Category Archives: Style and Stuff

Cats, Clumpies, Packaging and More!

Exciting News Friends!

I’m packing and shipping my work to the Auguste Clown Gallery  for my next solo show “Noctilucent Rendezvous” and i’m just working on getting in the last details and final varnishing.  WOOO.

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Bye Bye Drawings!

I’ll be at the local festival, Plunderfest this year with my family.  I’m designing some special patches that i’ll be selling, so if you see me, ask for one!  I’ll post more photos of these later when they are finished!  I’ll probably add them to my shop as well.

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Oh yeah, and see that clumpy nail polish. I call it “Fresh Step Scoop” but it’s really called “Covent Garden” (Nailsinc) and it is super lumpy and strange. A bunch of people were asking me about it so I figured i’d tell! It has little chunks of holographic glitter as well as clumpies for texture.

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I’m going to be painting live at the Walker Art Museum’s “Cat Vid Fest.”   There will be other artists too and tons of fun.  It is going to be held at the state fair this year.  Grumpy Cat will be there along with some other feline celebrities.  Pretty Excited!   Grab your tickets now! 

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And Lastly for now, These little kokeshi dolls are discounted in my shop!

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Filed under Exhibitions and News, Magic in the Studio, Style and Stuff

Tea Time!

I have so many little things going on in my studio that I cannot see straight.  Most of the things i am working on are still in top secret mode, so Instead of sharing what i’m working on, I’ll share some things that have been inspiring me as of late.  I am super spongy and easily inspired, so here are a few things that I have been googling over. Let me know what you think.  I am trying to write blog posts more often, do you like to see my inspiration posts?  I’ll do them more if you like them!

il_570xN.328434305birdcage2Succulents:  I’m super in love with succulents.  Living in Minnesota means that I like to keep plants that I can bring indoors in the winter.  These plants are very hardy and even though they are kind of like cacti, some varieties can  survive our hellish winter season when left outdoors.  They can also come in for the winter, which is nice if you are a house plant addict like myself.  Succulents are nice and juicy looking and they come in lots of different colors.  The other cool thing about succulents is that the reproduce pretty quick and before you know it, you have a big plant instead of a little clumping. These ones in the photograph are right here on etsy.  Also you can do a lot of really fun things with succulents, they can grow vertically on a wall or you can put them in a birdcage like the image above.  They don’t require much water and they are very easy to keep alive.  I’ll be planting some next week.  (Sorry I don’t know where the birdcage image is from, let me know if you know and i’ll credit the image!)  Watch out for succulents in my upcoming paintings!

Pink Vanilla Pocky Cake1

Adorable pocky cake: mouth watering eye candy for the gullet.  Have I posted this cake before?  It is so freeking cute I could just barf.  Someday I would like my front yard picket fenced with pocky sticks… that would be ideal…

Steiff Felt Swan circa 1900

This Antique felt child’s toy is making me extra happy as of late.  Those of you who know me know that i’m a sucker for creepy old toys… This one is perfect because it looks like if you whacked it on the side a bunch of ancient children’s dandruff would puff into the air, maybe sending you into some sort of fit of nostalgic asthma.

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Post Mortem Photography really fascinates me.   Like… A lot.  There’s tons of it online if you want to see/learn more.  The woman on the left is dead.  So creepy and Awesome!  I’d post more… but i’ll let you explore that one on your own…   Do it. 

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Oh… and if that was too dark for you, here’s Elle Fanning photographed by Will Cotton

I’ll be back soon with more art pictures and maybe a sneak peek of a few pieces for my upcoming solo show.

OOOh, and just in case we haven’t found each other yet, I’m on instagram and Vine now… (my handle is Rudy Fig)

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Filed under lifestyle, Style and Stuff, Tea Time

Frame Hunting!

This was a headboard for a bed.

This was a headboard for a bed.

OKAY.  So a ton of people have asked me where I find the frames that I use for my work.   Here is a list of my frame hunting sources.    IF you want to find the good frames and don’t have a regular source, you should make frame hunting a normal part of your routine.

