Archive for September, 2007

Rubber stamping.

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

So today I went to a rubber stamping website and put in my owls to be converted to pink rubbery-ness, and it seemed silly to pay for shipping one little 1″ x 1″ rubber stamp, so I drew a pattern based on the pattern used on the abstract trees in my mosquito and beetle paintings:


(To see the entire mosquito and beetle paintings, go to my portfolio website pages.) I liked that pattern and had meant to use it for other things, so now I will also have a 2″ x 2″ rubber stamp that looks like this:


Now I feel like I’m having enough shipped. Also, in totally unrelated news, guess what I’m doing this weekend? I’m going to the Bloomsburg Fair in Pennsylvania! In the New York City area there are never any cool fairs with farm animals and whatnot, so I’m willing to drive three hours one way for the awesome awesomeness that will be this fair. Not only is there livestock for my viewing pleasure, there is also log carving with chainsaws. AND a tractor pull. AND a demolition derby. We will be there for nine hours. Add six hours for driving and you have a hell of a day. There will be much picture-taking.

Update on the owls drawing.

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

I dun gone and drew it. I think it’s a nice representation of the owls in the photo without totally copying them. I’ll see if it makes a nice rubber stamp.



Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

I finished the mezuzah. I scrapped the whole liquid polymer thing (too shiny, no way to fix that) and just drew directly on a baked piece of polymer and applied the copper leaf to that. It came out great and no, I don’t have any pictures right now, but I will soon. One of my friends, B., was emailing me about how he found this picture of owls. B. sent me a photo of baby scops owls looking curious and intrigued. And perhaps slightly surprised. It’s a great image. It’s my desktop image on my computer now.


I thought it would be wonderful to make a drawing based on this, a very simple one I could use as a rubber stamp perhaps, so I’ve started with this pen sketch:


It’s not where I want it to be, but it’s heading in the right direction. I want this owl to have a pointier bottom end (not so flattened) and I want his crouching compatriot to be next to him, but I like the face, so I may keep that element the same.

Party with beasties.

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Snorth turned thirty almost two years ago and she was supposed to have a party, but her grandfather passed away shortly before and all plans for festivities were scrapped. I turned thirty in July and I thought let’s do a joint belated 30th birthday thing. We both love nature and animals, we’ll have a party at this exotic animal rescue and education place, Outragehisss Pets. (It was also only a few minutes from Snorth’s house.) I invited all my suburban friends, especially the ones with kids, and Snorth invited a bunch of people and sho’ nuff we trundled off to Outragehisss Pets. It was AWESOME. We met a plethora of fascinating animals and we could touch them and the owner who is a lovely guy lectured us on the environment of each creature and what they eat and how they mate, etc. Most educational. I have pictures of the educational awesomeness. I will go in alphabetical order.


The two armadillos. The one on the left is a nine-banded armadillo native to Texas and the one on the right is a six-banded armadillo native to parts of South America. This was funny – armadillos store fat on their undersides and apparently the six-banded armadillo got really portly-like, so they put her on a diet. However, the skin on her underside didn’t retract, so when she walked around the skin under her body swung around. It looked like the upper arm of a 90-year-old woman. I called her “gastric bypass armadillo”. Here’s a pic where you can appreciate her.


The binturong. A binturong is a 40-pound mammal that lives in Indonesia. It looks like it’s had one too many nights out on the town drinking. And it has the strongest body funk I have ever smelled. Here’s the weird part: it smells like popcorn. So as body funks go, it’s not a bad one. While he was explaining everything about the binturong, it ate five bananas. I can’t eat five bananas, and I’m WAY more than forty pounds. Nice work, binturong. Her name is Maxine.


The best thing about Maxine was that she would bite off a big chunk of banana and it was too large for her mouth, so she would attempt to chew it, but her mouth couldn’t close. It was precious. Here is a picture of Maxine attempting to chew a banana chunk.


Now, cornsnakes. Snorth’s most favoritest color is orange, so I picked a snake (I was in charge of choosing the animals we met) with lots of orange on it. It was gorgeous. The owner brought it out with an albino version as well. You can see the beautiful checkerboard pattern on its underside.


The fennec. This is the reason I picked this place. I have always always always wanted to meet a fennec. It is a fox from the Sahara, the smallest member of the canine family (two pounds!). It disperses heat with its ears, so it’s ears are huge. It is the sweetest softest most-anime-character-resembling creature ever.


Kinkajou, also known as the honey bear. It’s in the raccoon family and it helps pollenate the rainforest (eats nectar, sticks its nose in a flower, gets pollen on its nose, sticks nose in another flower, deposits pollen). Paris Hilton had one for a pet for a few minutes back in the day. It’s got lovely plush fur and a prehensile tail it can use to hang in trees. I think our raccoons are nice, but kinkajous are just stellar. I would let it root through my garbage anytime.



