Archive for June, 2008

What was Radical Then . . .

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , , on June 30, 2008 by darcyarts

My postcard work last week led me to try some of the collage images that I originally did in 2006 on matchboxes. 







I chose interesting faces. Like Paramahansa Yogananda.

I read his autobiography when I young. He seemed very cool. He reminded me of my friend Alice Marquez. Both had the same hair and similar soul shines.

Alice came from a middle class family in Santa Paula. She was an Aquarius and wanted to change the world. Alice was among the group of UCSB students who tried to burn down the Bank of America in Isla Vista. The woman in the background of the pix on the site above looks alot like Alice.

It sounds tremendously foolish now but back then I guess it made some amount of sense to those young people. I guess it took a while for them to learn that the corporate state could smash them like tiny ants.

Alice is just a regular mom now. I think she works in the office at the school her kids attended.

For more retro-protest fun here is an excerpt from a guy’s novel about the bank burning with lots of pix.

Here are two more postcards from the matchbox set:

Drummer extraordinaire Ginger Baker and and the iconic image of Che Guevara.

South Market Street on either side of the railroad tracks is just full of tarnished jewels. I tried a few of these as postcards.

This photo captures a beautiful juxtaposition. It is born of my strange obsession with aging electrical boxes. I see them everywhere but how many people notice this fabulous, faded orange-red box?

The blue sky, the green trees, the tan brush and the great yellow X on the left door of this thing just makes me so happy.

It’s like a forgotten industrial flower dropped into the environment. I’m sure it started out bright and slick and over the years, as it did it’s job of protecting its electrical innards, it slowly faded and grew into something that’s sort of become part of the vegetation.

Look at this box car. It’s that same faded red-orange. It’s scuffed and rusted. The track is rust colored, the wheels are, too. Thess colors in the orange range look so good with the green trees and the blue sky.




Doesn’t the box car with tree look like an image from the ’40s?



Last Thursday I wanted a stamp of a cup of coffee. I made this little block.

I cut the coffee section away so now I must color in the coffee. I can make it black or a light cafe with various amounts of cream to color depending on my mood. I could even make it hot chocolate or any kind of tea. It’s now a flexible cup.

If I had cut the block perfectly it would always end up filled with the same drink.



There is a cool thing on Kelly Brewer’s site this morning. After you view the sweet video come back and check out Matt Harding’s alternative success story.

Bill Hicks on Sunday Morning

Posted in Art, socialization, television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 29, 2008 by darcyarts

This is Bill Hicks. He was a comedian who worked until 1994 when he died of pancreatic cancer.

His point of view was in stark contrast to that of his upbringing. He was raised in a southern Baptist home. His parents were good people but Bill just wasn’t having any of the close-minded dogma.

Love or Fear, Light or Darkness I agree that it really does all boil down to shining the light or extinguishing it.

Here are Bill’s last words to the public.

To those who are viewing this entry on a separate page:

Feel free to ignore these unsolicited “possibly related” blog suggestions below. This is a tacky addition from wordpress. Wonder if I can disable it.

Some Links may be Temporarily Disabled

Posted in Uncategorized on June 28, 2008 by darcyarts

Okay, I know it’s happened before but as I become more invested in putting my work on Etsy the occasional outages are getting a tad more irritating.

A note here for anyone who is strolling through my old posts. Etsy is down and there are a few images that appeared to be X ed out. I’m confident they will be back up soon but . . .

It might also be my computer I guess. I found only one blog with a mention of the outage and some replied that they could get Etsy up on their computers. Can it be regional? My computer knowledge is not sufficient to know the answer.

I know that my photo program is misbehaving. And dang I have a photo of a truly dorky shrinky dink necklace. It’s a pix of Kat von D and Nikki Sixx. Don’t make fun of me because I’m mentally challenged, yo.  

Well, later.

Okay it’s later. I restarted and tried Firefox. Still no etsy.

 Soon I must make my way through the smoke to the newspaper for another fire-tracking day.

Here’s the pix:

Here is a really good picture. How frickin’ beautiful are these two?

Kat appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel Show and Nikki was in the audience with her mother. So, so cute.

I hope for everybosies sake that Nikki is truly finished with his self-destructive days. He still looks great and I hope he keeps it that way.


R.Crumb Gets Blocked

Posted in Art, music with tags , , on June 27, 2008 by darcyarts

I finally got to the mighty Robert Crumb yesterday.

Observing his work and work ethic was one of the most influential factors in getting me to put something on the page.

So here is my Crumb immortalized as a block print.

This is the test sheet. All my changes on this block were very subtle and may not even be noticable at this size. The test sheet is essential to refining the block. I carve little bits away until I get it right.

In the last two prints (l to r) I shaved away just enough of the nose line to decrease the false-nose look I was getting in the beginning.

