Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Performance/Art and the Penny Treats!

One of the streetscapes I've been working on. Still in progress, but it's close to being done.

Hello, vast sea of internet readers. (Joke. I kid.) It's been a little too long since I've posted any pictures of my work, but I have a REALLY good reason. And now I have a few, just from finally being able to paint today following a week of chaos.

Want to see my reason? You can, a little later. (I'll post the video at the end of this post, along with a disclaimer and apology to my parents.) This past weekend was one of my favorite burner parties of the year - PEX's Heartburn. Set in a secret warehouse location, the party spans multiple massive floors, and more decorated rooms than I cared to count. DJ's, bands, art (I had a painting in the gallery this time), performances of all kinds, lasers, projections, and hundreds of happy partygoers all dressed up dancing the night away. And it's always a costume party. (It's my favorite way to celebrate a Hallmark holiday that otherwise means nothing in the dead of winter.)

My friend and I were invited to perform our burlesque act that we did as a part of Scorch this summer, for PEX Summer Festival and the Philly Fringe. Unfortunately our act involved fire, which was prohibited inside the venue. Unfortunately the fire part of our act took up about half of the performance, so we didn't think we'd be able to do it. Somehow by last Monday we were convinced that we should, and we should spent as much time as possible between then and that Saturday night coming up with a new second half of the routine. SO - needless to say, I didn't have a lot of free time last week for anything art related. The performance was fantastic, and it will certainly not be the last time you see us perform burlesque. We're adopting the name "The Penny Treats", graphics and logo forthcoming. (Penn Treaty is a park/area of Philly right near where both of us live.)

Anyway, today is literally the first day in a long time that I've had a chance to paint, and I've been itching to work on my commissioned piece and finish a couple other things up. It's not 100% confirmed, but I will probably have my work (some of it at least) hanging up in a local coffee shop called The Lola Bean for the month of March. I responded to an art inquiry and the woman immediately contacted me and said she loved my paintings and to see if I could do something that soon. As it is, the majority of my work is ready to hang from the last show, and although the First Friday opening will probably not be as big of a to do as the one at Grindstone, whatever. Maybe I'll sell something! (Mental note/list: Need more business cards. And flyers this time. And money to pay for that shit. Sigh.)

Here is a somewhat crappy shot of the commissioned painting I'm working on. Sorry - the glare just wouldn't go away, it's the afternoon. Please keep in mind I am still in the very beginning stages - I only just started to actually oil paint on top of the drawings within the last 2 sessions I've spent working on it.

Commissioned piece featuring merkaba, in progress.

It's slowly coming together. Even though I've planned out and gridded out a large part of the space, I want there to be much more and I'm not too sure what exactly that "more" is going to be of. I trust my process enough that I know it will come to me, organically, as the painting progresses, but I think it's because I'm so excited every time I work on this one that I find myself constantly thinking about it, imagining pieces, drawing and re-drawing sketches. I want to include an element of something natural, like vines perhaps, to contrast the sharp edges of the hexagons... and then I thought of including a red feather, because the painting is for my burlesque partner and her fiancé. (Newly engaged, congratulations lovelies!) I also want to somehow incorporate some kind of fractal design that is reminiscent of a plant or vine, but in addition to some kind of actual nature or plant life, not instead of. And the colors - just starting to figure out what is working and what isn't. Colors are often the one thing that I don't plan, but in this case I was given a vague idea of the palette that they wanted - however I didn't include color in most of my sketches so far.

Since there are so many lines, I've taken to using paint markers to draw them out before I paint. I learned (from a mistake) that paint markers and sharpies tend to show through a moderate to thin layer of oil paint, so in this piece I'm using that mistake to my advantage. I can hopefully avoid having to paint lots of thin, precise lines by letting the paint marker show through as much as I want - and so far I'm hoping it will become a subtle accent and not as obvious and bright as in the photograph above.

The first picture up top that I posted is another painting that I've been working on and sort of put on hold for the commissioned piece. It's a tiny streetscape and it's not done yet, but I'm hoping to be able to hang it up in the coffeeshop in March (because it's kind of a boring painting, and I'll make it kind of inexpensive comparatively, and maybe it'll sell.)

SO - now the moment you've all been waiting for! My burlesque show from Heartburn -we are The Penny Treats and the song is a remix of "Do Right"- (the Amy Irving/Jessica Rabbit version, the Gramaphondzie remix, and the Peggy Lee version all smashed together courtesy of Kezner, a DJ friend of mine who's too busy being married and having babies to play music right now. That's okay Kez, I love you anyway.)

Oh right - and before you watch...

DISCLAIMER: Please do not post this on Facebook or anywhere else on the internet without the express permission of myself and Lady J.

APOLOGY: Dear Mom & Dad - in case you haven't heard, I've been incorporating a little burlesque into my performance career. That said, please be aware that you will see some skin at the end of the video. BUT - it's ok, my nipples are covered, and it's tasteful. It could be worse - I could be a stripper - and I promise it will stay in the vein of burlesque and fire, and will not get trashy. Anyway, I'm sorry, but you're probably going to have to get used to it - and as you'll be able to hear, the crowd freakin' loves us! Lots of love, Xtina.



  2. Haha, yea it was aiight. :) I haven't seen video of the fire version yet from summer fest last year. This might be better thought! :)