Friday, April 29, 2011


This is a birthday gift for my beautiful friend.

Maria. Mixed media on canvas panel. 6x6 inches. 2011. Uban.
Side note:  I will be taking commissions.  If interested at all, please inquire.  :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Human Commodity

Human Commodity. Acrylic on canvas. 18 X 24 inches. 2007. Uban.

I posted schtuff from my high school days a couple of posts ago...  So tonight, just because I feel like it, you get to see another!  (Prawn going through a banana...)

"I do not take drugs.  I am drugs."  --Dali.  I begged my mother to take me to the PMA to see his retrospective in 2005 when I was in high school... that show influenced a lot of my high school paintings.  Turns out Dali is one helluva a drug.  Even my mother came out of that exhibition wanting to be a surrealist painter.


"See you in hell." Acrylic on canvas panel. 6 X 6 inches. 2011. Uban.

And just because I saw Brand New last night at the Electric Factory and have these song lyrics ("Some men die under the mountain just looking for gold / Some die looking for a hand to hold") stuck in my head...  "At the Bottom" -- Brand New (Live from Studio)

**EDIT**:  I uploaded a new version of the painting because the last one didn't do it justice.  I put an acrylic glaze on it, which I'm not used to, so I have to take a bunch of pictures until one of them looks like the painting.

16. Alexander McQueen

I've updated the  List of Favorite Mythical Beasts.

Spot #16 on the list goes to Alexander McQueen, the mythical beast himself!  Somewhere in heaven he is dressing up the angels very fancy.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is having an exhibition, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, which will be on view May 4 to July 31.  It should be a gorgeous show!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Entropy is a measure of chaos.

Last year I went to a party.  My friend and I scoped the party for the cutest guy, and the boy we rated cutest came up to me that night.  He's at Drexel now and majors in chemical engineering.  
He said, "Tell me you have a boyfriend?  You're really cute."  
I told him that I didn't.  
He asked me why not, and I said, "...because I am crazy.  Do you have a girlfriend?"  
He tells me, "I'm an asshole... there's a girl who wants to be my girl, but she's not my girl."  
I say, "I'm an asshole too."  
He says, "I don't think so.  You're sweet...  I see you at this party, and I think to myself, this girl... this girl wants one guy to fall in love with and get married and get old with and have a bunch of kids with."  
I say, "How do you know that?"  
He says, "You're that girl, I can tell... I wish I had met you before I stopped believing in girls."
I say, "Do you go here?  What do you major in?"
He says, "Yeah.  Engineering.  You?"
I say, "Art... I am a painter."
He says, "Ha, I used to paint and draw... Then I realized one day I would need to provide for my family."
"Okay, but I'm going to make money."
"Art is patience.  Science is determination."
"Do you live on campus?"
"No.  I live at my parents."
"Do you get along with them?"
"Yeah.  Family is important.  Family is everything."
I touch his necklace.  It's a crucifix.  he jerks away.  "Are you religious?"
"I'm Catholic."
"Really?  I was raised Catholic."
He quotes a bible verse.
"You're strange.  I don't know anymore."
He shrugs, "Faith."
"What are you wearing?"
"Ah-ha, I was playing basketball earlier."
He buys me a drink at the bar, vodka and cranberry.  I give it to my friend who is thirsty when he's not looking.  A girl stops us to give him a hug.
"Who's the girl?"  I ask.
"That's my ex-girlfriend," he says.
"She's kind of hot," I comment.  "...My ex is also here."  I must be drunk now.
He shrugs.  "You know.  I wish I had met you earlier.  You're the kind of girl I could fall in love with."
We're sitting on a couch, and I ask him, "What was your first time like?"
He tells me it was a friend and he was a teenager and they don't talk anymore.
He's on his phone.
"Who is that?"
"It's a girl who thinks she's my girl."
We sit on a dirty couch in the back of an even dirty living room, and talk about even more things that I can't remember.
"I'm not going to kiss you," he says.  "I have your number.  You can go back to your friends.  I'll see you later.  I'm not trying to waste your time.
We talk for awhile, again about things I can't remember.  He kisses me on the cheek.
There is a half of a moment where I think to myself, he's wrong about me, and I am just a college girl who is at a party to have fun.
"It was nice meeting you..."  I get up and go to my friends.
Sometime later when the party is dying down my friend almost fights him.  I can't really remember but it was probably about me.
When I added him on Facebook a few days later, I saw that his girlfriend was very pretty and she thought she was in love with him.  All her profile pictures were the two of them and her info has the date that they started their relationship with "<3"s everywhere.  She must've wrote, "I love you, baby!" and "I miss you, baby!" Half a dozen times in the past month on his wall, and he replied with the same sort of cutesy nonsense.  It was odd thinking that he picked me to try to cheat on her with.  It was odd thinking he could go to a party and tell another girl that his girlfriend wasn't his girl.  I thought to myself that I could destroy her world with a simple Facebook message, but I never sent it.  I rationalized it, by thinking who hasn't been "the other girl" at some point?

He texted me today over a year later that he was on Temple's campus and someone mentioned Tyler, and that made him think of me.  What a crazy world...  What a crazy unapologetic world.

Entropy:  Betta Fish Streaming.  Acrylic on canvas.  16x20 inches.  2007.  Uban.

