Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Making stuff keeps me off the streets.

The studio currently looks like an interior designer's closet and an office supply store got into a fight.  I thought I'd add a side project into the mix in honor of my upcoming journey to New Orleans.  I'll share the details soon but for now...long story short:

Next month I'm going to be part of a good friend's gallery opening in New Orleans.  I'm going by plane.  I'm poor.  Must fit artwork into suitcase.  Want to make colorful pieces strictly for fun because I want to have a colorful, strictly fun visit.

Kona, my pardner in crime, hung with me while I made a total mess.  I caught her in mid-stretch.

Above is a landscape in progress.  It's in the same series as the creepy Doll Landscape.  So far it's just an acrylic foundation.  Maybe I'll throw some toys in the dirt.  Haven't decided.  Wait, I just did...yes, toys will be in the dirt.

Kona is awesome.  End of story.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fort Art.

This is in response to Sept. 6th's posting (click here to view) which ends with..."So in conclusion I want my work to have more balls and feel like a fort."

 Fort Art
 What does every fort need?  Duh, a watch dog.  
Although I'm pretending I'm in a castle and my dog is actually a dragon.
I told you to KEEP OUT!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Creepy Baby Painting

Guess who started a creepy baby painting???  I'm pretty sure that at some point everybody has to do one.    I was drawn to her for two reasons:  1) I feel like her hair is matted in the exact same way as a hobo's hair would be after passing out behind a dumpster following a 4-day bender 2) She has a dead eye.  Her left eye is totally greyed out and I can't look her directly in the face because of it.

This One's for you Ron!!

Alright my friend, you asked for a squid/octopus-like sea creature battling a Titanic-esque vessel...

Ron's Titanic, 15"x20", pastel, charcoal, watercolor, gouache, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012


You may ask, "Hey Layla, what's up with the building materials?  Are you making an ark?"  The short answer to this question is no.  The long answer to this question is also no.  Building an ark in a 630 square foot apartment is ridiculous, now I need you to focus.  These sheets of plywood will soon cease to be mere lumber...they will be magically transformed into fine art.  Very fine and rare art that you read about in expensive leather bound books.

This art is so rare in fact, that it must be made upon super shitty wood that averages out to be around $8 per 32"x46" panel because the artist wants 'to keep it real' and also had to buy gas, dog food, toilet paper, and english muffins on the way to the wood store.  (Side note:  Q:  How do you get Home Depot-esque employees to scatter like roaches?  A:  Ask them to custom cut sheets of plywood).

So what's lighting the fire under my ass for this batch of paintings?  Two things:  words and a fort.  I'll begin with words.  I've switched my obsessive Western movie watching to obsessive obscure memoir reading.

Here is what I've read so far:
Voluntary Madness by Norah Vincent
I'm Down by Mishna Wolff
Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? by Thomas Kohnstamm
I Drink for a Reason by David Cross
Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch by Hollis Gillespie

In the docket:
Trespassers Will be Baptized by Elizabeth Emerson
Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn

As you can tell, book titles play an enormo role in my selection process and yes I do judge a book by it's badass cover.  What these books have in common, besides telling a weird yet rad story, is the brutal honesty in which that story is told.  "To hell with subtlety!  To hell with friend's and family's feelings and good social standing!  I'm going to expose my deepest secrets and most embarrassing moments and not give a damn what people think of me!" they say and I dig that.  The authors have balls.  Some of them literally.  I want more of that attitude in my art.  I want my work to have more balls.  Whoa...wait...nope I'm sticking with it and I'll say it again;  I want my work to have more balls.

(Hang in there, I'm almost done.)

Second motivation...a fort.  Yesterday was my Meemaw's funeral.  She was 87, hilarious, and did super awesome things in her life.  During the service a couple of family members shared stories of her awesomeness, as they did so one story popped into my head and hasn't left since.  I built a fort on her back porch when I was about 7ish.  It was made out of a huge cardboard box from a refrigerator or some other large appliance and it was one of the greatest events of my life.  I felt so safe inside of that fort and the space outside of it felt just as protected.  My engineering and interior decorating of the fort was highly encouraged.  I knew I could stay in there for as long as I wanted to grow my dreams big and strong.  I want more of that feeling in my art.  I want my work to be like that fort.

So in conclusion I want my work to have more balls and feel like a fort.  That's a tall order but here goes...

Monday, September 3, 2012


I'm still waiting for the answer...

Portrait, oil on wood, 46"x34", 2012