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Nostalgia

Apr. 13th, 2011 | 01:30 am
mood: nostalgicnostalgic
music: Castles Made of Sand...Jimi Hendrix

Between getting engulfed in huge waves of nostalgia...I've been semi-productive. The semester's winding down, and most of my important assignments are either due this week or the next, and then I'm free until finals. The university magazine featuring one of my paintings and a selection of my poetry is finally coming out, and I'm tickled pink. I'm not sure whether the painting is going to be featured in the online gallery which the publication tends to do with a lot of work or in the actual print copy, but I do know that my poem is in the printed edition for sure.

This is the selected painting:


Come Undone by =MadElfTk on deviantART

It's almost strange in a way being reunited with this painting again. I started it out of a bittersweet longing for something that I could never place, and I always revisited it at some of the lowest and highest points in my life...the last time of which was after being released from the hospital. My appendix burst, and I was still fighting off the infection and recovering the surgery which had been more invasive than the usual appendectomy (let's just say I got a partial involuntary gastric bypass surgery in addition to my appendix being removed as the infection had progressed to other major organs). I think I started my senior year or maybe even my late junior year of high school, and it's just something that's always been with me and keeps following me.

Art-wise, not a lot has been happening with me in these last few days. I sold a few prints and was commissioned for something new which I don't have much of the stomach to do, but the customer is always right...no matter how clichéd or hokey the imagery may be. Sometimes I wish that I'd majored in art because I know it's one of those fields that I love, but there's whole debate of practicality versus pursuing a dream. I'll just keep it a hobby that occasionally pays for now.

Some other recent work:


Born This Way by =MadElfTk on deviantART


Discipline Your Hands by =MadElfTk on deviantART


Decapitata Chiaroscuro by =MadElfTk on deviantART

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Le Printemps

Mar. 19th, 2011 | 08:38 pm
mood: cheerfulcheerful
music: Bold As Love- The Jimi Hendrix Experience

It's finally feeling somewhat like Spring at home, and thank goodness for that. I don't have much to ramble on about beyond finishing a few paintings and being commissioned for a few more. It seems odd that someone would want to buy prints of my newest self portraits, but I'm not complaining at all.


Mask by =MadElfTk on deviantART


Are You Experienced? by =MadElfTk on deviantART


Acapella by =MadElfTk on deviantART

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David Bowie and Other Topics

Jan. 29th, 2011 | 01:25 am
mood: indescribableindescribable
music: Life on Mars- David Bowie


Life on Mars? by =MadElfTk on deviantART
Sometimes I like to say that on Planet Briana...the Holy Trinity consists of David Bowie, the Father, David Usher, the Son, and Devendra Banhart, the Holy Spirit. I'd started a celebrity series awhile back, beginning with Grace Jones, and I kept putting off David Bowie's painting for a long time (he had to pop up sometime...he's pretty much the only celebrity that I fan-girl over). Even this sketch laid around for a few weeks before I cleaned it up and painted it. I suppose that I'm happy with the results...I was going for a flat pop-art feel. I sort of got it how I wanted it in the end, but I'm wishing that I'd done a full-body or at least waist up painting of him now. Well...hindsight is 20/20.

I've been in a painting mood lately (much to my detriment in pursuing other things which should take a priority in life...e.g. studying. However, I'm doing well...even I wouldn't get so distract as to mess up any of my grades). I've been feeling better too...being sick for a month and half-ish really takes a lot out of you emotionally and physically. I'm also pretty much resolved with the things that didn't happen for me the way I envisioned them this semester (the whole being head over heels for someone who is completely oblivious thing, but that's another story for another day). You can't let the small things get you down...so I've decided to have a positive outlook for the rest of this year. It's hard to believe that in two months, I'm going to be twenty. Twenty! I'm not sure whether I feel more like celebrating or freaking out.


