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New Site Is Live!

Sep. 5th, 2007 | 06:46 pm

Yes! My new art site is now live, just in time for Artwalk!

Feel free to romp all over it, push all the buttons, and tell me what you think about it. I'm already aware that the navigation bar links on the "Find Me" page change colors when clicked while none of the rest do. There are a few other things I want to tweak as well, but my designer friend and I are going to wait till after Artwalk (when he's done volunteering and my head is screwed on straight again) to work on those. Plus by then y'all might have found something else both of us missed.

I am thrilled with the new design, though. It really captures how my art has evolved, with all the layering and color.

And in other good news, I've decided to be kind to myself and not attempt to finish the one-of-a-kind small wood pieces I was hoping to sell at Artwalk. There are only eight of them anyway, and I can sell them at Naked Art during the holidays. I need all the time I can spare to finish scaling the matting/signing/bagging mountain ahead of me--and collect/find all the display stuff and supplies I need to take downtown on Friday.

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Jul. 9th, 2007 | 09:04 pm

If you wander over to my art Web site, cbuchanan.net, anytime soon, you're going to notice some weirdness, including broken links. That's because I've changed hosts in preparation for the redesigned Web site, which should debut around the beginning of September, just before Artwalk. The new site is going to be nifty, with links to my art blog, my MySpace page, and all the places selling or showing my art.

In conjunction with all this, I'm going to be reconfiguring my e-mail. I haven't yet determined what mail will go where (since I currently have five addresses going to three destinations), but it looks like the 12-year-old hiwaay.net address will eventually go away in favor of something at cbuchanan.net. Or maybe I'll keep personal mail, art mail, and a spam-catching account totally separate. Anyway, expect weirdness there as well, though I plan to keep my hiwaay.net mail around for at least a year after I switch.

When my new site goes up, my entire current Web presence will disappear--though the comic strip page, which hasn't been updated in an eon or two, may migrate to cbuchanan.net. It likely won't be linked from that main site, though. Trip pages will vanish, too, if they haven't already--but I hope to become more active on Flickr (when I suddenly get 10 more hours added to each of my days) and make that the home of my travel and B'ham photos.

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Pop Culture Coolness

Jun. 28th, 2007 | 10:18 pm

Recent Discoveries:

Movie: Music and Lyrics. Not high art, but cute. Plus it has Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant, so it already had an advantage with me. But you must see this--if for no other reason than the fun music video that begins the film. They *perfectly* recaptured '80s videos with this one. I would say they were parodying them, but they got it so minutely right, down to weird movements, bad production, and lip gloss on guys. (You can also see it on YouTube; search for "PoP Goes My Heart.") Also, the song is so catchy that you will not be able to expunge it from your brain.

Movie: The Postman (Il Postino). I'm not sure if that helped my Italy withdrawal--I think I want to go back to the Italian coast even more after seeing it. And when I do go back, I'll sit on the terrace reading Pablo Neruda's poetry. Perfect accompaniment to the setting.

Song: "Love Song," by Sara Bareilles. Clever lyrics. Bouncy melody. Great voice. Hard to listen to just once.

Song: "Don't Stop Now," by Crowded House. Crowded House is back! And the song is great. The sound of that band evolves with every CD, it seems, and I like the feel of this new song.

Song: "Una Notte a Napoli," by Pink Martini. Got hooked on this one in Italy thanks to Jill's iPod. It sounds like it's from some long-ago decade, and it's incredibly catchy, though after seeing Naples in person, I doubt any night there could be as dreamy and romantic as the song describes. (I read the English translation of the lyrics.)

CD: It Won't Be Soon Before Long by Maroon 5. Fun funky pop.

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HGTV Update

Jun. 11th, 2007 | 09:46 pm

I now have an episode number for the That's Clever show that will feature me, but the air date won't be this fall after all. The new season of that series featuring the Birmingham artists will begin in January (HGTV likes to premiere new episodes then), and mine is likely to air in March. I'm supposed to get an update when they know something more specific, so I'll pass that along once I hear it.

So America gets a reprieve of a few more months before it sees just how goofy I can look/sound (or be made to look/sound!) on TV. :)

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May. 30th, 2007 | 09:30 pm

I'm back from Italia--and slowly returning to normal life. And as I do after every big trip, I'm trying to figure out which parts of normal life I *want* back--and which aspects I want to import from overseas. Right now I'm trying to bring in aspects of Italian eating (fresher, simple foods) and that why-hurry Italian attitude (annoying at first, but then you see the sense in it). I'm also going to make time to relax from now on, since I rather enjoyed that on the trip.

So, the trip--two days in Rome followed by a glorious week on the Amalfi Coast. I was there with seven B'ham friends in a villa on a cliff overlooking the sea in the little town of Praiano, where we became part of the community (and the community adopted us). I also managed to visit Pompeii, Naples (chaos incarnate), Amalfi, Positano, Ravello, and the island of Capri in that week, and on the last day, two of my friends got married in Positano. I was an official witness/sort-of best man, so I got to sign official papers in the presence of the vice-mayor of Positano. There was lots of walking, eating great food, beach time, terrace time, gorgeously colorful flowers, jasmine scenting the air, amazing scenery, boating, lemons, daring bus rides on the coast road, going up and down stairs (the towns are all basically vertical), photography, and gelato. It was hard to come home! And it's no surprise that each of us is making plans to return to Praiano.

