GJ Willis' Art Notes

The Adventures and Misadventures of a Neer Do Well Artist Living in Baltimore.

My Photo
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

I am a visual artist and writer living in Baltimore. I don't have any artist friends. Frankly, artists scare me, there so darn flaky. The above picture is either of me or proof that I'm a pretty decent artist. My goal is to be a self sufficient artist, whereas I wouldn't have to do something else in the day in order to eke out an existence. I also like to attend various cultural events around town. I go to plays, the symphony, etc. Also, I have Asperger's Syndrome. I found this out recently and it has explained a heck of a lot as to why I am as I am.

Previous Posts Archives Favourite Links

The WeatherPixie
willisgirl's photos More of willisgirl's photos

Free counters provided by

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Thursday, September 25, 2003

The above picture was done digitally using Painter software. A couple of years ago I went through a brief mermaid period. I couldn't stop drawing or painting them. For now it has subsided.

Since this is my blog and as far as I can tell no one is reading it other than me. I thought I’d list my top favorite cd’s that I’ve been listening to at work. These are the ones that have been a real me pick me up.

Top Music of the Week

1 Rhett Miller...The Instigator
2 John Eddie...Who the Hell is John Eddie?
3 Joe Jackson...The Collection
4 Bob Marley and the Wailers...Legend

Explanations for the List

1 Rhett Miller ... The Instigator cd. This is a cd that I’ve owned for about month and have just now started to listen to in it’s entirety. I admit that the reason I’ve been reluctant to listen to it is because of the cd cover it, freaks me out. It’s a picture of Miller with this creepy doe eyed expression that I find downright frightening. I can’t bare to look at it for too long.

My favorite songs on the cd are, Our Love, This is What I Do, Come Around, Things that Disappear, Point Shirley, The El, I Want To Live, and Terrible Vision. I have to admit that whenever I hear Come Around I almost want to reach through the radio and give him a hug. That song really gets to me.

Jimminy Crickets!! I just checked out to see what they would recommend for someone who likes Rhett Miller’s music and Ryan Adams is mentioned. I own Ryan Adams cds! That is so spooky and dead on.

In closing Rhett Miller is a very talented singer/ songwriter but looks kind of scary in a strung out junkie, homeless person kind of way....

2 John Eddy ... Who the Hell is John Eddie? cd. I have the Advance copy of this cd. This is the version that they send out to radio stations. It even has the release date on it, May 20, 2003. I got the cd on the strength of one song, Let Me Down Hard. It’s rare for me to buy a cd based on one song. I usually wait until there are at least 3 hits on a cd before I’ll buy it. It has to be a damn good song before I would ever consider throwing down my hard earned cash. Well, as you might have guessed I considered Let Me Down Hard a damn good song worthy of the risk.

When I got the cd I didn't know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. I suppose one could describe Eddie as a kind of a smart aleck version of John Mellencamp. My favorites on the cd are the aforementioned, Let Me Down Hard, Family Tree, Low Life, Nobody’s Happy, Shithole Bar, Forty, and Play Some Skynyrd.

. One track that I really, really love that will never get radio air play is his hilarious 40 song. It has a refrain that goes, “Well, I guess I’m Fuckin’ 40.....” When I turn 40 I want that song played at my birthday party!!

From the info I found about him on the web I had no idea that he is considered by some as being a country act. This man does not sport a cowboy hat or look like he line dances. He sounds roots rock to me ala like John Mellencamp or Bruce Springsteen.

Yikes! Again, Amazon recommends a cd I already own John Hiatt’s, Beneath this Gruff Exterior

3 Joe Jackson ... The Collection cd. This cd is only available as an import. It’s more of an old reliable for me. It’s basically a best of cd. I only wish that the cd included Sunday Papers and I’m the Man. Two tracks that I’ve rediscovered are Be My Number Two and Another World. All in all this is a very upbeat happy cd.

4 Bob Marley and the Wailers ... Legend cd. This is another compilation cd. I only play this one towards the end of the day as I’m winding down. Reggae doesn't rev me up it makes me feel mellow. Mellow is just the mood I want as I’m heading home. All the tracks on this cd are classic. However, my all time favorite Marley songs are No Woman No Cry, Stir it Up, and One Love.

link | posted by gail at 11:41 PM | 0 comments

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

The above picture was done digitally using Painter. I did this one during my brief stint as a student at Towson University majoring in digital art. The guy teaching the class knew as much as the students he was teaching so I figured I could do just as good a job as he. So I left bought a Mac computer as well as art and animation software....and here I am!

I’m going to the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators) annual conference this year. This will be my second year in a row attending. I’m really excited about this one because author Paula Danziger (The Cat Ate My Gymsuit) will be giving the keynote address. When I was a kid I loved reading her books. Hopefully, I’ll get to meet her live and in person. Maybe I’ll see if I can find a copy of one of her books and get her to sign it for me.

This year the SCBWI conference will take place on October 25, 2003 in Arlington, Virginia. Hopefully, I will be able to drive to the conference instead of staying overnight in the DC Youth Hostel. This of course is contingent on my passing the Maryland state driver’s exam. If I end up doing a lousy job maybe I could bribe my niece or brother to take me there.

