Wednesday, July 29, 2009

DAMage Report - Rent to Own ART?!?

Rent to Own Art is a new concept that appears to be gaining notice. Elizabeth Darrow in Wilmington, NC sent out a circular letter to her mailing list of friends, fans and former buyers.

That letter began: “Art – Rent With the Option to Buy!” She offered to rent paintings and collages at a rate of $50 per month. (Her larger canvases often sell for $1,000 or more.) After a month, people could turn in the artwork for a different piece, or extend their rental time.

“If you decide you want to purchase the work, we can work out monthly payments that will be mutually agreeable,” Darrow wrote. As in other R2O agreements, the rent would be applied to the final purchase price. “These are unusual times that call for unusual proposals,” Darrow pointed out.

Similar services exist in larger cities, such as HangArt in San Francisco or the Art Rental and Sales Gallery of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

I'm not sure if i think this is a brilliant marketing strategy that will help put much needed money into the pockets of artists or if i think this is a long term nightmare on how art may eventually be perceived and valued, if the "Rent to Own Art" catches on. Fine Art has been long regarded as something unique, special, investment. Even the creations of the worst artist are regarded as something with merit. (Maybe not a lot, but there is always the nod to the effort.)

The concept of "Renting" automatically infers disposable, or something of lesser value. You don't rent to own a ferrari. You don't rent to own a swimming pool. You don't rent to own INVESTMENTS. Renting, right or wrong, has connotations of purchasing something of "less valuable." Do we really want fine art to fall into the realm of Rooms to Go and Walmart art?

Many struggling artists already allow their patrons to buy their art in payment plans if the art is pricey. I've done this myself many times, But once you buy it, it's yours. You don't get to swap it out. The owner can sell it to another person if they choose if they are looking to make money or no longer want the piece of art.

Good idea that allows people who often can't afford art to purchase it or bad idea that turns the perception of Art into a cheap commodity?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Guestblogging at Erotic Muses

Join me today over at Erotic Muses blog. I'll be guestblogging about pushing sexual boundaries in writing for the incredibly talented Lisa Andel. There'll be a random drawing from the comments posted for a prize. Winner will have a choice in what they would like. I'll be posting early, then hanging out there all afternoon. (I have to chase a diva with my camera at lunchtime.)

Also - posting a pic of me wearing the uber cool bootz Lisa sent me from England. Wahoooo. I love bootz!

Friday, July 24, 2009

New York, New York

New York keeps hitting my radar lately. My favorite Diva is coming back into town next week and I'll be running around taking pictures of her on Monday with various vip's. I have this sneaky feeling that i'm going to be on call all week long. She is bringing in a bunch of international performers from New York with her to perform at the end of the week.

I got a call yesterday from one of them that I've known for years and I agreed to a dinner date after rehearsals thursday night. Okay - so it is totally a "friend" dinner date but shaddup and let me have my moment of fantasy that i'm going on a date with a famous star. Heh. Seriously, we haven't hungout in over a year and he's one of my drinking pals - so it will be great fun to shoot the shit for several hours and catchup.

Monday I'll be guestblogging for the wonderful Lisa Andel over at Erotic Muses. I think I'll write about exploring and pushing sexual boundaries and how that can impact writing. One of the hardest things to write and keep it interesting and not formulated is sex scenes in erotica. I'm also still taking any questions y'all might want answered. Need them by Saturday so I time to incorporate the answers into the post.

I'll be doing a drawing from those that comment and giving away a prize (any requests on what you'd like as a giveaway?)

Hope you'll join me on Monday and chat. Last time we did this it was a blast! :D

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

DAMage Report - Public Art... It'll Grow on You

Public art is one of those sticky wickets that emphasizes the subjectiveness of art.
It is wonderfully cool in that it is art that is completely free and for the public. Usually public art is selected that is symbolic, iconic, makes a statement relevant to the city, or beautifies an area. No matter how gorgeous a piece of public art may be - you will have someone... or many someones that hate it with a burning passion. Art is one of those things that will never please all the people all the time.Granted, there is some ugly ass public art out there. And Denver, which has over 300 pieces of public art definitely has its fair share of eyebrow raising art. Although I suspect that some of it was intended as humorous. Come on, not ALL art takes itself seriously. The raygun and the gumby looking aliens in Denver have to be tongue in cheek, intended to bring a smile more than an introspective examination of "art."

