Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A new painting

in between wrapping up current drawing and painting classes i've been trying to get my own painting in. i've been semi-successful. pictured here is a new piece ready to be painted. working title, Pure Joy.

i hope everyone has a wonderful end of year. its always this time where we reflect and think of the ups and down of months past. ultimately this has been a successful year for me with a new boyfriend, a new (and improved) home for the dog and i, even a new car, and many important lessons learned career wise. i still have a ways to go to where i want to be, but i'm looking forward an even more succesful year in 2012. cheers to all!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oh, occupy this!

occupy wall street! occupy boston! occupy rome! oh, occupy this! protesters trying to speak out against corporate greed have prolonged their camp out nearly a month now and are wrecking havoc on residents and small businesses. no longer are the big guys being hurt (if they are at all, despite some minor embarrassment), but it's the little guys these protesters are purportedly standing up for, who are being most affected. cities around the world are taking much of the same action, but none have produced any results, nor have i heard or read any feasible solutions for them to agree to and decide to pack up and move on. just last week i was dropping off my boyfriend at the train station here in our home of boston and i caught sight of the protesters in the business district. my first thought at seeing the crowd, "these are former hippies of the sixties who never quite moved on". my second thought, "so, this is where the homeless and degenerates have migrated too." i realize these comments may seem harsh, and i know friends will be stunned to find i typed this, but unfortunately beyond the message that their signs read, i haven't seen any positive results that speak to people. i admire the drive, organization, and courage that these people have shown, but now it seems all the good they had hoped to produce will likely not happen, at least not in the way they hoped for. continue to educate the masses, but in more productive ways. it was a good show, friends, now get out! isn't their a plan b?

PS: i hope i'm shown up, and things DO work out for the little guy.
further reading:

The Official Occupy Wall Street website

The Wall Street Journal reports on the affects of small businesses.

Aquaman saved my Saturday morning!

remember when saturday morning cartoons were fun? man, as a child of the '80s/'90s i sure do and boy, do i miss it! my love of comic books is no secret so when i came across the two disc dvd set of the 1967 animated series, The Adventures of Aquaman, for under ten dollars, i was thrilled! truthfully i wasn't expecting much. aquaman, dc comics' king of the seven seas had been a minor favorite hero from my childhood, but despite some fun adventures in printed form, his less than memorable adventures beside other favorites like wonder woman and superman in the super friends show were ... eh. it's too bad too, because not only is aquaman fast on land and sea, super strong and durable, but he has the unique ability to communicate and command any oceanic creature telepathically. oh, and don't forget that not only is he the protector of two thirds of our planet, he also happens to be king of the sunken city of atlantis. most of this is shown in simple form in The Adventures of Aquaman, but the simplistic nature of a hero using his powers to defeat enemy after enemy who would threaten his underwater home, well, it's just plain fun! i find it odd that sharks, whales, and even dolphins can do battle with the more fierce and often mechanical foes they're ordered to face, but it seems none are harmed in their fight for good. aquaman even has a teenage sidekick, ala robin to batman, but while aqualad does get in the way from time to time, the young hero is competent in his crime fighting for the most part. i would have loved that as a child watching this show in the late sixties! there's tusky, the comedic walrus, and mera, aquaman's female "friend" who needs rescuing regularly (?!), but aquaman himself is a thrilling and confident hero out to protect the oceans. watching all thirty-six episodes i unwittingly got caught up in the excitement and found a new respect for the hero who would be portrayed as a third or fourth wheel next to his fellow justice league compatriots. i definitely have a new favorite show to watch every saturday morning, this one on dvd.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Album review: 'Drama', Bananarama

i have not heard a more perfect pop album than Drama by bananarama, released in 2005. from beginning to end a listener is engaged to dance, sing along, and often times, hit the repeat button. uptempo sex-tinged songs like "look on the floor", "move in my direction", "feel for you", and "i love the way" flow perfectly through, Drama, harmonizing the voices of bandmates keren woodward and sara dallin magnificently. "waterfalls" and (my favorite) "middle of nowhere" are the album's only ballads amid this collection of dancefused tracks, but proves bananarama can diversify their sound, if only slightly. my enjoyment of Drama caused me to look back at bananarama's discography and discover other gems i had previously missed. the duo's latest album is 2009's, Viva.

