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This is my blog AND my website now. Click on the " my paintings" tab to view my paintings. Scroll down to read my blog.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

School Pictures

This is a third grader........................................................................... This is a first grader

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hello, My Name Is AWSUM!!!

This is my latest painting. I used this painting as a reference (the photo that is in the "X" of the word "pixels" in my header at the top of this blog). It was a risky subject matter to attempt, because, if not execute correctly, it could have looked like a very abstract painting of a face- instead of looking like a realistic painting of a face that had been painted on. Do you get what I mean?

My kids love to paint their face, and they do it a lot- especially Roxanne. They use watercolor crayons to do it. They are just like regular crayons, except when you dip them in water, they glide onto your face real easily. Here is some examples of the many faces they have created. I couldn't locate all the photos I know I have somewhere on this computer of their painted faces.

On a subject unrelated to face painting, I just got back last night from Utah- a beautiful yet strange place. I was there for a friends wedding since Wednesday. It's really a weird feeling going back to a place in your life that you haven't been in a while. It's interesting to notice which tidbits of information remain familiar to you, which ones you completely forget, and which ones make you feel totally nostalgic. It makes me wonder what parts of the life I am living now will be remembered, forgotten, and longed for again. That's why I think it's important to keep up my blog and try to capture the truly precious parts of my life. I should really try to describe them better so that years from now, when they are long gone and I miss them, I will be able to go back and relive them through my memories.... like years from now when life is sad because Rocket and Roxanne don't paint their faces anymore- then I will have to come back to this and relive these happier, more colorful times. But maybe that day will never come- they might be face painters forever.

The kids instructed me to bring something back for them from Utah. So, yesterday, after being absent from their lives for 5 days, I quickly regained their love by presenting toilet bowl candy. It's a little plastic toilet bowl filled with powdered candy and it comes with a lollipop plunger to dip in it. When I saw it, I knew this was the exactly what my potty-mouthed little children would just love. And they sure did. When they are done eating all the potty candy, I think I will wash out the toilet and keep all their baby teeth in it forever.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dream Machines and Other Pretty Pictures

Our heads have been higher on weekends lately. We've been enjoying our time together, which I'm so thankful for, as we emerge from not so likable times together.
I mentioned that we loved reading "Ticket's to Ride" this summer by Mark Rogalski. After returning that book to the library, we requested that the library purchase one of his other books, "Dream Machines". And the library did, so we've been enjoying that book before we have to return it.
The illustrations are so intricate that you can explore them with your eyes for hours. They've also been making the wheels of our imaginations turn, giving us lots of ideas of our own.

On Saturday, the kids decided to dream up some dream machines of their own, while scouring the book for gadgets to copy into their own paintings. Here is what they came up with.
Rocket's dream machine:

Roxanne's dream machine:

Speaking of great illustrations, Saturday night, I went to an art opening for an illustrator I've been admiring a lot lately, Lea Wells. This was also the perfect opportunity to take Roxanne along with me to an art show, in order to emphasize that I do take her seriously as a fellow artist. The images were perfect for her tastes- whimsical and playful images, many of little girls. This is probably because Lea also has a little girl of her own, and I think we "get" eachother's art because of that. Roxanne thoroughly enjoyed mingling around with the other art admirers.

She was sure to bring along her camera that she got for her birthday so she could take pictures of art she wanted to remember.

She loved the top painting in this picture.

Meanwhile, Matt and Rocket enjoyed the Rockies game at home.
After the show, Roxanne and I went to "Sweet Action" ice cream with Clyde and Susie. "Sweet Action" is supposed to be icecream for hipsters... but I think anyone could like it. Roxanne was by-far the youngest ice cream eater there. I guess she's mature for her age. Ha!

Things are going good. Hoping it stays that way!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Birthday School Treats

These are the birthday "treats" Roxanne made to hand out to her classmates for her 7th birthday tomorrow. The edible kinds of treats have been banned. While making them, Roxanne said, "I really hope these make all my kids laugh and laugh and laugh a lot!!"

