Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wallpaper for May

An Art Pic of my kitchen window sill and a bottle of Harajuki Lovers perfume. 
Today's Tea is PG Tips and PG means Pre-Gest, meant to be drunk before eating and the claim was it helped digestion.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Instragram and is it really nostalgia?

I seem to be attracted to making instagram images look vintage and was exploring the attraction to that. This article in the New Yorker talks of several reasons.  "essentially, we become our own documentation and archivists in order to impose meaning on daily life...." I have always been a chronicler of family life, keeping family diaries since the late 70's (pics, drawings,etc). I suppose on some level this can be true, although I don't consciously feel the need to impose meaning on my daily life as much as depict it. 
"Much of Instagrams appeal, however, comes from something more simple: it makes everything our lives, ..... look better".  I am sure many may use instagram as a tool to do this, but there are just as many who show a side to our lives that celebrates the joys of life, the beauty of nature, the human condition, the amazing little things right in front of us we don't take the time to see as we rush around our lives. Instagram for me presents an opportunity to stop and smell the roses. 

 Nostalgia doesn't work either,  but her take on all photographs being memento mori hit the nail on the head.

Cemetery London Ohio ©2014

This image could be now or a hundred years ago, and that is the point, the minute I took it was a past moment, a fragment in my timeline on this earth. 

face of asthma

I was fighting for my breath, and trying desperately NOT to panic. 
asthma emergency room photo
I don't even have chronic asthma 
BUT the combination of anxiety, asthma, and allergies got too much. There is a sense of helplessness that in itself is scary because even when you're thinking all is calm, all is fine, your body just goes it's own merry bloody way. So off I went to the emergency room. After a few hours, ekg, saline drip, etc things calmed down and I got back to my normal self.
I read somewhere that asthma is a "risk factor for the development of panic disorder". I can see how the fear of not being able to breathe leads to that kind of vicious cycle. 
Asthma UK: Stress and Anxiety

While I don't fall in the category of year round or chronic asthma I think I should keep an asthma chart and action plan. It's spring and it's time to get back to using the inhaler, and take allergy meds preemptively.
People with asthma underestimate attack risk

Friday, April 25, 2014

Birds and Funky Milk Jugs

  The Old Man and Moon look like they're having a right old chin wag. I put this on on my bubble shop because I think it would make such a cute card.

Oh I am having so much fun with my camera.
This is an old stuffed rooster I took outside and photographed (dramatic filter) next to an old copy of a twombly painting I have leaning against a wall in the garden.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

All About Selfies

Art at Arm's Length: A History of the Selfie
Robert Cornelious is the first known selfie 1839, so Wiki says. Of course the term selfie is new, but the act itself is not. As long as there have been camera's there have been selfies. I am amazed at how many sites are dedicated to them, as well as ideas for taking selfies
 I have never liked being photographed to start with, so taking a selfie is an interesting challenge. 
I like art challenges.
selfie with mirror omnia vanitas
Omnia Vanitas

There is, like all things taken to extremes,  a BAD side to it too.
From a woman spending thousands on plastic surgery so she could take a better selfie to suicide and mental health problems.
I will ignore the "in bad taste" issue, it goes without saying there are just some people who crave shock value.
Buzzfeed did a list of the Best Selfies of All Time (love the cheeky monkey one).
Finally there is the new movement, Ugly Selfies, "a rejection of validation through irony." In the spirit of the ugly selfies, here is mine and it was an accidental selfie I took at my friends house eeeeeek!  
accidental ugly selfie

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Camera-less Photography of Feathers

At first when I saw these feather pics in the article I thought they'd been scanned but they are done by a method called Cliche-Verre.  
"Feathers" Camera-less Photography by Taylor Curry
Scanning is sort of a version of Cliche-Verre. I love playing with the scanner now and again and did these last year.

