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Vandela Rose

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As mentioned in my last post, I was up in NJ training art instructors for a new paint and sip studio earlier this week, and when I travel, I like to bring along a watercolor palette so that I have something to do while I’m in my hotel room or the airport. I pack my watercolors (dried, not tubed) and brushes and a small pad of paper, and just bring an empty water bottle and fill it at the airport once I’m through security. Then voila, I can paint on the go! Here’s a little rose painting I did on this last trip:

 

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Vandela Rose 6″ x 8″ watercolor on paper

To The Guy In Line At Security In Front Of Me

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I just got back from a trip to NJ to help a new paint and sip studio open (near Newark in Totowa for anyone who lives in that area http://www.aspirepaintstudio.com/), and am exhausted, but had to tell you about a really weird conversation I had with the guy in line at security in front of me. Keep in mind, I was bleary-eyed and just barely functional, and he decided I looked like the perfect person to chat with, and I really wasn’t feeling it. I couldn’t tell if he was just bored and trying to pass the time, or if he was hitting on me, or what, but I’m not a morning person and I hadn’t had time to stop for coffee and couldn’t have taken it through security anyway and please just leave me alooooooone! Note that I’m avoiding eye contact and giving one word answers whenever possible:

Him: Where you traveling to?

Me: North Carolina.

Him: Why?

Me: It’s home.

Him: Why were you here?

Me: Business.

Him: What do you do?

Me: Artist.

Him: Wow! That’s so cool! Do you make a living at it?

Me: Yup.

Him: Do you live in a house or an apartment?

Me: House.

Him: A big house?

Me: No.

Him: Wow, so you’re really living a charmed life, huh?

Me: I guess.

Him: Hmmm, so do you have any troubles, or if everything perfect?

Me: Everyone has troubles.

Him: How do you deal with them?

Me: Medication.

Him: What medication are you on?

Me: <finally making eye contact> Dude. Am I going to tell you what medication I take?

Him: <nervous laugh> I’m not, like, asking for some of it. Just curious.

Me: No.

Him: But –

Me: No.

WTF? On what planet is it acceptable behavior to ask a stranger what medications they’re on? And how do you not pick up on the fact that I am SO not into this conversation?

To be fair though, there was a bird flying through the airport, and a few minutes later I said, out loud, “That bird has a hole in it’s butt.” No idea why I said it out loud, but the guy said, “Um, all birds have holes in their butts. They have butt holes.” To which I said, “Technically, they have cloacas. But that’s not what I meant. It was missing some tail feathers so I could see daylight through it. I don’t know why I’m saying this out loud…must be my medication.” And then he was off and running and talking to me again, and it was totally my fault because I had spoken out loud to no one in particular. Sigh.

Paris - Tuilleries 8 cropped

Fiddle Quartet

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Awhile back I posted a series of paintings of a friend’s fiddle.  It’s seen a lot of wear and tear, which gives it so much character. I love the scars that document the roadmap of its time in the world. It’s a good reminder that all the bumps and bruises we all accumulate along the way are the things that set us apart, and they don’t make us any less beautiful.

I decided to put the four paintings together as a print, which is now available here on a variety of products.

Fiddle Quartet.jpg

Are We Really Doing This Again?

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Every single day, my husband and I have this conversation:

Me: Stop putting plastic bags in the recycling bin.

Him: I didn’t.

Me: (holding up the plastic bag from inside the cereal box) You did.

Him: Not even that?

Me: Is it plastic?

Him: Yes.

Me: Is it a bag?

Him: Yes.

Me:

Cranky me in Detroit

or…

Me: Stop putting plastic bags in the recycling bin.

Him: I didn’t.

Me: (holding up the plastic bag from the frozen garlic bread) You did.

Him: Not even that?

Me: Is it plastic?

Him: Yes.

Me: Is it a bag?

Him: Yes.

Me:

Cranky me in Detroit

or…

Me: Stop putting plastic bags in the recycling bin.