Opium by =MadElfTk on deviantART


Dia y noche by =MadElfTk on deviantART

I just finished Chuck Palahniuk's Invisible Monsters. It was much better than Fight Club. Chronologically, I believe that this was his first novel, but it was revised and published after Fight Club's début into the literary world. There are a lot of shared elements between the novels...but rather than having your corporate mid-level disgruntled cubicle worker as the protagonist, you get a former, now mutilated model. In many ways Invisible Monsters went to places that even Fight Club didn't dare go in terms of content. I know Palahniuk approached a few directors about getting this novel turned into a film and was rejected because no one wanted to direct a movie that would even at a cursory glance require an NC-17 rating. Long story short, that's how we were all introduced to Fight Club as the first film based on Palahniuk's work. Good book if you're thick-skinned, and it still stands apart from anything that Palahniuk has written lately. It feels like most of his newer novels are more about shock value than substance...so if you haven't read anything by him or only Fight Club bypass anything new he's written and go straight for his older novels. Now I'm also reading this anthology (best word I have for it) of essays on pop culture by Chuck Klosterman...Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puff, and it's every bit as much of the pretentious hipster read I imagined before even opening the book; that doesn't destroy the book's entertainment value or invalidate some of Klosterman's insights. I'm about thirty or so pages into it (I let it sit on my desk for two weeks after buying it while I read other things like Beowulf for the second time and French conversation transcripts to keep myself from flunking out of college), and I have to admit that I'm echoing a lot of his sentiments (but without the smug tone coating every word). With just this in mind, I'll recommend it. Despite the whole condescending tone, it is an interesting book.

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Parfois.

Jan. 17th, 2011 | 02:12 am
music: Je repars- David Usher




Je repars...the absolutely beautiful single released from his newest album, The Mile End Sessions. David Usher co-sung this with the quebecoise singer, Marie-Mai. I stumbled onto David Usher a few years ago, and his music is something that I can't believe I lived without all this time. I wish he'd tour around here, but someday I'll make the trek up to Montréal to see him live.


So, it's the second week of the semester, and I'm pretty much already stressed out. Same issues, different day. I've been sick for what is now the fourth week, and it's tiring. I'm starting to think that this is less of a freak occurrence of the flu and more of a continuation of the lung infection that I've had since well the second half of last semester. I'm just not up for a third round of antibiotics and another hundred dollars down the drain. I hate the cliché saying, but I'm sick of being sick. The classes this semester are going to definitely make me a hermit for quite a bit too...and of course much to my dismay...some of them focus on group work, the lovely sort of "I already know that I'll be doing most of this project on my own" group work.

Everything isn't negative though...I got some lovely prints finished and hanging on my wall which is a small victory for this week, and Ohayocon is right around the corner. Although our table deal fell through at this particular convention; I'm still planning on bringing a small sketchbook with some conveniently placed sample prints to pick up a few commissions.


For the Love of a Swan by =MadElfTk on deviantART

As I've said, last week has been a little emotional roller-coaster for me with some huge highs and lows...mostly influenced by me being sick. So this was a little piece of catharsis/venting art because sometimes it's just good to get it all out in ways where simple words just fall short.

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Janvier- Bonne année à tous et à toutes!!!

Jan. 11th, 2011 | 03:14 pm
mood: calmcalm
music: "Raindrops" Prelude, Op 25, no 15

I'm back on campus, and as always...January promises to be the most uninviting time to be outside in Ohio. I like walking...so I take every opportunity to walk to class, especially the ones which are far away, but right now it's just miserable. As if the general brittle cold weren't bad enough, there's the snow, wind, and continuing storms, but thank goodness Spring is around the corner even if it feels like I'll never see it again. Break was break; I had the flu most of my break- so a lot of visiting didn't get done, but I did finish a fair bit of new artwork.


Death and the Maiden by =MadElfTk on deviantART
I've always wanted to employ the romantic/renaissance motif of 'Death and the Maiden' in my paintings, and I think I always intended it to be in a future self-portrait. It's just me...really examining myself again. Who I am. I try to live as more than a reflection of my poor health, but sometimes it just catches up with me. I've been sicker this year than I have been in a long time, and it's more of an annoyance than anything, but sometimes it's just exhausting. I haven't been this sick so often and so severely since I was a little kid.

This year in retrospect, I've made much better 'college friends' this year than I did last year, and I've become even closer to the ones that I kept from last year, but I can't help but feel like a jerk sometimes for how little I talk to some of my very best friends from high school. It's not intentional or malicious on my half...I've never liked talking on the phone, and this year I just haven't been on facebook often enough to really sit down for a good conversation and to catch up. I hate that growing apart from the people you knew best and who knew you best is a 'natural' part of life. It's just depressing. I can't drive just yet, so I can't even drive and visit them when they're having small occasions or just at home for a few days. I know it's stupid, but I almost feel like getting really close with people on campus at my university is a betrayal to my friends back home given how little time I've talked to them this year, and I miss them a lot. Things are just complicated right now, and I'm rolling with the punches.


