23 March 2011

new painting.

In the ten or so days since I last posted, I've painted two incredible paintings. I know it's bad form to compliment your own work like that, but it's just been so long since I painted that I can't believe how easy it was to pick back up.

One was a commission from my cousin's college roommate, June. Via Facebook, she found my website and saw the painting of the faucet from The Point I did for my parents. She wrote to me, asking if I'd do another, as she'd grown up watching the movie as well and recognized the illustration immediately. The colors matched her walls perfectly (buttercream and mint), so I didn't stray far from the original version. Though I did clean up the lines a bit, using a more rounded outline than the almost scratchy style I used before. I also decided to use a dark gray instead of black. I felt like it was a more subtle contrast against the pastel colors. Anyway, I won't post photos yet, as she hasn't seen it. I shipped it out yesterday and it is expected to arrive tomorrow. I can't wait for her to see it!

The idea for the second painting came to me in my dreary just-woke-up state of mind. I stumbled out of bed, walked down to the kitchen, and opened the cabinet to grab a coffee mug. I'm completely superficial in that I pick the mug that looks the best to me in that moment. Sometimes I want a tall tumbler, to keep my drink warm for awhile. And sometimes I want a big round mug that I have to hold with both hands. This painting is a representation of my coffee-related decision making process. This also signifies the end of cold days, since I will now be drinking my homemade iced coffee out of tall glasses instead of ceramic mugs. A little springtime iced coffee tip: I mostly use milk (soy or almond if I have it) in my coffee, but if you just add a TINY bit of creamer and some agave nectar to it (no ice!) and shake it up really well, you'll have a delicious frothy drink that tastes less healthy than it is.

Here are photos of the first 2 phases:

Oh, and I made an awesome linoleum stamp of my logo to sign the backs of my larger paintings:

Yesterday, I had my first day of training at a new job. It was also the last. I was apprehensive of working there to begin with, as it seemed a little...cold. After working at such an amazing restaurant with such creative people, I wanted an environment where my individuality would be celebrated, not controlled. I was told (in a very Office Space-esque manner) by 4 different managers that I was wearing black jeans instead of dark blue jeans and my shoes (my black Toms) had to be non-slip industry shoes with black socks. Okay, eff that. I've been able to wear basically whatever I want to every job I've had (sometimes adding a company t-shirt over top) in the past 7 years. I'm not about to start being a drone now. No way, jose. I wrote them a polite email (after trying to call the manager this morning) telling them it just wasn't going to work out. I came home and finished a painting.

What a happy ending, right?

11 March 2011

insomnia's a bitch...

Last night, my brain was totally wired. Unfortunately, it was wired in such a way that I couldn't bring myself to do anything productive, so I gave my lil' MacBook Pro a makeover. After scouring the depths of the internet for wooden icons, I finally took a Tylenol PM at 2:30 in the morning and conked out.

I read about the Stickies calendar on a blog somewhere (can't remember for the life of me) and it made so much sense. Just have your Stickies open at login and your to-do list will be staring you in the face. Also, it's way easier to change and add things this way. Love it.

09 March 2011

New print!

Just a quick update to post about a new print I designed. Sigh. Now all I need to do is actually commit them to fabric.

Click to view larger image.

08 March 2011

2 completed prints.

Well, I finished the raindrop pattern from Monday night. Making repeating patterns is kind of a mindfreak sometimes. It involves intense concentration. Luckily, I don't have to worry about constraining to a mill's measurements like I had to when designing during my internship at Brentano. Designing for printmaking (screen or otherwise) lets you be a lot more free-form in the way the repeats connect.

This morning, I woke up and almost immediately got to work on this one:

I'm torn on whether or not to really follow through with this one. And if I do, it might just be for personal use only. The drawings are taken (loosely traced with the size and proportions slightly distorted) from my favorite movie, The Point. After doing some research, I actually found the email address of the guy who directed, produced and animated the movie, Fred Wolf. So if I really wanted to, I could try and get permission to sell the print. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Anyway, these buildings can be seen at the 2:23 mark in this video:

06 March 2011

a little of this and that.

Here is a fabric print I just kind of jammed out tonight. I had a vision last year of painting something like this on the wall of my spare room (studio), except the colored drops would be made of corkboard. But because my job was so time-consuming, it stayed a spare room and eventually became my sister's bedroom when she moved in. Instead, I made that vision into a fabric print that will hopefully come to fruition a lot more quickly than the original plan.

I'm thinking the repeat would only be horizontal. For those of you who aren't textile nerds, that means it would be a pretty large scale print that only repeats along the length of the fabric, not the width.

I've also got some ideas in the works that were inspired, yet again, by some of the illustrations in The Point (which I mentioned in this entry).