I made this in high school.  I was seventeen.  I was still invincible.  I was certain I was the shit.  I was still certain there was a god.  There is the bracelet from the hospital when they tried to kick me out of school.  There are the barrettes I used to wear when I cut my hair short and felt insecure.  There is the tie that a boy let me have.  There is the watch my grandma bought me for my birthday that I wore everyday until the strap broke.  There are the slips of paper that got me out of class because before I was sad all the time that I wanted to be perfect and before I realized I'd never be but neither would anyone else.  There is the fish that I failed in the sixth grade and my brother had to throw out.  There are the cranes I used to fold until I had a jar with a thousand of them.  There is the strand of fake pearls I used to wear before I got real ones.  There is the statue of St. Joseph, the saint my parents pray to every day that one day their kids will marry well.  There is the tape dispenser that I always remember my mother having in her desk.  The heart that I remember painting and re-painting.  My parents told me this painting was me exactly... because it was a mess.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Conversations during Easter weekend

Skull (from life).  Oil on canvas.  10x10 inches.  2011.  Uban.

I went to my parents' house in Bensalem for Easter weekend.  It was mostly typical, but I ended up having an interesting conversation with my older brother and a neighbor about how weird dating is.  The concept of dating has always weirded me out, but this is America (Uh-merica!!), and that's what we do here... otherwise, I would be waiting to be courted or preparing my dowry of goats for an arranged marriage, I've gone along with it.

My neighbor put it in the best possible terms, "Whenever I take a girl out, I am thinking to myself the entire time, in three months, we're not going to talk anymore..."  He agrees with me how strange dating is.  You are expected to get to know someone and be intimate with this person and tell them stories from your childhood and what's your parents are like and minor personality flaws that make you a bit insecure, etc... then it doesn't work out, you no longer talk to this person, and then you find someone else to do this thing with, and then after that person you do it again with someone else.  You  repeat this process until you find somebody tolerable to be in a relationship with.  Casual dating doesn't feel so casual to me...

My neighbor and I hate this idea.  We both harbor the same fantasy where we start off as friends with someone and then eventually somehow fall in love with them.  My brother told us we were retarded, "So you want to make friends to fall in love with?"  Yes, in fact, I do.

It's silly, I guess.  Okay, I know it's silly.  My view of relationships is skewed, and it's not my fault.  I've just had an unrealistic family life.  My parents have been happily married for 23 years, and they've never been married to anybody else but each other.  They knew each other for years, and then, one day my mother read a letter my dad had written, and she was hooked by his prose.  They began a letter exchange, and finally realized that they loved each other enough that they wanted to get married.  For once, I won't feel guilty about blaming my parents for the way I am.

Being a romantic is not easy.  Sure it's pretty to look at, but it takes patience.  I didn't start dating until I was 18 years old and in college.  The first boy I dated, I fell madly in love with.  We talked about marriage and raising a family right out of college.  We talked about how we'd handle finances and sharing bank accounts and how divorce is not an option and how we planned to parent our lot of future children.  We talked about what we'd do when our parents were older and needed our support.  We talked about genetic diseases in our family and my Catholic family and his not-Catholic family and who would cook dinner and drive the kids to soccer practice...  I was naive then.  It took me a while, but I realized it wasn't going to be this easy for me.

I was wrong about a lot, but I was very wrong about what I wanted.  I realized things about myself:  I don't want to get married until I am at least 30, and I don't want to have children until I am at least 32.  I want to be an artist.  I want a career, and hopefully save up some college tuition money for these kids that I've been planning to have.  This means that I have given myself at least decade to find a decent man who can tolerate my clumsiness and laugh at my jokes.  While a decade sounds pretty sweet, I mean heck, no pressure, ten years is plenty of time to find a nice, charming man.  This ten years of leeway also makes serious dating for someone as romantic as I am really impractical at the moment.

I've had my bouts with casual dating, and the more I do it, I feel like it's not my cup of tea... reasons as stated in the quote by my neighbor.  But then, serious dating doesn't seem the way to go either.  I mean, it's just plenty awkward to have to tell someone who's looking for something serious, that I can't be that serious for another decade.  In the serious dating world, I am a liability and have commitment issues.  In the casual dating world, I am too serious because as much as I don't want to be, hooking up and getting to know someone that I will not be talking to in three months, makes me mighty jaded.  My brother has commented that I get too emotionally involved in relationships that aren't serious.

I am cursed.  As much as I know my brother's right about how much of my heart I'm willing to give away, I will continue to make these same mistakes.  And I will do it because of how beautiful I know love is.  I think casual dating freaks me out so much because it doesn't make love a priority, when love has always been a priority of mine.  So maybe the timing, along with many other things, was off with the first guy I wanted all those things with.  But I know one day I'll meet someone with whom I'll look forward to watching the evening news and to tending the tomatoes and basil, and I won't have to pretend to be fine being a casually undefined " potential something" with him, or have to feel smothered by the thought that he doesn't understand why I want to be an artist.

Enchanted Delirium... because somethings you can't forget...

Enchanted Delirium (unfinished). Oil on canvas under-painting. 12x18. 2011. Uban.
This is an under-painting waiting to dry so I can glaze it... T'was for my Painting: Materials and Techniques class.  The same imagery was used in a pop-up book that I wrote about in "Perhaps, we shall take lessons from Cee Lo Green".

"More is more, Charlene... More is more... That's not true for everyone, but it's true for you."  --My painting professor.  Apparently, I was never meant to be a minimalist.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Zombie Lust.

Me <3 Brain.  Acrylic on canvas.  18"X24".  2011.  Uban.

I also am back on Facebook just in time for finals week...  bahaha.  Feel free to add me, but a small caveat... it's my personal profile so if you add me your FB feed is probably going to get blown up with some really stupid pictures of me.  Charlene Quime Uban.