Stargher's World by =MadElfTk on deviantART
This was inspired by one of my favourite films of all time, The Cell. It's a crime drama mixed with fantasy. The best way I can describe it is to take Inception's plot and mix it with Silence of the Lambs's. It's a mind hopping race to save a serial killer's last victim. The acting from of the main cast is a little sub par, but the artistry of the film really changed how I watched movies, and this was way back in 2000 when I still only nine. No, I don't recommend showing this to your little kid siblings, nieces, and nephews...this film is graphic- even for your stable, mature adults, but it is definitely worth a watch even if these sorts of things aren't your usual cup of tea. Tarsem, though he hasn't directed as many films as other directing vets, he's going places, and his work is something unique and refreshing to the same regurgitated fare that overpopulates Hollywood today.

Looking ahead to the rest of the semester...this'll definitely be my busiest semester. It won't be any harder than my others have been, but work wise, I know it'll be a bit on the steep side, but I'm loving each minute of it. A quiz already, and I haven't even been to all of my classes yet, but I'm taking classes I like with professors I like. So I'll see how things are shaping up. My books were absolutely ridiculous this semester though...$420 so far on the books and $125 on a calculator that I'll only ever need this semester. Yep, thank goodness I don't have any other bills to worry about and that commissions are coming in fairly regularly because I need the money. :/


Opium by =MadElfTk on deviantART
My last painting for awhile...and it isn't quite finished. Photoshop died on it once already because Elements can barely run my rigged CS3 brushes. It isn't quite finished yet, but it's getting there. I partially attempted an ukiyo-e style with the waves in the background.

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So Goes December

Dec. 23rd, 2010 | 08:01 pm

I've been passing the first few days of a much needed winter break rather languidly...just painting here and there.


Just Let Me Go. by =MadElfTk on deviantART


Love Like Pomegranates, a self portrait


I honestly hadn't envisioned this second piece being as nearly controversial as it was. Of course it wasn't nearly as controversial on deviantART as it was with people who intimately know me or least I thought knew me. See that's the thing with religious symbolism...the painting in brief really is supposed to symbolise a desire for unity and love at a very cursory level. The deeper level has a lot of personal symbolism to me...the conflict of two different faiths/moral backgrounds...the conflict of secularism against piousness bordering on fanaticism between myself (the somewhat overt secularist) and someone I really, really like...but I didn't even go into that in the explanation I offered to others about the painting. It just made me really realise that I censor about 60% of whatever I share with my parents, especially my mother. I've just come to accept that she's older and stuck in her ways and beliefs. I mean even today, we were sitting at a table for lunch reading two copies of Scene, NE Ohio's attempt at a counterculture zine (think The Village Voice but much, much smaller and not as good). She royally freaks out the moment she turns the page to an article on the Cleveland Freethinkers.

Her words exactly, "Atheists. I don't understand how people can't believe in God. That's nothing but the Devil. Stay away from them."

I retort with a nervous nod from my side because not only do *I* associate with them, I am a member of KSU's Freethinkers, and yes, am practically an atheist myself. I like to describe myself as a Catholic Atheist half of the time. I believe in the spirit of what religion is supposed to do...the good works and spreading love and care...but you can keep the dogma and hate that it spreads. It was just a disheartening moment for me...realising that I could never be half as open with my friends and family as I'd ever like to be. She never even saw my painting in full; I knew better than to show her that. I didn't want to deal with a heart attack...but she took one look at the part focusing on my face and asked if I was suicidal because there was a grenade where my mouth should be. Sometimes I wonder if we're speaking two different languages...me explaining the symbolism of love conquering hate hence the written script on top of it was entirely lost on her. She can be so exceptionally thick that it's maddening. It's a slightly similar story with some friends I have at KSU as well. You'd think that you'd encounter more fanatics in a private single-gender Catholic high school than you would in a liberal state university, but you know what they say about assumptions. I'm not going to bother going into that, but let me share something actually makes me happy.

The Slackers

Now if you're a ska fan...then this should make you happy as well! I can't believe that I didn't discover this band until now. Now go give them a listen.



Ludicrous video, wonderful band, great sound.

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O Mistress Mine

Dec. 10th, 2010 | 08:23 pm
mood: calmcalm
music: O Mistress Mine- Emilie Autumn


O Mistress Mine by =MadElfTk on deviantART

Where are you roaming?

