Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chair-ish the Kids

Recently I had the privilege of painting a piece to be included in the Chair-ish the Kids annual art auction held in the Spring to benefit Kids on the Block. The event will be held at the Loveless Barn on Thursday, March 25. Chair-ish the Kids benefits Kids on the Block; for more information click HERE. Invitational artists include Herb Williams, Jack Spencer, Stacey Irvin, Sherri Warner Hunter and Don Evans. Other participating artists include Aaron and Michelle Grayum, Sarah Shearer, Emily Harper Beard, Andee Rudloff, and Jodi Reeves.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Natural Human Standards

I read this post from Coco Rocha's blog; it's a very well written piece about model standards. This line in particular powerfully encapsulates the issue:" they (designers, stylists) are asking the public to ignore their moral conscience in favor of the art." Please read her full post below.

"There has been quite the commotion over the recent articles about me in the New York Times and The New York Daily News. As only a few select statements of mine were printed I find it necessary to properly express my point of view, without outside editing.

I'm a 21 year old model, 6 inches taller and 10 sizes smaller than the average American woman. Yet in another parallel universe I'm considered "fat"... This was the subject of major discussion this week and the story that was spun was: "Coco Rocha is too fat for the runway".

Is that the case? No. I am still used and in demand as a model. In fact I find myself busier than ever. In the past few years I have not gained an extreme amount of weight, only an inch here and there as any young woman coming out of her teenage years would.

But this issue of model's weight is, and always has been of concern to me. There are certain moral decisions which seem like no brainers to us. For example, not employing children in sweatshops, and not increasing the addictiveness of cigarettes. When designers, stylists or agents push children to take measures that lead to anorexia or other health problems in order to remain in the business, they are asking the public to ignore their moral conscience in favor of the art.

Surely, we all see how morally wrong it is for an adult to convince an already thin 15 year old that she is actually too fat. It is unforgivable that an adult should demand that the girl unnaturally lose the weight vital to keep her body functioning properly. How can any person justify an aesthetic that reduces a woman or child to an emaciated skeleton? Is it art? Surely fashion's aesthetic should enhance and beautify the human form, not destroy it.

There is division in the industry in this regard. Although there are those who don't consider a model's wellbeing, I have had the honor and privilege to work with some of the greatest designers, editors, stylists, photographers and agents who respect both new and well established models alike. I know there are many others out there who I haven't worked with who also agree with me on the stance on this issue.

The CFDA has tried so very hard to correct these matters. As of a few days ago at their annual meeting they found everyone in the room in agreement on changing the sample size as well as booking models over the age of 16. It's great to see how many people's hearts are in the right place because we must make these changes for the next generation of girls.

As a grown woman I can make decisions for myself. I can decide that I won't allow myself to be degraded at a casting - marching in my underwear with a group of young girls, poked, prodded and examined like cattle. I'm able to walk away from that treatment because I am established as a model and I'm an adult... but what about the young, struggling and aspiring models?

We need changes. I'd prefer that there would be no girl working under the age of 16, but if that has to be the case then I'd love to see teens escorted by a guardian to castings, shows, and shoots. The CFDA has set codes in place for their members and I'd love to see the entire industry follow. Society legislates a lot of things - no steroid use in sports is one example - its only reasonable that there be rules of conduct to keep the fashion industry healthy.

In the past, models have spoken out on this issue, only to be accused of saying something because their careers were on the brink of extinction. This is not so in my case. I actually first spoke out about this two years ago at the peak of what a model would consider the ideal career and indeed there was a reaction - those who were the worst offenders suddenly asked me to work for them! This was a public relations ploy and I wasn't prepared to fall for that. I said "No, lets go a few seasons, lets see if you change, then I will work with you". They didn't change. I haven't worked for them.

Of my generation of models I'm exactly where I need to be in my career and I'm grateful to use my position to actively speak out against this with the support of the CFDA and Vogue. My sincere hope is that through our efforts young models will one day be spared the humiliation, the risky weight loss, the depression that comes along with anorexia and the misery of abandonment by an industry ashamed to see them turn into actual women.

