Art Adventures: Bucks on the Street

I went to Lenox Mall today. I wasn't planning on being there, but it turned out to be a fun trip. I didn't even buy anything! While walking around I saw these rather large buck (I said reindeer) statues all uniquely decorated and lined up in a row. They were each decorated by local artists and will be auctioned off to raise money for something......I can't remember. Luckily, the zoom on my camera works. The proceeds will be given to "Livable Buckhead" and will be used to create parks, trails, and green space in Buckhead.

Because I knew I was going to tell you about them, I took pictures. Take a look.

Aren't they cute? 

This one has quarters for buttons. It was sponsored by 5/3 Bank. 

He has a completely custom outfit.
They even gave him some chest hair...AND a furry tail.

I love the color treatment they did for his "fur." 
To see the rest of the bukks, or to bid on your own go to the Bucks on the Street website. It gives bios of the artists and the story behind each piece. Bidding starts at only $250, but you've gotta transport your buck yourself.


My Tree: 2012

I thought I wouldn't be in the spirit too much this year, but I was wrong. Christmas is going forward as usual. I finished the tree on Friday night, and decided to go light on decorating the house. Simply because I didn't want to spend two months trying to pakk everything up by myself. It's just too much for me. I did a good job. 

Mommy and I have had some interesting trees over the years. Purple and ivory. Red. Blue and silver for the millennium. We did red, white and blue, after 9.11. The last few years it's been candy colored. So when I told bf to pikk from the colors we already had, he said red, white and blue. Another patriotic tree. Well, I wasn't in a patriotic mood and I definitely wasn't going to buy a single thing. AT ALL. So, I switched the colors up a little and ended up with something I'm very happy with. 

Mommy, Grandma, and I (and maybe Auntie, I can't remember) made these red velvet bows for our all red tree many years ago. Since mommy and grandma are both gone, I decided that it was really important to included these on the tree this year. Unfortunately, some of them haven't survived the years and I had to toss quite a few, but I had enough to make an acceptable impact on the tree. I was also sure I'd use garland this year. I had teal. But when I put it on the tree, I didn't like it. I tried half teal and half silver. Didn't like that either. Settled on all silver. I went with the silver. I put it on first. TIP: Always do the garland first. Some of the lights were out on the tree, so the garland gives a little sparkle and reflects the lights that do work to make up for the dark spots. Then I added the bows. Then I grouped some silver and teal bulbs and placed them in bunches on the tree. 

Followed by the teal sequined bulbs auntie made. I finished with my not royal blue doves and topped it with a big red bow. 

I'm done! 

I wanted to show you all Friday, but it looked naked with no gifts underneath. So, I had to wrap a few before I could take a picture. ANOTHER TIP: Everybody get's their own wrapping paper. I think this would be especially useful if you have small children who can't read yet. Also, it allows you to customize the paper for the person. We've been doing it for years...one kind for mommy, one for me, and one for people who don't live here. My gifts are in red. :o) 

P.S. I put my painting up on the mantle. It matched. Sweet! Oh, and yes, I hung mommy's stokking. 


"Beauty and the Sea Beast"

Well, I'm into octopus right now. It is what it is. I started and finished this one just before mommy died. Maybe a month before. I painted it in her bedroom. On the floor. And I stored it under her dresser, along with the paint, when I wasn't working on it. I hung it on my wall many months ago, not sure if I felt like it was complete. I made one change. A very small change. Oh and I signed my name. That makes it official. This is finished and available for purchase...

"Beauty and the Sea Beast" 
So, what ya think? I love the colors on this. Loved the octopus...that's the reason why I did "8th and O."


PURPLE: Again...but new

I had the pleasure of making purple gifts for two special events that occurred over the weekend. How convenient. Now I only have to write one post. 

One was a set of gifts for a baby shower. I did the onesies, bib and the picture frame, but didn't have to decorate the box this time. For baby Judith:  

What do you think? 
I also painted this for a wedding. I learned a lesson w/ this one...no more pearl paint! But it came out nice. Chekk it out: 

The couple chose to use it on their gift table...and I FRAMED it! It was easy. But still...lol. So, now they can take it home and hang it up to commemorate their special day. I love when things do double duty. 


