30 September 2012

For the few of you following this blog, I've got a new home over at saragelbert.com/blog.html!

Update your bookmarks and feeds!

06 October 2011

I've made great progress in the vegetable realm. I have 4 out of the 6 vegetables fully painted at the Lodge. Oh, hey! Did you want to see some photos of them?! Rad. Here they are. 

The plan is to create a key, once all the veggies have been painted, listing which type each vegetable is. Normally, I wouldn't have thought to do this, but the specific name of each one is pretty awesome.

a. sugar beet
b. savory cabbage
c. half dwarf celery
d. trebons onions

I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out. This style of painting is really testing my patience, a test that is long past due. I'm always really excited to start a new one, but the repetition becomes incredibly tedious and daunting on such a large scale. BUT I finished each one before I started a new one (with the exception of the sugar beet, which was started by my friend, Jon, while I finished the cabbage). This is a large feat for me, so I consider it a grand victory.

Another thing I've been working on, about which I also previously posted, is the album cover for my friend Scot's band, State Song. We had a slightly drunken conversation at a bar once about using unusual textures and mediums and then photographing them at a high resolution. When he asked me to do the cover, I immediately knew I wanted to utilize this concept. So here it is. Mind you, this is an iPhone photo and is nowhere near the quality of the final version.

My now documented challenge: Do not use cerulean blue in the next 5 new projects I start. (Disclaimer; I already have things in the works that I can't change.)
Ok, last photo! My previously mentioned friend, Jon, and I have been talking about non-objective abstract art. I realized I've never ever created (outside of finger painting as a small child) a piece in that style. Again, an iPhone photo. But here it is.

I know it would make more sense to post one thing at a time more often, but that's not really how I roll. Hope you are enjoying your fall!

20 September 2011

'tis the season.

I've been extremely busy lately. Mostly making as many things as possible and enjoying this beautiful season with good friends. A slightly overcast fall tends to jumpstart my brain and spirit. There are also a lot of fantastic opportunities coming at me from all directions. It's pretty wonderful. One thing I've been working on is a mural for my friends' catering company, Please. Their kitchen is in an old Free Mason lodge owned by my friend, Scott Beseler (who just so happens to be a fabulous photographer), so we conspired to adorn its walls with vegetables. I got a few books of botanical drawings and used some incredibly detailed drawings as my guide. This is the result!

I get to start actually drawing on the walls today! There is something so cathartic and rebellious about drawing and painting on walls. I wouldn't mind being a full-time professional muralist. I should probably get over my ladder anxiety then, huh?

30 August 2011

so so long.

I do apologize to my 3 readers. I've been out of my routine lately. Not for any particular reason, just feeling out of whack. But I'm getting acupuncture today! I'm hoping it will balance everything out. Fingers crossed.

Don't worry, my dears! I haven't been unproductive! At the beginning of the month, I drove up to Chicago for a couple days to hang my stuff in Atomix Cafe, a bustling coffee shop in Wicker Park. My friend, Melissa Fisher, was kind enough to take some photos for me.

30 June 2011

infuze yourself...

A few small updates:

First, I'll be putting some of my work (including Earth Paisleys) up in a coffee shop in Chicago for the month of August. The wall is pretty giant, so I've got some work to produce in the mean time. I'll just be happy to get my stuff out there and off my walls.

Another is that I've been working on an album cover for my friend Scot's band, State Song. Here is a little preview of the drawing.

Lastly, I've been working on a (previously mentioned) cocktail for work called The Impressionist. Now, before you get all, "Wow, that sounds super pretentious", I want you to just take a look at it.

If that doesn't look like a damn Monet painting, I don't know what does. Also, a little pretension never killed anyone.

22 June 2011

Quick update...

So just a quick update from my ever-waxing-and-waning creative mind. I've started my day (night?) job, which is why I haven't been around much. After being unemployed for FIVE MONTHS it was a very welcome change. I've never (since high school) been out of work for that long. Of course, I won't pretend it wasn't a choice. I left Chicago and I decided not to work at that other restaurant here in Cincinnati, so I brought it upon myself. But manalive was I bored after awhile. Once I finished the paisleys, I was itching for another project. I managed to do a few things here and there, but it just wasn't the same.

Anyway, I'm tending bar at a fantastic restaurant in Cincinnati's historical Over-The-Rhine neighborhood. I've worked in this 'hood several times before, but it has gone through such a beautiful transformation over the last 4 or 5 years. I'm in awe. We make craft cocktails from homemade ingredients, so I'm getting to flex my creative muscles with a little mixology. Tonight, I'm adding a plum, hibiscus, and chamomile infused gin cocktail, garnished with borage flowers, to the menu.