I spent a little more than a week stuck in my own head lying mostly in my bed when I wasn't in class. A combined ear and lung infection isn't exactly conducive to my social life; so, I sorely neglected some friends this week and the last. I was prescribed amoxicillin to which I had a very adverse reaction, but now I'm on azithromycinm and at last all is well. I'm not feeling 100% just yet, but I'm getting back somewhere near normal.

I am so glad that this semester is coming to an end. I really enjoyed it, and my classes, but it was a little trying at times. I didn't nearly have the amount of free time this semester that I had last year (blame French Composition for that)...so those nice sitting down days where I could just paint or write were really few this time around. I'm so grateful that I signed up for a Creative Writing class this semester or else I wouldn't have been able to do much writing at all, and I am going to miss that class. Poetry will never just be my cup of tea; I'm a prose girl, but I have oodles more respect for it now. Not sure if I mentioned this in my last entry, but I'm very likely to be published in KSU's art and lit magazine Luna Negra (http://lunanegraksu.wordpress.com/) for poetry and/or artwork, and I'm psyched about that. I'm also entering the Wick Poetry Competition for a scholarship...so wish me luck! My professor was very, very encouraging, and I'm feeling rather confident about my likelihood of actually winning something. I'll be preparing all of that next week between my finals. In the end of it all though, I'm looking forward to snuggling up with a few good books and working on some artwork over the long break.

Best holiday wishes! <3

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Writer's Block: That's good eating

Nov. 28th, 2010 | 05:10 pm
mood: awakeawake

Ramen Noodles. Such a meal is completely unhealthy, I know...and not exactly good "home-cooking" when you'd think of a classic childhood dish, but it was one of the first meals my parents trusted me to make on my own. I remember it tasting absolutely amazing, but after moving onto better and more complicated things in the cooking arena, when I came back to that classic meal one lazy evening, it was quite lacklustre. I started experimenting, trying to enhance it by fooling around with other spices but to no avail it was still incredibly bland. A few years and a bigger city later, I learned the difference between fresh ramen and the dried mass-produced Maruchan brand after paying a visit to a quaint little noodle shop downtown. So more or less, ramen is still an amazing childhood meal for me.

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ShutoCon, Lansing MI

Nov. 28th, 2010 | 01:24 pm
location: Behind your shoulder
mood: calmcalm
music: Innocence, Bjork

I'll be there, have a table, and will be taking commissions. Other than that...nothing much has been going on in my less than fabulous life at the moment. I may be published soon in KSU's art and poetry magazine, Luna Negra, for both artwork and poetry (which is odd as I'm far more of a prose person). I've been talking to the editors and the other bigwigs running the show, and it sounds like I've definitely made it in which is exciting. Other news art-wise, I've been working on all sorts of commissions right now (it's strange to think that I'm actually making money in this field which was always just a hobby for me, but I'm not complaining. However, a major-change has been in consideration, but I love politics far too much for that at the moment). I've still yet to really start on these T-shirt designs which I've been commissioned to do, but I have a few technical sketches worked out on bristol board...so that should be interesting once it gets done.

Right now, I'm sitting under a pile of French translation and composition work (imagine writing research papers in French about once a week, and you'll get how I feel about that). I'm glad the semester is slowly winding down until that frantic week of final exams. I'm actually looking forward to my classes next semester; it just feels like I'm caught in such a strange sort of limbo right now. Maybe I just need a good book to occupy me. Any recommendations?

As always, latest work:


Pain And Catharsis by =MadElfTk on deviantART


L'Enfant du Printemps by =MadElfTk on deviantART


Grace Jones by =MadElfTk on deviantART

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Long time, no see LJ!

Sep. 8th, 2010 | 02:15 am
mood: artisticartistic
music: Brick- Ben Folds

I think I'm finally going to start using this account for more than just the occasional rant. I've nothing to say at the moment other than I am loving my sophomore year so far in college. Here's some new artwork...


Skinwalker by =MadElfTk on deviantART


Awaiting Your Return by =MadElfTk on deviantART


Xochitl by =MadElfTk on deviantART

I really took a long hiatus from life this summer, and I'm just now getting back to my old self, indulging in all of those old hobbies. I dug out my moleskine, and let's just say that my microns and I have been extremely busy this last week.

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