Burn The Witch: He Who Cast The First Stone

One thing you have to understand about artists is that they typically are regular people like you and me. In fact, if you were to see them out and about you wouldn’t even realize what passion and creativity lies within them.

Having said that, let’s start the introductions with 40 year old Helen Acosta who teaches in the Communication Department at Bakersfield College. 

Regular job, right?

However let’s add a few more things to her resume. When she’s not busy with her “day job”  her and her husband produce and direct plays. As if that’s not enough, she also makes time for her art. Helen has been working with a new media each year for the past three years and is still struggling to find her own style.

She began with computer graphic art then moved to watercolors and recently started working with canvas. Even though she hasn’t quite found her “style” it’s definitely not something she’s discouraged about. In fact, when asked what the best compliment she’s ever received Helen commented, “I like it when people tell me my work is unique.  I had a friend tell me that he saw one of my pieces, didn’t know it was mine but, since it was so different from anything else in the show it must have been mine.  He got a little closer and, sure enough, the tag said it was.”

Helen says about her favorite colors to work with,"I love deep, rich color:  blues and greens together, oranges and purples, bright pink and red tones together.  But I also love to work tone-on-tone.  Lately I've enjoyed working with multicolored metal leaf and finding ways to bring the colors of the leaf into my work."

Helen says about her favorite colors to work with,"I love deep, rich color: blues and greens together, oranges and purples, bright pink and red tones together. But I also love to work tone-on-tone. Lately I've enjoyed working with multicolored metal leaf and finding ways to bring the colors of the leaf into my work."

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Former English teacher Susan Reep didn’t have it easy growing up with a former painting professor as a father. So when he told her that her art was REALLY good she didn’t only consider it a compliment, but a challenge. Susan states, “I have a lot of ground to make up, having started so late with no formal training.”

See, Susan doesn’t want to just be remembered as the daughter who’s father’s paintings hang in museums everywhere, including the Smithsonian. Or the daughter of the man who’sbeen featured in a video about WWII artists. She wants to be known for her own art. When asked if there was a specific one she’d like to be known for she said, “So far, a collage named Blue Moon, which is hanging in my show at the Metro Gallery, is the work that springs to mind.  It represents so much personal about me.  It also came together quickly and just as I had envisioned, and that doesn’t often happen.  The art takes on it’s own life sometimes but this one behaved.  To me, it’s a balance of serenity and solitude, adventurousness and openness, and the unexpected which is pretty much my personality.  At least according to me.  Others may have a different opinion.”

Susan lives by what Chinese artist Liu Chun-Hau says when he explains feelings and reactions to art work, “Artistic creation is not mere decoration. The artist has to convey his inspiration to others while allowing them freedom of interpretation.”

Susan lives by what Chinese artist Liu Chun-Hau says when he explains feelings and reactions to art work, “Artistic creation is not mere decoration. The artist has to convey his inspiration to others while allowing them freedom of interpretation.”

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When Micky Piercy was working on her art piece titled, “The Crucifixion of Mother Earth” she never realized how controversial it was going to become. But when asked which art work she’d like to be known for (and why) it’s the first piece that came to mind. 

“It’s my latest piece for the local all female show Burn the Witch IV, and one that caused a slight controversy here in Bakersfield for some individuals who thought it offensive. These persons decided to take it down from display and put it in the bathroom causing some damage to the piece in the process. Even still I took the piece home, repaired it and had it back in time for the press preview and the show. I wanted those other artist to know that even though we may not always be understood we can still be the better person,” she explains.

Micky says, "If you want to find something to do think outside the box and make it happen for you. There's loads to do if you use your imagination and stop waiting for something exciting to happen."

Micky says, "If you want to find something to do think outside the box and make it happen for you. There's loads to do if you use your imagination and stop waiting for something exciting to happen."

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*This is the second blog post in the Burn The Witch series.

Click HERE for the first post: Burn The Witch: The History

Burn The Witch: The History

What is Burn The Witch:   Burn The Witch is an annual all-female artist show held in Bakersfield, Ca. Founded by local artist, Jen Raven, this is the show’s 4th year. Originally held at The Empty Space theatre & gallery on Oak Street.

