Monday, April 14, 2008

The Big Easy

Big Easy Daiquiris Blue Cafe
Bourbon Street
Originally uploaded by chankins

I just returned from my first visit to New Orleans. I went to see the Vagina Monologues tenth anniversary show with a few family members. The show also happened to be on the same weeked as the French Quarter let's just say there was a party atmosphere. But in New Orleans the party never really stops. I almost didn't make it at all...I was one of those American Airlines tragedies-mine not so bad as many others. I ended up getting new and expensive tickets on another airline thanks to my very generous husband, who I think was determined to have me out of the house.

I arrived before the rest of my family-we were flying in from all parts of the country to meet. My room at the hotel wasn't ready, so I stored my bags and walked down to Bourbon Street. It was only a few minutes from my hotel. Bourbon Street definitely lived up to it's reputation. It was bar after bar with strip clubs in between. Everyone was walking around the street with drink in hand and having a ball...and this was at about 11 a.m.- I can only imagine what Mardi Gras must look like!

I took a ton of photos... lord knows I needed some inspiration and a break from Minnesota grey. I love the color of the old buildings , the shutters and the hidden courtyards. The balconies were beautiful and well utilized on Bourbon Street. I walked until I had blisters on every inch of my feet. For some reason cute shoes were just not meant for long walks...go figure!

We went to a flea market near the french Market where I took a picture of these masks. Later while having lunch, I spied this hearse decorated with all kinds of crazy things. I thought that the flamingos were an especially nice touch. I think that I will have to add a couple to my next painting.

Flea Market Masks Flamingo Hearse

I also took many pictures of balconies and anything with greenery on it. I think that I really need spring to come... and soon!
Yellow House

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Falling Slowly

I was craving romance like I crave chocolate with this piece. I tried to think of a romantic scene involving a couple that maybe just met or possibly have known each other for a long time. It could be anyones story really. I have been married for 15 years and have a handful of kids so those romantic moments can be fleeting. But I have to say that when they happen they are highly appreciated!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Waiting Line

Waiting Line
Originally uploaded by chankins

I think that I am on a roll. I worked on this piece for most of the week. It is kind of frivolous. I wanted to add elements that are around me all of the time. I also collect Chinese lanterns and wanted to include them. They are fun to hang and are so colorful. They also make me think of summer and sitting out on my porch before the mosquitos come around for dinner. My pets have been included as well. Sam, my English pointer, spends the better part of the day following me around waiting for food or just trying to figure out where to plant himself to be in close proximity. I also added my cat...she spends most of the day sleeping or trying o attack my feet. The coffee is a staple because I am not actually human until I have my first cup...just ask my kids.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Summer Dream

Summer Dream
Originally uploaded by chankins

I am waiting with baited breath for spring to come. We had another snow storm at the beginning of the week and all I could think about was how wrong snow in April is. Fortunately, I can imagine what it would feel like to sip wine and dip my feet in a lake with the sun shining overhead. This piece is about warmer fronts, cute red dresses, and taking a moment to relax.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Here Comes the Sun...

Inspiration can come from almost anywhere but it can be hard to come by when you are cooped up for many long months. Just when I am at the end of my frozen rope we take a trip to warmer weather. My family and I are spending spring break in sunny southern California with my parents. When we stepped off the plane it was a staggering 50 degree difference in temperature. Eighty felt so hot! But who am I to complain? We have been enjoying the luxury of warm weather ever since!

I have been missing all things green and am so ready to throw some plants into the ground and say helloooo color! But since the ground is still frozen I guess my quest will have to wait. Until then, I have been taking some pics of my moms garden digs this week to get me into gear for spring.

There are so many little treasures to be found hidden around here. I love this birdhouse shaped like a church and hidden in the palms. It makes me think of unknown tropical places. maybe some of these shapes will start to crop up in my spring paintings.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Trouble Me

I have been working on a piece about a couple. I was thinking about how hard communication can be no matter how many years you have been together. While I was working I was listening to 10,000 Maniacs unplugged and the song Trouble Me came on. It seemed to suit the couple in the work and thus the title was born. It has been my experience that we do not always share and need to trouble one another with our problems.

Some of the elements in the painting were derived from pictures of a street bazaar in the picture of the chicken. I began to think about a back alley, maybe behind a club where the couple performed. I added some elements that I thought worked as metaphor- like the instruments. When they are played well and in sync how beautiful they are or how on the other hand, if out of tune, what complete mess they are.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Roll On...

Now that my 15 minutes are up I thought I'd get back to work. I just finished this piece and am trying to come up with a suitable title. My life has been a wee bit stressful lately...I think the birds represent my children, lovely hungry little things who like lots of attention and to be driven to many places. I drew them as birds so they could fly themselves to their various activities and leave me to my latte!

15 Minutes of Fame

Andy Warhol once said that everyone is entitled to 15 minutes of fame- or something to that effect. I did an interview and a photo shoot a few months ago for a local magazine- Maple Grove Magazine. It was a lot of fun. We discussed my work, my inspiration and the balancing act that is motherhood. About a month after the interview a photographer came and took pictures of me in my natural habitat- a.k.a. my home studio. It was more work to pose for a good shot than I would have expected- you definitely won't be seeing me on America's Next Top Model anytime soon. We ended up with a few good shots including one with me wearing my filthy apron and my hands covered in pastel chalk. As it turns out that particular shot made the cover of the magazine. My only request to the photographer was that he was generous with the airbrush tool in photoshop. I was hoping for fewer crows feet.

I had no idea the issue was out until I walked into my hair salon and everybody knew me...wierd! Anyway, my kids have decided that I'm famous-maybe they will listen to me now. I decided that I will enjoy my fifteen minutes until times up!