One woman, lots of paint and hundreds of tiles. If you're here because you found a painted tile, it's yours to keep.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Turkey-day tiling

Took a few tiles on the road for Thanksgiving and gave them to people I'm thankful for. I kinda hid them, but not really, 'cause they already know about the Mary Tiler More thing (and still like me anyway). It was fun to see everybody and the turkey and trimmings were delish. We drove to a cool vineyard in the pouring rain, had dinner at a weirdly fun little place called Noah's Ark, and I ate my first stuffed jalapenos and learned how to play this great game simply called "washers." Except the part about remembering whose turn it is, it's pretty simple ... just a matter of throwing washers into one of three holes on a carpeted board. ... But it's downright addictive ... once you start you just can't stop. Even now, I want to play. Also, heard some great guitar strumming from a musician in an up-and-coming band that may or may not be called The Breakouts and ate at Chili's for the first time ever. Went on several drives, including one on a dirt road, where we could see nothing but trees and grass ... sometimes cows ... such a welcome change from what I typically see around here ... the grayness and the rain and the cold were perfect. The best part of all was just hanging with a buncha family and kiddies and the family doggies ... and other crazy adults acting like kids because hey, sometimes we all need to let loose once in awhile and just have some fun. And we did. We all had lots of fun. It was downright swirly. Left these tiles behind ... just random images that crossed my mind before vacation .... the third one was inspired by Carol Burnett. I painted it after watching a recent PBS special about her life .... Even though I never set out to paint people ... sometimes I start painting a character and then discover that it's starting to look like someone ... that's kinda how this one went. I call it "So Glad We Had This Time Together."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunglasses at night

I frequently see people wearing sunglasses at night, and I'm a little jealous because I can't pull that off. It's not that I wanna look cool, but sometimes, I want or need to go out and I'm not feeling altogether sociable. When I feel that way, I kinda like that no one can see my eyes. Sunglasses can provide necessary distance at at times ... during the day, it works, but at night, if I put sunglasses on, I'm just pretty much blind as a bat. I can't see. But Johnny here's got these real dark shades, and he wears them, even when he goes to clubs. I always see people pointing and laughing at him, but he appears not to see them. Maybe that's the whole point. Not being able to see. Dropped Johnny off at Supercuts, so he could get a little trim. I forgot to put my little sticker on the back of this tile .... so no one will every know why or how it got there. Usually, there's a little message on the back of each tile that says something along the lines of, "This art was placed here for the sole purpose of being found." Every time I write that, I almost write "soul purpose." I think I might just start saying that instead.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The two faces of Eve

Eve is a booklender by day but business has been slow. They still get the older patrons, but the younger ones seem to be getting their reads elsewhere, maybe magazines or online. Eve's not really sure what they're reading. She just knows there are shelves full of potentially life-enhancing books going to waste. Every time she can get a book into someone's hands and out the door, she feels like she makes the world just a little bit better of a place. In a perfect world, the shelves would be a lot emptier because more books would be checked out. Emptier shelves - that's what she strives for everyday. A few months ago, on her bus ride home (Eve likes public transportation) she was trying to dream up new ways to achieve this. Then, while walking home from the bus stop, Eve saw some kids spray painting words on the back of a store in an alley. She couldn't stop thinking about that, and later that night, after she drank her evening cup of green tea, she went back to that alley and sprayed words of her own: "Read Books Now." That weekend, she found a new canvas on some other building and wrote quotes from some of her favorite books, then put the title of the book and author. One week, she just wrote a haiku. It read: "All these books scare me. I much prefer empty shelves. Help erase my fears." Eve's hooked now, and she knows her extra night work is paying off, as some kid came in last week, asking for one of the books, and had a few other kids with him as well. He even had the quote written down. She treated them all real nice, to make them want to keep coming back to the library for more books. She likes her new little night life, and adored the secret nature of it. One day, Eve might write a book of her own. But for now, I dropped her at Dicey Riley's to have a Guinness while she plotted her evening's work. She says the Guinness helps spark her creativity.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mark goes to Beall's

Despite his seemingly calm demeanor, Mark leads a very fragile existence. Whenever he seems to be getting somewhere, obstacles come before him. But his biggest obstacle is himself. He can't envision that anything truly good will ever come into his life and stay, because he doesn't feel he deserves it. Mark has more baggage than Samsonite, so we shipped his hefty luggage out and dropped him at a Beall's outlet, which is the perfect place to regroup and start over. You can get a whole new outfit there for like, ten bucks. Not that clothes make the man ... but sometimes it's a start. Maybe someone will finally take him home and tell his little story to the world, so that others may learn from it. The lesson: If you expect bad things to happen, they most certainly will. Sometimes they will regardless. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't develop a vision, and trust in it, and trust in yourself. If you can't, then ask yourself why you're so darned untrustworthy.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sorry Charles

I needed a new paintbrush, as my old favorite was getting worn out, so I made a little trip to Pearl Arts and Crafts and propped this tile behind the sink in the ladies room. It's all about a guy who never really gives anything of himself. He'll ask you for stuff, like hey, can ya paint this thing for my little play? Can you come to my annual hopscotch festival and bring some of those orange cookies you make? But he'll never offer to do anything for you. He'll also never say hello, unless you say hello to him first ... like he's some kinda power tripper guy ... At first it was working for him, because people are weird and they kinda want to be your friend if it's not that easy to be your friend .... but then, after awhile, that power-tripping game wears thin. That's what happened to this guy. He woke up one day and realized that in the end, you get out of relationships what you put into them. I dumped Charles off at Pearl because he apparently had no colors to paint himself, and none of his old friends wanted to share.

