Tuesday, December 22, 2009

one year

I have this thing about seasons. I love seeing them change. I know living in Austin it is rare, but buying a new calendar or observing the first day of a season delights me. Makes me happy.

Yesterday marked the first day of winter. It's been a little over a year since I started this blog, and it's still kinda fun! So as tradition prevails I present you a new year of seasons. Japanese woodblock prints. Hope you enjoy their beauty.

At Christmas you tell the truth.

Thank you. This goes out to all the artists whether they are struggling or not, thank you. It's Christmas, and at Christmas you tell the truth: life wouldn't be worth living without song, beautiful pictures, and handmade dresses and afghans. This is my life I'm talking about. I read on Jennifer Balkan's mirror a quote, "Art is like sex; an individual can survive without it, but a civilization cannot." So I am thankful for you all, just as you are kind and full of gratitude for people who sit around all day. :smile:

I don't know how to say it - it's your life. Just know that sometimes your art can get a girl through a hellish workday. Just a few minutes looking at a beautiful print can bring her soul back to her. Please don't put your art away...on a shelf, next year when I have time, when the kids are grown. Make time. You can do it. You can balance the mundane with the inspirational. I believe in you.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

"The clock was ticking."

Tick tock. The clock inspires so much. Steampunk, Madonna's 4 minutes, and it's the main theme of Lara Croft Tomb Raider. In it there's a scene where she wakes up in the middle of the night to the ticking of a clock. My, she takes out a wall to find the clock. :laugh: I was inspired by that scene one night. No walls were bludgeoned, but I snipped off the second hand of a clock with some wire cutters...then went back to sleep.

Nowadays I am that clock. I keep time for short gesture poses, and if a longer pose gets hard I count the last few minutes for a sense of peace. It's odd to try to mimic the ticking in my head, but it's a little goal of mine. Be as accurate as a clock. We models have weird goals, but I should speak for myself. Just know that I can work peacefully with a ticking clock, no sledgehammers will come out.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dharma Yoga

Hi there! I am happy to announce that Dharma Yoga has extended a 50% discount to all guild members. If you haven't signed up this is more reason to! Go to the Paloma Guild website, fill out the form and mail it to the address under contact. Once you are a member you will receive a fancy laminated card that will be your discount pass, as well as your free business cards.

Dharma Yoga is located on 31st and Guadalupe, close to most modeling gigs in Austin. Their yoga is essentially a blend of its name. The spiritual aspect of the practice is Tibetan in nature, and their yoga derives from Jivamukti, Sivananda, and Anusara traditions. Visit them online or visit their studio. Hope to see you there!

"Dharma Yoga's instructors must be the best in Austin. Long after the class concludes you'll feel the work of your practice in your muscles and in your spirit."
--Susan Briante, poet and UT English professor

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I'm shy. That's just the way I am, but there is something wrong in exposing a friend while keeping yourself in safety. So here I am! This blog is not about self-promotion, but I find supporting ideas and people online a great thing. That said, 12buy12 at Austin Art Space is coming up soon. The first of December to be exact is when the show starts, but

Artists' Reception
December 5th: 6-9pm
7739 Northcross Drive
Suite Q
Behind Northcross Mall
Austin TX 78757

Here are the works of Theresa Bayer and my mother, Eve Larson, that will be featured in the show.

...and now I'll hide. :smile:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shelly Long

What brought up the whole mysterious bit was that I met a fellow model for the first time, and both of us knew each other's name but had never seen a face. Shelly Long of Austin, Texas. Eve talks about her wonderful outfits. I've seen her upcycled art at GAGA, but never the artist. So we art models are a strange bit. Misty tells me otherwise and I feel bad that I can't get my butt to Kelli's parties, but it's mostly true. Models rarely meet; we don't have overlapping shifts.

Without further ado, Shelly Long:

Sadly GAGA (Greater Austin Garbage Arts) is floating without its home right now, but hopefully soon it will grow its roots again in Austin. I found Shelly on the E.A.S.T. 2009, in Dog House Studios. Her studio is number 23a on the map. And remember E.A.S.T. is this weekend as well. More time to get to know your local artists!

Friday, November 13, 2009

E.A.S.T. 2009

For all of you that live in Austin, this is a must see. East Austin Studio Tour is happening this weekend and the next. So no excuses! I work weekends, but I'm gonna go. I recently modeled in Pump Project and it looks like they're going to have an exhibit. Hope I see you there!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Searching for Love

What do you look for in a man, in a woman? Nothing. Everything. Yourself.

I love love stories, but pity the woman who relates to romantic comedies. The films I adore have poetry and pain, and do not always have a happy ending. A few weeks ago I modeled for Bill Lundberg's class. It was odd...but I liked it. I really liked the second pose I did: he had a projector beam an image on my back. For some reason that's romantic to me, because it reminds me of the film The Pillow Book.

