Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I've been tagged!

Cathy (CAS) and Gabrielle both tagged me for 6 weird things about me. These tags are hard because I always feel a little weird revealing my personal quirks.

1. I started going gray at 18. I'm going to be 48 this month and the white hairs have totally taken over. My mom wears her hair natural and as you might have read in past posts she turned 69 in Oct. I have way more white than she will probably ever have!

2. I knew when I was little that I wanted to be an artist, but I also loved dancing, singing and acting. I freely expressed these parts of myself at all times and I still love to dance. This is a picture of me at about 19 posing for an ad for Dance magazine. I worked at Hollywood Dancewear Company and sold toe shoes, tap shoes and ballet slippers plus leotards and tights to all the well known dancers, dance teachers and students throughout Los Angeles. From there I went to work with Dancewear of London and I managed their Beverly Hills shop and one in Westwood. I took dance classes at night and weekends and I loved it! All of this is leading up to the weird part. In Oct. of 1981 I got a call from Danny Elfman, he was my friend Jeri's boyfriend and he asked if I would like to dance on Halloween night at the Santa Monica Civic to a sold out concert for "Oingo Boingo". I said yes right away, but he cautioned me that there were some conditions that I needed to agree to. I am only going to tell you one of the conditions and it was that I would be one of 4 dancers, I would be up front, need to hold a riding crop and whip Danny while dancing to the song "Violent Love". It was a dancers dream and I agreed to the terms. The place was packed to the rafters, when we came out the crowd went apeshit and it was awesome! My boyfriend, artist Michael Bedard captured the whole thing on camera so I have pictures... But no, I am not going to show you those pictures. The reason this made my list is: They will always be considered a weird quirky band, Danny was great but weird, the whole situation was weird and it was one of the weirdest nights, "Halloween"and all the audience showed up in really weird costumes. The next day it was written up in the news and they called it weird, wonderful and like a raunchy French cabaret! This picture of the band accompanied a full article about the evening but I am not going to publish it because it will tell you everything and unless you were there and got to see it I guess you'll just have to use your imagination.

3. I know I have mentioned that I walk every day with Rat and that I live in Topanga State
Park. Well for some reason people get amorous when they go to parks or is that why they go to the park? I would like to mention that when you are on a trail in all likelihood people are going to walk on it. I am always surprised and weirded out when I'm on the trail and come upon people doing the deed. I stumbled upon a very famous actor and a well known model turned actress while they were rehearsing a scene right on the Deadhorse Trail bridge. They were married to other people and consequently split with spouse. I had to hold all of this inside, although I confided in John and my mom. Even though I would love to dish about who these 2 are it would be unkind to say. This experience left me feeling weird!

4. Do you remember the guy who had a TV show for a while, he was a psychic and his name was John Edwards? His show was called "Crossing Over". Believe it or not, I live in Topanga and I have never been to a psychic! Topanga is well known for spiritualists and the latter. I have never wanted to know my future as it would spoil the surprise. One day a woman called and told us that John Edwards was writing a book and wanted to give readings to families of dead celebrities and they would compile these for a book they were working on. I have mentioned on several occasions that John's brother was Phil Hartman. John had no interest whatsoever in this inclusion but the valgal talked him into it because I figured it would be kinda cool to see what this guy would say about Phil and maybe Phil would tell him a joke to relate back to us or who knows? So we agreed to meet at a hotel in West Hollywood. The woman told us to walk in and say nothing, we did. His back was to us throughout the whole reading which added to the mystery and intrigue. He started to speak and guessed a few key things and then he turned his focus completely to me! He started to tell me things about a person above me (above in his speak means parents, grandparents, to the side can mean siblings etc.) So it is suddenly all about me and a person that would be my father. I really never knew my father, very briefly and there is nothing really to tell. He and my mom split up when I was 4 and he was never around. Never came to see myself or my siblings. I saw him next when I was 18 for a brief period, he never stayed in touch and I needed to let go and move on. period! So John Edwards starts to intimate that my father is now dead and I start completely weirding out, I'm telling you my heart starts to beat real fast, I feel sick, I would love to get out of here as I realize this is some kind of terrible mistake. Where's Phil? Somebody tell us a joke please! After he's done with the reading he turns around and here's the guy I have seen on TV. He mentions that this happens frequently, that famous people come to him for readings all the time and there personal assistant will be with them and the reading is all about the PA! Well, this ranks up there with one of the all time weird experiences of my life. Later when I related this to my sister, she was very excited about my reading with him. Maybe she will write in and refresh my mind why she was so thrilled about this meeting. She was the last person I would expect to know who John Edwards was but she did. We tried to find out if our father was alive to no luck. So far the book has been shelved.

