croix is such a saint.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Another one down, like a hundred more with plenty of exaggerations to go. This pretty little girl up here was quite the experiment and very unpredictable - very. Nope, this one here ain't oil like I typically do. I had to expand my horizons and dip my toes in the water of fluid acrylic mixed with water for the pours. Did I enjoy it? Eh, not so sure. The process of working with open acrylic is definitely more difficult, not as rich in color and created a unique texture on the canvas. I'm team oil for sure but with the assignment given, teachers orders I'll obey. She turned out great though and my friends love it, so with that, I believe she's a success. I call this piece, "Croix" for the Caribbean Island, St. Croix. As you know, all of my titles for my pieces are southern and caribbean related terms/names. I know this piece doesn't have quite the Caribbean vibe, but for some odd reason, she looks like a Croix. And by golly is Croix a Saint for getting through difficult process of making her playfully pretty.

day dreaming.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

You're jaw has dropped, hasn't it. It's because you took one glance at that beautiful pink building known as the Don Cesar Hotel in Florida, so basically, it's the blushing version of the Great Gatsby. This photograph of the Hotel was shot by a photographer for a wedding. Now, don't get me wrong. I am in love with how my wedding turned out, photos and all, and I wouldn't change a thing, but my gosh, it would have been a dream to have it at this beauty. I loved the softness of the photo yet, it's still so rich in color and bright. I am so in love with this photo. I am such a sucker for buildings with intricate detail and loud colors. I might just be so in love with this photo that I could possibly paint it on a very large canvas this summer. It's very tempting, and I love a good challenge.

I'm still craving doughnuts if you haven't noticed. I think the craving will go away once my Nicolette comes and goes through the happy valley. She arrives on Wednesday and I am so excited to have her for a week like the olden days! Unfortunately, I know we'll be double fisting doughnuts down are throats and now that I've come across this amazing recipe of Myers Lemon Bars, I have another craving to fill. I am ruined.

I've been getting antsy for this southern dinner party that I want to throw either in the spring or summer. I want to go all out and these pineapple/flamingo invitations are pretty amazing. Although they aren't really hitting up that southern vibe, I'm still drooling over them.

These photos are just a few of my favorites pinned on pinterest lately. Not that you care, which I'm sure you probably don't; I have this weird thing for adoring the layout of pretty photos all in a row. If you'd like to follow me on pinterest, take a gander, Rachel's Pinterest

Hope the weekend has been treating you well! We got hit with another blizzard, rah-rah! But no worries because it's true, the Oscars are tomorrow night! Sheyeahhh!

Raw Artists: Discovery Show

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I did it! The time has come and gone, and I can now breathe again and continue with my fine art studies! The show was a hit. I will say, I definitely, stand out like a sore thumb when it comes to the art world. Don't get me wrong, artists are awesome but they are hands down some of the most interesting people I've come across. That's a polite way of putting it, yes? To them, I am by far the weird one. That's okay though, better to stand out then blend in with the rest of them, right?

Thursday was the longest day of my life. I showed up to the venue in Salt Lake around 3:30 to set up. I of course, being new at all of this, was very naive with how this was all gonna go down and wasn't as prepared as I thought I was. You see, we were given very little space on the wall for each artist to hang their paintings. Sadly, I had to put a few paintings back into the car and couldn't display them. As for the ones that I could display, I realized I had a wee bit of a problem. The venue has asked us not to hammer nails into the wall to hang, so Raw Artists set up a long metal like fence along the walls to hang our paintings off of with S Hooks. No problem, I had the S Hooks ready to go, until I realized that, I have no wire hooked onto the back of EVERY CANVAS to hang the S Hook from. Holy mother of pearl. Where I have been this whole time? So running out of time, and still needing to get my interview done as well as my photo shoot before the show, I booked it to the nearest Home Depot... which I never found because I know nothing about Salt Lake and I still don't fully understand the grid system having lived here for about six years nows. I've got some problems. So now I am panicking. I am sure you're not surprised. Well, I think heaven sent this artist who was setting up next to me because he saw that I was having some major issues and whipped out a tool gun, nails, s hooks, wire, the whole freaking shabang. Bless his heart, and bless mine! So once everything was squared away and set up, off to the interview I went.