First:  Before you start your frame hunt, you need to know what it is that you are looking for.  What style of frame fits your work the best.   Do you have a sleek, modern aesthetic, or maybe something crazy and Nouveau would better suit your work?  Also, before you start, remember that if you take your work in to be framed professionally, it is likely that you will spend a pretty penny, don’t skimp on cheapo frames, it will show.  I learned this the hard way so take my advice and treat your work the way you want to be treated- with a nice frame.    Set a budget ahead of time, after a few years of frame hunting, you will be able to tell what frames are worth like a pro, but for now, watch your wallet, but at the same time, don’t be afraid to shell out a little extra cash for that PERFECT antique 3 panel vintage amiore mirror, it is not likely that you’ll come across it again.  Also, remember that sometimes older pieces need to be fixed up before you can use them, so that will cost a little bit of money too.  Also, if you work on paper, definitely matte your work.  It makes a huge difference.  If you are a painter, you generally won’t need glass over your piece.

Also, when you see frames, try to visualize them in other colors, you can repaint and refinish frames that you find, so don’t poopoo something if you like the style and but the color.  You can even modernize vintage pieces and give antique finishes to newer pieces, so pretend all the frames you see are grey.

Here's a little rococo style frame...

Here’s a tiny little rococo style frame… Sorry about the bad phone pics!

Craigslist:  Give it a whirl.  But be careful, craigslisters can be creepy.  I’ve found a ton of great frames on craigslist.

Ebay:  About half of my frames I use,  I find on ebay.  Yep, it’s true.  A lot of them start out as mirrors, I chuck/recycle the mirror and then use the frame.  I have a few keywords I use in my searches that help me narrow down and find the specific styles I need.  After some searching, you’ll see which ones you like and which ones you don’t and you can make your own list of keywords to use in your searches.  You can save your searches so you can check them the next week.  I do a frame hunt on ebay every couple weeks.  The nice thing about ebay is that its contents are constantly cycling, so there’s always going to be something you haven’t seen yet if you are willing to take the time search.

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Found these plastic frames for only 4.00!

Estate Sales:   Old people have the best stuff!  I love estate sales, one time I found a HUGE hand stretched, linen  gallery profile canvas for like 20 bucks at an estate sale.   But, that is besides the point, at about half of the estate sales I’ve been to, there has been a decent assortment of frames/mirrors.  The other cool thing about estate sales is that you can usually haggle.  I one time found a HUGE museum style  baroque frame for 45.00, which would have been at least 400.00 if it had been purchased new.  Also, Beware of Fondue pots, estate sales are riddled with them.  It’s cute, but are you really going to use it?  NO!

Bought these with Mermaids in mind....

Bought these with Mermaids in mind….

Sometimes if your lucky:  Occasionally you’ll run into an old syrocco frame at a garage sale or second hand store, it doesn’t happen often, but you never know what you will find.  The second hand stores in my area are always picked over and garage sales are a total hit or miss.  I didn’t want to leave it off the list though because it can happen.

Mirrors:  Mirrors make awesome frames for paintings.  Just Sayin’.  Antique dresser mirrors are the best thing ever.  Ever.

Tell People:  My close friends and family keep an eye out for frames on my behalf.   The frame game is hit or miss, so sometimes while your missing, a friend will hit.   On many occasions I’ve had people come to my door with frames.  It is great!

(This started out as a mirror)

(This started out as a mirror)

Obviously:  Be ready to wrestle rusty nails and non shatterproof glass out of crusty old frames.  Be careful.  Use tools, not your hands.  Spring for the expensive nail polish if you don’t want to chip your nails.  If you can’t remove glass from a mirror and breaking it out is your only hope of removing it, put it in a garbage bag first and then smash it up, that way you won’t have a shardy mess of shimmering death to deal with.

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I hand painted this plastic frame, Took a little longer than expected….

Before you Repaint:  If you are going to paint an old frame with gesso work or ornate details, clean it up first so you don’t get bubbles and crusties in your paint.   Use a a cotton swab to clean out all the nooks and crannies.   If you’re fixing up something fragile,  KEEP IN MIND that it will be hanging on a wall and it needs to be able to support the weight of itself as well as the weight of your work.  Prime before spray painting.  Don’t work in a dusty area.   You can whitewash and antique your frames with a rough bristle brush or you can leave them as they are.  Crackle paint them, gold leaf them, make ’em black, so whatever you want. The options are endless.  

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Ebay Finds… All of these started as mirrors…

TIP:  If you have a round or unusual shaped frame, remember to keep the glass or paper insert so you can trace it when its time to prepare your canvas/panel/paper.

Cracks and chunks: Fix cracks with epoxy putty or bondo.  Be sure to sand and refinish when your done an no one will know!  IF an old gesso frame is missing chunks, you can actually make molds and replace them.  I’ll post more about that another day.