Creativity and wonder and love...aren't those the things we wish for? Nagiko of The Pillow Book vows at the age of six to write a pillow book of all the things that make the heart beat faster. It's a beautiful movie that involves her writing books on a Chinese typewriter, something I still long for, as well as calligraphy on beautiful bodies.

Anyway, she falls in love with an English translator and there's a scene where they use a projector when writing calligraphy on each other...I should let you see the movie before I explain more.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vacation Week

Just wanted to let you know, things went well. I got a written apology. Happy, not bitter and vengeful. Just happy.

This week will be a little vacation for me. When I was finishing the book about Eleanor Roosevelt it mentioned that she couldn't stop. I'm just now being able to avoid lists and due dates that I create arbitrarily. It's nice to just have fun and enjoy downtime. I'm glad I am able to.

I'll see you in a week. Don't really know what I'll be up to, but perhaps my sewing machine might want some use. Take care!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

United Nations Day

Today is United Nations Day. We have about two hours left of it in my time zone.

All I can think of is Ms. Eleanor Roosevelt. An amazing woman whose name might fall on one of my girls. Right now she seems kind of like a super heroine to me, cuz she wrote a column entitled 'My Day' every day. My God, I'm proud of myself when I can get this up twice a week! I'm sorry, lemme get back to Ms. Eleanor. She was appointed one of the first five American delegates for the United Nations General Assembly by President Harry Truman. Through Eleanor's leadership the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was ratified by the United Nations, and at that time she received a standing ovation from the delegates.

This blog is about beauty. Yes, mostly modeling but beauty as a whole. There will be posts on Keep Austin Beautiful in the future. I admire Eleanor for all the inner beauty and grit she possessed. She still amazes me. Perhaps I can get this blog up three times a week.

Happy United Nations Day! Now get some sleep!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Listen, please. I try to spare you of details of my love life and my own personal turmoil. Everyone has pain, why should I get special attention for mine? However, what happened to me could happen to any art model, and if I don't say anything I will be doing a disservice to the next art model. Perhaps, there could be change. That would make me feel better.

Wednesday: I modeled as usual in the morning. As an art model I change in the public restroom. There's no glory in it, but it's practical. It works. I am completely concealed as I change. The instructor that morning specifically asked that I not change in the bathroom for I walk down the hall in my robe. For me, it's a bit silly but for her modesty I adhered to it. I changed in the back. The only problem is that students get and put away their easels in the back. At the end of the class I politely asked the class to hold off on putting away their easels til I got dressed.

What I didn't know that that was prime time for cackling. The teacher came to the back while I was putting on my thong and laughed. Laughed. I can't believe it. NO one in their right mind does that. The students were more respectful than her. I'm shivering in anger that anyone would have to deal with the violation I felt. I got dressed and left. The class was over and I had worked the time...

There. That didn't tell you the name of the person, only their gender. Nor did it tell the institution. If something doesn't get done about this, my God, "Hell hath no fury," comes to mind. I'm waiting on a phone call that I should receive on Monday. Please support me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Coco Avant Chanel

I'm kinda sick of shoes, they remind me of a horrible man who had a fetish with them. Sorry. They just do. ... But for those who don't have bad memories with a certain man: geta, klompen and babouches - zori! Have fun, y'all.

I'm moody today, the main reason I'll tell you tomorrow, but I saw Coco Avant Chanel this rainy afternoon. I love Coco. She didn't have an ounce of charm in her, and she made it. I love that. Sometimes I wish I didn't play geisha or most honorable guest. Dammit - I'm sweet! Mama made me that way and ... I don't know how not to be. I'm pretty too, so that means ... I got it made?

What's more important than my innate gifts are courage and grit. What use is a pretty doll if she is to be tossed out for a new model? Who is to enjoy beauty if it is to be destroyed (read: raped) and the law proceeds to blame her beauty for the crime? I wore hooker boots out tonight and enjoyed them. After the movie I enjoyed them more. Coco Chanel was brave, why shan't I be? Watch it. It's at Regal Cinema 8 at Great Hills in Austin. Below is the trailer.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Animal Feet 2.0

I realize it sounds weird to think that people would try to imitate animals through footwear or clothing, but let me give some more examples.

Fur coats: Less trendy now that most people have a conscious and heating systems. But remember late nineties when fake fur was all the rage?

Feathers: Some like feather boas, some like feather hair clips. I myself own a very beautiful feather hair-clip. Think about angels. Would they be as beautiful and ethereal without feather wings?

Mermaids: Very hard to imitate on dry ground, but they've been sexy from Homer til today. They'll be in fairy tales for countless generations to come.