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Labor Day

As you know, yesterday was Labor Day, and we forgot that it was a holiday until just the day before. We hadn't planned anything ahead of time, but when I woke up Monday morning, I thought, "nothing says 'labor' like crafting with the kids!" So that's what I did. I am pretty sure I am storing up a lot of treasures in heaven by crafting with my kids. Because, you know, Jesus said "if you have crafted with the least of these, you have crafted unto me." And when he said "least of these" I'm pretty sure he meant the least cooperative of these, and the least agreeable of these... certainly not the least picky of these though. And that is why I choose MY kids to craft with.... Actually, I typically craft with my kids because I am spontaneous and never anticipate how particular and impossible the kids will be about it.

Rocket and I made a rocket out of caps and nozzles and stuff... and a lot of hot glue. The main part of it is a container that held bubble solution.

Roxanne and I made a robot out of caps and stuff too. I have a big container full of colorful plastic caps and containers and stuff that I keep for days like this.

Luckily, Matt made us lots of delicious appetizers to eat while we crafted- little bagels with different toppings like spinach and artichokes and different cheeses and stuff. Yummy. Oh and hot wings too! Made from scratch! And then the boys watched the Rockies game. It was a good labor day- just the right amount of labor and the right amount of not labor- and with the people I love a whole lot.

Monday, September 06, 2010


The Denver Art Museum (the DAM) is a really wonderful place- a super inspirational space. I have been there FIVE times this summer. Now this is the really great part- I have managed to not pay to get in all five times!!! Of course, I have to say that if I HAD payed to get in, it would have been totally worth the $25 ticket, but as luck would have it, I never had to.

Correction: The tickets are actually $10 for Colorado residents. Thanks for pointing that out DAM!

1. The first time I went was with my wonderful cousin Kristen. I didn't have to pay this time because she actually payed for me, as a way of thanking me for hosting her during her time in Denver. Very unnecessary- I loved "hosting" her- which consisted of Matt babysitting the kids while me and her explored the funnest places in Denver. We went to the DAM for an event which is titled (oddly enough) "Untitled". It happens every last Friday of the month- the museum stayed open late, has a rockin DJ, cash bar, and lots of awesome games and activities. My favorite monthly "Untitled" feature is the appearance of "Joan and Charlie"- two characters adapted from a painting in the museum. This is me in front of the painting:

The painting is by artist Joan Brown and is entitled "Portrait with Swimming Coach Charlie Sava". "Unititled" brings this otherwise unnoticeable painting to life by acting out the dramatic occurrences happening during Joan's swimming lessons. The funny thing is, everything takes place in the "the pool" which is really just the museum's elevator.

You see how those two people in front of the elevator are the same people from the painting? Perhaps you'll just have to take my word for this, but it's really hilarious and if you're going to go to the Denver Art Museum, you should really do it on the last Friday of the month so that you can see Joan and Charlie. I think they might be falling in love.
I also like to imagine that someday (maybe after I die) an art museum will reenact one of my paintings... but that's just a dream.

2. The second time I went this summer was with my bestest friend from Utah, Stephanie. We didn't even realize it was the first Saturday of the month when we arrived there, but as we entered a lady with a stack of tickets asked us "Are you here for the free first Saturday?" and we were like "Umm YEAH!". So that's why I didn't have to pay that time.
This picture shows off some of the awesome interior architecture of the museum... sort of... actually you just have to be there in person to experience it fully. That's Stephanie in the picture.

Some man walking by laughed a WHOLE LOT while I was posing for this picture. I am glad I could make his day.

3. My third time at the museum was for the very next "first Saturday of the month". So it was free again! I went with the art group from "scum" (the church we have been attending). This is a serious art group with serious artists. I also brought along Roxanne, for her very first time at the DAM.

This is Roxanne observing the same piece I posed with the month earlier. I couldn't talk her into posing the same way. It would have made MY day. Oh well.

She was equally as impressed with the museum as I was, although different artwork inspired her than would have inspired me. But, what-the-heck, she was inspired, and I just love it when people are inspired!!!! The only problem is that she really really really wanted to use my camera so she could remember the paintings that were the most inspiring, but I didn't want to let her use my camera because my camera is so expensive!! I let her use my iphone, which is slightly less super duper expensive, to take pictures. Later, I printed some of her pictures for her so she could copy them on sketch paper, or draw on top of them.