The interview wasn't bad at all. That was the one thing I was so nervous about! I mean, I talked to myself in the shower before hand, practicing what I was going to say and how I was going to deliver it. Honestly though, I really played up this whole event and if anything it was really low key, comfortable and fun. I don't know what all of my fuss was about.

No, I didn't sell any paintings. I didn't know we could. There's my naiveness coming out again. Artists next to me where selling left and right, but hey, I have nothing to sell because everything on display is due in about two weeks for midterms! So if anything, I'm begging, "please don't touch this, I've shooting for an 'A'." No, really though, I had business cards with my etsy shop, but it's not like anything on my shop is really what I want to pursue. Im heading straight for the abstract work, and none of that is ready to go yet. With that said, I plan on launching  a series of original abstract works for sale come spring and summer, and with dedication I am really excited! So do stay in touch!

With all of that said, I just took the night as great experience, being the first art show, I was able to get a feel of how it all goes down, how to better prep and prepare for future shows and to see how the ball drops. I was relaxed and just really enjoyed the long evening that lasted until midnight. I socialized with so much family and friends that came to support me, which I honestly deeply appreciated and I really hope they were entertained and had fun! I always get so paranoid when people have to pay for something and then show up and are let down. I don't want to waste anyone's money here. But the gesture of them coming and showing me their support and enthusiasm was what made my night. They made me feel like I was really important. I appreciate the Zoo taking all of these photos through out the night. He was one heck of a trooper. I do believe, he was secretly enjoying himself. All in all, it was a successful night, one to remember and be proud of, for sure. And one that also ended with me, flying solo through the In-n-Out drive through at 1:30 in the morning ordering the number five combo and not giving a crap about it.

to the gallery we go!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Well, today is officially the day! Packing the car with all my work, keeping my fingers crossed that it will tickle at least someone's fancy, and whatever happens, nothing will get me down! For being my first art show, I'm taking it pretty seriously in the sense that I am so nervous I could puke. I don't know why, it's truly not a big deal. I just need to be confident about what I do and present it poise! All I ask is to just wish me the best of luck. Please oh please oh please. 

im a swooner for the brooches.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Good gosh, doesn't this look so deliciously delightful? Everyone I think, to a certain degree has their own "trademark" if you will, or pieces that suit them individually. For me, I admire gorgeous costume necklaces, but I sadly don't fancy wearing them. I wish I enjoyed it, but there is something about a necklace just sitting on my chest and cutting into the neckline of my shirt that drives me crazy, physically and visually. But when I see other girls wearing necklaces that I adore I see how lovely it can look. But I just can't do it. I buy necklaces, don't get me wrong. But I mostly do it for all of the wrong reasons. Don't tell the zoo. Esthetically necklaces, especially intricate and costume like ones are so deliciously beautiful and in some way or another, it becomes a piece of decor. Almost like a statue, that I would love to just frame and display in a beautiful glass box. Kind of like you see, all of the time in J.Crew with their luscious Collection pieces. It's like walking through a museum of delicate art. So, I don't stop myself from collecting necklaces because in all honestly, I just love to adore and look at them in my spare time.

So since I don't wear them as often as I'd like, (which I do wear them on occasion) my go to signature piece of jewelry would be that of vintage classic brooches. You can't get me to swoon and bat my eyes over anything else other than brooches. I love to collect them, and yes, I do in fact wear them. I wear them so often, that I've had many of the Zoo's guy friends call me "The Brooch Lady." Whether that's a compliment or not, I'll take it and own it with confidence and pleasure. One of the Zoo's friends justifies my broochness with the fact that I'm southern. Sure, why not? Really though, brooches are so chic, classy and timeless and I can't help but think of my Grandma. Good fashion can't go to waste so I've inherited a few of hers, and my mom and I go vintage shopping all of the time to find the most unique brooches.

I used to think my collection, which is still small and growing, was rockin' but when I view these pretties, I realize a lot of work has to be done and spring and summer are gonna creep up on me sooner than I realize so I've gotta get going and add to the collection! Sadly, I just envision myself as a really old lady being out of control with my looks, classy looking nonetheless, but still stylish and I want my grandkids to have field days looking through my jewelry and viewing it as treasure! I know that's what I sure did as a kid! I look at brooches as though they are heirloom, and I intend for my future children and grandchildren to look at them that way as well. What's your signature trademark?

i love what i do.