A Little History:  One year I decided to help promote the very unknown, very underground arts show  called Burn The Witch trhough my blog.

I started this thing called a “Twinkielicious Field Trip.”

Basically, I’d use my blog to invite other bloggers/readers to join me at certain art shows.  I’d bribe them with goody bags that Matt from Bakotopia.com and Bakotopia Magazine would hook me up with. A bunch of T-shirts, CD’s and other bakotopia.com booty.

A Twinkielicious Field Trip to a Bakersfield production of Hair

A Twinkielicious Field Trip to a Bakersfield production of Hair

I always got a good response and had a lot of fun. We were a fun group! I’d buy witches hats and we’d wear them to the show even though the show really had nothing to do WITH witches.

A Twinkielicious Field Trip to Burn The Witch

A Twinkielicious Field Trip to Burn The Witch

It was more of a metaphor about how strong independent women have been treated in the past and so it was their way to poke fun at that. At least that’s what it used to be. This year it meant way more than that. This year a group of people that were offended by the name and some of the art decided to Burn. THE. Witch.

Or at least vandalize it. CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT HOW THE BURN THE WITCH ART SHOW WAS VANDALIZED BEFORE THE OPENING.

Regardless, the show must go on right? And in true strong women form, they rallied it up and got past it and they got on with their show. The next few blogs are going to be featuring these strong women and hopefully get you a little insight about them and then maybe? Just maybe… you’ll want to go check out the HOTTEST SHOW IN BAKERSFIELD right now!

This year’s celebration of female creativity will be held at “Metro Special Events at Westchester” 2801 F Street, Bakersfield. 

 

-Opening Reception (YOU MISSED IT): October 17 from three to seven pm; five dollars at the door:  Food, wine, live entertainment! 
-Closing Reception: Halloween Party October 31; from three to seven pm; five dollars at the door:  Food, wine, live entertainment, games, costume contest, and an art raffle to benefit BECA, and The Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault.

This is an art piece that I bought at last year's Burn The Witch

This is an art piece that I bought at last year's Burn The Witch

An Actual Conversation

ME: “Ok dude! So I know you will totally appreciate this because you know me very well and so you know that underneath all this sophistication *cough*Cough* lies a Myfa ghettofied girl, right? So shitty day… Yaddah yaddah yaddah… No beer in the fridge! No vodka and crystal light in sight. So!? Tonight? Tequila and koolaid!”

Cherry Kool-Aid is the bestest!

Cherry Kool-Aid is the bestest!

Cuz: “Hoooolly. Helll. U r straight ghetto tonight dude. Hilarious. I am not sure that’s gonna taste good.”

ME: “The Koolaid is yummy… Tequila is just a light aftertaste.”

Cuz: “Your creativity never ceases to AMAZE me :)”

ME: I’m from the hood … That’s how we roll! LOL… I can make you a bomb ass dinner too! From raccoon ass, one tomato and a pepper! Hahahaha!
You can even substitute raccoon with rat.. But only if necessary!”

ewww.... i was just kidding, google images dot com. YUCK

ewww.... i was just kidding, google images dot com. YUCK

Cuz: “You are like a McGyver in the kitchen!”

macgyver

ME: “Haasaaaaaaa! Yup. Gimme a paperclip, a piece of bologna. And a piece of gum! I will make you an exploding device… AND dinner! Hahaha”

The Logic Of A Nine Year Old

Over dinner:

Big Mickey: “Mom? I been thinking a lot about this. And I think you really should take the t.v. out of our room.”

(insert very surprised look here… ) ever since they were wittle itty bitty babies they’ve ALWAYS had a TV in their room. In fact, they wouldn’t go to sleep without it at least on with no volume in the background.

Sort of a makeshift nightlight, if you will.

Oh sure, I’d get up and turn it off in the middle of the night but then ONE of them would wake up and turn it back on. ONE of them was scared of the dark. This ONE is now telling me he wants the TV out of his room. This is a very interesting turn of events. Could it be that he’s finally outgrown his fear? Could it be that my baby is growing up? Coudl it be that he’s maturing and no longer scared of silly things like the boogyman?

