Oddity Steampunk inspired piece

When I create a piece of jewelry or a collage piece it can be a huge cluster mess. As you can see I am searching for a plan over here.

988459_10152353533884321_8494524407585830474_nI just take pieces out of my well organized drawers, only to find pieces that might go together and then I throw them in a pile.

I start stacking them or moving them around until something sticks. I have decided that I am going to use that eyeball that is sitting on top of the open pocket watch as well as that molar. The molar is from my friends mouth. He had it pulled and gave it to me years ago so I am going to finally use it.

10277594_10152354563594321_527459355686671324_nHere is the plan so far. I had an idea when I woke up that I wanted wings to be involved in this image.  The center piece will be an oval trough of sorts that I can fill with resin and the tooth. I added some gears because it looks a little steampunk. The gears have the appearance “hopefully” that they are to function to move the wings. However the wings are fixed objects.

I used to like gears for gears sake when I first realized that some of my artwork was “steampunkish” and I never had a name for it. Now as I progress, I like to think the gears provide an image of movement as a purpose and not just as an embellishment.

Just look up this search on you tube and watch the music video. It kind of describes what I am saying.

Just Glue Some Gears On It (And Call It Steampunk)


Are you a Hypnotist?- Inspired by The Flaming Lips

waving your powers around... final image
waving your powers around… final image

I am doing a music series of songs that give me great emotion. This song is called “Are you a Hypnotist?” and it is from a band called The Flaming Lips. One of their most popular songs are “Do you Realize?” or at least that is what I have been told by people that only know that one song.

I decided to have a bit of a Buddhist inspiration for this piece (very slight). Religion and faith in general are themes I really enjoy. All religions have rich history, and while I consider myself to be Christian I do not have my head in the sand. I have friends of all faiths and I respect their personal decision and I enjoy learning about them.

Buddhist imagery is really beautiful so I incorporated a lotus flower in the image at the bottom. Lotus flowers have several meanings.

In a relationship, it is normally used to mean being totally in love with someone and being forgetful of all that has happened in the past between you. It is also used in Asian religions especially in India to represent awakening to the spiritual reality of life.


I feel it represents the song. The lyrics of this song are…

I had forgiven you for tricking me again
But I have been tricked again –
Into forgiving you –
What is this?? Are you some kind of hypnotist??
Waving your powers around – the sun eclipse behind the cloud…

I thought I recognized your face
Amongst all of those strangers –
But I am the stranger now
Amongst all of the recognized
What is this?? Are you some kind of hypnotist??
Waving your powers around – the sun eclipse behind the cloud

I feel the song represents a relationship in the sense that the relationship on one end might not have been truthful or valid. The main character in the song is forgiving and longs for his/her love to be true. He/she thought that he really knew this person but they are good at hiding their true self. Honestly it happens in relationships, when they start everything is beautiful and everyone puts on their best ‘face’. People’s true colors do show themselves after time.

I love the swirly design of my clouds because I feel it almost represents the power waving around. The color burst in the background is the sun being eclipsed. Our main character is off to the side and his love is in the crowd surrounded by 5 other ‘people’.

I thought I recognized your face Amongst all of those strangers- Starting outlines
I thought I recognized your face
Amongst all of those strangers- Starting outlines

Pencil drawings are important to me, and I usually start my idea with a really primitive sketch on a scrap of paper. It gives me a plan on how to fill the space. After my plan I flesh out the basic outlines in pencil and then draw my dark outlines.

Next I add texture to the images, background and later maybe some hint of color.

Are you some kind of hypnotist? Outlines
Are you some kind of hypnotist? Outlines



The possibility of rejection- Do you like me Yes? [ ] or No? [X]

Don't take my Sunshine Away
Don’t take my Sunshine Away

I did something at the start of this year that I felt pretty good and maybe a little too egotistical about. I applied for an Individual Artist’s Grant to work on a project that I have been thinking about for a really long time.

