Sunday, August 28, 2011

Studio tour

For a close to a week my older sister has been visiting me here in the city. We had a ball! We went to Ellis Island, The High Line, Grand Central, did a walking tour to see where Edgar Allen Poe, John Wilkes Booth and other note-ables lived. I surely enjoyed the time off of work and art. Sometimes you need a breather.

My sister is also an artist. I love her stuff. Check her out- Lisa Ocampo.

Today I just got back into preparing for my show in September. I made some display boxes today covered with carnival tickets. Not sure exactly yet how I will use them. But I think these will add some interest to my table.

Since I don't have a lot to report about on the art front. I figured this would be a good time for a studio tour. Such as it it!
This is my studio! I do my painting and jewelry making right here.

Right next door to my studio is my computer lab.

Adjacent to the computer lab is my "vast" library or carnival and circus books. Oh and a sleeping puppy.

Why I even have my own vented spray booth!
When we moved here I knew space would be an issue. We were hoping to get a 2 bedroom. That way I could have a separate room to work in. We ended up with a 1 bedroom. So the studio is in the living room. Luckily it is quite a long room and we actually have a bigger living room area than we did back home in Winston.

It is a good thing that I like working small. But I have done one large piece since we've lived here. I did our family portrait circus banner. It is about 4 feet tall.

O'Brien Family Portrait
There are plenty of artist studios to rent here in the city but that costs money... a lot of money. Plus I like working at home so I can be with Monster, Elvira and Miss Kitty.


Miss Kitty
On the occasion I feel quarters are too tight- I just remember that I have the best back yard in the world!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Burlesque Paper Dolls and Ice cream earrings

As usual I have had a rather busy weekend preparing for the Historic West End ARTSfest!

I've started making paper dolls- with a twist! My first gal is a tattooed burlesque dancer. She comes complete with hinged arms and legs so you can pose her to your liking. She also has a sheet of accessories that you can chose from.

My idea is that you can take her and make your own work of art by putting her in a pre-made 8x10 frame. 
Perhaps you'd like to pose her in the act of dancing and removing her pretty dress?
Maybe you'd prefer her to have on her skivvies and posing with her straight edge and sunshades?
Perhaps serving up a cupcake while wearing her feather headband?
Maybe even sweet and innocent holding her French bulldog head?
You can even add your own items- like a pink "FUN" ticket.

Whatever your fancy I'm sure she'll be adored. I'm now working on the strong man.

To create these I first paint them with water colors. I scan them in the computer then I print them out on archival matte thick stock paper. I then back her with pretty decorative paper to giver her even more weight. I have also signed the back of each doll. The sheet of goodies comes flat for you to cut out the pieces that you want. She is in a clear bag for protection with a Freaks, Geeks and Beauties header holding it all together.



 Also while scouring around on the internet I came across some tiny brass cones. I immediately thought of some earrings that I could make. Ice cream, Ice cream we all scream for Ice cream! With these you will not gain a single pound.


Strawberry and vanilla topped with a cherry and sweet little bow


Perhaps you'd prefer a stylized chocolate swirl?

Everything for the show is shaping up. I look forward to seeing everyone. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Zombies Attack

I have come to realize that Zombies can attack any time of year. They actually don't care if it is Halloween or a full moon or National Zombie Day.

Today they attacked my apartment...
It started yesterday. We were headed to meet up with some friends when I got side tracked by a Market. It was the Hester Street Fair. I figured it was going to be just like any other street fair up here in New York. A lot of sunglasses, zeppoles, and t-shirts. I was pleasantly surprised.

It was more like a flea market art fair. I stumbled across a lady with broken jewelery bits. I was almost afraid to ask the price of the few choice items that I had chosen. To my surprise the total was $3.00. A NY bargain if I ever saw one.

There were several vintage clothes dealers- a weakness of mine. They had some nice stuff and again- great prices. Just nothing to suit my fancy for the day.

I found yummy looking treats home made by the different individuals. But I had just eaten and couldn't bare to try any. I must go back.

Just as I was about to leave I saw an artist with a nice eye catching set-up. The pieces were nice. Kinda cartoony skulls and stuff. But then I saw something in a little stack. There the artist had taken vintage photo card advertisements and had painted skull heads on top of the original photos. I remembered that I have a few of these cards as well. I bought them while antiquing in the spring. I new they would have a special purpose but I wasn't sure at the time what that would be.

So this morning I got up and lit on my art.

First thing to complete was my cousin's tattoo design. She wants a zipper to go over her C-Section scar with her daughter's name and birth date. At first I was no too sure about this idea. All the zipper tattoos I have seen are dark and mucky looking. Even while digging on the internet for reference I wasn't finding anything cute or pretty.

Well I took some inspiration from one of my favorite artists- Sunny Buick. I kept the zipper simple. I didn't put each and every tooth in it. I think all that line work is what was making the others dark and not so pretty. Then I "girlied" it up with some eyelet lace detail and hearts. I sure hope she will like it!

Then it was on to dying some wool blue for my cotton candy earrings.

Then it was varnishing some of my tiny paintings for my cameo necklaces. You'll see those in a later post once they are all complete.

