painting premiere

I get to start this post off with some good news, which is always nice. The paintings I’m about to show you, as well as the pieces I recently wrote about here and here, will soon (if not already) be hanging in an art gallery. Nicole from Allie Cat Arts approached both my sister and I on Etsy about showing some of our stuff at her gallery in our lovely neighborhood of Cooper Young. Located at 961 S. Cooper, the gallery is only two blocks from our house.

I’ve never had my work in a gallery before, so I’ll be honest. I am freaking out a little. It always feels good to have someone you’re not related to appreciate your art, though it still seems slightly unreal. Now, for those who message me on Etsy asking if I have a shop in Memphis, I’m one step closer to saying yes. Next time you’re in the Cooper Young area, please stop by Allie Cat Arts to see some of our work, along with the work of other great local Memphis artists.

Now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about some paintings. These are the last of my first round of experimenting with gel medium I don’t know what I’m doing series. We’ll call it EWGMIDKWID for short. This is one of the first abstract skylines I painted using the mixture of gel medium and acrylic paint. While I like the coloring and the actual size of this canvas the best, the paint could have been thicker. I wasn’t quite sure what the gel medium would look like once it dried, so I was somewhat shy with slopping the thick, white, glue-like substance onto my canvas. What did I learn? Gel medium dries clear. I shouldn’t be shy.

For those who are wondering, these skyline/cityscape paintings are not reproductions of any actual skylines or cityscapes. I went more of an abstract route and painted random building shapes and sizes. We’ll call it Skyline à la Archer, as in it came straight out of my head instead of from a real picture. Or, you can use your imagination and pretend it’s your city and I painted this just for you. Regardless, I plan on attempting a few paintings that resemble real city skylines. Some day. Maybe soon.

This next blue skyline/cityscape is my favorite. Well, other than the big ass blue canvas, which happens to be remarkably similar to this one. Because I got over my shyness with using the gel medium, this painting is extra heavy on the texture. When I first envisioned what I wanted to accomplish by mixing gel medium with my acrylic paints, this is it. It only took me eight or ten tries to get it right. Not bad. Plus, I love how the yellows and blues ended up blending together here.

This last acrylic painting translated very well into a print, which I hope to add to my Etsy shop very soon. And unlike the skylines/cityscapes, this is an actual reproduction from a real city. While still slightly abstract, I modeled this painting off of the Hernando de Soto Bridge, which connects Memphis, TN to West Memphis, AR—via Interstate 40. I feel this bridge is an iconic part of my city’s skyline. I love creating art pieces around it, so I definitely have more Memphis bridges in my future.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, these three paintings are now available at Allie Cat Arts. Fellow Memphians, if you’re in the mood to support some local starving artists, please stop by and take a look at all the great pieces Nicole has hanging in the gallery.

Up next is another Project 365 post. Stay tuned.

– lindsey archer

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purple vomit

You can’t escape it. It’s EVERYWHERE.

It’s like all the stores have caught the same epidemic, causing them to vomit up pink and purple in order to rid themselves of the disease. Because nothing says, “I Love You!” like a purple gorilla covered in pink hearts—a Valentine’s Day version of the measles—that serenades you with a Planet-of-the-Apes-style rendition of Hooked on a Feeling. It’s a plague in and of itself.

Awww. You shouldn’t have. No, really. You shouldn’t have.

Truthfully, Valentine’s Day isn’t that big of a deal to me anymore. I’m kind of indifferent. When the only significant other you can claim has four paws, whiskers and white fur, the day tends to pass like every other white box on the calendar. For me, it’s another Tuesday.

Regardless, in honor of today, I thought I’d share with you a LOVELY poem I came across while reading the blog of the wonderfully talented Kristen Lamb (if you’ve never ventured there before, my feelings won’t be hurt if you click over right now—she’s pretty great).

Anyways, for all you singles out there…enjoy:

Twas the Night Before Valentines, by Kristen Lamb

Twas the night before Valentines, and all through the land
The poor single people were wringing their hands
Handcuffs were hung by the nighties with care
Near the lotions and chocolates and mint underwear.

A day made by Hallmark to sell lots of stuff
Pushing candies and kittens and kisses and fluff
A day that makes “Single” a social disease
Like bubonic or typhoid or chiggers or fleas.

And that fat baby Cupid must be on the take
Paid in buckets of cash and red velvet cake.
Love songs are played on every damn station
As “mush” takes over our entire nation.

Now not that we’re jaded, us single-type folk
We’ve tried Facebook and Match, and Equally-Yoked
We’ve tried parks and clubs and churches and bars
And a handful resorted to wishing on stars.

Like most other people, we want company
Without drama or fighting or disharmony.
No Jerry Springer or Kardashian drama
We have no time for all of that trauma.

