Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010!

What are my goals for 2010?  I have two categories.

                                      ART GOALS:

1) Learn to draw pretty girl faces with Suzi Blu! I'm enrolled in her online class. Click here to learn more about it

                   Mixed Media painting by Suzi Blu

2) Monthly art classes and workshops - here's what I'm planning so far for January 2010:

2a) Watermedia Painting - A Contemporary Approach With Helen Shafer Garcia at the Fallbrook School of the Arts.



                        by Claire-Lise Matthey Anderegg

                     all paintings by Jane Lafazio

2c) Attend the opening of a group show, featuring my friend Lisa Bebi on Jan. 19th at 5:45 pm. at Bard Hall in the Unitarian Church in Hillcrest.

   painting by Lisa Bebi

2d)  Taking an online class with Chris Cozen and Julie Prichard, although details aren't posted yet.

paintng I did in a class by Chris Cozen at Stamping Details

painting I did in online class by Julie Prichard

2e) Taking a few classes in Feb. with Chris Cozen at Stamping Details in Poway, although info isn't posted yet.

3)  Paint with watercolors and acrylics regularly
4)  Do lots of collages and collage paintings
5)  To learn to draw other things besides faces
6)  Learn calligraphy
7)  Work in my Art Journal more often
8)  Sell more paintings
9) Display my work in a gallery
10) Make and access monthly art goals
11) Blog as often as possible
12) To get my work published

Personal Goals:
1) Take better care of myself 
2) Stay in The Now
3) Read the whole Twilight series of books
4) Be more organized
5) Take risks by stepping out of my comfort zone
6) To be the best person I can possibly be!

                            Handmade card by me

All of that will definitely keep me busy! What are your goals for 2010? I'd love to hear about them in any comment you care to leave. Please click on the above links to see more work by the artists I've mentioned.  Have a healthy, happy, prosperous New Year in 2010! Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

If You Love This Genre, Don't Miss, "The Young Victoria."

This is, of course, the story of the real life Victoria, who becomes Queen of Great Britain at age 18 in 1837. It deals with some of the events before and after she becomes queen, but focusing on her early reign and romance with Prince Albert. Queen Victoria ruled until 1901, the longest of any ruler in British history.

I’m a big fan of this genre, so I loved it going into the theater. There’s so much eye candy in this film, which has glorious cinematography and the aesthetics are just gorgeous. Every frame is a work of art. The costumes are intricate and sumptuous and just what you hope to see in the best period pieces. The fashions were stunning throughout the movie. The lush gardens were heavenly.

Some of the buildings took my breath away, inside and out. Queen Victoria was the first royal to live in Buckingham Palace. When they showed Victoria entering it for the first time, the camera panned to the ceiling and it was quite impressive. Words like opulent, ostentatious, imposing and luxuriant came to mind throughout the film.

This one was produced by Martin Scorsese, along with Sarah Ferguson, The Duchess of York. Her daughter, Princess Beatrice, makes her movie debut as a lady in waiting. Queen Victoria is the real life great-great-great-great-grandmother to Bea. It’s a non-speaking role, but at least she got to have some fun playing dress-up.

Princess Beatrice
The all-star British cast was outstanding. The dazzling Emily Blunt played Victoria, while handsome Rupert Friend played the love of her life, Albert. From all the pictures I’ve seen of past royals, I have a feeling, neither were this good looking in real life. According to Wikipedia, there were some historical inaccuracies, but I won’t ruin the movie and tell you what they are. They were added as dramatic elements to move the plot forward.

Miranda Richardson as Victoria's Mum

Jim Broadbent as King William

Many people rallied to get close to Victoria with some major power plays, including her mother, played by the always excellent, Miranda Richardson. King William was played by Jim Broadbent and wanted his young friend Lord Melbourne, played by Paul Bettany, to marry Victoria. He was terribly charming, but Prince Albert won her hand. He died at the age of 42 after fathering nine children. Victoria wore black for the rest of her life until she died at age 81.

Rupert Friend as Prince Albert

Rupert Friend without his wigs.
Click here to see a trailer of the marriage proposal and another of the film. Skip the one with the actors being interviewed.

It’s a beautiful romance, a wonderful story, excellent acting, with plenty of glorious style. Fans of the genre will love it, but others should skip it. Girls, don’t drag your men to see this one, unless they’re fans too. Thanks for reading my review! NR xoxo

"It's Complicated" is the Perfect Movie!

