Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Kinkos Chronicles - part 3

It has been a while since I've been at Kinkos so that's the reason for the delay in my adventures there.

April 27, 2012
My time there started off like any other visit to kinkos when I'm dead tired from the wave of deadlines that are rushing to drown me: Say hi to the crew that's working there, place my order, nearly fall asleep leaning on the counter while waiting for things to print.. you know, the usual stuff. Once I had my order printed out, I was at the cutter trimming out bookmarks. I may have been there a good 25 minutes quietly working when a woman and her friend come into the store and look around before spotting me. This is where I would like to let you know that my outfit at the time consisted of beat up old military issue camouflage cargo pants with white pant splotches all over the place from a project I had done last year, layered purple tank tops, large earrings, multiple necklaces, and a pair of flip flops. Not exactly the most professional if you're trying to work in a field other then art but hey I happen to enjoy dressing comfortably when doing menial tasks when it comes to my work. This woman looks at me standing there working on trimming stuff, wearing what I was and the first thing out of her mouth was "You don't happen to work here do you?" Wait, HUH?! Do I look like I would be able to get away with working at Kinkos and not being in slacks and a polo shirt with an apron?

After a mass of mayhem dealing with the truck (it died on the way home and we had to get it towed to a friend's shop), during which I get a call from Kinkos saying that my order was done being laminated, I was able to return in the evening only to find that I had to wait for the cutter since there was another woman trying to trim her things out. Cutting off the excess plastic so that I had less to worry about while trimming, one of the employees comes up with another customer explaining to her that it was first come- first served when it comes to the only cutter in the store. Come to find out, newest person waiting for use of the cutter was a rather attractive black woman who needed to trim her calendar pictures so they were ready for sale that evening at an event. Yes I was staring at a slender, big bootied woman probably a few years younger then me who was a professional model. Honestly her pictures reminded me of the photos and art taken/done by Armando Huerta. It's too bad she was in such a rush so I wasn't able to get her name and give her a little publicity as well.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vhils Inspiration

Feeling the need for some inspiration for some paintings that I need to get done before the end of the month (yes that means I have several paintings to do before the 30th), I decided to wander YouTube once more since it hasn't let me down yet. I found myself wandering the selection of videos that dealt with street art when I came across a short video of a wall piece done by street artist Vhils. I've been a fan of his work for some time so it was a bit of a treat for me to actually see how he actually goes about making one of his wall pieces. It certainly gives me some ideas at least. It's just a matter of me trying to actually get things done in the time frame I have. I have a feeling a lot of coffee is going to be involved this week.

Monday, April 23, 2012

An Artist's Morning Disappointment

Re-listening to TGS Podcast episode 6 (that I've had listened to many times before and have made a playlist of all of their episodes so far) and at some point TotalBiscuit mentions that the Smithsonian was featuring the history of video games. I'm not sure why but it struck me this morning that I haven't been to smithsonianmag.com in a while and had the desire to see what was new. Wandering my way onto the website, I made my way to the Arts & Culture section. Scrolling through, I did discovered articles such as Matt Groening Reveals the Location of the Real Springfield and The Essentials: Video Games  along with articles on subjects that I'm not really interested in when I came across one that sparked my curiosity. My eyes were instantly drawn to Sanjay Patel: A Hipster's Guide to Hinduism not just because of the bright and colorful picture that they used at the beginning of this bit of writing but the fact 'Hinduism' was in the title.  Yes yes I know. The way my brain ends up zooming in on anything dealing with Eastern cultured disturbs me as well but I'm not complaining.