5. I am a voice person, I love voices. Once I hear a voice I never forget it. When I paint I listen to music or TV. Listen is the key word. I rarely watch, I listen. John has worked in showbiz his whole adult life, he has worked with and met many of the all time greats. Judy Garland. Ethel Merman, Dean Martin, Sonny and Cher, Sophie Tucker and on and on. Some of the most distinct voices of all time! Because of my love for voices we made up a game called "Who's That Guy?". Any time he hears a voice he asks me, "Who's that Guy or Girl? I am right 100% of the time.

6. I petended to be British for a year. Alright, you can pick yourself up off the floor and stop laughing! I was young, it was an adventure and I'm now officially a weirdo!

Here are the rules so that you too can tell us about your weirdness! Each person that gets tagged needs to write a blog post of their own 6 weird things as well as clearly stating this rule. After you state your 6 weird things, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you're tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog for info as to what it means.

I tag:







Friday, January 26, 2007

Illustration Friday: Red

My submission for Illustration Friday's "Red" is from my 2001 HomeMade calendar and the title is "Schoolhouse". I always wanted to go to school in a one room schoolhouse but Oak Park Elementary was a pretty large size school for the times. I loved my teachers very much. This smaller book was put together by a group of very loving and involved mothers of Topanga Elementary. They asked me to do the cover of their children's annual. Of course I said yes and after the project I received about 25 or so Thank You's from the kids that are filled with pictures and words of sweet gratitude. The cute thing about this annual is they drew their own picture and wrote a little piece about themselves. They are charming and bring a smile to your face. One of the boys is my neighbor, Kevin. Ten years later and he's all grown up! Schoolhouse was for the month of September and the quote is:
"The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom. ~Henry Ward Beecher~
please click on to the image to see what the boys wrote.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Artist Profile: Mark Beam

I want to introduce you to a fellow artist and friend Mark Beam. He is a talented, clever and funny guy and his art reflects this. From giant cows doing a handstand to cow-pies, his work will elicit laughter from all that view it. His art has the perfect mixture of tongue in cheek humour and kitsch. Mark really knows how to reveal the fun side of life through his artwork. His lifesize cows are so popular that they are the characters and concept for the "Barnyard" movie featuring the voices of Danny Glover, Kevin James, Courtney Cox and many others. We did a few projects together in the 90s and it was a fun time. Mark came up with some clever conceptual ideas that I executed through the art of silkscreen and he came up with a walrus character and I created a painting that was used by Carolco Pictures for the project. Mark is a great idea guy. I asked him a round of art related questions and a summary of his career. This is what he had to say: born in detroit, moved to california at 19. i was looking for my place in the world. i didn't want to get a boring job and stay there for the rest of my life...discovered the LA art scene, saw that some were doing really well making paintings that make the viewer say "what is that?" i figured if they could sell those, then I could make funny, colorful work and i might have an audience. i was 26 and unemployed when i made my first piece of art, my neighbor bought it for $150.00. the lightbulb went off in my head... i made a couple more pieces, took them to a designer furniture store that had posters on the wall. they bought 4 pieces from me for $250.00 each. i kept making art, 2-3 pieces a week for many,many years. i got into galleries,shows, commissions etc. it quickly blossomed into a wonderful gig. it's been 25 years now!i saw the world in a great way, met some great people. if you get your work out there, it takes on a life of its own...people see your work and they have an idea or opportunity to use your art, you get calls and it feeds itself. i never could have dreamed up half the stuff ive been involved in. it just happened because of what i had already done and sent out into the world.

valgal: How did you find your style? mb: through experiments with materials...foam,resin,paper mache, etc led to my look.

vg: What is your creative process? mb: think it up and figure out step by step, how to build it.

vg: How do you market/ promote yourself? mb: in the beginning i sent out pics to stores and galleries,newspapers, etc. then i made a website, got on a lot of search engines and other site links helps too.

vg: Do you have an agent/rep? mb: i haven't had a rep in 10 years, group shows only, for me.

vg: What are 2 of your favourite pieces? mb: "Howdy Buddha" and the handstanding cow (my 1st cow)

vg: Do you ever have a creative slump? mb: yes, i do... ive gone for a year or more without making art. i don't fight it, i just make art when i want to or when i need money.

vg: What do you do for fun? mb: i rollerblade daily (keeps me healthy and sane), watch alot of movies, dining out.

vg: What is the best part of what you do? mb: getting paid...(kidding) delivering a piece to a happy client, making a creative discovery that i know is good.

