Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Snail Mail My Mannequin!

My Mannequin "Brunhildegard" has hijacked my website for her own purposes: to reach out to the world in an attempt at snail mail communication. If you like weird snail mail and want to participate in a fun project, please send her something through the post - she'll share it and write back!!

See the website she created for herself, with the address of my studio where she lives:


I can attempt to copy what she wrote on the site below.

"Hi. My name is Brunhildegard. I live in the studio of Lydia Burris. I live a secret life she doesn't know much about. I don't know too many humans, but I have a keen insight to the other denizens of the imagination world. I'd love to share gossip from the other world, but I'm better at snail mail. If you are so inclined, please correspond with me via Lydia's public studio address.

Lydia Burris
212 West 10th Street,
suite A-250
Indianapolis, IN 46202

I and my strange friends would love to hear from you. Feel free to share with your crazy snail-mail friends. I may start to write about my experiences if things get interesting."

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Magic Spells Vs Alchemy, commissions vs private art exploration

On the subject of art commissions
 (Aka: Art for someone else) 
VERSUS private artistic exploration.


Commissions are like very specific complex magic spells. It takes a lot of energy and knowledge and
mental strength to cast a really good magic spell. It also takes time to build up the magic, to draw strength from the energy in the surroundings. Once it has been cast, one cannot just turn around and immediately cast another equally complex magic spell. The caster has to rest and recuperate.

This is a metaphor for art commissions. I do enjoy them and they challenge me to become better and to expand my abilities. On the other side, it takes a LOT of mental power, and they leave me feeling drained. Sometimes its a lot more exhausting to cast magic in the service of another. I used to think that the more commissions I do, the easier and quicker they would go. This is not the case. If anything, it takes me LONGER to do them know, because my abilities have gotten more


When I am in the studio creating work for myself, it is like alchemy. I am experimenting with  materials and observing results. I become obsessed with the nature of exploration and uncovering unknown combinations. This can also get very complex and interesting, but it is not nearly as draining. When I am being an 'alchemist' all day, I can go to bed exhausted but excited, with more questions on my tongue than when I began.
I invite others to view some of my alchemical meanderings, but I do not wish to reveal all of my notes with my peers, as I feel I am building toward a new discovery, and I don't want to spoil the surprise. I have works in progress that I've not shared yet because I'd love to have a show of completely new and UNSEEN work sometime in 2015.
Alchemy is mysterious and revealing all at the same time.

In 2015, I think I want to focus more on 'Alchemy' and less on 'Spell Casting'. My own projects and experiments are calling to my heart and I need to give them the proper time and attention, in order to be a great wizard. 

P.S. For those who commission me: I truly do appreciate the enthusiasm and support. I will not stop taking commissions, I will just be more selective. I have enjoyed each one I've done in 2014, but I (along with about 20 other creatives I've talked to) want change.

Transformation is in the air, and its time we spread our wings. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Goodbye 95 Toyota Camry Wagon!

Oh my, how to begin!
Well, I said goodbye to my 95 Toyota Camry Wagon today.
It was a beautiful large green bean of a car, a magical fat long little bullet of a car,
a car who for 11 years had no real 'car' name or gender, but was the ambiguous hero of my adventures. I finally ~sorta~ settled on the name of 'Mac' and I imagined the car as an older and crass woman who didn't give a shit what she looked like or if people sometimes mistook her for a guy.
This car had 2 extra hidden seats in the back, making it legal for 7 passangers. I felt like a secret agent with such a cool hidden feature! I RARELY used those extra seats but they were there, making me proud.

'Mac' was my first car. I got her near the end of my college years, and she stayed to protect and adventure with my family while I was in England for a year. During my time with the Camry wagon, we traveled all over the midwest selling my wares at conventions and hauling my paintings to art shows. I was not the kindest owner. I'd forget to fill the fluids regularly, the oil changes were less frequent than recommended, and... she could have been cleaned a lot more often. She'd give me new quirks and I took them in stride, proud that we could both come to an understanding. By the end of her ride, she was held together by love and zip-ties.
She never 'died', but she grew tired. After several repairs this past month, my mechanic found that the head gasket was probably going to go soon and I should start looking for a new vehicle.