ME: “Why?”(insert a very interested-in-your-conversation look here)

Big Mickey: “Because Annequin always wants to put it on HIS shows. And I would rather just have it OFF than to watch his shows. So I’ve thought about it a lot and decided the best compromise is to take it out of the room.”

ME:* No longer impressed and now somewhat cynical. “Uh, so in other words. Take the TV out. You win?”

Big Mickey: “EXACTLY!”

I think further discussion needs to go into this decision

I think further discussion needs to go into this decision

Celebration Time: Come On!

There’s something to be said about goals. I don’t ever really make any and the ones I do make I more than likely am NOT gonna reach or follow up on. That’s just the way I am. In fact, I find that I end up sabotaging myself by making goals. For example when I set a goal of losing weight? I end up eating 20 pounds of Twinkies and Zingers instead. 

So it was no surprise when this year’s (insert the name of the small mountain town near where I live here) 5K Run came and I hadn’t prepared for it. See my friend Dee and Goocher and I usually run this 5K 

It’s about a four year tradition.

 OK hang on. 

I guess I should correct myself. 

It’s tradition to PLAN to run it every year. It’s tradition to PLAN on training for it every year. It’s tradition to SWEAR that nothing is gonna keep us from WINNING it next year. 

It’s a tradition to promise each other to run at least three times a week together alternating by me going to Dee’s town and running there, then going to Goocher’s town and running there, then they coming to MY town and running here. 

However.. sometimes I can’t make it because my boys have a morning football game. Or Goocher can’t make it because of whatever reason she has at the time. In fact, Dee usually is the one that’s pretty consistent about it. 

So anyways, come another year. The phone calls start. 

“Have you registered for the 5K yet?” 

“DAMN! Is it that time already? I haven’t really trained for it or exercised at all. I’m gonna DIE!” 

Well in the end Goocher couldn’t make it this year. But Dee and I registered. 

 

Dee and her hot bod! I guess I could have this body too if I ran 5 miles a day like her!

Dee and her hot bod! I guess I could have this body too if I ran 5 miles a day like her!

There's a hot body hiding underneath all that. I just KNOW IT!

There's a hot body hiding underneath all that. I just KNOW IT!

And I talked my Lil Sis into registering too. 

My lil sis holding up an energy drink that was in our goody bag. It was apple flavored and it was YUMMY

My lil sis holding up an energy drink that was in our goody bag. It was apple flavored and it was YUMMY

Then she also signed my little nephew up.

 

My nephew. I just wuvz him.

My nephew. I just wuvz him.

Lil SIS: “I’m bringing a bottle of Cuvee to celebrate afterwards if we both survive!” 

ME: “Hell yah! I’m up for the champagne cause! Bring it!” 

The race usually goes a little something like this for me: 

The organizer of the race says, “Alright everybody! Just a few warnings. You will be running on rough terrain so watch out for potholes, cow pies, rocks, and rattle snakes. OK? On your marks, get set… GO” 

And ummm yeah, he’s not kidding. 

Start off strong… feel good.. hey I think I can do this! I’m gonna be just fine! 

After the ¼ mile marker… oh shit.. is that a.. .a HILL? Is that a hill? Holy shit. YUP that’s a hill. I forgot about the hills. …. Oh gawd Lord help me.

*trip over a rock… but I don’t fall. Recover… keep running. 

A few more hills later .. dear gawd….. when is the mile marker coming up! I’m gonna DIE. Looks down (we’re on rough terrain, hills, over looking a creek) 

FEEL DIZZY. 

Holy shit.. I’m gonna pass out and roll down this damned hill. 

Will anybody see me? 

 Will anybody realize that I just DIED and didn’t finish the race? I can picture my body rolling and tumbling and hitting the rocks all the way down.

I attempt to take a deep breath to snap out of it.

OUCH. Bad idea.

Deep breaths hurt very badly at this point. 

I’m too busy concentrating on breathing and well… staying ALIVE that I hardly noticed the few cow pies I ran over. Thank goodness they are dry already so nothing gets stuck to my shoes. 

An older gentleman passes me up. I hate him. 

I speed up to catch up to him. Then I start walking. He walks too. 

