Shape

alexa meade redefining still life

Confession of the day: I really enjoy watching makeup tutorials on YouTube. Next confession: I never actually do these tutorials. For me, it’s like watching a magic trick, a bewildering series of transformations. Cheekbones emerge from thin air; full, pouty, red lips adorn smiles; eyelids turn into a canvas of shimmery depth; their skin becomes a dewy, golden landscape.

I think it’s easy to think of these young ladies as airheads, publicizing their vanity for the world ten minutes at a time. But I, for one, am so humbled by them. They break down the idea that perfection greets certain people in the morning. They wipe their faces clean, exposing the blank canvas. Every single technique is voiced over in obsessive detail, letting virtually anyone follow along.

Even better, the “imperfections” in the before shots are called out for what they are: reality. For those struggling with acne, there are hoards of videos of young women showing their own skin’s turmoil to literally thousands of viewers. And as someone who has had her fair share (well, it’s never fair, is it) of skin issues, I just think: if that’s not humbling, if that’s not courage, if that’s not something we should all bow down and raise our hands to in a time when the only faces you see are those that have been airbrushed or already guised in a thin (or excessively thick) layer of concealer, I don’t know what is.

So this led me to a cheesy albeit vital conclusion. Every blank canvas is different, but every blank canvas is beautiful. No matter what you do with your canvas, holy bejeezus, you’re beautiful. Whether makeup is a minimalist endeavour, or a full expedition across the seven seas, the face that awaits you on both sides is beautiful.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a mantra most of us are familiar with. Sure, we’ve heard it in magazines, and corny blog posts (*cough* yay me *cough*), but very few are blessed with toting around this message in their head all day. After all, how we feel about the canvas we’ve been given can change daily, or by the minute. Sometimes I look in the mirror with no makeup on and offer myself a proud salute, but other times I shrink back, or avoid meeting my eyes at all costs. But guess what? That happens with or without makeup. Makeup doesn’t solve self-esteem issues or confidence. In some ways, it can exacerbate low self-esteem.

One easy example is when you forgo eyeliner and someone swoops in and offers their “sympathies”: Wow, you look so tired today! Get much sleep? In fact, I had a beauty of nine hours, but I’ll go along with you anyway due to your genuinely pained expression and say, Oh, man, yeah, brutal night *fake yawn blended with the fakest of fake laughs*. In this case, makeup kind of sucks. But there are other times, perhaps when you applied a touch of creamy foundation with some blush, and someone says, Wow, your skin is looking radiant! And you proceed to bat your lashes and say aw shucks, the cloud beneath your footsteps remaining there all day. That’s kind of magic.

But here’s the thing. Makeup alone is not a magic trick. When you have nothing on, and someone says you look *cringe* “really tired”, a dose of confidence can rid that remark of condescension and you can instead look at it from a good humoured perspective. A joke between you, yourself, and your lack of makeup. On the other hand, if you receive a compliment for your radiant skin and low self-esteem snarls, It’s just because you have makeup on, that feeling of walking on cloud nine will likely dissipate.

Makeup doesn’t work magic on its own. Makeup works magic with you. In fact, it needs you. Because guess what? Makeup needs that beautiful face of yours to do any magic at all. Makeup can put a smile on your face, give you an extra kick in your step, or make you feel like you would be one of those people who didn’t look ridiculous doing a “sexy meow/growl.” That all feels a little magical. But when someone compliments you, they’re complimenting you, not your makeup. Bobbi Brown Foundation isn’t the subject here. You are. Bobbi Brown Foundation on its own is just a puddle of cream. You, though, you’re the masterpiece people want to see.

Now I know you’re probably tired of me jabbering on about how we’re all beautiful inside and out, with or without makeup (we all have to hear it!), but I thought this bad-ass painter, Alexa Meade, was kind of unreally perfect for what we’re talking about. Alexa takes real people as her canvas. Real people. She then picks up her magic paintbrushes and drapes them in colours, shadows, light, and texture so as to transform three dimensional humans and environments into two dimensional paintings.

The results are nothing short of holy shit. 

