Thursday, March 24, 2011



I just realized that I totally forgot about paintcam.  Here's my progress report.

Sorry about the distracting background. :(

That is all I have to say.  It's alright, I guess.  I'm actually a lot happier with my in-class assignment, which I will show you once I can bring it home from the studio.  This painting has been going very, very s-l-o-w-l-y.  Mainly, my problem is that I spend too much time on one area before I even have paint down on another.  As you can see, I still haven't gotten to the pebbles at the bottom of that glass...*sigh*.  Another one of my issues that needs tackling is that I HATE to leave things looking like crap, even if I know I'm going to fix it later.  Like that one area of the desk seen through the glass thingy.  That's driving me crazy.  Even though I'm not completely satisfied with this painting as of yet, I'm learning a lot from it.  Also, I guess I'm not really finished with this one either, so it's too soon to judge.  Harhar, there's still hope.

See ya <3

In which I make contradictory decisions

So I got this pair of red skinny jeans...
In the past I've promised myself that I would never buy a pair of colored skinny jeans, because while some people can pull them off, they generally look pretty stupid on me.  Ironically, red seemed like the worst possible color (jeans-wise), because it's a pretty bold color for a pair o' pants and I can see how it could very easily go wrong.  Also, I think I've always been a little internally disturbed by this awful image of Pete Wentz in bright red skinny jeans.  That being said, my first reaction to a pair of red skinny corduroys on sale at Gap was "HAHA.  Ew."
I kept coming back to them anyways though.  The first time was just to laugh at them some more.  The second time I was driven by resentful and bitter curiosity.  The third, fourth and fifth times were me checking to see if they were in my size and then slinking off to try them on.  They fit, so I decided to get them because no matter how much I denied it, I REALLY liked the color (and they were cheap).

I still wasn't 100% sure about them when I brought them home.  My mom politely said they were VERY bright, and my sister made a face and called them "tomato pants", saying they made her eyes hurt.  'Scuse the terrible pictures and wet-ish hair.

SERIOUSLY red, right?  But the more I wear them...

The more I decide

Bird shirt: Walmart...
Jeans: Gap

..That they are pretty cool.

Now, I realize that I may still look pretty stupid and, well...RED, but it's perfectly okay because I'm kind of in love with them anyways.  If I'm lucky, my red corduroy-induced stupor will stick around.
Oh and also, I've forgotten how much I like this awkward-fitting shirt.  I had on something different this morning, but changed into this one when I got home because it was comfy.  The bird kinda looks like it's attacking me, but it's a fun shirt.

That's all for now!  But no more colored skinny jeans for me.  This will be the first and last time.  Seriously.

I'll be seeing ya!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Etsy Artist: Jeremy Miranda

I'm currently browsing Etsy for fun and happened to stumble upon this awesome artist, Jeremy Miranda.  He's a Massachusetts-based painter working in Gloucester near the Back Shore, which is where he goes as often as possible to paint.  According to this spotlight interview/biography, Jeremy Miranda gets a lot of his inspiration from nature and architecture.  You'll see a lot of greenhouses and icebergs in his shop, which he likes painting because they "blur the line between landscape and architecture".  I have to agree, there's something very structural yet organic about both.
Take a look:

Aren't these lovely?  The thing that really amazes me is his sense of light.  His paintings just have this BEAUTIFUL glow about them.  Check out that awesome yellow!  He also paints pretty loosely by the looks of it, and it's amazing what he can achieve with a few brush strokes.  These are a few of my favorite things from his shop:

I love the afternoon-ish lighting  on the iceberg.

The water is amazing, I just want to dive in and take a swim.  Or not...actually, it looks pretty cold.

Gosh, don't you just love this??  The geometric-ness of the iceberg is so different from all his other iceberg paintings.  Also, one of my favorite things to look at in paintings is how the artist renders things that are supposedly one color.  Things like blank walls and smooth, monotone surfaces are the most intimidating things to paint, because it's SO easy to end up with a flat, depthless looking surface.  I think the coolest thing is how this iceberg has all kinds of blues, greens, purples and grays in it, but your brain still perceives it as a white object.  

I like these next two so much because you can see how the whole painting is made up of all these very simple elements.

Look at that LIGHT!

Jeremy Miranda also has some very nice drawings in his Etsy shop.  The ink and watercolor (or maybe gouache?) combo reminds me of old botanical prints.  I'm a fan of the mushrooms in this one, and the colors of the moss and the little log thingy are great.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed some of these paintings, because I sure did.  Take a peek around his Etsy shop, and also his website if you are so inclined. :)

See you guys later.

