Posted in Explaining the Strange Behavior, Robyn Lane Books

Cats + Rainbows + The Internet = Perfection…Right?


You can ask anyone who has ever worked with me, and they will tell you how rare it is for me to feel like I’ve done a job that is even close to good enough (*cough*Nicole*cough*).  It happens once in a blue moon.  So, imagine my surprise to complete two publishing projects with two very different beginnings, and actually feel really good about them.

One project was a lark to entertain my son, born out of his imaginative tangents in the car.  The other was a Phoenix, rising up out of the ashes of another much-loved-but-lost project.  I didn’t expect either of them.  I certainly didn’t expect to want to show them to anyone.

And yet…

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What If One Day is available now on Amazon & CreateSpace, and My Rainbow World will be available through Robyn Lane Books, all over the place on August 17.

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I think a lot of my pleasure (and pride) comes from the models.  Of course What If One Day is based on my boy.  My Rainbow World’s model was inspired by my boss’ granddaughter.  I love looking at my son, so it only follows I’ll love looking at illustrations of him.  And my boss’ granddaughter is DARLING, eat-her-up-cute.

Thor and I dedicated his book to my father because he always told me the best, crazy stories, and I have kept up that tradition for my [poor, long-suffering] child.  Rainbow is dedicated to Thor, to Robyn’s daughter, to my boss, and her granddaughter–and to grandparents and grandbabies everywhere.  Half of the art in this book got an unexpected second chance, with a whole new set of words and different story, kind of like how grandchildren are happy chances to enjoy our families all over again.

I enjoyed every second of the artwork in these books.  If readers can enjoy them a tenth as much, I’ll feel really good.

Thor reading his own book.
Posted in A Day in the Life, Friends of Mine, GNO

Mother, Monet I?


I kept seeing photos of friends at corporate team-building painting parties, and I was so jealous!  So, I decided to find one of these painting party places and organize an adventure.  For my October GNO, I invited about a thousand people to come along to Painting With a Twist in Dallas to paint a scene from Monet’s Venice.  We would be doing an impression of the great Impressionist himself.  Fun!

Painting with a Twist is BYOB, so I bought a massive bottle of Lambrusco and a couple of bags of Ghirardelli chocolates to share, and picked up a Cosmopolitan magazine because the cover looked like hilarious amounts of fun, and off I went.

 

 

Me, all smocked up, showing off the femur-length bottle of wine I brought. It’s fancy. You can find the Reunite Lambrusco served in fine establishments, such as the Olive Garden.

At Painting With a Twist, you walk in to find your place set up with your canvas on an easel, your paint and paintbrushes waiting for you, and a super friendly, super helpful, super supportive staff there to walk you along from blank canvas and your terrified googly eyes, to a masterpiece and face shining with pride (or too much wine.)  Our team was Victoria, who guided us through the painting process, and Amber, who walked among us offering encouragement, tips, and clean-up supplies for those of us who needed them.  (I only dropped one paintbrush full of paint on the floor, narrowly missing Karen’s purse.)

You come to paint, and the shop prepares. That’s my sweet friend Amy peeking out from between blank canvasses there.

 

If you are intimidated by the blank page, I think this is a great way to overcome the fear of the empty and start making art.  You’re surrounded by friends (or just friendly people, as the come-alone-guy who sat to my left discovered–he drank a LOT of my wine) and support, and fun outweighs the fear of failure.

What’s more fun than getting a little dirty with your favorite friends? Especially when you don’t have to think about the clean-up!

 

We all ended up having a terrific time, and produced varying likenesses of Monet’s work.  But I must emphasize that it was the fun that made this $45 of worthwhile.  I will definitely be going again.

Karen, Leslieann, Amy and I all had a great time. I love how different our paintings are, when we were all following the exact same instructions.

 

Our instructor had a lot of suggestions for what to do with our finished work:  In-Law Christmas present, White Elephant Exchange, Bathroom Art.  Thor claimed mine, but said he’d like to put it in his closet.  Ha!

My masterpiece resides in Thor’s closet. Facing the wall. I think he was taking one for the team by claiming it, and he knew exactly where to put it.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Art


I had the luxury of spending my lunch hour at the Dallas Museum of Art today, and I spent quite a long time moving slowly around the William Wetmore Story marble sculpture of Semiramis.

She is a beautiful work, carved out of a single block of marble, and as I revolved around her, I thought, “Really good art is  an excellent reason to believe in God.”  Mankind can do everything but breathe spirit into a body–sculpture like this?  How does that even happen?  I mean, I know the mechanics required, but how do you coax that beauty out of a chunk of rock?

I had the same feeling when I saw the David.  How do you chisel that perfection?  How do you get the fingernails, the curls in the hair, the veins?  And how do you do it without error?  Without accidentally chipping off a chunk of thigh?  It’s not natural.  It’s not human.  It’s supernatural.  It is beyond talent.  Beyond art.

The other day I told B that I wonder if the great artists of yore, given cameras, would bother painting, or if they would just take photographs?  Why bother learning everything necessary to paint The Coronation of Napoleon when you can just take a picture of it?  We agreed that Leonardo Da Vinci would have been a shutterbug–he had a lot going on!  But, I can’t imagine a decoupage version of the Sistine Chapel.  Actually, I can, and it’s cracking me up.  Michelangelo could have papered that ceiling with photos of posed models, as I papered my bedroom wall with my junior high crushes.

And on that note…