One new piece of public art has been hitting the news over and over for the past several months as the controversy over this piece refuses to die down. The Blue Mustang, a 32-foot tall
fiberglass sculpture by New Mexico artist Luis Jiménez, is located at the Denver airport and definitely grabs the eye. Jiménez was known for sculptures that embodied Southwestern and Hispanic themes. "The Blue Mustang was proposed for the airport because of the role it played it symbolized the West and because horses were the original form of long-distant transport."

The sculpture is majestic and its placement carefully planned as it stands guard in front of one of the last remaining open spaces near Denver. “Mustang” has been criticized for
everything, from
its placement near the airport to its glowing red eyes and visible rib cage. The horse’s physical appearance stands to represent wild horses fending for themselves on the plains and the red eyes pay homage to Jimenez’s father who worked in a neon sign factory during the artist’s youth.

Unfortunately the artist was killed while working on this piece, his largest sculpture. Tie that tragedy with the glowing red eyes and the challenging stance and is was probably inevitable that it has been dubbed Satan's steed and Blucifer, among other things.
The outrage over this work of art is puzzling. The sculpture isn't ugly. It is stark, powerful and demands attention. And it does embody the fierce spirit of both the mustang and the old west.

I suspect that over time the citizens of Denver will grow comfortable with their Mustang, much like the citizens of Paris eventually embraced the Eiffel Tower, and Copenhaven their Little Mermaid. Okay - the latter maybe not so much considering they are shipping her off to Shanghai.

The question arises - what should the parameters be for public art? Are they strict enough or too loose? According to one article, 21st century artists are dummying up their public art in order to avoid controversy. Denver has a policy that no public art that has been accepted and displayed will be removed for at least five years to allow the public a chance to become acclimated to it. Controversy isn't a bad thing. It creates dialog, awakens the mind of the public, and creates an awareness of art in lives that are often focused solely on survival... and reality tv shows.
It seems to me that the boundaries to be placed around public art are fairly simple.
Able to be viewed by ALL the public without being demeaning or age inappropriate.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

oh yeah baby! It looks like I bagged it today.

This is the actual show i'll be promoting. Tough job but someone has to do it. :P

Research: Public Art

A horse is a horse of course... i'm just not getting why everyone hates this piece of art

Good goddess - there is a website dedicated to public art controversies!

heh... a knitted bunny viewed from space? oye.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dreamy jobs

Meeting tomorrow about possibly doing some work for this show. Do I want it? Can you say "Hell YEAH?" Cross your fingers, legs, toes, eyes and braid your hair for me.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

First Draft Excerpt - Angelic Kiss

Excerpt from the new story in first draft form, which means there are definitely grammatical errors lurking. This isn't the beginning of the story - just an excerpt that will go in near the beginning. I'm still reworking and fiddling with the beginning - one of the hardest parts to work up in a story along with the ending. :P Let me know what you think.

Excerpt: Angelic Kiss

Spero placed a gentle kiss on her lips. The touch of his lips was sweet and left the cool, tingly aftertaste of fresh mint tickling her mouth. Eyes still closed, Sara inched forward for another taste. Her eyes flashed open in alarm as she stumbled forward into nothing, discovering that Spero had taken a step… a distressfully large step back from her. The satisfied look on his face reassured her that a sudden bout of stinky breath on her part hadn’t driven him away.

“That was nice. But could we do it again? Say for a little longer?” She smiled coaxingly, taking a step closer to him while wiggling her eyebrows suggestively.

“I like you.” Spero responded with a hint of reproach in his voice. He took another step back.

“Okay. I like you too.” Sara gave him a puzzled smile, then tilted her head slightly and teased, “typically that leads to more kisses and longer kisses.” She took another step forward, then huffed out an exasperated breath as he once again stepped back from her. Was it body odor? She had showered that morning. And used deodorant. Oh no. Maybe angels didn’t like kissing? Was it considered sinful? Oh god… ooops… golly – did that mean sex would be instant internment in hell? Oh, that would suck. Not to mention put a big fat crimp on the lusting for an angel thing.

“I like you…” Spero repeated hesitantly, before adding, “…and respect you. I don’t want to take advantage of you.” His perfectly formed mouth tilted in a bashful smile while he watched her with those amazing silvery grey eyes.

