Trying Something Different
Return Of The Jedi
Ok. This needs to be said. This is a battle with my own light and dark side of the force. Like most of my generation, I was raised on Star Wars. Leia, Han, Chewie, Luke, Obi-Wan, Yoda. Who can forget C3PO, R2, or the Ewoks. All seared into my child brain. The cantina and Jaba, Boba Fett and DARTH VADER!!! Every moment and fight sequence. The magic and wonder of the force, this amazing connection to ancient mythology and spirituality. Amazing special and visual effects that pushed filmmaking to a new level, and have stood the test of time to look good by today's standards. The original trilogy was and is arguably some of the best sci-fi films ever. We all loved them and they are not only part of our childhood, but part of our culture and identity. I was never a crazy fan, but thats the point of a cultural icon, everyone experiences it. I know that the characters and emotions portrayed led me to think of film and story telling differently. We all felt the love of Leia and Han, and the heartbreak of losing him to carbonite. The ultimate shock and betrayal of a father and the dark side. We always hoped for a completion of the story, even though more and more time passed.
At the turn of the century, the excitement was palpable when they were finally making the prequels, and no one could wait to buy tickets. Then it happened. Lucas shat on all of our hopes and memories. They were terrible. Not terrible for a movie in general, after all, they all packed some major star power. But terrible for Star Wars. It was NOT Star Wars.
There are so many reasons that we have collective amnesia about the whole trilo-stinking poo. They took the force, and boiled it down to "Midi-chloreans", bullshit lazy story telling that basically said you have tiny creatures who control you and "the force" is a virus. They scrapped the special/practical effects for digital effects that looked dated almost the moment they came out. Anakin had no arc whatsoever, and went from a sweet kid, to a whiny emo teenager/mass murderer. I did not give a shit about him, or his struggle with the light and the dark side. There was no struggle. He was a weak tit, who couldn't keep it in his pants. I feel bad for Natalie Portman, who had to act against that. There was zero chemistry between the two, and it was like watching the most awkward, creepy first date over and over again. We had to sit through what seemed like hours of boring political backstory which was muddled, unclear and slow. They killed off Darth Maul, Qui-Gon and SAMUEL L JACKSON, the only interesting characters!!! The Stormtroopers and their clone-y beginnings were glossed over and used as an excuse to showcase yet another new shiny digital alien race. And finally, Jar Jar. WTF.
At this point, I'm out. I know I have seen them all, but I have no emotional investment in any of them. Some of my friends have told me: "watch clone wars, it's actually really good". NO. That should not be a sad consolation prize to try to explain and fix the damage that was done. They should have done a better job telling the story in the movies, so I don't have to be convinced to watch a cartoon.
The prequels messed it up so much that I just gave up. I was so disappointed in what they had become, that wanted nothing to do with them, and I have had a bad taste in my mouth for years.
Cut to 2016. They are at it again. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Part one of the final trilogy to end the epic story. I put off seeing it, even though it was everywhere. Everyone I knew said it was great, said I should see it. Oh the hype, the merchandise! But I had been burned. Finally, I gave in. It couldn't possibly be worse than Clone Wars.
THIS is Star Wars. This is what the prequels failed so miserably at creating. It has everything that we have been missing and instills that feeling of nostalgia as well as wanting to know what happens next. The effects are there, they look right, they sound right. The creatures and aliens are there, like they look like they are physically THERE! It is great and really makes you think that the prequels happened in a different dimension. This is the true Star Wars universe. I loved it. It has the feeling and the soul of the originals, and so easily and quickly transports us right there into the next chapter of our beloved friends of the force.
I looked back over all of the movies, and something stood out to me. Lucas directed "A New Hope" (largely the least favorite of the originals-power converters anyone?). He also directed ALL THREE of the prequels. He did not direct the best of the originals, and now JJ Abrams has taken the helm and pulled it out of the shit soup created over a decade ago. Now, I know he literally created Star Wars, but I think we have learned he should NOT be anywhere near the director's chair.
I have also been incredibly surprised at how few spoilers there have been. I was able to watch it, months after it came out, and experience everything like new. I have new found faith in the force, and the Jedi have definitely returned.