Album review: 'Do It In the AM', Frankmusik

i had never heard of frankmusik or of his 2009 album, complete me, but upon discovering of his music on itunes, i was excited to find that his latest album would drop this month. frankmusik's unabashed pop/dance is fun, but with some sincere thought provoking lyrics that makes listeners wonder just what lies within the artist's heart. the title track, "do it in the AM", is a fun club bumper, but much of the beginning of, Do It In the AM, is so-so and generic, little standing out from other music being produced today. it's not until the album's fifth song, "the fear inside of me", that this record develops its own retro style, reminiscent of '80s and '90s music. overall i like frankmusik's sophomore album, but it breezes through in just over a half an hour, leaving me feeling like there should be more to offer. strangely enough, two songs featuring duets, "no ID" (ft. collette carr) and "no champagne" (ft. natalia kills) are my least favorite tracks and actually grate on me. i can't exactly explain why, but maybe it's because the album's guest don't match well with the star's own voice. overall, Do It In the AM, is an above average album that i will listen to over and over.

Album review: 'Here I Am', Kelly Rowland

when kelly rowland released her first single and explosive dance hit, "commander", for her latest album over a year ago, i couldn't wait for more! three more singles were released over the course of several months that i also loved, "rose colored glasses", "forever and a day", and "grown woman". Disappointingly these songs did not chart top and were not added to, Here I Am, a collection of ten songs that attempt to blend an urban/r&b vibe with a strong dance sound. unfortunately there isn't much of a balance between the two musical genres and it almost seems like there are two different albums instead of a single whole. and the songs aren't all that memorable, even after listening to the album several times. the exceptions being, "commander", "all of the night", and the most recently released single, the sexy collaboration with rapper, 'lil wayne, "motivation". but three good songs aren't enough to sustain a full album and Here I Am ultimately failed to hold my interest weeks after purchase. i discovered a deluxe edition with additional material on itunes and immediately fell in love with the erotic and bouncy, "each other". i love rowland's voice, energy, and when the song allows, passion, but the album doesn't provide enough punch for me to recommend this to friends. since rowland famously split from the group, destiny's child, in 2002, it seems the artist has been looking for her own distinct sound. judging by Here I Am, kelly rowland is still searching.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Art Class With Mr. Wilber: Student Art Show

check out the latest blog on my other site.

Art Class With Mr. Wilber: Student Art Show: The Youth Summer Student Art Show at the Worcester Art Museum runs till October 11th -- check it out!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Final playlist of summer 2011

i personally don't feel this has been a great summer of music, but that's not to say i haven't discovered or rediscovered some classics from years past. this will be most likely my last playlist of the season that i post, but i'm pleased to report that although this year's summer has been -- blase, it should end with a bang as my boyfriend and i have plans to end the month with a tour of southern mexico. cheers to all!

Video Playlist Vol. !0

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

National night out 2011

i'm very pleased to have been asked to helm the worcester art museum's booth for tonight's special event happening all across the united states. national night out was created to promote safe and drug-free neighborhoods and partnerships with law enforcement officials. i'll be promoting summer session two classes and future fall classes for which scholarships through our outreach department are available. while talking about the positive programming we offer, my assistants and i will be working to make windsock kites with young attendees - should be lots of fun! the party runs from 4-8pm, on bell hill, the corner of Belmont St and Oak Ave. check your local city or town announcements to see if there is a national night out celebration in your area.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer music for 2011

i'll be honest, this has not been a great year for movies or music. i haven't felt driven to buy a single album this summer, when usually, i'm at my peak of craving for new sounds to listen to on the beach, long road trips, etc. of the four movies i've caught at the theater, i thoroughly enjoyed one, had fun with another, and the rest hardly met my expectations. below is a link of a few jams i can't get out of my head, unfortunately, not many of them are original, rather remixes from songs of old. while that does take a sort of creative genius, mostly it has me looking up music i listened to in the late '80s and early '90s. anyway, it's not the be all or end all of summer, but i had higher hopes for new music to help complete this, my favorite time of year.

