Friday, December 30, 2005

Things to do in the coming year

  • Paint

  • Get to work on sculpting. I've procrastinated enough - plus I have new toys to play with. (Dremel is a wonderful thing.)

  • Not to have any reasons to utter the phrase, "Oh, and by the way, here's the bill where my ass exploded!" (bonus points if you know the source of that quote!)

  • Post my work on Deviant Art

  • Sell said work.

  • Get back on even ground about spirituality? one person cult of personality with the mad, mad vibes?

  • Remember not to get too caught up in my head (it can be scary in there) and just enjoy the freakiness that can occur outside of it.

Oh all right

I'll admit it: I have done so little today, sloths could tell me to eat their dust. I am still recovering from the holidays and I have not painted one lick since I finished those three paintings. I'm about to go crazy (-er?) so tomorrow, it's back to the studio.

I've got ideas for two more paintings simmering in the back of my head. Both of them, for whatever reason, are themes on Ancient Egyptian mythology.

One is Khnum (I hope I'm getting it close when I say, "num.") Not only is he a primal god who controlled the flooding of the Nile but he is said to be one of the oldest gods in the pantheon, who created both gods and men on his potter's wheel. How cool is that: an actual representation of god as artist?

The other painting is of Horus but that's about all I have at this point, other than I want to do these paintings from a southern point of view. What that means, I have no idea - Horus with the head of a red tailed hawk instead of a native Egyptian Saker falcon? Khnum depicted with the head of a goat found in this area, like the painting a few entries back? (Actually, I like that idea.) Hell, I may even plant a RC cola and a moonpie on the floor near Khnum's, not really.

I'm also getting this little mental thing that keeps saying, "It's time to do those Tarot cards." That could get interesting, especially since I only have a very basic knowledge - not even a working knowledge- of what's in them. I don't even know what theme to use on them. Oh yeah, that's going to be a real effective bunch of Tarot cards.

Because I'm a completist

Here are the other two paintings I did for holiday gifts.

This painting gave me fits until the very end. Most of the fits involved trying to make all that "black" and "white" look more like a dog instead of vague blobs on a board. I very nearly drop-kicked it all the way across the property and back. I took a trip to Nashville instead. I guess it worked.

This was one of those very rare paintings: I had the feeling that it painted itself. I truly felt as if I were a bystander, just watching it happen. It was great, even if his nose came a little too close to the edge of the board.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Clues that you've invited a Goth to Christmas

1. While walking by the TV as a show about marine life plays, the Goth (also known as Azra) says, "A sea krait! PRETTY!!!!"

2. Later, after sitting down to watch the same show:
Narrator: "...most people don't know that octopus are poisonous but it not deadly..."
Goth: "WOW! A poisonous octopus? How cool is that?!"

3. During a conversation about a local funeral home that is now a church:
"You know that Alexander's funeral home in Westmoreland went out, didn't you?"
"No, I didn't hear anything about that."
"Yeah, it's a church now."
"Well, lord, I wouldn't want to go to that church. I'd be thinking about all the dead bodies that had been in the funeral home."

Goth: "Actually, that would be a selling point for me."

Yes, people. This is how the Christmas gathering went this year. I have cemented my reputation once again as the strange one of the family.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Just a quick note...


Sorry things have been quiet for the last few days. I've been painting furiously - two are down and the third will be done tomorrow or Tuesday.

I feel like I'm three different people when it comes to these paintings. None of them have been painted in the same way. One is heavily textured, one is portrait style with very small brushstrokes and the third is shaping up to be fairly loose and informal. Perhaps this is just a good way of letting my unknown-until-now multiple personalities to speak up for themselves.

So...the main thing I wanted to say is that even though I decided to start something new (The Infinite Number of Things) early, it may be a few more days before I post another entry. I still have a few more things to finish up. See y'all in a bit.

An infinite number of things about me

Some folks out in the blog-o-sphere have been posting "100 Things," a list of little tidbits about themselves. Well, weirdo that I am, I decided to not limit myself to a hundred. Mainly, it's because I know I would never finish a list like that and I'd probably feel like such a failure. This way, I can just have fun with it. So, let's start with number one, shall we?