Then he speeds up again. Show  off!  

I let him have his glory. Not because I am out of breath, cramping and about to pass out or anything. I just figure I’ll be nice and let him think he’s actually beating out a very healthy and fit 37 year old woman. It’s good for his ego. I can sense he needs an ego boost and I’m happy to oblige. 

Still jogging but at a very slow pace. Start admiring the scenery. Trees everywhere…I hear the water from the creek that runs right below the hill I’m running. 

Uh.. wait.. is that BEAR POOP? WTF??? 

Pick up my pace but still can’t catch up to the old man. Oh well. 

Finally get to the marker that says we’re halfway done. The rest of the course is downhill so it makes it easier because you don’t really put any effort towards running. You just move your legs and swing your arms and pray to God you don’t roll down the hill. 

I only stop to walk a few times. 

When I get to the ¼ mark I look and see the old man in front of me. A little girl is in front of him. 

Oh WHATTAAAA???  I’m not gonna get beat by an old man and a little girl. HELL-TO-THE-NO! 

I speed up and sprint as fast as I can. Panting… lungs a-blazing like a ten alarm fire, knees a-jiggling like jello, feet a-thumping like BOSE speakers on the pavement. 

I pass the old man. The little girl stops, looks back for gramma and granpa. I utter in between breaths, “Go girl, go! Don’t worry about them right now. They are just fine. You’re almost there! Sprint as fast as you can to the finish line and get your time in. You can do it!” 

She speeds up and BEATS me. Ungrateful back stabbing brat! 

I come in right after her and look out for my friends. We made it! We did it! We really did it! We ran and survived! 

Dee says, “You came in 9th in our age group.”

I laugh because I know there are only 10 racers in my category. I tell her in between breaths, “I’m gonna post that on Facebook. hahahahahaa. I just won’t tell them there were only ten people. hahah that’s funny shit!”

So as soon as I can breath without medical assistance I post:

“I got 9th place, bitches!”

responses:

D: Out of ten?

ME: (joking) Yes! I beat out the 80 yr old with emphysema.

Mrs. Ess:  
Norma, our whole family is here at soccer laughing at this post, too funny.
ME: Mrs. Ess I wasn’t kidding! It was my only goal this year! He beat me last year and I wanted to show him who was boss this time around!
G.I. Joe: Norma I heard the only reason the 80yr old lost was because his feet got tangled up in his oxygen tubing, and he took a nasty spill just shy of the finish line. But hey you’re right a win is a win.
ME: Don’t take my glory, Joe!! It takes talent to trip an old person, make it look like an accident and keep on running!
D: Was this the pogo stick division?
hahahahaah I LOVE my friends. They crack me up!
But back to me: I came in 32nd over all out of 39, I think?  9th place in my age group (out of 10) my time was 38:26:21

And while I realize that’s nothing to brag about? I am posting my results for two reasons.

1. This year my goal was just to survive this thing. But my goal for next year is to actually RUN the whole race therefore maybe even beating  my time.

 WHAT?? NO I’m serious. Don’t look at me like that! I really AM this year. I swear! *cough *cough*

2. but for now I’m just proud of myself that I didn’t chicken out and hide in the restroom like I seriously considered doing right before the race when I started hyperventilating and panicking that I would not be able to finish it and I’d have to be carried down by the fire department that is on stand by for morons like me that decide to run a race even though we haven’t done one ounce of exercise for over two years. 

Anyways, goals or no goals I can at least say I ran it this year. And maybe my sister and I have a new sisterly tradition. I should have invited her before! Because… I mean helloooo! The best part of this whole day? Celebrating with her over a few glasses… errr… ok ok bottles of champagne. (Why hadn’t I ever thought of that before?) 

Yummy Cuvee is my favorite but this bottle of Vueve Clicquot Brut was off the hizzy!

Yummy Cuvee is my favorite but this bottle of Vueve Clicquot Brut was off the hizzy!

OK ..so back to creating and achieving goals.

Start exercising. Stay fit. Operation Donut back into effect full force!

I want to be able to say that I beat my time from this year AND that I RAN THE WHOLE THING. And sure, I won’t get first place or anything but I will at least beat out my time! Also, hopefully I’ll lose a few more pounds.  