Skin-tight leather? Eh? I rest my case for today, but I'll leave you with a picture I wish I had a few days ago.

Post why you think humans mimic animals through clothing. I have no idea why. Oh, by the way, in three out of the four examples wearing the said item made the wearer sexier. Eek! I'm kinda scared to find out the answer now.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Golden Lotus Feet

I am just as culpable. The pain that women put themselves through to achieve the beauty of the Golden Lotus feet, I myself would probably do too. Chinese bound feet immobilized women. I believe I do the same thing to myself when I wear my 6" hooker boots. There have been times at parties where I sit on the kitchen counter because my feet hurt so much. Do you think I could take a stroll in the park in those shoes? Eh? So I am just as culpable. Thankfully, the affect for me is not permanent as it was for Chinese women who broke their feet in the beauty process.

I am so glad flats are in style. Late feminists would smile if they could see that. We are not exchanging beauty for health. Ie. High heels for Birkenstocks. It's good to see feminists revel in beauty, but also understand women's obsession with it.

Last week I heard news that I was picked for a music video. Eeek! I am so happy, but with this I will now be obsessed with beauty and knowledge. I don't want to see what happens if I lose the latter. My goal is to be like Inara from Firefly. If I can achieve that, my life is complete.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Animal Feet

Hi. I learned something new today. The cow-toed looking shoes are called 'tabi.' I love the flats and even the heels, yet I know not of how painful the heels would be. I'm not so interested in the boots however practical they were/are to ninjas. They look dorky to me.

Why do I love painful shoes? To be honest, it's more of a longing than a requited love. The most painful shoes I own are my beautiful 6" black hooker boots. I want the line of shoes in John Galliano's spring 2009 fashion show. Why? They're odd...and strangely cute. I think that's the aspiration of every designer: create products that are new, different, and cute.

Let's focus on the why I adore these kind of shoes, though. The tabi shoes out in stores now, albeit limited, differ from ones worn in Japanese courts. They're made for an international audience. I found out about these kind of shoes through a Bjork photoshoot, and wanted them because they strangely make human feet look like an animals. Why do hooker boots garner so many compliments? My theory is they make my foot look like a horse's hoof - especially with leg warmers or long trousers. So yes, you have my confession of why I like tabi shoes. Try to figure out why you love or hate a certain style yourself. It really gets you thinking.

I leave you with hulder maidens, beautiful women with cow tails. I learned about them in D'Aulaires folktales. According to another scholar, the hulder maidens are "the best wife a man can have" (Bok).

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Feet are Neat

There once was a horrible man who was so determined to have pictures of my ass...I sent him pictures of my feet. :laugh: So shall we begin a series on feet, because we are a little bit proper on Words of Doves. It'll be a long time before I talk about my rear end to you. And I think you'll be happier that way, too.

I'm doing a series because I've never been able to stick to a schedule of Inspiration Thursday and such. It's hard enough to call my father and ma on Sunday. It usually happens on Tuesday most weeks. The next several posts will be about feet. I will start by giving you a picture of a certain girl who I think is wondrous. Wang Fang from Chongqing, China refuses to be labeled 'disabled' because of her backwards feet. I love that. She figured out a way to manage and she lives her life. Fang is about my age and she gives me hope. For all that are disabled I'm glad the President is working on making health care affordable for everyone. That gives me hope too - that all of us can manage and not give up on our lives.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Hi there! Decided to cut my vacation short. There is too much happening in Austin to stay away! Tomorrow, at 6:30pm there's a meet and greet at the Green Muse Cafe and Paloma Art Model's Guild just got a new website! So with all that I have to come back. Plus, Austin is where my heart is. From now on all the observations around the world will be made through a telescope...er...one that bends. Take care. Hope to see you at the meeting.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I have a friend named Autumn. Hopefully she's reading this cuz it's her birthday. Never really connected the date with the name until a week ago. Ah, today is the first of Autumn. Autumn doesn't really happen in Austin, Texas...but we're here in Kyoto, Japan...so we'll celebrate.

Here's a haiku by Ono No Komachi

seeing the moonlight
spilling down
through the trees,
my heart fills to the brim
with autumn.

This is the last season I'll have with Alphonse Mucha hoped you enjoyed this year.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Get yourself an education!

I've been listening to M.I.A. non-stop, so I thought I'd add a bit of her in here. There's a cute skit where she says that. Anyway, painting my nails orange is high on my agenda today. :laugh:

Thought I'd refer to you some books on beauty since beauty magazines are trash. Really. "Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly," Baz Luhrman said once. But books, oh lovely books educate you and are not subsidized by advertisements. They are free to tell you things that will not profit the beauty industry. So here, I'll include a few about Japanese beauty. Enjoy.

