Wednesday, October 17, 2012

She Sure is {Botanical}

Last night I painted this Okra.
Than I put it in a stew (the vegetable, not the painting). I know. I know. I am so legit domestic.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

She Sure is {almost drawing stuff}

Job-job has required near full attention as of late. As a result you've seen less sketchiness here than previously anticipated this year. Luckily, I really like job-job. Also, I really liked these fish at the zoo this weekend. That is all.

Monday, August 06, 2012

She Sure is {Notetaking}

On Friday we had a loooooooooong meeting at job-job. I took notes:

These are actually all applicable to my fulltime job. Lately I write stuff to my former self:
Dear Past Amber,
SEE? It was worth the wait! 
- signed future Amber

Sunday, July 29, 2012

She Sure is {Urban Gardening}

A few months ago my mom visited NYC for 24 hours. When she left, there were fond memories of manicures and Middle Eastern food and three miniature elephants, left behind as a calling card of sorts. I laughed and wondered what on earth I'd ever do with this tiny cast of characters. On my way out the door this morning they caught my eye as they marched across my copy of Michael Chrichton's Travels. I realized we had all been called to this higher purpose. Like some 1920 hot femme-conservationist I transplanted them in my satchel for a jaunty trip to my Terrarium class at Smith Street's By Brooklyn. They are taking to their new environment like champs.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

She Sure is {Sketchy} - A Return

A few months ago I had a creative crisis that resulted in the symbolic breaking of a 4b pencil over my knee. I declared myself the un-artist. It was done in an eff-this-crap kind of way.
Here's the thing -- the low down is this:

Two months ago it sucked. I was so OVER it. I stopped blogging, I stopped drawing. I still had to go to my totally artistic job-job. While there, in one of the more creative adventures of my life, (an irony not lost on my Pratt friends) I built a video game with an amazing team of people. Other than that I declared myself NONARTIST.

My dad (a fineartist) was rather supportive. However, he also managed to piss me off by laughing at me.
--"Sorry, kid - It's too late. You're an artist. It's OK to take a break"

"NO! I am not taking a BREAK! I am DONE! I say who... I say when..."
(When I am truly lost I retreat in to quoting Pretty Woman). 

Anyway. They were right. I was wrong. I'll blog more about this later. I'm actually a driven and dedicated artist who had a total meltdown. It might help my readers to know that that stuff happens even when you're not painting starry nights or sculpting vaginas -- and on that warm and fuzzy note...

Yesterday I went to the zoo. I innocently thought I'd maybe take a pen. Then I thought I might want to take some written notes or write a letter. I'd need some paper. Last Spring Ashley Robison organized my studio to absolute dream perfection, making paper oh-so-accessible. Fine. I thought I'd tip-toe in to that scary space I haven't been in since May. She'd mounted some hanging clipboards for me up against a wall. I reached in to the room. This way I didn't have to fully cross the threshold. I ripped a pre-papered clipboard down and scampered towards the Bronx with it.

It started innocently enough. There was this polar bear. He was a show off.

I sketched him without thinking about it.

Later, on the monorail, there were some deer.

So  this just happened:
Totally understandable. 

We happened upon this expansive bramble of peacocks.

I watched them for a long time. So long, I absently doodled them on the edge of my clipboard.
Nothing wrong there. Sometimes non-artists doodle! Whatever.
We packed up at the end of a looong day of Bronxing. I stepped on the 2 train.

Then we hit 129th street. I thought, maybe I should just look at those sketches...
By the time we hit Carroll Street, things had gotten out of hand. Apparently I'm an artist, and I'm back. Expect more blogging.

(Credit for All Photos Goes to April Alvarez, my kid sister who is more than actively shutterbugging her vacation in NYC).

Monday, June 04, 2012

She Sure is {Busy} - A New York Minute

Lately when I hang out with the friends who I've never ever, ever (what's one more for good measure?) had comment on my blog. They nudge me with their feet and say,

"Hey! Why don't you do a New York Minute at She Sure is Sketchy anymore?

At this I usually put my hand against my forehead Disney Princess style and feign ennui. We all know that is a lie though. I am always way too busy to get bored. Also, as a kid I wasn't allowed to use the word because it was treated like a curse word in my house. In the third grade when Kellen Brade declared himself as such during an epically long spelling test I was truly scandalized.

