Monday, August 30, 2010

Public Display

This is just a quick update to say that I now have five paintings up for sale in Dora's Beale Street Deli. They are in the hallway towards the back room. This hallway is a bit narrow for taking photos, so I had to stand to the side and take the photos at an angle. But as you see, each painting has a little card underneath it with the title, price and contact info.

This is kind of a big deal to me, I've never had my work displayed for sale before. I'm really happy and plan to continue onward from here. I'm so happy not only to have my work displayed, but to have it in a space owned by a member of my family. Thank you so much Dora.

As you might have noticed, there is a fifth piece added, which is the hot air balloon. I finished this piece finally on Friday night. I started it sometime over the summer, then I wasn't sure which direction it was headed, and finally completed it over the weekend.

I titled this piece "Hot Air." Over the past year, I've dealt with different relationship issues and I decided to channel some of that into this painting. Love and relationships are confusing to most people. Sometimes you're not sure if you should lean on someone for support or if you should stand alone and sometimes you're left with not much choice either way. Romantic love takes you to extreme heights where the world looks different, much like hot air balloon ride. But sometimes you're not sure if the vision you see is shared another. The painting can be interpreted in different lights. The sky is sort of cloudy, the colors are both dark and also cheery and colorful. The man in the balloon is alone by himself. Is the balloon the symbol of the lover, carrying him to these amazing heights on this adventure? Or is he really alone and his idea of relationships is just a bunch of hot air? It's a personal expression of my own feelings, but also open to interpretation of the viewer.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Getting to know Amy, Q and A

Today this blog will be about a very important person, the other half of Alice's Address and my creative collaborating partner and best friend, AMY! First, why is Amy so mysterious? Well, if you spend 99% of your time on the internet, you will not find her, for she exists 99% of the time in a realm that may be strange to you known as "offline." You see, she does not have a facebook, and no one uses its predecessor site anymore. (What was it called? myspace?) So today we are going to get to know the other half of Alice's Address with a little introduction about her, and then a Q and A with questions written by yours truly, and answers patiently filled out by Amy herself. It should be noted that the name Alice's Address is Amy's idea.

As I have stated, Amy and I met back in the 10th grade, but our adventures together through adult life are probably far more noteworthy. Life has a way of "happening" as you probably know, and there are great highs and heart-breaking lows. Since Amy and I have reconnected, we have been there to help each other welcome new additions to our families when each of us were pregnant with our youngest children. We've also stood by each other's side when the bad things happened as well. And through it all, Amy's consistently lifted my spirits, turned my head to face in the direction of hope rather than despair, and celebrated with me when the good things happened. I'm proud to call her my best friend. So without further ado, let's turn it over to Amy now and talk about what this blog and Alice's Address is all about.

Amy and I at my wedding

So Amy, would you like to tell us about your house hunting that you've been up to lately?
Meh, the house hunting is everything everybody says it is. Complicated and stressful, and you argue with your husband and unintentionally neglect your children. It's a challenge, but we have faith that God cares about a home for us and he knows which one will suit our needs best. We have seen his hand working in the details and know that once it is all done, it will be worth it. Out of all the emotions I feel about it right now, excitement is in the lead.

Which art medium do you enjoy the most?
Even though I'm not a musician, and I'm not even *really* a music buff, I really feel music is the art that connects with a more wide array of people the most. Nobody cries when they see a great quilt, *some* people will cry when they see a painting, but just about everybody can remember at least getting teary eyed listening to a song. And it's not just that. It's laughter, and relaxation, and triumph, and political angst, and so many things. I think movies come close to this, but music takes it all.

Which art medium do you feel you're most talented or proficient at?
Theater. Even though I haven't done it in a while, and interior design is really what I occupy my time with more and am learning more, (and still probably even love more). Theater is the only thing in my life I really didn't have to try at. Even down to memorizing lines. Where I don't really have a good memory for other things, (like historical facts or even my own darn childhood memories), I could always memorize a monologue in half an hour.

Which art medium are you clueless about but have always wanted to dabble with?
Dancing. I love dancers and dancing and dances and other dance-esque and dancibility type things.

Any other non-arts and crafts talents you'd like to talk about? I heard you were like, President of the Drama club back in the day or something? I also heard you were into Judo.
Yup. Both those things.