Inner Peace, Outer Beauty; Michelle D. Leigh

Goals & Benefits of the Guild

Mission: To bring respect and organization to the art modeling community.

Vision: To be the art models that Austin can always depend on. If we cannot make a modeling session, we address the issue prior to the session, and have a substitute who can make the gig.

  • Punctuality
  • Ability to stay still
  • Variety of poses

50% Discount to Dharma Yoga
Free business cards
Substitutes available: in case you are sick
Recommendations to art teachers

We are working on getting discounted bus passes to all guild members.

Tips on Becoming an Art Model

Becoming an art model may sound simple. It is, however, to be a good art model and get steady gigs requires more than simply sitting down.

First and foremost, arrive on time.

Make sure you have a good planner and keep it on you. Open studios might call you when you're least expecting it.

Have business cards, and have at least two handy at each modeling session you work. Networking is the name of this game.

Have a robe with you, so you can easily change. It's good to have two at minimum.

Try to stretch before the session starts.

Exercise as much as you can at home. Holding beautiful poses sometimes include raising your arms for an extended amount of time.

Be a muse. Pretend you are a graceful ballet dancer, a strong athlete, or whatever comes to mind to help you model. You are there to inspire.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What matters.

I call him Beautiful, cuz he is inside and out. He says the same for the same reasons. It's wonderful, to wake up in the morning eyes half-open and hear, "You're so beautiful, darlin." Makes me feel wonderful...knowing my face could get hit by a tractor and he'd still say, "Mornin' beautiful!" Brings me to tears knowing I got a love like that.

So beauty, elusive beauty. Women hurt their feet with painfully high heels, extend their necks with brass rings, corsets have come back into fashion, and just little things like plucking our eye brows and shaving. Why? A guy would get beaten up if he shaved his legs and armpits, and that's half of what we do, sometimes. We feel confident when we're beautiful. I at least feel better knowing I have makeup on even when I realize there is a minute difference.

I think Cindy Crawford had the best motto: put on makeup for five minutes and get on with your life! She likened makeup to clothes [that only women wear], to go without makeup is to go naked. Clothes bring confidence. I am an oddity with my viewpoint on that, but it's true with most people. I believe this elusive, physical beauty is important to our self-confidence, but worry about it for only 10 minutes in the morning. No more. There is shitloads to be done in the world...and there's a guy out there who loves you and could care less.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Voice

We interrupt this program for an emergency broadcast.

The Vice President asked our nation whether we could voice our opinions about health care via videos. I cannot. My voice wanders off, it's whispy, and it is simply me: Waverly. My voice is powerful in the written word, not the spoken.

Health care is crucial to every person in the USA. It's on some minds more than others. Those who can afford it generally take it for granted. I am lucky that I have it. Yes I am lucky that I have it, but I keep a second job that I would not otherwise. Mr. Vice President, I am being honest for you, please do all that you can to remedy the legislation for me.

But I think it failing our nation as a whole when we take a job simply because it has health insurance. When one does not pursue their calling to its fullest degree, we lose our part of our potential. My second job is everything I want and aspire to. I love modeling and want to do it for the rest of my life. It would be nice to have weekends, but just knowing that I have one job would ease my situation. It would give me better power to create this guild...to contribute to society. That's what the public option means to me.

Please visit the White House's website to filter the truth for yourself. It helped me with my research.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

girls, girls, girls

Oh Mother! Where are we now? San Francisco, honey.

Madonna's song 'What It Feels Like for a Girl' barely touches on what it is to be a girl. It describes a girl who is barely there. A girl who, for lack of better words, behaves and abides by the status quo. A status quo that Madonna herself would never adhere to, because she is strong. I bring this up, cuz we're in the city of men wanting to be women and vice versa. For now I am going to focus on MTF because I know what it is to be a woman, and revel in it.

I love putting on makeup and sewing beautiful clothes for myself. My apartment is a temple to Gianni Versace although my closet has a ways to go before it has his style. Really, I was trying to avoid that play on words. I realize that I'm just one girl, and that's it. This does not apply to all females around the globe. Good feminists will acknowledge that, bad ones will talk about their life and apply that structure to women who don't have safe drinking water let alone a college degree.

But what I really wonder is...why do humans look down on men who are effeminate? The intro to 'What It Feels Like' is a sample from Ian McEwan's Cement Garden. Julie, or rather Ian, is the first person to so concisely put the whole genre of homophobia into clarity. We, women, are the second sex at least in a man's point of view. Excuse me, most men secretly think this. Anyone who acts like a woman is instantly degraded. Do you disagree?

