About this time last year, I was very unhappy with myself because I had not read a book in a long, long while. I kept buying books, and writing titles down to read later but never made time to actually read one. Shameful. One day I had enough of myself and vowed that I would read! Read until I was sick of reading! That fate has not befallen me and instead, I have found some of the greatest satisfaction reading titles that have been sitting on my bookshelves for years who have patiently waited their turn to be picked up and read.
I've been married to Jacob for one year. I was given a lot of advice when we were wed on Sunday, April 28, 2013.
This advice was written down and given to me by the friends and family that surrounded us on our wedding day. I think about these a lot, if only to chuckle about the inordinate amount of pop culture quotes on that list of advice.
It's fairly easy to apply some of that advice when you love somebody. Serving each other is both intentional and habitual simultaneously. The fights are uncomfortable but resolved quickly. I've eaten plenty of crow and apologized on more than one account. We haven't gotten a dog yet but we're thinking on it.
I think I have mentioned before that I really love television. Not a whole gamut of shows, but a select few that I watch again & again because they bring me lots of joy. Parks and Recreation is one of these shows that I know by heart.
So I have been working on a portrait project for the past few weeks, working through the Parks and Rec department of Pawnee, Indiana. I wanted small exercises where I could work on portraiture & typography in one sitting. I feel this project was a good combination of the two. After I was done, I would frame the portrait on my pretty blue desk & post on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter & Instagram. I loved all the feedback as lots of folks find joy in this show as well. It started with Ron, because he is my favorite. It ended with Leslie because she is the heart of the show. And I found myself sad to be done. And then I remembered... I love a ton of television shows. On to the next one.
Stayed tuned for more portrait series. If you like Firefly, Community, The Office, Friends... I think you'll enjoy what's coming next.
Most of my blog posts are personal updates on my activities - not so much on my art-making. This post was intended to make up for that insufficiency & let you know what I have been up to. The portrait project is one thing but I've been busy making lettering pieces as well. Here're a few.
After a brief conversation with a local artist at the MOsaics Art Festival this past weekend on Main Street Saint Charles, one of my largest focuses over the next few months will be to build up a large portfolio of pieces to sell at a festival/art sale. I am also preparing to open an online store where I can sell some of the pieces I have made and take orders for custom ones. Thank you for your encouraging words & sweet comments along the way; it is a pleasure to share what I make with you. I welcome the hecklers, too. I only shun art thieves which run rampant on the streets of the Internet. Git out of here. GIT.
1. Unexpected Pleasure: I have memorized Clue: The Movie. It has the best lines. "Flames, FLAMES... on the side of my face... heaving... HEAVING breaths!", "I'm gonna go home and sleep with my WIFE.", "Mrs. Peacock was a man?", "Communism was just a red herring", so on and so forth. I hold this murder mystery movie in high esteem. Whodunnit is a lot like Clue - no one knows who the murderer is and all these mysterious murders are occurring in a beautiful mansion. In the TV show, the contestants must solve the murder using alliances, solving riddles and studying clues. At the end of the episode, the mysterious murderer works through the manor's butler Giles to declare the contestant "Spared" or "Scared." The two contestants who did the worst job at solving the murder receive a Scared card and one is killed that night or the next morning. The next day the surviving contestants must solve the next murder. I FREAKING LOVE IT. It is definitely a psychologically taxing game for the contestants - they are visibly scared at the end of the episode when they receive their card and when their allies are killed off it can induce a weeping session. Fascinating. Watch it. Watch it, watch it.
2. Redemptive Roles: Besides the large Arch and the free zoo, one of the best things about Saint Louis is our historic outdoor theatre, The Muny. Some cool cats & I went last night to see Les Miserables. Our seats may have sucked and even when the sun was down it was 85 degrees, but that was a good show. I have seen some real stinkers at The Muny. This cast was just the right combination of fresh talent and Broadway renown. Because Javert should never sound like this.
3. Sweet Reunion: Back to talking about my best friend, television. Jacob and I have spent many, many hours laughing our butts off at Whose Line Is It Anyway? reruns on ABC Family. So you can imagine our utter delight when Whose Line made a long-awaited return to the CW a couple of days ago - and with the same 90s color-smudge background on the set as well. As much as I will miss Drew Carey's interrupting laughter and comments, I think Aisha Tyler will be a suitable substitute. Heavenly Father, thank you for bringing back Mochrie, Stiles & Brady as the main cast members. I pray the stage will never be sullied by the absence of their presence. Amen.
4. New Experience: For the past few weeks I have been teaching art lessons to two sweet girls. This Saturday will be our last lesson and, as much as I am looking forward to it, I will miss their awesome senses of humor and the fresh light that they bring to creativity. It was an interesting process learning how to teach them. In one instance, I asked them each to draw my hand. The older girl looked at my hand, drew, looked at my hand, drew. The younger girl looked at my hand, then looked down at her pad and never looked up again. Observation versus imagination. Which do you create with?
Well, kind of. An adventure up I-55 to the Schaumberg IKEA. We have a lot of great stuff in Saint Louis. Free zoo, toasted ravioli, free art museum, a freaking large Arch, toasted ravioli, gooey butter cake, etc. But the thing we lack is an IKEA. So, we made a pilgrimage up to the Swedish furniture mecca for some bookshelves & a TV stand for our living room; we also went up just for a tiny vacation. It's good to get away sometimes.
We ate a lot of good food on our 48 hour trip up north. We had some tasty, tasty hotdogs and fries to give us energy to conquer IKEA. I didn't take pictures inside because all IKEAs look alike, so just google IKEA and you'll see what I saw. You can watch my vine though.
After shopping, we ate some more. But this time, we met up with our good friend, the one and only Czech missionary, Ritch Trca. What a pleasure! We ate at Czech Plaza which was kitschy and wonderful. Dumplings, man. Excited to be dining on Czech dumplings & kolaches again in the country itself in just a couple weeks.
Then it was back to the real world. In this world, you must assemble the furniture you purchase. We got some coffee tables too that work very wonderfully in the space we have but are not pictured because they're coffee tables, get over it. Here is the transformation.
The IKEA Expedit series is perfect for our vinyl records. The only disappointment with the whole thing was that I have a sweet typewriter I wanted to display on one of the shelves and it just two inches too wide. Hipster disappointment.