Reading through the writings speaking about artist Sanjay Patel, I was fascinated and internally cheering over the fact that a fellow artist within my age grouping was able to feature their art in a museum let alone San Francisco's Asian Art Museum. Of course at the same time I was a bit jealous and reminding myself that I need to work even harder on my own work. Pushing my own inner disappointment over myself, I was struck with one though: Why have I never heard of this man's art being on exhibit?? Glancing my way to the beginning of the article, I discover my answer. It was posted back in December 2011. Well that explains a lot. Decided to go ahead and check out the museum's website and was initially thrilled to see that the their front page had the exhibit listed as 'the last weeks of the show'. "Yes! I might be able to get a chance to get down there by the end of the month so I can check it out" I thought to myself as I clicked on it to see how much longer the show would last only to have my heart sink to the bottom of my stomach or lower. There, displayed on the screen, was the dates November 11, 2011 - April 22, 2012. I missed it. I was down in the area on Saturday. Didn't know about it. And missed it. Damn my luck! Well there's always the article Deities, Demons, and Dudes with 'Staches: Indian Avatars by Sanjay Patel  that the website has to read. Still disappointed that I missed a chance to see Patel's work in person.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Coffee Review: Seattle's Best Coffee - Iced Latte

This time around it's a road trip inspired coffee review! Was wandering the Shell gas station on Elk Grove Blvd. (near Emerald Vista Dr.) looking for coffee to take with me on a road trip from Sacramento to San Francisco when I spotted this little guy hanging out in the small coffee section of the fridges. A 9.5 FL OZ (281mL) can of Seattle's Best Coffee - Iced Latte for only $0.99! Maybe it was my excitement of discovering such a thing or perhaps delirium from being tired but something in the back of my brain at the time started playing Celestial music as I stared at the display. I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to try it so of course I had to pick it up. Cracking open the can and taking a drink, I find that if you're not the kind of person who likes the strong flavor of coffee and only want a taste of it then this is for you. Light in coffee flavor, creamy with a bit of sweetness, this is definitely something I would pick up again in the future when given the chance. And really, 99 cents! Never thought that I would find something like this at a gas station.

As a side note (since a friend on Facebook voiced her disgust towards iced coffees), if you aren't a person who likes cold coffee then this might not be for you. Personally I happen to like iced coffees so totally don't mind it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mechanical vs Man Made

Often I'm asked if I would do anything such as use a graphic arts type program to do my work or even enhance it since "computers are the future" and I would be lying if I said I hadn't played with the notion in my head. Let's just be honest here that my line of work is slowly dieing out which is sad. There is a bit of a revival happening in the arts (painting, drawing, paper arts, sculputer mainly) which is wonderful to see though it's not as big of a movement as I would like, especially when a lot of great local masters are getting closer to the end of their time and have so much to teach us.

There are the people who are so used to programs doing things for them such as painting and drawing that when the real thing is looking them in the face, there's usually two responses: Appreciation or complete disbelief. Every couple of months I do get a message on my deviantART account asking me what kind of paint system I used and said commenter goes into shock when I let them know that I had done everything by hand. In a way I see it as a compliment since a handful of my watchers are aspiring artists and often don't know that you can get detailed with a brush. With that said, I don't have a problem with people using digital or computerized media in order to enhance their art. I also don't have any qualms towards those people who completely use a program for what they do because honestly there's some amazing pieces out there that just blow my mind.

You're probably wondering why I'm rambling about how people do their art and the future of the field. Peoples' styles are their own and I'm not about to say one way is better then another.The whole thought actually happened when I saw a commercial for the new ad campaign directed towards the Chevy Sonic. With this particular one, they had paired up with street artist Jeff Soto. Watching it made me suddenly wonder how other street artists felt about adding something like robotics into their work or just digital media in general.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

SADS actually exists?

Last night I had the goal of sleeping in and getting some much needed rest. Of course plans are always much simpler in thought then action. My day started with being woken up at 8 in the morning with the sounds of my neighbor across the street from me using a chain saw on the tree in their front yard. This was followed with receiving a call from my folks in concerns to some important family matters. By that time, I was pretty well convinced that my day had been shot to hell . So I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself enjoying a low key evening at Blue Moon Gallery for our artist reception (this month's featured artist is Justin Grunewald) and while chatting with one of my friends who is a fellow artist and the subject of a non-profit society that she belongs to. Has anyone ever heard of the Sacramento Art Deco Society? Surprised? So was I. Yes, it exists and I spent a good 15 minutes finding out from my friend about some of the various things they've done such as visiting the Crest and Tower Theaters in Sacramento for events. My friend had made the comment that she was surprised that not that many people in the area had even heard of their group so i had offered that I would go ahead and give it a spot light. Go ahead and check the Sacramento Art Deco Society out if you're interested and in the Sacramento area. She did mention that they're in the process of creating a brand shiny new website soon.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dubstep, strings and work