Him: I didn’t.

Me: (holding up the plastic grocery bag) You did.

Him: Not even that?

Me: Is it plastic?

Him: Yes.

Me: Is it a bag?

Him: Yes.

Me:

Cranky me in Detroit

You get the idea. Sometimes, we like to change it up by having the same conversation about styrofoam because we are fascinating people.

me annoyed reversed.jpg

 

 

Angel’s Envy

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If you’ve been reading my blog for more than a minute, you know that I like bourbon. A lot. Bourbon is awesome.  It is the wind beneath my wings. Which is why I decided to do a second bourbon painting (you can find the first one here), this time of Angel’s Envy bourbon. Because wings. It’s like Red Bull, but for badasses. Granted, I’ve never actually tasted it, but that bottle… I was at a friend’s house, and was taking pics of her various bourbon bottles (as one does) and just loved this one. Hopefully, I can sample it in the near future. So here’s my second bourbon painting:

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Angel’s Envy 5″ x 7″ oil on board $125

Original available here. Prints and such available here.

Low Hanging Fruit

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In the middle of the night a few weeks ago, I woke up with thought that I needed to do a “long hanging fruit” series of paintings and laughed outloud (prompting a grunt and a kick from my sleeping husband). I have no idea why. But, being the weirdo that I am, instead of just going back to sleep, I started sketching and plotting. We’ll see if this actually turns into a full series, or just stops at this painting, but it makes me giggle nonetheless. If life hands you lemons, paint them.

Low Hanging Lemons

Low Hanging Lemons 9″ x 12″ oil on board $300

Original available here, prints and other swag available here and here.

Lipstick for Dogs

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We offer Paint Your Pet classes at the sip and paint studio that requires customers to email me their pet’s photo in advance so that I can sketch it onto a canvas before they arrive for class. You never know what you’re going to get – we’ve had some strange animals (including a kinkajou and a stuffed teddy bear) in strange settings (on the toilet, mostly hidden under a large chair), and sometimes people wait until the last minute to email me their pics, so there’s no time to consult with them to suggest a different photo. I often have to do some creative editing. For the class I just had, something in the photo really “stuck out” to me, and I wasn’t sure if I should sketch it in or not. You’ll see what I mean:

dog lipstick

 

Now that you’re as scarred as I am, you can go about your regularly scheduled programming.

Would You Hire Me With This Cover Letter?

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So, um yeah. As I talked about in my last post, we’re unexpectedly closing our paint and sip studio in August, and hopefully opening a tattoo studio, which means we’re about to be very, very broke for awhile. As such, I thought I should polish up my resume and cover letter in the event that I have to break down and get a…what’s that word again? Oh yes, “job.” Working for someone else. <insert sobbing, moaning, wailing, and gnashing of my pearly whites which really need to be whitened before a job interview> I don’t wanna. We all know that there’s a standard form cover letters should take, and I’ve written and read hundreds of them. My favorite applicant when I worked at a law firm was a girl who wrote, “My friends all tell me that I have great “ADT” (Attention To Detail).” Apparently, she had a great security system, too?

If I submitted the following cover letter, would you hire me?

Dear Person Who Holds My Fate In Their Hands,

You should hire me. I’m all, like, smart and stuff. As the man in the oval office says, “I know words. I have the best words. I have the best. But there is no better word than stupid.” While I do have the best words like our Cheeto in Chief, I disagree that the best word is “stupid.” The best word, obviously, is “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.” Break that bad boy out at a party and everyone will be asking what you want for breakfast – you know, after you’ve spent the night…because they’ll all be extremely attracted to you…like you should be attracted to me right now – only not in the I-want-to-sex-you-up kind of way, but in the I-want-to-offer-you-a-ridiculously-high-paying-job-for-little-to-no-work kind of way. I have a husband. Just to be clear. And even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t sleep with my boss. So knock that thought right out of your head, bub. Or lady. Either one.