Sara quelled the urge to roll her eyes. Spero was shy. It was cute. Sort of. She had a sneaky suspicion that she was going to have to take the role of aggressor in the relationship if she planned to be kissed - and more - with any kind of regularity. Not that they had a relationship. Could a human and an angel even have a relationship? And where did you find the answers to those types of questions? Was there a Wiki-pious?

Glancing down at the toes of her red high tops so he wouldn’t see the amusement in her eyes and possibly feel being insulted, Sara said, “I promise I won’t be taken advantage of if you kiss me again. And I’ll still respect you in the morning too.” She couldn’t hide the tiny lilt of laughter that crept into her voice. This guy… angel… whatever… was just so entertaining.

Sara watched in disbelief as Spero’s shoes slid yet a step back from her. Unbelievable. It was just a damn kiss, not a marriage proposal! Okay, fine. She could take a hint that was whapped over her head, several times in rapid succession. The guy definitely did NOT want to kiss her again. Every ounce of humor fled as she glanced up, fisting her hands on her hips.

“Why the hell did you kiss me in the first place if you didn’t want to?” She demanded, cringing inside as she felt her cheeks flush in embarrassment. She’d practically thrown herself at him after his nearly plutonic peck at her mouth. God! Did they come anymore pathetic than her? He “liked” her. Hello. Key word for I just want to be friends, but in her oblivious state of angel lust she had taken it to be an invitation for more. Where was the nearest toilet? She so needed to flush her head a half dozen times.

“I did want to Sara. I told you, I like you.” Spero said, eyeing her curiously. It was obvious her sudden mood swing had him baffled.

At least he had stopped backing away from her predatory stalker self. Mentally kicking herself repeatedly, Sara shook her head in self disgust. It wasn’t his fault. There was something so innocent and openly trusting about Spero, that she knew he hadn’t intended to mislead her about his intentions. It was her own damn fault that she misread his signals, thinking he wanted HER, when all he really wanted was a friend. Her hormones were to blame. It was a crystal clear that it has been way too long since she’d been laid when she resorted to projecting lust on an angel for cripe’s sake.

“Look, I get it.” Sara said, her lips curved into a wry smile as she waved a hand in the air dismissively, “I apologize that I took a simple kiss to mean more than I should have. We’re all good, Spero.” Sara glanced around the bar as if an excuse to escape the awkward situation she was in might jump out and rescue her. She didn’t see an excuse, but she did notice the dark man, dressed in black jeans and t-shirt, leaning against a wall, watching her and Spero with unusual intensity. As soon as her eyes met his, he flashed a crooked grin and started a slow prowl in her direction. He didn’t walk her way, he glided. The hot look in his eyes set off a sizzling flush inside her. Uh-oh. If that wasn’t trouble headed her way then she didn’t know what was. One embarrassment an evening was her quota. Forget the excuse. It was time to cut bait and run.

Grabbing Spero’s hand, Sara rapidly shook it as she blurted in super-fast speak, “Well, it’s been fun Spero. Thanks for the kiss… I mean the drink. I need to head home. Maybe I’ll run into you again sometime. Good luck with all the angel stuff.”

Flashing him a falsely bright smile, she twisted to hurry away, but was brought up short when he didn’t release her hand, causing her to do a little bouncing stumble. His grip tightened as she frantically tried to tug it free.

“I don’t understand,” Spero frowned, ignoring her attempts to free her hand. “Why would you want to end our date so soon after we just agreed we like each other? Have I said something to offend you?”

“Date?” Sara squawked, gaping at him. Oh boy. Talk about mixed signals. Now she was completely confused. She had no time to process that thought since a pair of very warm hands settled on her hips and she felt the heat and hardness of a body press up against her from behind. She froze. No, no need to see who it was. She knew without turning her head, it was the dark stranger who had been watching them. His sensual aura that had screamed at her from across the room, wrapped itself around her like a scalding hot blanket.

“Who’s your pretty friend Spero?” a voice purred next to her ear as his hands flexed on her hips. A warm breath tickled the hairs along her neck causing her to tremble as her entire body blushed, from the tips of her toes to the top of her head. She had just been dipped into a vat of molten heat. The deep, accented voice touched her in places inside that it had no business touching. Especially while she still had her hand in the grasp of an angel.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Some updates and mark your calendars

I'll be guest blogging over at Erotic Muses on Monday, July 27th. Last time I did this y'all blew away the number of comments on a guest post. Would be cool to do that again. Heehee!
I am taking questions about erotica, about writing, about women and sexuality, or basically anything you want to ask.