Ah, the python. BIG snake. I got to hold part of it with six other people. Let me tell you, that snake was strong. When she wanted to move, she moved. Ain’t nothin’ we could do about it. Imagine a giant toned muscle tube. That’s what she was.


And finally, the tortoises. (There was also a skink, but I didn’t get any good pictures of it.) Bertha was the biggest tortoise, the next smaller one was her husband, and the two smallest ones were her kids from different egg-layings. Bertha was approximately eighty years old. That’s just impressive. All the tortoises also ate bananas, as you can see in the picture. They were great. Occasionally, Bertha would try and make a run for it, but since she moves at the speed of glaciers, she didn’t get very far.


And here is a picture of octegenarian Bertha.


After this incredible experience, our troop of sixteen went off to the Palisades Mall for dinner. When I got home, I was exhausted. I had been frolicking for over six hours. That’s a lot of frolicking. But it was worth it. People are already talking about doing it again next year.

Mezuzah. Now with pictures!

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

OKAY. So that post before where I tried to explain what I was making? Here are pictures.


There. That’s the mezuzah I’m making for my sister. See the colored pencil? See the copper leafing on the moon? It’s nice. The only problem is that it’s very very shiny, like the vinyl coverings your great-aunt put on the couch so no one would mess it up. Here’s a picture taken with a flash.


See. SHINY. Not what I want. I tried spraying it with matte clear coat, but that just made it sticky. Then I dusted it with talc powder to make it not-sticky, and it didn’t tone down the shine either. I will have to put on my thinking cap to solve this conundrum.

I am a genius. Ahem.

Friday, September 14th, 2007

The other day I was in a rush and I had just charged my camera battery, so in the dim natural light of my apartment I stuck my recharged battery into my camera. I stuck it in wrong. It is now jammed in there and my camera doesn’t work. I feel like a dolt. There’s an arrow on the battery that corresponds to another arrow on the camera, for crying out loud. So aside from trying to pick it out with my thumbnail and saying curses under my breath, I’m not quite sure what to do. I will ask Cricket, perhaps he can solve this with a minimum of destruction and bloodshed. I wanted to take a picture of the project I’m working on right now, but I cannot, so I will have to describe it to you, which is so very very lame.
My sister K. is celebrating a birthday soon, and I never know what to get her. K. has a small mezuzah collection on one of her walls. For those of you who do not know what a mezuzah is, here is a brief explanation. “Mezuzah” (“doorpost” in Hebrew) is a little box that is affixed to the doorpost of your house (and if you’re particularly observant, every doorpost to every room in your house except the bathroom or the kitchen). Inside the box (which can be decorated in a myriad of ways, more on that later) is a piece of parchment with Hebrew verses. It blesses your house. What’s so great about them is as long as they don’t have a representation of a human on it (Judaism is very wary of human representation on their religious items, you might be worshipping false idols; by the way, Islam has the same rule, that’s why mosques are usually decorated only in geometric patterns and text) you can put most anything on the decorative container. Here’s a website that shows a variety of different styles.

Also, they can be made out of any material. Metal, stone, plastic, glass, you name it. My parents once received one made out of bread that had been shellacked. I should probably mention my parents have about 300 of them. They’ve been collecting them for over 30 years from all over the world (lots of artists make them and they are small and easy to carry in your luggage). ANYWAY, my sister has a collection of about twenty and she asked me to make her one for her birthday. I’ve recently discovered the true awesomeness of polymer clay. Remember how when you were young, you made deformed lumpy figures out of Sculpey or Fimo and then baked it and your mom put it on the mantle or whatever? That’s polymer clay and that is only the tip of its potential. It can be carved, sanded, drilled, polished, painted with acrylics, made to mimic other things like stone or stained glass – oh my God, why haven’t I been using this stuff more often?!!? So I’m making K. a mezuzah out of polymer clay. There’s a liquid form that you can pour over a colored pencil drawing, bake in the oven, and when you pull off the paper, the colored pencil adheres to the now hardened liquid polymer. SO AWESOME. For the mezuzah I made a drawing of a tree with a moon in the background, colored it in with colored pencil, baked the liquid polymer on it, and now I’m putting copper leaf on the moon to make it all pretty and shiny and sparkly. And I am also now realizing that my description SUCKS and if my camera worked it would be so much better because I imagine many of you are going, “Huh? She did what now?” I truly hope Cricket can fix my stupid camera.

UPDATE: My beloved co-worker A. just pulled the battery out with two butter knives and I had put the battery in correctly! Ha ha! But this now means something is for-real wrong with my camera or my battery (A.’s comment, “Perhaps it swelled with the humidity. Well, you got a better idea?”) so I will go to a camera store in the area and see if this can be rectified in some way. Expect pictures of mezuzahs with copper leafing in the near future!

