Category Archives: art

Long Time No Blog

I haven’t been posting here in a while, so I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. In the interest of preventing a long rambling entry, I will try to summarize what I have been up to and if any of them strike you, I can go more in depth on the subject. I will start from this morning and then work my way through the month of June.

4 July 2009

The WPA Humane Society shelter was open from 9-11 today for volunteers only since it’s Independence Day, so I went to walk some dogs. The shelter has been slammed with surrenders recently, so they are really full. If you are thinking of fostering or adopting, now is the time. I walked two dogs. I walked a puppy named Ashley and a big boy named Sunny.



ASHLEY – ID#A106689

  • Sex: spayed female
  • Breed: Pit Bull Terrier.
  • Age: 3 months old.
  • Weight: 14 pounds.

Ashley is a sweet puppy, full of puppy energy, but also very affectionate. She stayed by my legs almost the whole walk, and she loved to give kisses and sit on my lap.



SUNNY – ID#A107037

  • Sex: neutered male
  • Breed: Pit Bull Terrier.
  • Age: @ 1 year and 1 month old.
  • Weight: 59 pounds.

Sunny has a name that suits him because he definitely has a sunny disposition. He has had a rough life and was found tied to a park bench for a couple days. But he is so friendly and full of joy now, let him bring some sunshine into your life!

Out of some of the dogs I’ve walked, Buddy, Hercules, and Dreamcicle have all been recently adopted! I have gone on two off site events with the shelter, one to Bark in the Park in Mt Washington, and one to Lucky Paws Pet Resort in Freedom, PA.


June 1-2

We adopted a kitten from the WPA Humane Society. I came to walk dogs and it was feeding time, so I went in to visit the cats while I was waiting. The whole time I was in there, one kitten would not stop meowing the whole time except when I was at his cage. He also kept reaching his paws out thru the bars and knocked his sign off. Later that day, I brought Rado back to see him and it was love at first sight. I really think the cat picked us. His original name was Oreo, but we changed it to Marko Meowii. Oreo is still his middle name I guess. We named him Marko because our adoption counselor was named Mark and because of the Bulgarian folk hero Krali Marko. Meowii because of how vocal he is and how he made our hearts melt. We did the paperwork June 1st, but he had to be neutered still, so we got to pick him up the afternoon of June 2nd. He is a joy to have in our lives. Marko has his own blog at

Marko and Me

Marko and Me


June 18th

I started a Calligraphy class today at CCAC. It is a non-credit community education course. I love it! I had been exposed to calligraphy in 7th grade and liked it then, but had no idea how many different calligraphy alphabets there are. So far we have learned Italic, and two kinds of Versals. Next week we are doing the Celtic alphabet. It is a lot of fun and I hope to incorporate it into my poetry and make my  poetry as much a visual art as a literary art.



June 22nd

I have started playing tennis. Surprisingly I am not atrociously terrible at it. Rado and I have been playing in the park and we are both learning, so we don’t get a lot of volley back and forth, but are happy when we hit it. We have my parents rackets, which everyone who saw them had to comment on how old they were. They are heavy wooden rackets probably from the late 70s, early 80s. They still work just fine, thank you. They are both WIlson rackets, one “Chris Evert Personal” and the other “Stan Smith Pro Cup” Rado bought me a more lightweight racket at a church yard sale down the street. It works pretty good too. It’s titanium and is a Wilson Rak Attack Jr.


June 23-25

Went to Ohio to help my brother with the dogs. Took Akira in my Dad’s car to the park, and walked Shiro around the neighborhood.

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June 27th

We had dinner at the neighbors across the street. It was a very international dinner with one of our hosts being from France, and of the guests a couple- one from France, one from Italy- and a couple from Senegal. Rado played his accordion and everyone danced or played maracas and clapped. It was really fun. We hope to have more evenings like that.


June 28th

We had some people over to watch the Confederation Cup Final- U.S.A vs Brazil. U.S.A dominated in the first half, but Brazil recovered in the second half and overtook the U.S. 3-2. I was very impressed with how good the U.S. team is getting. Our goalie is especially superb. I hope it makes soccer/(football to the rest of the world) more popular here.


Random: Other than that, I’ve been working a lot, riding my bike, playing with Marko, playing with my Burmese nephews, trying to blog at my new funk music blog , sketching and drawing more, writing, reading, and trying to enjoy life. Until next time,



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Ode to King

King of All He Surveys

King of All He Surveys

Yesterday, I Only had time to walk King before I had to babysit my Burmese nephews. We had a good walk, although not long enough for King. Then I went to look after my Burmese “nephews.”

Nway Oo, Wa Than, & Auntie Sarah

Nway Oo, Wa Than, & Auntie Sarah

I once read in a Babysitters guide from Scholastic, when I was too young to babysit, that no matter what kids have at their house, you should bring a “kit” because it’ll be new and exciting. I brought colored papers, colored pencils and crayons, and origami patterns. I, of course, participated in the projects, and ended up drawing King. Then I made it into a 3-d project by adding a separate crown and attaching the whole thing to a toilet paper roll– a good project for children, if I do say so myself!