I sat in my car and we had a brain conversation. She was exhausted, and I didn't have to feel guilty about giving her up. She was ready to pass on the torch to a newer, younger adventurer.
So we started looking and and together we found a White Honda CRV who seems ready and willing to be my travel beast. I laughed Maniacally when I discovered that my newer car has a great retro feature - it has a TAPE DECK! ^__^

Lets see where this next road takes us!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Cold Sea of Social Media and a Warning to the Self!

I'm obviously not good at keeping up with a daily blog. Although I think daily blogs are unnecessary unless they truly have inspirational things to say. It also seems that no one has the attention span for deeper personal expressions these days. I know I don't really either. There are several friends I feel I'm neglecting, who's words I otherwise love to read. Perhaps if I spend less time on status update social networks, I'd have more time for deeper, more inspirational and informative stories. Time spent getting to know someone in more depth. I have such a shallow understanding of so many people, and in return I feel that masses of people have a shallow understanding of me. I watch the comments other people leave on other people's words, and notice this. Passions, misunderstandings, inspirations, ideas and flames can arise so easily with these types of conversations, as fire more readily burns on small and thin timbers, and burns out just as fast.

Now if you give me a moment, I could also write a compelling argument FOR those types of social medias - and those are the reasons I stay  - the ability to connect more readily and to recognize the names and faces of the people I interact with, even if that interaction is brief.

Yet I shall go further and say that perhaps all this social networking is a huge distraction to begin with? facebook, blogs, websites, etc. I feel an urge to get back to real life. Instead of filling moments of my day with public self expressing and reading the copious amounts of other personal/public spewings, perhaps I should instead get back into reading and researching my interests for the sheer joy of it. I miss the obsession I felt in college where I collected and studied the lyrics of songs, the names of gods and demons from mythology and folklore, plants and trees and the metaphors associated with nature's creations. Maybe I should limit most of my interaction to in-person face-to-face togetherness. This may generate deeper collaborations and idea generations. There is a spark to these connections that is missing online, where I feel as if we are all drifting in a sea, on unstable pieces of plank and driftwood - we speak to each other as we float by - we wave and smile or curse and nod our heads in mutual miseries, as our bodies get colder and colder from the emptiness below us.

I want to promise myself that I will:
Live more, Adventure more, Travel more, 
Art more and Obsess more.
I will look suspiciously at the warm glow of my computer screen, and place obstacles between it and me. I will use it with purpose - to make art, and to write, and to collect my obsessions, and to hold only a brief line of connection to the great wide sea of people.
I will use my personal library more, and engage in the art of marginalia. I will grow my brain with the attention given to delicate orchids - to feed it a strict and timely diet of necessary substances.
No more waste!
*raises fist to the heavens, and points a warning finger at the self*

That is all for now.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

An ode to my dying car

Greetings fiends!

My daily posts have fallen to the wayside! Oh dear!
I've got an excuse. I've been spending the last few days searching for a new vehicle.

#inktopia drawing number 3
"An Ode to my Dying Car."

There's my beautiful 1995 Toyota Camry wagon, driving off into the ether.
It still runs great and I just did a lot of repairs on it but there are some major possible repairs coming up that make the prospect of getting a newer car much more practical. (Aside from all the small worn things that make having an old car a bit troublesome)

SO, here I am, lamenting the loss of my favorite car in the world (who's back floor folds out into 2 reverse seats for a total of 7 possible passangers!) You don't get cars like that anymore. And recently, I've heard a lot of compliments and comments on the greatness of this model.
But I'm also celebrating a beginning. I am excited to try something new, and I'm humbled at some of the help and support and cheerleading I've already gotten about this change. I won't name the possible new car until it actually happens.