Remember obese sidewalk chihuahua?

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

I saw her again. Same spot, laying in the same way. I talked to her owner for a little while and got some background goodness on her. She’s not old at all, just fat. She has a glandular condition. She was a stray that this lady found. She’s a super-nice dog. However, her belly sometimes drags on the ground and in doing that she picked up a piece of glass in her poochy belly and had to have surgery to have it removed. (Awwww. Poor beastie.) So you’ll notice that in one of these pictures, she has a bandage on her abdomen. But I got to pet her and she was a sweet dog. I wish her best of luck in her recovery.

dog1.jpg dog2.jpg

A Completed Bathing Beauty.

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

I sanded down the previous text I had on the anglerfish and repainted the black and also the brown shadowing, then retaped out all the text and repainted it and I think I got it this time. It’s lower and more varied in height, so it matches the other fish much more betterer. Now I need to wood putty the sides, paint the sides and the back, attach hanging mechanisms, and we’re good to go. I am happy.


I already have ideas for my next pieces. My friend Jonathan Reidel, who is a terrific dancer and a choreographer, is having a performance in December at the Joyce Soho and we’ve talked about having some of my paintings in the entrance hall. Luckily he’s as eccentric as I am, so deep sea fish would work well with his performance and the kind of audience that will be there. I’ll see how many pieces I can create by then, so I have a selection to choose from that best suites his dances and the space I’ll be given.

A nubbin of news.

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

I finished my anglerfish and redid the text on it, but forgot to take a picture. I shall do so this weekend. More importantly, I was watching “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” and Andrew was in Alaska partaking in strange Alaskan cuisine (fish, animal fat and berries mixed together make a lovely dessert, who knew). But my favorite was the “Jellied Moose Nose”. No, I am not making that up. You take all the edible bits of the moose head (did you know there’s edible meaty bits on the ears? Now you do), mainly the nose, and you chop them all up and cook them with some water and spices. Then you put all the meaty bits in a meatloaf pan and pour the remaining broth over it, which then gels. Voila. Jellied Moose Nose. It looks like headcheese. I want to try it, and then I don’t. But I don’t think I’ll be going to Alaska anytime soon, so this internal struggle (Yes moose nose? No moose nose?) doesn’t need to be resolved anytime soon. Phew.

Weekend News.

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

Well, today was an exciting day. I received my first piece of comment spam for this website. Something about making my regions of desire more desireable, just a great deal more forward. Delightful stuff, really. I don’t expect it to be the last I see of spam, but your first is always your first. Sigh.

This past weekend I went to visit my friend Neenernator and her longtime boyfriend B. in New Jersey. New Jersey may get a crap rap, but once you get past the stinky populated bits, it is AWESOME. First of all, gas here is $3.50. Where Neenernator lives, $2.50. Then, Cricket and I stopped at a supermarket to get beer and sundries. The cheese section has chandeliers and the fish section had live music. I’m not kidding. And since you can’t buy beer in the supermarket in Jersey, they just added a liquor store onto the supermarket building. Brilliant. Sushi and margaritas for everyone! Then we get to Neenernator’s house, where they have mad huge property because, as opposed to New York, you can actually get some land and a nice house for several hundred thousand dollars. Cricket and B. rocketed around on quads all afternoon, then barbequed/smoked us some dinner. Then the neighbors came over with THE CUTEST DOG EVER (who I forgot to take pictures of, it was dark and I was eating nummy smoked deliciousness, num num). Let me explain this dog. The father, Gizmo, is a Shitsu. He fell in love and consumated a relationship with a Chihuahua. The product is a teeny tiny Shitsu. Imagine the most endearing little toy you’ve ever seen. Now imagine it alive and running around. Now allow for your brain to explode from the cuteness. There you have it. I’ll go out there again and then I promise I will take pictures of the extreme smootchiness of Ziggy (TCDE’s name). Neenernator also has a fish tank, a big one, 110 gallons. It was funny, she has this killer TV/stereo system all set up, but we chose to sit on the couch and stare at the fish for an hour. And then later, when we were watching TV, I couldn’t concentrate because I had to look at the fish. Fish are engrossing, people. Did I mention I had not consumed any alcoholic beverages or hallucenogenic substances? This is why I don’t do drugs or drink. If I’m already staring at the fish tank, where do I go from there? I see myself taking some drugs and then an hour later people finding me naked in some field rolling around in cow pies singing showtunes. That’s not an improvement, thanks, I’ll pass. So anyway, Jersey. I highly recommend it. Neenernator lives in/near a town called Dunellen, if you want to know the area. Lovely.