Any movie with Meryl Streep in it is worth seeing, because a brilliant performance is guaranteed. This movie is no exception. Streep is funny, believable and oh-so-watchable. She turns in a light, airy performance and makes it looks as easy as a cool breeze. I wanted to be her character. Ten years after her divorce from Baldwin, she's come into her own and become an independent, phenomenal woman.

Meryl Streep
She lives in a gorgeous Spanish style house in Southern California overlooking the ocean. She owns a high end bakery/cafe and possesses skills like Martha Stewart. Everything about her is fabulous. 

Baldwin's character has since remarried a sexy, younger woman, whom he cheated with while married to Streep. But the new wife also cheated on him and got pregnant and now has a five year old, brat named Pedro. The kid is also an excellent actor and really funny. The hot new wife and the child treat Baldwin horribly, so he's disillusioned and miserable. This leads him to believe he's in love with Streep and they have an affair. Complicated? Only a little.

Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alex Baldwin and Lake Bell

Streep's gorgeous living room

This is definitely a chick flick, but I think men will like it too, because it's not sad or depressing and no one gets cancer. To the contrary, this movie is a blast. Streep is spectacular and very, very funny. Nancy Meyers turned in a wonderful script, with sparking wit, great comedic timing and hilarious dialogue. Everyone gets a funny line. Meyers also directed this movie, as well as another favorite of mine, "Something's Gotta Give."

She even has a fab tub!
Streep and Baldwin have the standout performances, while Steve Martin plays a nerdy, quiet architect. He's building her dream kitchen, but I'd kill for the kitchen she already has.

Would you want to re-do this kitchen?!

                      Meryl Streep and Steve Martin
The supporting cast all turn in stellar performances. The couple has three grown children, one who is married to the delightful John Kaminski from TV's, "The Office." He has a few priceless scenes when he finds out about the affair, but doesn't say anything. Streep has a group of BFF's who are also a riot. Martin and Streep also have a few hysterical scenes where they smoke weed. I laughed out loud - and hard - all the way through this movie and so did the audience.

It's refreshing to see a movie with characters over-50 who are portrayed as sexual beings. Baldwin has a side-splitting scene where he stops breathing for a few minutes and a doctor is called in. Hearing Meryl Streep say, "I like a lotta sperm," is worth the price of admission.

                      Balwin and Streep

The only thing that didn't ring true for me was the reaction of their kids when it seemed as if their parents might get back together. They thought it was weird and weren't happy about it. I was under the impression most kids fantasize about their parents reuniting. But I would've been happy either way and won't give away the ending.
The movie also explores a question many divorced people have in wondering if it could work out after ten years apart.

Click here to watch the trailer!

This movie has it all; impressive cast, excellent story, witty dialogue and a whole lotta fun. I say, go see this movie and you will be thoroughly entertained and leave the theater smiling. Thanks for stopping by today! xoxo

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What Your Year Will Look Like? Decide Now!

I subscribe to The ArtBizBlog and found the current post very inspirational, even though I don't earn my living as a professional artist.

Decide What Your Year Will Look Like
by Alyson Stanfield on December 28, 2009

DECIDE that each day will be a good day and that you’ll be in a good mood. That’s right: You can decide.

DECIDE that you’ll sing, smile, laugh, and dance more often.

DECIDE to make this a rewarding year filled with things and people you love.

DECIDE to set boundaries around your studio time. The discipline of a studio practice is what makes you a professional.

DECIDE to try a different color, experiment with a new media, or open yourself to art that is different from your own.

DECIDE to be supportive of all artists in your community.

DECIDE to set boundaries around your personal time. You can’t be a vibrant artist if you don’t take care of yourself.

DECIDE to understand what is in the food you are eating and how it affects your well-being.

DECIDE to avoid things that upset your well-being.

DECIDE to exercise regularly.

DECIDE to set boundaries around your business time. If you seek to make a living from your art, you must take the planning, marketing, and promotion seriously. You must also pay attention to finances and other “less sexy” business matters like insurance.

DECIDE to use your contact list on a regular basis, whether it means picking up the phone, sending an email, or writing a personal note that needs a stamp to reach the recipient.