THE UNIVERSE is all up in my business:
Of course, this changes my game plan. I keep wondering what possible reason the universe would have for pushing me to make this change. At a time when things seem to be coming together in a delicate web of dreams and finances and pathways, a new car could be as devistating to that balance as a giant bumblebee flying through the newly formed web of a garden spider. My plan as it stands will not sustain this RIGHT NOW.

But as I think on it deeper, if I must assign a reason to this change, a reason other than just random circumstances and the obviously long overdue car refresh, then I have found a positive reason. The universe is pushing me to do greater things. I must be more wise with my time and my money. I must be more vigilant about my plans and projects. I MUST get on a solid and productive track of creation and promotion - and this will all be for the best. Yes, its all for the best. *cue godspell song*

Speaking of 'Godspell', we just watched the movie via library rental. After a conversation earlier this month in which said movie was discussed, I realized I had never seen it. After watching previews
I realized for CERTAIN that I had never seen this. Odd, since I participated in a community theatre production of it when I was younger. It was very intriguing, somewhat inspiring, and I was pleased to hear those songs again (although we've been singing 'All for the Best' for days now, with much amusement.)

~TUESDAY~ I was able to complete 2 commissions.
The first one (of which I cannot share a photo of at this time) was complicated. I was attempting to draw an intense and horrific goddess character. I had done sketches, and thought on it for months. I started a new drawing for her but it just would NOT FLOW. So, I decided to get my charcoals in on the action and *POW* she appeared. I took a good photo and manipulated the image, adding in details and highlights digitally. I am quite pleased. When in doubt, change tactics!

Second, I completed a commissioned dog portrait. I am having quite a great time painting animals. It is not how I want to define myself, but I am enjoying them and very open and willing to paint more *wink wink* See below for details.

9x12 portrait of Layla the dog who's obsessed with shadows
Acrylic and colored pencil

I began the shared journey through ink with the online challenge to draw an ink drawing daily. The challenge is identified via the hashtag #inktober. Its fun to see what other people are making as well. (#inktober number 3 is the car drawing above)
#inktopia drawings number 2 and 1

I also teach art on Wednesdays. I get super inspired to make art when I teach it.

This day was mainly spent searching for cars. I took a shiny black 2008 Subaru Outback for a test drive. It was pretty and awesome. But, it was out of the bohemian price range. I have a new appreciation for cars.

Hey, thats today!! (Tomorrow by the time I post this)
More searching for cars. Dad visited, and it was an adventure: dad, David and me, driving all around town looking for the right vehicle. We even visited a seedy little used car lot in a seedy part of town, just for the seedy experience. Gotta have all sorts of experiences - fodder for the art brain!
I also visited the Stutz gallery to see the newly opened residency show with the works of Lukas Schooler and David Hicks. http://stutzartists.com/2014ResidentsShow.html

In light of my new car experience, I'm kicking things into high gear and any support for the studio would be greatly appreciated!

Etsy Link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LydiaBurris

If you don't have the new braincandy yet, please consider getting one!
Brain Candy! Strange little art book zine.
$15 and it comes with a sketch!

I also uploaded some new small original works to Etsy. You can either buy from there or directly though me. Arrangements can be made to see my studio in downtown Indy.
I am also open to making more animal portraits! Pets, favorite creatures, etc!
Current price for Animal Portraits: $150 for an 11x14 and $100 for 9x12.

For those random art and letter enthusiasts, I am offering fun mail art. Inside there are random arty tidbits and things from my studio. Tiny art pieces and/or tiny prints, possible snippits of fun words, poems and prose. One never knows what will end up in these envelopes, but it definitely brings smiles! (also on etsy!)
Crazy Mail

And sometimes I just like to play with my work.
Here is a digital remix of one of my drawings.
Layered realities, layered.
  Don't forget to comment, dance and blow the trumpet.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sow the Seed

Listen to this as you read, let it sow a seed ....

