Friday, July 29, 2011

Painting Progress, Self-Comparisons to Tolouse-Lautrec, and Phosphorescent

[ My portrait of Jordan as it stands. ]

Today's blog will be a photo essay of the progress of my current painting in progress: my portrait of the great Jordan Sabolick (friend and musician). I started it in January as a part of my "The Beatniks, The Bastards, & The Saints" series, neglected it for months, and have been back on it with a fury for a while now. Painting is very therapeutic. It calms whatever restlessness and gloom you have looming over you. Probably because you're zoning out and using your brain in a completely different way. Probably cause good tunes are also involved. My painting playlist right now is pretty awesome. It's a like a bluegrass/country/alternative/gospel/acoustic mega playlist mainly consisting of Phosphorescent, Dead Man's Bones, A.A. Bondy, Avett Brothers, Tallest Man On Earth, Whiskeytown, and Neko Case. So it's all whiskey, drinkin', trains, cheatin', broken hearts, southern winds, and Jesus. It's as mellow and soulful as a gospel revival choir and as amplifying as a country bluegrass hoedown.

I intend to finish Jordan's face up tomorrow and hopefully even get started on his hair. Then it's smooth sailing from there. Just background and tattoos. Wish me luck.

- Amy
Listening to: Phosphorescent's "It's Not Supposed To Be That Way"

An actual portrayal of my level of excitement upon starting this painting once the sketch was done (check out that pale, January skin). Starting a new painting makes my stomach hurt because I'm always afraid I've forgotten how to paint. I wonder if that's a recognized fear in the psychology world? I'm guessing not. ]

Closeup of the sketch.

This stage was about where my fears seemed to be completely founded. Yes I must have forgotten how to paint. His arm turned out swimmingly, but his face... oh, his face. It kind of looked twisted-ly grand however, so I went to bed and knew things would shape up the next sitting.

I decided that I had to get a piece completely done so as to boost my waning artistic ego. So I finished an eye and some of his nose. Confidence was growing.

Second eye done in the third sitting. I'm really digging the Tolouse-Lautrec -esqu garish coloring that's happening. After doing all of these graphic portraits recently (John Wayne, Caleb Followill, Geoff Rowley) I've been wanting to paint more the way I do those. In bright colorful shapes as opposed to perfectly accurate shading.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Moonshine Flasks, When Diamond Rings Attack, & Butterflies

Etsy problem continues. It's only heightened by the fact that I'm on there now weekly to manage our store for Hoodzpah. If you're looking for a distraction or if you want to waste 3 hours in what seems like the blink of an eye, start trolling It's akin to taking on the record/LP section (if you could even call that pile a section) at Goodwill. Anyways, here are 6 things I added to my wishlist that you fine folks might also like.

- Amy
Listening to: Wilco's "California Stars"

1. Moonshine Flask [ Leatherwerks ]

2. Pressed Butterfly Display [ Ben The Butterfly Guy ]

3. This silky original ink blot blouse. [ Rachel Rose ]

4. Handmade Light Up Wooden Arrow Sign [ West Vintage Trading Co. ]

5. Vintage Constellation Poster [ missquitecontrary ]

6. BLING Sterling Silver Ring [ marmod8 ] The diamond ring that truly could kill.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Avett Brothers, David Mayfield Parade, & Slots Baby

[ Avett Brothers @Pechanga Casino 7/23/11

Saw The Avett Brothers this weekend at Pechanga Casino and Resort and haven't been able to get over it yet. They were so amazing live. It was funny though: they are such a boot-stomping, get-down-and-have-a-good-time band, but the audience was the most mild group of people ever. Only the floor seats stood during their set (we were in the nosebleeds where NO ONE stood) and I could count on one hand the number of people that were movin', shakin' and dancin'. They were all too busy recording the show on their iPhones to move I suppose. But that's ok cause me and Jen and some random guy did enough dancing for everyone that night. I wore my lucky boots and stomped my Kentucky-bred heart out. Don't worry, we went to the back of the bleachers so as not to disrupt the Debbie Downers sitting behind us. That was mean. I'm sorry. But how do you sit during such a raucous concert! I had to move my feet. Man they are talented, handsome devils. At one point my twin sis, Jen, turned to me and said, "what's the banjo player's name again?" I said, "Scott Avett. But what's the other one's name again?" She said, "Who cares." Ohhhh Jen. She's got it bad for Scott Avett. All I know is he's a damn fine painter, wailer and banjo picker.

[ Post Avett Brothers slots action at the casino. ]

The David Mayfield Parade opened and they were a blast to watch. Lead singer (you guessed it) David Mayfield played the guitar upside down and with his feet and he was on fire with the corny jokes. The violinist and bass player were two foxy ladies who knew how to get down. Made me want to pick up my fiddle again and give her a go.