Today I attended the baby shower of one of my oldest friends (about whom I still give a shit). Jasmine is someone who knows things about me most people would blush at the thought of. She is now working on her second baby, so I decided to paint a little something that would remind her and her husband of both their munchkins. Penny is their almost-three-year-old, who has the cutest voice and weirdest sense of humor. Oh, and the prettiest eyelashes I've ever seen. That would be her in the yellow. Their soon-to-join-us son is the tiny green one. If they decide to have more, I'll just have to add more canvases.

Tomorrow, I have two job interviews downtown and then I'm going to the Contemporary Arts Center to see the Keith Haring exhibit, courtesy of my friend, Matt Joy, and his +1 membership.When I was 13, I went to a month-long summer camp in North Carolina. When I came back, my mom had painted larger-than-life sized Keith Haring figures (like the ones in the picture) on my bedroom wall.
They must have been more than 6 feet tall and danced all around my room. One was doing a cartwheel next to my window and one was doing a somersault over my dresser. It was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. He's been my favorite pop artist for decades. I get a flutter in my heart every time I see one of his original murals in NYC. So excited to see this show.

Oh, and before I go, I have to show you this amazing video. This guy, Holton Rower, builds small towers out of wooden boxes and pours varying colors of paint in the center of the top box. This creates the most incredible patterns you've ever seen. It's just paint and gravity. So incredible.

Tall Painting from Dave Kaufman on Vimeo.

01 March 2011

moving s-u-c-k-s.

I've left Chicago. And it only took 2 months to discern what I had to keep and what I had to begrudgingly throw away, pack up the result of said discernment, say goodbye to everyone in Chicago, sell off my furniture, clean my apartment, and bring it all down 3 flights of stairs.
I understand that 2 months might seem like a long time. But in the 67 days I've been unemployed, a lot of things needed to happen before I could leave.

1. Christmas happened. Presents had to be made and a trip to Florida was taken.

2. January happened. Despite not going out on New Year's Eve, January was a month of drinking. It was fun. I blacked out. I made bad decisions. I made some really rad new friends and got to enjoy Chicago likes nobody's business after not having much of a social life for a year. Then I ran out of money.

3. Sinking in had to happen. After having made these grand decisions to leave Lula, move back to Lebanon, OH for an undetermined amount of time, and head westward, I almost forgot that now I had to make a fuckton of little decisions. Do I really need all this fabric? Will this adorable bright orange retro lamp serve a purpose in the next year? Why do I need to keep my Yiddish magnetic poetry? Does Mod Podge go in the box with all of my paints or in the general craft container? Yeah, these all seem really ridiculous, but when you are faced with a giant mountain of these decisions, it seems impossible to deal with. So I spent the first week of February freaking the fuck out. Then I called my mommy. Then I freaked out some more. Then I packed up all my shit.

4. Coming home for a week and a half happened. Such a good thing. I built a website. From a blank page, up. And I painted a picture. I finished updating my ever-looming, post-Lula resume. I designed a business card. I had to GET EXCITED about having the time and resources to REALLY start over. And I did. So excited.

5. This weekend happened all over the fucking place. Oh, this weekend. My parents are amazing. I love them. They are cool and smart and funny and endlessly generous. But when my family gets together, especially in a stressful situation (like moving all of mine and my sister's belongings down three flights of stairs for two days), we all revert back to the dynamic we had in the tumultuous years of mine and Katie's adolescence. There's screaming. There's yelling. There's crying. There's daddy issues. There's sibling rivalry. There's all kinds of bullshit that is just so not the thing to deal with on moving day. But we did it. Barely, but we did. And I love my parents more than ever.

6. The ride home SO HAPPENED. My dad drove the cargo van home this afternoon. Mom and I finished everything up and headed east on 90/94 at 11pm. It slammed down rain the entire time. 27 miles north of Indianapolis, we decided to pull over for a bit and see if it chilled out a little bit. Oh quite the fucking contrary. We sat in the parking lot of a Flying J trucker plaza in LEBANON, INDIANA for 2 and a half hours. Why? Because an entire storm system of tornadoes was hovering over the lower half of Indiana all night. THAT'S WHY. This is my life. And these are the things that happen to me. And one day (tomorrow), I will laugh about it in this totally objective, anecdotal way, but right now, I'm just reveling in the "Fuck my life" of it all. LEBANON, INDIANA. I really want to make sure the irony of that location is not lost on you people. According to Google Maps, that Flying J Travel Plaza (complete with a "Family Style Restaurant", 3 Slurpee machines, and trucker showers) in Lebanon, Indiana is the EXACT halfway point between Chicago, IL and my parents' house in Lebanon, Ohio. This is just all too symmetric and annoyingly karmic for my taste.

So this is just the song. Because the last 2 months of my life read like an indie coming-of-age movie, fraught with internal and external conflict, family drama, physical and financial strain, revelations, and road trips.
Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace I'm going through