Tag Archives: Art

Its All In the Details…

Koi by Jessica Thompson

Koi by Jessica Thompson

The Exposition

The week after a holiday at a bank is always a little rough. When you toss in a significant reduction in staff due to…life and things, and the maelstrom of chaos that ensues is enough cause a wee bit of gray matter to leak from the ears. You know your brain is mush when you read your class assignment…several times, and still misread, we’ll just say significant portions of said assignment…significant portions.

Rising Action

 

Logo by Jessica Thompson

Logo by Jessica Thompson

At least I made it a policy to review the assignments one last time before I finalize formats and submit my work. Whew! So instead of needing to complete three small sketches, I need to do six other things. Create clip art, Photoshop masks, logos, or some combination. Fortunately, they don’t need to be completed, just in process. I don’t think tea is going to cut it tonight. Note to self, coffee actually makes me vibrate. Everything gets started, compiled, and the video is completed. Adobe Spark videos are pretty cool, I’m going to have to play with that some more. I breathe a sign of relief, because it is all finished.

The Climax

Kermit by Jessica Thompson

Kermit by Jessica Thompson

…in time for the internet to crash mid-upload (which is why, girls and boys you never wait until the last minute). Expletive deleted, expletive deleted.  You know, because starting an upload 10 minutes before the deadline isn’t stressful enough as it is. Expletive deleted, expletive deleted, expletive deleted.

Falling Action

Don’t panic!

jimsconeyisland

Logo by Jessica Thompson

The assignment is uploaded, the video is posted, the timesheet is completed. That’s 10% of the course grade right there. It got submitted, one minute before the deadline, but that’s still on time. The discussion post…that got posted ten minutes late (stupid, beautiful, internet we have a love/hate relationship), not cool, but only 2%.

Resolution

The perfectionist in me rails at the lateness, my inattention to detail, the threat (though minor) to my GPA, but on the whole I’m just trying to figure out if an adult beverage will help me stop the caffeine fueled vibrating so I can sleep or just change the frequency.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

P.S. Whiskey changes the frequency of the vibrations, dogs don’t care that you didn’t get any sleep, but at least I got pancakes for breakfast.


To A Year Filled With Magic

NewYearsWish2_Page_2

Magic, dreams, books, art, kisses and surprises (the good kind)…a year filled with these would definitely be a success!

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

 


What’s Eating My Brain?

TYPEWRITER - STOCK PHOTOHello!  Long time, no blog.  I know, believe me.  The absence has been felt.  However, I’m back.  In part, thanks to my 2015 New Year’s Resolutions, but mostly because I missed this too much not make it a part of my life.

Things I’ve discovered since starting my new job.  A job in which I talk with people all day long eats my words if I don’t nurture them carefully.  For too long, I’ve come home exhausted and unable to string together a coherent sentence. (Hopefully, that is better now.)  This will stifle writing like…well, like forgetting how to talk will stifle a conversation.

However, this did not stop my creative drive. At.  All.  In fact, without the wonderful outlet of the written word, the need to create got a little manic sometimes.  Drawings, paintings, quilting, crocheting, playing music, Legos (of course) all stepped in to take over, and I’ve produced some really great stuff.

I missed my words though.  Like most of us who are driven to write, it is more who we are than what we do, and when that part gets locked away for whatever reason, it feels, for me anyway, like a wound that won’t stop aching.  During the  “wordless time” whenever I tried to write, the ache got worse because if the mocking cursor on the blank screen drew anything out of me, it was disjointed. Reviewing what I’d written was more painful, because the form (rambling though my style may be) was shoddy and little sense could be made from the pitiful scraps I was trying to sew together.

This being said.  Please bear with me as I try to find my voice again. I feel a bit like Peter Pan with his wayward shadow.  It is out there somewhere.  I. Just. Have. To. Find. It.

I’ve also been left with stacks of really great art, and no idea what to do with it.  I may be turning to all of you for some advice once I get an idea of how to part with these pieces…if I can part with it.

Art is a funny thing.  I feel deeply that it is meant to be shared, for what good is a vision no one else sees.  Why put pen to paper or brush to canvas unless you want to share your vision with someone else.  Right?  However, as an artist I feel particularly vulnerable whenever I let someone look at my pieces, much less go home with them.  Luckily, I’m convinced I’m not alone in this. (Thank you Amanda Palmer for The Art of Asking.  I’ll tell you guys more about that one a little later.) I also need to part with some of this so I can make room for more new pieces. (My house should not overflow with stuff.)