So really, Alexa demonstrates the irony of our perception of art. Art evokes feelings, sensations, desires, and that unnamed sense of something novel stirring in our stomachs and chests. We look to art for a reaction, for a connection with something or someone beyond our grasp. Yet, aren’t we doing the same when we look to each other? Our interactions with someone are really with the image they have shaped of themselves over time, the image they feel comfortable with the world seeing.

When Alexa paints onto her human being canvases, we begin to look at them as the art projects they really are. The woman we crossed on the street is just a fleeting image of who she really is. Some of our perception of her is coloured by our own experiences, our own random mood at that moment, but some of our perception is shaped by the very way in which she has presented herself to us. And in a beautiful yet somewhat heartbreaking way, the humanity of Meade’s subjects, that truth lying open on the blank canvas beneath the layers of paint, is more exposed than ever before. Meade’s work demands a reevaluation of how we perceive others and, ultimately, how we judge others.

After all, isn’t everyone just a work-in-progress offering themselves to the world as though they’re a finished product?

sweeten your day with advice from sugar

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Have any of you seen Wild? It takes Cheryl Strayed (and you, lucky thing) on a journey through the Pacific Crest Trail, encountering revelations at every turn. The best part, though, is that this journey isn’t just through the rained on, sunshined on trees of 27 national forests. And it doesn’t only take you into Cheryl’s sometimes scandalous, often heartbreaking, and perpetually challenging memories. You’re also guided, even pushed, to the crevices of your mind that flourish on doubt, breed jealousy, and infiltrate fear into your thoughts. Through Cheryl’s journey, you take a journey through your own mind as you face flickering questions and uncover answers.

I just read a fantastic (as per usual) piece over at Brain Pickings talking about a little something called motherfuckitude. It comes up in Cheryl’s latest book, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar. Before she wrote Wild and the world was seized by her wisdom all at once, she wrote for an advice column called The Rumpus under the name “Sugar”. Her advice, at the age of twenty-six, speaks to the awesomely wise and unbreakable spirit she has always had.

She never dismisses or deflects the true questions of those pleading for an answer. She digs her hands into the dirt of it. It’s as though she looks at the modest weed people present to her, as though this is all that is irking them or scaring them, and she digs into its roots, unapologetically and necessarily.

I need this book in my possession. I want to say it’s because I’m a twenty something (well, twenty-nothing at this point) who craves Cheryl’s answers to just about everything on a daily basis, intent on finding that glimmering cove in my own mind that points me to them. But it’s not just for twenty-somethings and twenty-nothings. It’s for thirty-somethings and eighty-nothings, and everyone in between and beyond. And it’s not about answers at all. It’s for anyone wanting direction. For anyone wanting renewed inspiration and sharpened humility. It’s for anyone who needs some “motherfuckeritude.”

But being a motherfucker, it’s a way of life, really… It’s about having strength rather than fragility, resilience, and faith, and nerve, and really leaning hard into work rather than worry and anxiety. – Cheryl Strayed

We all need some more motherfuckeritude in our life. Go read about it, and turn this Thursday into a motherfucking Thursday.

P.S. After reading this piece, you may experience a sugar high, a craving for even more sweet advice and wisdom. If so, head over to NPR and check out Dear Sugar Radiowhich features the two “original Sugars”, Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, “[fielding] all your questions — no matter how deep or dark — and [offering] radical empathy in return.” (I gobble up this podcast at least once a week.)

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Liebster Award

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Holy smokes! Holy guacamole! Holy moley! Holy wackadoodle!

Thank you so much to An Unstoppable Sun for tickling me pink today with a Liebster Award nomination. This award is so lovely, as it’s really just one big chain of smiles for the little guys in this gargantuan world of bloggers. In fact, liebster apparently means sweetest, kindest, beloved, kindest, pleasant… just really all of the most cheery adjectives. So thanks again, An Unstoppable Sun!

The rules are as follows:

  1. List 11 random facts about yourself.
  2. Answer the 11 questions put forth by your nominee.
  3. Come up with 11 questions to ask of your nominations.
  4. Go on and tag 11 of your blogger friends (and they must have less than 200 followers!).

Alright, so, the internet is crazy, big place (for anyone who didn’t know). My nominee just happens to be a kdrama and jodrama aficionado, so her questions are rather unanswerable. But! I can just list 11 random facts about myself instead!