Yes, I agree, that is a horrible painting she is taking a picture of. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, correct?

4. The fourth time I went to the DAM was for the sake of Dr. Sketchys. You know how "Untitled" always has fun activities? Well, last month one of their fun activities was Dr. Sketchys. As a faithful Dr. Sketchy's sketcher, I was selected to be a "planted" sketcher at the event. So I didn't have to pay... again. YESSSSsss.

Oh crap.... I just noticed now that I can't find any of the pictures I took from Dr. Sketchies at the DAM. This is bad because I was supposed to email them to someone. I didn't save them under the "DAM" folder or the "Dr. Sketchies" folder or the "August" folder... so I don't know where they are. Wiiiiierd.

5. The FIFTH time I went to the DAM was just the day before yesterday. This was also a free "first Saturday" and we went for Roxanne's birthday. Yes, I am raising my daughter with fine tastes, and she chose to go to the DAM for her birthday. We let her open her presents that morning and she got a camera from Matt and I. She was absolutely thrilled and couldn't wait to be able to take pictures of her favorite paintings at the museum. She also got to pick one friend to go with her, and she chose her best friend from school, Cody. Oddly enough, she has similar taste in boys as I do, because she chose a boy who got pretty ticked off at her for taking too many pictures.

A PINK camera. Even better.

I might hear from Cody's mom later....
But THEN... this is the coolest part... THEN, after we left the museum... OK maybe it's not cool, it's sad... THEN, after we left the museum, and we were out front, Roxanne was looking inbetween these two sculptures on the lawn and was like "there is a really huge bug in there!" and I was curious so I looked inside, and there was a little itty bitty bat on the ground. I didn't know if it was alive so I poked it with some posters I had, and it started HISSING really loud at us and looked really really scary:

Ok, this isn't the best way to wrap things up but, I have to go now.

Jesus Saves on The Penny Horse at King Soopers

Ta Da!! One painting down... 6 to go. Working towards an art show at Dazzle Jazz Lounge (which is a place people actually seem to know about!!) in November. It is confirmed now!!
I love posting my artwork on this blog- mostly because it means the artwork is done. FINISHED! I like it when it's done. However, I also always feel the need to explain the art's meaning. That part is hard. Part of my artwork is always literal. In this case, that part is pretty straight forward- Roxanne really loves the penny horse at King Soopers. If she's good while I am shopping, she gets to ride on it while I go through the checkout. And when she gets to ride on it, especially if Rocket is around, she acts ridiculously enthusiastic, usually screaming "YEE HAW!!", giggling and squealing very loud. Keep in mind, she is an extremely shy little girl. I sometimes continue checking out and act like I don't know those unruly kids over by the penny horse- their mom should be controlling them better!
The other part is sometimes symbolic. I don't always know how to explain that part of the artwork. It requires much introspection and subconscious examination. That's where the "Jesus Saves" button comes in. The religious themes that I am always compelled to include in my artwork, I think, reflect the fact that I am constantly simmering spiritual thoughts in my head. The silliness reflects my cynicism for religion, and the free spiritedness reflect my love for it. And, incase you haven't already picked up on it, I tend to live vicariously through my depictions of Roxanne. I do this because I often see metaphors of my own experiences her life. It's like a parallel spiritual existence happening in her on a totally different scale- a scale that's more fun to paint- a more visual scale. This maybe doesn't make any sense.
Oh gosh. I will try to make it simpler and more specific now. It seems the religious and anti-religious people see me in the same way- silly and immature. I feel judged by both of them. But both of them are blindly unaware of what connections I may be having with God, that they are missing out on- and it's because of their own arrogance. I wouldn't expect anyone to be able to translate all that from the painting. But I suppose they could observe an eccentric child enjoying life while at the same time unabashedly owning the claim to salvation. Ok, maybe they wouldn't even get that. But maybe they would just understand that the penny horse at King Soopers is a really great deal. I mean, the time of your life for the cost of ONE CENT!!! You can't get a better deal than that!