What do you like best about Holly and why did you decide to collaborate with her?
What I like best about my Lollipop is really how unique she is. Holly does not fit into one category of mom or artist or feminist or misspent youth. She is always surprising me and the people around her with how many layers she has (like a smelly onion) :P It seems many people try so hard to be unique these days that being unique has become a stereotype in itself. I think that comes out in her art, too. You see all different things in her paintings, from romance, to hip hop, to whimsy, and drama. So cool. If I'm being honest, I decided to collaborate with Holly because she sat in front of me, and batted her big, beautiful eyes, and said, "I just want to make art with my best friend in the world. And damn making money, and damn the stigma around being business partners (because my point was that being business partners may ruin a friendship), our friendship is stronger than that, and I know we can make art together and be happy the rest of our days and it will be like living in Disneyland and having pet unicorns and rainbows will spring from our alarm clocks as we wake up every morning..." Something along those lines...but she just wanted to make art to make ourselves and other people happy, and I believed her, and so far she's been right.

Amy in the office she decorated

What are some inspirations for your creativity?
The people around me. I am visiting one person who's a geek and likes technological things, so I make something with the Linux penguin. I have another person in my life who enjoys something whimsical, so I make something with flowers and bees and olive juice; and another who is childlike and fun, so I make a luchadore or a ninja. Everything I have created thus far I have had a specific person in mind while creating it, and it makes it hard not to just give them all away to my friends and family.

What's some of your favorite colors?
I don't believe in color favoritism. All colors have their place. Black is a very flattering color for a pair of dress pants, but not very flattering on your teeth. Purple is a beautiful color on a flower, but not very appealing as a carpet. And blue is a beautiful color for a dog to be, but it's retched in the sky, don't you agree?

Quick advice for aspiring young artists?
I *AM* a YOUNG aspiring artist! So, I will give advice as a peer, and not an older, wiser, more seasoned artist. I will simply say, "Without vision, the people perish." Proverbs 29:18. (Now for any Biblical scholars out there, I know this refers to the Word itself being the vision, but I feel it is pertinent in more than one way.)

Pictured: Amy's husband Robert in their beautiful home

Last question: Who are some of your personal favorite crafters or artists besides Holly and Lalo?
For artists in my life, my husband comes to mind. Although my husband and I have differing tastes in art, he helps me to see that just because a particular art form is not quite your taste, it doesn't mean that somebody isn't talented. For instance, if you prefer tasteful simple art of children practicing ballet and or lovers walking in the rain (probably me)...try to refrain from snickering at a painting of a half naked lady battling a three-headed dragon (Robert). It's awesome in its own way. And more often than not, we allow ourselves to get so caught up in dismissing the subject that we MISS OUT on learning something. Something small, delightful detail in the art that we didn't see at first glance. Or learning something about the talent that it took to create it. Perhaps even a new technique we have never seen before that we could use. I see this first hand in watching my husband create, and seeing what steps he has to take, and what determination he has to create a finished product. He tells me about the tiny details in the piece about how he had to lean the leg this way, or use this tool for the hair. I once had a teacher tell me, that in order to fully appreciate music, you must appreciate a little bit from each kind. I think that's true, and I certainly think it applies here too. It's all groovy, man. (You guys were with me until I said, "groovy, man", huh?)

Also, I must mention my second mother Sue, who is an artist at heart but has most of all been an example to me of working hard, pressing forward, and making a product not to just satisfy boredom or fill a space, but to really create something that truly lasts and brings happiness for many years. This is a true Renaissance woman who does everything from making wedding cakes to crocheting to sewing to home renovation to upholstering her own furniture...I could go on. Whenever I have the other people in my life saying, "it can not be done that way", or, "just throw out that old chair, it's junk now", it is Sue I can turn to who will see the potential and team with me to work out the problems. She. Is. Awesome. Truly one of a kind.

Awesome, and thank you Amy for letting our readers get inside your head a bit and get to know you!