Monday, February 18, 2013

It's true, and I am so happy to say it: I love what I do. Though times become ruts and paintings don't satisfy me and I drool over other's works and question mine; I do see my progression since High School and I know I can't be too hard on myself. Despite the criticism of the positives and negatives, no matter what, I love what I do. It will be a part of me for the rest of my life. I don't plan on giving it up because I gave it a go as a child and I was forever changed. It's interesting to see the progression of my painting styles change through out the years and no matter what, I continually hold an individual and solid love for each piece I have created. I am grateful to still be in school and have the advantage of forced time out of my days of the week to focus on my paintings. I know when school comes to a close, I'm going to have to really force myself to stay clear of distractions and the easy laziness we can all be overcome with. Time shall not be wasted.  Painting makes my life happy, and I constantly feel that I am always surrounding myself with beauty, color and liveliness; ought that the way things should be?

Any hoo, the first abstract painting of my next series is finally finished and shown above. I call it "Le Boulevard." I love creating titles for my work. It completes it and gives life to my paintings. They finally become something, somebody, they finally hold importance. It just makes me giddy. I hope you find some sense of happiness with my artwork, that's all I care to do is at least make those smile and find beauty in them. Happy Presidents Day! Hope your break from school, work or whatever it may be was well spent.

Valentines Day Part II

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Today was filled with much excitement. I woke up at the crack of dawn this morning to study more for my test and bolted out the door at 1:30 and didn't make it home from the testing center until four. Yes, four. It took me two hours to take that blasted test. But the feeling of getting it off of my shoulders knowing I had the whole night to myself with the Zoo was so exciting. I was getting butterflies not knowing where we were going to eat. All I knew was to be ready by seven. The Zoo got a hair cut and has been looking extra dapper lately, actually more so like Rick from The Walking Dead. Sometimes, it weirds me out.

I felt like we were dating again when we got in the car and drove with me not knowing the destination. I had that feeling of anxiousness and the unknown and I loved it. I think we were both giddy today, we were so talkative in the car I think we wore ourselves out. The final destination ended up being Sundance and in no way did I complain! It brought back memories of our Wedding Dinner the night before the wedding. Both mine and the Zoo's family, including the wedding party, ate dinner at Sundance and I wore this red floral wrap dress with ruffles. Coincidently, I realized I was wearing that exact dress tonight which brought back the same butterflies from the night before our wedding. I felt like I was reliving the moment, but this time I was more at ease and totally pounding down my meatloaf and mashed potatoes with no shame whatsoever. The cabin feel of Sundance made the cold night seem not as chilly and the stars were out bright. Every one was chipper, stomping into the Foundary Grill for some hot chocolate as they had just rode the lift in from night skiing.

To top off the night, the Zoo and I got into some comfy clothes and finally eased the pain of my massive month long craving of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. There is something about February that makes want doughnuts all of the time. It's awful. We got there at about 11:30 at night, you can imagine that we were the only ones in there, so we decided to sit down and take our time, chat and try out my new camera from Christmas. It was fun, just kind of playing around in the doughnut shop, laughing and watching them make doughnut holes. I think Krispy Kreme knew I was coming because they were playing my kind of music through the sound system - Billy Holiday, and I really felt that I was in the forties-fifties. For some odd reason, whenever I go to doughnut shops or diners, I try to focus on having it feel like it did back in the 40's and 50's. It was a time period that I should have lived during. And I wish the way people styled themselves, the music they played, the way they decorated the diners and shops were the still the same today. I guess that's why I love diners because they still do their best to give off that vibe. So when Billie was playing, I was slightly in heaven.

It was a low key Valentines Day, with just the two of us, and I wouldn't have it any other way. But I must say, the Zoo and I are whipped out. With the past few days being whoppin' busy, we are just ready to crash and burn. Thank the heavens above for Presidents Day. I do believe we'll be sleeping in till dinner time. Happy Valentines Day to you all and may your weekend be a feel good time!

