Friday, July 11, 2014

La Société du spectacle

I have kept this blog since 2005. Some time in the spring of 2007 I committed a most undifferentiated act and wiped out all my old posts. Before anyone gets too sad about the lost writings of Melanie-Pearl (hyperbole), let me confirm that the "loss" continues to be a positive thing.

The last post before wipe-out marked the beginning of the end of whatever came before it. In my final blaze of glory I subjected my then-readers to this glorious video:

(Mic drop at 3:48, followed by a bloody massacre & topped off by a completely wicked middle finger)

Aside from seizing the opportunity to share my undeniable great taste in music heroism, how was such an undifferentiated act of mass destruction (more hyperbole) ever a good thing? Well, because it pointed to a much larger problem.

It turns out that what I thought was my "self" was not real. It was a carefully-constructed-over-30 years version of me. I was inauthentic so my blog was inauthentic. I was so snowed by my own inauthenticity I actually believed my blog was good and worth reading. Yes, my "protector self" was so good at its job that my real "self" was content hanging out with all the exiled parts of me. Believe me, posting from that space made me feel all warm and fuzzy. I said all the right things. It was pretty. Pretty like a collection on a Pinterest board. It was the projection of perfection.

If I've lost you, think of it this way: The part of me who started Melanie-Pearl in 2005 can be thought of as the giant head of OZ who was being projected onto the curtain while my real self was content hiding behind the curtain changing reels, pulling levers, etc., letting the big head run the popular show. When what was actually behind the curtain could no longer be contained, the real freak show began. Exiled parts were loosed, and if you were anywhere near the Emerald City at that time, you felt the rippling chaos. I was quite mad the curtain collapsed---and I believed it fell because someone else made it fall down. Yes, I was that sick.

I digress.

Today I take heart in the fact that at least one of my exiled parts knew the projected talking head sucked. Eventually I helped my real "self" reclaim my rightful name and my blog. There's still a projector---Melanie-Pearl works hard to stay in charge of it---and the curtain freely opens and closes. (Note the goal is not to eradicate my parts but to know and direct them.)

This morning I read this fabulous article which inspired me to make this post.

All this to say, authentic art is hard-earned. Especially in this day and age. Not only can I define it, I can also illustrate the concept: I create whatever I want to create. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is bad. Sometimes it is pretty, sometimes it is grotesque. I post it here, I post it on FB. It hangs on walls. It sits in attics. Sometimes it is responded to.

No matter what, I continue to create.

With Love, from the trenches. Yours, M-P

ps) In the earlier days of my blog I used to have way more hits and readers. I also sold way more crap. It was crap. Today I sell a few expensive paintings and custom jewelry without much effort. Interesting, huh?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

More Untitled

I love this painting. A few of my friends do, too. I don't completely understand it yet, but I know I was supposed to paint it. It has already helped me be kinder to my body (my meaning) in a very real, physical way. This is quite a humbling allow a visual cue conceived by my subconscious to influence/guide my conscious behavior.

Chloe seems irritated by the technical execution. She did help me get enough of it right, so I am grateful for her input. It's not like I can paint from a still life model---there isn't one! For the last few days I have been taking it off my wall and dragging it out to the studio, putting it back on the wall, puzzling over it, taking it back out to the studio, painting over lines, repainting lines, repeat. I like where it is now. Mostly fixed. Though just now I saw more lines that could be helped.  

Cody just flat doesn't like the painting. He delivered the ultimate insult while looking at it this morning: "It's like taking a beautiful waterfall, and building a hotel next to it."

At first Cody's comment made me physically sick. (Thankfully I don't need his approval in order to hang the painting.) It was true for him to say it, so I actually like to hear his gut reaction and weigh it against my own meaning---and what it could mean that he sees such a symbolic painting this way? I let him know I was analyzing his experience of the painting and he said, "Now you're putting words in my mouth." I responded with, "I most certainly am. And I won't hold you to them." We had a good laugh.

Next step is to glaze the whole thing twice. Then I can finish the background without disturbing what's already laid down. I'll probably clean the whole thing up, sharpen lines, etc after that. It's still untitled. 

Friday, July 4, 2014


I've been informed my perspective is off. Again. (Remember, thinking is my Achilles when it comes to feeling/sensing/intuiting which is really what this painting is about for me.) 
I fixed some of the perspective but I don't want to get too caught up in "real" detail. I'm just no good at it.
Anyhow, I'm still off about that third leg showing at the bottom. I really want it there, though. For grounding. 