I may finally have a definitive answer when people ask me to name my favorite place I've visited!

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Recent Projects

May. 1st, 2007 | 10:41 pm

In case you haven't visited my art blog lately, I've got news about two recent projects:

--I created the album art for Vulture Whale's CD. This is a local band consisting of people from other bands, including the somewhat-nationally-known-in-the-past Verbena. Anyway, the lead singer received a piece of my show art as a present and commissioned some prints for the CD cover and the CD itself. They're not well-reproduced on the site, and you can't see the rocket print, but still--that's one of the coolest commissions I've ever done!

--I carved the logo for The Terminal, a new Birmingham news site started by one of my friends as sort of an alternative to the local alternative newspapers. The image depicts Birmingham's lost-but-loved Terminal Station. (You might remember the version of Terminal Station I carved for my show. That was on a block sized approximately 6.75" x 11". This one is on a block that's 4" x 5.5"--so the intricate station was incredibly tough to carve!) The site is still in testing mode, but things seem to be moving along quickly. I hear T-shirts featuring my print are in the works for the official launch this summer.

In both cases, I love the fonts that the designers used with my prints. They seem to fit perfectly--and that makes me happy!

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Property Rights

Apr. 30th, 2007 | 08:49 pm

Tonight I will preach on respect for other people's property. Is this something people care about anymore?

Exhibit A:
Tonight when I got home from work, I saw that the garbage truck hadn't come by, so I opened the can and found--someone else's trash. Yes, my trash can is apparently the community dumpster, because this isn't the first time this has happened. Stupid culprits should've guessed I would figure out who did it from the address on the Priority Mail box they tossed in there with their pizza boxes and beer cans. Several times before, other people have tossed their trash in my can. What does the trash service cost in this neighborhood? Approximately $33--every three months. Probably less than the cost of the pizza and beer. I pay for it. They don't offer to split the cost. They just assume my trash can is there for them to use for free.

Exhibit B:
I have a little patch of front yard by the street, and over the years plenty of people have thought of that as their dog's bathroom. People who live in townhouses just like mine, which means they have yards of their own. When I catch someone letting their dog go, I usually go out and ask them to find some other spot and clean up the mess left behind. Once a woman tried to argue with me that her dog would never do such a thing--as her dog was doing it. Do they honestly think I *like* finding the remnants on my lawn?

I used to worry about having people live all around me if I got a condo one day--but it seems I have no buffer now, so I should be prepared.

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Top 100

Mar. 11th, 2007 | 10:23 pm

This meme was inspired by a list compiled by my friend Delaine, the comics zine maven. It's my top 100 favorite things, in no particular order. Let's start with the first 25:

1. Dark chocolate
2. The full moon
3. Milkshakes
4. Waking up to a mockingbird song
5. Letterpress prints
6. Down comforters
7. New magazines
8. Travel guidebooks
9. Junky antique stores/flea markets
10. Midcentury neon signs
11. Fruit tarts (yes--preferred even above pie!)
12. Watches
13. Lightning bugs
14. Blooming cherry trees
15. Uncle Scrooge comics
16. Wandering through art museums
17. Taking photographs
18. Libraries
19. Art festivals
20. Ghost signs (faded painted signs on brick walls)
21. Old photographs
22. Sunsets
23. Little lizards and frogs in my yard
24. Red velvet cake
25. Gelato

What's on your list?

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This Weekend I...

Mar. 11th, 2007 | 09:54 pm

-Finally discovered the wonder of Lake Champlain Chocolates' legendary Five Star Bars (seriously, the fruit and nut version is supremely dangerously habit-forming, and I've had only one!).
-Explored our new Whole Foods Market (already in love with their gelato-choco-bakery land, though their prices will protect me from gluttony :) ).
-Bought a guidebook for Rome and booked my last hotel there.
-Reveled in the bright, warm, fresh beginning of spring, including the blooming trees (the pear trees are in bloom before the redbuds this year--weird) and the extra hour of daylight.
-Learned how much income tax I'll have to pay (bleah).
-Took a little photo safari downtown to capture some images for future prints (can't wait to carve some of the midcentury goodness!).
-Bought some snazzy shoes (made in Albania!).
-Vanquished more clutter (still more to go).
-Looked around in despair at my yard, which needs more care and time than I have (another reason I'm mulling over a condo).
-Delivered a commissioned new print that I'm very happy with (and surprised by--I didn't think it would turn out as detailed as it did).
-Got some much-needed sleep (needed it more than I realized).
-Met someone pretty darn cool. (My friend/coworker Erin thinks we'd be a good match, so we had a blind lunch on Saturday. We're oddly similar in many ways that matter.)

What did you do?

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Running Around

Feb. 28th, 2007 | 09:32 pm

I'm still alive, I promise. My days have been packed--though I'm not sure I'm actually accomplishing so much. :) Work has been busy, and between running errands, paying bills, trying to get seven or eight hours of sleep so I'm not dragging the next day, seeing friends, etc., I don't feel like doing much in the off times.

Well, maybe I've been doing more than I think: Read more...Collapse )

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