Valentines Day Part I

Friday, February 15, 2013

There is something about Valentines Day where I'd rather make the Zoo a gift than buy him something. Maybe I'm just being lazy and cheap, but since we've been dating, we always got a little creative, even if the gifts were bought but were more gag gifts. Valentines Day is just playful, exciting, fun and not so serious to me. Also, due to a budget, I made sure to stay within my means. Thanks to pinterest I was able to find some  sweet love coupons that you can download and print off yourself. Cha-ching. And then I had to throw in some luscious wax lips, which are bomb and I do plan on wearing them for our night out. I made this card for the lips with an exacto knife and I don't advise trying it. My hand is bruised like no other, and I can't decide if it was worth the pain. We'll see when the Zoo just toss' this thing the trash the next day...

Our first Valentines Day together the Zoo went all out and made this enormous card out of cardboard, haha and he painted on it, and burned the edges with a match and sewed up the binding. Of course, I still have the card, which makes me laugh every time I pull it out, but the fact that he went through all of that trouble really made me weak in the knees. Not to mention, the poem written inside was on point. It's the little things that make you bat your lashes and become a little mushy gushy from time to time, and that's needed every now and then. I'm by no means a sappy romantic, but I think Valentines Day is a good enough excuse to let my guard down and give that romantic side a whirl. I mean, once a year can't hurt, right?

in the midnight hour.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I'm nearing close to midnight, and it's only the beginning of my journey through you know where...

Art History tests are the mother of all mothers. They will whip you till you keel over and cry. I don't know or understand why I continuously take an art history class every semester. I find no reason to give myself a break from these horrendous essay tests which take no less than two hours to take. I just enjoy the mass amount of information I learn that I keep coming back for more, but the tests, are such a buzz kill. Each test calls for an all nighter, and I'm not proud of it, but it's just how I work. I crank it out, I push through the night and I take it the next day and then I crash and burn and land an 'A.'

I didn't get home from school till about 9:30 tonight and I come home to find the Zoo watching wrestling shows, more power to him, and I can't help but think how lucky he is to be going to bed within the next two hours. I've just gotta push through the night, focus and get it over with so that I can finally celebrate Valentines Day with the zoo. I have no idea as to what we will be doing, for he's got it all figured out, but all I know is to be ready by seven and it's all I can think about. I am so excited! Even if the date isn't anything too miraculous, I know it's going to be a feel good time because  I'll be with the Zoo.

I hope you all had an awesome Valentines Day and that you are looking forward to the weekend as much as I! xoxo

p.s. above is my latest abstract painting that will be featured in the Discovery Art Show. It's the first one out of a series of six. I am really excited to dive into this series and get it going. This painting is titled, "Le Boulevard" which is a 24"x24" oil on canvas.

my funny valentine.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Zoo was quite unexpected. On our first date, I was freaking out. After months of hanging out casually with friends, he finally got one on one and took me to dinner. Days before picking me up for a night out, he assured me that he was going to kiss me at the front door. Hence, the panic mode I was put in. For some reason, I believed him too. Obviously, he didn't do such a dramatic thing, but I do remember he brought some flowers and I was pleasantly surprised, for this kid was nothing but sarcasm and jokes. I didn't see this gentleman gesture coming.

We spent the night eating Indian Food, at a restaurant which is now our personal favorite whose hostess', Lucky and Cher, we can now call our friends. The date was cliche' as to what we did, but conversation wise, I had never laughed that hard or blushed that pink in my whole dating life. I really don't think I had the will to speak because I was laughing uncontrollably. A lot of the laughter was pure humiliation as he was cracking jokes left and right and causing a scene with the couple sitting near to us. Boy, was he a firecracker, and I was digging it. Normally, dates feel like job interviews, you know? "So, where are you from? What's your major?" First date with the Zoo? Far from an interview. In fact, he didn't ask one thing about me! And it was really refreshing. Instead, our conversation was flirty, witty, pointless, but continuos and natural. The date was short, and he dropped me off, and I found myself thinking, "What the heck was that?"