Anyways as much of a hoedown as it was (it reminded me of playing with my Uncle Owen's bluegrass band at the family reunions in Bowling Green, KY), they have some beautifuly sweet and somber songs. Those really moved me. Probably because I'm in a heightened emotional state currently, but I wasn't the only one. Three songs in particular had everyone in the venue weeping like lil' babies: "The Ballad of Love and Hate", "November Blue" (one of my personal favorites - the version on their Live: Vol. 2 album, not the original - trust me), and an epic cover of Springsteen's "I'm On Fire" (dare I say that I liked it better than the original?). At least I can thank the iPhone recorders at the show for filming this cover so I can share it here with you lovely folks. Below are videos of "I'm On Fire" from the show and a live version of "November Blue." And now back to work. My lovely friend Lauren Gillmore hired Hoodzpah to design a new logo for her photography company LA Creative Studio. It's been so much fun to work on!

- Amy

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Surfline, Seeworthy Project, & My Big Hollywood Break

Photos courtesy of Mr. Steblay of the Seeworthy Project

I recently helped my uber-talented (yeah I said uber) friend Chris out with a video for Surfline. He has a production/media company called the Seeworthy Project and they were hired to produce a new segment called "Speak Up" hosted by the one and only Joe Turpel as a part of Hurley's "Best of Summer" series on Surfline. Chris brought me on (on behalf of Hoodzpah Art + Graphics) to do some design/illustration and art direction (glorified title, but I'll take it). I illustrated some mini-Joes and got to play puppeteer at the shoot which was a blast. I even ended up being the special effects coordinator too. For behind the scenes photos and the final video go here. Looks like I need to get some headshots for my profile. Look out Hollywood.

[click to enlarge.]

- Amy
Listening to: Rachael Yamagata's "Be Be Your Love"

Friday, July 22, 2011

Persian Bear Rugs, Etsy-aholics, and BFF's Leaving On Grand Adventures

Etsy is a magical place. I am always finding things I need (well... want). It's actually becoming a problem. Like this awesome bear rug. I suggested it to my friend who has been looking for a persian rug, but alas they don't believe in cruelty to faux animals. The guy who makes these is so clever. Check out more photos here.

Now I have to get back to it. I'm working on a rad illustration for my BFF Sara Wilkins, as she will be heading out to Portland to start a grand adventure this week. She is so brave and I am so excited for her! I will miss her terribly though when I need a partner in crime to go to shows with me, chase me around when I'm cranky till we both start laughing til we cry, and blast Keith Urban shamelessly with. Looks like a trip to Portland is in order, that's for sure.

- Amy
Listening to: Dr. Dog's "Hang On"

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Wish I Had A River

It's been a rough past couple days. Maybe the roughest. 

Me and my friends always joke around about how applicable the movie You've Got Mail is to everyday life and how quotable. 
"Do you know that Joni Mitchell song? "I wish I had a river I could skate away on?" It's such a sad song, and not really about Christmas at all, but I was thinking about it tonight.." 

Yet again You've Got Mail imitates life as I sit here and listen to "River." Maybe I'm not Meg Ryan and maybe the lyrics to this song don't fully apply or make sense to me, but it's a beautifully sad song and sometimes I do wish I had a river I could skate away on. Sometimes you just feel helpless. But life isn't easy, and at least I know I can count on God for a merciful hand and to help give me some clarity when the going gets tough. Here's the rest of my playlist for the night. More thinking, writing, praying, hoping...

- Amy

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Antler Clad Motorcycles, Boots, & Ray Gordon

THROTTLED - Photography by © Ray Gordon. 

I need a bike with antlers on the front. Definitely. And those boots. I gotta start makin' more dough with Hoodzpah it looks like.

Listening to: Glasvegas' "Daddy's Gone"

Sunday, July 3, 2011

James Dean's Hair, Heat Waves, and The Head And The Heart


Oh how glorious it was. Enjoy your extended weekend friends. I plan on painting a lot and trying not to melt. Heat. Wave.

Listening to: The Head And The Heart's "Rivers and Roads"

Friday, July 1, 2011

Some New Illustrations, J-Lo's Doomed Comeback, & Chit Chatting with Ryan Getzlaf

[ Illustration ©Amy Hood ]

Here are some sketches/illustrations I have been working on to go in our Summer Guide Feature for LOCALE magazine. Since drawing these yesterday I have been seriously craving a rainbow sprinkle Balboa Bar... and I mean worse than J. Lo (a.k.a. Jennifer Lopes) craves a comeback. (Side Note: Have you heard her new single? I'm no pop connoisseur, but it's pretty terrible and predictable. Seeing as pop is already terribly predictable for the most part, that says a lot.)

The feature is coming along swimmingly, but there is still so much to do and so little time to do it! Looks like there are going to be some all-nighters with me, my iMac, a six pack of Coca Cola and my "Get Amped" playlist.  I'll leave you with this hilarious little skit featuring Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf of our very own Anaheim Ducks. I found it while doing some research for my interview with Ryan Getzlaf (which went down just moments ago - what a nice guy).

- Amy
Listening to: The Honorary Title's "Cut Short"

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