MoonDoggie Day Afternoon

I know a lot of people who are currently unhappy with their jobs. One of the biggest complaints I hear, no matter what kind of job it is, is that they're overworked because the company keeps squeezing more and more work out of less and less people .... so now when people slack, it affects everyone in an even bigger way than it did before. When servers and hostesses don't do their roll-ups (that's where they roll the silverware in little napkins) then the person on the next shift has to work harder and longer. When a retail store clerk refuses to stock the shelves, the guy on the next shift has to work twice as hard. People are pissed off at the companies they work for, pissed that they're not having much of a life, pissed that their benefits cost so much more, pissed that despite how hard they work they can't afford the gas to drive to Disney World .... They're so pissed that they're gonna slide by doing as little as they possibly can. Screw this company, they say. But in reality, given the corporate brilliance of this system, they're only screwing their co-workers, and they're not gonna get fired because all the suits see is that the work is getting done. And if some are doing more than others, well, maybe they'll leave and then they can replace them with someone younger, and cheaper. I don't really know how you fight that ... but if you're not doing your roll-ups and you see it as a form of protesting against the company ... you might wanna rethink the actual effects. ... Anyway that's what inspired this little tile. People complaining, and rightfully so, about their jobs. I hear it everywhere I go.

I dropped Marcy the Slacker at MoonDoggies where I got a really fine and very large cup of New England coffee that was even better than Dunkin Donuts, and cheaper. This place has changed a lot since the last time I was there. Looks like they offer a lot more, and there were a lot more people there too. I kinda wanted to get the special, a tuna melt, but I had groceries in the car and the sun was too intense to leave them in there for long. The other cool thing about the menu is that it's always changing ... so you can just calltheir number (954/467-1105) to see what they have on any given day. ... kind of like a surprise. Apparently, this place is famous (well, that's what the menu says) for it's frozen hot chocolate, but I wonder how can it be frozen and hot. Guess it's the craziness of that, that makes it so famous. There's writing all over the walls in the restroom area, and in the restrooms ... well, in one of them. Not sure about the other. There were a LOT of people on their laptops here and it seems comfy. If I ever get a laptop, this would be my new hangout. I think if you get a laptop, you kinda have to go to coffeeshops. If I couldn't call work and say, "I'll be working out of MoonDoggies today, what would be the point?" MoonDoggies is at 1913 Cordova Road in Fort Lauderdale.

The Canterbury Tales

Went to this cool little art show at Artist's Eye Fine Art Gallery in an area I think was called Canterbury Square in Dania. This gallery just opened and displayed the works of five artists ... I think the man in the tulip red shirt who said he was the gallery owner said something about the show being five artists' interpretation of the human body. The artists showing last night included Timothy Leistner, Sharon Basile, JoAnn Nava, Linda Fleischman and Rowena Smith. The exhibit was called 1 Man, 4 Women. My favorite was JoAnn Nava. I really liked her paintings, especially the one with snow, and her small spiky-haired figurines. I googled to see if she had a Web site I could link to here, and found a site that contained some of her work, but not the work I saw at the gallery. Interestingly enough, the site I did find contained a painting I saw earlier this year at a show at the Art and Culture Center in Hollywood. That show had loads of local artists represented, as well as a video showing every local artist whose work didn't make it into the show. I looked at each piece of art, and my favorite out of that whole show was Nava's Cookies and Milk. I remembered that painting, but had no idea until just this minute that it was the same artist whose work I saw and loved last night. If you go to this page, it's the one in the center on the first row. Apparently, I really like Jo Ann Nava's art.

Everyone seemed to be having fun at the Square, which is conveniently located near Grampa's bakery. A few other shops in the square were open as well, including one that sold oils and nice-smelling stuff. It was a fun, chatty and lovely smelling little crowd. I slipped down the hall and hid these tiles in the ladies' room. It was a funny ladies' room too. You walk in and you're in this tiny space with two doors and a shower curtain. It felt like that game show where you have to choose door number, door number two etc. I tried door number two and sure enough, it was the one with the toilets and sink and a perfect little place to display a tile.

Overall, it was a pretty fun night. ... Interesting to note: The white wine ran out before the red, so I'm guessing it was a white wine crowd, and they're always a tad more chatty than the red wine crowd, don't ya think? I saw interesting art, heard choice snippets of conversation, drank a little wine, ate a cheese cube, and I think I may have actually seen two people who just met fall for each other ... and all of this on a night when we get an extra hour's sleep because of the time change. It was downright swirly. Swirly ... that's gonna be my new word. I'm not sure if anyone already uses that word in this context, but I think we should start. If you read this, maybe you could try to work it into your vocab, and see if we can get this off the ground, to the point where everyone's talking swirly, 'cause that would be swirly.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ridiculous Rhonda

Went to a cafe in the lobby of an office building on Las Olas ... and on the way out I left this in the restroom. Rhonda seems like a rather intelligent woman on many levels, but then whenever she's around a guy, she starts talking in this completely different voice and acting like a giggly school girl. ... It's like she's a completely different person. It's not just the one guy either. She's got a guy at work, another at the gym, one in the neighborhood. She's been collecting them like trading cards ... She never has time for friends anymore, which is fine, because her friends are starting to find her slightly annoying.