Why else would cocksucker (what I as a woman do all the time) be an insult? The third sex, I wish it weren't this way, but we are talking about popular culture and my opinion is small compared to it. The third sex, transgender or transexuals is lower than women. When I was looking for pictures of Christina Aguilera's 'Beautiful,' I found drag queen tagged to her photo. We all know that is an insult. One that her video, 'Beautiful,' challenges.

"We are beautiful no matter what they say...words won't bring us down."

Be yourself no matter what that entails. Damn that's easy to write, but so hard to put into practice. Just know that there are places you can be yourself. The world is huge and there are safe havens in different cities. Thank you San Francisco, and thank you Harvey Milk.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Time Machine

So we're ready for our journey, much like Nellie was back in 1889 except we need one more thing. A precious time machine. If we don't have it there is no likely way we could discover all the intriguing mysteries around the world! I do apologize, but I've been reading a children's novel all afternoon. Well, too bad we'll use our imagination...it can get us anywhere. It's true!

Nellie Bly was a journalist in New York, and started her journey there heading off to Great Britain and so on around the world. However since we are going into the past I thought it would be fitting to have her itinerary backwards as well. Today, 2009, we'll travel to San Francisco first and onwards around the world. Til then!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nellie Bly

I introduce to you Nellie Bly. She was the journalist who ventured around the world solo in a time when women were usually chaperoned. In fact, she beat the fictional Phileas Fogg's record of 80 days by over a week in advance: 72 days 6 hours and 11 minutes. Nellie Bly will be our tourguide of the world in the days to come, but for now, we're packing.

Nellie Bly traveled lightly. She carried a bag that's dimensions were 16 inches wide and 7 inches high. Inspired by her I bought a really pretty, but tiny duffel bag. It is long like hers and about the same dimensions aforementioned. I carry it on long trips like Nellie, but for the most part I use it for modeling.

Hmm...what to wear? Yes, you all know the answer to that when it comes to my work. But I do bring cloth(es) to work. There is the sitting mat which I have, because not all the places I model launder the cushions I sit on. My robe is also packed and a case of CDs. When all are in use, my clothes stay concealed. Believe me, it's really awkward fishing out your business card with underwear in the same bag. Hence the second bag. Well, it's getting late. I should finish packing. G'night!

Monday, August 10, 2009

To question...

My daddy's a scientist. When I was young he told me, "to question everything!" Everything. We'd go to museums and national parks during the summer, and how I dreaded the long pondering of why x was that way. When you are little an hour seemed like a lifetime, and so did his lectures. Perhaps lectures is the proper term, but rather they were him thinking aloud. Now his lectures are interesting for me since I can debate with my father, but then...sheesh!

I question culture: systems and structures of society. I can't travel at present moment, so I read about different peoples of the world. It's fascinating to me. The reason why I am so curious is because another society can function on a totally alien social system and work. It gives me the understanding that x doesn't have to be in our culture. In other words, "that's just the way it is," holds no bearing for me.

Thank you father. I'll give you a ring later. All this is leading up to is I will look at different beauties around the world, question and understand them. Take care til then.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Hey, I'm back. I've been without internet for about two weeks. It's a bit odd for me. I bet it would be odd for anyone in urban America to go without internet for a half a month. Just makes me think of Earth Hour. Have you heard of it? It's an hour where the whole world turns off the lights.

I remember making my father participate in it last year. He wanted to go to a movie, but I insisted that we play chess by candlelight. I felt a bit mean, but it made us realize how dependent we are on electricity. If you like, participate in it next year. It's March 28th of each year.

Monday, July 20, 2009

know your rights

I apologize. A document that parallels the Declaration of Sentiments should not be written overnight, and not by one person. What I will leave with you is a quote of the importance of being patient.

"There is one form of hope which is never unwise, and which certainly does not diminish with the increase of knowledge. In that form it changes its name, and we call it patience."


Til then reread the Bill of Rights, perhaps when you get bored in the breakroom at work, the Labor Standards Act. Just know that there are laws to protect you that people will bend or are simply ignorant of. Know your rights.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Seneca Falls Convention: July 19th and 20th, 1848

Collective memory makes a society. I almost forgot that today was the anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention. But I am here to redeem myself. It's usually an 'f' word to be a feminist nowadays, but really I would be shaming those who gave me the basic right to vote, and to own property among other things. I am happily a feminist who studied Feminist Theory at Oxford. So in honor of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, the writers of the Declaration of Sentiments, I will present you the Art Models Basic Rights tomorrow. The Seneca Falls Convention lasted two days, and this will too. Just know that this crucial event to women's rights began today. Please comment with what you think should be included. It's vain to think I can do this by myself. I want to be Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the radical who thought women's suffrage should be included in the document. Who will you be?

Thursday, July 16, 2009


to see the world in a grain of sand
and to see heaven in a wild flower
hold infinity in the palm of your hand
and eternity in an hour.