1. Hello. My name is Azra and I'm a collector.

Let me say right now that I don't collect just any old thing. I like to think I'm fairly discriminating about what I collect. Sometimes though...well, once or twice (I swear! That's all!) I have been that person at the flea market whose voice goes up three octaves when they find something unexpected: "Oh look. It's a 1950's Era Breyer, using the Arabian mare mold and it's ONLYTENDOLLARSOHMYGODIHAVETOHAVEITAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!"

Here are my collections:

      Horses - I have collected horses since I was a kid. My very first one was the Breyer model of Walter Farley's The Black, based on the movie with Cass Ole'. (Yep - I remember the horse's name that played The Black but not the kid who played Alec!) I have between 200-300 horses now, about 95% of them Breyers.

      Books - It seems to be a rare day for me to go out and not come back with a few books. A good number of them (maybe one third or half) deal with magick, Paganism, Shamanism, herbs or some sort of esoteric subject. The rest deal with art, how-to, biographies, fiction and sci-fi. I keep threatening to have to buy another house, just for my books. I guess I have at least five hundred, maybe closer to a thousand. I don't know.

      Rocks and fossils - this is the "cheapest" collection I have and another I have kept since I was a kid. They are all locally found, mostly from the Fort Payne formation. I have a few I found in other places - Wilson and Trousdale counties and Nashville. A ton of what can be found around here are crinoids. They're everywhere, although they aren't as nice as the ones on the linked page. What you mainly find here are stem sections. Corals are fairly easy to find too.

Anybody else out there collect stuff?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

This moment

There is a halo around the moon and there is a thin line of frost on my clothes where they hang across the line. I take them down anyway, followed by the line itself. It's supposed to rain in a few hours.

I carry my clothes in their willow basket to the truck where the week's groceries wait. They need to be sorted - which bags go in? What needs to be refrigerated? Where's that framing wire and the eye-holed screws? They need to go to the studio so I can wire those three paintings...

That's when it hits me. All the big looming questions - "Am I doing the right thing with my life? Have I lost my faith or was it real to begin with? Am I just crazy and refusing to admit it?" - are gone, wiped clean as if they never existed. Right now, in this very moment, I am exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what I need to do.

I am content. There is a halo around the moon.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


HEADLINE: Sumner County woman rescued
BYLINE: Joannie Snigglebotham, contributing editor

A Sumner County woman had to rescued today by her local Volunteer Fire Department. The woman, Azra, had somehow became entangled while trying to get out of a pair of overalls. Neighbors heard the woman's cries for help and called the fire department.

"We are still investigating what exactly happened," said Mark Malone, the chief of the volunteer fire department. "At first, we thought we had walked in on some kind of bizarre crime scene. Somehow, Ms. Azra got hopelessly entwined in a pair of overalls. We even had to remove the door to the room she was in. We don't know how the strap got knotted around the doorknob or how one leg got wrapped around the base of the sink. We are particularly interested in discovering how the other strap got tied around the light fixture, which is in a seven foot ceiling. The one thing we know for sure is that Ms. Azra has a great set of lungs. Her nearest neighbor is several hundred yards away."

Ms. Azra is resting in the Sumner County Regional Medical Center, where she was admitted for observation. When asked about the incident, the only statement she was willing to make was, "How embarrassing."

One thing I've learned...

Here is a life lesson:

If you're going to be in a hurry, don't wear overalls. Either that, or learn to start unbuckling and unbuttoning on the way to the bathroom.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


As they say in Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "I got better."

This is the same painting from two entries ago and the first goat I have ever painted - or drawn, for that matter - in my life. I decided the second goat just didn't work in the composition like I really, really, really wanted. So out he went. It still has a hard edge or two that needs to be softened up and a few highlights to brighten on the face but other than that, it's good to go. Then again, I may bring the violet around to the lower left a little more so it doesn't divide the painting in half...and I may bring the fur out a little bit so it doesn't just sit right in the middle of the board...aaarrgghh....

Do you think it's a worthy Christmas gift?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Where is god?

Feeling so lost, so alone
Where is god?
Feeling so small, so insignifigant
Where is god?
Feeling so insecure
Where is god?