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Featured: Laughin Lalo

Since this is an arts and crafts blog, it is time for my very first "Feature a fellow artist/blogger" blog. This feature blog goes to the very talented, witty, hilarious, compassionate, and beautiful Laughin Lalo. I'm pleased to introduce you to Lalo:

First of all, if you check out Lalo's blog or her art blog, you will notice right off the bat that Lalo is a very talented photographer and she's not afraid to experiment with new lenses, new cameras and all kinds of different styles to achieve the beautiful photos that she does. I don't know anything about photography and I'm terrible at it, so I can't critique it well other than to say "It's very very very very pretty!" But IN ADDITION to that, Lalo is also a painter and stand-up comedian, which are two passions she and I share in common.

I actually met Lalo and Amy together on the same day way back in the tenth grade. It was in P.E. Our three lockers were all next to each other and everyday I was splitting at the seams with laughter while we dressed out for P.E. Lalo and Amy have remained very close ever since high school, although Lalo and I haven't seen much of each other in the last decade mostly due to both of us living in different states outside of Arizona. However, Amy and I are close, and Lalo is dear mutual friend.

TRUE STORY: Back in the tenth grade there was this "not very nice girl" who may or may not have been about 7 feet tall and may or may not have been kinda manly looking. But she definitely did have was some sort of anger management issue and almost everyone was afraid of her (given that she was amazon size as well as mean.) One day she was being her usual unpleasant self and Lalo quipped something to effect of "You don't have to always be so mean." As soon as she said that, I thought she was so brave, because I also knew she was in for it. So this girl then intended to squish Lalo into a bloody pulp, and went about letting Lalo know this in the usual violence-threatening way that people with "anger issues" do. So then I stepped up to this girl and told her to back off, which as you would predict, got the attention off of Lalo and onto me. Sort of like in Jurassic Park when Dr. Grant lights the flare so the T-Rex will notice him and forget about the kids. Yep, this is totally a true story. I thought Lalo was such a rad chick I volunteered to take her place for a traditional high school bully beat down. Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. The bully forgot all about little ol' me and Lalo, so neither of us got our heads kicked in, and Lalo painted me a picture to say thanks, which I still have to this day.

And I still think Lalo is rad! This woman is also a passionate writer and vocal person who's not afraid to express herself and what's on her mind through blogging, stand-up, photography, or painting.

If you browse her blog, you may spot a picture or two of the mysterious Amy we both speak so highly off.

Here are two of my favorites of Lalo's work

And here is a painting that Lalo did that you can see featured on her art blog. So check her out, there is TONS more where these came from!

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dora's Beale Street Deli

Greetings! Have you heard of the new place in town? The Beale Street Deli? No? Well, allow me to introduce you to the owners...

This is my Aunt Dora standing next to manager Wade Stephens. Some of you may know my aunt as Dora Manley. For you locals of Kingman Arizona, you may remember the previous establishments my aunt owned and ran: The Old Town Coffeehouse and The Kingman Deli. (Those of you *even closer* to me personally may remember a certain delivery driver for the Kingman Deli and all his wild antics. That would be my brother.) Well Dora is back in business! Dora's Beale Street Deli held it's grand opening on July 13, 2010. And if you haven't been downtown to try a "Manley" yet, you are missing out on tasty creative sandwiches (mmmm sammiches) wine, dinners, community events, great colorful atmosphere, a lovable and hilariously entertaining owner, and a thing I am still not familiar with called "High Tea." But lucky for you, I submit photographic evidence of the charm and style this (more than just a) deli place has to offer.

Here is the wall behind the front counter where you may browse the menu and order deli sandwiches.

Behind this deli case is where the (magic happens) sandwiches are made.

Inside of this deli case, you may see some delectable CUPCAKES!

And let me tell you, these cupcakes not only look magical as each one is sprinkled with eat-able glitter, but they TASTE magical too! These little babies featured in this photo are either carrot cake flavored or red velvet flavored. (I'm not sure, I loved them A LOT and took quite a few photos.) When you visit the deli, be sure to ask Dora about her cake maker Siuming Lee, who also makes wedding cakes.

Heading towards the back is this absolutely beautiful room, appropriately named "The Back Room." Here formal dinner parties, wine tasting parties, and "High Tea" are served. Some of these events are invitation only, so call Dora for reservations!

On July 13, Amy and I attended the Beale Street Grand Opening. There was such a HUGE turnout, the place was packed! I was so happy for my Aunt Dora, I felt like my heart would burst every time I looked at her. Here is a shot Amy snapped of the crowd that turned up at the grand opening.

