Tuesday, August 21, 2007


"There is always in childhood one moment when a door opens and lets in the future." (Graham Greene. Posted as a prompt on personalwriting@yahoogroups.com)

My first response to this quote was, "Just one?" I just can't wrap my head around the idea of there being one door leading the way to one sole path in life which leads to one destination. (Tangent: just how would a person wrap their head around something? Like a towel? A scarf? A big, warm blanket? A flour tortilla?)

Life itself makes it impossible to have just one door. In folklore and mythology, doors are important places. They are thresholds, boundaries and the "in between." The boundary between the everyday world and Faery. The boundary between waking and dreams. The boundaries between youth and adolescence as well as between adolescence and adulthood (whatever that is.)

Ordinary, everyday decisions can be doors and it could be said we're constantly teetering in the "in between." Thought of in this way, "what if?" becomes a far more potent and dangerous question.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Unknown Dervish

I am Al-Kahira, the comparer of nonsense and flowers.
I've put off posting about the tomato fest for a few days. I think I just needed to process a few things. It was a great experience, for the most part. There were quite a few neat booths - tie dyes, jewelry, monoprints, handmade dog treats - and not enough money. Of course, I liked this booth, hidden back in the corner behind the hotdog stand. I love those Poe t-shirts and I'm keeping an eye out for the handmade Ouija board. I just love that idea.

As for the "small part"...I had great success with the show. I heard people saying great things about my work - especially the puzzle - as I looked at the other entries. Both my paintings sold.

And there's the crux of the problem. (_insert embarrassed chuckle here_) This is exactly what I want. So...why does it scare the hell out of me?

It's not the first time I've ever sold paintings - it's not even the most money I've ever made from a sale. Is it because it was a spur of the moment thing to enter? Is it because it is the first time my work's been in a gallery? Is it because I'm just weird?

I don't know.

I just know this: I'm usually okay when it comes to my art. I know I have chops. I'm happy when my work leaves the next and flies away to make a life for itself in a new place. Lately, I've been having a low grade - or in the case of last Saturday, not so low grade - Birdcage like freak outs ("...You do Martha Graham, Martha Graham, Martha Graham!...Or Madonna, Madonna, Madonna!...but you keep it all inside.")

Okay. Enough, Azra. Consider yourself slapped upside the head. Time to get back to work play.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

At the brink of spontaneous combustion

At 3 pm, it was 101 in the shade. The news reported since there hasn't been any rain, the air quality in and around Nashville is now worse than Los Angeles.

I think I know what it's like to be a morsel that's been overcooked in the microwave.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Just one or two non-tomato related sketches...

Sorry again for the quality. I tried getting better photos but...meh. Just click on them for a little more detail.

Excuse the dirt on this one - it came to me just as I finished transplanting my Bertgarten sage and I forgot to wash up first. lol

The other Tomato fest entry as well as the good, the bad and the "eh?"

This is one of the smallest paintings I've ever done. It's 6 and 5/7ths(-ish) by five and 7/8ths(-ish) on Masonite.

I didn't get the wolf peach idea finished enough to enter. Someone told me I should have entered it anyway but 1.) the edges were way too messy for my liking and 2.) I don't think I could sell it. I'm just inordinately proub (proud, even) of my first effort of painting hands.

Here is the original sketch and painting:

Sorry about the quality of the sketch. If you click on it, you can see a bit more detail on all the leaves and vines down the left side. The painting is an odd size (I can't remember the reasoning behind it) 8"x12", I think, on Masonite.

Here's some ideas that didn't quite make it:

That's supposed to be a cuttlefish or perhaps a nautilus in the upper left corner. I really like that snail.

My mom suggested I paint some tomatoes just hanging on the vine. After thirty seven years, you would think she'd know me by now.

The Tomatoes of Good and Evil

You have to say it like that guy from the Princess Bride: "The Squash of Despaairrr."

Ah...the memories.

When I was a kid, we went to Cumberland Presbyterian Church, just outside of Hartsville, TN. It's not quite, as a woman from Queens NY once told me, "out there where even Jesus doesn't wear shoes." (It sounded great in Italian.)

I don't remember much about the actual lessons. I do remember my Sunday School instructor was a lesbian who had gorgeous long brown hair and dressed like my father. I was the youngest in my class (I don't know - seven? Eight?) and at least one lesson hour focused on horror movies about ginormous spiders and chainsaws that I wished I could see even though I was terrified by what I was hearing.

Wait. That could explain a lot about me, huh?

Anyway, I probably would have remembered the actual lessons if they were more like this.

Could this be?


For some reason (let's not ask why), Azra was allowed to bring another computer into her home. I promise to try to mend my :::coughcoughmurderousharddrivekillingcoughcough::: ways.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Tangible Proof I'm Not an Artist Wannabe Poser

I feel good today. My paintings are in their new, temporary home at the gallery. I ended up turning in just two: the 'jester' and another where the tomato is a half finished puzzle.

I had a lot of craziness going on in my head as I walked in. I was sure I was going to be singled out as soon as I walked through that door as the Artist Wannabe Poser. Never mind the fact I made it through the selection process for this show. Never mind all the great comments left on this blog about my work. I kept hearing Ms. Mulcahy (one of my instructors from college) in my head, "Look at all that rubbery brushwork!" Then I saw some of the other entries.

My paintings were as good as any- and everything in that room. I got several great comments - one woman has already said she may just have to buy them. My work belongs in that show.

So yeah. I feel really good today.