Video Playlist Vol. 9

*if you've missed any of my playlists check out my YouTube channel!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer schedule

i can't believe summer 2011 is already here! here's a partial list of classes i'll be teaching for the worcester art museum.

June 27-July 1
(Northborough Recreation Center)

Art Safari (5-7 years old)
Go on an amazing exploration of creativity and your wildest imagination! Students, using a multitude of various materials, will develop a stronger sense of the elements of design by creating 2D and 3D projects culminating in semi-life like make believe jungle composed of real and mythological beasts. All art classes have a basis of art history and self-esteem building.

FUNdementals of Sculpture (8-12 years old)
Students will start with basic sculpting materials and tools to produce individual pieces of art inspired by various works exhibited at the museum or favorite personal artists. As the week progresses so will the creativity! Surprises are in store for all involved as this learning experience expands a child's imagination and basic understanding of the fundamentals of sculpture!

July 11-22

Draw, Sketch, Create
(5-7 years old)
Explore artwork in the galleries and learn to sketch what you see. Then, create your own drawing masterpieces in the studio.

(8-10 years old)
Experiment with drawing materials and focus on basic shapes, composition, texture and volume. View art and learn how to draw the world around you in new ways.

August 8-12

Drawing Your World (8-10 years old)
Explore landscape, cityscape and dreamscape in the galleries. Then draw your own beautiful world using inks, watercolors, oil pastels and other drawing materials.

Express Yourself! (8-10 years old)
Get inspired in the Museum and let loose your creativity. Experiment in sculpture, printmaking, paint and other materials to develop fun, colorful and experimental projects.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The music from which I was raised

yes it's true, i was raised on disco. anyone who has followed my posts, blogs, or video playlists knows i love to do dance, so did my mother. my younger brother and i danced most of our childhood while mom cooked, cleaned, did aerobics, or wanted to cheer herself up -- all the while playing music from the mid-seventies to early eighties, many of the songs that are a part of this fifth video playlist. so get get down!

Video Playlist Vol. 5

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Why i love wonder woman

dc comics has been publishing wonder woman for seventy years. recent changes with the comic book have long-time fans in an uproar. a new costume and origin, along with a more aggressive attitude originally generated to bring greater attention to the feminist icon seems to have backfired. with less and less positive public reaction becoming apparent as monthly sales continue to decline. that doesn't mean dc is done trying to "revitalize" wonder woman for a more modern audience by making her even more edgier, as seen in this promo shot of the all new justice league, Details Emerge on DC's Relaunch. currently the amazon princess is embroiled in a massive dc comics crossover involving an altered timeline where wonder woman is a murderous tyrant having conquered the united kingdom with her army of amazons. this coupled with rumors that the failed wonder woman tv pilot starred an overly violent amazon princess. fans of the superheroine have had enough of a blood thirsty wonder woman and want a return of the peace loving character known for being stronger than heracles, swifter than hermes, wise as athena, and as beautiful as aphrodite.

christie marston, the granddaughter of wonder woman creator, william moulton marston, and co-curator of the wonder woman family museum has implored wonder woman fans to speak out their frustration to the changes made and implore dc comics to return the wonder woman we all know and love. what follows is the letter i drafted to christie yesterday evening.

Dear Christie, I was moved when you announced a call to arms among long-time Wonder Woman fans in hope that we could explain why we're fans of the Amazing Amazon, particularly what it is that makes the Princess of Paradise Island so special among the DC Comics pantheon of heroes. The answer is simple, Wonder Woman, a strong, intelligent, and beautiful female, strives to make a difference in the world besides using just her fists or sex appeal. Growing up in the late Eighties, I started reading the comic book with the George Perez reboot following Crisis of Infinite Earths. Perez presented a very vocal character who strived to bring peace to a war torn world past the shores of her island home. Even before Crisis, Wonder Woman was known for bringing her foes to Reformation Island in attempts to reform her enemies, a unique characteristic of our favorite heroine. Princess Diana made allies of the Cheetah, Circe, Silver Swan and more. Wonder Woman also prevented a third world war by defeating Ares, the God of War, using only the power of truth, the heroine's greatest weapon utilized by her golden lasso. Also the element of fantasy, Paradise Island, the Greek gods -- this surely appealed to me as a child and sets Wonder Woman apart from Superman or Batman in her own fantastic fashion. Now as an adult, as an educator, I bring the values that I learned from Wonder Woman, a strong role model, a warrior of peace and equality from an exciting world of wonder, to a whole new generation. The key to all this is, that although Wonder Woman gets into physical altercations with her enemies, it's not before she tries to reason and subdue them with reason and understanding. As of late it seems the creators behind Wonder Woman may have forgotten the core sensibility of the heroine I've been following for over twenty years, but I'm hopeful that this iconic character will return to basics sooner than later.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My latest painting

