Tuesday, July 12, 2011

#1 The Serpent And The Rose

So I know I was reading Green by Jay Lake but I like to juggle books so I started and finished reading The Serpent and the Rose by Kathleen Bryan.

I liked this book. I was a quick read and a good high fantasy book that wasn't male centric. I liked that this book had an almost egalitarian quality to all of it's characters. The two main characters Geraint and Averil relied on each other for support equally. There is also this duality with earth and high magic and the debate over which was is better and more powerful. The underlying christian mythology was a bit of a curve ball but it didn't bother me enough to stop reading. It wasn't telling me to be a christian, it was just using the bible story as a plot device. Unexpected. The pacing as a little inconsistent in a weird way for me but that was really it's biggest flaw. I think I will definitely be reading the other books in the series. Overall I would rate this book a 3.5 stars. So good but not my most favorite book ever.

I'm almost finished Green and I will probably post my review in the next few days. I like to try and keep most things short and sweet.

Monday, July 4, 2011

So Yeah, Slacker Book Club Are Slackers

Guess being slackers and trying to run a book club doesn't really work. By slackers I mean hyper busy twenty-somethings.

I've reassessed what I would like to do for this blog and I have found a fairly simple solution. How many books can I read in a year. Not just read but think about and digest. So from July 2011 to July 2012, I will diligently monitor my reading habits. I am a notorious book juggler and this will ensure I finish all of what I start reading.

Green by Jay Lake is what I am currently reading. I really bought this because I love the cover art of  Dan Dos Santos and I was rewarded inside with an excellent story. A strong, very kick ass female lead and set in rich climates. I could smell, see and hear everything which is how you know it's going to be a good book. I have high hopes for the ending. Will post soon. Over and out.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bluebeard - Slacker Book Club Round 1

So a friend of mine started a pseudo book club via google group. First on our list of reads was Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut. A book about a fictional Armenian Abstract painter, Rabo Karabekian.

Rabo is disgruntled, passionless and a hermit by and large. His entire character in the book is my greatest fear for myself as an artist. He just doesn't really care about much besides his second wife Edith and his art collection. The book is written as a memoir from Rabo's perspective, it jumps from the past to real time based on what is happening to Rabo at that point in the narrative.

I liked the flow an ease of the writing and I liked to hate a lot of the characters especially Circe Berman. Circe imposes herself on Rabo because she feels she can bring him out of his shell which helps her keep the grief of her late husband out of her mind. My favorite quote of the book has to do with her dead husband who has barely any stage time except for a few descriptive lines.

According to Circe, this was his ultimate communiqué: “I was a radio repairman.” “Either his damaged brain believed that this was a literal truth,” she said, "or he had come to the conclusion that all the brains he had operated on were basically just receivers of signals from someplace else. Do you get the concept?"

Above was said about a man who was a neurosurgeon. Rabo seemed to connect to this statement as well, he saw people's souls as being separate from their bodies. Souls were vertical beams of neon light that got word of what the body was doing. The conscience was an afterthought of finding out what the body did. I found this part of the book immensely interesting. 

Maybe I'm not the greatest intellectual but Vonnegut's stance on WWII, didn't really affect how I read the book. I got how Rabo felt about the war and how his father felt about war and their stances defined their place in the novel but how Vonnegut himself felt had no baring for me.

All I will say about the end is that I did not see it coming. 

If you have any interest in art, history and some intrigue than I would suggest you read this book. If you do and actually read this blog, post your thoughts and ideas about it in the comments. I love to hear other takes on a story and it's point and personal meaning. 

One last note/prayer. To the Gods of Art, please let me keep my soul. Over and out. 

Slightly Different Format

So first things first. I decided to change the idea behind this blog. Originally it was going to be a space for me to post everything I found interesting on the internet, well, now it will be a space for me to collect my thoughts on things that are influencing my work now.

One day it could be a review of a book I read that week or a movie I saw. Maybe it will be my thoughts and feelings of a gallery show I went to or a reaction to a concert I saw. Just sort of an idea of things to come. A blog statement if you will.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mystery and Light

I'm really obsessive with lighting and gesture. My personal work is very often described as moody. Moody less in the sense of subject matter and more about how I've created a mood with light and gesture. I love mystery, I want to see a picture or piece of art and wonder what is going on in the background.

These three images I found on The Sartorialist this week. Each of the women in these photographs has a mood or gesture that I find fascinating. Each one I find I'm asking myself "who is she? what was she doing and where is she going?" Inquiring minds want to know!

This first girl is the perfect marriage of ideas. She's Katherine Hepburn if Katherine Hepburn hung out in Dumbo, Chelsea or Williamsburg. Her expression is subtly surprised but her gesture is calm and strong. You can just see the next moment, she turns and walks away and you never see her again and that's okay.

This next image feels so timeless. I feel like you could put a backdrop in from almost any era and it would work flawlessly. Maybe she's a gypsy, maybe she's a witch or maybe she's a down and out Countessa on the run. Though she's not really in motion she feels full of potential energy. I don't want to know her, I want her to be a mystery.

The girl in this last image is clearly a traveler. She could be a vampire, a witch or a courtesan/mistress. This is another image that feels like it could easily swap eras. Unlike the image before, I want to know who she is. She seems full of secrets that I want to know but she will never tell me.

These are the sorts of images I want around me when I'm trying to set a certain mood. The lighting in the first two is mainly from behind and in each I don't want to know more about the subject. I'm okay with them going off into the sunset never to be seen again by me. They stay a mystery because that is more emotionally fulfilling with those images. The last image the figure is in a more natural subdued lighting situation and I want to know more. Her gesture is almost cat like, like someone pressed pause on her as she was moving. You know that girl has seen things, not necessarily bad things, just things and maybe she'll share with you if you are worthy.

Each image really plays on all senses to create a mood and that's what I want to bring into my work. I want people to be able to hear the thunder if I draw the lighting.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

First Post Outline

My plan with this blog is to maintain a look book/mood board for myself. I don't want to waste paper by printing out all the interesting pictures and things I find online or take myself that I want to use as inspiration. Inspiration for a color scheme and outfit or maybe a facial expression I would like to draw.

If anyone ever actually reads this blog, I started it really just for myself. If you like it or find interesting the things I find interesting then welcome.

Vogue Paris, April 2011 edition (working at a bookstore has it's perks)

Right now I'm in a Clint Eastwood mood again. Westerns that sort of color and style are in my brain right now. I really want to incorporate western into my work, I've brought in some western Native American inspirations. Now I want cowboys.