There are natural human standards in how we treat one another and how we treat children. There are those who continue to trample on these standards but there are also champions of a better way. I hope that the continued efforts of the CFDA and all those who hold these values in regard will sway the opinion of those on the opposing side of the industry to ensure a true change for the better.

Coco Rocha
Posted by Coco Rocha at 10:53 AM"

Friday, February 12, 2010

Living Art Form


LONDON — His runway shows were often like performance pieces: One featured models with headwear made of trash. Another showed off 10-inch heels shaped like lobster claws.

At the pinnacle of his success, British fashion designer Alexander McQueen was found dead in his home Thursday, days after posting anguished online remarks about the death of his mother. He was 40.

The circumstances pointed to a possible suicide, but there was no confirmation from police or McQueen's publicists. Authorities said the death was not suspicious, apparently ruling out foul play. They did not indicate how McQueen was discovered.

The Sun tabloid cited an anonymous source on its Web site who said workers found McQueen hanging in his apartment. The newspaper gave no further details. His family issued a statement asking for privacy.

McQueen is credited with helping revive the once-moribund British fashion industry. His edgy pieces were coveted and treasured by stylish women across the globe and seen on numerous red carpets.

Vogue Editor-in-Chief

Anna Wintour called McQueen "one of the greatest talents of his generation."

"He brought a uniquely British sense of daring and esthetic fearlessness to the global stage of fashion. In such a short career

career, Alexander McQueen's influence was astonishing - from street style, to music culture and the world's museums," she said in a statement. "His passing marks an insurmountable loss."

McQueen did not design for the celebrities, but they flocked to him for the sheer audacity of his creations, which were inst

antly recognizable for being dramatic, exquisitely tailored and oh-so sexy.

A stunning dress for Sandra Bullock? A special order for Madonna? Something special for Kate Moss or Naomi Campbell? All these feats seemed easy for the quiet, slim, bearded Englishman who shunned publicity and laughed off the limelight.

Lady Gaga recently made waves when she wore McQueen's spring 2010 lobster-claw shoes in her "Bad Romance" music

Sandra Bullock? A special order for Madonna? Something special for Kate Moss or Naomi Campbell? All these feats seemed easy for the quiet, slim, bearded Englishman who shunned publicity and laughed off the limelight.

Lady Gaga recently made waves when she wore McQueen's spring 2010 lobster-claw shoes in her "Bad Romance" music video.

McQueen's mother died Feb.

. 2. Some fashion experts speculated that his mood may have also been clouded by pressure to outdo himself again next month at his catwalk show in Paris.

News of his death broke at the start of New York Fashion Week and sent shock waves through the Bryant Park tents. A presentation of McQueen's secondary label, McQ, had been scheduled for later Thursday, but it was quickly cancelled.

After word of his death spread, one mourner left pink flowers at the doors of the designer's London headquarters. Mourners also gathered outside his New York store.

"He was a great, great talent wh

ho had lost someone important in his life," said Xavier Keane, who placed the flowers. "I know how he feels because I lost my mother last year."

McQueen sounded anguished and frustrated in recent postings on his Twitter page. The remarks also sounded slightly confused.

"i'm letting my followers know the my mother passed away yesterday if it she had not me nor would you RIP mumx," he wrote.

Shortly afterward, he added: "But life must go on.
*******repost of the Canadian Press********

What sad news; I have been very inspired and awed by McQueen's dramatic creations over the years. Fashion is a living art form, and we have lost an artistic genius who craftsmanship and creativity was recognized by even the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The dress above, the Birth of Venus, was featured in an exhibition in the Costume Institute.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dear Artist,