Normally, with a boy, I can't speak properly because I am so nervous and I'm trying to be cool. That night with the Zoo, I didn't care what I said, what I looked like, how I was acting. I was so comfortable, at ease, and in pain from laughing that I was a bit curious as to what was going on. I had no plans on dating this kid. None, at all. But he had quite the unique charm, and I had never experienced one quite like him. And I think that was what hooked me; the fact that he was so unexpected and the fact that he liked me, but showed me in the most nonchalant way. He was different, mysterious, adventurous, witty, and though I didn't want to, I was getting hooked. And boy did he play his cards right. He backed off for a little bit, reasons unknown, which had me acting like a fool. Calling for him, making plans with him and then I realized, he had won. I was smitten. And he laughs till this day knowing it. And I grin thankfully because I am glad that this unexpected Valentine is mine for good. You never know who you're going to fall for. To be honest, I think it's more exciting when your valentine ends up not being the man of your dreams. You need something different to keep you living, laughing and loving. The Zoo was quite the treat. He's a funny little Valentine and I do adore every bit of him.

Happy Valentines Day to you and yours.

valentines eve.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Does this Kate Spade outfit from New York Fashion Week 2013 scream valentines day? With the bow, the rosy blends of tweed and the delicious pants, don't you just want to deliver flowers in that get-up!? Too bad I ain't got nothing that fancy to wear! Tomorrow isn't going to feel quite like Valentines Day for the Zoo and I. I have classes that by attendance, I am required to go to, and they end at 9 pm. Gross, and the Zoo always works late with his new job but he's definitely home before I am. I'm sure I've already told you all of this, SO we are going to have Cupid extend the holiday for us and we'll be celebrating it on Friday! So I guess I get two Valentines Eve! Wooo hooo!

For those celebrating tomorrow have a blast, even if you don't have a significant other, get together with your girlfriends and have a freaking ball! xoxox!

a few things I need...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

break from school, a gigantic slice of cake, and a holiday in the sun, are just a few things that my poor self needs at the moment. 1.) I finished my third portrait as seen above. And I feel good about it. This is a girl who was photographed on the streets for street fashion and she scream Audrey Hepburn. Many people in my painting class kept saying, "Oh I love that you're painting Audrey." Easy mistake, that girls life must be hard...

2.) Even though I have been kicking the crap outta myself with eating healthy and working out hard since January first, I'm getting even more in gear these next two weeks. Why? Oh because my gal pal Nicolette is coming and staying with me from New York City, and our favorite past time is pounding fist fulls of doughnuts. And I know that we'll be doing it. So I've got to be on my best behavior now, so that I can have a little fun on the weekend. But I am so craving cake right now, and I don't even care for cake.

3) I need a holiday in the sun. Bad. Like real bad, Michael Jackson bad. Luckily, I have California to look forward too for a long weekend in, four weeks. So I shouldn't be crying but I am. I can't wait to ditch the snow for some time and burry my feet in the sand and fry like an egg in the sunlight. It's the only dosage of medicine that will heal me. Also, I just want my art show to be over with. It's given me anxiety and I ain't down with that.

So, as you can see, I am in dire need of these three things. On a great note, Valentines Day is Thursday. Sadly, that is my busiest day of school and I am there from 8:30 am - 9 pm. So the Zoo and I will celebrate on Friday, and to top it off, holiday on Monday so there, I guess one wish was granted - a break from school.


weeks work in the studio.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ah, another week's gone by and it's great to see some progress. As you've seen, my C.Z. Guest portrait is complete and I'm a happy mother to it. I have spent very little time on my Abstracts for my Senior Studio class. It's so bad of be, but I forced myself to the studio on a Saturday, yes that's called dedication, and introduced a second layer to the process. This new series of abstracts I am doing is slightly different than my other four. With the same concepts and pattern, the twist is the fact that I am introducing the pouring technique which has been a lot of fun to work with. Although, the process is slower due to drying time and it's taking a lot of patience to see it evolve and form into work that I'll love. And continuing on to my "Luck Be a Lady" Portrait Series, next up, an Audrey Hepburn look-alike from the Streets of Paris during fashion week. This head shot of this girl blows my mind. She has so much spunk and elegance to her and I cannot get over how much she takes after Audrey. So, a pat on the back for making from progress, and onward we go!

two week countdown to the DISCOVERY art show! to purchase tickets go to: RAW Artists: DISCOVERY Art Show

a valentine for all you boo's.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

 It's coming. The love boats are making way and I am so excited! I love Valentines Day. Last year, I went all out. I mean all out. I decorated my room as if a cupid came in and threw up every where. Gross way of putting it, but that's how crazy I went with the holiday of looooovvve. Sadly, with the Zoo having dibs this year on our adventurous day, I'm kind of taking advantage of kicking back and saving some dough and I'm holding my horses the best that I can to not spend mula on crafting supplies to deck out the place. 

