Studio Closeup #38

It's back to the Museum Series for today’s closeup. This is something I’ve been working on for a while now. I’m finally feeling comfortable with where this piece is going and boy did that take a bit to bring it back from the terrible purgatory it was in. More painting required for sure. I thought photos of it in progress would be good for today. I've included some of the dioramas where you'll see paint drips all over the plastic covering. The image with the two living room chairs and hole in the middle will be for a slide, and the holes on the bottom right will be three more mini-dioramas of furniture selections from the 1970’s. Please enjoy and thanks for stopping by today!

Art blog 38 A
The Museum Series - 1970's Lifestyle - 24" x 24"
Art blog 38 C
(slide theater)
Art blog 38 B
Collage in upper right
Art blog 38 D
Diorama of a fantastic 1970's living room.

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Music Mondays: Carolaoke Song #36

Today I’m going to talk about my recording process for Carolaoke Music Mondays. There is a reason why birds are not part of the audio engineer’s recording suite, I get that now. I have three birds (1 Caique, 2 parakeets) and they are not quiet. They shouldn’t be, they’re birds singing songs and screaming to their special planet the sun all day. But this doesn’t exactly make for a good environment to record vocals in. Which means I’ve had to seriously step up my bird training skills lately in order to navigate between screams so I can record during the day. My small parrot Toby is only 8 yrs old but he had 5 other owners before we rescued him and he’s been intensely traumatized by that. After 3 years, he’s finally letting me pet his head and scratch his neck but he remains very guarded and cautious. I admit it hurts that he still doesn’t fully trust me yet or screams over and over again when I leave the room, but I’m always reminding myself that I have no idea what his past was like. Considering he freaks out around brooms, loud noises, loud talking and sudden hand motions, I’m assuming he was part of some really bad scenes. So! The good news is that birds like routines and through this pandemic and quarantine, I have started to notice that Toby likes Music Mondays! The routine is, he wakes up with one single loud scream every morning at 7:00am. He gets his breakfast and snacks prepped shortly after which means he’s pretty quiet for about an hour eating his snacks. Then he’s ready to be really loud and annoying for attention. Any attention is good attention! So we’ve been playing the good attention verses bad attention game a lot lately and let me tell you he’s really good at his side of the attention game.

On Music Mondays he and his cart are outside the room I record in but with the door open so he can see me at all times. If he can’t see me, there will be screams that can wake the dead for days. So as I test out levels and vocals, I let him scream it out and record anyway. If he gets too out of hand once I decide that I’m recording for real, I shut the door and say “NO.” And continue on ignoring him, still singing, until he’s quiet. Then I open the door, praise him and he’s happy and quiet for pretty much the rest of the day. Soon we will try harness training so I can take him outside safely. It also has to be warm enough to take him outside (75F) for him to realize that the reward is going outside for wearing a silly and probably uncomfortable outfit. That’s the plan anyway. Please enjoy my Carolaoke scratch track of KT Tunstall’s “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree”. Toby was excellent being mild mannered and quiet this Music Monday and deserves a shoutout! (ironically)

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Freaky Friday #13

Today’s Freaky Friday is another super deep cut from the Carol archives. When I first saw Pete’s Dragon in the theater as a child, it was like seeing the original Star Wars movie for the first time (which also happened around the same time) and my mind was completely blown. I was sucked right in. I continuously pretended I had an invisible pet dragon nobody knew about longer than I care to admit. So much so, that I included that fact in the three wishes assignment I did with my kindergarten teacher in 1977. I also couldn’t get enough of drawing Pete and his dragon in kindergarten either and I’ve included that in today’s presentation. By the way, nothing on that list has changed. Absolutely nothing.

Freak fri 13 B
Freak fri 13 A

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Studio Closeup #37

The studio closeup today is a watercolor I did around the same time I did the robin pentaptych ('94-’95 range - Studio Closeup #35) and was going for the same type of “still animation” idea, this time, with a horse. The bad news is this diptych was a flood casualty, but it does exist in slide form and I still have the shadowboxes for them upstairs, just not the watercolors inside. No idea. I guess I had other plans for the shadowboxes that I don’t remember and I really hate when I do shit like that. The good news is, I recently stumbled upon the original magazine photos I painted them from while rummaging around in the magazine vault for something completely else so I’ve included them in this post. All I know is that guy is super brave.

Art blog 37 B
Untitled (Diptych) 1994
Art blog 37 C
Painting 1
Art blog 37 A
Painting 2
Art blog 37 D
(source material)
Art blog 37 E
(source material)
Art blog 37 F
(source material)

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Music Mondays: Carolaoke Song #35

I simply love the beautiful orchestration of this song. Especially when they let in the acoustic guitar and drop out the rest of the instruments in places. It makes it so delicate sounding in the midst of the grand symphonic sound that is otherwise going on throughout. When the song was out on the radio getting airplay, I read in a magazine article that Madonna learned how to play the guitar for this album, and I originally thought those are her acoustic guitar tracks in there, but I haven’t found any evidence on the internet to prove my factoid correct. And I do not still have the magazine article any longer unfortunately. I wish I did because that article was inspiring to me as I was trying to learn guitar on my own at that time (not successfully) but gave me a little courage to keep at it. I haven’t kept at it but I know I need to get at it again. My guitar is still in storage from the flood, but maybe it's time to bring it back home. I probably make it harder than it needs to be but my brain cannot let go of trying to decode and play the guitar how I would play a piano (the instrument I “know” how to play). I am in complete awe of people that can play guitar AND sing at the same time. Playing ANY instrument while singing at the same time is still a complete mystery to me, but I’d like to work on that. At any rate, this song has always made me cry and today was no exception. I had to collect myself a couple times, but I made it. Please enjoy my Carolaoke scratch track of Madonna’s “The Power of Goodbye” and thank you so much for stopping by today.

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