11 Facts
  1. A perfect morning = french toast/waffles with copious amounts of syrup, berries, and whipped cream + a cappuccino with heaps n’ heaps of foam
  2. I’ve wanted to be an architect since Grade 5, a psychologist since Grade 8, and an urban planner since four days ago.
  3. I still play Sims 3. I’ve accepted it’s a lifelong addiction.
  4. If I could have one mastered skill, it would be to play the piano. A beautiful piano piece can make me ridiculously weepy.
  5. Passive aggression makes my blood boil.
  6. I have clear skin for the first time in years and sometimes I just stroke my own face and smile.
  7. I’ve been meditating on/off for the past two months and it’s tough, but it really can promise you a dose of bliss every time (even if it’s a super small dose).
  8. I want to live in Amsterdam for a year at one point in my life.
  9. The Voice and X-Factor auditions send chills down my spin and have an 85% chance of making me cry.
  10. PJ sets make me feel super in control of life. I mean, how awesome would it be to look like your life is altogether even when you’re sleeping.
  11. When I’m stressed, I pick at my eyebrows and have definitely earned a few bald patches during exam seasons.

If you wanted random facts, there ya frickin’ go. Pretty random, indeed.

11 Questions
  1. What makes you cry every time you watch it/listen to it?
  2. What makes up a perfect Sunday?
  3. Are you a morning bird or a night owl?
  4. What’s one book you would want to live in and how do you fit in?
  5. Man buns: yay or nay?
  6. What’s one habit you want to make and one you want to lose?
  7. What’s your most recently discovered song?
  8. It’s been a stressful & long day. How do you unwind?
  9. Where is your favourite place in the whole wide world (so far)?
  10. Skill you wish you mastered (or still plan on mastering)?
  11. What’s one phrase you always find yourself saying?
7 Nominees!*
  1. Bahar’s Diary 
  2. Halesbobales
  3. The Number Eleven
  4. Amanda Watkins
  5. Now Alone
  6. Size Too Small
  7. Carlton Kne

Quality over quantity. Technically, 11 nominees are required for this award, but I feel like those a part of this Liebster community won’t mind. To be totally honest, my circle with other bloggers is rather small and intimate – but here’s to spreading some blogging wings and getting to know more of you! I stumbled across some incredible blogs through this Liebster. Carlton Kne drops wisdom like a new-age Plato, FREEDOM documents the poignant thoughts of a young woman with “wandermust” (adore that), and Blogphilic is the queen of narratives. And then, of course, a huge thanks to An Unstoppable Sun for introducing me, in some beautiful way, to these individuals. If anyone is into kdrama or jdorama, this is the gal to see.

Also some of these blogs I couldn’t track down the number of followers they have, so if they’re over 200, just take it as an indication of they’re awesome. 

Have a gosh darn amazing rest of your Monday!

*m

{image from mirnah h.}

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rolling out of bed into a tub

If there are two things that can make any grey day into a day of unrequited peace, it’s a bubble bath and a nap/doze on a big, comfy bed. You just can’t go wrong with either.

Now some folks scoff at the idea of putting a tub in a bedroom, and I think it’s just because they think we’re ignoring the separation of bathrooms and bedrooms all together. No, no. That is not the case. All we are doing is taking your portal to escape reality in (aka the bath) into your bedroom. Who could have a problem with that? Suddenly you’re given so many more reminders to treat yourself on a daily basis.

And now that I think about, why the heck are we putting toilets next to baths anyway? Who came up with the idea of having a bath and a toilet squished into one room? Baths are meant for peaceful meditation. Toilets, on the other hand, cannot be made into anything escapist or peaceful. Let’s face it – they’re just pits of water that you do your business in.

Anyway, in preparation for my future dream house, I’ve found a variety of ways to mix a bath into your bedroom below, so here are a few spots that really have this dreamy, introspective, rolling-out-of-bed-into-a-tub vibe figured out.

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remodelista – great examples!//unknown//pinterest//house and home//freestanding tub inspiration //pinterest

Today, the city is covered in a thick blanket of ew-go-away fog. Sticking to that trend, I have another ew-go-away paper to tackle all day, too. At least my life’s consistent.