I felt like I had a wonderful idea, and I still feel that it is and that it is worthy of my time. I felt like I had a pretty solid timeline, budget, project idea and even public benefit but everything I thought I had they disagreed with.  The biggest issue I think was my choice of samples of art to show them… which are displayed on this blog post.

It also didn’t help that I was injured at work around the time I was working on my proposal. I feel that if my mind was working properly I might have made different writing decisions.

Yesterday I listened to the audio of the panel discussion review of my Grant Proposal.

The Project Idea- Over the course of a year to create 14 paintings on a large scale, each representing an aspect of mental illness. Each image would be abstract. I would use colors and movement of paint to suggest imagery. I feel this is a better idea than an actual storytelling image with people or objects as people can read more into abstract images. I also felt that by doing this, the images would be more beautiful thus people might be more interested in purchasing. I find that when you paint ‘scenes’ it might be more disturbing and while it can start conversation what would be the next step of the image? My plan was not to shuffle these images away in my studio. At the end of the project, I would have a show. I would create books with the images of all the art in the show for purchase and a percentage of the profit would go to NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Health) as they do a lot of work for people in Indiana.

5 The River Nile





My Plan-I would research these illnesses and I believe I would be able to portray them as I have family and friends with illness and I deal with some of my own issues. I would talk to people in the psychiatric  profession and even see if I could meet with some patients on a peer to peer level. NAMI (The National Alliance for Mental Illness) has meetings for peer to peer and family to family in my area. I would have loved to meet with them to see if we could have a meetup to do some relaxing art.  There are so many places I felt I could take this project and it was dear to my heart.

4 fruition

Execution- I was planning on taking some classes with Tom Tourlemke who is not only an AMAZING Indiana artist for whom I have so much respect, but was also a professor at my Alma Matter- The American Academy of Art. Since I have never compiled such a show I would take classes and mentoring sessions from him to flesh this to a solid display. He has such coherent and impacting shows that I felt that he would be able to help my direction.

Industrial Effluent
Industrial Effluent

Their thoughts—- Everyone views art differently and we were only able to provide 5 samples of our work. They wanted work within the last 3 years and honestly my last 3 years has been filled with watercolor and ink paintings so that is what I showed them. This was my mistake. I should have done some new work to reflect my project as with the work I supplied they couldn’t make the connection on how I could make this project work. They felt that I was a ‘One Trick Pony’ and that again is my fault as I should have diversified my samples but what did I know? This is my first time doing this. Quite honestly, part of my decision of sample was based on my obsessive compulsive disorder. I should have had help picking my samples. I felt they all needed to ‘match’ and not look too diverse. 

They wanted me to take classes from a University because they felt I was ‘self-taught’ (again this is my fault because I really should have showed different samples)  however said it in a tone of voice that felt demeaning. Honestly, I have seen some people that are ‘self-taught’ that are more amazing than someone that went to a University. I am not knocking anyone’s college (traditional) experience, I DID go to art school… which they might have seen if they would have actually read my resume. I know how to do the standard portrait piece, landscape, life drawing, bowls of fruit…. All of that aside, this work that I showed them DOES have value, honestly out of all the different types of work I have done these types of paintings have REALLY been selling a lot.

Their concern was my timeline and they were shocked that I thought I could do 2 watercolor paintings a month!!! Really? They think that I am overly ambitious. Perhaps my idea is but I used to work in graphic design and with constant creation and demanding deadlines my creative mind actually works pretty well under pressure. Of course, again they would have seen if they would have actually looked at my resume.

3 lollipop swirlLesson from my First Grant Panel–

1. They are not your friends, they only know you by what you wrote and maybe what you wrote wasn’t enough for them to understand or written well enough. So try not to get upset (you will) and not to take it personal (you will still take it personal)

2. They can only judge you based on the artwork YOU show them so they cannot tell really how much you have grown, how much people love your work or anything else about how awesome you are. They are people and that means what they think is great art you might think is junk and vise-verse.

3. No matter how many times you read and rewrite your grant proposal you will still realize what you should have done better after it is too late to make changes.