May The Force Be With You.
We have a hard time defining our relationship with law enforcement. On the one hand, we LOVE it! think of how much we love good guys taking down bad guys. We are glued to the television and movie screens watching our favorite boys (or girls) in blue smash down doors, solve the crime, and get the bad guy.
Hill Stree Blues, The A Team, Chips, The Beat, Law and Order, Bones, Sherlock, The Commish, The Shield, Brooklyn 99, In Plain Sight, Bad Boys, Robo-Cop, Castle, Walking Dead, who can forget Lethal Weapon and Dirty Harry, the list goes on and on. There is an entire Wiki page devoted to Police Dramas.
They are the closest thing we have to super heroes in our own universe. They represent the piety and justice that we hope to have. We infuse so much and such high standards on these people, that we forget they are people.
On the other hand, we use our inherent rejection of authority to point out every flaw and reason we should hate it. When they fall from that grace, they fall hard. When one, or many of these protecters and knights in shining blue and black does something bad, it crushes us.
Thats why it hurts so much, thats why we are so crushed when we see someone abusing that power. Our Knights in shining blue and black, when they take the role of the bad guy, it shatters our sense of safety, and all that security and faith turns to resentful anarchy. Its like finding out there is no santa, your lover breaks your heart and your parents cheat on each other all on the same day.
I don't know what to do about this dichotomy, we have to find a balance and be able to put our faith, love and respect for these amazing people who put their lives on the line for us, and holding those accountable who abuse that power.
Not all cops are bad, but some bad people become cops.
Take a Breath
I am a person who is both a risk taker and scared of change. I can be impulsive as well as riddled with anxiety. It is an interesting predicament. I have recently ventured into a business with a couple of friends. A painting class for adults...with booze. Its a fun thing, come in, get a drink, learn to paint. A unique and creative way to spend your evening. It's called Art Goggles, and takes place at a Brewery owned by my friend. Along with another artist, the three of us have jumped in. We kick started it the weekend of Valentine's Day. It was fun, and honestly went better than I thought it would. We had a pretty good turnout, especially for a first time.
It was interesting, because I am a very social person and have had a lot of experience being in front of crowds, but somehow it felt foreign. I was nervous, almost like i was auditioning, or at an interview. I guess I just haven't done this sort of thing in a while. I also felt excited, for the same reason. We are planning on making it a regular monthly thing, so I will have time to perfect my teaching style and get into a groove.
It is only February, and this year is promising to hold a treasure trove of new experiences, both good and bad. As I said, I am a risk taker. Much to the chagrin of my family. It has gotten me into trouble on more than one occasion, but has also lead me to some of the best things in my life. I learn from experience, my own rather than others. I find that this usually makes things stick better than just seeing someone else go through it.
Because of this duality, I find myself having my hand forced to take a leap of faith sometimes. If I worry about it too much, I will talk myself into, or out of it. The cosmos conspires to give me an ultimatum, and more often than not, the cosmos it right.
Welcome to the new hub for all of your Golden Spiral needs! This month has brought a new year and a whole host of new enterprises for me. I officially started my business, Golden Spiral Designs. It is funny how something so daunting was actually quite easy. for $35, you too can start a business (not really). I have been putting a huge amount of effort into getting a presence online, with online stores, links, Facebook pages and now this site! I figured it would be a lot easier and efficient to have everything in one spot! Getting everything ready, uploaded, linked, sized, priced etc. is quite exhausting! I also am embarking on a business venture with some longtime friends called "Art Goggles". This is one of those fun activities you've heard about where you go to a bar/restaurant, drink some wine and paint! It should be lots of fun, and I am excited to get it going! we are set to launch for Valentine's Day, and it promises to be a romance filled event! In going through everything, I have come across work of mine that hasn't seen the light of day in years. Looking back at my older stuff really makes me see the progress I've made, and how my choices change. I have re-touched a few old pics and others see the spotlight long forgotten. It is great and I feel a new sense of determination and excitement for what's next!