vg: Do you have any advice for budding artists? mb: create alot of work that you think people will want to possess. start sending email pics to everybody that you think might want to see it and who can afford it. someone will bite. you really are on your own, but if you get cooking on getting your work out there (silent benefit auctions is a great start) you will find that you can make some things happen. research whats happening in the art scene in the closest major city near you. internet is great for that nowadays. there are alot of younger artists doing great things , check out wooster collective, juxtapoze mag and don't neglect the art blogs. send em pics of your latest and greatest, they may post it on their blog. here is a rule of mine...if i see someone that i think would like my work, movie star, business owner, whatever, send them a note and some pics. you would be surprised how many will contact you. don't let it go by, send the pics! if you hear of a benefit art auction, contact them immediately and say you wanna be involved, next thing you know you are at a splashy party and your art is hanging next to warhol, lichtenstein, mapplethorpe, etc. feels good and the people who attend start to equate your work with the big guns.

vg: Would you like to talk about the movie? mb: i sold a cow sculpture to steve oedekirk, writer/director through a gallery in Laguna Beach. a few years later i contacted his office, hoping that he may want more art for his offices and he said he wanted to talk about my cows and animation. so we did an agreement, my cows would be the central figure in this tv show. then steve got a deal to make a 5-minute demo, if they liked it they were gonna make a tv series of it! well it kinda stunk, i was really kinda bummed when i saw it. the network passed and it was a dead issue for like 8! then steve wrote "Bruce Almighty", it makes a ton of money, so steve gets a big 3 picture deal. he then announces that his 1st movie will be a cgi animated film called the barnyard, yeah! so we are back in business... yeah! because of this new position of power that he enjoyed he was able to get a feature film, tv show and video game commitment from paramount/nickleodeon. so it will live on and produce income for some time, god willing. you probably have gotten the idea that this whole thing has been an emotional roller-coaster hell ride and you would be right! but this is what i learned, the cosmos, fate, luck, whatever you want to call it, is as unpredictable as anna nicole smiths mood swings. as an artist you don't know where your going, really you just have to keep making art. then when your art gets into the world, it starts doing lotsa kookie stuff all on its own. all kinds of odd opportunity is derived from it. i guess you just have to create and trust... trust that it will become something else as time goes by... and you have to enjoy yourself in the meantime. you have no control but if you create, trust and communicate it works out...whew.

Gee Mark, this has been swell and I know everybody will gain some creative juice from this inspiring interview. If you would like to see Mark Beam's complete portfolio ( and I know you do!) please click on to this link.

Top: cowpie middle: surfin cow bottom: "Otis" from the Barnyard movie featured on the cover of Nick magazine. All artwork copyright Mark Beam

Friday, January 19, 2007

Illustration Friday: Super Hero

My submission for Illustration Friday's "Super Hero" is "Poppy" from a collection of characters I created for a project I started in 2005. Each girl is a flower, a different ethnicity and temperament and teaches about growing and cultivating your own garden and about all the varietals getting along together in the garden. If I was really together and I knew how to illustrate using the computer my submission would be "Home of the Brave" and it would be a retirement home for Super Heroes, Firemen, Police. This week the pipes froze, my regulator broke and in this area a lot of burst pipes etc. It took 4 days to finally get it fixed! No hot water, no water period and it was very cold. Mr. Plumber this week you are my Super Hero!
airbrush on canson airbrush paper
copyright 2005 Flower Garden Girls

Friday, January 12, 2007

Illustration Friday: 80's

My submission for Illustration Friday's "80's" is from a silkscreened limited edition I printed in 1984. The title is "Blind Date" and it is at least 16 colours that I can count right now. I will look it up to be exact but it's a lot of passes under the screen, registration is tight, probably 150 sheets of paper went under the screen at least 16 times. I buried colour to create the shag carpet and did transparent white to change 16 colours into 32! Last year I submitted Strangers in the Night and I did a post called I never forget a face. Blind Date is the 3rd and final print of this little portfolio. I spent most of the 80's learning how to print and making lots of prints.

1.Strangers in the Night 1982
2 I never forget a face 1983
3.Blind Date 1984

Friday, January 05, 2007

Illustration Friday: Buzz

My submissions for Illustration Friday's "Buzz" are wine labels that I did for Justin VineYards in 1992. I have submitted Honey House on another occasion so I decided to go with the buzz from wine. I did these paintings for Justin in the early 90's when his wine was very limited edition and they built a beautiful bed & breakfast with wine tasting in Paso Robles.When they choose an artist you must paint the Vineyard so this was the perfect job for me! I met them in Topanga, they used to live here and they asked me if I knew the artist who painted Strumpeter, I laughed and told them I was the artist and they wanted me to do not only the main wine label but another one for a wine they were introducing called "Nebbiolo". My labels were well received and they won several awards! I thought that only wine was judged but they also judge labels too. My art adorned a Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Chardonnay. They made them in this yellow and a soft burgundy colour. They also did a poster of my label and people collect them. You can visit there site: