Returning to the Blog

Wall of Paintings in Progress

It has been quite a while since I last blogged here.  At some point around five years ago, I came to realize that the whole cycle of painting and posting on social media had gotten out of hand — posting for a virtual reaction too soon to properly evaluate my paintings.  I wanted to begin creating again without the pressure of responding to other people’s opinions, so I decided to quit posting my work online for a while.  That while just happened to last a few years longer than I planned.

I’m back now!  I have just redesigned and rebuilt my original blog which already contained 10 years’ worth of posts and pictures, plus I added quite a few new galleries of photos from various art exhibits from Austin, the US, and Europe (with more still to be added as I edit the files).  I’m truly glad to have my blog back.  There’s a lot of good stuff here!  (YMMV).  I do hope you find something of value.

Next, I must get my fine art site and my art shop working…bear with me; it could take a while!

What I’ve been up to…

Sadly, not painting.  The creating a neighborhood website project was followed by the cleaning out the attic project (in anticipation of finishing the remodeling the attic project), which was followed by the cleaning out the garage project, and then the cleaning out the storage room project!

Next up, I must take photos of furniture and other stuff we need to sell and get those posted online.  After this, I can move all the crap out of my studio, so I can get in there and paint!  Sheesh!  What a lot of un-fun work I’ve been up to lately!

Here are about 80 of my early to not-too-recent paintings stacked outside while in the clearing out process.  I’m keeping these, or finally possibly selling them, should anyone want one.  However, they’ll probably never be seen again by anyone but my husband and me.  Should have offered them for sale back when I created them.  🙁

I Could Have Been a Nuclear Engineer!

Nuclear Engineer

At least, that was the top occupational match for me yesterday in an occupational skills test I took online at O*NET OnLine. Whodda thunk?

Well, here’s the thing I have to wonder, does everyone show up as a potential nuclear engineer?

Maybe I overestimated my skillsets, who knows? Why not a rocket scientist? Science is one of my favorite non-art/design subjects, and I think that artists and scientists have more in common with each other than they have differences. Both are intensely curious, both are creative, and both like to experiment and see…what will happen if I do this?

I took a paper-and-pencil type of occupational test the 3rd time I was in college decades ago when I was on my 5th major. What that test did that this test didn’t was ask questions about preferences–do you like to work with your hands, is your working environment important to you–things like that. ‘Cuz I gotta tell you, I would not be interested in most of the occupations on that list. Nothing in the medical field–I am the most squeamish person I know! Sales engineer? What is that? A salesperson? Definitely not my strong suit.

But the cool thing about this occupational test is that you can look at all sorts of occupations and see if you might have the skills that your desired occupation requires.

Skills Match for Nuclear Engineer and more

So I looked at “27-1013.00 – Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators.” Dig it: my occupation of choice uses many of the skills that I have. It shows that my other occupations (the ones that pay the bills), “27-1024.00 – Graphic Designers” and “15-1099.04 – Web Developers,” use most of the same skills as fine art–with a few more here, a few less there–and other than time and money management (which I’m getting better at), I’m good!

Here’s the thing: a lot of the skills I now possess I did not have when I was 20 or 30 or–well, let’s stop there. A lot of the skills required for the types of work I do, I developed along the way in order to do the types of work I do. I’m pretty sure I never would have thought about learning any kind of computer programming had the web not come along.

And the website shows, in summary, and in detail, the Tasks, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Work Activities, Work Context, Job Zone, Interests, Work Styles, Work Values, Related Occupations, and Wages & Employment Trends. You can also create a Custom Report, which I haven’t tried yet, but it looks cool.

I think this website could be an extremely useful tool for anyone still trying to make a future career decision. For me, it’s just confirmation. Check out the O*NET OnLine occupational skills test and see what you think. I’ve love to know if “nuclear engineer” ranks high on everyone’s list!

First Atomic Bomb Tested on This Day in 1945

"Atomic Bomb Buster Jangle Charlie" encaustic on masonite 10" x 8" © 2007 Marilyn Fenn
“Atomic Bomb Buster Jangle Charlie” encaustic on masonite 10″ x 8″ © 2007 Marilyn Fenn

I suppose that sounds more like a political statement than one on art, but as I’m working on a large series of paintings of nuclear bombs, it really is a statement about my art.

I envision painting about 100 paintings of nuclear bombs, which would be just a drop in the bucket compared to how many nuclear bombs exist on our planet today.

OK, so it’s a little political, too, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

There is both a power and a beauty in the fractal qualities of the cloud-like forms of nuclear bombs — and hurricanes and tornadoes — that fascinates me.  They make a great subject for painting my small encaustic paintings that aim to straddle the space between abstraction and representation.  My goal is to paint really beautiful paintings, even if they are of troubling subjects — maybe especially if they are of troubling subjects — in the hope that the viewer can see past the scariness of the bombs, tornadoes and hurricanes, and see the beauty of the paint.

For me, these paintings are paint first, and images second.   Take a look at my small beginning paintings, and stay tuned for more to come.

Roky Erickson Performance & Movie

Roky Erickson Performance at 2007 Coachella Valley music and arts festival

We went to see Roky Erikson Friday night at the Paramount.  What an amazing show!  The evening started with a showing of the documentary film on his life, You’re Gonna Miss Me.  It was very heart-wrenching.   It’s makes one wonder how many creative people survive the damage inflicted on them by truly dysfunctional parents (and how many don’t); how many would become creative without being raised in that kind of insanity, and how many wouldn’t… I think both Roky and his younger brother, Sumner, are incredibly brave for displaying the honest tragedy of their upbringing, and the subsequent events, both good and bad.

After the movie, Roky and his current band played an amazingly great set.  It was his birthday performance, and he was totally present — playing and singing fabulously.   Songs like, “Starry Eyes,” “Two-Headed Dog,” and of course, “You’re Gonna Miss Me.”  What a treat!

(Roky was a founding member of the 13th Floor Elevators and pioneer of the psychedelic rock genre.[1])

Stumble Upon

Stumble Upon
My StumbleUpon Page

Oh, this is a lovely time-waster…or inspiration-finder.

You can search by any topic; I search for painters frequently; there’s some really good stuff out there that I might never have seen otherwise, some not-so-good stuff, some very useful sites, and a few things you may have already seen rather frequently.  Check it out.