Remembering to Communicate
Here are the first two in a new series I am working on. I really love working on black paper and the human form. I started them as a way to get back to basics. I have been doing a lot of complex, vibrant pieces, so I thought this would be a nice change. I always have to remind myself that change is good. It's hard at first, but inevitably, I always feel better once I have accepted it. I am working on another two, and maybe more. They are a lot of fun.
I just started going through my art room, I have to pack it up to do some re-modeling, and i found my sketch books from as far back as high school. I used to journal a whole lot. I have found that writing things down helps me a great deal when I am working through something emotional or creatively blocked. It was really neat going through all of my past work, thinking about what was going on in my life. It is a great reference to my life. I am glad I have always kept them and continue to use them as a sort of therapy. I sometimes get lost in the sentiments and feelings and memories they bring back. I have forgotten quite a bit of my life already. Its good to have those reminders and memories. I love the nostalgic feeling. I also think it is very cool to look at my evolution as an artist. Some of my work seems like another person did it. I still find things that i love and am proud of. I can see the beginnings of my themes and subject matter. Some ideas were just not ready six years ago, but I can create them now. Other creations and themes I have left behind, like an old lover, to be sealed in time with fondness. I hope that, in another ten years, I can look back at my work now and think the same thing.
First off, this is not a depressed rant. More of an intellectual musing. I have found that I have a very hard time letting go of people. Maybe it stems from my own fear of being forgotten. It is rare that my feelings for someone change. If I like you, I will probably always like you. If you were ever my friend, I will most likely love to pickup right where we were. I will always call you back, I will always remember what it was like, and how we had fun. I miss people terribly, and I frequently wish old friends would get back in touch. I have many friends whom I don't agree with about politics or religion, but I still consider them friends. I'm not sure how people do it. How can people just stop being friends. There has to be something huge to make me not want to have a relationship with someone. Is this the same for others? It makes me think that I have done something to make them just want to forget me. It is troubling, and I don't know how to reconcile it within myself. I understand that life changes, and situations change. People move, and grow up. Life gets busy and goals change, but a good friend is always a good thing. I'd like to think that I am a good friend. I'd like to think that I am unforgettable, like most people, I imagine. I thrive on human contact. Maybe others just don't. They don't need others around to stimulate their intellect or to empathize with the human experience. I just don't get how you can have such a connection with another person, share moments, experiences and feelings, and then nothing. I am not someone who feels awkward or regrets any experience, good or bad, with someone. I think it all is part of the tapestry that is the relationship. Anyway, that is all.
Skulls and Memories
This summer I have finished six pieces and am working on three more. I finally finished a piece I started three years ago, and did a very personal and cathartic self-portrait. Now I have started two different series, the Pin-up girls who are simultaneously sexy, nostalgic and a little frightening and a few dealing with the concept of macro/micro and timeless.
I am finding it hard to NOT paint. My mind wanders and I feel most at peace when creating. I think about my youth and listen to music. I can recall exactly what I was doing and how I felt when I first heard a song. Some memory or feeling a decade old will come flooding back. I love music. I relate music to people a lot of the time. Metallica and The Scorpions remind me of Jon, my husband. Actually, a lot of music does. The summer we got together, now almost two decades ago. The Beatles remind me of middle school and my friends "Barney" and Jessica. We used to listen to the LPs and try to find hidden messages. And then Celerah and existential conversations well into the wee hours. James Brown makes me think of Derek and his huge JNCOs, we would drive around in his white cruiser he would talk about Arizona. I think about clubbing in Denver and listening to Fatboy Slim
These moments flood over me, like I am watching a movie of my life. "Paradise Circus" by Massive Attack makes me think of my friend Ben, and hanging out cooking. I think of snippets and smells, what I was feeling and a something I shared with someone else. "Hotel California" brings back images of my twenty year friendship with Brynn, and how much we have grown up together. And, of course, Led Zeppelin is my mom. Movies too. Edward Scissorhands, Clue, Ghostbusters, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and Beetlejuice all take me back to my childhood and my sister and brother.
It is amazing to me how much of what is happening in popular culture shapes who you are. I just watched Baz Luhrmann's Romeo And Juliet and I am instantly transported to 1996 and high school shenanigans.