Life ate my brain for a while.  I’m sorry.  I think it is better now.  I hope.  Maybe?
‘Til next time,

Jessica


Time For Some Shopping…

Time For Some Shopping...

I think I need this tea set (fine, actually a want, but come on…). This has my name all over it (or give me time and a crayon and it will!) The lovely photo on Pinterest didn’t have a link to where I can purchase this item or the source, so if anyone knows…please share…pretty please…

‘Til next time,

Jessica

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Imperfections Are Where the Love Lives

Recently, I attended a private party at Pinot’s Palette, a place where you make a little art while you drink a little wine.  A co-worker organized a party and invited us to bring some people and join in for an evening of painting and wine drinking.  This was not my first trip to Pinot’s Palette.  Some of us had booked seats on an open night for my Aunt’s birthday. At the birthday celebration my mom and I had a blast, so when this came up, I invited her along.  Plus, she’s kind of fun to hang out with.

 

ImageYou start off with a blank canvas…and some wine.  We chatted and laughed, and I got to know more really fun people. (and forgot to take pictures of the work “in progress”)  The instructors are all very kind and patient.  Well, they’d have to be right?  Creating art, especially for the first time, can be a bit intimidating, and people get really worried if it doesn’t look exactly like the example or the one the instructor’s painting.  (Plus, they serve alcohol…patience is always a requirement when alcohol is involved.)  All of the instructors I’ve had either have or are getting a degree in Fine Arts, and I’ve been impressed with them.

 

Image

 

Slowly, under patient (and often repeated) instruction…and more wine, an actual picture begins to take shape.  I like to paint at home for fun.  Mostly abstracts…that way I don’t have to worry about reality too much. When we saw the example, my mom turned to me and groaned “circles”.  If you’ve ever had to paint or draw a circle freehand, you know what she was talking about.  Me I just shrugged, and told her that if it ended up really crooked we could just say we wanted to try Salvador Dali’s style.  

 

When I come to these places, I have to really be careful, because I’m not in my old comfortable painting clothes.  You know the kind, jeans worn until there are holes, the hems have frayed, they are all soft and comfy, and fit perfectly.  My usual are jeans like that (but also paint smeared) and an amazingly soft but ugly flannel shirt (the sleeves are a different color blue from the rest of the shirt).  I can’t really complain though.  I stole it from my sister when we were in high school.  However, for an evening out in public on Cherry Street, I tend to dress like a grown up.  (Mostly a grown up, I still had on my Chuck Taylors…those are grownup…right?)  All night, I had to remind myself not to wipe my hands on my pants…I’m a pretty messy painter at home.  My clothes managed to stay paint-free, but my hands were smeared with green paint before we even got started. (Eh, their hands.  They wash.)

 

Image

 

Typically, painting doesn’t make me nervous.  It is kind of relaxing.  However, that’s at home alone in my little spare bedroom/studio. Apparently, I don’t relax well when other’s are watching (probably not actually watching because they’re painting too, but it sure feels like everybody’s watching!)  I don’t know why.  It isn’t even really stage fright, because I’m mostly okay (when forced) on stage.

 

The same issue plagued me when I played the piano…and the clarinet…and sang in the choir.  Put me in a group where no one can hear me and I’m great…anytime that I realize someone is actually paying attention, I mess it all up!  My poor mother had to stand in another room just to listen to me play the piano…for years.  These days, I’ll let her stay in the room…sometimes.  I can’t play and talk…or sing at the same time.  Lord help us if you want me to play while you sing.  I get distracted by the singing, and apparently forget how to mostly play things…like chords.

 

Image

Vintage Ride, by Jessica Thompson

 

Aaaaannnnndddd we’re back on the actual point.  You know what helps with this nervousness?  Wine.  Wine helps a lot.  I didn’t worry so much about what other people thought about my creation, or who was watching.   When my inner perfectionist tried to raise her head, I drowned her out with a nice red blend and some laughter.  At events like this, I try to just enjoy the company, the laughter, and the whole  process without worrying too much about the finished product. Sometimes, it even works.

