southern bridals with ma' mama.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Alex Steel just made all of my dreams come true! My mom and I had such a blast working with her at home in June. She really captivated the feel that I was going for with the southern plantations I grew up next to and the wedding gown that my mom sewed for me. It was a really special shoot and project to work on and I am so glad we were able to throw Alex into the mix. It was so fun showing her all of the grounds that mean so much to me. Thanks so much again Alex, you're one pretty talented little lady and for those interested in viewing more of these photos, or to contact Alex for work go to 
alex steele photography

thanks again Alex! youre one of a kind!

a dreamy summer night at the carnival.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The date is November of 1959 in California. A fatigue man meets with his psychiatrist explaining his reasoning for forcing himself to not fall asleep, ever. Hardly able to explain himself while he fights to keep his eyes open, he tells the psychiatrist he will die of heart failure due to the triggering of a nightmare if he falls asleep. The nightmare takes place at a magical and eerie carnival on the Santa Monica Pier, where ferris wheel lights glimmer and sparkle like fireworks in the sky.

The man spots a woman, whose looks are fierce and intriguing, with cat-like eyes and hair as dark as midnight. She is dressed in the most fantastic gown of diamonds that would even make the jaw of Elizabeth Taylor drop. This woman was dangerously beautiful and had her eyes set on this man. Her name was Maya and she was a carnival dancer.  He couldn't resist her temptations, as he regretfully followed her through the glimmering lights. Dizzy and confused, he grabs her hand as she mysteriously smirks at him while luring him onto a wooden roller coaster in a fun house in an attempt to scare him to death.

 With no control, he begs her to let him off as she tosses her head back and cackles. The moonlight lights the surface of the ocean as the man looks out into the world he is about to leave. He grabs his heart and begins to drown in the noise of the witchy woman's cackles. Her cat eyes gaze into him as he sinks lower and lower into his seat.

The man wakes from his dreams as he finds himself laying on the couch of his psychiatrists office. When the receptionist walks into the room, in horror and disbelief, the man realizes that the woman looks exactly like Maya. Terrified, the man jumps out of the window to his death.

In reality, the doctor calls the receptionist into his office where the man is still lying on the couch with his eyes closed. The doctor begins to explain to the receptionist that the man had come into the office, laid down and then immediately fell asleep. Within a few minutes, the man let out a scream and died on the couch.

"Well I guess there are worse ways to go", the doctor says philosophically. "At least he died peacefully.... in the Twilight Zone.

This is one of my most favorite episodes of the Twilight Zone. Every time I go to a carnival it brings me back to this episode. You know I love eerie and mysterious thrilling stories and shows especially when its set in the 50's. This episode was obviously filmed in black and white, but the way that it was filmed and portrayed with the carnival, all of the lights, the fun house and roller coasters - not to mention Maya's outfit was nothing short of glamorous and perfect for the carnival occasion of the 50's.

Carnivals are always a place of interest, with carnies and flashy lights. The chaos and rush of it all brings me back to this episode. I feel as though carnivals are a place where time has consistently stood still. I'd like to believe that everything was the same back in the 50's as it was now- same rides, same food, same sorts of crowds and it gives you a whiff of nostalgia. Once again, I do live in a dream-like world of the past in which I have never lived in, so for me, Carnivals become very dreamy and it's exciting.

With all of this said, I had a field day on Saturday, as it was Steel Days in American Fork, Utah and we spent the whole day cheering on my favorite girl and cousin Estelle in the American Fork Parade. She's going into the 9th grade and is on the Freshmen Cheer squad and rocked it in the streets of Utah. She gets cuter and cuter every day. Following the parade I spent the whole day with my cousins at the public pool where we fooled around with underwater cameras, made up olympic pools games, ate popsicles and got fried. As for the night time, we continued our Steel Day shenanigans at the carnival where we literally rode every right in site no matter how long the lines were. We lost our voices and about spewed, but that didn't stop the Zoo and I from getting cheeseburgers on the ride home. It's summer days like this that really feels like the Sandlot, if you know what I mean. I love spending time with family, especially the younger ones. They are my favorite people in the whole wide world and they bring out the best side of me. I love feeling like a kid again and with them, every day is an adventure. What a fun weekend we had, one that I'll never forget.