Time is a strange thing, it is something that has puzzled humanity for centuries. We are constantly trying to stop it, reverse it, travel forwards and backwards. Leap and travel through some indescribable void. To see beyond ourselves or recapture a moment. That is what makes art so beautiful. Art is time travel. That feeling, that memory takes you back in time. Looking at a galaxy five hundred thousand lightyears away is looking back in time. I work to create a frozen moment, capture a feeling or a thought.
I think that is why music, film, painting etc. are so important and wonderful. We can time travel in the comfort of our own homes, in our cars, museums and movie theaters.
Shakespeare is timeless, by the way.
Giant Heads and Octopi
First, here's this....Just finished .More on that in a moment.
This summer has been a cleansing breath of fresh air. Not only have we been getting a record amount of rain, but I feel like I can breathe for the first time in a long while. I quit my job teaching with public school. It was figuratively sucking my soul. I know it was the right decision, and I feel a sense of freedom. I weep for the future though. I'm going to go off on a tangent here, but bare with me.
The state of public education in this country is at a breaking point and I don't want to be there when the shit goes down. The system is pure merde and I hate saying it, but I know it's going to have to FAIL before it gets better. Parents need to be more involved, take on responsibility and quit blaming teachers. Teachers worth should not be contingent on test scores and canned curriculum. We NEED to bring back art, music, shop class, dance and at least half an hour of recess every day! We need yoga and calisthenics. "no child left behind" is bullshit, instead of raising the level of all the students, it lowers standards and holds kids back. Gifted, enriched and honors classes are nothing but good for fostering achievement and advancement, plus they keep smart kids from getting bored and getting into trouble. Remedial classes are great for helping kids who are struggling. How the hell did it get this bad?! Common Core isn't much better. Yes, it is a good idea to have a standardized curriculum of sorts, so that we have a general assurance that kids in Vermont will learn the same stuff as kids in Alabama, but it still is so flawed. The original design and implementation was totally derailed when they got rid of the teachers who developed it in favor of the people who make and sell the standardized tests. How Effed up is that? the people who profit from the tests should NOT be in charge of what we teach! Alright, I'll get off my soap box...for now... heres a palette cleanser..
So, back to the octopus. I just finished this bad boy. I started it in July of 2012, after a deeply emotional episode. It sat, static, a frantic background in emotional turmoil. For months. After I got pregnant, I new I wanted it to be an octopus, so i got into it. Little did I know the sheer magnitude of 750+ suction cups. Suffice it to say, I had to take a break from it again. I had everything done, but it wasn't finished, you know? So every once in a while I would glare at it, staring back at me with that rectangular pupil. As I said before, this summer has been great. I have had a burst of creative energy and it has been cathartic. I finished the octopus, finally, and I feel it is complete. I like it too, so...there's that.
I have also completed the first self portrait I have done in I don't know how many years. I'm not a fan of doing them, but in light of my recent health issues, self-exploration and evaluation, I thought it would be good. It didn't start out as a selfie, but I couldn't stop it once it started
Now, keep in mind that both of these are 3 feet by 4 feet. Thus, giant head. I feel good about them both. And, I am still flush with creative juju. Until then, stay classy Burque.
This is my most recent piece, it is very personal. It has taken me a while to get it out, and has been very therapeutic.
So, it has been tough. it is hard to be creative on command. i have been able to have some time to myself to get some work done, but a whole lot of nothing happened, so i just stated sketching and doodling. it was crap. but i kept on keepin' on and eventually i noticed i kept seeing things in the clouds. you know, animals, buildings, creatures... it was then that i realized that i was getting some creative juices flowing. i also realized that i needed to listen to music, very loud music while i worked. it proved fruitful. i am currently working on three paintings and i feel good about them. i also feel better in general. very cathartic. i have noticed that i am a bit melancholy and in a very "remember-y" mood. I find myself thinking about the past, maybe three, four years ago. i hope that painting will release some of my angst and i can focus on the present and future perhaps. anyway, there it is.
This Blog serves as a place for my ramblings and commentary. I write about my process and sometimes verbally vomit. Enjoy