My earliest scan back in 2010 was peacock feathers. There is something very appealing about scanned images, particularly feathers. I have a lovely collection of them (thanks to friends-you know who you are ♥)
Scanning however doesn't get the same magnificent depth like the cliche-Verre images by Taylor Curry

And for your viewing pleasure from BuzzFeed, photographs by Robert Clark.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Whaaaaaaaaaa, too much chocolate

okay NOT really. I don't eat chocolate. I am more of a licorice girl. Give  me Australian licorice or pontefract cakes and I will stuff me face. I once overdosed. REALLY! I was in my early 30's and  I went to the docs because I was having this strange tingling around my mouth. Doc couldn't find anything wrong with me. Why I mentioned it I don't know but as he was walking out of the room I told him. I have been eating a lot of licorice lately. He asked "reeeeeeeeely, when you say a lot, how MUCH licorice". When I told him his prescription was not to eat so much and I could hear him laughing all the way from the front desk. I was NOT charged for the visit. 
Joking aside there is a dangerous side effect for those over 40 with high blood pressure and heart probs as this TIME article points out. Here is a real story from bbc of a woman who ended up in the hospital after eating too many Pontefract Cakes. So I better not scarf the lot down when I open my bag I got from Jungle Jim's International Market yesterday.

cheers and off to celebrate my birthday

why, thanks google :)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Egghead and French Chocolate Masterpieces

easter egg face
Ink and a bit acrylic paint Easter Egg and sitting in a vintage Japanese egg cup with salt shaker.

What a disaster if you are a chocolate fiend but the egg is too beautiful to eat, naw!!!!!!!
Gorgeous Easter Eggs From the Master Patissiers of France

Friday, April 18, 2014

Vintage Window Display

repix editing tools for iphone

I am trying an app called Repix that has various editing tools that are more customized than a ready made filters. My first choice was a photo I took of an old fashioned looking window display in a small Ohio town's main street.  I was going for the scratched, blotchy photo vintage look. Might have overdone it, but I am pleased with the effect. I want to give a nod to iDownloadBlog where I found this app.

Seems my muse has spoken and this year is about photography. I ain't gonna fight it. Which is not to say I won't be painting or embroidering, drawing and crafting etc. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Art of Poo

and I am not talking about the one in the can or the daily dealings of S*?t we have to put up with, nope I am talking about knitted poo.First though check out this video my friend sent.  
She shared it because I used to run an art gallery in a local restroom, with my friend nancy,called the Chamberpot Gallery.
extreme knitting, unique invitations

Oh, anyway, getting back to the Art of Poo.
Someone found this image online 
googly eyes and gold crown on knitted poo
and because I had my WATERMARK url on the image, she was able to contact me and ask permission to use it in a book. As I said to the author of the book, "nowt like being famous for your s*&t".

and now I POOP you not a real poo exhibit

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My watermarked image is being used by a seller on Amazon

well the saga continues
after a dmca notice to Amazon
after it was supposed to be removed
after asking Amazon UK why it wasn't removed 
after the company increased the price
then I find this
YEP, the company is using my OWN watermarked image on their listing.   
Their explanation in regards to the original listing is that they found it
on facebook.
oh and they never sold any of the art, they say ;) Really that is beside the point, but it does beg the question why they even keep putting it up for sale on Amazon and their websites around the world.
 The spin art that keeps spinning and making ya'll dizzy.
Wheeeeeeeeeeeee, let me off this ride!

Just a wee note
the fair use disclaimer on the company website doesn't legally cut it

on a commercial website selling copies of current artists work. 

thank you Amazon UK
listing is now removed

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fence Art Gallery in Yellow Springs, Ohio

The YS Arts Council started getting the panels up yesterday and it is looking fantastic. I decided to call my troll painting "morris" (as per KAOS Queen's suggestion) and he is happily hanging around on Xenia Ave along with the rest :)  My sponsor  is the gallery that represents me ♥ "would you, could you," IN A FRAME. Thank you Sheryl for your continued support. 