These blocks are cut small to start with and were intended to fit onto an ACEO size sheet of paper.

I also use small blocks because I’m frugal. I try to do the most with what’s at hand.

I’m still learning about materials. I always manage to come up with unique solutions as bumble my way through the process.

When I get the vision of something I want to do I eventually find my way to the right supplies.

If I really need something it will come to me.

I have been thinking of a shelf for my growing collecton of stamps. I keep making them and I need somewhere to store them. ideally somewhere centrally located in my work space.

I walked into the All Saints thrift store yesterday and found this beautiful old printer’s box.

I paid $12 for it. People have, in the modern day, placed small knick knacks or collectibles in them but they were made to hold print blocks. Back in the days of typeset printing.

This box is well made and small enough to fit right against the wall on my work table.

I am stoked, chuffed and tickled magenta.

More Pix and a Dream of Irritation

Posted in dreams, socialization with tags , , , , , , on June 26, 2008 by darcyarts

More examples of the really nutty design sense on display at the magnificent S.F. Nordstrom circa 2007.

The mysteriously flat-toed ankle boots for men. Obviously the work of mad Vespa-riding elves.



Here is one of the last remaining pieces of rusty metal from my days of collecting “gems” along side the railroad tracks. 

This is just one of the most beautiful of the rust finds. I did nothing to it. It looks like part of an old large can that has nearly split in two.

I made a lamp out of it by fastening one of those free hanging light devices in side it. You know, the type meant to go inside a paper lantern. They used to sell them at Pier One before they went all “uptown.”

Time, happenstance and the weather created this gnarled, beaten object d’art.

I’ve been thinking about a dream I had a few mornings ago. I was beginning to wake but had slipped back into the dream world. It seemed I’d been sleeping in a car. It had a comfortable mattress and big windows. It didn’t seem an unusual place to slumber. I sort of moved off the mattress and down onto the pavement beside the car, still half asleep. Then a car drove toward my spot on the street. It passed, close to my car, but traveling in the opposite direction.

For some reason the proximity disturbed me. It was not only the proximity but also the speed with which the car passed. Though I remember thinking that I wouldn’t be run over it seemed an intimidation.

It was a small car driven by a woman. There were about a half-dozen small cars, all driven by women, gathering at the end of the cul de sac. It seemed to me that they were part of a religious group. They wore long-sleeved cotton shirts. Vaguely Hindi-Indian designs were printed on the sleeves. The women also demonstrated a certain aggression or intent to disturb.  

There was a certain amount of drapery and decor in their automobiles. Noting as elaborate as these Punjab trucks.

What seemed to disturb me was:

a.) Their banding together in a semi-religious group wherein they did not think for themselves.

b.) The fact that they purposely went buzzing around in their cars annoying others.

My home seemed, in this dream, to be in a different place than the car.  My partner Frank was there waiting for me. I noticed when I entered a main room that he had arranged two bright red lacquer chairs for us to sit it. They were side by side. It seemed a very romantic and thougtful gesture.

I knew that I should let go of my aggravation and not pollute him with my irritation over the buzzing, religious auto-wielding women. I think that is love.


She Just Stared

Posted in Art, socialization with tags , , , on June 24, 2008 by darcyarts

There were some strange critters at the San Francisco Nordstrom’s the last time I was there.

The mannequins were haunted, shiny and captivating. The lighting in the store, always one of my favorite elements of the Nord’s experience, was very theatrical. I wanted to be in the strange, hypnotic atmosphere once again.

I’d missed these palaces of consumerism living in Redding so long. None of the department store here have good lighting. Not one is even close to a big city blowout of dazzling interior lights.

The Nordstrom’s in downtown Seattle was great. They had the best boots anywhere.

The Nord’s in the super mall in Orange County was hypno-spectacular. I remember becoming transfixed there by a strand of grey gypsy pearls, while nearby, women lined up at the makeup counter to shell out $75 on a tiny jar of eye cream. I’ll admit I loved Shishedo. They had the best lip gloss. I could afford lip gloss on a waitresses salary and croissants, chocolate croissants, from the Magic Pan. Evil. That was before I managed to completely exorcise the last fragments of the advertising-imbedded notion that I could buy my way to beauty and wholeness.

Trippin’ on the pastels last week I combined these three photo images for a potential girlie, cutesy post card set.

I took the photos of the gummi fruit snacks boxes at Food Maxx.

The rose is from my yard. In addition to the roses that were already here we have large pots of veggies growing. We’ll have everything we need to make salsa for days.

I watered early this morning before the wind shifted and pushed the thick smoke back into town and me into the safety of the air conditioning. I hope everyone in the outlying area is safe.

Pastels will make us all feel better.


 Maybe I should make a postcard from my “dick” matchbox.

Maybe that will make us all feel better.