this untitled piece was done for a client for her cape house. the inspiration for this dyptic is the ocean, the need for color in the room it's to be displayed, shapes of objects that interested me in the room, and the earthiness the entire house invokes. it's surprisingly less complicated image-wise compared to past works, yet still painstakingly detailed in my own visual style.

as with other recent paintings, i've wrapped a second border (or layer) of canvas and newspaper around the edges of each stretched painting to give a sense of depth and slight tactility.

i was pleased how some of the added layer of material withered away after being painted and the canvas underneath shown through.

originally intended to be a triptych, the simplistic nature of the design chosen by the client from various sketches of mine fit better on two 15"x30" canvases. the diptych better breaks up the space of the wall the painting will be assigned to.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My moment of a lifetime

it's no secret that i've been a fan of actress/singer lynda carter and because of her, wonder woman, the amazon princess who rights wrongs and often makes allies of enemies, a character carter famously portrayed in the mid to late seventies on television. flash forward to now and lynda is on a cd signing tour with barnes & noble promoting her third album (which I blogged about not long ago). i finally had my moment of a lifetime when i met the woman who inspired me to read comic books, that germinated my interest in art, and thus my teaching art as a career!

almost two hours before lynda was due to appear a line began to form. my boyfriend and i decided i would wait in line with cd in hand while he fetched lunch, we would eat while we waited. the crowd was a mix of anxious lifelong fans of lynda and curious onlookers hoping to catch sight of the latest celebrity to visit boston. i was pleased i made friends in the crowd to keep my mind of the clock and also to help forget my nervousness of meeting my childhood idol. without warning, lynda appeared thanking everyone for showing up! i was immediately taken aback at how strikingly beautiful this woman was -- a well earned reputation she garnered over the years.

almost immediately lynda began signing cd covers and answering questions. everyone was in awe, but lynda wasn't the least bit pretentious and seemed rather gracious to even those few fans who were ... over the top.

when my turn came to meet lynda i was afraid i would begin to babble, but lynda's poise and soft blue eyes seemed to help put me more at ease as i expressed my gratitude for the precious memories she gave me.

i couldn't contain my excitement when lynda realized who i was after a short facebook exchange days prior when i posted a painting of wonder woman done by one of my students (age 6)!

While our conversation was brief, this moment building up for over twenty something years will be unforgettable!

Getting ready for summer via music

the anticipation of my favorite season, summer, is quickly building as new music by popular artists hits the airwaves and i rediscover music from the past i may have overlooked. here's a new playlist that rapidly developed in a day or two time.

Video Playlist Vol. 4

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Beyond Wonder Woman there is a real chanteuse in lynda carter!

lynda carter has been all over the country in recent weeks promoting her third album, Crazy Little Things, from appearing on tv to touring her popular musical act in well-known clubs. major interest in carter stems from her role as television's original wonder woman as well as a new series starring the iconic character that's due to air later this year. but beyond the amazing amazon who regularly lassoed evildoers and the glamor carter has been exuding since the mid-seventies, there is a very soulful voice that is evident with this record. carter continues to take songs of bygone eras and adds her own twist with a little r&b, country, and rock & roll. these songs of different genres become a whole under carter's care into a more mellow contemporary blend. at first listen, my favorite remake was john denver's, "Leaving On a Jet Plane", a melodic ballad carter has now made all her own. also to compliment carter's vocals is an outstanding band that highlights the songstress in magnificent ways (check out, "Let the Good Times Role") into a perfect blend of harmonic beauty and excitement. friends who have seen carter's show tell me she and said band are amazing live, judging my what is heard with this cd, i would whole heartily agree. there are a few tracks that when listening you can't help but start shaking from side to side, "Choo Choo" being a prime example! overall this is a fun new album from a hollywood legend who's doing what she loves to do and the proof is here with, Crazy Little Things, available in record stores or online today.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Music to inspire you

getting to my painting studio outside of the state has proven difficult as of late so i'll be working on some creative projects from home as i have no classes to teach on mondays. i've created an extended playlist of tunes that have inspired me over the years in one form or another. perhaps you'll find they do (or have done) the same for you. cheers!