Winter is approaching. My time is filled with class preparations and thoughts of the future and my car begins to smoke again. I wonder how I will ever make it to the mountain I wish to be at, so seemingly far away. No matter how far I get, no matter how fast I run, my destination is ever so far away. The years tick by, the money runs just as dry as it did 10 years ago.
I don't want to look back, I don't want to see the miles I've gone already, I don't want the appreciation of my travel to slow my progress, - again - I don't want to sigh and relax too much, for fear complacency will seep further into my crackling dreams, for all I've done, it seems... I circle back again, to the same old memes, the patterns of myself a never ending fractal of routines ... expanding into larger and more complicated seasons, the details engorging with added responsibilities and reasons.
Cheer for me fiends... As I push this boulder up the hill, over and over and over again.


Today's creativity lay in creating projects for my classes. A morphing drawing for my drawing class, and pattern explorations for the color theory and design class. I should complete my own projects, not only for samples, but for shiggles and gits.

I almost didn't make anything new, but I found a drawing I had started at the beginning of September. So I decided to finish it.

"Sow the Seed"
Pen, watercolor, white ink and white acrylic. Some colored pencil. 
4" x 8" Currently available for $40.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Bisquick is Expired and some colorful bizarre DOODLES

What did I do today my fiends? Did I fall into the lazy haze of the couch to watch shows or complete a jigsaw puzzle on my iphone, or did I stand up and reach for the paints?! I tell you, dear fiends, I did both!

Hannibal makes me GIDDY:
I tend to fly through a tv series with Dave because we bond over an episode of ~something~ during
mealtimes. I never thought watching the tv would be an engaging and fun experience - I always viewed it as a soul sucking device that kills brain-cells - but with the right person, watching shows can be exciting and inspiring, especially when you can pause the show and discuss theories, or parallel themes, or how an actor's certain facial structure confuses and delights you. We are currently watching Hannibal, a spectacular and maddening series, making me giddy with obsession. I am inspired by the surreal vision sequences - and the spectacular master plan of the show's path.
I can't help but think that mom would have loved this show, and I feel a little closer to her spirit when watching it. Is that sick? No, that's just us.
Other shows crossing our dinner plate lately are the new episodes of Bones and Sons of Anarchy. All of the shows we watch pretty much confirms the sneaky suspicion that our culture is obsessed with violence. Perhaps I should include more violence in my art? I have the sick surreal stuff down for sure.

Thats why I'm writing this daily thing right now.

Today I --
- finished the buttons I started yesterday. We don't need a photo of that.
- Colored two 4x6 drawings I did the past few days (on Stillman & Birn sample papers)
Medium: Bic Pen, watercolor, white ink. Both started as automatic drawings.

First one sold. The second is available at $35.

- I also cooked home made soup. I was considering putting dumplings in it, but my bisquick expired in 2011. *pout* I wonder if Hannibal would ever consider using bisquick. Probably not, unless he was challenged to.

Its only 11:15, I know more art will happen - I plan on working on some commission work, and looking at grading some student drawings, and doodling more.. I'll save anything truly interesting for tomorrow's post!

As always, Comment, Share, Rave, Dance if you are so inspired to do so by this post!  What do you think of Hannibal? What do you like to paint watercolors with? Is your bisquick expired?

Things are about to get fiendishly creative

Well my fiends, I'm starting again on that attempted journey of daily art sharing, as a public push for my personal drive - I plan on staring complacency in the face and screaming a resounding "NO!"

There will be more new art, epic explorations and a search for fresh creative experiences.

This journey is for myself, but Im taking the weird bus, so there's plenty of room for all of you to ride along! 