I made a series of decorated matchboxes about three years ago or has it been four now.

I was easing my way toward trying my hand at painting. I think I’m too lazy to attempt anything that I do not have a burning desire to see through the filter of my own perception.

 The “dick” matchbox contained a thoughtful and handy gift inside. All my matchboxes did but this was probably the most practical and theme oriented.

I imagined selling a batch to a quirky store on Castro Street. I’ll keep refining the idea and make it happen some day. A girl has to have a dream.

Fire, Peaches and Plums

Posted in Art, socialization, writing with tags , , , on June 23, 2008 by darcyarts

Woke early this morning after having fallen asleep just after returning home from a busy day tracking fires at work.

A magnificent storm rolled through the valley late Friday. Fingers of flashing electricity touched down in forest and field.

The air is thick with smoke and the tiniest particles of ash. I’m keeping the doors closed. My grandmother’s cat is taking it well. He doesn’t like being deprived of his morning sprawl in front of the screen door. I tried to explain.

Now, on to what has moved me to begin writing this morning.

There is this girl at work. I say girl because I’m nearly twice her age but she’s a woman. I liked her instantly. She’s smart and sassy and seems to be free of the “girly” curse.

But let me explain:

It wasn’t until fairly recently that I recognized there was a community of bloggers related by past or present association with Record Searchlight.

I have been drawn, while browsing the blog rolls, to a blog named Peaches and Plums. Everything about it is beautiful and it’s so well written! As I read more I realized it is packed with entries created by a very strong, complex person with a great sense of humor.

I am a biography addict. When reading my first impulse is to find out the identity of the writer. I was intrigued. I could tell this person was an RSer but little other identifying info was apparent. I read on.

I could have asked someone about peaches and plums. I’m sure there are many people at the RS who know but I don’t engage much on a social level with co-workers.

I crave privacy but can fluctuate, when nervous, to blithering and chattering to people in the most innane way. I usually leave the impression that I am mildly retarded.

Finally, today, way back in the archives, there was a picture. A really cute picture of this smart sassy woman in the company of a smart sassy five year old.

Had I discovered the author of Peaches and Plums? I couldn’t be sure. I kept reading. Then I found the mention of a name. Jill.

My first impulse, and we Aries are impulsive, was to write her a mash note. “OMG, you are, like, so talented and like, totally brilliant and cool and . . . blither, blither, blither. OC frothing and gushing.

All my instincts about Jill were confirmed and then some. What a gal.

Now I must go to work fully in awe of her writing talent and possessed of a new, sort of unsettling awareness of the breadth of her heart and mind.

I’ve always been like this. I love the mojo that sparks between souls. Even though I’m too shy to engage much, I have a child’s heart and I love people.

It’s been made more comfortable these days by the remove. I find you creating yourself on a page. You find me there showing you strange paintings and photos. I’m chattering earnestly, trying to connect the confetti-storm of minutiae that floats through my head.

You’re really saying something.

Do Whales Have Cyclops Friends?

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , on June 22, 2008 by darcyarts

I wanted to start the day with something different. Away from the cruelty of man and towards the sea of whimsy I ran.

My painting of a pink whale and his sailor friend had been sitting, nearly finished but the sailors face was all wrong. I just wasn’t satisfied. This morning I had a flash. This sailor is a one-eyed critter. One eye, one big eye, that is open to both worlds.

This pair are very friendly. They love to float on the waters, slip through the tides.

As I drove to work Saturday after four days off (ah, delight) I was thrilled by the sound of the thunder and amazed by the massive and frequent lightning strikes. My pleasure in nature’s rad display was short lived when the two columns of smoke, one to the west, one to the east, brought me crashing back to reality. Fire. It’s part of nature, too, but people want to live in forests where fire is meant to alter the landscape, Shiva-like, destroy and create.

I spent the day keeping track of fires, electrical outages, and one chimney imploded by a mighty bolt. And then the air began to fill with smoke outside. The upper Sacramento Valley has had its share of polluted air already this year. Still most of us have it so much better than some folks where it’s water that is the mighty mover.

Look out! We aren’t going into the pits today.

Tipsy, here, is a friend I created a couple of years ago. He came out a cat of his own. Fond of fish and with a 19th Century style.

A lovely lady in Quakerville, PA. bought a Tipsy print this week. She inspired me to make a set of Tipsy postcards.

That’s what occupied most of my time last week. I got deep into choosing images I thought would work in a 4×6 format.

I love the idea of handmade postcards being sent all around the world. They will be touched and handled and find their way to their destination after having been marked by postal workers or I guess it’s by their machines these days.

I sent my daughter, Jessica, the first one to go through the U.S. mail. She said it arrived with bars on the Judy Garland stamp. Now I want to mail one of my cards to everyone I know and even people I don’t know. If you are reading this and would like to be part of my project to spread my postcards to the four directions just email me an address at Don’t be scared, It’s not a scam and I won’t come to your house or send you junk mail.

