First Friday Joy

This past Friday's "First Friday" was beautiful- weather wise!
Colorful leaf piles were something to treasure, especially walking around in the lovely neighborhood of the Oregon District- that perfect, historical strip of classical architecture near downtown Dayton.
Leaves! Yes!
I jumped into a bunch of crunchy madness, skipped on through, and photographed like a crazy madwoman.
Short, bittersweet autumn simply brings out the childish relish in me!
Saw amazing paintings, handmade vintage product, and tasted delights from local artists.

Ah, little old Dayton, your surprises always astound me....

I went inside of a neat place called Grassroots.
It's not entirely new, having been opened since July, but they have started joining in on the First Friday craze sometime ago.
In the boondocks of the Oregon District, it was a place I missed on previous occasions.
Glad to have spotted this cozy down/upstairs business that not only features a gallery and DIY shop, but has after school programs for children, wellness workshops, reiki healing, aromatherapy, and many more exciting events!
Their mission: to emphasize a love of our planet, natural health, and wellness, and unique enrichment opportunities for children, teens, and adults of all ages.
Definitely a place to explore beyond First Friday happenings!

Cherry Fullam was their featured artist for the month.
Acrylic paintings of thick application, eccentric subject matter, and glossy varnish, I found myself quite at home amongst vibrant large and small scaled work.

This particular painting fascinated me.
In heavy tribal makeup, a woman stares boldly out at the viewer.
With bare shoulders and a naked chest, this is not a sexually riveting work or the desire of the male gaze.
By the manner of how she is posed, it is more so a harrowing display of womanly pride and sophistication. That though the primal face raises questions, the story of this captured action on canvas inflicts a secret envy and compassion.
Is this about history?
About tracing one's ancestral roots?
Finding some sort of connection between races?
The subject is a white woman, but her "tattooed face" is purposefully stylized in traditions from tribes in parts of Africa, South America, and even Mexico.
The background of warm rich reds and browns heighten the overall presence of this woman who inflicts not fear, but honor, dignity, and integrity.
A search for one's connection...

These are two of Fullam's digital portraits.
Interest in facial expression, minimal color, and contour line, these computer illustrations are reminders of comic books and cartoons.
The above portrait has more of an expressive action while the bottom is more solemn and impassive.

This one's called, "My Family Portrait."
How could one not laugh aloud at seeing Star Wars inspired individuals and seeing this ironic title?
Goes to show that Hollywood can influence us more than it should.
Whether this is making light of that fact or showcasing serious remark, this painting was one of the highlights of her small body of varied work.

Stained glass style painting.
A magnified insect flying upon a background of crystallized shapes and colors, Fullam creates a narrative that these often smashed, seemingly unworthy creatures should be cherished as poignant, beautiful sparks from Mother Nature's womb.

This was one of my favorite Fullam pieces.
A story dying to be deciphered.
The Disney princesses have been Coraline'd!
If you haven't watched Coraline, then you must! In Tim Burton like composition, the film is beyond strange and scary. Too dark for a little girl's enjoyment even with Dakota Fanning voicing the lead character.
In a way, I've always thought the Disney philosophy quite ironic.

Fancy, eh?
Definitely cool bowls to put chips and guacamole for the next big sports bash!
Or cookies and chocolate goodies.
They're made of old records with the artist clearing acknowledging in her statement that she only uses broken, non-playing records to create these one of a kind conversation starters!
These are featured in the DIY shop, a store for people with an ardor for retro flair and vintage inspired goods.

Kid's aprons!
I just love these.
If I had a kid baker or artist (okay, not an artist), they would look nifty and professional in these! Heehee!
Though they would get messed up fast- so maybe I would only let my kid where these for photo ops only! ;)

If you knew that this was a man bag, applaud yourself!
I thought it was a comfortable, good quality pillowcase with a secret pocket to stash chocolate in.
Well, I guess it's apparent where my mind was at.
In the gutter as usual...

Look what happens when you open up a little can of epic awesomeness?
Colorful, creepy stitched creatures!
Ahhhhhh! Run for your lives!

Do as the ladybug says or no luck for you....

"Owl Love You Forever" notepads?
Freaking adorable!
They come in a set of 8.
But how could anyone write or send these out?

Cutesy owl and "Alice In Wonderland" inspired tote bags!

Who would want to rest their heads on these funky owl pillows?
The fabric scraps used are creative, unique, and fun!

This bag is sooooo freaking adorable!
And if it's still around, I must buy it!
Pink is a chic, rocking background for the busy, paisley patterned owls.
Now waiting on some rubber duck inspired work....

Pop Cycle!
More retrospective quality art.
Using recycled materials, the artist, Gail creates wild neon colored picture frames using what looks like cardboard box and comic book cut outs!

Gail also makes these must have pieces.
A real treat to see comic women heroes/villains on jewelry, especially hand made.
Miniature square wood chip pendants feature dated comic book pages and vintage quality text.

After leaving Grassroots, I stepped into Gallery 510 and happened to see the greeting receptionist's palette on the table.
I love looking at palettes.
Treasured art all in itself.
Sometimes they hold a bigger story than the canvas of which it was dispensed upon.
Eager and enthused, I had to take a peek!
She had washed it a day before, but there were chunky residues of color, of paint that could still be used for another session.
That is the joy in oils.
Moisture stays for almost forever it seems.
We had a discussion about art too.
She sighed about not having the time.
Gallery takes much of her schedule.
But she told me the best places to draw figures for cheap- Monday nights at Sinclair Community College for $7 and Saturday mornings for free at the Cannery w/ tip for models!
Other than that, I wished her a pleasant evening and hoped she got more time to make art!
As for me, my mind is spinning with ideas...

Of course, I had to finish off the night with a treat!
At Press Coffeehouse (where I actually returned a chai tea!), I devoured a creamy, rich hot chocolate and a raspberry centered pastry!
Very scrumptious.
Though I must admit, I did have my usual good warm chai tea and iced lemon pound cake two hours prior at Starbucks.
My poor diet....
Anyways, First Friday always a fun time!
As the days get colder, one wonders if my walking feet will keep journeying on down.
Snow and ice are no joke in Dayton....


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