But then I see my amazing white brick 1930's fireplace that is screaming at me for some sweetheart garland... and I've never had a fireplace quite like this one, EVER and who's to say I'll be living here in this bungalow a year from now, so I don't know what to do. If I break, I've got to at least do it cheap. While I fuss over this dilemma, I have a few sweet treats to share with you that are my favorite Valentine nicknacks. 

c.z. please.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Gah, take a look at C.Z., isn't she strikingly beautiful, stunning, effortless and chic? Her American style is a dream. She was noted as 'Best Dressed' in 1959 and became an icon of American Fashion. She rose to fame through her acting on stage, her writing, fashion designs and horse racing. She lived an elegant life, ritzy and to the hilts that was lavish and beautiful. Photographers swooned over the beauty of C.Z. including one of my favorites, Slim Aarons. The list doesn't end, artists also wanted to paint C.Z. including Andy Warhol.

Want me to make your jaw drop even more? C.Z. married Winston Frederick Churchill Guest, who yes you guest it, cousin of Winston Churchill. C.Z.'s husband was a national polo champion and asked Ernest Hemingway to be his best man at his and C.Z.'s wedding. With a positive response, Hemingway insisted that the wedding take place at Hemingway's home in Havana, Cuba. Okay, SURE, WHY NOT?

C.Z. became the Icon for American Society. C.Z. was nothing short of being a lady and did everything that women love to do, but she took it to the extreme. She was an avid gardener and spent so much time on her estate gardening that she was asked several times to write books on the secrets and 'how-to's" of gardening, so that she did! She began her own clothing line which was simple and consisted of plush cashmere sweaters and included a limited line of sportswear for women. C.Z.'s two estates, one in Long Island, New York and my favorite one in Palm Beach, California where she was always photographed with her great danes and puppies. Talking about living a leisure life!

I don't know why C.Z. intrigues me, but she does. The way she carries herself is so silently lovely and confident and really, all she did was expand her horizon with her talents and for that she was recognized and admired. Coming from money definitely helps but her beauty within shines. C.Z. is one of my favorite icons of beauty and so for my series of "Luck Be a Lady" portraits she was on the list and away she went! Today was the day of completion and I am ecstatic with how she turned out. Though C.Z. has past, she will always be a staple in American Style and Society and she'll continue to steal America's heart.

the hostess city of the south.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"In Margaret Mitchell's words, "that gently mannered city by the sea." Savannah was an offstage presence in Gone with the Wind, just as it had been in Treasure Island. It stood aloof on the Georgia coast- dignified, sedate, refined -- looking down its nose at Atlanta. Through the eyes of the young, Scarlett O'Hara, Savannah and Charleston were "like aged grandmothers fanning themselves placidly in the sun."" - John Berendt, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

For once in my life, I am determined to read a book all the way through. I have the hardest time reading. I have a gazillion books on my book shelf but I haven't finished a single one of them. This time, it's different. When I find a novel that really speaks to me, I'm sold. I've always wanted to read Berendt's most famous book, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." This book is basically John Berendt's journal of his adventures in seeking out the people and the way of life in Savannah, Georgia. Being from New York, John decided to take a trip down to the "Hostess City of the South" and grew a fondness of the city. He became so intrigued that he decided to rent out a room in one of the southern estates hoping to became one of them Savannahians. This book tells the stories and encounters he had with the people. Most of them are famously known through generations of the Savannah people. To me, this book is magical and mysterious just as the city itself. Being one of my most favorite cities, it is so fun to kick back and learn of the history and the secrets of my favorite people. I love that this is book is all fact, and throughout the book I recognize street names and I know the buildings that are being spoken of, and I even find myself googling the people and what do you know, they show up with their history and stories of Savannah. Reading this book is like a getaway for me. With this cold weather up here in the West, I get antsy thinking about going home at night and jumping on the couch and falling deep into my book and in the blink of an eye, I feel like I am home again in Georgia. I can't help but swoon over the way Berendt describes Savannah. Every thing he says is perfect and I know what he is feeling and I so badly wish I could put it into words like he can, but I can't. So I want to share with you my favorite descriptions and stories of Savannah. I hope you find a fascination in this favorite city of mine. So here we go...