Rather than losing myself in the depths of New Girl episodes to shake off the bleh of today, I have a bath pouring with lavender salts and bubbles. I’m hoping to fire up my inner Ayn Rand today, so that I can emerge from the bath with a severely critical eye and the ability to write a lot of words on words on words.

*m

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invite me over: Sherlock meets Waldo

 

To some, having a desk at the end of their bed might look like a pair of handcuffs. And I totally get that. We all want to wake up and pretend, just for a brief, glorious moment in time, that our lives really do just consist of solo coffee dates, lengthy bubble baths, and perhaps, if we’re feeling particularly motivated, matinee movies.

But if we must work, then we must do what we love (or so everybody likes to muse as though they’re telling you this information for the first time). And the fella that lives here? He’s an art expert, world traveller, and interior designer. Meet Rodman Primack. Or meet the man that leads the life we all wish we had.

Below, a peak at his enviably cultured apartment in NYC, courtesy of Architectural Digest.

Yes, we’ve seen that gnome before… this week’s Wednesday Feast was teasing you and you didn’t even know it. ;)

It’s hard to put your finger on just where in the world his style is coming from. I see Spain, Morocco, France, Belgium, even the otherworldly (I’m looking at you, gnome boy). Yet everything comes together with such clarity. His galleries are a masterfully curated example of this, featuring each corner of the world all at the same time so that we witness one fantastical scene of cultural diversity.

Primack’s playfulness with proportions seems to come naturally to him, too. Where we might expect smaller accents of color, we see paintings, plants, and light fixtures dominating the scene, unabashedly testing our limits.

The result, of course, is an apartment that sacrifices our expectations for relentlessly eclectic fun. Sherlock-meets-Waldo kind of fun. And what’s more fun than that combo?

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend! Does anyone have any family/solo traditions for celebration? I’m really curious because sometimes they’re straight up hilarious/ I would like to live vicariously through you. For the past three years, Easter has been something of a semi-sweet occasion for me. On the one hand, I have the whole house to myself as my roomies flee to their respective homes, and on the other, I just think about how awesome it would be to have my seat back at home, a huge chicken and mashed potatoes filling my plate as my eyes grow four times their normal size in anticipation of eating.

Regardless, everyone seems particularly chipper during Easter weekend. Tulips, pastel colors, maybe the appearance of sun dresses if the weather permits – Easter really just doubles as one big celebration of spring, baby!

*m

wednesday feast 2.0

Happy wednesday, folks! If your week isn’t going the way you want it to, press the reset button. Wake up on the other side of the bed. Drink mint tea with lemon & honey instead of coffee. Dab on some red lips. Sprint for two blocks to feel like superwoman. Do a jig to your guilty pleasure on YouTube and then tackle the scariest thing on your to-do list, even if it’s just thinking about it.

Or, enjoy some mid-week inspiration with your wednesday feast.

*dezignnn*

Gnome, gnome, gnome, gnome, I repeat, gnome in the house

This space is so deliciously lived in. And I love that, because it’s so rare to see.

My instagram feed is stuffed with photos of perfectly curated lives. I trick myself into thinking that this is a reality, and, on some days, that’s nice! But on others, I need a dose of reality that looks more close to home.

I’m not saying this European sun-kissed bathroom looks anything like my reality (maybe it will one day), but it looks like an honest depiction of someone else’s. And that, my friends, is as soothing as that deep, sumptuous bath.

studded hearts/what should i eat for breakfast today/pinterest/the design files/honestly wtf/pinterest

*fashunnn*

zara/whowhatwear/unknown/the sartorialist/madewell

*podcast*

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If you are ever in need of girlfriend chats on the way to class, work, coffee, breakfast, ballroom dancing, get on this podcastI want to be friends with the hosts so bad – they are equal parts hilarious, witty, and feminist. Friend crushing hard.

“Multiple glasses of wine, chatting both confidence and thigh gaps plus menstruation in space. Where have you been all my life, Call Your Girlfriend?” –Holly Gordon (It’s true. The pilot episode features lotsa wine n’ giggles.)