April Group Show
 Waiting for Spring Blossoms
Opening Reception Friday April 18th, 2014 

More info coming soon
but it will include a troll painting ;)

I've gotten a lot of mileage out of this little troll doll my mum ♥ bought me. Been photographed, painted, and embroidered.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Behind the Camera

I've been exploring how I can take photographs for the POWA! Project that shows a time,a place or mood fitting with the theme of the blog. It's going slow, partly because we (Nancy and I) are waiting on a grant application (woo hoo, just heard we got the grant), and a need NOT to rush it along.
In the meantime I thought I would apply the same approach to deconstructing one of my own photographs as a good exercise. I have done some nice photographs in the past, which I would call happy accidents. Taking the time to really ask before I go out the door with the camera what is it I want to say with my photographs is a different kettle of fish.
I tried that with the Rainy Day Series of photographs in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
Camera Model: Iphone
Backstory: you can read about it on the Rainy Day Series link.
Preparation for the Shoot: remembering to take my brolly
Challenges: NOT dropping my flipping phone, seriously, iphones are already slick enough without the help of rain.

Thoughts behind these photographs: 
I wanted to convey the grey wet Ohio day, and there was something about the  bright balloons waving around in the breeze that appealed to the child in me. I used photoshop to alter the background and make it fuzzy black and white.  Not sure if it gives anyone the sense of place, but perhaps it does in regards to main street America? 
Keith's Alley 
I just loved how even with paint peeling and  the dilapidated building, the old graffiti and rain made the colours just POP. 

I didn't plan it this way, but all in all I think many of the photographs I took that day were about colour. It is one of the things I love about this quirky little village in the middle of Ohio.

Photo Tips
20 questions to ask yourself 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Nature Morte

In the studio Nature Morte

So I joined the Instagram crowd and I had this inner dialogue Monday with the muses babbling away about the millions of photos  on there.  Can I make my images interesting?  Can I make the ordinary extraordinary? Artists paint a simple banana or take a photograph and make it so interesting. Can I do the same?  I don't know if I succeeded, but I gave it a good try. 

I have always adored the Dutch Masters and was inspired by the amazing photography of Guido Mocafico showcased on Model's Own. I know, you would think I could have ironed the lace, right?  It was intentional, something about the crumpled look with a torn bit showing worked for me. 

Anyway BACK to Bananas
I thought this story was cute and I am sure his daughter enjoys all the banana art.

Top Banana Keisuke Yamada And His Incredible Banana Art

Wednesday, April 09, 2014


I love that name Succubus, the seducer,and so fitting for my clay rabbit. Sucking on a fag, no worries, no hurries, just sitting there on my shelf mocking me. Suck! suck! suck! in that smoke, oooooooooooooo yeh! I don't smoke now, quit many moons ago, but I still miss sitting in my studio puffing on a ciggie and soaking in the studio work of the day.
My fave cigarettes, Sobranie Black Russian.

Oh well! 
Time to get in the studio with a cup of tea.

Monday, April 07, 2014

WaHOO Yahoos! Fantastic Damien Hirst Spin Art

Spin paintings - Damien Hirst
Yep, me again with the Damien Hirst Saga. You know that British artist who earns billions (not me unfortunately), has a factory of workers who implement his vision in paint, and a team of lawyers to protect his work. 
Spin Painting White Blossom
by Damien Hirst
So here it is AGAIN on the same site AGAIN 
 being sold on Amazon AGAIN
This will be the third time I've had to ask Amazon to remove my image. I doubt they will tell me how many have sold and I shan't see a penny of it. So while Damien earns billions with his art I earn ZIP, even when my work is being promoted as his. Oh the irony!

Love this Amazon review by Sean
May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your balls. It will probably take that many camels because you have big balls stealing an artists work and trying to sell it online. 

So all you fans of Hirst
 You can get a print of this Hirst for a LOT LOT LOT less and earn good karma for supporting the real artist. 