So in absolutely exciting news this week I...
  • Spent a blissed out morning with Rodin at the Met's sculpture garden 
  • I did some weekend antiquing with my interior designer pal who is a Pratt Grad and a Hawaii boy. Brooklyn won over Chelsea and we fell in love with Holler and Squall. With a sign like this who could blame us??
  • I hopped a train to the tail end of Brooklyn
  • Walked across the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Spent a simply perfect late evening with a best friend and a tall Tazo Calm Tea in the only soft and cushiony chairs at the Starbux off Pacific. You know in the second grade when there is only one swing available and you beat everyone to it? If so, you know you not only get to experience the exhilarating highs of near flying, but also the trodden faces of your sworn enemies (ie. the little girls who have mothers that do not force them to wear their hair in double braids). Winning that air conditioned nook at the coffee shop was like that.
  • A glorious holiday was spent basking in the glow of Coney Island
  • I tried to figure out when I had purchased the sunscreen I had on hand. Was it last summer or my trip to Hawaii.
  • I decided to apply it liberally and hope for the best
  • I nursed a burn because I bought it after I got back from Hawaii, to preserve an amazing tan, because it was not sunscreen, but rather suntan preserving lotion that is packaged to look like sunscreen.
  • I shook my fist at the sun.
  • I had a late night ballerina dance party in which I rocked out to Rob Thomas while wearing my polka-dot boxers and about eight yards of pink bubble wrap. I know it, my life is bliss. There are pictures, but they are not going to be seen here.
  • There was an amazing night that involved dancing in the rain on NYC's high-line
  • Followed by dinner at Sausage Inc. 
  • Then a deep dish dessert of Chris Hemsworth. Having never before belonged to the Church of Chris, I was shocked at how instantaneously I became a true convert. If you have not yet seen the light that is this magnificent specimen of a lightning wielding god that is this elder Hemsworth brother, you can read all about it in the words of Brittany Warnock. She *ahem*... hits the nail on the head. 
  • Later in the week I took back an iron clad rule I made for myself four years ago. In 2009 I vowed to never blatently lie to a man I am dating... I have kept that promise. However, I ask you, what was I supposed to do?!?! He asked if I'd seen the Avengers yet. He made it clear that he wasn't that in to seeing it. I blinked twice and I claimed that "I'd heard it was good..."
  • I saw the Avengers for the second time.
  • On Saturday there was another date that involved Snow White and the Huntsman. I'm concerned that there's a running theme here... 
  • I noticed that no matter the hotness of your date it is impossible to not fantasize about Chris Hemsworth at any time any physical contact is made in a week in which Chris Hemsworth is seen for any time greater than 30seconds.
  • I got distracted when a cashier's hand brushed mine while returning change. It's going to be a long blonde-god fantasizing week...
  • I saw Cruella Deville's much younger sister marching along Avenue of the Americas and just couldn't help but whip out my camera. I wish I'd caught her from the front, because she was awesome, but here's what I managed:
  • I had breakfast in front of the Flatiron before I headed to work. A new tradition for sure.
  • I got a major two degrees close to Rob Pattinson. An adorable co-ed was being phot-oggled by her much grandpa lover against one of the large landscaping boulders that they put in the street to create a little island of cafe tables on broadway and 5th ave. The mini mountains are there to keep you from being killed instantly  by oncoming traffic. (You will instead be hit by rough and ready shrapnel from a taxi plowing into a gigantic rock and die in the hospital five days later). However, this will be the backdrop to your demise:

    So there's that.
    I looked on as the young camera-ready girl went full on Lolita. She was more than comfortable pouring herself against a rock in a - "we-are-in-a deserted-waterfall-on-a-private-island-and-it-is-just-us-and-no-one-will-ever-see-these-pictures-because-we-love-each-other-too-much-to-betray-that-trust" way. I caught the eye of one of the only other girls eating their breakfast on the little island. We exchanged the look that goes with witnessing something that private in the middle of one of the most iconic parts of Manhattan. She giggled and rolled her eyes. Then I realized, "oh wait that girl is famous..". I was texting at the time and she reached up and put her sunglasses on and said "please don't tweet where I am? I just couldn't wear Spanx today." So I love Anna Kendrik forever and even more because she knows that girl was redonk and also that Spanx are too much.
  • I traveled to Soho where I shook down my brother's roommate with searching questions about the renter's market in Queens.
  • Then Karma got me.  I crossed the Greene, where I almost fell when the delicate strap on my last Summer's afternoon heels decided it had seen one to many cobbled stones in its life. I almost biffed it, saving myself at the last minute. Just so you know, unless you're on the last crusade and heading over the invisible land bridge with Indiana Jones, there is no worse place to fall than SoHo.

    It means you'll have to be smiled at. These aren't just any smiles, they are the curved and delicate lips-only half-smiles pf gorgeous amazonian women who tower over you. They would never be caught in last summer's heels.
  • Speaking of which, I have spent the last three months coveting my roommate's lipstick. She has been rocking a matte shade two tones pinker than her actual mouth, leading her face to look even more carved by Renaissance masters.  
  • I marched myself to Sephora and two hours and 12 tries later walked on to fifth avenue just this side of Masaccio.
  • I spent a fantastic and nerdy AM in the BK-Town at PolyTech at a robot fair. It was great. Then we saw this, and it became the best thing that happened to me all week:
  • No. I still have not learned to take videos with my camera. I have my BFA in film. Give me a Forox and you'll see that I know what the hell I'm doing, but equipped with a cell phone you'll have to make do with my apologies.
  • The Duchess and I worked on planning a bachlorette party of epic proportions
  • I animated more blood and guts and gore at job-job, which I love.
  • I realized that I am at a time in my life where I don't really have to do anything I don't want to do if I don't feel like doing it. With that in mind:
  • I began crafting this little fish sushi that I fell in love with on laughing squid's eccentric blog.
  • I had a great bf/gf-how awesome are we? chat with my roommate, the other girl who rules the penthouse at 302 Court. That's our weekend thing, but it always seems to be something of note.
  • I was gifted the best gift any girl can ever get by Nick, from the Cobble Hill Diner. He is selfless and wonderful and I adore him.
  • I grabbed my ratty copy of A Solitary Blue and decided to kick off my Summer tradition of visiting Jeff Greene a tinsy bit early. I did it here
    It filled me up with light.