*dessert*

Airbnb is the new food gawker. Okay, so, up front, not at all. But it is safe to say that airbnb is the foodgawker for interior design & travel. I recently found this Victorian gem in San Francisco and now fully plan on trying my hand at the aristocratic life (read: Downton Abbey life) some time.

 *receipt treat*

This illustration brought to you by a mysterious Asian pinterest board-like platform that is only for drawings and illustrations like this! Oh what you can find on internet travels.

*m

wednesday feast

Some people might call Wednesday the mid-week slump. I call it the mid-week pick-me-up. By Wednesday, the weekend’s plans are filling themselves in (even if that looks like no plans whatsoever, which is a bonus), I only have two snooze buttons left, and I’m comfortably situated in whatever chaos the week held.

But… it’s still Wednesday.

That’s why I’ve officially started wednesday feastsIt’s a multi-course meal of inspiration to start your day off with a pick-me-up. You start off with five-ish delightful samples of interior design that are leaving me drooling (not on your plate, don’t worry), followed by two-ish slices of fashion and a podcast to feed your brain.

Then dessert! Which can be anything, but generally a taste of another blog around the internet. And let’s be honest, we always want more dessert, so just click on the blog to keep on indulging.

And of course, a treat receipt in the form of an illustration.

Bon appétit!

*dezignnn*

living room

Funky and modern, yet oh-so-cozy.

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*fashunnnn*

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*podcast*

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NPR Invisibilia is the best. Alice and Lulu, quite simply, explore the invisible forces that shape our lives. Okay so perhaps not so simply but the way they deliver these podcasts is unlike any podcast out there – you feel like you’re right there, having a super deep but funny conversation with old friends.

So get ready for a dose of the existential.

I recommend The Power of Categories to get you started, which digs into the nature of categories and our absolute and utter dependence on them to navigate this world.

*dessert!*

The Socialite Family recently featured Charlotte & Hugo, a pair of lovers/interior architects/designers. Don’t their names alone already sound unfairly cool? But just wait until you start scrolling. Then tell me about unfair. I mean, just look at Charlotte reclining in that chair, so minx-like, and Hugo striking a pose so nonchalant you could’ve sworn you really did just interrupt them modeling.

Charlotte & Hugo’s home needs no introduction though. After all, this is the first home I’ve seen in a while that makes me want to inappropriately move in with a couple I don’t know just to be like, hey, I’m cool too. And I know I won’t be alone on that one.

The Socialite Family has a knack for tapping into the lives of the coolest families on the globe. Check out the crazy eclectic abode of Mathilde, Jerome, and their little cutie Charlotte here, as an easy example. (Although I think I’d be lying if I said these French names didn’t add a certain je-ne-sais-quoi to their home, too.)

*treat receipt*

*m

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digging it: anthropologie daytimers

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Moments for everything, including moments for you! Anthropologie’s “Every Moment Journal” makes me want to squeal.

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master plan, details and dates, jaunts and journeys, winks and whims

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so much happiness

34612853_085_b 33633389_901_b2 There are a few strange souls in the world that don’t write things down, anywhere, ever. When I hear this, I don’t know whether to stop what I’m doing and bow down because their mental capacity is ridiculously impressive, or to run because they’re quasi-robots.

So yeah, I get a little dumbfounded either way. This is because I depend on writing my life down. Otherwise, you can consider that appointment, test, meeting, hangout, you name it, gone. Gone into the abyss that is my daytimer-dependant brain, not even with a dramatic poof of smoke.

I enjoy my dependence on daytimers though because, goddamn, I love them. I could spend hours in stationery stores and probably get the same amount of relaxation as a couple hours spent at some fancy spa.*

Something about having your life transcend its pages is so inherently soothing. It’s like all the pages ahead offer a sneak peak into what the next few weeks or months hold for you, which I get is completely ironic because there’s nothing surprising about something you’ve scheduled in yourself, but it feels that way.

And just like clothing, each daytimer brings on a different vibe. I recently purchased a daytimer that makes me feel as though I am an elvish empress, and each test deadline now appears like a mysterious quest (okay, not really, but whenever I open it, I do fully expect to see, “Journey to Alzareth,” and “Meditation at Moon Kiss Point”).