"Savannah: rum-drinking pirates, strong-willed women, courtly manners, eccentric behavior, gentle words, and lovely music. That and the beauty of the name itself : Savannah. "

"On the Savannah River and, on the far side, a row of old brick buildings, fronted by a narrow esplanade. Behind the buildings a mass of trees extended into the distance, punctuated by steeples, cornices, rooftops, and cupolas. As I descended from the bridge, I found myself plunging into a luxuriant green garden."  (He's not kidding, this is for real the exact vision you see as you make way over the Savannah River on the bridge and head into the city. It's a magical experience.)

"Walls of thick vegetation rose up on all sides and arched overhead in a lacy canopy that filtered the light to a soft shade. It had just rained; the air was hot and steamy. I felt enclosed in a semitropical terrarium, sealed off from a world that suddenly seemed a thousand miles away." 

"There are exactly twenty-one squares. The squares are the jewels of Savannah. No other city in the world has anything like them. In effect, the city would become a giant parterre garden. The thing I like best about the squares, is that cars can't cut through the middle; they must go around them. So traffic is obliged to flow at a very leisurely pace. The squares are our little oasis of tranquility." 

On Savannah accents: "I recognized in her voice, the coastal accent described in Gone With the Wind - "soft and slurring, liquid of vowels, kind to consonants."

People come here from all over the country and fall in love with Savannah. 

"We're famously hospital, in fact, even by southern standards. Savannah is called the 'Hostess City of the South,' that's because we've always been a party town. We love company. We always have. I suppose that comes from being a port city and having played host to people from faraway places for so long. Life in Savannah was always easier than it was out on the plantations. Savannah was a city of rich cotton traders, who lived in elegant houses within strolling distance of one another. Parties became a way of life, and it's made a difference."

"We're not at all like the rest of Georgia. We have a saying: If you go to Atlanta, the first question people ask you is, 'What's your business?' In Macon they ask, 'Where do you go to church?' In Augusta they ask your grandmother's maiden name. But in Savannah the first question people ask you is 'What would you like to drink?' "

Victory Drive, a long parkway completely covered by an arch of live oaks dripping with Spanish moss. In the center, a double colonnade of palms march along the median strip as if lending architectural support to the canopy of oaks and moss. The dead are very much with us in Savannah. Everywhere you look there is a reminder of things that were, people who lived. We are keenly aware of our past. Those palms for example. They were planted in honor of soldiers from Georgia who died in the First World War."

"Bonaventure Cemetery. A live-oak forest of primeval dimension loomed before us with a large white marble mausoleum. Now, if you die during your stay in Savannah, this is where we'll put you. It's our Strangers Tomb. It was built in honor of a man named William Gaston. He was one of Savannah's greatest hosts and party givers, and he died in the nineteenth century. This tomb is a memorial to his hospitality. It has an empty vault in it that's reserved for out-of-towners who die while staying in Savannah. It gives them a chance to rest awhile in one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world, until their families can make arrangements to take them away."

Now, this is my all time favorite story of Bonaventure Cemetery, which sums of Savannah perfectly.

"On both sides, moss-covered statues stood in an overgrowth of shrubbery like the remnants of an abandoned temple. In colonial times, this was a lovely plantation. Its centerpiece was a mansion made of bricks brought over from England. There were terraced gardens extending all the way down to the river. The estate was built by Colonel John Mulryne. Well, the house burned sometime in the late seventeen-hundreds. It was a spectacular fire, by all accounts. A formal dinner party had been in progress, with liveried servants standing behind every chair. In the middle of dinner, the butler came up to the host and whispered that the roof had caught on fire and that nothing could be done to stop it. The host rose calmly, clinked his glass, and invited his guests to pick up their dinner plates and follow him into the garden. The servants carried the table and chairs after them, and the dinner continued by the light of the raging fire. The host made the best of it. He regaled his guests with amusing stories and jests while the flames consumed his house. Then, in turn, each guest rose and offered a toast to the host, the house and the delicious repast. When the toasts were finished, the host threw his crystal glass against the trunk of an old oak tree, and each of the guests followed suit. Tradition has it that if you listen closely on quiet nights you can still hear the laughter and the shattering of crystal glasses. I like to think of this place as the scene of the Eternal Party. What better place, in Savannah, to rest in peace for all time-where the party goes on and on." 