Lucky for us, we arrived just in time for the ribbon cutting ceremony outside the front doors. This was a huge moment of success for Dora, I am so happy for her. Here she is standing next to business partner and co-owner, Donovan Schmidt.

This might not be the most photogenic photo of my aunt since the wind is blowing her hair all over the place, but this is her getting a kiss from her husband Kurt Manley. You may happen to meet Kurt if you ever go to fast tracks.

And this is the group standing outside the front entrance. Memorize this image of the front entrance. As you drive down Beale Street conducting your usual business, see this building and stop there for lunch. Repeat as many times as necessary for maximum enjoyment :D

I have my own small piece of news to share about this deli. As of next week, my paintings that are for sale will be displayed in the deli for viewing and sale. You may purchase the paintings there or purchase them on my website. I'm really excited about this, this is the first time I have ever had the opportunity to display my work for sale in a public establishment. So thank you so much Dora, I love you!

This is my wall in the deli, down the hall toward the back room. Behold:

You can find more information, menus, contact info and the like on Dora's website and also be sure to add her on her facebook for updates!

Thanks for reading, be sure to stop by the deli and view my art while enjoying a sandwich or glass of wine!

August update and new work by Holly

You know, I think blogs are something that is intended to be updated more frequently than once a month. But let's just jump right into things, shall we?

This last month has been busy. And hot. Oh so hot. I live in Arizona, so it's been blazing over 100 degrees daily. I spent most of my time taking care of the house and the children and hydrating. In the middle of August, my oldest child started a new school year. So that has created some more time in my schedule to work on my paintings. However, I did manage to organize some of my work space in my art studio and remember to take a picture.

So that is where (some of) the magic happens. It's actually a pretty huge room and that is just one corner of it. I moved into this house four months ago, so I have been slowly unpacking boxes and organizing and donating things. So there will be more pictures later of my complete work area later, once it's all the way I want it to be. In the middle of July, I did manage to find time to put together a hand painted banner in celebration of my youngest child's first birthday.

It now hangs in her room.

This next painting I did sometime over the summer. I did it on whim and gave it as a gift to my friend Paddy. The meaning is open to interpretation, I was going for a simple bold statement having something to do with sex and money, but it's open to interpretation what it means. It is done with acrylic on a 16x20 canvas.

This next painting I also started over the summer, and finally got around to completing this week. This is actually a reproduction of this photo which I found here. I don't know who the photographer is, if someone finds out please let me know. This is for sale at my Etsy store at a reduced price since it is a reproduction. It is acrylic done on a 16x20 canvas and I titled it "Urban Rendezvous."

My next project I decided to start was a self-portrait. This piece is really personal to me, and there are actually two installments, one is a painting and one is a photograph. This piece means a lot of things and there was a lot of feelings that went into it. First I did the painting. My goal was not to make it perfect or even "good" I just wanted it to be honest. So I painted myself wearing the clothes I was wearing when the painting started and painted what I was doing, which was painting myself and smoking. It is also acrylic done on a 18x24 canvas.

The next installment of the self-portrait was done a couple days later when the painting was finished. I put on the same clothes I started the painting in and posed for a photo with the painting, thus creating a vortex effect.

I dedicated the self-portrait to my husband and gave it to him as a gift and now it hangs in our work studio space.

Right after that I started on a new piece, which was finished today. I don't know what to call this one, I keep naming it different things like "Red" or "Untitled." I don't think it really needs a title, I think the painting speaks for itself. Also, acrylic on a 18x24 canvas. It is for sale on my Etsy store under the title "Red Suit."

I've gotten some comments asking me where I came up with the idea or what my inspiration was. I dunno, it just sort of came to me and it came naturally. I described it to Amy as a "sum of all the things I like." I like fedoras, men wearing suits, the color red, the high contrast of the black and red. I like all the different meanings the color red can have. I like this mysterious faceless man who is either emerging or disappearing into the shadows. It's up to you to decide who or what he is.

Well that's about it for this installment which is really just an update. I have decided to resurrect my deviantart account as well, so if you've got a deviantart account, let me know and I will add you to my watch. You can find it here.

Thanks for reading :D