Other People's Art: SoulCraft Productions

One day, I stumbled upon SoulCraft Productions on facebook and immediately found something I liked. Unfortunately, it had already sold. Womp and *sad face*

However, I spoke with Christie and she agreed to do something similar. About a week later, this came in the mail:

Initially, I was a little iffy, as I had planned to put this particular piece in a room that I had already pikked the colors for. I liked the painting...but I'm not big on having things and not having places to put them. That's...bakkwards. After sharing with Christie my iffy-ness, she asked if I would like to exchange it for another piece as she wanted me to be happy with what I had chosen. However, after actually putting the painting in the (unfinished) room along with the fabrics I had chosen, she looks great! I'm glad I decided to give her some time to grow on me...and into the house.

One day I'll have to do a full blog on my room makeover, but admittedly, I haven't gotten very far. Nothing to see here folks. It, as is everything in my life, seems to be a work in progress. i'm not complaining...just stating the facts.



That oversized book of everything is coming in handy and I still have over 200 pages left!

This time, I used The Declaration of Independence to form the white portions of the flag. And this beautiful brown fro is ridiculous! When it was all done, it reminded me of Jay and Kanye standing in front of that HUGE flag in the "Otis" video. That song gets me HYPE every time and just seeing them all happy and playful just warms my entire SYM heart. It makes me so happy! Maybe that's why I love the painting so much. Then, I photographed it on top of my scrabble board. Love those pages!

This item is currently available in the SYM1 store.


Other People's Art: AshThePainter

I'm slowly, but surely taking some of this time to make this house MY home and I wanted some new artwork to show it. However, I have issues with buying things with nowhere to put them. Not that I do that, because I make lots of effort not to, which means a lot of things I like never make it bakk to the house.Well, I found this page on facebook, and a painting that I wanted...thinking full well it had a home... It doesn't. Who cares? Not me.

When I first saw this, I knew I had to have it. Lukky for me it was affordable too. It's from AshThePainter. She specializes in "natural, nappy, and glamorous" art. This one is a copy of her original artwork, but I like this one a lot better. It's called "Magazine Stare II."

She's so fancy. 

I have no idea where this is going, but right now, she's leaning on my dresser amid a pile of accessories. It's kind of small, so her future includes a larger white mat and frame to make for a bigger impact. It might even go on a white wall. Who knows at this point? I don't. That's why I'm done shopping. I'm on a strict (like) budget. However, I'm still doing art trades. Which reminds me...I was supposed to get bakk to someone about some art. I didn't. I'm bad. I must do that soon. Really.


"Friday Night"

I don't really have much to say about this piece. I sat down one day with the desire to paint and this is the second canvas I was able to cover. I painted this one right after "Friday Night" (yesterday's post) which is why you can see some similarities. It used to be another painting, but I covered it with the black and gave it a new life. A better life. I deserve a medal.

Things I really love about this piece? Well, I used the black canvas again. It really made for a great bakkground. I loved it solid purple, but I was SURE it needed some leopard print. Her lipstikk is great and most importantly...I MURDERED that hair color. Completely slayed it! If color could be painted in...I'd be the girl for the job. It's wonderfully fluffy and the golden highlights in the front just look so nice with the rest of the colors I chose. I'm pleased. Fun way to work.  

Here she is "Friday Night" and apparently, ready to party: 

This is a one of one.
This item is currently available in the SYM1 store. 


"First Date"

I started with the black canvas panel again. This time I didn't try to cover the whole thing, so you can see some of the black coming through in the bakkground. I added some pink and it ended up looking cloudy. Sunset clouds. Or sunrise? In graffiti. The fluff, as always, is on point. Not much else to say. Where do you think she's going? Maybe a first date at some restaurant with a patio and a great view. How's that? That's what we'll call her. "First Date"

I think she's a lil more bright in person...

This piece, and others, are available in the SYM Store.



I guess I've been spending some time recreating things I really liked. This is another one of those times. I did the "CURVEsive" painting last January, and coincidentally, I predicted an entire color assortment...which I finally got to...but not at all how I envisioned it. *shrugs* It came out nice. Anyway, I liked this one too and it got a great response. So, I decided to give it an additional whirl. Why not?

For this project, I got to use some more of the pages from the big book of everything that I used for my magnetic scrabble board. That book has a little some of everything in it and this time I used the pages with measurements and conversions. I, then wrote the lyrics to "Brikkhouse" on top of that, added big pink curls on top...and gold trim. Never tried that before, but it's nice. I think I'll do it again one day.