“D.I.G.” means Dialogue: an Interaction for Growth.
Dear Artist,
The Downtown Presbyterian Church (DPC) of Nashville, Tennessee is
pleased to announce this
year’s winter/early spring art show, The D.I.G. Through Art Show. This
year’s theme:
Anti-depressant. DPC’s annual D.I.G. show, now in its 11th year, is
meant to provide the
community with a chance to come together and “D.I.G. through art.”
Artists are welcome to submit work in any medium. Entry requires a
$15.00 per piece fee (two
pieces maximum). Paintings and other 2-D work cannot exceed 6 x 10
feet. 2-D works must be
dry, framed, and ready to hang with wire. Sculpture must be easily
moveable. Installations must
be approved for space reasons. Work must be delivered to the church on
Wednesday, February
17th at 3.00 p.m. Artists will be accepted into the show on a first-to-
respond basis. Works will be
judged and a winner selected by a local jury comprised of art
instructors, gallery curators, and/or
clergy. DPC will be pleased to present the winning artist with a
purchase prize check of $1,000.

There are no restrictions on the artwork except that the content be
suitable to all ages, since it will
be on display to the entire church body and the downtown community –
young and old. DPC
reserves the right to not show any work.
The grand opening reception and presentation of the purchase award
will be on Saturday, March
6th beginning at 6:00 p.m. This event coincides with the regular first
Saturday downtown
community Art Crawl and the church’s monthly Art-Luck potluck dinner
and art reception.

The D.I.G. show began at DPC in 1998 as an extension of the church’s
artists-in-residency program.
These shows have explored different themes each year. Previous themes
have included last year’s
“Embodiment,” and also “Icons and Idols,”“Incarnation and Risk,” and
“Human Sacrifice.”
Lent is the church season of 40 days (not including feast days) before
Easter. This year, Lent begins
on Ash Wednesday, February 17th and continues through Holy Week,
ending before Easter
Sunday, April 4th. The season is symbolic of both the 40 years of
Israel’s wandering in the desert
and the 40 days of Christ’s fasting and temptation in the wild. DPC
feels this is an appropriate
season to invite artists to join the church in wrestling with
challenges and complexities of faith.
Alongside the themed art show, the church will again host a film
series in DPC’s downstairs chapel
on Thursday nights during the weeks of Lent. A light meal (held at
6.00 p.m.) will be provided
weekly in DPC’s Fellowship Hall before each film (starting at 7.00
p.m.). After each film, guests are
encouraged to stay for a short discussion, sharing impressions and
ideas from the picture.

Important Facts:
• Limit: 2 pieces maximum per artist
• Entry Fee: $15.00 per piece per artist (Checks payable to: Downtown
Presbyterian Church)
• This is a first come first serve show. Your entry fee reserves your
space in the show.
Please send the check in right away to reserve your space using the
form below. Space in
the show cannot be guaranteed without an artist supplying their entry
fee (see following
Important Dates:
• Art Drop Off Date: Wednesday, February 17th (3 PM to 5 PM)
• Grand Opening Reception: Saturday, March 6th from 6 PM to 9 PM with
announced at 7.00 p.m.
• End of Show Date: Easter Sunday, April 4th (after worship
• Retrieval of works: Monday, April 5th (between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.)
Yes! I would like to participate in the 2010 D.I.G.
Through Art Show, “Anti-depressant.”

Phone #
Please print this page, complete information, and enclose a check for
$15.00 made out to “The
Downtown Presbyterian Church.” Please then send to:

The Downtown Presbyterian Church
(memo line, please: “2010 D.I.G. SHOW”)
154 5th Ave. North
Nashville, TN 37219

Should you need further information or assistance, contact Beth
Gilmore via email at or via phone at 351-2260.

Click this link
then click the line of text saying "Register for the 2010 DIG Show"
Well done.

Downtown Presbyterian Church.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Moody Monday

Dear Liselotte Watkins',
I think I may be in love with your work. It's so dark and moody and beautiful all at once. The clashing patterns make my heart pitter patter and the graphic glamour of the lines make my eyeballs dance with joy. Included are a couple photos I took during a recent mini blizzard. Maybe you could transform me into a magical character? Let me know if this is a possibility, please?
Thank you,