 

A long time ago, I got some great advice about the little imperfections in things I make. When I was making my first quilt, I worried about mistakes a lot.  The rows didn’t line up exactly, or it wasn’t perfectly square (or both).  My Mom just told me that the imperfections were where the love lives.  That’s how they know that it was handmade…she also told me when I pricked my finger with the sewing needle, “whatever you do, don’t bleed on the quilt!”  Both excellent pieces of advice.  The one about the imperfections being where the love lives, is the one that really stayed with me through quilts, painting, music, and even baking…wait, maybe cooking was “it doesn’t matter what it looks like, as long as it tastes good”. (I may have dropped a pie…or two.  What can I say, I am not the most coordinated of individuals.)

 

By the end of the night, I ended up with a painting, some new friends, and great memories.  The imperfections are where the love lives.  “Vintage Ride” hangs in the entryway of my house, front and center.  The memory of laughter, family, friends, and fun are in every brushstroke.  I wouldn’t change a single thing.

 

Image

My Mom and I showing off our creations

 

Have you ever gone to a place like this?  Taken an art class? (I really want to do that, but it scares the bejesus out of me!  Probably that whole creating art in front of someone…or a bunch of someones.)

 

‘Til next time,

 

Jessica

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Don’t Protect Yourself From Your Art

Lady GaGa

Lady GaGa (Photo credit: ama_lia)

 

This quote struck me as terribly true today.

“When you make music or write or create, it’s really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you’re writing about at the time. ”
― Lady Gaga

Sometimes you have to shine a light on things that you’d prefer to leave in the dark, and you don’t realize that you’ve been hiding until you get there.  I’m really fighting the urge to expose less, and not dig quite so deep when I’m writing even when I know the end product is so much better when I do.

Recently, I saw Lady Gaga on The Graham Norton Show, and I was incredibly impressed by her.  She was very intelligent and full of grace and generosity of spirit.  Her attitude toward both her fellow guests and her fans was really beautiful, and listening to her discuss her motivations for creating her costumes was fascinating.  I had to admit that I’d dismissed her as gimmicky, in spite of her amazing talent and voice, solely because of her fashion decisions.  Some days you learn about being a better person in the most unexpected places.

‘Til next time,
Jessica

 

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Art on Main – I Hate Self-Control

Hooray for weather that was better than expected…again!  I can’t believe that I’ve gotten so lucky twice this month, and for two art festivals at that. In early October, I attended Utica Square’s Art on the Square and the dreary, cloud filled sky stopped pouring rain down on us here in Tulsa and allowed the sun to shine on through to make for gorgeous outdoor shopping.  The very next Saturday, I was treated to the same taste of loveliness as the predicted rain skirted right over us, and we were left with a picturesque blue sky with fluffy white clouds and plenty of sunshine for Jenks, Oklahoma’s Art on Main.

7de7c5e780004fd19cc0652e332fc408

Josh Stout Art

Each year Jenks closes down the heart of Main Street and fills it with local artists, wineries, and music.  It is the perfect opportunity to browse the booths as well as the unique shops that Jenks has to offer, and this year was no exception.  My Mom and one of my dear friends went with me to do a little bit of shopping, and to try and contain my desire to own all the pretty things for my house.  (I’m running out of wall space as it is.)  With a perfect day, a great parking place, and even better company we set out to explore.  The first booth we saw was my church, St. James Presbyterian Church, they were set up for painting miniature pumpkins.  (Budding artists can paint a pumpkin and then head off to the bouncy castle while they wait for the paint to dry.)  It gave me a chance to catch up with friends that I hadn’t seen in way too long too.

I did pick up two new pieces by Josh Stout that I am absolutely in love with (See the pictures?  Aren’t they gorgeous?), and my friend bought me an early birthday present that I was drooling over.  All in all I contained my spending, and whether they realized it or not, those ladies did me a great service in going with me.  Just knowing that I’d told them that I had to be good helped me resist purchasing just about everything that Mr. Stout had in his booth as well as at least four other paintings and drawings.  The simple fact that I didn’t bring cash and a potter didn’t take cards kept me from purchasing another piece.  (I took it for a sign, because sometimes you’ve got to work with what you’ve got.)  It was with a happy heart that I headed home to decide where this month’s new collection would hang.  That’s when I ran into problems.

c41ca866c2cc4450b100d5500f33fdc0

Josh Stout Art

As I’m pondering the question of where these amazing pieces from Art on the Square and Art on Main will go, I realized that I need to have them all framed.  That’s six pieces that need to be framed.  Then I realized that I actually have another five at home that I’ve needed to get framed from Art on the Square last year, and I haven’t gotten around to it.  Then I also remembered the two that have been needing custom frames and mats…Oh my, Zigler’s Art & Frame is going to love me!  My home is already filled with great art, and that is another twelve pieces to find space to display.  My mother suggested a rotation, but obviously this is unacceptable, then I have to choose what is coming down.

