I’ve recently started painting with acrylics, and I love it! My mother-in-law gave me her late father’s art supplies, which included a set of acrylic paints, an easel, and a pad of paper pallets (kind of like wax paper that you can use as a paint pallet). I got some canvas boards and started playing around, and fell in love very quickly.

There’s something about painting: using brushes, the squishy paint, playing with color and light, the amount of time it takes…it’s meditative and fun and physical. It connects me with my mom. I’ve always preferred pens and markers, but now I really understand the pull of paint.

I’ve been doing a lot of still lifes, and some portraits and self-portraits. Inspired by my sister I am making comic paintings– this is what I am most excited about. My new thing. I remember so clearly as a kid seeing this print hanging in the condo of a family friend:

Drowning Girl, by Roy Lichtenstein

Something really attracted me about this. And even though it’s been many years since I’ve seen it, it stuck with me. That’s how it is with the best art– those special pieces that stay with you, stitched into your mind.

I’m really excited to make more comic paintings. There’ll be an exhibit at Images Cinema in August.

watercolor nudes, rivers & roads

I’ve been working more with the tiny watercolor set of my mom’s, and one of my favorite things to use watercolors for so far is life drawing. I’ve been drawing with pens forever, I know how they work for the most part, and making those lines of a human body has become familiar and it’s easy to settle into a particular style that I already know how to do. Painting a watercolor nude is a whole new ballgame for me, using lines, yes, but with a brush, with these fast-drying watery lines, and also swaths of color. Sometimes there is more paint on the brush than i realize, or less. I can play with heavier color, lighter color, shading, mixing. Even just the physical act of dipping the brush in water, then in paint, then sliding it against the rough paper is captivating for me. It takes longer, which fills up the minutes of each pose more quickly. I am more engaged in each moment.

may 13 watercolor nudes

alex's last pose

And now for a little music: my cover of Rivers and Roads by The Head and the Heart on ukulele:

art bitch: cancer crossover

When we go to the hospital in Brattleboro we like to make a day of it: thrift stores, eating out at a cool place, just having a fun day trip instead of driving all that way just to go to a hospital appointment. Mama is really good at finding the fun in everything, and I actually end up enjoying these days. (The two dresses look awesome on her, and my dad even found a cool shirt.) There is also a restaurant where they make an amazing chocolate martini that is a staple of these trips.

art bitch #10: father’s day

We had a little early Father’s Day celebration at our house, which ended up inspiring my dad’s first appearance in an Art Bitch strip.

I have the best dad ever, seriously. Ask anyone who knows him– my pops rules. From the days of softball coaching, to the late nights driving me home from work while we listen to Delilah on the radio, he does so much for me and for our family. He always laughs at my jokes and sometimes is even funny himself.  For all the dads, uncles, grandfathers, and men in our lives who inspire us and love us: Happy Father’s Day.

And, yes, I am a film bitch.

art bitch #9: swimsuit edition

Well, folks, it’s summertime and the livin’s easy. But what’s never easy is swimsuit shopping. Maybe it’s different for men, unless you struggle with the choice between speedo and trunks, or you find yourself in an embarassing situation with light colors (dudes: avoid white, trust me). But for us ladies, no matter how detailed the size chart in the catalogue, you never quite know what you’re getting. And trying on swimsuits in the fitting room over your underwear? Girl, please.

Let’s hear it for nude beaches. Am I right, or am I right?

art bitch #8

Hey, y’all, it’s birthday week, and I hope you enjoy this special art bitch gallery adventure. I want to thank the woman who gave me life, art bitch herself, who is the best mom anyone could ever have, a best friend, and dialogue consultant for this strip and others. (My dad is really awesome too, someday there will also be a comic about him). My parents were the first ones to put a comic book into my hands when I was very little, and they always let me read The Funnies first.

Thanks, Mama and Pops, for making me! And a happy birthday week to us all.