    There were of course a lot of other things that happened this week, but those were the highlights and my favorites. I hope the day is busy for you. Want to fill me in on your best thing? How about your worst? Maybe your funniest? Lemme know, k?

Friday, June 01, 2012

Bucket List

Wear an amazingly fantasmagorical hat to the kentucky Derby

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

She Sure is {Wondering} In Times Like These...

I woke up to see my twittersphere aghast at the passing of our darling Mr. Sendak. My twitter feed is alight with children's authors galore, NPR listeners in droves, and elementary school librarians en masse, so when your idol dies, of course you hear about it, but... what do you say?

The Christmas of 1987 my gift haul was about as tall as I was. There were toys to play with and crafts to glue and a million things that needed my attention. However there were also a set of two delicious books entitled, "What do you do dear?" and "What do you say dear?"  I specifically remember laying across my parent's gigantic bed, basking in the sunlight while they read them to me and reread them to me and then PUHGLEEESE read them again! The thing is, I don't think they really minded that very much, because these books are absolutely brilliant. They made me double over with laughter. They made me scream with delight. How many memories can you say you specifically recall in sharp detail from when you were four?

These illustrations do that for me. They give me that moment back, when I am very small and in a HUMONGOUS queen sized bed and laughing with my family until I vaguely want to puke. 

Two years ago my mother and I had an epic difference of opinion that spanned three long months of stoney silence. My mom and I are best friends unless we wish we'd never met. One late night, missing her and desperately needing a loving conversation, but not enough to fight it out over the phone in the inevitable brawl before the calm, I crawled out of bed in my Brooklyn apartment, and grabbed this from the place of honor it holds on my bookshelf:

Little bear, that's me. Let's be honest, it's probably you too. When I turn its worn and grubby pages, I can hear my mother's voice. I can have the nicest conversation with her. We talk about trips to the moon and birthday soup and things I have always loved. How many permanent ties to the love you felt as a small child do you really have in this world?

Little bear was the beginning of Maurice Sendak's career, he and Else Holmemund Minarik created a beautiful collection of I Can Read books, way before anyone thought a child could ever be left behind. I know that as a child the words of course mattered, they always matter, but OH the PICTURES. I'd lay on my stomach on our 80s shag rug and study them for hours. You can just catch the humor in Mother Bear's eye as she cradles her little bear fresh from a moon landing. I know that in my life I've focused all the better on perfecting my ability as a line artist, because Maurice Sendak could say so much with a pen and two colors.

He has given me more than words can say, so let's move on, shall we? In times like these, at the passing of an idol, I ask....
I say the best we can do is remember him fondly, share him with the littles in our life, delight in the details or our lives and try to see the world as a child would want it shown to them. We can push ourselves to create things that will make a difference, but I think the greatest thing we can do to remember him is simply live our art. 

“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.” ― Maurice Sendak

and as As @sjaejones said so perfectly this morning in my twitter feed.
RIP Mr. Sendak, Let the Wild Rumpus Begin, wherever you are...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

She Sure is {Life Drawing} Blushing Nudes

Hibiscus tea ink and graphite:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

She Sure is {Life Drawing} in Charcoal

I may have mentioned before that Pratt's Draw-A-Thon is steeped in Tradition. In that tradition, I have two iron clad rules, and one is 'Friends don't let friends use charcoal'. I've spent the last decade softly smiling at the freshmen who are required to attend this blessed occasion. They are fuzzy. Like in a camera obscura kind of way... You can see them, but you can't really see them. They are covered in a thin layer of black dust. They look ridiculous. They look like this:

The crazed look in their eyes kicks in at about 4am. This year however, I was without Sandra, and so I was wooed by the racoon-rimmed eyes of a small sophomore sprite who had doused herself in ebony powder and was attacking her sketchbook with earnest. Knowing full well that charcoal sketches always look just plain awful and there's no way to glean anything actually happening with them, I was sure her work was going to be horrid, but her sketchbook was beautiful, so I had to ask her where she got it. She'd picked it up in Florence on a study abroad program. I braced myself for her dirty, dark sketches and was instead floored and impressed by how beautiful they were.

"Here, wanna try some?" she reached out her hand to share a broken stick and I was pulled back to a particularly lovely day on the bleachers in high-school. --OK.... Just a little... I thought. So here are my charcoal sketches from a long night, in which I made new friends, with kids and with medium.



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