Each piece on my walls holds a special memory or a reminder of something that I can’t put into a closet to store.  A photograph of the Metro stop in Paris my friends and I took each day we were there, a painting of a bridge over the Seine that we stopped near to have lunch, a series of pen and ink drawings of London purchased on a childhood trip, Arabic blessing purchased in Jordan during a layover on the way back to our home in Saudi Arabia, birthday shopping excursions…how do I take one of those down?  How do I take down the lovely gifts that I’ve received, especially when friends and family have done a fantastic job in choosing exactly what I’d love?  (Plus, I’m lazy.  The chances of me going back through and actually rotating art?  Slim to none!)  There’s nothing for it.  It is all coming down and getting rearranged.  If anything is coming down they are my own pieces that I’ve painted or drawn…okay, they’re probably not coming down either.

Anybody have any good suggestions on how to create an art wall?  Art walls?  Maybe I should just get a bigger house.  I just don’t want to choose!!!!

‘Til next time,

Jessica

P.S. Don’t forget to about the Be Kind…Win Stuff Contest!  It is going on until November 11th.  Just fill in the email form at the bottom of this page with an act of kindness that you’ve done for someone and you’re entered into a drawing to win an autographed copy of Discovering Joye by Jim Stovall!


Art on the Square A.K.A. An Exercise in Self-Control

uticasquareI love art.  It makes me happy.  This weekend I made my annual trip down to the Utica Square shopping center for a birthday brunch with my dear friend and to peruse the local artists’ treasures.  Stonehorse Cafe is our usual haunt for these outings.  Their quiche is absolutely amazing and the ambiance is perfect for a lazy Saturday morning brunch, including mimosas, with your best girl friends. I always love the outdoor shopping at Utica Square even when the weather is less than perfect, but luckily for us, Saturday’s rain and cold temperatures burned away and it turned into a perfect day to wander the shops and booths.

Last year was incredibly cold and rainy, so it wasn’t nearly as fun to shop around.  However, I bundled up and “managed” just fine.  Okay, fine, so I kept saying I was finished looking because I was cold and wet, but then there would be another booth with some beautiful paintings and I’d get sucked back in again.  My perseverance paid off last year and I picked up a gorgeous piece that sits on my mantle now…okay, I picked up a few (five) smaller pieces too, and a couple of gifts for friends.  Did I mention I like art?

shcafe_outside2This year I picked up a few (three) pieces.  A photograph of Cain’s Ballroom.  Which as you may have guessed by my posts about the Alabama Shakes and Seether concerts is probably my favorite venue for live music in Tulsa.  A watercolor titled “Autumn’s Dance”.  I really love this artist’s work.  Last year, my budget was completely shot, but I did pick up a handful of note card sized pieces that I’ve framed to hang as a group.  It was so exciting to see her back again this year, and so hard to choose between “Autumn’s Dance” and “Grotto”.  Something about the colors just spoke to me in “Autumn’s Dance” though, and I couldn’t resist.  The final piece I purchased was not the one I went back to the booth to buy.  I went back for a painting of a man standing in the pouring rain with a red umbrella covering his face that I really loved.  When I went back, the breeze blew over this one, and when I picked it back up…done.  I had to have it.  Do you see all the self control I exercised?  Choosing between “Autumn’s Dance” and “Grotto” and again between red umbrella and the funky musician…I hated to leave the others behind, but…budget…fine, and another art festival in a couple of weeks.

photo (48)Along the way we ran into some very friendly alpacas that were there with a booth that was selling yarn.  We became good friends…well, until he tried to eat my phone.  All good things must come to an end, I guess.  Phone intact, I moved on to the next artist…and the Halloween store, which is actually called Margo’s, and the sell so much more than Halloween stuff.  That was just what grabbed my eye after I rescued my phone from the alpaca.  Oh my gosh, they have the cutest things!  I could have spent an hour just trying on the different hats. (Yes, I am totally that person.)

photo (53)Jenks, Oklahoma also does something similar with Art on Main, and I love walking through downtown Jenks with the artists set up in the street between all the antique shops.  It is a wonderful day that I usually try to spend with my Mom, but a budget nightmare…I usually forget I have a budget. That’s all well and fine until the bill arrives.  Then the cursing of my lack of self-control begins.  I still smile every time I see the art hanging on my wall, though.