I have one so far from GingaPaul "Why is it [Erotic stories] better than movies or pictures?"
I'm expecting another, potentially embarrassing one, from the incredibly talented Shelley Munro. Since she's known me for a long time, there is noooo telling what it might be. :P

Send me your questions and help me come up with a topic for the post that would interest y'all.
I'm leaning toward discussing women breaking down sexual taboos since it is something i've wanted to dig into deeper for awhile. Erotica can have a direct impact on how women view themselves sexually and can create a comfort level in exploring one's boundaries. What do you think? Too complext for a guest blog? :D

The show went really well last night. I think with the news that George Lucas already has permission to build his new office complex and a museum in the Presidio that the debate ended at a draw. It was quite a lively discussion though and fun. I need to find more things that Johnny disagrees with me on.

For writers who haven't seen it yet - Samhain is taking short story submissions for a series of Angel and Demons books. I've got my story outline done and characters named (thanks Anil for the help with that) and am looking forward to this wicked little tale. Fingers crossed that it gets accepted. I think the storyline is original enough to entice and will be hot enough to deliver a little seat wiggling heat.

Since there doesn't seem to be any info on the submission that i can link to - i'm reposting the call here:

Angels for whom heaven is not enough. Demons searching for redemption in a mortal’s arms. Seraphim, nephilim, heaven’s warriors or creatures from the pits of hell—love could be waiting for them all.
Samhain Publishing invites you to step into the light or embrace the forces of darkness with stories of angels and demons from any mythology. Will your angels be wicked and your demons be wanton? Only you can decide on which side of heaven or hell they’ll fall.

Samhain Publishing is seeking submissions for their Spring 2010 demons and angels themed anthology. Stories can be of any genre or heat level, and submissions are open to M/F, M/M, or multiples thereof, but all submissions must feature either an angel or demon theme (or both!) as integral to the story. Submissions should be 20,000 to 30,000 words in length.

Submissions are open to all authors previously published with Samhain as well as authors aspiring to publish with Samhain. Submissions must be new material, previously published material will not be considered. Additionally, manuscripts previously submitted, whether individually or for past anthologies, will not be considered either. Please be aware that manuscripts submitted to this anthology cannot be resubmitted at a later date unless by invitation from an editor. However, submissions with merit for possible publication at Samhain are and will be passed to interested Samhain editors even if not chosen for the angels and demons anthology.

Chosen manuscripts will be published as separate ebooks under their individual titles in Spring 2010 but will be combined as one print title for Winter 2010 print release.

To submit a manuscript for consideration please include the full manuscript (of 20,000 to 30,000 words) with a comprehensive 2-3 page synopsis in addition to a letter of introduction/query letter which details the genre, heat level and story length. Full manuscripts are required.

As well, when you send your manuscript, please be sure to use the naming convention Title_AngelsDemons_MS and Title_AngelsDemons_Synopsis. This will ensure that your submission doesn’t get missed in the many submissions we receive, and makes it easy for me to find in my ebook reader.

Submissions are open until November 1st and final decision will be made by November 16th.

Submissions and questions can be directed to Angela James at Please put Angels and Demons Anthology in the subject line.

And finally - Gaddy has a steamy poem up that is worth reading. I can see this one as more of a song, although that may not be what he intended when he wrote it. I so need to do another co-writing with him again.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

DAMage Report - We Don't Need No Stinking Museum

Apparently the bowling alley in the Presidio in San Francisco has a great deal of sentimental value to a large number of people. An Art Museum - not so much. The citizens are passionate enough about their bowling alley and decaying army base and parking lots that they have hawked a big wet loogie on the offer of a world-class museum complex that would house works by Warhol, Richter, Calder and more from the Donald Fisher collection.

There are of course two sides to every story. The residents want to preserve the historical integrity of the area which is the site of a Spanish settlement and former U.S. military base. The main argument seems to be that the museum complex would compromise the rundown area. Ironically, the Presidio Trust still plans to move forward with revitalization plans for the Main Post building, including building a lodge, rehabilitating and expanding the historic theater. So they want it untouched? Apparently the hard-on is mostly for Fisher, the founder of GAP. The Fishers had scaled back their plans to accomodate preservationists, but opponents were not satisfied.