Here she is:

What ya'll think? If you're interested in purchasing this piece, she's available in the SYM Store.


Quikk Draw: "King"

Well, I finished up "He Knows" a couple of weeks ago and I really liked it, so when I was sitting here on one of those days where I just had to paint, I decided to do a different version of it. Bakk to the blakk canvas. In reality, that's all I have left for a little while. It'll have to do. I decided to do the whole thing in blakk and white. I also decided, really because I was pressed for time, to see if I could do it under very strict time constraints. It worked. Actually kinda proud of myself. Here it is:

Chekk out this and other products in the SYM store.


BLAKK: "Veronica"

As I mentioned on many other occasions, I really liked my "Vivica" piece (s). After much thought, I decided to make more Vivicas. But I also decided to make some that looked "like" Vivica, but without the ribbons. a twin. I guess for fun and not for a cause. I did this one, called "Wet Paint," mostly inspired by the Rihanna S&M video. I decided to call these Vivica look-a-likes Veronica. The name Veronica means "true image." It's based on the Bible story about the woman who gives Jesus a cloth to wash his face and when he hands it bakk, instead of just a smear of dirt, grime, or general dirtiness, it's a "true image" of Jesus' face. So, there isn't really a better name for a twin. I'm not sure how many I plan to do, but my guess is as many as are requested. I don't mind. This was my piece when the color of the day was BLAKK, but you can order a "Veronica" in any color you want.

I actually did this one on a white canvas. 

Chekk out "Veronica" and everything else in the SYM store.


PINK II: Pause for the Cause

Last year, in October,  I created a painting for a Breast Cancer Awareness event that was later auctioned off with the proceeds to go to cancer research. That painting is still one of my favorites. Her name is "Vivica." And normally, I don't reproduce my paintings, especially not in large quantities, but I couldn't get over the need to do this one again. So I did. Three times so far. My "Ode to Vivica" will be a two part blog. Here's the first one.

I wrote something in that previous blog about what the name Vivica means. Wanna read it? Here it go:

Vivir means to live in Spanish. Vivi is also at the center of the word "survive" in a few other languages. So, I called her Vivica, which has it's origins in German. It means...alive and war fortress. That's strong, right? ...Everyone doesn't survive their battle with cancer. Everyone does not choose to fight. But no matter what the choice, once you know...every decision, be it to fight or to live the best of what's left,  requires strength. That's what I wanted to show. I hope I captured that...(and the beauty of the bosom)...with this piece. 

I couldn't just let the painting "die," so I'm painting her again for whoever may want one.

Here's the original:

And here's another version done in all pink:

AND here's a pink bag I made too:

The bag and paintings are available for purchase in the SYM store.

This concludes my "Ode to Vivica" part I.


PINK: "Kitten"

While the lion exudes power and wisdom, the leopard is more sexy. Well at least this one is. I have no idea why I chose pink for this, but it works. It was fun to create. I imagine this kitty, full bodied and in 3D, lying on someone's dining room table with a diamond encrusted collar. Maybe Kanye's dining table... I have nothing left to say. I've set the scene! Here she is:



When I was doing the "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" show in June of 2010, I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Kenya Thomas before she was famous. *pats self on the bakk* I remember that day well and it was NOT a good one. But Kenya was incredibly sweet and had a wonderful spirit. And let me tell you, on the day of the show, she WERKED that runway.

Well, we later became facebook friends and eventually she began to get more and more work and I always take a little time to chekk in on her and see what she's been doing...do some photo stalking. Regular facebook stuff. She has so many "looks." I wonder how many people live in there... Anyway, one day she posts this picture and my original comment says "peeeeerfeeect."

A year later, I still feel that way and it's still my favorite pic of her. I liked it so much I decided to try to paint it. This was a new experience, as I've never really done portraits before. Especially not of people who would see it and easily recognize what it was supposed to look like, but what the hell? I gave it a go. Originally, I was going to do it in all blue to kind of mimic the original, but something was telling me purple was the way to go. It started off really well.

Then I put it down. I was nervous about doing the face. A few weeks later, I came bakk to it. Completed it. I was happy with how it came out. Mostly. I showed my friend. She said, "DOPE!" That's a good sign. And I agreed, but there was just something not so right about it. Well, weeks after that, I finally figured out what that was and finished it...for real this time!