Before I leave you to print out the cocktail menus, I'll leave you with a drawing I did about a month ago.  Done on 18" x 24" paper. Pencil, then Microns.

14 May 2011

completion is a double-edged sword.

Well, it's done! I finished outlining the branches in 1 hour, as opposed to the near 12 hours it took to do the feathers. Oy! I've worn all my pens down to the nubs, even smashing one down completely in a fit of rage. Surprisingly, though, that was one of the only frustrations I faced with this piece. I must say, I'm still on the lookout for the perfect ultra fine point pigment ink pen to use for outlining on paint. Any suggestions are welcome. Well, without further ado, here it is.

Earth Paisleys; birch, latex interior flat paint, acrylic paint, and pigment ink; 2011.

4'3" x 4'3"

11 May 2011


I'm having a hard time finishing this piece. This should come as no surprise to me, as I rarely finish anything, hence my delay in making a real career out of all this.

This time, though, it's an emotional attachment. I've never made a project this involved before. I'm having a hard time preparing myself for the detachment that's to come. I've invested countless hours and painstaking detail into this painting. And now, when it's done, I've got to invest my time and focus into getting rid of it. Doesn't that seem counter-intuitive? I've got to convince people, in an objective way, to spend their hard earned money on this magnanimous effort. I have to put a price to this priceless thing. How do I do that? How the fuck am I supposed to do this for a living? Crap.

09 May 2011

musical footpaths...

At the beginning of each summer, I'm subconsciously urged to limit the music I listen to two decades. I'll give you a hint: I wasn't alive during either of them. I think this stems from my youth. When school was out, I would have as much time as I wanted to tear through my dad's CD collection (which, much to my dismay, replaced his vast vinyl collection as soon as CD's were reported to be a lasting format). Before my discovery of new pop music (Janet, Paula, Mariah and the like), all I knew about were these albums of yesteryear. I listened to the White Album and Sgt. Peppers over and over again. I really had a thing for Genesis. My friends and I made up dances to Beach Boys classics, like Barbara Ann and Help Me Rhonda. On my own, I listened to songs like Sloop John B, which made me feel uneasy, but in a really great way. Like I didn't like the way the grandson felt, but on some level I understood it and it spoke to me. This is how my musical self-discovery went. I'd skip over songs that weren't obvious to listen to the ones that were. Eventually, I stopped skipping. I confronted the songs inspired by heartbreak, ennui, and evil. While my babysitters were supervising my little sister's coloring outside the lines, I was learning to listen outside the lines. I'd listen to a random song from a random album and never be able to find it again. My dad had hundreds of CD's. This was my first understanding of "needle in a haystack". Years later, I'd recognize melodies and harmonies that resided deep in my memory, associating itself with another song with which I was familiar. This is how I rediscovered bands in my late teens and early twenties. Groups like The Sonics, The Move, The Zombies, and T Rex.  My musical education has been very organic. I don't try too hard to discover new music. I feel like my life will lead me to artists I'm supposed to discover (and re-discover) when I'm ready to really love and get them.

So now it's May. Windows and doors are being left open for longer periods of time. I'm back at home, where nostalgia completely overwhelms me on a daily basis, with loads of time to explore my musical past. I feel myself gravitating towards the sounds and voices that have nestled themselves deep within my psyche's soil. Like fossils waiting to be discovered and connect the dots. Due to the fact that almost every single person I know is involved in some musical project or another, I tend to ease back into the present as the summer wanes on. But for now, I will revel in my musical archaeological dig and let my psyche make the playlists.

01 May 2011

Blogging is not Facebooking.

I'm just now realizing I've been posting my progress photos to Facebook and not this here endeavor of creative expression.

leaves: check.

flowers: check.

space: check.

clouds: check.
Today, I'll be finishing waves, grass, and branches. Then comes the tricky one: Feathers. There is so much fine detail with that one. I'm a little nervous to screw it up. Which is why I've left it to last. I'm anticipating a bit of frustration. I also ordered new pens from Blick since I've used up most of the ink from my existing collection and I want the lines to be clean and fresh.

I'm a little conflicted on how to finish the piece. My original plan was to coat the entire thing in a polyurethane varnish. Perhaps a light mist. But part of me likes the unfinished quality the wood has, so I may just coat the painted portions. What do you think?

On top of almost finishing this exhausting project, I've started a raw food cleanse. It's gotten a little bit easier, but in order to avoid toxins, I haven't been taking allergy medicine, which is taking its toll. But I've rekindled my love for salads, so I think this quest is going to help me eat healthier in general, not relying so much on meats and dairy. I have to say though, I am craving a turkey club with french fries and a cup of coffee like nobody's business.