Maybe we’re picky, world-weary, or fussy
Because we won’t date any Joe Schmo or hussy.
We want someone good-looking, gentle and sweet.
Hey, just cuz we’re single doesn’t make us minced meat.

We don’t begrudge the romance of others
The passion of courtship, the heat between lovers.
Before you judge my singular state
Think back to the days when YOU had to date.

Tomorrow we’ll stand in the grocery store line
Behind the husband with a bottle of wine
And a “Get-Well” bouquet cuz he waited too late
To find the red roses to give to his mate.

Hallmark has trained you to scurry and dash
Into its stores with fistfuls of cash.
For stuffed little critters with a lap full of love
And boxes of chocolate morsels from Dove.

Singles won’t stand hours waiting to dine
On elf food with garnish and overpriced wine.
No chocolates with abnormal tropical middles
Or angst about thighs that may wiggle and jiggle.

No staying in bars desperately late
Trying to connect with a last-minute date.
So embrace your status and shout it out loud.
Yes, I am single! Single and Proud!

Wasn’t that great? Didn’t it make you laugh a little? No? Well, I’m sorry you have no sense of humor.

I’m also sorry the blog’s been rather light lately. But, good news! I haven’t stopped writing. I have three posts queued up to roll out over the next week. So, come back soon. Until then, Happy Purple Vomit Day!

– lindsey archer

self-control? never heard of it

Sometimes, my sister and I are stupid. Sometimes we’re impulsive. Sometimes we do things without actually thinking about them.

Case in point? We adopted a dog last weekend.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve talked about getting a dog before. We’ve discussed the necessity of having to get a little puppy so my cat, Mulligan, won’t be deathly afraid of it like he is of our parents’ 80 lb. thinks he’s a lap dog adorable beast. We’ve talked about wanting a larger breed of dog since we both agree that the whole concept of small yappy dogs goes against nature because they’re basically the spawn of Satan. Okay, so that might be just me that thinks that.

The point is, the thought of adopting a dog isn’t what came out of left field. We’ve talked about it before. We’ve even shot name ideas back and forth. It’s just that every time we’ve broached the subject of puppies, we’ve never really gotten around to discussing the when part. It’s always…someday we’re going to get a puppy…maybe next year.

This past Sunday, we were soaking up burgers at Huey’s in an attempt to recover from the previous night’s Christmas Party when Kristen looked up at me and said, “Let’s go look at puppies today.”

Randomly. Out of the blue. And my response?

OHMIGOD PUPPIES! That’s a FANTASTIC idea…PUPPIES! PUPPIES! PUPPIES!

That’s not verbatim, but it’s close enough.

We immediately drove to the animal shelter, all giddy and happy, while I googled pictures of puppies so we could both squeal over their ridiculous adorableness. We figured we would just go look that day. That was the smart way to do it, right? Put some feelers out there, figure out what type of dog we wanted, etc. You know, kind of like buying a car—we’d shop around first. Then, in a few weeks—after much responsible deliberation—maybe we’d actually adopt one.

That’s why an hour later, we left the animal shelter $85 poorer with a puppy happily bouncing in my lap. We are obviously the spitting image of self-control. But, seriously. Look at her face. Don’t lie. You wouldn’t have been able to resist this, either.

It’s been so long since I’ve had a puppy that I completely forgot how much they are like children (go here for a refresher about my stance on having babies). They cry, keep you up at night, piss and shit everywhere. We totally underestimated the responsibility we were taking on. Literally. They just shit everywhere. But then, you look at her adorable face and you completely forget what you just had to clean up that was somehow smeared all over the entire contents of your bathroom.

On that note, I’ll leave you with some more pictures. Everyone…meet Maddie Belle Archer. It’s okay if you squeal.

– lindsey archer

end credits

It’s been four days since NaNoWriMo officially ended. Five since it ended for me. Because guess what? I officially won NaNoWriMo—one day early.

58,735 words in 29 days. Pretty impressive, right? I’m not going to lie, I have no idea how I managed to pull out a win my first year participating in this writing challenge. There were quite a few days when I didn’t even write a single word, followed by crazy I’m-not-going-to-bed-until-I-write-at-least-5,000-words-OMIGOD-I’m-so-tired-why-do-my-eyelids-keep-closing days. In other words, I kept my local Starbucks in business. Maybe next year I’ll look into getting a coffee sponsorship.

I know I drove my family and friends crazy by skipping out on them, night after night, so I could sit in my room with only my cat for company and write. And write. And write. I’ll admit that my social life was definitely lacking this month, replaced by daily word counts and obsessively updating said word count on my NaNoWriMo profile. I spent so much time holed up in my room with my iMac, my new office chair now has a permanent imprint of my ass. Seriously, I wrote A LOT.