Another Tip:  If you think it looks like shit, other people will probably think it looks like shit.  Do not hang your art in a gallery if you think the frame looks like shit.  Your better off with a simple frame than with a DIY antique frame that isn’t cutting it.  If edges of your work are showing because the frame is to shallow, for the love of god please at least paint them black so they are hidden against the wall.

Good Luck on your frame hunting journey friends.  I hope this has answered questions and helped someone.

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Filed under lifestyle, Magic in the Studio, Style and Stuff, Uncategorized

Monday Juicies 9/10/2012

It’s been a very rough week.  Yesterday I had had to put my dog Harley down.  Little Vincent had been teething for almost a week straight.  I have deadlines up the wazoo and life couldn’t get any crazier.  But, even when shit seems really chaotic, actually… especially when shit gets chaotic, it’s important to stand on your head.   If you don’t know what I mean, I’m saying, you must look on the bright side, because there always is one.  There is always something to find for those who look.   So i’m starting off the Monday Juicies with a quick gratitude list.  Here are some things I love:

My amazing little family, cakes that look pretty, amazing adventures across the country with the best dog ever, all the amazing people who support my art (what would i do without you!!), stripey chocolate cigarettes, nursing pads… so my shirt stays dry, mixing a perfect shade of creamy turquoise, framing and matting finished paintings, writing letters on paper… and here are the juicies:

Corey Helford Galleries has opened up a new gallery called Circa Gallery.  Their inaugural exhibition featured the work of Lola.

Here’s a yummy recipe from Sprinklesbakes.com   Everything on this site looks too pretty to eat.

Aurora Lady’s new zine features some pretty cool ladies.

I’m smitten with this apron

Underwater billiard room, Whaa?

The Andy Warhol foundation is about to sell off LOTS of originals, which will flood the market and some collectors aren’t too happy about it.   I see why.

Merve Kahraman’s hybrid chairs are just as whimsical as they are creepy, so naturally, i’m in love.   The hair in the ears is a nice touch.

That’s all for now.  I promise now that things are settling down again i’ll get some juicy work in progress and art posts up!

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Filed under Style and Stuff

The Monday Juicies 8.20.2012

I thought i’d share some cool things I stumble across in weekly editions of the Monday Juicies.  So here are some Juicies for your reading pleasure.

Ivory Jar

Check out this grungy, yet whimsical collection from Ivory Jar.    I don’t think I would have noticed it if it weren’t for the magical gold eyebrows.  I usually keep my eyebrows green, but gold sure sounds magical.  I snagged this “Tooth Collar” because i’m weird like that.  It’s a pretty affordable line and it reminds me of dirty  unicorns and mud gardens.

Here’s a lovely little post from Jenny Holiday about the upcoming Sweet Hot Mess show that i’m curating at the Cult Status Gallery.   Yes!  She will have some of her work there!  More about that soon!

Gala Darling writes about how to smell like a cake.  Personally, i’m a fan of Tokyo Milks “Let Them Eat Cake.”  Also, did you know Marie Antoinette never said that phrase which is often attributed to her.

So, Bona Drag released an awesomely witchy  “Ceremonial Collection.”  I really like it because it is loaded with all sorts of mysterious, magical bits.  Kind of obsessed with their heirloom ring… not that i’m getting married any time soon… well, I guess I might be married by common law, not sure in MN does that…

Not sure why it took me so long to know about it, but High Fructose Magazine has a tumblr.  Enjoy some eye candy.

I happened upon this recipe for home made marshmallows.  No more trying to squeeze round marshmallows in your smores.   You can make them cute and flat.   I definitely want to try this for Vincent’s birthday party.

And lastly, a silly symphony for your viewing pleasure:

Let me know if you want me to make the Monday Juicies a regular thing.   I have lots of strange things to share.  Also, stay tuned for my faux cupcake tutorial.

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Mermaids!

Mermaids are in the house.    I am very excited to announce that Lime Crime is doing a very whimsical Mermaid Makeup Contest on their fan page to celebrate their new “Aquataenia” palette.   The winner will receive an original framed drawing by yours truly (yes that’s a super sparkly glitter frame) as well as a $50.oo gift certificate to the Lime Crime webshop.  Find the details on the Lime Crime Facebook fan page.

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Filed under Magic in the Studio, Style and Stuff