Monday, September 22, 2014

The Stone Scone

Ceci n'est pas une Scone

I have to start with this... if you want to make a stone scone, the first thing that has to happen is that the universe has to align to bring you a perfectly formed rock in the shape of a scone.  I guess you can go looking, but in my experience this is not always the way... So, perhaps this is more of a step by step tutorial to living life, rather than painting a Stone Scone.  Because none of this would have happened if not for....

When my friend mentioned a fundraiser for the non-profit bakery, Blue Sky Bakery, I immediately thought a Stone Scone would be perfect.

A few weeks ago I was catching up with an old friend from Washburn who just so happened to be in Chicago when I just so happened to be in Chicago on the night of the US debut for the founder of Free Art Friday, My Dog Sighs, who just so happened to be in Chicago.  Ironically My Dog Sighs (from England) is one of my art heros, and I had plans to be in England this fall. Included in my plans, of course,  was a Free Art Friday Art scavenger hunt.  My plans changed and I ended up in Chicago instead, and so did My Dog Sighs and so did my friend George and that is how this all begins.

If at first you don't succeed....  I call this the Chicken Pox Scone.  

So my friend George agrees to meet me for the art opening at Vertical Gallery in Ukraine Village for a fun night of whiskey, art, scavenger hunting, and catching up on many years.  I met his girlfriend Lisa, an amazing woman who runs a non-profit Bakery that does job training for at-risk youth in Chicago.  Check it out!

Later in the evening I discovered she was having a fundraiser so I jumped on the chance to donate.  It wasn't long before I, a lover of puns, thought of the Stone Scone.

When at first you don't succeed, try try again.
I am now ditcing the more graphic, stylized approached for a layered painting.

Here's why I say this is more about living life than how to make a stone scone... I had ordered a box of perfectly smooth large beach stones for my painted rocks project.  In this box of otherwise round and oval smooth surfaced stones was one weird lumpy freak.  A Scone!  When I got home and saw this I knew we were meant to be.  This little guy would be the focus of my dedication and frustration for hours.  A relationship set in stone.
My first few attempts were ridiculous.  To spare you the details, lets just say this: the puke stone, the chicken pox stone and the alien stone all were covered with new layers of paint.  I ditched my idea to make this stone in my characteristic stylized technique of graphic shapes and miniature details and went back in the recesses of my mind to art school and the layered painting....

Layers of orangey-yellow and cream, working from dark to light, I created the  surface I was looking for,
 a lightly toasted blueberry scone!

Here's a link to the event:  If you feel the need to bid on the stone scone, or drink great beer and eat delicious food and donate to a good cause, be there!

And if you see me walking down the street looking intently at the ground, I may be looking for another perfectly weird misfit stone, for my next project.

Close... Still needed a little color adjustment, and more blueberries.

Finished!  After another layer of gloss medium with Violet to bring back some of the
Blueberries I had covered up, I am calling it done... no... Well Done!
Now to get to Blue Sky Bakery, all this has made me hungry for a real scone.

But more likely I'll be looking straight ahead, all around and up to the sky, because you can never predict from where the next inspiration will come.

For the curious:

Thursday, September 18, 2014


When I was younger I wished to be appreciated, for belonging and acceptance, and to be a famous artist.
I also wanted an ark of my very own, including a tiger, a soft-shelled turtle, every breed of dog in my very dog-eared copy of "Man's Best Friend" and a Platypus.  I also wanted a Kiwi bird, although they are extinct.

Woman who walks with Monkeys.  "Mysterystones" on Instagram

So.. some come true, some don't.  Sometimes what we wish for is just what we need, and other times it's a fantasy that we pass our time with, like a familiar friend that doesn't ask for explanations.

Some of our dreams change with us.  I learned as an adult when you love and accept yourself it comes naturally from others who love and accept themselves.  When I remember to be grateful for this gift I can give myself and others, everything works out just as it should.

My wish to be a famous artist has changed to a dream of making art everyday and sharing it with the world.

"Dawn Patel Art" on Instagram

My wish for the menagerie of creatures has turned into a world of imaginary creatures in my sketchbook.  (And two dogs and a cat at home)

The hands are trees and the trees have eyes.

And now... wishes for the future!
I wish to grow old and wear a yellow housecoat and chase the bus around.
I wish to grow old and hang out with the young street artists and breakdance and spray paint on the walls.
I wish to go canoeing through the Amazon at 80.
I wish to see the trees seeing me and talk to them.
I wish to run through the snow with my grandson and remind him of magic when he lets the world in too much.
I wish that any time any of my friends remembers me they picture a laughing face.

Me in my yellow housecoat.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mid life crisis?

It's been so long since I've last written a blog post, I was beginning to doubt the future of this venture.  I've been busy living life, and with all the activity and changes that this summer brought to my life, blogging was not on my mind.  But the days are getting shorter and the chilly winds of fall are beginning to remind me of those long nights of reflection....

Last winter... Community, Courage and Nature were on my mind.

Changes.  This whole mid life thing isn't bad at all, so if you're a younger woman (or man) reading this let me tell you;  there are many advantages to this stage of life when the pressures and expectations of the world seem to drop.  You can feel invisible and unwanted, if you choose to look at it through Society's blinders.  Or... you can finally step out of that cage that has been built through the Cultural  gaze and define and OWN your life.  Is this possible when you're younger?  I think it can be done to a point, but none of us are completely free from the world we live in, for better or worse.  Each stage of life has its own strengths and obstacles to be overcome.  Enjoy where you're at now... and know that it can just keep getting better.

The story can be told from the point of view of Ulysses, or the point of view of the Sirens

So yes, this means even now, in this period of freedom, none of us are completely free.  Our baggage, our personal history and the structures of culture we live within always, to some degree, will mold us and influence our thoughts, behavior and very being.  

We are the hands, we are the masks and we are the tangled webs

More to come...

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