Now, in my opinion, the only place (ar at least the first place) you gotta go to get your daytimer game on point is Anthropologie. Above are a few of my favorites, especially the Every Moment journal – a poignant reminder that while life can be chaotic, there are so many moments to savor in between. And to never forget that you can create moments to savor, too.

Every Moment Journal, Anglophile Journal, Marbled Notebook, Monogram Crest Journal

What’s your favourite? Any other daytimer aficionados out there?

*m

*How I wish I could be someone who says, “Oh, Tuesday? I can’t make Tuesday. It’s my spa day.” This type of person would probably close by saying, “Toodles!”

PS. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MUMMA!

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A Few Words on Doubt

The following paintings have stayed on file for a while now (months even) because I haven’t been able to articulate how I feel about them. Are they cool enough? Will anyone resonate with what I’m saying? Is this just a fluff post? When it comes to this “haven of inspiration” as I call it, this blog of mine, there are hoards upon hoards of drafted posts gathering virtual dust for exactly those reasons. But why?

I don’t know why I don’t just go for it. Why is the “publish” button becoming more daunting over time rather than a heck of a lot easier? You would think I would know my “voice” by now, and I would know what “fits” on Little Rabbit Ears, but I don’t. Every time I go to blog something, there’s this voice of doubt that whispers, “Only you find this interesting/cool/neat/groovy/awesome/whatever.”

As you can see from my sporadic posting, I tend to succumb to that voice. Not only in the sphere of blogging, either. Doubt trickles into every part of my life (and I doubt I’m alone on that). Is this outfit too look-at-me? Did I just destroy that first impression? How can I even consider applying for this? 

All of those questions, hesitations, and insecurities brought on by doubt means one thing: Doubt is stopping me in my tracks when I’m on the road to something good, to something happy.

The grip of doubt on our ambitions can be exhausting; the grip of doubt on our confidence and happiness can be lethal.

Doubt, to me, is easier to face when it’s personified. Rather than looking at it as some intangible force that renders you weak and powerless, look at it as a bully. Doubt is the bully that picks on you when you’re being you. When you’re leaping into new ventures, finding happiness in the now, or sporting red lips to the grocery store – Doubt is the one who pulls you back from mid-air.

As any bully then, Doubt grew up in an atmosphere of insecurity. Doubt can breathe only when its grip on us is secured. So rather than fighting its grip – or worse, succumbing to its grip – look it in the eye.

Remember that Doubt is not the enemy; Doubt needs our help.

Give Doubt a hug, as hard as it may be. Recognize its qualms. Stroke its frazzled hair and sit with its worries. Look at them, one by one, and blow them away – because that’s what those worries are! They’re the insignificant possessions of Doubt. They’re the mental manifestations of insecurity.  The less Doubt holds on to these, the lighter its weight is on you. Because while Doubt may never disappear from our ride through life, it shouldn’t be able to control the direction.

I need to remind myself of this daily. My life right now is made up of so many if’s, how’s, maybe’s that I could burst from uncertainty. It’s as though I’m losing myself a little bit the more I let Doubt take over me. Who knows – maybe if I don’t confront Doubt, I will become Doubt. Now that’s a scary thought that I won’t entertain.

I am me, and me is awesome. Doubt is just my worry wart of a friend.

So where do you stand on Doubt? What is its role in your life and how do you cope?

 

***

In full circle, here are the paintings that I didn’t think anyone else would find interesting/cool/neat/groovy/awesome/whatever. But you know what? I think that was Doubt speaking.

Kim McCarty’s Boys & Girls

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Like blurry afterimages drifting past closed eyelids, Kim McCarty’s watercolors hover between presence and absence, innocence and wisdom, and past, present, and future. Working rapidly, at times using only a single color and at others a haunting, bruise-inspired palette of acid yellows, greens, and browns, McCarty’s portraits evoke the sense of uncertainty, ambivalence, anxiety, and loss with which we view today’s generation. – Maloney Fine Arts

We see a lot on the internet. Some, rightfully so, may say too much. But true and complete genius strikes me still when I see it. Kim McCarty’s series, Boys & Girls, overwashed me with wonder.