UPDATE 4/14/2014
Amazon UK sent an email  4/10/2014 stating they respect copyright and had removed it. NOPE, still up for sale  and the seller even increased the price from £64 to £118.00

The Age of Instragram and Selfies

I have loved instagram for a long time but couldn't be part of it since I didn't have the right phone. There is something intriguing and elusive about some of the images that appeals to my creative soul.
Anyway here is an interesting link
Art 101: The Most Compelling Artists to Follow on Instagram | Artspace

Well I have the right phone now and started playing with it.
iphone selfie with blue eyes
Not sure the issues discussed in this article Selfies linked to narcissism, addiction  and mental illnesses will be an issue for moi.  I find the whole idea of taking my photo a horrid challenge, but the creative in me likes that kind of a challenge. Well off to explore the most compelling artists on instagram and here is mine.Instagram

Thanks to art pals Sheree Rensel and John Rowe for the great links.
Have a great day.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Outdoor Photo Shoot on a Wet Day

"Let the rain kiss you.Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby
 Langston Hughes

Maybe it should be gold liquid drops, because it looks like gold glitter in the puddle. 
 It was a wet miserable morning Firday, but off to Emporium for brekkers, English Toffee Coffee and then out in the rain with my iphone camera. Rain ain't going to stop MOI, I am British after all wink! wink! My challenge was to try and capture the mood of the morning. Life is full of magic, full of potential, full of hope, full of beauty. Not always easy to see through the mist of tears, or cloudy skies, literally and otherwise. As the saying goes
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called  the present.

Have a great weekend
Preferably not a wet one BUT
if you do, have fun with it.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Are you looking for a FLOWER POWER image for your project

If so, please remember that you can't just grab the image off the internet. There is one scraper wallpaper site I know of that is offering it for free for fb, it is NOT FREE. As usual my friend and I are finding people, companies, websites, schools and others just freely grabbing our images/work without any respect for us, our copyright, or need to earn income from our work.  Our (jafagirl) flower power image has been particularly popular and as the summer plans come into swing, this is a reminder to please contact us if you would like to use/licence our images. Just leave a message here or contact us at jafagirlart at yahoo 

It's really easy to just ask, and a win win situation, because not only do we get credit for our work, we will promote your event.

and not it is NOT cool to see
 someone claim copyright to it
and selling it on Deco Line

If you would like to see the REAL artists get paid for their work check out 
Hippie Flower Power Sticker by jafabrit

Drawing a Back and Oskar Kokoschka

graphite drawing of model's back
30 minute study in graphite

Backs! oh boy! Trying to get the shading to suggest the skeletal/muscular structure of a back is really really challenging. I can see what i did right, but there are areas that are definately wrong. It's good that I can see them so I can correct next time. Still I am quite happy with it considering it was just a 30 minute pose.

study of back by Oskar Kokoschka
Such an awkward angle but I love so much about this gouache and chalk drawing. The lines, and the use of modeling to show the spine, rib cage and scapula.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Birds Are A Twittering

street art
Corry Street, Yellow Springs, Ohio
Hum, the sun WAS shining yesterday. It's  raining cats and dogs today. 
Busy day yesterday at AUM helping Nancy install photography from the YS Arts Council Permanent Collection
Of course before I picked up the hanging supplies at the arts council I thought I would take a pic of our old yarnbombed pole, called mellow yellow. Oh yes, getting back to today, well off to paint and draw.
Take care and thanks for dropping by.

Crushed Can Art

by c.bayrak

As per Art News Blog's suggestion here is a face on a crushed can :)

How to make crushed can art

Recycled Art: 66 Masterpieces Made From Junk

Ever shocked by the beauty of toilet paper rolls, or saw the chicken formed by the egg shells, or witnessed coolest lion made by tires? Heck, all of them are even made by common things you discarded every day, and they are known as recycled art.