Video Playlist Vol. 3

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ready to dance?

it's a new month and i've created a new playlist of top 40, this one dedicated to motivate you to get out of your seat and dance! enjoy!

Video Playlist Vol. 2

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Staying fresh

i've always secretly appreciated my ability to stay ahead of so called trends, particularly those of music, art, and fashion. friends and newcomers alike often give me compliments for my tastes in clothes, music, activities, and creative ideas. the truth is, i made a conscious decision not to pay heed to popular followings, rather do my own thing whether it be the "in" thing or not. with that in mind, i believe it's important to stay fresh, to update one's appearance, perspective, musical playlists, food pallet, etc -- to always continue to read, learn, and listen. i can never have enough new experiences! the important thing is to do it for me, what i like is what i like, there doesn't always have to be a reason. my more serious concern is to never be bored or fall into a rut, which can easily happen to any one of us - always mix it up. haters out there will demand i'm no more unique than the next guy, i would possibly agree with that. perhaps it's my confidence that i simply don't care of people's opinion of me that brings me more attention than the average joe. truthfully, i can't answer that.

the idea of this latest blog came to me on the way home from the salon. on an impulse i made an appointment for a cut at a place i've never been to. the overall experience wasn't much different from past salon visits, but having a new pair of eyes and hands overseeing my 'do was worthwhile enough to feel less guilt for not scheduling time with my usual stylist. without realizing it the co-owner and i began to open up about the importance of staying current in his line of work, also about inspiration for the both of us, artists in two very different fields. the more i thought of staying current, the more i realized it's a battle of futility. trends and fads are always changing, sometimes at such a fast pace that it's impossible to keep up. i much prefer my way of staying true to ones self and not focused on what's more popular.

that's not to say i don't regularly watch early morning MTV for the latest music videos, or check out the current issues of GQ, Vanity Fair, or the like. in fact i cultivate my ideas for my personal "look" and my own art and even my art lessons for my students from a number of sources. as i write i've begun to understand that i look back, as much as i look now or to the future. i love fashion from bygone eras, as well as the album artwork of albums decades old. used book stores always have hidden gems. comic books have always inspired me, from wanting to help others, to being the best i can be. i could go on and on, but instead i've decided to create a short list of resources i like to use to stay away from being stagnate or dull. if you're reading this and have your own list, please email it to me, i'm always interested in new and bright ideas to aid me in staying fresh!
1. 100 Years of Fashion Illustration
2. Jody Watley: StyleFile - Jody Watley knows, music, fashion, health and has used her gifts to inspire her fans and more for over twenty years.
3. Amazon Archives - The Amazing Amazon, Wonder Woman, is a fictional character, but of all the comic book characters I've read since I was young, none have had more of an impact than DC Comic's premiere heroine.
4. DapperLou.com - Ludget Delcy is a stylist with a keen eye for fashion, not just for himself or clients, but of those in his world of New York City - awesome stuff.
5. LPCover Lover
6. Cher: Forever Fit - Laugh if you must, but this book originally published in '91, purchased by my aunt, set me on the path to a better life through fitness and nutrition. I was nine years old.

Friday, February 4, 2011

New year, new beginnings, and new music!

it's been a rough start for the new year. i've had no less than three accidents on the road, all weather related, coupled with numerous unpaid snow days. one can imagine how far in the dumps i've been, but i've been blessed with some wonderful new and steady friends in my life that allow me to see the brighter side of life. i've been seeking out new music and artists to help make every day a successful party in some form or another. friends often comment on the music i play in my studio, classroom, car, or those tunes i post on facebook. below is a link to the first video playlist i've created for everyone's enjoyment!

un_taco video playlist vol. 1