Look within the circle of your life
And there is god.
See the leaves on the ground
There is god.
See the trees they fell from
There is god.
See the grass, the earth, the sky
There is god.
Feel the wind and rain on your face
There is god.
Look into the eyes of the neighbor's cat
There is god.
See the love of your life come home
There is god.
See yourself in the mirror
There is god.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The life and times of an artist

The east-west flight corridor to Fort Campbell passes right overhead and traffic has picked up in the last three days. I wonder if that means anything or if they're just transporting the copters to other bases?

Between giving the new cat some attention (it only took all summer and half the autumn to get him to trust me enough to let me pet him and now he thinks he's entitled to it) and keeping said cat from trying to beat up Toby, somehow I managed to get some work done today. After I decided to take a break from this painting, I thought I would upload it, now that most of the colors are blocked in. I just noticed what looks like a big yellow streak under that one goat's beard - that will have to go!

This a small oil painting - 8"x10" - I'm doing for of my aunt and uncle Christmas gift. They have a huge herd of goats but these two caught my eye on Thanksgiving day.

I've got two more paintings and three drawings to do. I wanted to take a longer break from this one (I felt like I was just frippin' around the board instead of doing much of anything) and start at least one of the others today. They had other ideas.

I put the darn thing up on the easel and as I started to put the ground on it, it started bouncing. Normally, that isn't a problem when you're using canvas but these are masonite. They aren't supposed to bounce.

Turns out, the glue I used (Elmer's wood glue) to attach the boards to their supports isn't holding. Of course, it sticks to the wood supports but not the gessoed board, which is strange because I've never had that to happen before. One thing maybe be the temperature affecting it. It's been in the twenties at night and various temps during the day in there. Eh, maybe I should've just sprung for the Gorilla Glue like I had originally thought. I hate being interrupted once I get going on a roll.

Oh yeah - the drawings are for three of the (almost) sacrifices from Thanksgiving. All three of them saw me doing a quick sketch of a cactus my aunt had in her kitchen window and said, "Draw a rose next!!" Now they all want one for Christmas.

I hope my lip didn't curl up too much when I heard the word "rose" come out of their mouths. I can't stand the sight of a rose on paper or canvas. You see, years ago, I was a member of the Hendersonville Art Council. There was this one older woman there who seemed to do nothing but watercolor paintings of roses but yet, she had this attitude as if she were better than Rembrandt himself. One day, as I picked up a colored pencil drawing that had been entered in the member show, this woman felt she just had to say something - anything - about my work. So here I was, standing there with a 18"x24" frame in my hands and she finally says, "I like your puppy dog." It took all the reserve I had not to bop her over the head with my "puppy dog" but somehow I managed to reply, "Thank you...but it's a wolf."

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Reposted from Daven's Journal

If you agree, repost this on your blog and let’s change the
perspective about this

A lot has been said about how to prevent rape.
Women should learn self-defense. Women should lock themselves in their
houses after dark. Women shouldn’t have long hair and women shouldn’t
wear short skirts. Women shouldn’t leave drinks unattended. fuck, they
shouldn’t dare to get drunk at all.

Instead of that bullshit, how about:

If a woman is drunk, don’t rape her.
If a woman is walking alone at night, don’t rape her.
if a women is drugged and unconscious, don’t rape her.
If a woman is wearing a short skirt, don’t rape her.
If a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don’t rape her.
If a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you’re still hung up on,
don’t rape her.
If a woman is asleep in her bed, don’t rape her.
If a woman is asleep in your bed, don’t rape her.
If a woman is doing her laundry, don’t rape her.
If a woman is in a coma, don’t rape her.
If a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular
activity, don’t rape her.
If a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don’t rape her.

If a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don’t rape her.
If your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don’t rape her.
If your step-daughter is watching tv, don’t rape her.
If you break into a house and find a woman there, don’t rape her.
If your friend thinks it’s okay to rape someone, tell him it’s not,
and that he’s not your friend.

If your “friend” tells you he raped someone, report him to the police.
If your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there’s an
unconscious woman upstairs and it’s your turn, Don’t rape her, call
the police and tell the guy he’s a rapist.

Tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, sons of friends it’s not
okay to rape someone.

Don’t tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape.
Don’t imply that she could have avoided it if she’d only done/not done x.
Don’t imply that it’s in any way her fault.
Don’t let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he “got some”
with the drunk girl.
Don’t perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control
over or responsibility for your actions. You can, too, help yourself.