To me, that story is so exhilarating. I have no words to explain how I feel when I hear these famous stories of Savannah. I am filled with complete awe and giddiness. It's a world full of enchantment and mystery. I never want to stop learning of the culture, history and the people of the places I grew up learning to love and visit. It's been a blessing in my life to have been exposed to such intriguing cities that no one else can fully understand until they physically go and spend some time there. And not just spend time, but visit with people, strike up conversations and throw yourself in the mix of things as if you've been there from the start. 

You've always got to have a backup plan. I envision my life in the future and I refuse to be placed in a nursing home. The Zoo is certain I will outlive him, and if that is the case and if my children are sick of me, then I plan to take my life back to the South, if I am not already there (heaven forbid, please let me be back there.) and find the most perfect charming home next to any square and rest in peace with beautiful people, stories, food, lush vegetation and company and die in a place that I love. I'll plant my own garden with a yard filled with Magnolia tress and Live Oaks and I'll make sweet tea with Beignets and Chocolate Pies and package them up to my fellow neighbors. I'll play cards till the late hours of the night on my front porch with friends as I hear the cicadas buzz and see the lightening bugs glow. And I'll fill the silence with my sweet Ray Charles because "Georgia, is always on my mind." 

If you're still reading this, I really appreciate it, and applaud you. I know I get annoying with all my jib jab on the South, but aside from the Zoo, it is my one true love and a huge part of my life and well-being. I hope you enjoyed the delicious descriptions of Savannah by the one and only John Berendt, and I hope you smirked a bit with the stories of Savannah. And maybe, just maybe, you'll go to your local bookstore and pick up a copy of "Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil" for yourself too, and you can join along and take that midnight train to Georgia with me. 

Goodnight my friends. Good night ya'll. 

art website created.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I'm pleased to announce that  my new art website is up and running. No, it's not a .com, but that's okay. In due time, it will be, but for now it's a It has a ring to it, don't you think? The purpose of this site is to dedicate it to all of my artwork. Here I will update current works of art, my inspirations as well as early work and all work created. Of course, I am still going to blog and post about my artwork here on my blog. This art website of mine, is strictly for documentation of my work. Therefore, there will be little explanation and so on so forth. You got me? Any hoo, I am super excited about this so go take a gander and have a ball! Thanks friends!

i love that it's february, a time to love.

Friday, February 1, 2013

We did it! We pushed through January and today is the first day of celebrating love! And to top it off, the snow storms have calmed down and the temperature has risen and the sun is shining! Oh happy day! I woke up this morning and dedicated the day to one of my favorites, the king, Elvis Presley. I love his music, especially his soul music with the choirs. It takes me back home and brings a smile to my face. Despite his troubles, and the fact that I did not live during his time, I can still confidently say that he was one cool cat and I love hearing stories of this legend. I love going through photos of him and his one true love, Priscilla, and I love the fact that he still impacts the world today with his raw talents. This wedding photo of Elvis and Priscilla is one of my favorites, everything is perfect from the drastic contrast of the black and white, to Elvis' perfect classic tux and his white pom pom carnation. They look so happy and I love that. I love that America has a holiday dedicated to love and love only. It's good to know that there is a lot of love in this world and that we are all capable of love despite who you are, what your story is and where you come from. Even if you don't have a sweetheart this month, you have family, friends and admirers that are filled with love for you, and that's all that counts. So let's be kind and spread the love, wether it be through music, notes, sweet nothings, gifts, service, kind words, and good deeds. And for the love of all, let's spend February tapping our toes to the king and let him sing to us of love, for there ain't anything better. 

"because I love you too much baby": suspicious minds, Elvis Presley

this might tickle your fancy

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