-william blake

I stare at dirt. I get paid for it actually. There are smudges on windows and cracks in walls, but dirt is my favorite.

It's crazy how calm you can get by holding poses. The only sense of time you have is the number of songs that have played. But if you let go of that...peace. Simple peace.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Try again.

The other morning was hell. I didn't wake up to two alarms. I was late and greasy hair topped it all off. I hate being late, but really, it happens. So I give myself an allowance: 2 late days per year. I've already used them up, but the point is to try. Once you are aware of what's wrong you are better able to fix it. On nights that I don't get my ungodly amount of sleep, I have my friend call me in the morning, just in case those two alarms don't work.

There are other things that just being aware of can make you a better model.

  • Put your cell phone on silent before the class starts.
  • Give yourself enough time for traffic.
  • Have at least two business cards handy.
  • Always have your planner with you at gigs.
  • Have at least two robes.
Another thing that almost made that day even more hellish was that I left my robe at the artist's home the day before. If I didn't have a second it would have made the late, greasy haired model even more awkward. But as long as you try to be better it's worth it and you'll be forgiven. Try again.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bibliophiles make me smile.

I remember back in the day when my father and I would say goodbye. "See ya later alligator," and he would reply "After a while bibliophile!" Yes, it makes no sense, but it's cute.

Books. My life has been surrounded by lots of books. Favorite place ever was the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford. Made me feel a bit like a privileged snob or Harry Potter. Anyway, the Bodleian is the Mecca of all serious librarians. My mother longed to go inside.

The reason I bring this up is that BOOKS ARE MORE USEFUL THAN BLOGS! Quick dissemination of half-knowledge is here, but the library brings you highly researched information for free.
This is free, too, but the library has the upper hand. So I bring to you books on topics I'd love to explore here, but lack the research in order to do so.

And, if you'd like to save a tree or two here are some other good places to get these books. The libraries here in Austin are wonderful.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I love art modeling. I'm gonna be that ninety-year old that freshmen hate to draw. Wrinkles. Oh! I have a freckle at the end of my nose. Not quite a mole, as would become a hag, but close. I love art modeling since students are trained to draw all kinds of people, not just the stick figures in magazines.

But I wonder, will I get gigs like I do now? Probably not. Beauty is an important part of most pictures. I originally began to model so I could look back and see my beautiful self captured in art. Now I just love being part of the creation and spark. With art modeling, beauty helps, but it's truly whether you can hold the poses. Is your body strong? So onwards with the yoga and exercise, you'll see me when I'm an old lady that's for sure - ugly or not.

By the way, my granny's turning 95 tomorrow. Bought her my one of my favorite books in large print. After doing some research in finding a photo, I came across a quote from Ann Althouse regarding H. Clinton's wrinkles:

We make high demands on women. A picture like this of a male candidate would barely register. … We need to get used to older women and get over the feeling that when women look old they are properly marginalized as “old ladies.” If women are to exercise great power, they will come into that power in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. We must — if we care about the advancement of women — accommodate our vision and see a face like this as mature, experienced, serious — the way we naturally and normally see men’s faces.

And so this goes on...since it took me a damn long time to find an image of an old lady I'd like to emulate, one who embraces fun beauty and won't let anyone take it from her, I present to you the Italian Vogue Magazine fashion writer, Anna Piaggi. It's so hard to find professional portrait photography of old women nowadays! Goodnight, and happy birthday grams!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Focus of a Photograph

I would add a picture, but I think it would counterproductive to my point. Beauty, culture are intricate to a society...just not ours. There are many islands in the United States where this is not true, but for the most part we're obsessed with movies and celebrities.

I'm not going to be a hypocrite. I love Angelina Jolie. I try to support her by buying magazines with her on the cover. All the strength and compassion she represents should be part of our media. I hate how we, or even just I, can be saturated with media, though. There are so many photos of celebrity tattoos, but more importantly of their bodies. People were obsessed about how fat Britney Spears once was. It's just sometimes I wish I had mosaics surrounding me instead of billboards of pretty faces. I don't want to be another model whose cute ass is the discussion of blogs instead of ...well... loftier things. :laugh:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer by Mucha

There's something poetic about a midsummer night. Beautiful about watching the sun set late in the evening.

Yet, all I did was finish a list of chores. Yes, I finished a book. Yes, I made dinner, took out the trash, and figured out a logo. But I haven't seen the sun rise or fall intentionally for 3 years...or maybe 4. Isn't that sad?

I feel good that I attune myself to the seasons, although there are really only two in Austin. But really, I stay inside most of the time. Trust me, I'm not bored. I sew, I read, and practice yoga. Just wanted to make a confession in hopes that a friend will take me to see a sunset or sunrise.

