unyielding asphalt last night, an experience that left this blogger somewhat bruised and disoriented if only momentarily, followed by this crazy headache left over, skinned knees and sore palms. ..sigh. ..

Grainy B&W image of supposed UFO, Passoria, Ne...

Image via Wikipedia

all of these atrocities giving way to a small revelation which, I should also own up to having posted on the installment plan in my Facebook status, admittedly a very lame attempt at garnering some single girl sympathy. . .AGAIN. . .after a very long string of episodes involving some very weird luck. . .

enclosed please find installment number 1:

Note to my Dansko clogs: Dear shoes with soles that squeak like the wheels on a trojan rabbit. ..and take me from home to work and vice versa going on four years. ..I love and adore your loyalty, truly I have no idea what I would do without it. . .but please TRY and remember that superpowers are for comic books. . . and that yours truly will fall on her big fat keyster . . .especially if you let go of the asphalt long enough to make my legs go airborne. . . knees and hands ouch!!!!

Installment 2:

I am thankful I did not break my noggin last night when I fell on the asphalt.  And hoping I will be able to find the stone for my ring when I go searching the street for it this morning.  :)  Wish me luck!

And the ending:

You guys!  I found the stone!!! I just combed the corner where I fell, seeing all that dark stuff. ..thinking I’d never find it. ..and there it was in the middle, scratched. . . but found!  My neighbor had  super-glue too so it’s all fixed.  Sticky with glue on our fingers but fixed!  :)

And IN SPITE OF ALL THAT STUFF, including the awesomeness about finding my stone. . .which I learned is a ruby, a North American unfaceted ruby. ..

(Note: these are cheap so artists can afford them and have a circulatory healing stone as well. ..)

In spite of all that stuff, I was still able to get some art making accomplished this week. . .and a new listing for my Etsy shop too.

And the story is, I began staring at a beautiful (and yes professional. . . yay inspiration, man!) photo of white flowers against stems and a dark sky. . .and then loading up my palette with paints. ..moving the brush around a little bit and getting down with the greens and red maroons

then mixing up some yellow white and ecru, ivory. ..

Oddly enough and much to my own surprise, I somehow ended up with a mass of lavender scribbles at the pause point:

Tess Farnham, work in progress, 8x8 Mixed media on canvas

But sadly, when I took this piece outside to see how it behaved in the daylight, I was rather disappointed at the washing out of much of this color. So after going back inside, I got to work, sort of getting lost in the memory of this beautiful shiny work of jewelry I’d seen at a fair-trade place, one incorporating pearls, amethyst and amber. I ended up collaging more lace into this and adding a few of the flowers from the photograph. And here it is now listed and ready to be adopted into a kind and loving environment:

Tess Farnham, untitled mixed media on artist's panel, 8x8.

and alas, artists gotta eat too: http://www.etsy.com/listing/86093373/original-floral-abstract-painting

And the Answer to Yesterday’s Quiz Question Is. . .

Always a Work in Progress

Bringing it all Back Home

I began my last post by talking about cutting and collecting images for collage projects.  Later I shared a photo of a collage, a tiny work  initially crafted as an artist’s trading card (enlarged through the magic of WordPress).  Afterwards I promised to post a photo of the finished pastel painting inspired by the collage.

(I also provided a quiz question but more about that later, I promise.)

“What is it you want to say?”

Our last painting instructor was always asking us that question. .. and to be perfectly honest, I admit I always had trouble answering it. . .

but in the interest of personal growth and self-reflection, I’ll take another scissor point to it.

I guess at some other point, I decided the collage had been an attempt at creating a loose biographical narrative, one that also let me pretend I was someone from a fairytale, someone significantly more graceful and confident than I actually am. ..so perhaps in this way, I am able to re-write my own script somehow . . .and create an image of the person I hoped I could always be.  So anyway, you will notice that I changed the haircolor of the most prominent figure and I also put a wreath of red roses on her head.  . .perhaps this was another wish coming forward as red roses symbolize true love, another thing I would someday like to include in my own story, I suppose.  You might also notice I left out the giant diamond on the roseholder’s hand. ..a pink rose. ..I think that’s  maybe about an innocent kind of love in the language of flowers. . .

I suppose I maybe did it to say something about the way I feel about diamonds as gifts in general.  Pretty to look at. . .and sometimes enviable, but kind of non-existent on my personal to do list (and perhaps that could be a fox and grapes kind of thing underneath as well, but for now I just sort of idealize friendship and sharing a common bond. . .equality I guess. ..and if asked how I feel about it. ..I would have to say that I disagree with the diamond industry’s suggestion that three months salary is enough to show a woman “that you love her.”

Three months of laughter and joyful sharing, on the other hand I believe, really IS something to include on one’s to do list. ..

though I know many women who might think it’s low self esteem talking when someone says that, which I actually can’t deny and yet. .. )   But also I sort of wanted to say that our story continues beyond the boundaries of these modest creations, beyond the limits of what our imaginations can conjure.

Back to the Nuts and Bolts and Whatnot

OK so you might also note in reading the details from the photo that I’m actually sort of cheating by working from grids, which I learned in studying the old masters who practiced this method all the time (I like that word practice. . .because I feel that’s the stage I’ll be in for the rest of my life. . .practice, practice, practice.)  Apparently it’s easier for our brains to read images that carry no pre-conceived opinions formed in our heads. . .

so to in order to accomodate for that, we record our impressions of abstract lines and shapes within the boundaries of these small boxes.

(Recently I also learned that artists who work in photo-realism oftentimes use projectors. ..actually draw and paint in the dark by the light of the magic lantern.)

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And the answer to my quiz question is:

Kaloma, who is often mistaken for the Josie Earp, wife of Wyatt.

Kaloma

Josephine

And as promised, here is the finished pastel painting made from the collage:

First the collage:

And now the painting, shown with closeups and side views:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/75299418/blue-green-pink-orange-fantasy-pastel

Have an awesomest day . . .peace shalom. . .namaste!  Go and create~

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Quiz for next time:  Name the inspirational female artist whose pastel appears taped to my drafting table.  Name the work so much the better!

Hint: Degas made a painting of her holding a poker hand