Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Believe in Being Festive

When I started thinking about putting pieces of my work together to sell, I decided that I would group pieces in collections with a common theme. One of the collections is titled," My Philosophy." No serious or high brow subject matter here. It is instead, my philosophy on the little things in life (which are the only things I've mastered thus far)

I started making a list of the things that I believe and believe in; they're the little things that make me happy and maybe even explain who I am a little bit. For instance, I believe in singing as loud as possible in the car. I believe that sunglasses complete an outfit. I believe in having a favorite historical figure. While we're on the subject, I believe in being nerdy and being proud of it!

I also believe in being festive and celebrating everything! Major holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries of  important events are always more enjoyable with decorations, special music or even an ugly sweater. It's all about getting into the spirit of whatever you're celebrating and making the day a little more extraordinary.

This past week I got into the spirit and celebrated Bastille Day. I love Paris and I love history. And no other day puts those two things together like Bastille Day. If you're not familiar, it is somewhat similar to our Independence Day in the way it is celebrated with parades and music. The holiday is generally noted for marking the start of the French Revolution in 1789 (a favorite subject of mine.)

 I filled the house with the sound of french music; a little Edith Piaf and a little La Vie en Rose while I made french onion soup and creme brulee. Instead of watching some revolution themed movie on TCM as usual, a friend and I went to the Getty Museum. They are currently having a special Parisian exhibit which I was especially eager to see. We walked through the rooms admiring the ornate yet everyday clothes, the french-latin dictionary, tapestries, portraits, writing sets, and so much more.

For me, being festive and celebrating even the smaller things gives me something special to look forward to. It adds a little extra joy to the day. And it gives me an excuse to acknowledge the things I love. Bastille Day 2011 was a success. Next on my list of celebrations is Christmas in July!

Monday, July 11, 2011

"You Can Call Me {JHistory Girl}"

It's summer vacation and I have all of July off from work. That means that I finally get to work on projects that I've been eyeing for the past few weeks and months. I want to work on learning more about my genealogy, practice my french on my Rosetta Stone, finish the 340 page book I've been reading for roughly the past five months, scrapbook and paint!

I've been a little artist as long as I can remember. One of my teachers from high school inspired me to get my Associate's Degree in art after she asked me to illustrate a book for her. From there, it was my travels that really inspired me to pick up the pencil and draw. In the two years since my trip to Paris I've just been sketching away.

I've received dozens of compliments on my work and even some requests by friends and family for original pieces. It's validating, fun and a joyful way to spend my time. But I thought to myself, wouldn't it be nice to actually get paid for some of these pieces? We've all seen the canvases hanging in galleries with solid blocks of paint with an apparent lack of artistic skill and not to mention those Jackson Pollock pieces (nothing against Pollock!).... So if those kinds of pieces can be successful, why can't I sell a couple of mine?

However, in preparing to get a couple pieces ready for sale, some self-doubt has started to creep in the past few days. This evening my mind flashed to the episode of Sex & the City where "The Russian," was questioning the quality and inspiration of his own art. He was concerned that people would think he and his light installations would be regarded as "silly." That's how I was feeling; like my work wasn't good enough. But hey, maybe I just need to "Carrie" on. (haha, get it?) Who knows, maybe my work will end up in Paris one day and I'll be a big hit at an opening, just like "The Russian." Wish Me Luck!

I better get back to that summer to-do list. Those items won't check themselves off!