I also noticed that between the computer and the phone...you may not be getting the actual colors. The first picture is more accurate. I'll have to do something about that. Anyway, you like?  


BLUE: "8th and O"

I like that name. I just came up with that off top. To be honest, I hadn't even really given any thought to what I'd name the paintings until I considered that I'd have to write about it. So, they're just coming to me as I type. That was a good one. I am pleased.

This is actually the first painting I did in a monochromatic color scheme. I, for some reason, really wanted to do an octopus. I think I saw some apartment or home on HGTV with an octopus painting in the dining room. It was red. On a big white canvas. Shiny. I might be making this up, by the way, but it feels real though. Anyway, I had to do one. Actually, two. This is the second one. I still have to blog about the first. Here is where it started...

This is how it ended:

This is my octopus. "8th and O." I just wanted to type that again. You like?


GREEN: "Jelly"

I think she looks like Ciara. 
Here's her story: Soror/friend Tine sends me this pinterest link of this dude that collects rainbows...as she's noticing a theme in my new work. This one picture REALLY stood out to me.

I have no idea where it came from, but decided I would paint a version for myself. Eventually. But it was CALLING me. So it ended up a part of this project...in green. However, when I sketched it, it was weird. I started painting it anyway. I didn't like it. I flipped the canvas, from vertical to horizontal, then covered my original sketch and started over. I liked it...mostly.

Then a week or two later, after thinking I had completed it, I decided to change the lips. They were too thin. I saw two people with very thin lips kissing once and thought it must feel like kissing a cardboard box, while I, on the other hand, kissed a guy and said it felt like curling up in a warm mattress. See, that's why I had to change her lips. They need to be more of an invitation.

It's a lot different than I anticipated, but it still has some elements of the one I initially modeled it after. I like mine, but I still like the other one. I wonder where I can find it...and if I can afford it. Or where I could put it? I mean...is all the art in my home going to be of some woman's face? Ugh. I probably don't need it. lol.



I really procrastinated when it came to yellow. I didn't know how to do it. I wasn't sure I could effectively make a yellow painting. Then, because I had waited so long, I was out of white canvas. I had to use one of the blakk ones. That just made it harder. I was determined to try though. It was the last color I had left. So, I went for it.

The blakk canvas is really a lot more difficult to work with. At least with the lighter colors. I didn't consider this when I started, but it was just like when I was working on the shirts. Black really just EATS all the color. I was actually painting things twice or starting with a lighter color, like a primer, when I was painting black shirts. So, I used the same technique when covering this dark canvas. Paint it twice! It did the job.

This one looked a little scary to begin with. To me, it also looked like it didn't want to be all yellow. At least based on the initial picture I took.

It gave me a Spanish feel. I wanted to keep her face yellow. Give her dark hair. Wine colored lips and a big red flower in her hair. That's what I felt in the beginning. But I guess that determination came into play and for once I told a painting what I wanted it to be. My lil flamenco dancer will have to come later. Here's what how she turned out:

Decided to name her Dia. It was actually the bf's idea. I agreed because Dia means day in Spanish. What makes for a better day than sunshine? And what symbolizes sunshine better than a bright yellow sun? It works for me. This one reminds me of Toni Braxton. Maybe? She makes me a lil hungry too. I swear, I think everything reminds me of something edible. I need help.......and a snakk.

This piece is currently available in the SYM1 store.

P.S. Who knew mixing "black and yellow" made green(ish)? If I knew, I forgot. Oops.


ORANGE: "He Knows"

I really like lions, both male and female. They are beautiful and fierce and strong. I LOVE watching them move.  They have great bodies. I saw some lady lions take down an elephant once on one of those animal channels. I almost cried. It was...mesmerizing, but disturbing and sad at the same time. I couldn't look away.

However, when they aren't viciously attacking other wildlife, the lions possess such a regal quality. They have such a powerful posture. Then when they are being quiet and surveying their kingdom, the males in particular seem to be looking much further and deeper than I've seen some humans ever look. I was looking for pictures with my friend "The Google" to get an inspiration for this piece and noticed how wise they all seemed. Like they had all the answers. I remembered Mufasa. We love him. Here's my interpretation of the king:

"He Knows" 

This item is currently available at the SYM1 store.


