Category Archives: Uncategorized

Art Deco Cars!

If you know me at all, you know I love cars, motorcycles, engines, and anything related. I love the feel of a powerful engine, the unique sound of an unusual engine, the special quirks of rare mechanical and the function of a well engineered machine. I love the art, the style, the engineering, the mechanics, and the the dirty details. I work on them, caress them, listen to them, admire them, and covet them. From Ducati to Norton, Bugatti to Edsel I love good design and quality work.

This past week my husband and I, who is a fellow admirer went to the Houston Fine Arts Museum to visit an exhibit of Art Deco cars. These were taken with my Fire phone, not the good camera from work.

Processing

This week has largely been a planning week as far as art projects. Nothing has been completed. We burst a main water line and had several things to take care of at home. But I have been working on some ideas for paintings, photography and writing. I do not want to start the paintings until I have a solid plan for them, I think I am ready. I really want to do an oil but have had a terrible time getting them to dry in our area. At any rate, I have a solid direction for several things and some things to work on but nothing new to show.

Wormy Wood Desks

I just love the shape of this piece with perfect branching.
I just love the shape of this piece with perfect branching.

Though I am still working on what day each week I will post, or if I want to specify that, I have been working on a couple of new projects that will be available in my Etsy store when I am finished. I enjoy working with raw wood and discarded wood to create furniture. I love the back-and-forth development of design and creation as you go through the wood to find the right pieces then update or redo the design to work with your primary pieces then the other parts as you find and prepare them. I began this type of work years ago, my mother had several of my pieces that I had offers for but designed for her.

These are pieces of 2 furniture pieces I am working on
These are pieces of 2 furniture pieces I am working on

Currently, I am working on a Wormy Wood Laptop Desk or end table with shelf and mosaic tile, and on another one that will either be a coffee table or another small desk, I  have not chosen all of the wood yet and am still developing that one.

I am Cleaning and prepping the wood. Currently, it is a little dark from the treatment to make sure nothing lives in it now. Wormy wood is a lot of time and work.
 I am Cleaning and prepping the wood. Currently, it is a little dark from the treatment to make sure nothing lives  in it now. Wormy wood is a lot of time and work.

The base piece of wood has perfect branching for a drink shelf and for a paper shelf.

the base for the tile is also a reclaimed piece, but from a remodel job not raw wood.

The

The other piece I am working on is not a pedestal style and has smaller legs as you see above. I am cleaning the wood and prepping it by hand. I use as many old, often antique, hand tools as I can because I not only enjoy them, I respect the tools and the quality of work.

Art’s Folly, my personal place to supply my original work to the world.

Abstract Rose Acrylic Painting

Abstract Acrylic Rose Painting
Abstract Acrylic Rose Painting – original art by me, currently posted on my new Etsy site.

I need to get back to posting things as I do them 🙂

In the meantime, let me share some of my more recent work over the next couple of weeks. Several of them are posted on my new Etsy store, which was one of my current projects.

The above mini painting is a 4×4 canvas acrylic based on a close up photo I took some time ago. the initial sketch on the canvas was only the barest approximation to get me started. the piece developed from there into one of my favorite of my mini paintings. I hope you enjoy it also.

Poverty can happen to anyone. (Guardian column, Feb 2013).

This is such a good story that touches on one of the topics I mentioned in my blog the other day. I had to share her well put answer to people’s bias against those people having trouble for reasons we don’t know. Many of us have had bizarrely difficult times and there wasn’t much we could have done to prevent it at the time. In hindsight we might see ways we could have changed it sooner, but you cannot regret your decisions and sometimes it is not easy to think logically about some things.

Jack Monroe

20140218-182728.jpg

I didn’t manage to say very much on Channel 5’s The Big Benefits Row, beyond an opening remark about people not being able to just rock up to a food bank with a carrier bag and help themselves. I started to talk about the Trussell Trust when Edwina Currie, also on my panel, cut over me to talk about my grandfather’s circumstances.

I wanted to say that poverty is almost indescribable to Edwina and co with their blinkered, self-righteous attitudes. That turning off the fridge because it’s empty anyway, that sitting across the table from your young son enviously staring down his breakfast, having freezing cold showers and putting your child to bed in god knows how many layers of clothes in the evening – it’s distressing. Depressing. Destabilising.

Imagine living for 11 weeks with no housing benefit, because of “delays”. Imagine those 77 days of being chased for rent…

View original post 581 more words

Marketing and Societal Unrest

I found myself completely unable to focus yesterday. Lunch is typically my time to draw and focus to relax and be more focused in the afternoon, since morning is my best work time for office work. I am unsure why this is true, since I really am not fully awake for some time, and by then my focus is growing flighty. Today, on the other hand has been one of disjointed attention since before the alarm went off. I couldn’t even focus on sleep and was awake early, thus being soundly asleep when the alarm did go off. Driving to work this morning I changed CDs twice, and I listen to NPR most of my ride, it was just not a day for some stories. News is growing repetitive and not only do the same things keep happening; they appear several places in a row each time. Many news stories prompt me to stop and research the topic when I get to work, it is part of why I arrive early; others just make me wonder about humanity, society, and the world.