Art on Main is in two weeks…how do you think I’ll do?

‘Til next time,

Jessica


Oooh…Pretty Things – A Day At The Philbrook Museum of Art

photo (11)

I love art.  Really, a lot.  For fun, I even draw and paint a bit.  Although, I’ve sold a few paintings, I become incredibly uninspired when money is on the line.  That part kind of sucks, but at least I’ll always know I did my art for me?  Anyway, not the point.  I got to go look at pretty things.

William-Adolphe Bouguereau's painting The Shep...

William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s painting The Shepherdess is in the collection of the Philbrook Museum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tulsa is home to several wonderful art museums, and I got to explore the Philbrook Museum of Art recently.  This  gorgeous museum is housed in the former home of oilman Waite Phillips it has 72 rooms and is surrounded by 23 acres.  It sits in the center of Tulsa, near the Tulsa Historical Center, Woodford Park, and the Bookside area.  I make a trip to walk the halls of this beautiful mansion and its grounds at least once a year.  It has long held a special place in my heart.

They have an amazing American and European artwork collection, including pieces by some of my favorite artists.  The Philbrook is where I fell in love with Thomas Moran‘s light.  His depictions of Venice were some of my favorites this trip (maybe because my best friend and I are planning a trip there in the not too distant future), and I return over and over again to see the delicate work of Rodin.  Before my visit to the Louvre, I didn’t think I really liked sculpture all that much…until I saw my first Rodin…how lucky am I that I don’t have to travel to Paris to visit the work of one of my favorite sculptors (as much as I would love to visit Paris again).  The Little Shepherdess by William-Adolphe Bouguereau is another of my favorites at the Philbrook.  This trip I seemed to be drawn to Picasso’s work frequently, which is new for me.  He’s never been a favorite of mine before.  I guess tastes change.

photo (10)Although, the Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa has a better Native American collection, the Philbrook does house some of my favorite Native American artists as well.  Jerome Tiger, Woody Crumbo and Oscar Howe just to name a couple, and they have a fantastic collection of pottery and bead work.

Their modern and contemporary collection is always fascinating.  One of my favorites, which I couldn’t find for the life of me this trip, is a mixed media piece by Leonardo Drew titled “148”.  I couldn’t tell you why I’m drawn to it, but I am. It is this mass of wood and metal, all chaotic feeling and painted solid black.  I really missed seeing it this last trip!  There is always something fascinating to see there.  The colors and light…modern art may be my favorite…or maybe European…wait…I can’t choose!

One of my favorite things to do this trip was to hang my own drawing on the walls of this fine institution.  They had set up an opportunity for visitors to take a few minutes to sketch a picture and hang the sketchbook on the wall as you pass into the photography exhibit.  It was so much fun to flip through the books and see the homegrown talent of adults and children.  Some of the drawings were amazing!  There was one of the Tulsa skyline that I kind of wanted to take home with me, but I did refrain.  Pencils and erasers of all kinds sat in a container just waiting for the next person to come and…create.  Now I can say, “Look ma!  My art is in a museum!”  Well at least it was that week.

photo (8)American, European, Asian, Antiquities, Native American, African and Modern art all have a home here.  They get in some fantastic special exhibitions as well.  This time I got to explore the Hollywood portraits of George Hurell before It leaves in a few days, and I got to catch the beginning of the Remainder exhibit that features seven up and coming female sculptures.  This doesn’t even include the decorative pieces like the stained glass, fountains or the gardens…oh, the gardens.

photo (12)Although, you can’t take pictures inside the museum, you can certainly take pictures outside.  On a nice day, I could spend all day in the gardens here.  In the summer, they show movies on a screen in the garden.  They have a formal and informal garden.  The formal gardens are part of the original structure while the rest was conceived and added in 2004.  Throughout all of it you find wonderful sculptures tucked away here and there.

Now they’ve added Philbrook Downtown in the Brady District of Downtown Tulsa.  I haven’t gotten a chance to check it out yet, but it is certainly on my list of things to do!   Each month they’ve done a First Friday Art Walk downtown.  I had no idea the studios and galleries housed right in my own backyard!  Now that fall is just around the corner, that is one activity that is quickly moving up my to-do list!

Do you have a favorite piece of art?  A favorite museum?  How do you choose favorites?  (Everything ends up being my “favorite.  It’s like I don’t really know what that means or something.)

http://philbrook.org/about/press-releases/national-study-recognizes-philbrook

‘Til next time,

Jessica