*Oh great… Goal setting is always a most definite way to sabotage myself. I can already feel it. 

Can somebody pass me a Twinkie please? Thanks!

click here to read my diet blogs:

Operation Donut Day One

Operation Donut Day Two

Operation Donut Day Three

Operation Donut Day Four

Baked Potato=OUT

Small Success

(not so) Funny Friday

I got virutally zero sleep last night. Well, actually the past few weeks probably. I just can’t sleep. Don’t ask why. It’s a bunch of different reasons, really. Part of it is that my body hurts so bad right now that it feels like I just got in a fight with Chuck Norris and lost. Yeah, yeah, I know. What did I expect? He’s a bad mothafacka….

 

 twinkie-meets-chuck

  Anyways… everything has taken it’s toll and I’m totally on “grumpy bitch mode!”

 HOWEVER.. since I promised you a funny Friday I”ve been  trying to think of something funny to say or a funny picture to post but my mind is blank. It’s like jello actually… But as I was searching my photo archive I came accross two not-so-funny pictures but they represent the two things that will probably make my day a little brighter. So here they are:

1. CARBS….

burger

 

2. and BEER…… (liquid carbs)

this was our makeshift ice chest last winter during a girls weekend at the cabin

this was our makeshift ice chest last winter during a girls weekend at the cabin

 

Can somebody help a sistah out?

Funny Friday!

For those of you who’s family and friends know about your blogging habits, do you feel like you’re treated different because of it? I do. I think I’ve talked about this before a year or two ago but it still makes me laugh.

For example, I’ll be having brunch with my buds Dee and Goocher and something freaken HILARIOUS will happen where champagne milk is running out our noses and one of them will say, “You’re gonna blog about this aren’t you?”

Or one of them will “burn” me (diss me? hmm… what is the hip word these days?) Anyways… and the other will say, “OOOOOH, Norms, you need to blog about this and put her on blast”

To which of course first I’ll reply, “REALLY? We’re not to old to say ‘put her on blast’ and are people even really still saying that?”

But of course that’s besides the point.

Then I kindly remind them that I NEVER blog about negative stuff.

Say, for example that I ask Mr. Twinkie if he thinks I’ve lost weight. And what if he says, “Oh yeah, babe. You’ve lost a lot of weight. I mean for a while there your tummy was HUGE! It was bigger than your boobs!”

And what if I glared at him and said, “WOW! Did you really just say that?”

To which of course (hypothetically speaking of course because if this actually happened I would NOT blog about it) he would quickly try to dig his way out by saying, “JUST KIDDING BABE!! You know I’m playing.”

To which I would answer, “I know you are honey,” then I’d quickly add exlax to his dinner while he wasn’t looking.

Well, if all of that happened I would NOT blog about it because:

1. it would probably paint Mr. Twinkie as an insensitive bastard which he is sooo totally not but nobody would know this if they didn’t know him in real life.

2. it would probably also paint me in a negative light because HELLO STUPID???? Don’t ask if you don’t want to know. I mean, duh! You never ask, “do I look fat in these pants” then get mad because you got an honest answer, right?

Anyways, my point is I’m not a very “open” blogger in the sense that if I get in an arguement with somebody or if something bothers me I’m not gonna “put it on blast” all over the world wide web.

I think some things should stay private.

Of course this might also have something to do with the fact that my family and friends read this blog and I would never write something that I might regret later. Yah know?

BUT having said that… (and back to my original point) my life is a blog.

As in.. something will happen and I will automatically think of ways I could write about it where it might be interesting to my readers. Maybe even funny. A lot of times I’ll realize that it’s one of those things where you just “had to be there” and it doesn’t really translate well into writing. So I move on to something else.

Other times? I find that I just don’t have anything interesting to say.

Which is when I realize that I’m living with my eyes shut. And I remind myself to open them and actually “experience” living. If not for peace of mind then at least for my blog. Because that’s what’s important, right? (insert sarcasm here) ..

blogging

Hmm…. I guess this blog entry turned out NOT being all that funny. HU? Oh well! I’ll try again next Friday!