Now I’m kind of scared to go back and read it all. It’s probably going to be awful. Like, majorly-flawed-typo-riddled-crap. On top of that, it’s nowhere near finished. Jaded, in it’s completed 1st rough draft stage, came to 124,000 words—give or take a couple hundred. I have a long road ahead of me to get the story of Ugly Parts anywhere near finished, let alone readable. And, don’t even try to ask me what it’s about.

The point is, I set my mind to do this challenge and I actually carried thru with it. I finished it. I completed it. EARLY. I’m never early with anything. So, yeah, I’m really proud of myself.

As a gift to myself, I’m taking December off from writing (other than blogging—that I’ll still be doing*). I’ve sent Jaded off to my beta readers and hope to hear back from them by New Year’s so I can spend January on final edits, based on the feedback I receive from them. But right now, I need to take a step back from both of my novels. I need to stop obsessively looking for typos and re-reading every chapter and starting to second guess my writing abilities. Otherwise, I just might go crazy and crack under the pressure of figuring out how to write the BEST query letter ever read so I can actually get something published.

And then, come February, maybe I’ll take a peek at Ugly Parts. Maybe.

– lindsey archer

*my December blogging schedule is going to be amped up since it’s the only writing I’ll be doing, so come back often for new content!

it’s good to have good news

I could have written this post nine days ago—I’ve certainly written it enough times in my head. Nine days ago, I could have told you, “My nephew was born today!” But then I would have had to follow it up with, “…but, he was a little early and a little small and he’s in the NICU right now.” And when you’re giving good news, it’s not as fun to follow it up with a but. I didn’t want your first reaction to be, “I’m sorry.” I wanted your first reaction to be, “OHMIGOD-THAT’S-SO-AWESOME-YOU-HAVE-A-NEW-NEPHEW-IT’S-A-BABY-BOY-HOLY-SHIT-HE’S-SO-COOL-YOU-MUST-BE-SO-EXCITED!” So, I waited.

Now, you might remember that I don’t like babies very much. But I also believe I mentioned how much I love and adore my three-year-old nephew. Even after spending this entire past week and a half with him, I have nothing but love for him. He’s exhausting, yes, and I have no idea how my brother and sister-in-law do it every single day, but I still love him to death. He’s family. And for me, family trumps everything. Every time.

So, back to the new addition. Aaron Jacob Archer was born at 4 lbs., 14 oz. and looked so small that he almost didn’t seem real. But he is real. He’s this tiny new piece of my family. He’s another nephew I get to spoil rotten. Another nephew I can’t wait to watch grow up and be loud and bang on drums and give my brother Hell.

And today? Today, little Aaron got to come home to his family. He got to meet his big brother for the first time. His mom and dad are both doing really well and I’m so ridiculously happy and proud for them. Good news all around. See? Aren’t you glad I waited? Go ahead. You can say it.

Okay, I’ll say it for you.

OHMIGOD-IT’S-SO-AWESOME-I-HAVE-A-NEW-NEPHEW-IT’S-A-BABY-BOY-HOLY-SHIT-HE’S-SO-COOL-I’M-SO-EXCITED!

– lindsey archer

You totally thought this was going to be about Jaded, didn’t you? Sorry! It’s coming up next.

i don’t mean to brag

…but then again, yeah I do. Seeing my work out there—for REAL, not just in my portfolio or on my computer screen—makes me so excited, I decided I had to write up a short post to let you all know. Literally, my face is stuck in a huge grin right now. The kind where if someone were to slap me on the back at this very moment…it just might stay there.

Now that I have you writhing on the floor in suspense, I’ll get to my point. I recently designed my second book cover for Bert Johnston and the book launched today! It’s called Sunrise in the Cloud Forest and here’s the full cover for you to ogle:

I’m really proud of it and book cover design has easily become my favorite freelance work. So, if you’re an author or publisher in need of a freelance artist for a cover design, let me know! I’m ready and willing. Plus, Sunrise is a great read, so everyone go out and get your copy today. Bert’s writing gets better with each book and I will keep designing his covers for as long as he lets me.

It’s also my birthday on Sunday, making it a nice little present to have this book launch this weekend. That and the fact my sister and I may have found THE ONE, the perfect house, that has everything we both want. I’m not going to lie, I was starting to think such a house didn’t exist. We’re supposed to find out on Saturday if we get it, so keep your fingers crossed for us! So, yeah, it’s shaping up to be a pretty great weekend. As an additional present to myself, I’m making plans to get out of the house sometime over the next two days and hide away at my favorite coffee shop in Midtown to get some writing done. I’ve been on a roll, so expect an exciting, full writing update late Sunday or Monday.

And finally, I’m celebrating my lovely birthday on Saturday with some friends, so feel free to stop by Celtic Crossing and buy me a birthday drink. Or a couple if you’re feeling really generous 🙂

– lindsey archer

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