The Pickled Mushroom

Sweet 18

July 23, 2009
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Now. First things first, so let’s start with the serious stuff. Ahem. I’m 18 years old since the 16th. … WOOHOOOO! Good. Well. I intended to do an entry on my birthday, but life got in the way and then I was simply lacking the motivation… Lazy me. Thanks to everyone who thought of it! I had awesome weather and got some nice things, including The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (I’m so glad I’ve got my own copy now because it is one of my most favourite books ever, I’ll have to write an entry on it some time – homoeroticism, hedonism, Dandyism, shameless decadence, morally very questionable main characters, how can you not love it?) and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (of which I have so far only seen the TV version with Colin Firth – who, I may add, looks hot with sideburns – but I’ve read the first chapter and love it).

It was a rather quiet birthday, but that’s the way I expected it and I’m not sad about it. I’m still going to have a brunch with family and friends (and we’ll also celebrate my granny’s 73th which is on the same day) and I’m looking forward to it. I don’t really feel all that grown-up now, but, well… I guess that’s one of the things that creep up on you slowly. One of my favourite quotes that I’ve seen in an online signature: “So this is what it’s like to be an adult.”

My art is thriving currently and I’m proud to say I manage to get my hour a day done at least, be it something from my imagination or anatomical studies. (I’m doing a lot of David K. Rubins these days, but I’ve got Sehen und Verstehen by Gottfried Bammes from the library, which is brilliant too behind all those fancy words.) I’m very fond of brush and ink now and usually don’t even make a pencil sketch anymore but dilute the ink to varying degrees and paint over it more strongly once I’m sure how I want it to look. It certainly frees me up and gets me into the “zone”. (I usually notice I’m in it when I don’t take notice anymore when the song I’m listening to changes.) My sketchbook on ConceptArt.Org is getting updated pretty regularly, every few days at least.

Today my family and I spent at the Neanderthal museum, which I love dearly and have visited countless times. They’ve even got copies now of the Venuses of Willendorf and Lespugue and several other monolithic female figurines, which I have a soft spot for, especially since there’s some belief among Neopagans that they hint towards a widespread monolithic Goddess worship. There’s many, including me, who don’t think it likely, but it’s still a fascinating thought. Just by themselves, they are works of incredible detail and beauty. The museum even sold key chains and fridge magnets of the Venus of Willendorf! Seems almost a bit blasphemous (ha! good thing I don’t have a concept of blasphemy!) to me, but now I’ve got my own little Venus to bring me luck. I guess, why not?

I’m looking forward to the 8th of August: there’s going to be the first two day lolita event in Germany, the Dunkelsüß Lolita Market! Dunkelsüß is a foto community for German-speaking lolitas (so it includes people from Switzerland and Austria) and the market is going to include a bring & buy, stalls from German indie brands, info talks and the like. I’m going to be helping on Saturday, but if I can organize myself a place to stay overnight (meaning: find someone to stay with or get a tent) I’ll be there on Sunday too. I’m so excited!

Now it’s to get up to my room and get that hour of anatomy done. I also need to study motorscooters! (Blame Kate Miller-Heidke with her song Motorscooter – or better yet, listen to it.)

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A Mix of News

July 5, 2009
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A bit of stuff has been going on – for one, I took part in the absolutely terrific tooth brushing flashmob in Düsseldorf. I’ll do a separate post for that later.

I’m also on holidays now – summer holidays, in case my Aussie friends didn’t know. *wink* It’s good to not have homework and instead a lot of time to read and draw, especially the latter. I’ve neglected my art shamefully in the two months since coming back to Germany, so it’s good to be back on track. It’s a bit sad though having holidays because I’m also done with Latin – forever. I’ve earned the Latinum, which is like a certificate confirming that I have completed my five years of studying Latin. My marks aren’t outstanding, but alright, considering that I have only been here to be marked for two months.

On the topic of art again, I intend to spend heaps of time drawing during the holidays, preferably two hours or more a day. (Lazy thing that I am, I’m aiming for one and a half first, but we’ll see.) Looking around on the web, also among others my age, I’m amazed at all the incredibly talented people out there. It’s going to be hard work trying to catch up and reach the level to work as a professional artist, but I’m positive that with persistence and a good attitude I’ll get there. Looking at other artists’ journey from amateur to pro is greatly inspiring and shows me that even they have once been at the point that I am at now.

To have an additonal motivation I went back to my account on Concept Art and opened my own sketchbook. If people here are interested in my drawings, have a look over there! It’s still very pitiful, but I’m doing my best to improve. (And one day, some day, I’ll surely have a working scanner to not have to take photos of everything. Grrr.) Right now I’ve got two things in the work, a sketch of the armchair in our living room and a small still-life I set up on my table, including my beloved Innocent World headbow. Both are on hold right now, though, as the lighting (natural sunglight) changed too much for me to continue. Since I’ll be working all during the week, I think I can only continue them on the weekend or such. Pity.

Ah, yes. Work. I’m very happy to be helping in a holiday work shop for disabled children from Monday to Friday, some of them I know already from helping in a Friday afternoon group. The pay isn’t bad either, so the perfect holiday job. I hope, by the way, to get a mini-job at my favourite cosmetics brand Lush when I’ve turned 18. They’re free of animal testing, environmentally friendly, have awesome products, great customer service… Figures I’d love working there. It’s only 11 more days till my birthday.


The Art of Anne-Julie Aubry

June 10, 2009
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“Anne-Julie is a distant dreamer, a sleepwalker on the lookout, a traveler from the shadows who loves labyrinths and unanswered enigmas, fairy tales and girls with white socks (Alice and her direct descendant, Ofelia, Pan’s Labyrinth heroine). At night, her heroines are lost in a nebulous kingdom full of dragonflies and flakes…” Danielle Chou

I have just recently discovered and instantly fallen in love with the art of Anne-Julie Aubry. She was born 1980 in France.

Her art is divided into two basic categories, Dark and Whimsical. I personally am deeply in love with both. Her pictures are like so many of my fantasies and day dreams of a strange fairy tale come true, it is easy to look at her work and not look away again for a long, long time.

The simplicity of the shapes and compositions used underline the childlike appeal of this weird wonderland she sends her heroines into, a world of dreams and mirrors and keys to nowhere, where two-headed girls walk their pet dogs on wheels.

Aubry’s art is refreshingly simple but beautiful, weird but genuine, dark but childlike. My fingers are itching now for my watercolours, just looking at her works gives me an incredible boost of creativity and makes me want to explore those strange worlds with my own brush and colours.

Anne-Julie Aubry’s Homepage

Her blog “Ma petite theiere”

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