Rebellions are the name of the day right now in news, that and labor laws. Most of the rebellions in this wave are due to repression, restriction of free gathering and communication, economics, and as always a little religious and race conflict thrown in. What I find curious about this, is the US response regarding many of the situations has been to tell them the repressive rules and restrictions on groups gathering peacefully, communication, free speech, and economic policies must be changed and they must be more humanitarian. This, from a government that has made it illegal to gather in groups, and can arrest anyone, claiming suspicion of terrorism without proof and hold them indefinitely. This from the society that is so concerned with political correctness and a war on terror they attack, ban, or silence anything not in a midline, conciliatory stance, or anything that could be implied as wishing harm on anyone or thing. This from a place that dictates you must carry identification papers everywhere; have vehicular, home, and medical insurance by law; must register where you are with the government and allow them to record every phone call, internet use, or recording of you; that films you in every action down to sitting at a red light. Any act of control can be logically explained to sound necessary, vital, good, and in the name of safety or freedom; but in reality, controls for the sake of safety limit freedom by their very nature. The difference is that Americans will never have those kinds of riots and upheavals, not because they are better off, not saying they are not, just that is not a factor. Americans are a society that wants their convenience, their security, their immediate comfort; anything that disturbs the balance is obviously bad. Besides they cannot agree on anything, and do not insist the government follow their desires, most American’s do not even know most of what the government does inside the US borders or out.

We had large groups go out in protest over foreclosures, joblessness, and economic inequality; but what I heard from people was those were just lazy, dissatisfied, basically worthless people not contributing to society, they needed to be ignored or cleaned up. Because they lost their home or their job, or both they were immediately less than, they became the problem and they were not following procedure. More than that, they were making waves and bringing bad attention. I find this somewhat remarkable; this attitude slipped through in many forms but was extremely common; not always the obvious statement, but often implied or the foundation of what was said. I see and hear comments stating that unemployed are lazy, or that minimum wage workers get less because they do less, have less skills, have less education, basically they are worth less. Consider the reality that many people work where they can get a job since the longer you are out of work; the harder it becomes to get a job. One research project found companies were more than 80% more probable to discard a resume with no callback if the applicant was out of work for more than 6 months, in favor of someone less qualified for the position. More than that, when you have a family to take care of, bills piling up, and are growing increasingly desperate at the pointless education and experience (since that is what it feels like when no one will hire you), then you will take any job that will give you a paycheck. I have known people with master’s degrees that were working minimum wage, or below if they were wait staff, when I met them. Do they have less drive, intelligence, experience, or is it less connections, access, and timing? Maybe they just had a bad time and are trying to start over.  Are we in a position to make these judgments on people? I don’t think we are, but I also don’t think a society with that outlook will have a real rebellion or push for change.

 People accustomed to comfort and spoon fed information will accept the bones thrown at them if it is through the right channels and marketed well. We are a society addicted to marketing. Understand, my Masters is in Marketing, I studies just how this came about and have considered where it has and will lead us. It dips into everything, even how television is done. Little things like, why run full television series and movies rather than more mini-series (an odd tangent it seems – I warned you). One answer is that unless they can market them like movies or have the reach of a full series, the marketing is lost in the flood and besides, we do not have the practice at moderation. There are other aspects to this, but marketing is a major part in the development, the result, and the future.  I see marketing direct everything from clothing to politics, art to sports.

Society seems to have gone backward of how it should function, when you allow marketing to control that much, you are allowing marketing to direct your thought. Politicians spend absurd amounts now in marketing themselves and their agendas, not because they want to fix anything, but because they want the benefits no one admits are there. Why would they spend millions to get something with no benefits? They are career politicians that must be reapproved every few years and never really make any drastic changes because that would rock the boat and they would lose their gig. But marketing makes it all sound good. Marketing directs what people wear, where they eat, what they eat, what they drive, where they live, how they talk, who they vote for, the things they buy, and what they watch. That’s a bit scary, look at how much of what most people do is directed by the practiced and studied art of manipulation employed by marketing people in business, government, non-profit, and media groups. Health industry markets good practices they are currently promoting. Pharm-coms promote drugs and procedures they want to sell. Insurance companies promote needs. Businesses promote products, services, needs, and more. Political entities promote agendas, people, policies, laws, and whatever else they think will help them. Legal entities promote laws, actions, safety, behavior, equipment, and dangers. Marketing teaches you that rather than following the market needs, you create the need that you have the product to fill. Business filled needs, but marketing shapes society to create the needs that make someone money or power.

This is marketing at work. A pool on the beach in a place with perfect weather and water temp year round.
This is marketing at work. A pool on the beach in a place with perfect weather and water temp year round.

Haiku to Fight Mass Surveillance

This expresses how many of us feel I think. And really, have you read the list of dangerous words? It is absurd when you think about it…actually, no it really doesn’t take much thought on the topic.