The blue is supposed to look aqueous and floating, 
and the sturdy gold is supposed to provide a sense of rest. 

Added another swag and two briolettes.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Trusting Chaos Theory

I don't really know what to say about this one. It's probably best that way. Still working on it.
Sketching in the stand
I woke up to the crystal from my chandelier casting prismatic rainbows onto the painting in progress. It inspired me to go outside and paint a bit.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Marbling on Large Canvas

Don't you just wish you could swim on this sea?
Detail from the unfinished 38" X38" painting

I think I'm in love with marbling. Especially now that I have two key elements of the goop/paint ratios figured out a bit better. Because of my growing confidence in the process I am now working on a larger scale---and dreaming of larger ways to make these paintings. I used a hoolah hoop for a giant frame. The other thing I tried was using a pre-framed canvas, which was a little iffy as far as coverage goes. With raw unframed canvas I get perfect prints b/c I can see where the paint has not met the surface. Still, it turned out pretty well.

 More pics of the painting as it evolves. I am hoping to do a whole series of made-up minerals. (Inspired by the recent pics of gemstones taken at the Museum of Natural History.) I might not be able to afford huge sapphire geodes but I can sure paint the detail and invoke a similar sense.

Unmanipulated paint

Manipulated (swirls forming)

Aftermath of the print

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Marbling on Silk

My finished square scarf (marbled center, dyed edges)
This is what happens when you combine the love of color with three multi-medium artistic spirits. What fun we had!
Susan's designs were rather Pollack-like.

Vickie chose a Turkish stone pattern.

Of course I had to swirl the colors a bit.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Feel like being in the studio again

Bronze and Sterling Silver bangles. Sandblast and Satin finish. The fleur de lis is cast from a mold I made out of a button in my grandmother's button collection.
 When I asked Amy what she wanted from NYC, she said, "Something you find on the ground." I took a wrong turn the first time we went to Parsons---and at the corner where I realized my mistake, I looked down and saw this key. I stuck the word Journey on it and paired it with an old "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams" charm I made years ago. Amy loved it. What a fun request and fun piece to assemble. also working on a commissioned bronze cross and earrings. Thank God I feel like working again. Always trust the process.

Symphony in the Flint Hills

The lines as the sun went down
How like my dad and mom to take me out for Father's day? I was so excited to experience the Symphony under the sky---out in the middle of the beautiful Flint Hills.

The band shell looked like a giant covered wagon standing against the elements.

The grasses were blowing and rolling like an ocean.

The cowboys drove the cattle over the distant hills to right by the band shell.

Unforgettable experience with a few of my favorite people.

Out of the powerlines. Totally in my element.

The boys didn't want to come. (Crazy windy!)

Thank God I brought a tight hat...though when I took off the crazy thing I got laughed at for the silly red bar across my forehead.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

NYC Met the Met

Surprise of the century: I did not like my experience at the Met. The word "Overstimulating" nicely sums it up. I never understood what my Dad meant when he said the Louvre holds so much art you can't see it all in a day, week, however long it actually is even if you stood in front of each piece for only seconds. I get it now. And I don't like it. Dashing past a room full of Rembrandts felt sacrilegious to me. I hated that experiene.

There were also two specific galleries I was most looking forward to entering. They closed for "no reason" and it was not known when they would open back up. I could see the art from the doorway. Just couldn't jump the rope and go in. So I missed getting close to Bougereau and certain Bonnards.

I did get close to a touring Bonnard where I also go scolded by a snooty guard. Seriously. He said, "Too close!" Twice. (He was obviously not an obsessed with process painter.)

I did see Frederic Lord Leighton's Lachrymae. Also popped by Renior's recital (the one I was thinking of while I watched my neices play earlier this summer). The Van Gogh's were amazing. Seriously amazing.

Bonnard and Lautrec would be happy about hanging next to each other. (This is the one I got too close to.) for scale, The Bonnard is probably 4' X 3'.

Bubbles and skulls. What more to love?

A half finished painting by God-knows-who. I did love the blue underlayer reflecting the Master's style processs

Imagine capturing a moment like this? He must have been so present.

A beautiful, RARE Degas. I could have spent half a day in the Degas gallery alone.

Holy Bat-o-man. This is the largest Pollack I've ever been next to. Chaos theory en-er-Geeeee. Loved it!
So. What did I learn? Next time plan on only one or two galleries or a handful of paintings. Give myself permission to say, "I'll be back for you Remmy." I have to go back for Bougereau and Bonnard anyway. Until then, I think I'll go back to Crystal Bridges and relish in the wonderful museum it really is.