One of the opposers to the museum plan, Nancy Ewart wrote "This wasn’t a free gift but a 21st century version of a land grab with the addition of a 119-room hotel, meeting space, a restaurant and a bar; two new theaters and the creation of a heritage’s a real mistake to assume that everybody is honest, ethical and eco-friendly where there’s money to be made."

Let me think about this - we have a neglected historical area in a tourism destination city. A wealthy patron of the arts has offered to turn into another tourism destination for the city and the residents are wallowing in conjecture, maybes, what-ifs and ...honesty? Is San Francisco recession free or something? They apparently have no interest in another means of drawing dollars to a deprived area of their city. Or any interest in supporting the arts.

Matthew Baume comments "Now the Presidio can return to what it once was and always shall be: a gigantic, partially-beautiful piece of land that nobody remembers exists."

Does anyone have Mr. Fisher's number? I have a nice southern city that would just love to have some wealthy patron toss money our way in support of the arts.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Guest Blogging at Erotic Muses on July 27
Mark your calendars y'all and let's flood the blogsite with comments and discussion like we did last time. Any topics in particular anyone would like discussed in regards to erotic writing?
I don't mind including a question and answer portion if you have any questions you've been bouncing around inside your heads.

And thnx Lisa Andel for asking me to return. Wahoo! :P

Monday, July 6, 2009

Art that imbeds itself in your mind and heart

This weekend while browsing through a gallery with a friend, i ran across the art work of a rather phenominal artist. Lucy Hunnicutt paints folk art that is not only rich with storytelling and humor, but also quite brilliant in use of symbols and historical references toward religious themes/tales.

Her paintings don't just hold you captive... they make you feel good. Not a lot of art can do that - evoke a sense of heartfelt pleasure while viewing it. I've had to limit my collecting to local artists because face it - any free cash i may have for art usually funnels into my own work. But this is an artist i covet. I want one of her paintings. I want it more than i want icecream on a hot, blistery day. And you can bet I'll be tracking her until i can get one.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

DAMage Report - Arts and Antiquities Tug-a-War

An ongoing controversy over ownership of ancient artifacts is in the limelight right now due to the opening last month of the Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece. Two centuries ago, Lord Elgin, serving as ambassador to the Ottoman empire, hauled away half of the Parthenon frieze and various other pieces of the historic site. The Elgin Marbles as they became known have been housed in the British Museum since the 1800's and provided enormous inspiration to generations. The original reason the British gave for retaining possession of the famous Marbles was that Greece didn't have the facilities to adequately care for or display the art. With the opening of the new Acropolis museum that argument no longer stands. And the Greeks want their marbles back.

It raises the question of who exactly does looted or "repossessed" historical art and artifacts belong to. The country in possession of it or the country of origin? Obviously great art and historically relevant works "belong to the world" but that doesn't resolve the question of who gets to claim ownership of it. Possession nine tenths of the law or should countries like Greece be allowed to keep and preserve their cultural history? The question has the museums of the world in quite a pickle. As one article in the Economist states:

"As curators all over the world will see it, those who call for the permanent return of the Parthenon sculptures from London are arguing for international museums to be emptied.

Many other collections have a more dubious provenance than the marbles—think of the British Museum’s Benin bronzes, seized in a punitive raid in Nigeria; of the Pergamon altar removed from Turkey and now in Berlin; of Chinese treasures carried off during the Boxer rebellion and again during the civil war; of hundreds of works in Russian museums that were snatched from their owners in the Bolshevik revolution.

You cannot go very far in righting those wrongs without entangling the world’s museums in a Gordian knot of restitution claims. That is why, in December 2002, 18 of the world’s leading directors—from the Louvre to the Hermitage and from the Metropolitan Museum to the Getty Museum—argued for a quid pro quo. The Munich declaration, as it is called, asserts that today’s ethical standards cannot be applied to yesterday’s acquisitions."

It is definitely a tricky problem when looking at the bigger picture. Public sentiment, including mine, seems to run toward giving Greece her artifacts back. As Brooke London pointed out to me yesterday, if another country came over and tried to take our Liberty Bell, saying they could provide better care for it (we did crack that bad boy after all) we would all be up in arms in a skinny minute. Take our historical artifacts? Like hell!