I always seem to find the strangest (and usually most inspirational) things when I'm wandering the net trying to find something for work. One such occurrence is just now while I was looking for new music to listen to while working, I had decided to check out Dubstep because hell why not and came across this. This is violinist Lindsey Stirling who I have never come across before (who I later discovered competed on America's Got Talent) playing with a bit of Dubstep in the background. I actually found myself being a bit inspired and even perhaps a little energized by listening to this particular piece. What's nice is that at the end of the video she introduces herself and explains where she was along with giving credit to those who helped in creating the video. Honestly I wouldn't mind buying an album of the combined music styles so I guess it's something I should look into.

I'm suddenly reminded while I'm watching this of a pair of gentlemen who go by the name of The Piano Guys who do instrumental covers (mainly on cello) of songs by popular groups such as One Republic. One such piece is actually called Beethoven's 5 Secrets. Another group who has done something similar is Apocalyptica who puts a twist to classical cello music by tossing it in with heavy metal so it is fairly common to videos of them doing covers of Metalica songs or being paired up with singer Nina Hagen. I know that there are other groups that have done mixes of classical with techno or heavy metal but none of the ones I know are coming to my head at the moment. Oh well at least it looks like I have something new to listen to.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Google search fail

I'm blaming my post from yesterday: Flowers on the Brain for this. Currently brewing up a fresh pot of coffee while I get myself ready to return to the pile of work I have going on when the notion of jasmine coffee came back to mind. So what am I doing? Decided to do a Google search and what do I find? [insert drumroll here] Jasmine's Coffee and Tea Cafe (located in Colorado Springs, Colorado) facebook page being the number 1 post listed! Not what I was looking for but I have to admit I'm heavily tempted to go on a road trip to Colorado to try out this place. On a different note, the second item on the list ended up being a type of sandal followed up by Jasmin's Cafe in Union Square - San Francisco. Not quite what I'm looking for but good try Google. Good try.

Figured that perhaps maybe the thought of jasmine coffee would be tied with jasmine tea so changed my search to the tea instead. Oh. My. God. They have so many postings for jasmine tea of all kinds! Wikipedia entries and dozens of company entries showing off their available teas. Is coffee even listed? "Of course not, you silly woman. You searched for 'jasmine tea'" the page seems to say to me. Oh the grumbling that is going on at this very moment as I sip my coffee.

I really should get back to work before this search takes up my entire day but I want to see if there is even a jasmine coffee out there. Or some sort of version there of. My curiosity needs to be fed! Thoughts? Ideas? Anyone?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Flowers on the Brain

I swear that now Spring has arrived, I seem to have flowers on the brain. Well flora and fauna in general at least. I thought that maybe it was just restricted to the painting that I'm currently working on for this month to put into Blue Moon Gallery. Nope. With the patch of good weather we've been having, I've been also doing work in the back yard cutting back weeds, planting/repotting plants, and tending to the herbs and plants I already have established. It's still a work in progress mind you but I'm still proud of what I've done so far. If a spot of gardening and painting wasn't enough to play with the grey matter between my ears, I was over at one of the local garden centers trying to pick up a few things that I needed when I came across an odd but beautiful bush which had little white bell shaped flowers all over it. My first thought? "Oh my god that would be a wonderful reference for a painting!" as I whipped out my phone and stared taking pictures while my patient (and rather famished) boyfriend stood nearby just shaking his head waiting me to finish so we could grab lunch. Can I face-palm now?

Work in Progress - "Tree of Life"

My backyard at the moment. The really LARGE bushes are Rosemary, Sage, Oregano, Marjoram, and Thyme.

The Lily of the Valley bushes I had discovered at the garden center. 

Earlier I was even having the random thought of since there is a jasmine green tea, wondering if there was a jasmine coffee out there and how it would taste. More then likely what I'm thinking of might exist in some Asian market. Does any have anyone thoughts on that because now the more that I think about this, the more I'm getting myself curious about if this actually exists or some figment of my twisted imagination.