3d Paper King

3d Paper King

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Artist Talk @ Brew House Space 101 Gallery


Yesterday, I went to hear my friend Rose  Clancy talk about her artwork and creative process at the Brew House Space 101 Gallery. Rose has been a participant in the Distillery Program residency, along with four other artists. Anna Mikolay, one of the artists, was also there to talk about her works and process. Finally, Heather Pinson was there as artist Matthew Liam Conboy’s proxy to speak on his behalf. Before the talk started, there was mingling and food and drinks. The art was great, it was great to hear about the creative process of visual art because it was so close to my own process with creative writing. I also had very deep meaningful conversations with these ladies, and shared in a vibrant, exciting, nurturing, female energy.

Related Link:

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Artist Trading Cards (ATC) Update

I posted before about participating in an ATC exchange ( Well my cards arrived last week, and I wanted to scan them, but the scanner is broken. So here is a photo of them! I felt sort of embarassed because they are a lot better than mine, but I really enjoyed making mine, so hopefully they won’t be too disappointed in them….


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What Greeted Me This Morning, and, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

You had to be there. That is not a good way to start out a description. Because it doesn’t tell you, my reader, anything. But it is also true. However, I will try to describe my experience this morning the best and can and explain what it meant to me.

I closed at the coffee shop last night. When I left, nothing was amiss. When I arrived this morning and unlocked the door, there was something noticeably out of place. Within a direct path from the door to the cash register there sat a pyramid of coffee cups, and atop it, a construction engineer action figure who looked like a cross between Bob the Builder and the Village People guy…


That was definitely not there when I locked up last night. I thought it was strange, but kind of cool. The sun was rising higher and shining directly on the little man and and his mountain. As I began to think that I may be dreaming, or crazy, my co-worker arrived and he saw it too. He wanted to know if we could leave it up as installation art.Then he took a picture of it with his Poloroid camera. He wrote a caption that was a poem and a piece of art in and of itself.


He came in the night/ built a mountain/ to watch the sun rise

I drew a sketch of the sculpture on receipt paper. The poloroid, the poem, the sketch…it got me thinking about a piece I had read a couple years ago, and written much longer ago, called “Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” This is a work by German cultural theorist Walter Benjamin, written in 1936. In it, he discusses the distance between an original piece of art, or even a landscape, and it’s reproductions, and reproductions of reproductions. He says, “Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.” This applies with me trying to tell you about the experience as I had it when I first discovered the cup montain with the builder action figure. The “you had to be there” element. Benjamin also says that  a piece of artwork or even a landscape, “is jeopardized by reproduction when substantive duration ceases to matter.” He talks about the “aura” that an original thing has, and how it is depreciated the more it is reproduced. But what if it becomes something else? For example, the poloroid of the sculpture with my co-workers words scrawled on it. I think that is an original piece of art in and of itself. And  maybe it is true that a reproduction of anything is not the same as the original. But it is better than not getting to see it at all. Reproduction brought art to the masses, made it accessible. I could never afford a Rembrandt, but I can get a print of it to hang in my living room. And if I appreciate it and I enjoy it, then….maybe something is lost, but something is also gained. And sometimes with a transformation, like the poloroid, happens. Then doesn’t that have it’s own “aura” so to speak? You can read the whole text, translated, of Art in the Age of Mechanical reproduction here:

Afterward: When the perpetrator of this sculpture arrived he said that he was so happy there was an action figure of a regular person he had to buy it. That it looked like someone’s Dad. Ah, the beauty in the ordinary.



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No Dumping

found on Federal St & Eloise St, Pittsburgh

found on Federal St & Eloise St, Pittsburgh

the young girl superimposed next to the warning not to dump had larger implications for me….like the problems we are dumping onto the next generation…

"Because we don't think about future generations, they will never forget us."  ~Henrik Tikkanen

"Because we don't think about future generations, they will never forget us." ~Henrik Tikkanen

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Artist Trading Cards (ATC)

When my friend and editor of Plain Spoke, Cindy Kelly, posted as her status on facebook that she wanted to know who would make artist trading cards with her, I was intrigued. I wasn’t sure what that was, but it sounded like something I’d be interested in. So I looked it up, Artist Trading Cards are miniature works of art the same size as baseball cards. ATC was originated by M.VÄNÇI STIRNEMANN in Switzerland in 1996. Artist trading cards must designed and self-produced, and then traded with each other, preferably in person. This is not about money, as the cards are traded card for card with no fee. All techniques and material are allowed, the only rule is on the size (64 x 89 mm or 2 ½ x 3 ½ inches). I am probably not that good of an artist, but it is something I have always enjoyed doing, so I decided to give it a go. I did a series of Japanese (Magic) Shiitake Mushrooms in varying colors. Here are the results:

Magic Shiitake Series

Magic Shiitake Series


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