Last but not least it was time for the ZOMBIE ATTACK!

I took my stack of photographer ads and turned everyone into Zombies! First I gesso-ed out their faces and drew in my own versions and painted them with oils. I added a few accessories on some of them for a Tiffany Twist.

The Zombie with Spit Curls

Baby Zombie loves Boo Bear

Sweet Zombie and Cotton Tail

Zombi Baby Bunny

Close up
Zombies Shouldn't Have Straight Razors

Close up

They turned out pretty creepy. And that is good! After today- I now FEEL like a Zombie. I have not been out of my chair all day!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Rose takes a trip to Coney Island

As a part of my new jewelry line I have been making necklaces with miniature original oil painted cameos. I've been calling them my story cameos. Because I design each one with a story in mind.

I just finished "A Day at Coney"

FYI- Photo taken on Sandra Bullocks stoop

This little gem is near and dear to my heart. During the summer I head out to Coney each and every chance I get. I love the summer so much and it seems so short here in New York. Sometimes I feel I am in a marathon to enjoy each and every ounce summer has to offer.

It was only natural that I do a necklace to celebrate a trip to Coney Island.

My trip starts by packing my bag with a beach towel, a book, sunglasses, a cooler with some lunch and tea, some SPF100 and maybe even a parasol for even more shade! Oh yes and my Diana Camera.

Next I'm catching the E train at Spring Street then transferring to either the F or D train. I take which ever comes first. Either way it takes me about 45 minutes to get there. While the train is underground I may read some in my book. But as soon as it surfaces in Brooklyn I start watching out the windows. I love trying to peek into other people's lives (apartments) as the train whizzes on.

The closer I get to Coney I can start smelling the salt air every time the train doors open. I start seeing more and more people with their swimsuits sneaking out of the top of their city outfits. I see more coolers packed with picnics. More happy faces.

My favorite is to be on the train with someone who has never been to Coney before and I see their face when they catch their first glimps of the Cyclone or the Wonderwheel. At this point they are all like little kids, giddy with anticipation.

When heading out to the beach I typically head to the area in front of the New York Aquarium. It is far enough away from the main attractions where I can find me a little plot of land to steak out my claim but not too far away where I can't hear the joyful sounds of the boardwalk excitement.

Here I start my people watching and I watch and watch and watch some more. My book usually doesn't even make it back out of my bag. I'll tote my camera down to the water and snag a few pics. I'll usually have to make small talk with some really weird person. I have a knack for attracting freaky people.
Back at my spot- I'll start a mental note of all the things I can purchase without even getting up from my towel...
1. Cervesa
2. Agua
3. Soda
4. Cevechi
5. Churos
6. Shots of Vodka
7. T-shirts with tassels
8. Kites
9. Mangos cut into flower bud shapes
10. Necklaces and bracelets
11. Italian ices
12. Cotton Candy
13. Umbrellas
14. Some other alcoholic drink I can never remember

This guy has a cart full of something yummy I am sure
After I've had enough at the beach, I'll pack up my bag and head to the boardwalk for even better people watching. My first stop is by the Dancing Gazebo. Here they blare loud Spanish influenced music through some pretty serious speakers. People are just dancing up a storm. It doesn't matter how hot the temperature is they let loose! There is usually a good crowd of watchers forming a circle around the "dance floor" There are all kinds of dancers partaking- young, old, talented, not so talented, locals, and tourists. I'll usually snap a few pics here and watch and smile for a while.
Just gettin' warmed up

Next I'll go to the Karaoke Gazebo. There is no telling what you will hear here. But it is usually NOT good. I guess that is what makes it even better to watch! Seems like everyone here thinks they sounds really good and sing to the top of their lungs. Once my ears have heard enough I'll mosey on over to Ruby's

Clam shucker at Ruby's
I prefer a seat outside under the umbrellas as this provides the best place to watch the parade that prances up and down the boardwalk. As you sit here having a snack or a beverage you can see everyone strut their stuff. What a show! It rivals the annual Mermaid Parade. I just can not get enough!

If I can manage to pull myself away in time, I'll have a few minutes to stop by the Freak Bar. As if I hadn't already seen enough freaky people for the day! Here is where you can see the real side show. 

There will be Angelica and her provocative fire dances. Heather Holiday will no doubt be swallowing some swords. Donny Vomit will be hammering some nails into his face I am sure. There will probably even be a guest performer from some far exotic land.

The lovely Angelika
By now I really must go, I have a 45 minute to an hour ride back and I must take the puppies out!

Back to my necklace...
First there is the hand painted cameo featuring a black haired beauty named Rose.

There is vintage ivory colored elephant that represents Topsy. She used to live at Coney Island and has become a symbol used on many t-shirts and beach towels. There is a little vial of Coney Island beach sand.
Me gathering the sand

A bright pink bead resembling a beach ball or circus act ball dangles about, while a metal mermaid charm represents the Mermaid parade and all the mermaids that inhabit Coney. A hand made cotton candy looks as if you could take a tiny bite. There are some other vintage beads adding to the look of the piece. Wearing this piece- it'd be like summer everyday!