4. If it was that easy to get “free’ money, there would be thousands and thousands of applicants and not under 300.

5. Listening to the panel audio is a humbling and depressing experience but you can use it to strengthen your ideas.

6. When writing a grant, they usually will let you submit it prior to the final submission. They will give you some notes on things to check. I was too late in the game to turn this in. This is important. I learned my lesson  for next time!

6. MAKE SURE YOU REQUEST PANEL NOTES!!!! The notes, seriously will make you feel better.  After typing out this blog post I finally got the panel notes in my email and it doesn’t sound as horrible as it did in the audio.

7. Breathe and breathe some more

8. Look for a new grant even after 100,000 people say “No” someone has to say yes right? I thought it would take forever to find a great guy to marry and that finally happened.

Bulletproof, I wish I was…

Music can be so inspirational and I have always felt it can help you through those times where you just do not know if you will make it. Being at home with an injury for so long it really brings little things in your life front and center. There is no work to bury yourself in because it is all about getting better.

Bulletproof final image
Bulletproof final image

So that is where I have been these past few months. Getting better but I have been focused on my body that is hurting and still is not normal. I have avoided the internet as much as possible, as well as television to give my mind a rest. All I have are thoughts. I started giving myself time here and there to draw because if I didn’t I would have went insane.

What would normally take me a small amount of time took forever! This piece is 16×20 and took more than 4 days to work through. I decided to do a piece on one of my favorite songs from a band called Radiohead.

Untitled-3The lyrics played a lot in my mind.  This was my starting idea for this image based on the lyrics

Wax me
Mould me
Heat the pins and stab them in

I wanted to show stakes at different angles that would almost point violently at the subject. The images almost seeming to melt in areas.  I did put some bullet holes in the imagery as the being wishes they were bulletproof but they are not. I used some design idea here that makes it appear there are teeth all over the image. In the song the lyrics really stood out to me.

Limb by limb and tooth by tooth, tearing up inside of me

This is the basic outline of my design before I started adding texture and coloring in the image. I added text in the background in the completed image. I did it also to add a texture and some dimension.

Untitled-1When I start most of my artwork I like having some form of a plan down first.

This song really speaks to me. It makes me think of someone who has been battered or even bullied a bit wishing they could be a larger force and not so easy to destroy. They have let others tear them down and at the same time they are upset because they have allowed people to do that to them.

Current Show ~ The Candy Cafe, Dyer Indiana

2014 March 22-April 23
Clinton Mason and Leslie Lambert-Mason
Candy Cafe
1066 Joliet St, Dyer, IN 46311

Whimsical art will be displayed through the end of April.
Whimsical art will be displayed through the end of April.

Displaying art in local businesses can be a lot of fun. It can appeal to people that normally might not go to a gallery to see art. In my opinion there are people that avoid art galleries because they feel they are stuffy or that the art will be outrageously expensive. These same people look at art that are in businesses or displayed in smaller venues much differently. I think it is a less intimidating viewing space and of course that helps exposure.

Currently my work can be seen next to my husband’s art in this darling Dyer, Indiana business called The Candy Cafe. They show local art all the time so it is a really nice place to pick up some sweet treats and view some art.

I’m still Alive!

I haven’t really been on here for some time now. I was injured at work and was coming on the computer for a little bit at a time until I found out that the Doctor wanted me getting 100% total rest and advised against coming online. With a concussion rest is really important. It was strange being so out of touch with Facebook and watching television. I didn’t find out about the missing Malaysian Plane until just recently!!

Now my Doctor said I can have limited computer time and some TV time as well. So I have been working on art when I have been feeling somewhat okay. Sadly an image that would take me a day has been taking me four or five days to complete. It is frustrating not having your health!

I got a nerve block yesterday for my headaches and shoulder/neck pain and today I feel WONDERFUL!!!! So I hope this also means I can go back to work soon! I miss going to work everyday and seeing the people I like. I miss having lunch and laughing about the craziness we see there. Most of all I miss helping families, which is what I feel that my job’s sole purpose is.