PS The painting is one of Alphonse Mucha's seasons, this one marking the summer solstice.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Health Care Reform Fun

What do you do for fun? Uh...I watch Health Care reform videos from the White House...yeah. I just realized how dorky that can be.

Well, I could write a post on societal position and the absence of clothes. :laugh: Too bad. It's health care reform and its effects on the art model community. Nudity will be a discussion for another night.

Without further ado, I present President Barack Obama.

"I suffer no illusions that this will be an easy process. It will be hard. But I also know that nearly a century after Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough. So let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year." – President Barack Obama, February 24, 2009

Health care is a major issue in the guild we are creating. For me, it was the reason to start the guild, so I wouldn't have to work two jobs. I am very fortunate that my part-time job provides health insurance, but I look forward to the day, or rather days, that I have a two day weekends. In the discussion, it was mentioned that Americans pay more for health care than they do for shelter or food. Please read for yourself, for the White House staff is a bit more eloquent than I am. Aaahnd if you'd rather watch, here's some White House teevee.

Take care, and remember "Knowing's half the battle!"

Monday, June 15, 2009

hool_ found on photo.net

hool_ is an artist.  in control. s/he decides what they want to show the world.

model = powerless. you are exactly what they want you to be.

me. i respect photo models, but i do not want to be one. i am decent at it, and it makes good money, but i'd rather be in control.  besides, there are too many models in the world and i wouldn't add much.

there is so much more to give the world than my pretty face. so i'm going to develop different skills instead of worrying about my pores. if i began on this path, i'd want to be covered. i'd cower and want to hide.  not exactly a good model.  i know how to be professional and hide this feeling, but it'd be way too much effort.

this doesn't mean i'm dropping art modeling.  in fact, i'm going to practice to be a better art model.  i feel safe. i'll never be famous and in tabloids that focus on how fat i am.  and that is my wish: to be beautiful and safe in the art world.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Meetup Group

So sorry for the delay!  We have a new meetup.com group!  Please visit us here, and join as an Austin art model, if you like.  Take care.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nowruz Resolution

It's always fun to listen to the beach on yoga videos.  Pretend that you're somewhere exotic practicing the age-old tradition of yoga.  Sand going in between your toes while you stretch into a downward dog.  Nope!  My routine entails a VCR and a nifty, old TV.  You lose a bit of the exotic charm but gain a bit of practicality.  I'm doing this routine a few times each week.

Long time ago my boyfriend at the time and I dropped in on a garage sale and I bought all these VHS tapes. They sat collecting dust for a good couple of months before I decided to use them.  Now they're becoming a habit.  My only worry is that I'm doing the positions terribly wrong, so I'm going to sit in a yoga class and see if the instructor can correct me if he/she sees fit.

Other than that, I'm keeping up with my Nowruz resolution, and that makes me really happy.  Take care.

Monday, June 8, 2009

There is a lot of failure in the road to success.

That is a paraphrase of Eve Larson, an Austin portrait artist and teacher.  It amazes me that for years (I think she gave it up after five.) she did a contour drawing of her own hand every morning.  Such attention to detail morning after morning led to her adept skill in drawing hands.  If everyone had her level of determination!  

Eve has focus.  She's been learning and teaching art for I think twenty years now.  For me I am constantly straddling art modeling and sewing.  As of March I decided to dedicate this period of my life to art modeling and all that goes with it: yoga, the guild, et cetera.  I've been practicing yoga, or keeping my new year's resolution.  However, my level of practice is far below Eve's daily routine.  Perhaps my morning yoga will be more of a habit in time.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

"Where would Rembrandt be without his models?"

Today I went to my nephew's first birthday party.  It was lovely to see the young lad, happy and gurgling.  He didn't fuss whatsoever, and apparently he didn't have a nap.  Props to the birthday boy! 

I saw a lot of my family on my sister's side.  I met her grandmother, Ginny, and her husband "Doc."  My mom was there along with my step-father so this was a family event.  After talking with my own grandmother I realized how embarrassed my family can become with me openly talking about my profession.  I know to some of you it's a "No, duh?" kind of statement...but really...do we all have to be shameful about our bodies? I'm not asking everyone to run around naked, but at least have a bit of respect when someone is nude.  The only reason that I do model is because I get that respect in the art world.  But as far as the outside world, when someone is naked it's bad.  Naughty.  Licentious.  Sexuality and sensuality are certainly conjured up when someone is naked...but do we have to look down on them? I respect strippers and know that not all of them are stupid or strung out.  Some own property or used the job financially to start their own business. 