DECIDE to explore how social media—like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter—can help you network with potential buyers and collectors. There must be something to social media if everyone is using it!

DECIDE that you will learn more about the business “stuff” you’ve tried to ignore.

DECIDE to make the most of the time you have and to stop whining about the time you don’t have.

DECIDE to say No to those things that are not important to you or that get in the way of what you want to be.

DECIDE to take risks. You know that very few people ever reached their full potential without stepping out of their comfort zones.

FINAL WORD: Decide how you will show up in the New Year. Choose the decisions that resonate with you, write them down, and post them in a highly visible place. “I have decided that I will . . . “ At the same time, understand your motives for the decisions. Why did you make these decisions? There must be reasons for your choices. Decisions, goals, and motives are all part of the New Year Blast Off class. Join us beginning January 6!

Click here to listen to an audio podcast of this information. It also links you to this post.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Wanna Be Italian for 2 hours? Go See, "Nine!"

I had the pleasure of seeing four, very different, but enjoyable movies over my Christmas vacation. Today I'll review, "Nine."

First of all, I love all things Italian and have always been attracted to Italy. This film is set in the early 1960's so it has everything you might expect: cool clothes, a cute Alpha Romeo sports car and fabulous architecture. This movie is loaded with style! It looked gorgeous and was filmed beautifully. I wanted to BE Italian and felt as if I was for the whole two hours.

   Nicole Kidman and Daniel Day-Lewis in the Alpha Romeo

The music is fantastic, with juicy horn sections and upbeat rhythms. I found myself humming as I left the theatre. I'm not usually a big fan of musicals, but I loved this movie. Make sure to listen to Kate Hudson singing, "Cinema Italiano," here.  It also shows fab clips from the film. These actors sang really well, unlike in "Mama Mia," where I loved the songs, but didn't enjoy the singing voices.

                                Kate Hudson

             Daniel Day-Lewis and Kate Hudson

"Nine" made me fall in love with Daniel Day-Lewis all over again. True, he's not as hot as he was in his younger days, but it's refreshing to see an actor who hasn't had plastic surgery that makes him unrecognizable. He's such a fantastic actor no matter what role he plays. And I rejoiced that he's in every scene in this movie!

                      Daniel Day-Lewis and Marion Cotillard

His character plays a movie director/writer who has to start shooting his latest film, but has no script and no clue what his movie is about. His muse is dead. His life is out of control. Marion Cotillard plays his perfect wife, who he's cheating on with Penelope Cruz. I thought Cruz was stunning and really surprised me with her excellence. She had the stand out role and practically stole the show.

Penelope Cruz

Our anti-hero has a vivid imagination, which we get to see every time he's talking to one of the cast members. Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Cotillard, Cruz, Hudson, Fergie, Loren and Day-Lewis himself are each featured in song and dance numbers. I loved all of them! Dench plays his long time friend and costume designer and she's fabulous as always.

             Judi Dench and Daniel Day-Lewis

Sophia Loren plays his mother, while Fergie plays a wanton woman from his childhood. Kate Hudson plays a fashion journalist and Nicole Kidman plays the lead of his movie.

                             Sophia Loren

Nicole Kidman and Daniel Day-Lewis

I smiled during the entire movie and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Sure, all of the women are wearing sexy costumes and look hot as hell, but the character of each one is portrayed in a way that it's not just T&A. It's the out-of-gas director who sees them as such in his colorful mind's eye.  He's frustrated and despondent, yet envisioning the most glorious eye candy. The moral of this story is: get your life in order and appreciate what you have and things will fall into place.

Anthony Minghella wrote this wonderful screenplay, but died a few days after he finished it. I hope he got to watch the finished product from the great beyond. Rob Marshall directed this magnificent movie and I hope he wins a Best Director's nod, because he did a masterful job.

I loved the story, loved the characters, loved the acting, loved the music/songs/dancing, loved the style and overall loved this movie. It made me want to buy the CD so I could feel this way every time I heard it. This would make an excellent date movie, because you're sure to leave the theater feeling good.

You can get an idea of the incredible style of this movie by watching a long version of the trailer here.

I'm interested to know what you thought of, "Nine," so please leave me a comment. If you disagree, I'd like to hear that as well.

I also saw, "It's Complicated," "Avatar," and "The Young Victoria." I'll review those later. Thanks for visiting my blog!  xoxo