Confessions of a Geek Queen

In accordance with the use of the words featured on the NSA Haiku Generator, which randomly generates haiku using words that are red-flagged by the NSA and mark you as a “potential terrorist,” I have written some proper haiku that accurately describe me and my use of many of these words:

Competitor nerd
Writes plots about warfare
Phishing for spy finks

I like TIE-fighters
So, peering and eavesdropping,
Illuminati spy

“Underground basement”
Are keywords that trigger
Military spying

Emergency preparedness is a sign of possible terror?

Now I wave at the government spooks of the Western world who have found their way to my site:

Wave and shit-eating grin

Really, I’m harmless.  I’m a writer who likes to tell stories that remind people that war is awful, and I’m a sci-fi nerd.  But that’s really none of your business, and I resent you violating my privacy, so that’s why I’m writing these haiku.

View original post 11 more words

Work and Art and Life

I have been good at working on my art every day since I removed the requirement to finish one each day. My new work schedule has not allowed me to finish the longer projects I tend to prefer. I have one in progress that I am considering putting on hold in favor of 2 others I have in mind. It just isn’t going as planned and doesn’t really contribute at the moment. Also, life has intruded with other ideas and needs.

One thing is I want to focus more on the things more directly related to the game project, my practice has been good but it is time to focus it a bit more. Also, I am considering designing new wedding rings for my husband and I. We were unable to go with some of the ideas we considered before based on a variety of good reasons, but now with my ring still missing somewhere in the kitchen wall…

Overall, projects floating around, kitties going in to be neutered and in a few weeks spayed, and car being challenging to repair and pout together, and work taking time, I am still restructuring my life and looking and what and how to do everything.

IMAG0433

Political STEAM

Researching the STEM to STEAM process I found an interesting political, educational, and economic environment for the development. First, let’s look at some political activity on the subject. House resolution 51 is currently being reviewed by the Committee on Education and the Workforce and by the Committee on Science, Space and Technology. This resolution (H.RES.51.IH) is available online for review and a link can be found at STEMtoSTEAM.org where they also have links to add comments and petition signatures To council members to join the caucus – the now 50 member bipartisan STEAM Caucus. The bill is worth reading both to know what is being proposed and to see the reasons and research involved in this development. Some cited reasons for the proposal include the need for innovation in technology, the need for interdisciplinary problem-solving, artists’ role in manufacturing, artists’ ability to communicate technological data to stakeholders, artists’ role in development of technology, and the combined impact of both art and sciences on everyday lives of people. One component is the designation of STEM to STEAM month, which most of us in the Steampunk world have probably already heard of. It proposes alteration of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act to include art and design in the STEM fields. Obviously, this is just a proposal right now and the actual details have not been written or approved, but the discussion is already prompting action nationwide. An article in Economic Development Quarterly (A Young  Picasso or Beethoven Could be the Next Edison) in October showed studies such as one at MSU that found Honors Graduates from 1990-1995 from the traditional STEM programs that now own patents and businesses were those that received up to eight times the exposure to the arts before age 14 than the general public. Compared to the general public average of 34% of populace having had musical training at some point, STEM graduates on the other hand, showed 93% had musical training. There was also higher activity in other arts. This shows a distinct role in arts on those that complete STEM programs and those that really make use of that training to develop business and science. We need business and science development to change the face of business, the economy, and science – something recognized in this proposal. Artistic training fosters the ability to solve complex problems as they discuss. In 2012, the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities published a paper on the five roles of arts, culture and design in economic growth and development. No recent data has been released from this committee. There was no 2013 data. The impetus for this development is definitely in the hands of teachers, professors, and parents. The government is slowly moving to change the funding programs to include arts, but the action to combine education seems to be, as I first heard grass roots. The other question related to this legal designation and political designation is how will curriculum regulations and standards be impacted or will they. Will they hamper teachers trying to combine curriculum or will they promote the effort? Will teachers find funding available or continue to see arts programs cut as many schools have thinned them down to cut what is often seen as unnecessary costs. Though one must also wonder how a society that places higher importance and funding on sport programs than any of the education programs in schools expects to prepare students for leadership and business in a global market. Sports may have benefits, but the focus at a school is education and preparing young minds for the future. STEM to STEAM research explores how to more effectively do this in a changing environment with changing needs. You can’t pick a list of data that prepares students if they know it. Life, business, science, and society require skills and the ability to implement, analyze, understand, interpret, communicate, envision, and adapt information that constantly moves and changes. There isn’t a list of formulas to do this, it takes a mind practiced and taught to learn, with the ability to take ideas art and connect it’s parts in new ways to other ideas.

Todd

Todd

This is my brother. I am pleased with it and I gained some insight from it that will help in my next one. Drawing family members and people I know well has really helped me learn the tones, and textures I need to work with because I know them and I am recreating something I am familiar with in a new way.
I actually had a couple of subjects I wanted to write a blog about today but they shall have to wait because this was my first day at a new job and I am tired and have things to do still. But the ideas will ruminate about my head for a bit while they await release into the wild.