So I'm an art model.  Apparently the classiest nude profession there is.  I kept my words checked and told everyone who asked that I was a model and I worked at a fabric shop.  All true to an extent.  I made sure to say 'model' so my parents wouldn't be embarrassed.  All nudity was in the wraps.  Then Ginny told me how proud she was that I was organizing models.  I had to tell her the uncensored truth.  She told me I sounded like I was apologizing for my profession.  I was.  It was so sweet when she looked up at my step-father and remarked, "Where would Rembrandt be without his models?"  It was nice.  My step-father didn't have a coherent retort.  Thank you, Ginny.  You just made my week.  I wish there were more of you out there in that generation.  I'm glad I make you proud.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hiya!  We're meeting tomorrow evening at the Green Muse Cafe.  We will be discussing our collective vision for the guild in this great land of Texas.  Bring your ideas, pens, and wishes for the guild's future.  All over a cup of coffee.  See you there!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Together All Can Be Attained

"There never is a shortage of suffering."  Really there isn't.  This quote is from Victoria Moran's book where she discusses volunteering and developing compassion, however, and the limit to all of it.  There is a limit to each of us.  I can't watch the news; I have to read or listen to it.  The last thing I want to be is apathetic and desensitized.

This photo was serenity in relation to the other images taken from South Africa last year in May.  Apparently, the native, black South Africans "armed with clubs, machetes and torches," attacked immigrants from neighboring countries.

The point is: get out of your house and help.  Volunteer somewhere.  Really, it's kinda like religion but a little more tactile.  I'm drained from working on the guild stuff, but it felt so good this morning to help some other organization out.  If we only think of ourselves or our own little problems, we swallow ourselves up and forget there's a world out there.  There is truly a whole world of problems, yet focusing on a part of it brings me joy, not despair.  Help out where you can, but at the very least be conscious of everything you do and how it affects others.

These hands are not fighting.  They're enjoying the common good . . . together.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Palomas at my Window

I love looking out my balcony.  There's a tree and usually you can watch birds sitting in it. Quite beautiful, actually.  I don't know my birds that well so this may all be a lie.  I was looking out and I saw a beautiful turtle dove just walking back and forth on my ledge with a twig in its beak.

Most wouldn't think anything of it, but I take it as an omen.  She's building a nest; I'm building a foundation of what hopefully will be a strong organization.  Anyway, it was beautiful and I'm glad something gave me hope this morning.

I don't know how far these words travel, but I hope Paloma Art Models Guild inspires you to make a union/guild of your own.  I'm very proud that we are second in a google search for 'art model guilds,' but truly we don't have too much competition.  There are two other guilds that I know of for art models: Bay Area Models Guild and DC Area Figure Models Guild.  Two.  There are fifty states that compose the grand United States with countless art models and art schools.  But even if one models guild is inspired by this post I would be delighted.  Let me know if there are other guilds that google searches do not represent, and happily prove me wrong.  Good luck to you.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hasta of the Week has Changed a Bit

Back by popular demand is the weekly hasta/mudra.  However, now it has a bit of a twist: pure and simple hands.  I love the intricate ways we can use them whether it is Western or Eastern tradition.  But more to the point, I will be featuring hands whether or not they have a specific meaning.  This week's hands (very plural) belong to Guan Yin.  She is portrayed by several deaf dancers whose physical accuracy is astounding.  Eve Larson tells me about physical memory that dancers have.  Over the years I've bettered myself on different aspects of art modeling.  This is what I am going to attempt this year.  It is truly a talent that these women and men have.  Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Touch Me I'm Real

God, that sounds like a stupid song lyric. But am I? Most of you haven't even seen me. Are these words real? I believe thoughts are real, words, a lot of other things, and art. What impacts me are ideas, other cultures, and fabric. My life needs to be filled with the tangible for some reason. I can't stand sitting at the computer for too long. For me, fabric is the beauty in the mundane.

This isn't about me...or at least it's trying not to be. I'm watching "What Dreams May Come," with Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding, Jr. Got up and sat at the computer just after Cuba said, "Thought is real. Physical is the illusion." The connection that Chris and his wife Annie (Annabella Sciorra) have is so deep that they communicate even through death. She paints, and he can see her emotions. I've heard that this is the most sacred of loves in the Vedic Tradition, to love without needing their presence. Just the thought of them is enough.

As far as I know the world is an illusion in the Vedic Tradition. If I am wrong, please correct me. But it's beautiful ain't it?! The world is filled with so much joy to experience. For me, I need color. Lots of it. I am so happy to see others sit down and create. They put out their ideas and attempt to make them part of this collective world. Therefore, my two jobs are perfect for me. I'm surrounded in creativity both of art and fabric. And oddly enough, I enjoy shelving fabric...touching beauty.

Perhaps reading a philosophy book is better than reading my rant. Perhaps sipping warm coffee is better too, whichever you like, they are both real.