You should hire me not just because I know the best words, but because I view tedious tasks to be like meditation. My mantra? Collate, collate, coooooollaaaaate. Okay, so I don’t actually know what collating is, and my understanding is that most printers will just do it for you if you click the right button, but you get the idea. I figure I can get the printer to do the work and spend the afternoon putzing around marketing on Facebook on my phone. You can tell I’m not a millenial because I said “Facebook” and not “Snapchat,” but I’m still very social media savvy. I swear. I even have a Twitter account for my vagina. It twats regularly.

Also, I’m a blast at holiday office parties. I bring bourbon. Which is my other mantra. Bourbon, bourbon, boooouuuurboooonnn. Not that I would drink bourbon on the job – unless I got tired of collating, I guess. No, I stick to only vodka while at work so that, if I spill it, it doesn’t stain any paperwork I’m doodling on. I’m an artist. Artists are totally known for being dependable and grounded and responsible. Every document I prepare for you will be nicely decorated, giving it that certain je ne sais quoi. As you can seen, I’m practically fluent in French. I know all the best French words, like stupide.

I have a horrific phobia of talking on the phone, so if you’re like my last boss and would prefer to spend all day “networking” with all the “single” ladies in town instead of taking calls, I’m your girl. I will actively avoid talking on the phone at all times and let every call go straight through to voicemail. You can blame it on me and I can blame it on you. You’ll never have to speak to another client again, and neither will I! That’s what we call a “win-win” in the biz.

Anyway, you should totes hire me to, like, do all the work-type things. Shoot me a text with your offer!

Okaysies,

Emily

Audrey silly 6_compressed

F*ck Our New/About To Be Old Landlord

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Remember how I said that I was going through a work crisis? Well, here’s the skinny: The shopping center where my sip and paint studio lives was sold. The new owners are, well, assholes. Our lease is up at the end of August, so in May, we asked the new landlords if we could resign for another year. After a few weeks, they came back to us and said that yes, we could, but they wanted to double our rent. DOUBLE our rent. We counter-offered, and then checked in regularly with the property management company, who kept saying they were still waiting on a reply from the owner. We explained that we needed an answer, even if it was “no,” so that we could start the closing process if necessary, or, if we were going to be able to stay open, order more business cards, renew our insurance, book more parties with customers, etc.

Then the owners of the restaurant next door came over and told us that the landlord had offered our space to them. So we told the property management company that, since we hadn’t heard anything and they had offered our space to the restaurant, that we would be closing when our lease was up.

We received a panicked email from a NEW property management company saying they were sorry that we’d received such poor communication through the prior property management company and asking if we could talk. So we talked and we gave them another week to give us an answer. The week came and went and still no answer. So we announced that we  were closing. A couple days later, the property management company contacted us and said they were still waiting on a response from the owner. Too late.

So, long story long (let’s be honest, that wasn’t long story short), we are closing our paint and sip’s brick and mortar location and going mobile. This is NOT what we had planned. We are in the process of opening a tattoo studio, and there’s just no way that we can open that and relocate the sip and paint studio and start over. The paint and sip studio was going to fund the tattoo studio for the first year and provide some cushion until the tattoo studio was profitable. Now, that’s not going to happen. We can make a little money doing offsite events, but it won’t be anything like what our brick and mortar store brought in. So I’m about to be very broke, very fast. Even worse, I had planned on getting trained to do medical tattooing/permanent makeup, with the goal of being able to help cancer patients who were dealing with eyebrows that didn’t grow back post-chemotherapy and breasts post-reconstruction that didn’t have areolas. But the training is expensive, and I’m not sure how I’m going to fund it now.

So everything is changing and I’m not entirely sure how to proceed – all because some Greedy McFuckfaces don’t care that they’re closing down a small business. So cross your fingers and elbows and toes and knees and eyes that we figure out a viable way forward that doesn’t involve me selling my blood or my soul. Le sigh.