One thing’s for sure I don’t want to go back to the DC hostel and that night desk clerk from hell. I still feel to this day that the reason she was so hostile towards me was because I’m Colored. It should be noted that she was also colored.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen there are some people of color in the service industry who give lousy service to there own and top notch service to those who are not a part of there ethnic group. I found her instant attitude as soon as I entered the door of the hostel distasteful. However, the morning desk guy was a breath of fresh hair. Dreadlocks, bright and cheerful. A black guy who was warm and friendly to everyone. I wanted to hug him. I wanted to kill her... The only way I will do the Youth Hostel thing again is that I can be assured that A.) She doesn't work there anymore or B.)She won’t be working that night....

link | posted by gail at 11:21 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Today, I went into work after being out for the big storm of the Century aka Hurricane Isabel ne Tropical Storm Isabella. I was out Friday because the buses and light rail weren't running. Thus if there not running I’m SOL (so out of luck) in getting to work. I shudder to think how much it would cost me to pay cab fare to go out there.

I was out yesterday because as usual I take the first day of Fall/Spring/Winter/Summer off. Can’t help it, it’s the pagan in me...... Yes, I know that today is really the first day of Autumn but I couldn't pass up the opportunity of a three day weekend. I scheduled the time off long before I knew that a Storm Was a Comin’. So I had a glorious four day mini vacation. The above is a picture of my favorite street in all of Baltimore. The street called Charles Street.

link | posted by gail at 11:54 PM | 0 comments

September 1, 2003

The above is a picture I did using oil pastels. Last year on a whim I emailed noted oil pastelist John Elliot not expecting a reply and much to my surprise he emailed me back **several months** later I should add.... and encouraged me to further pursue my work in oil pastel. As you can imagine it was a major psychological boost for me to receive encouragement from an artist who’s work I admire and who is still alive. I was on cloud 109 for several weeks. I even went out and bought his book on oil pastels, Oil Pastel For the Serious Beginner

It’s Labor Day and I’m proud to announce that I did abso-freakin-letely nothing all weekend. I just sat back and chilled. I started reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I should say right now that I’ve read all the books in the series up the GOF. The book is moving along quiet well. This will be the longest book I’ve ever read in my entire life. It clocks in at 734 pages. So far I’m at page 433. I’m reading the paperback version that I bought last summer.

I guess you’re wondering why a grown 33 year old woman who has no children is reading Harry Potter. It’s for purely professional reasons. Remember, I’m a struggling artist and children’s book illustrator. Yea, right! Truth is it started innocently enough when I went to the bookstore one day intent on buying the three book set for my nephew as a Christmas present. Then I got curious about the allure of the books and began reading them and became hooked. Needless to say my nephew has never seen those books instead I gave him a $100 as his Christmas present.

Shockingly enough my favorite character in the series is not that bespeckled little moppet Harry Potter or his insipid little friends. My favorite is the deliciously cruel, Professor Severus Snape. There’s something about Professor Snape that makes me want to beg for detention. Yes, I know this sounds absolutely 100% weird and borderline sick! He’s a fictional character in a children’s book! But for goodness sake Alan Rickman plays him in the movies! That man simply oozes sex in nearly every role he’s in. Recently, I was shocked to learn that Rickman is pushing 60 (he’s 56) and Professor Snape according to Potter series writer JK Rowling is, supposed to be 35-36 years old! I had no idea that the Rickman was THAT OLD!!! But damn he still looks good!

Right now I’m trying to decide on what to do to obtain the next Harry Potter book that recently came out this year. I could either buy The Order of the Phoenix on eBay or wait till it comes out on paperback. The problem with waiting for the paperback edition is that on average it takes three years for them to come out. Can I possibly wait that long???

In case you’re curious my favorite Harry Potter book by far is the second one, The Chamber of Secrets. Great book, crappy movie. The book was everything I wanted Episode One of Star Wars to be like. I was reading it and saying out loud, “Damn this shit is better than Star Wars!” In my tiny world that’s a major complement. I liked how when someone pissed off Harry Potter something bad happened to them,....always. Rowling even carried this over into the next book,The Prisoner of Azkaban with the incident of Harry’s much loathed Aunt Marge.

With COS, you learn that the mark on his forehead is the mark of THE (yes, I meant to capitalize it) POWERFUL DARK WIZARD and that was why the evil Lord Voldemort was trying to do away with him as an infant. Voldemort didn't want any competition taking over the world. So he said in a since he was saying, “Kid, I’m taking you out before you take me out!” So in a since Voldemort was doing a preemptive strike. I found that whole concept intriguing...the concept that Harry Potter has the potential to be a thousand times more evil and more powerful than the dreaded Lord Voldemort. Yet, he makes a personal decision not to give in to the dark side. The book in a since is all about personal choices. I like the concept that Harry Potter despite all the damning facts that are revealed throughout the books about his possible true inner nature (lightening bolt on forehead=mark of powerful dark wizard, has the natural ability to speak snake Parsel tongue=powerful dark wizard, originally selected to live in Slytherin house=evil wizard) decides to fight against it. This of course was never explored in the movie... It’s a kiddie movie after all, but the book was deep, very deep.

Here’s what today’s writing assignment says, make a list of terms associated with a job your character has. After you’ve made your list, choose several terms and expand them into descriptive phrases to make a complete sensory description.

Hmmm.... this assignment appears to be very involved. Ok, right now I’m working on a short story about a 60 year old retired psycist who’s now working as a male stripper. I got the idea from a story I heard on NPR about you guessed it a real life retired psycist who works as a male stripper.

bump and grind

The women were cheering the music was loud, lights were flashing. I could hear drinks being poured and glasses clinking under the haze of the smoke filled room. Then the rhythmic clapping began it was my cue to go onstage.

link | posted by gail at 11:34 PM | 0 comments

powered by Blogger | designed by mela

Get awesome blog templates like this one from