Archives For December 2013

It’s no secret that 2013 has not been my favorite year so far. Hell, let’s just admit it— 2013 pretty much sucked (at least for me and several others I know). It could’ve been worse, things could ALWAYS be (or get) worse; even so it was still pretty bad as years go, imho.

But tomorrow is not just a new day (and chance), tomorrow is a new YEAR. It’s been a long while since I’ve been this excited for the new year— a nice symbolic start to a new chapter and a chance to start fresh and begin again. After all the crap of this past year, I feel confident that making things better and more positive in 2014 will be within my reach.

And because I’m so excited for tomorrow’s new beginning, I can’t help but keep singing this song to myself (and have been for the last few days, to be honest):

If you already know me, you probably also know that I like music and movies from the 20s-40s. This song was written not long after the market crashed in ’29 (and was used at the ending of MGM’s movie Chasing Rainbows released the following year ). Leo Reisman & His Orchestra first recorded the song in late 1929 and perhaps that version may be better known or more popular, but for my money it’s Ben Selvin’s version shared above that does the trick.

If this song sounds familiar, you may have heard it in the context of FDR. It was played at the 1932 Democratic national convention during his presidential campaign and later became associated with the repeal of prohibition during Roosevelt’s first year in office. And while prohibition has been repealed officially for eighty years (as of December 5) and the Great Depression is long gone, this song was written and popular during a time when things weren’t so great. When things were pretty awful for far too many. I’ve felt pretty far from great this past year (or two) and have had more negative things happen to loved ones during the past year(s) than I care to revisit here. So listening to this song on repeat for me is not just amusing and smile-inducing, it’s a song of hope and happiness. It makes me feel better and helps me BELIEVE that tomorrow will be brighter and better (even if that means we have to make it so ourselves with some paint and better lighting). “So let’s tell the world about it now, happy days are here again…”

Anyway. How about you guys? How are you feeling about the coming year? Any big ideas, plans, hopes or goals? Do tell. It’s been too long since I’ve written like this and hope to renew a more conversational tone with you all. So let’s start the new year by talking about what we hope to see around the corner.
xo A

Well it’s New Year’s Eve and the final day of the year. While I managed to post a daily portrait of D’Art the cat as promised in a post last January, I will admit the results are a little different than I had intended. When I started in January, I was hoping to push myself to do more drawings but ended up sticking to a comfort zone of photo manipulations.

There are a handful of images in this year’s collection that I rather like, but will admit that I don’t think this year’s daily365 project was as compelling or perhaps successful as the daily portrait series I did in both 2010 and 2011 (Here are the summary videos of 2010 and 2011).

Oh well. Tomorrow is a new year and another chance to start something. Stay tuned… and Happy New Year!

Daily-D'Art-Day365 by AmandaMuses

New York

31/12/2013 — Leave a comment

Since it’s New Year’s Eve and many Americans will be tuning in to watch the ball drop in Times Square tonight, it seemed like a good time to share my weekend trip to New York from earlier this fall. A friend had an art opening which was the perfect excuse to hop a train and spend a day or two window shopping and looking at art.

Usually I go to New York with friends, but this time I went on my own and was able to maintain the usual crazy walk-15-miles-despite-riding-public-transit-and-doing-a-lot-of-shop-browsing-and-coffeeing pace that I tend to adopt when traveling alone. And this time, I finally (FINALLY!) got over to the Highline.

I’ve been eager to check it out since it opened a few years ago, but clearly not enough to have made that happen until now. Anyway, after debarking a red-eye and dropping a bag at my hotel, I made a beeline to the Highline to enjoy the park before it got crowded. I lucked out with gorgeous (and absurdly HOT) fall light and weather and minimal crowds. Here are a few snapshots from one of my walks along the Highline that weekend:

Hydrangea | AmandaMuses

Flowers | AmandaMuses

Flowers | AmandaMuses

Orchids | AmandaMuses

Verdure | AmandaMuses

Untitled | AmandaMuses

Untitled | AmandaMuses

Almost

30/12/2013 — Leave a comment

It’s almost the new year. I’m more excited than a kid on Christmas eve waiting to open their presents.

Untitled | AmandaMuses

Daily-D'Art-Day364 by AmandaMuses

Between the wind and frigid temperatures, this time of year can be hard on one’s skin. Looking through unpublished photos, I couldn’t help but think of the winter’s harsh effect on skin when I spotted these:

Untitled | AmandaMuses

Untitled | AmandaMuses

Untitled | AmandaMuses

Untitled | AmandaMuses

Hope you’re all keeping warm and well-hydrated wherever you are.

Daily-D'Art-Day363 by AmandaMuses

Wondering what all of these cat portraits are about? It’s part of a daily project I’m undertaking this year. Read more about the project here.

Daily-D'Art-Day362 by AmandaMuses

Just a few final images from the Badlands earlier this year:

Badlands | AmandaMuses

Badlands | AmandaMuses

I don’t know about you guys, but I think those rocky spires and crags are just beautiful. Not sure when I’ll be out that way again, but these photos make me want to go back and keep exploring out west.

Badlands | AmandaMuses

Badlands | AmandaMuses

Daily-D'Art-Day361 by AmandaMuses

Eye

26/12/2013 — Leave a comment

What do you see in this illustration? I had a professor in college who would often start critiques of work with the question “where does this take you?” I find myself asking people the same thing when viewing or discussing art.

To me, an eye and maybe some barbed wire emerges from this piece, but it doesn’t have as much visual depth as I’d like. The colors are rather pleasant though, I suppose. What do you think? Where does this take you?

Untitled | AmandaMuses

Daily-D'Art-Day360 by AmandaMuses

Wondering what all of these cat portraits are about? It’s part of a daily project I’m undertaking this year. Read more about the project here.

Daily-D'Art-Day359 by AmandaMuses

Holiday

25/12/2013 — Leave a comment

Happy Holidays, all! And for those who celebrate, have yourselves a merry little Christmas. xo

Untitled | AmandaMuses

Daily-D'Art-Day358 by AmandaMuses

Daily-D'Art-Day357 by AmandaMuses

Festivus

23/12/2013 — Leave a comment

It’s Festivus! And look, another blog post—it’s a Festivus miracle (Ok, not really..but FESTIVUS)!

Untitled | AmandaMuses

As you might’ve guess this is related to two of the other illustrations (1 and 2) posted earlier this month.

Happy Festivus, everyone!

As promised, here are a few from the drive through the Badlands earlier this year.

Badlands | AmandaMuses

Badlands | AmandaMuses

Ok, I’ll admit that not every one of these pictures is postcard perfect but I still shared them because even in not-so-great shots, I think the scenery is still pretty amazing.
Badlands | AmandaMuses

Badlands | AmandaMuses

Badlands | AmandaMuses

Badlands | AmandaMuses

Badlands | AmandaMuses

Looking through these again makes me want to hop in the car and just GooOoooOoo…

Wondering what all of these cat portraits are about? It’s part of a daily project I’m undertaking this year. Read more about the project here.

We’re both pretty wiped out today, I think.

Daily-D'Art-Day356 by AmandaMuses

Here’s another iteration related to the discarded draft I posted earlier in December.

Untitled | AmandaMuses

Both were iterations for the latest round of Spark, the collaborative art and writing project to which I have alluded before. After a few weeks away from this version, I’m not sure that I like it that much anymore. What do you guys think?