Posts Tagged 'Beauty'

Four Things I’m Digging

1. Multi Pens

Okay, so maybe I’m not as ecstatic about multi pens as The Pen Addict, but they’re damn convenient for my new job. I owned the Style Fit a while ago and really enjoyed it, but apparently not enough to prevent losing it sometime during the move across the country.

I ordered the Uni Signo MF3 and the Uni Jetstream 4+1 from Jetpens. The Jetstream was an attempt to branch out from gel ink, but after having played around with it a bit, it’s just not living up to my expectations. Plus, the barrel is enormous.

I was so tempted to buy a Zebra Sharbo X, but I have yet to invent a good justification for spending that much money…

2. Glazing With Acrylics

Acrylics, you say? As in, those mediocre craft-quality paints from high school art class? Oil paints for a poor artist?

…Yes, I mean those. And I am a poor artist, so I decided to paint in acrylic when I needed to fill a lonely blank spot on our apartment wall.

It turned out to be a totally pleasurable experiment. Maybe because acrylics aren’t as “serious” as oils, I was able to have a little more fun with them. I had painted with oils for my AP art portfolio in high school (and damaged my health in the process by turning my bedroom into a turpentine-fume bubble… but that’s another story).

The idea when glazing with acrylics is basically the same as glazing with oils, but it dries in a fraction of the time. Click on the image to the left to view a close-up detail section.

I finished this piece in one day, and I’m moderately happy with it. It’s no masterpiece, but I was able to experiment with a lot of different methods which I want to explore more in the future. The green stripe across the top was a last-minute addition, and I think it really completed the piece.

3. How Pretty Art Supplies Are

Yeah, you heard me: I’m digging my own art supplies. This is such a failing of mine– to see my art supplies as works of art in themselves, rather than as tools for making art. Although both views have their merits, there is also a crucial distinction between them: seeing art supplies as just beautiful turns you into a consumer, while seeing art supplies as tools for making art turns you into a producer. And I don’t want to be a consumer! I wanna produce. Produce beautiful things, that is.

I was reading about DIY watercolor palettes last night, and several different articles warned that you might spend more time creating your palette than actually using it. Oh, sigh, alright.

So, despite how much I enjoy the sunlight glinting through the bristles of my Robert Simmons Sapphire brushes, my goal for next week is to create a piece of art outside of the apartment every day.

4. Cherry Season

I especially love cherry season when they are free from my friend’s back yard. These sour cherries are better for baking than munching, so I’ve been experimenting with cherry tarts and crisps, all with great success. My friend’s family, though, is making cherry vodka –which also happens to be reason #11 that local foods are badass.

The Second Thing About Boulder Is

Everybody is distressingly attractive. I mean, attractive according to mainstream beauty standards (but which I will hereafter refer to as just “attractive”).

The writerly side of me has been a little bit fascinated, and the adolescent side of me has been pretty self-conscious for a month and a half. Meanwhile, the sociological side of me has been pondering: how exactly does this happen to a city? Do communities of attractive people tend to gravitate towards each other, unconsciously excluding less-beautiful people? Or does the population here simply live a certain type of lifestyle (outdoorsy, physically active) that creates a fitter, tanner populace?

Chautauqua Park - Image via Wikipedia

I was keeping this observation under wraps, not wanting to seem judgmental, until I browsed through the Boulder Craigslist job listings the other day and found that 75% of the “gigs” are in fact “modeling gigs.” Coincidence? I think not.

Then, I was at the farmers market buying some delicious Noosa yogurt, when I overheard the woman next to me asking whether it was low-fat.  (….No, lady, it’s um, actually yogurt. You’re not shoppin’ at Whole Foods here)

A friend of mine who was born and raised here talks about her parents generation having all moved out here in the 70′s and 80′s, looking for a healthier life and healthier community. Fair enough– that explains the homogeneity of the populace. It also explains why there are no old people here…

In Which She Gets A Bit Critical

But the crucial thing to realize about a population of attractive people is that it is directly related to how wealthy that population is. Where I’m from (the area somewhere between the South and Appalachia), people are not mainstream attractive, because they can’t afford to be. They don’t have access to healthy diets, so obesity is rampant; the unavailability of health care means that it’s not unusual to see people with missing teeth, bad teeth, deformities and skin cancer… the list goes on.

In academic discussions, we refer to this as “marking” bodies with poverty: it’s the way that a person’s economic status becomes literally visible in his or her appearance. Structures in our society, like health care or welfare, contribute to this visible distinction between poor and rich by preventing poor people from achieving standards of beauty (which, from healthy food to well-tailored clothing to teeth whitening, require money).

Don’t get me wrong– I’m not saying that any person or institution is doing this on purpose. But keeping these economic distinctions visible does benefit those in power, because it discourages interaction between different economic classes. Think about it– when was the last time that you had small talk with a person that clearly looked below your economic status? And as a result, there is a serious lack of empathy (and activism) in general for the experience of poverty… and therefore little change.

Two years ago, I almost titled this blog “Blogging for Dialogue” because I wanted to write about the importance of healthy dialogue across differences– especially in the hearing, and the telling, of stories. Clearly I went for a vaguer theme (um, fruit), but this sort of thing is still on my mind.

Icy Inspiration

So over that art
Which you say adds to nature is an art
That nature makes. You see, sweet maid, we marry
A gentler scion to the wildest stock,
And make conceive a bark of baser kind
By bud but of nobler race. This is an art
Which does mend nature–change it rather; but
the art itself is nature.

The Winter’s Tale, 4.4.79


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