P.S. I'll be posting a paintcam update tomorrow, which I've been bad about.  Sorry. :(

Monday, March 14, 2011

Elephant Gun

Elephant Gun--Beirut

I just can't resist this song.  Every time I hear it I want to go frolic around outside (sometimes I do...). Elephant Gun is very evocative, in a shabby, faded, yet decadent kind of way (if that makes any sense).  It also has a waltzy feel to me because of the oom-pah-pah percussion and (I think) accordion.  I love the dizzy fluid-ness of all the instruments, and how Zach Condon's voice reflects that quality so well.
Oh, and I can't forget to mention the ukulele.  I think Zach makes us all want to play one, the intro alone is enough to make me love this song.  It starts out all wistful and then transforms into something a little more upbeat and playful, all in a matter of seconds.  I just got myself a uke a few weeks ago, actually, and Elephant Gun is the first things I learned how to play.

Normally I have more of a "listen just because I like it" attitude and don't analyze music quite this much, but this is one of my favorite songs and I feel bad not bringing some of my favorite things to attention. :P
In short, it's a really fun and charming song and I just love it.  Give it a listen, and I hope you enjoy it. :)

See you later!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

*is irrelevant*

Despite my unspoken (or, in this case, unwritten) decision to have a more organized and less erratic posting schedule, I present you with random lols:

He is very skinny, very timid, and about the size of a small horse.
  This is one of the many awkward positions my dog chooses to sleep in.  I think he looks like a stag leaping majestically towards the opposite bank of a bubbling stream...only horizontal and a little goofier.

"This better not go on your blog, Niki."

That is all. x)  Goodbye!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Paintcam, and what I wore today.


It has come to my attention that, although I designated this blog as a "mostly fashion" blog, there actually hasn't been all that much fashion-ing (that wasn't a word, but it is now) going on. :P  I apologize.  Even though I do like clothes and stuff, I don't dress blog-worthily (is THAT a word?) very often when the weather is as cold as it has been.  In my opinion, freezing weather is only fun when it's snowing.  Lately I have been looking like a hobo, because when you get cold as easily as I do, fuzzy sweatpants and hoodies are the only things in your dresser that actually exist.  HOWEVER.  Today it was sunny and (sort of) warmer, so I let myself have some fun.

Shirt: UO
Vest: was my mom's
Belt: Forever 21
Jeans: I have no idea.

I've had this belt for a little while, but hadn't worn it until today because it was big and I kept forgetting to trim and punch new holes in it.  I finally got around to that this morning though.  Yay!

I look weirdly not like myself in this one.

Thaaaat's more like it, harhar.  
I really kind of wanted to wear this with a pencil skirt and maybe some black tights, but 1) I don't have a pencil skirt and 2) even if I did, it's still a little too cold for that.  So jeans it is.  Oh, and the ribbon isn't part of the shirt.  I just stuck it there because the collar felt like it needed something.

Behold my sloppy bow tying skillz.  With a Z.
I wasn't too sure about it at first, but now I'm actually liking it a lot.

And that's it for the first part of today's post.
This second part is art-related and completely irrelevant, but still fun.  Anyways, here we go.

As I may or may not have told you earlier, I'm taking an oil painting class at my local community college this semester.  I've learned a lot already, have a great professor, and overall I am REALLY enjoying it.  We're working on two separate projects, one in the studio and one at home.  Our home assignment is ultimately to paint a still life (of whatever we want), but we're working step by step.  Right now I'm just finishing up the underpainting, which is a monochromatic wash that helps define the color values for your subsequent layers of paint.  In other words, a value study to set up the shadows and highlights.  The cool thing about oil paint is that, because it's not completely opaque, you can add a lot of depth by working in layers of color.  My professor told us to use burnt umber for our underpainting.  That's the "traditional" way, but there's no real reason why you couldn't use another color.  I want to experiment with that this summer.
ANYWAYS, I've decided to document my painting progress week by week.  It's really fun to see how the whole thing comes together.  I guess I should have taken a picture of the sketch that I did on the canvas, but it's not much to look at and I forgot. :P
Here's what I've got so far:

There are pebbles at the bottom of the glass that I've been *ahem* avoiding, so I'll be putting those in this evening.  Over all I think it turned out pretty okay.  I spent a little too much time painting tighter than I needed too, but on the bright side, that will make the rest of the process a lot easier.  Oh, and I'm happy because I found something to do with one of my plastic goldfish.

Anyways, that's all for today!  See you later.