Saturday Sept 27 2014
Here is an update from today! It was a fairly active art day.
There was doodling, networking, button making, and the eating of snacks.
Arty thing no.1

Tonight I showed work at the 3040 gallery, for their 100 under 100 show.
Yes this is the gallery. Its a house gallery. Its got underground ties. You see that little door? Its a goblin door to the underworld. See? Underground ties. 

I brought out some oldies and did some trades. Trying to clear out some old work to make way for new work. I made some extra art buttons for it before going.

Arty thing no.2
I doodled this dreamy bizarreness last night. (Technically yesterday as it was before I slept, yet technically today because I did it at 4 am. HA!) 
Its on 4"x6" sample paper from "Stillman & Birn". I plan on adding color. 
Slowly working on writing stories to give my creations a home. Perhaps I'll get a chance to share with sooner than later.

Artything no. 3
I cannot share yet as its a commission yet to be revealed (also finished in the am 'last night') a hilarious and quick logo for a friend. I'll share it as I get a chance. 

Arty thing no.4 
Ive just commissioned six 12x18 shadow boxes to do sculptural pieces in. I cannot wait to get started! 

NOW, hopefully I can keep this up.

If you read it, leave a comment. If something strikes you, say so! If this inspires a happy little jig, please record it and share the youtube link. :D !! 

I'm outta here. If I do any more art today I shall include it in tomorrow's post.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I am not an artist, I am a data entry hampster.

Greetings. This is just a random public place rant and revelation about the never-ending shuffle of filing data and things. I feel like sharing lately. Be warned.

The beginning of my January has now officially been labeled (by me) as the Epic-Re-Organizational-and-Data-Entry-Explosion.
I am having trouble finding myself in all this paperwork, and have begun to doubt that I was ever an artist. I keep trying to work on art slowly, but then I am reminded that I need to finish entering data so I can calculate my end of year expenses and gains. (I was very behind on my data entry, so this has been going on for several days now)

I've also been discovering the joys of organizational BINDERS.
I decided to re-vamp how I collect and store data concerning my art business events, sales, and etcetera, all with the use of a nice binder and separator sleeves. This led me to create a binder for a Color and Design class I am about to teach.

In the process of organizing my data, I discovered that my filing cabinets were too full, and I spent another 2 days purging and archiving papers into folders that can go in a box in the basement. (Coincidentally, half of those giant folders were full of convention swag that I should really just throw away, but have a feeling I'll want to open it up oneday and look through it - I am sure if I ever do open those folders again, I'll proclaim "Why the hell did I keep this crap?")
Now with more space in my cabinets I began to re-order the categories into more useful categories, made sure important data gets kept, and made sure to put crap I don't want to look at in the secondary filing cabinet in my office closet. (like things about my phone and the best buy payment plan)

I begin to think I've made headway, when I realize I didn't quite finish my end of year tally, I still have some Christmas postcards to send, (some still need addresses), and I've got books, scrap papers and notes, and other miscellany that I need to organize and archive.
I watch a show during dinner, and get distracted from the fact that I still have several commissions in progress, my last semester's art class files need to be purged and re-organized, I've got bags and boxes in my office, and *clunk* there is an exercise bike in my way. When did I become a hoarder? But I'm not! Lets do some art. Oh hey, there's that art piece I was working on for that show... I need to make more than one piece for that show... lets do some sketches... *opens sketchbook* where I find reminders of other things that need to be done, like sign up for the new health insurance or pay a fine and get nothing. I look into that for a bit and make calls. This reminds me I need to file some more... and organize those addresses, and start entering this years expenses so I don't fall behind later.

And *poof* I'm running in circles it still looks like my office exploded.
Yet I am still super proud of my new binder system, and my newly cleaned filing cabinets. I will be able to easily keep track of all my business info so I don't have to feel like a 5 headed hampster running on a wheel when I need to know small details that would otherwise get lost in the shuffle.
Also, I should probably start to file quarterly. Another thing to add to the list of things to do.

And really, I just want to pour paint on myself and dance in the snow while singing the Labyrinth soundtrack.