swooning over these beach paintings, perfect for july.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

There she goes again, that Teil Duncan doing her thang and doing it more than well. I can't stop day dreaming of her beach and pool paintings. They are some of my favorite things in the whole wide world right now, and what I'd give to be able to paint this way and what I'd give to have one for myself. I know what's on the christmas list this year, that's for sure! I don't think words can explain how perfect these paintings are, so I'll let them do the talking for me.

rats. rats. rats. rats.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

 I had a bad day today. I didn't cry, but I may have yelled a little bit, out loud, by myself, with no one home. I need a break from painting. I think I've reached the point where I just need to chill out. I'm wasted from abstracts and I'm finding that I'm trying too hard. Abstracts are fun, they are beautiful and lovely and la-te-da but I am ready to admit, it's not my forte.

Sure, I paint them, I sell them (like one a year... if I'm lucky) and sometimes I'm really proud of them because I didn't know I could do that. But a lot of days, I have so many color palettes ready to go, with so many butterflies in my stomach and I get going on it and the next thing I know I want to punch a hole in the canvas with my fist because it looks so amateur. It looks nothing like what I had envisioned, it looks nothing like what I know I can do - even kids who don't try at all create beautiful abstracts and theirs looks better than mine! For crying out loud, I just need to give it a rest. I was so freaking excited to paint this one abstract today and by the end of the hour I found myself pouring all of my medium all over the canvas because I was so ticked. And then, I was even more ticked when I realized that I had just poisoned my whole house with such a chemical odor that I had to fan it out with every window and door open while its 100 and something degrees outside. All because I lost my cool...

At least I didn't cut my ear off like Van Gogh... although sometimes I can't say I blame him. My point is, abstracts are great - I'd buy a million of em' from artists who I admire and love because that is their expertise. As for me, my one true love is painting people, portraits and fashion editorials. And I know, I can't sell those due to copyright issues, and I know it's looked down upon in school because it's considered cheating or whatever the crap they feed to me. But it's the one thing I kind of amaze myself at and I think it's okay for me to pat myself on the back for, or talk myself up about because I'm hard on myself when it comes to a lot of other things, but this- this I know I can do. And this, I know I love to challenge myself with. And this I know I always fall in love with the outcome. And I know that I've got one professor at school who could give a rats "A" if I painted from photos...

So without further adieu I am no longer taking commissioned paintings for the summer and (not that anyone was really asking me to do anything, but I had a few). I have worn myself out and I'm a hot mess and I need to get giddy to paint again for my last semester of school because that's what counts. I've collaborating some scary but exciting ideas for a portrait series in my head. I am debating if I could do it, if I have the guts to do it and if I won't want to cry by the end of the semester for doing it. So here goes nothing.

I spent hours hiding under the blankets gathering photos on my phone to not wake up the Zoo last night in bed, but my mind was racing! I have a love for traditional portraits. Portraits you see of very important or historical people. Portraits that are rich in dark colors, serious, and almost haunting in a way that its so beautiful. They are the portraits you see in the historic plantations of portraits of our founding fathers of our nation - you know what I mean. The only issue is, that's a lot to live up too and I'm afraid I'd get bored working with such a dark palette. But I want that feel. And I want them to make an impact. I want people to look at these portraits and stare so far deep into them that they wonder who these people are, what they are about, where they came from and so on so forth. I want to make a statement of their beauty. So, I've gathered together some of my favorite photos of fashion editorials from various Vogue magazines from the 50's. With faint backgrounds, rich color, glamour and the Palm Beach vibe, these woman of the 50's will become my muses and I'm straight scared. It's going to be a challenge but I'm ready and willing and really excited!

So on to better days, and I'll bask in what's left of summer and take advantage of that summer vacation. Stress free from my brushes and canvas.

this might tickle your fancy

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