RED: "Ms. Ann"

This day's color was RED. I did a quikk sketch and sort of just let this one come to me. I'm beyond pleased with the way it turned out. Actually, I got the best response for just the sneak peak of this one. Fab even less than halfway through:

All of that excitement got me more excited and I managed to finish it the same day. But before she was done, I got a message from a soror/friend/client that said not only that she wanted the painting, but also that it reminded her of her late grandmother. Huh? This sexy sultry bedroom eye givin' girl reminds you of who? Ummm....ok. So, I ask her to tell me about it and this is what she said: 

She taught us what we affectionately call "The Ann Chesterfield." When someone tries to put you down or make you feel like you are less than they are, you put on your highest heels, your reddest lipstick, and fix your hair. You strut in that place like you OWN it and dare someone to say otherwise.

*two snaps* Get 'em Ms. Ann. I just had to choose this name. It's so sweet that something that I did reminded someone else of someone special. I'm keeping the original this time. Actually might put it in my living room. However, I've gotten request to do this again in red and lots of other colors. I'll do it. Get my Andy Warhol on. 

Here she is in RED, Ms. Ann:

"Ms. Ann" 
Ms. Ann is currently available at the SYM1 store


My Thoughts: What does it mean?

While at FLUX, I had a thought. Like everybody was doing these artists statements about what their art was supposed to mean. Like this:

And they were placed all along the street to let you know who did it and what it's supposed to mean. I think the purpose is to decided what you want to say at the beginning...but do you amend it after you're done. I mean, sometimes I'm going in one direction when I start painting, although I'm not always trying to say something, but when I'm done the piece has taken me in an entirely different direction. If you tell the art what it's going to say before it has an opportunity to say it, are you really giving it a chance to speak for itself? I have lots of friends in or that have been in art school, I'm sure one of them will tell me what it is and what they really think about this. I'm sure.

However, you can tell from my posts that even after finishing my own creations, I'm still trying to figure out what it says...how I feel about it...what is it saying to me. I think that's cool though. It's like I'm looking at it for the first time. Not like I actually created it...maybe just that it used me as a vessel and then I get to see it for what it is only after it's done. That's interesting. I wonder if God ever feels this way about us? If He ever sees us for the first time and tries to figure out how we got this way? What happened? lol. That's funny. Ok. Done.


Art Adventures: Flux 2012

Last year, the bf and I went to Flux 2011 and had a wonderful time. So this year, I made it a point to remember to chekk for it. Unlike some things I attempt to remember, this one worked out. Yay me!

There was so much less art. Almost all the galleries were closed. What was that about? I was not moved, but they attempted to appease me by having lots of exhibitions on the streets. Oh and there was much more food available this time around. I didn't eat any of it...except that one cupcake, but I just wanted you to know that I noticed. The cupcake also failed to move me. *le sigh* Outside of this being a wonderful date night...strolling in the streets in the dark...under the pale moon light...among crowds of people who aren't paying you any mind, it didn't give us as much to talk about. BUT, being the me that I am, I managed to find some things to love.

We started our trip at a solo exhibition of one of my twitter followers, CPtheArtist. I guess this was a good move. Not that there was much competition, but it was our favorite art of the night. Look:

This was cool. It spoke to me. 

My fav was the one on the right. Oh, and look how LONG my hair is. 

The bf liked this one. 

I saw this on the wall:

I don't think it had anything to do with the event, but I liked it.

This was one of the cooler pieces. Interactive traffic sign. It had some very interesting things to say (directly) to us throughout the night. There was a little camera on the top so the "hackers" could interact with the people on the street. It was the rudest street sign I have ever seen. Oddly enough, I think it got one of the better responses. Apparently, people like rude signs. *shrugs* We walked by three times and there was always a large crowd around it.....including us. Hmmm...

This is purpose. Interesting. 

I really LOVED this. A hand. Holding a teacup. On the wall. When I saw it, I said "OOOOH! I can put flowers in it!" I want one. That would be interesting to put up in the house. Maybe in the kitchen.

This is too cool. 

I liked this too. Maybe in a teenage girl's room.

I do that. Make a room or story around things based on how they make me feel. If you keep up with the blog, you should have noticed that by now. I had some kind of fantastic revelation about it and I think it deserves an entire post. Maybe tomorrow.

Anyway, it was really nice to see some of the same artists featured from the year before. It was even more cool that I could recognize them based on the style. I felt all knowledgeable. Yay me! Although it wasn't AS exciting...of course, I'll give it another try next year. It'll be completely different.