Former colleague Shannon Calder has a very nice postcard related blog. She has people send postcards with poetic messages to her and she posts the messages she receives. Anybody can contribute so visit her site and get in on the word sharing.

Check this out peeps:

I was shopping at Grocery Outlet and saw these three Mary Kate and Ashley perfumes for sale.

 I think I like them! Next time I’ll check out the scent and let you know what it brings to mind.

Snaps for the Post, Nothing for the Pain

Posted in Art, television with tags , , , , , , on June 20, 2008 by darcyarts

It’s a warm afternoon here in Redding but not bad for June 20th. The weather has been great.

Wish I could say the same for the news that finds it way to me. I just checked the Record Searchlight newspaper website. I work there and at some point before I return to work on Saturdays (I have Fridays off this month) it really is my duty to check in and get a faint idea of what’s been on the page.

It’s rarely good news. The first story I read involved low I.Q. white thugs who beat another man to death, cruelly and it seems, partially, for the pleasure of doing so. They will be charged with murder.

Then I checked in at my former editors blog only to find that her sweet, 18-year-old son had been attacked by another mindless monster who, unprovoked, beat his face and broke his nose. This is not something that a mother can endure with out excruciating pain, confusion and anger. The title of her post was “This is Why We Don’t Own A Gun”

Even though I know that the perpetrators are almost always men or women who were seriously abused and neglected themselves in childhood it doesn’t help me feel any better about the world. It does underscore one of my strongest beliefs. It is the worst kind of crime against humanity to deprive a child of love, knowledge and nurturing. When a parent neglects their child or abuses them they give the gift that keeps on giving. The hate and fear and self doubt that  spreads out in ripples of wanton waste and destruction. That is some heavy shit.

Some people learn to create dispite the rough beginning, some people, expecially those whose mother’s subjected them to drugs (alcohol most definitely included) in the womb stumble around the planet like angry, injured bears (the bears have my apologies in advance) swiping at anything in their path.

That is some messed up shit and times are dark enough. I don’t know what Barbara Bush was ingesting but  . . . like I said these seem like dark dayss too often because of ignorance, greed, and selfishness.

Thing is, I think history proves that times have always been muddied by ignorance and cruel intentions. Some of us are spiritual neanderthals. I guess that’s just the way of this world. It takes a long time to learn.

I have been here in my art cave with my head buried in work. Sorting through photographs and putting together postcard sets.


 I find comfort being in the zone of creation.

I was unaware that any of this violence was occuring. I can barely bring myself to watch TV because of the levels of stupidity and violence.

So I work and dream. I guess I distract myself and in doing so look away.




Postcards and The Streets of SF

Posted in Art, television with tags , , , , , on June 17, 2008 by darcyarts

Postcards were the order of the day. I have been trying to wrangle the right materials and offbeat images for sets of them.

I love the dusty look of the print on the watercolor paper. It lends a sort of aged quality. I went up to the Bus Boys on Lake Boulevard Monday and shot the carcasses of these old VW buses. They may be the detrius of the last VW repair shop that occupied the building adjacent to the Bus Boys location.

I have always been really fond of discarded rusty stuff. Here’s a great Flickr stream with rusty stuff.

I used to pick up interesting pieces thinking I’d be able to make something of them one day. Back then I thought I was the only one who appreciated rust but since then I’ve see it’s an aesthetic all its own.

When I moved from Enterprise to the Freebridge area I had the junk haulers take most of it away.

I’d chickened out of taking a welding class. I was reluctant to set up a potentially flammable shop in a place I rent and I had a basic fear of combustible, contained gasses. I guess it didn’t help that the mother of my daughter’s best friend died in a propane explosion a few years back. She was beautiful and young.

Taking pictures of large rusty things I can do without cluttering my work space with heavy metal.

Check out this Lincoln Continental I found in the parking lot at Benton Airfield last Sunday.

It just caught my eye.

Frank and I have been watching “Streets of San Francisco” for the last year.

You can get the first season on DVD. If you love San Francisco, Karl Malden, Mike Douglas or classic behemoth 70’s cruisers sorta like this Lincoln (this appears to be made in the 80’s) it’s the retro experience for you.

The best part is that every scene of the show is filmed on location, in the streets, in real buildings in SF and that rocks.

If you want to get a feel for SF in the 70s rent these shows. They’re great.

Malden plays the blue-collar working-class cop on the beat who came up the hard way. Douglas plays his mod young  college-educated partner. Whatever generation gap may have existed between the characters is lessened by a mutual respect for one another’s earnest pursuit of the bad guys. Lots of interesting guest stars, too.

I think my camera battery is probably charged by now so it’s back to shooting postcard sets.

More later.