Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Upcoming Events

Pheasant by megan_n_smith_99
Pheasant, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

Hello! I have a bit of news for you!

Last week I hung art at:
Company Bar
9608 16th Ave SW
Seattle WA 98106
Hours: Mon--Thu 4pm--12am
Fri-Sat - 4pm to 2am
Sun - 4pm to 12am

The art will be up for a month!

Also, coming up in September, I will he showing my art at:

Oddmall Seattle: The Emporium of the Weird
Lynnwood Convention Center
3711 196th Street S.W.
Lynnwood, Washington 98036
Sunday, September 22, 2013, 10am--6pm

This painting is:
Title: Pheasant
Dimensions: 8 x 8" (will fit standard frame)
Media: watercolor and ink on arches watercolor paper
Year: 2012
Available on Etsy.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Filtered Light - And Not There Yet.

Skull by megan_n_smith_99
Skull, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

I have been playing with filters & light. it reminds me of graphite. I have been doing mostly pen & ink but i like the misty reality of pencil. My favorites are 6h and 8h. It's a bit bothersome that it smears. unless you spray it with toxic things. Which I do outside.

I have an outside again - my balcony. My building had been wrapped in scaffolding and some sort of translucent plastic for months. It is so nice to see the sky and the mountains. it is nice to get the full effect of the breeze and all the smells it brings in - spring, flowers, grass, & the salty smell off puget sound.

that smell reminds me of this, and of my island, that sort of damp, misty, salty space where you can't really tell if the things you are afraid of are out there - you can kind of pretend they are not - and it seems equally likely that the things you dreamed about might be a step away too. but i guess i am still dreaming and still looking, and not there yet.

p.s. this is a skull i found on the beach w/ part of a drawing i did of said skull, and manipulated with a couple different APPS.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Soot Sprites & The Camphor Tree

Soot Sprites by megan_n_smith_99
Soot Sprites, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.
Another recent watercolor... It's the wrong time of the year (in the Northern hemisphere anyway), but I keep wanting to paint in autumn colors. You might recognize these black critters from My Neighbor Totoro & Spirited Away.

from wikipedia:
Susuwatari (Japanese ススワタリ; "wandering soot"), also called Makkuro kurosuke (真っ黒黒助; "pitch-black assistant"), is the name of a fictitious yōkai which was devised by Hayao Miyazaki, drawn by Ghibli studios and known from the famous anime-productions My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away where, in the former, they are identified as "black soots" in early subtitles and "soot sprites" or gremlins in the later English dubbed version."

I first saw Totoro in 1988 or so, before there was a translation into English. It was rather mysterious, trying to figure out what the characters were saying -- I took a year of Japanese but that was a few years later -- but not too difficult to follow. I could watch it over and over, just for the beautiful "scenery" -- it's animated but Miyazaki does animated landscapes that are heavenly.

I especially liked the tree Totoro lives in, a giant camphor tree. These trees can grow to be huge and live a long time -- there is one in Japan that is 1500 years old and almost 100 feet across the crown! I think I want to move into that tree. Totoro's probably there....

Soot Sprites
watercolor & ink
Available on Etsy.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Ruby Owl & Why I am an Artist

Ruby Owl by megan_n_smith_99
Ruby Owl, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

This is another recent painting. I was pleased with how it came out. It's watercolor and white ink. I was happy with the balance of detail and I tend to want to go overboard with detail. It's a bit compulsive, but space has a lot of value as well.

I was just digging around in some things and found something I wrote for a zine in 2003 which I thought I would share. I am resisting a REALLY strong urge to edit, I am apparently a better writer now than I was 10 years ago...

Why I am an Artist
by Megan Noel

I was writing a letter yesterday, and I was thinking about why I am an artist and what that means to me. I think of myself as an artist first, then as a human, and finally as a woman. Why is that so important and what does it signify?

I create because it might be the one thing I do that really means something, and that reminds me of what really matters. It takes me outside of the state of the union, traffic, the rising cost of healthcare, and the long lines at the post office. It reminds me what is really important -- maybe not the art itself. Probably my paintings will never be best in show or end up at the Guggenheim . My dolls may never be more than oddities, and I'm not likely to write the Great American Novel. What matters is where they come from inside of me, the space I go to in search of these things, and the place they are reaching towards inside other people.

What matters is that I sit for a while every day and quiet the world all around me, voices mumbling about the deficit, the email I forgot to answer, the mildew on the shower curtain, and weapons of mass destruction. Every day I slow down enough to listen to the things curled up inside me just waiting for me to give them words, pictures, and sounds to be born into. When people see or hear or touch these creations, whether or not they think of them as works of fine art, I hope for one moment they stop, connect, feel something inside themselves. I hope they will leave behind their thoughts of getting to the dry cleaner before it closes, that meeting they have tomorrow, and what they should have for dinner. I hope they might even feel inspired to slow down a bit and create something out of the calm still voices, or the fierce ones, or whatever neglected voices they have, inside of themselves.

So I guess I am not really a visual artist, a poet, an author, a musician, to end up with art, or poems or stories, or songs. It's not about the end result, other than perhaps a state of mind, or the sense of having finished another leg on a long journey. I am an artist, poet, an author, a musician to be in the state of mind where I can give voice to the things I've carried, the things I've saved, the things I've found, the things I have seen. I create art to give form to, to honor, the things I have carried, saved, found, and seen. I am carried, saved, found, and I see by and through the things I create.

Totoro - To - To -Ro!

Totoro by megan_n_smith_99
Totoro, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

I have not been a very good blogger. I was a bit under the weather and not feeling terribly social. I have been working on art, though. Mostly watercolor. This one, of course, was inspired by Hayao Miyazaki's animated film, My Neighbor Totoro. You've probably seen it, but if not you really should. And it's definitely something you can show your kids without feeling like you are exposing them to any sort of questionable morals or anything. I think Hayao Miyazaki does backgrounds better than anyone else.

I've also been going some pen & ink recently, and acrylics, which I had not done much of in a long time. You can see some more recent works by clicking on this thumbnail to go to Flickr. I've also listed some of the recent work on Etsy.