First, I felt a sense of loss. Heartbreaking loss. The blurred colors almost look like the product of tears watering them down. Then, I saw passion. That same use of blurred reds, pinks, and peaches in the woman leaning forward looks to me like a body that is radiating warmth from a bout of making love. The woman approaching us, whose naked body is a myriad of greens, yellows, blues evokes a similar sense of earthy sensuality rather than explicit sexuality.

When I consider the title, my perspective changes. The fused colors don’t necessarily represent sorrow but merely an unformed impression of the world around us. Adolescence and childhood is a time of absorbing what’s around you. We are unsure as to who we are, filling in the lines of our dreams and personality as we age. Perhaps the edges become more defined with age and perhaps they don’t. Perhaps we don’t even want them to.

*m

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a little tour

chezadriennetitle Everybody has that friend who defies all previously held notions of “effortlessly cool.” You know, the one who wakes up in the morning, picks out any of the perfectly classic numbers hanging in her closet and spends a little under five minutes preparing her face for the world. Everything just clicks. They just seem to get things.  For me, that friend is Adrienne, the bold-browed beauty smiling coyly below. We’ve been best friends going on a decade, which is half of my life thus far (winning at friendship, to put it bluntly), and she only embodies this stereotype more and more with each year. Should I be resentful? Hell, no, because she imparts her wisdom and unbridled inspiration on me every time I see her. This past weekend, though, my whole idea of my best friend just catapulted out of an ornate ceiling with stringed lights draped from an archway. In short, I visited her house and quickly died, went to the heaven reserved for vintage wares, crisp white walls, fireplaces-in-bedrooms, and historic architecture, and then came back to go for waffles. Her apartment almost brought tears to my eyes. So what kind of girl would I be if I didn’t share with you a home so perfect that I almost cried? Not an effortlessly cool one, let’s say that. chezadrienne

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An Etsy find from her sister, this clock was made out of recycled wood that has been stained and repurposed. This piece singlehandedly defines the room’s vibe for me. Hung just above a perfectly proper fireplace, Adrienne’s aesthetic of funky vibes mingling with opulence is the perfect greeting into her home.

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On asking why she chooses to have her (sweet n’ stylish) clothes on display: “It was originally something I bought out of necessity, but I ended up loving the way it brought colour and texture to the space; so much of what I gravitate toward is grey and boring, so having it all exposed forces me to have a little life in my room. It also makes what I own so visible – not just in the literal way – it makes me realize how much I have. It’s terrible how easily I can get caught up in feeling like I need to have new and trendy things (boo consumerism), but having it all on display is such a strong reminder not to be wasteful.”

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On what her favourite part of her room is: “I think my favourite part has to be the archway. As much as arches typically add ornate detail to a room, this one is actually pretty tacky and silly, and I love it. The original wood design was apparently so delicate that it just sort of fell apart with age, so the details were all redone in the 80s – hence the weird and silly retro spheres..”

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Galleries are so daunting to me, I don’t know why, mostly because I’m under the impression that you need real ART. Adrienne scored some vintage frames and record covers and suddenly I am rethinking my whole conception of what makes a “good” gallery. Personally, bringing in a level of intimacy and personality by displaying bits and pieces of your life – be it photos or album covers you’ve always had lying around – is much more interesting.

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“The vast majority of the items in the room are actually heirlooms and trinkets from the Granny, who passed away a few years ago. She was an incredible world traveller and collected a huge array of unique items over the years. When she died, she left all of them to my sister and I. We were all very close,and used to go over to her apartment and play dress-up with all of her costume jewels, or have fake tea parties with her ridiculously fancy silver and crystal tea sets (which I’m still not sure why she ever let us touch).”

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“The pearls, the tray, the lantern, and nearly all of the little things on the shelves belonged to her. I love having them around. It’s really comforting to come home and see little reminders of people you loved, especially in your own room. It really makes it feel like a sanctuary.”

IMG_8646 IMG_8614IMG_8641IMG_8650   Thank you, Adrienne, for letting me share your beautiful home with the world! It’s almost as cool as you are. (Yay, cheese!) Signing off, *m