"Ain't Life Grand" by Kathy Hoynes 2004

"Ain't Life Grand" by Kathy Hoynes  2004

21 May 2007

The Artist Myth

Just where did the destitute, intense, depressed, bohemian, oddly dressed and insanely talented artist myth come from? Is it true? And why the heck don't I have an artist's statement?????

I'd say somewhere between Vincent Van Gogh, la Belle Epoque and the writings of Jack Kerouac, the myth of the modern artist was born. Remember the good old days, when artists were gainfully employed by a wealthy patron or better yet, ego crazed royalty who wanted to present a pretty face to the world. After all, it was due to the artistic license of Hans Holbien that Henry VIII chose wife #4, only to discover that in person Anne of Cleves looked more sow's ear than silk purse...or as Henry put it "a horse's arse" But I digress...

Yup, I wear a lot of black. Too much actually, but it makes deciding what to wear so much easier. I would not call myself depressed. Often boring. Always dull. But never depressed. The closest I get to anything bohemian is listening to Queen. I'm not intense but the prescription in my tri-focal lenses (oh the humiliation!!!) do make my eyes look a little odd. Regarding that starving artist connotation - been there, still there, don't see that ever changing. And as far as that talent thing...well, it's always come naturally. Looking back, I sometimes wish I had a degree to make those resumes look more impressive. Yet I know what my ability and knowledge is and I'm perfectly comfortable with the works I produce. On the roads I travel there is always something to learn, to see, to remember, to create.

Thinking about some of my friends, only one falls slightly into the myth area but she's not exactly destitute and her fashion sense is to die for. As a whole most of the artists I know are rather nondescript aside from their ability to create beautiful things.

I have never resided in a garret (or worn a beret, though if I did, it would be black) and I have never had the luxury of a studio. Shattering the myth even further, I find the most comfortable place to create is sitting crossed legged on the floor and most times it's on a dog bed with a greyhound curled up against my back. I seldom do formal sketching. My sketches looks like a 3 year olds doodles on a cocktail napkin and my sketchbooks are primarily used to write shopping lists. I do need to prepare if I'm working in watercolour but as far as pen & ink, I just grab my pen & a sheet of paper and go. When people ask me how I do the things I do, I'm lost for an answer. The art just happens.

CRIPE! I think I just made a statement.


19 May 2007

On this spot....

When I moved into "historic Catlin Court", little did I know that I was living in a real historic house. On 17 May, my home was presented with a bronze plaque, which is now proudly displayed at my front door, announcing to the world and the unsuspecting public at large that it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Well as far as I know George Washington didn't sleep here, which would have been a historic feet in itself as my house was built 120 years after he died. Country singer Marty Robbins lived on the next block but I don't think he ever dropped in. And Jordin Spark's mom had a gift shop about 2 blocks away from my place but alas, she didn't come by either. About the only thing that happened "on this historic spot" is that my favorite homeless cat Charger takes a nap in the sun sprawled out in the middle of the front porch every day about 2pm.

So if you plan on dropping by for a visit, my house is vey easy to find. If you spot a very overweight cat snoring happily in a sunbeam while a woman in paint splattered jeans frantically polishes a 5 pound historic plaque with 4 or 5 greyhounds looking out the window, you've got the right place!


07 May 2007

Say "cheese"!!!

I decided to take the big step and purchase a real camera. No, I have not been using a Playskool model but I do have a little cutie - Canon's ELPH, It's handy, takes fine photos and has oodles of useless gizmos and doohickeys but I needed a camera that would not only take sharp, precise photos of my artwork but also enable me to capture the pups running around the yard...or wandering around with no clue, looking for bugs.

Enter the Canon EOS Rebel XTi with 10.1 pixels, a 2.5" LCD monitor, a couple of lenses, a way too heavy extra flash, tripod, lots of media cards, an awesome non-Coach camera bag and oodles of new & improved super duper gizmos and doohickeys.


To echo the words of legendary photographer and Olympus spokes model Cheryl Tiegs - I can't tell the difference between a lense opening and a Broadway opening.

WHY did I get real camera???? WHAT was I thinking???? Was I out of my depth??? And most important...HOW THE HECK DO I TURN THIS THING ON?????

After a few days of reading the instructions and attempting to push buttons with the hope I would not blow anything up, I got the hang of it. Heck, these digital SLRs are so easy any monkey can do it. It's much easier than my grandfather's vintage Canon Canonet. And I am having tons of fun taking photos of everything. I'm planning on taking a photograpy class or two. And who knows...if I come up with something interesting, I might add "photographer" to my list of talents.

Say "cheese"!!!!