I first became aware of Becky Fos’s art on Twitter when she followed our page and her avatar caught my eye. I clicked on through to her website and was blown away by her vibrant, colorful paintings.(She’s also on FaceBook.) I had to know more and she was gracious enough to consent to an interview. Enjoy!
First, tell us a little about yourself.
I am Texan born, a former Austinitte! So, to some that would explain my sometimes “weird” clothes. The city’s motto has been, “Keep Austin weird” for as long as I’ve known it. I moved to New Orleans in 2002 and never once regretted it. New Orleans, with it’s heritage, history and culture have completely molded me into the person I am today. I could never imagine myself being anywhere else. One of my favorite songs growing up was by Fats Domino, “Walking to New Orleans” and now it all makes perfect sense.
I have been painting my whole life, for as long as I can possibly remember. I painted on the walls of my room growing up, doodled on notebook paper in school, and now canvas. My favorite times painting are when my son, Jude (age 6) and I set up shop in the kitchen and go to town!!!
I like to paint on canvas with pallet knives. I like to use a lot of paint to create texture and I love color. SOmetimes I’ve been told that I use too much color, but that’s just me. And I wouldn’t change a thing.
beginning, middle and ending in mind or does it evolve as you go?
I begin with a thought or a dream. Or sometimes a person. I’ve been inspired by going to concerts around the city and seeing the musician up close deeply inspires me and I must create. I see the passion on their face while creating their art, and this inspires me. I love to capture the magic that I’ve witnessed first-hand and that’s how it starts. So, I have a jumping off point and then it actually evolves. I paint backwards actually because I paint the focal point first and not the background. I know everybody is different, but that’s how I start. SOmetimes I change the background several times.
Yes, my art is a full-time gig for me. I also do some of the chalk art at Chef, John Besh’s Restaurant, Borgne along with the amazing, Lance Romano.
I’ve always loved art. I was always drawn to things sparkly and colorful. My mom use to call me her “crow” because a crow will always seem to find that burry treasure of sparkleness. My passion only grows.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
I feel so bad about saying who my favorite artists are because I have so many friends who are artists. But just to name a few, Keith Eccles and Terrance Osborne since they have both guided me on this path. Bansky, Bruni and Van Gogh of course.
If you find yourself losing interest in a project do you push yourself to finish or set it aside for later? Do you have any tips you can share regarding motivation and/or discipline in completing a project?
Not all projects that we start do we stay 100% motivated throughout. There are actually a few pieces that I’ll be working on at a time. Sometimes I just have to put one down and walk away, especially when I’m feeling not motivated. Then I start to feel defeated so it actually motivates me to go back and finish. It’s these pieces that actually come out the absolute best and I never want to get rid of them and hold on to them.
Lozano & Barbuti Gallery at 313 Royal St in New Orleans carries my original artwork and I actually have a website that I sell my reproductions from: www.beckyfos.com
I have big goals that I’ve set for myself. I like to aim high. I plan on having my own art gallery in the french quarter right next to all the big dogs lol. I’m aiming for the moon! :-)
Today I have for you (channeling the chefs on “Chopped” which I just finished watching!) a little list of some of the good things and bad things that I read on the internet in the past week. Most of them are from other blogs, some from NOLA, some not. It’s just a hodge-podge of articles that I liked or …… didn’t, but all are decidedly shareable.
Road trip! Follow Ian McNulty on a trip down the bayou to Terrebone Parish in Bayou Country journey offers glimpse of small-town life at the end of the line.
Local blogger Blathering shares her recent outing to City Park’s Botanical Gardens with a walk through Enrique Alferez’s sculptures in her weekly feature “Arty Tuesday”.
“Blackberries Everywhere” , via Bouillie blog, takes us along to pick wild blackberries in rural Louisiana and adds a bonus of a recipe for Blackberry Cornmeal Cake that sounds scrumptious. The photos of the finished cake made my mouth water and put it on my list of recipes to try this summer.
I’m always complaining to myself that I don’t have the kind of time I’d like to read. This is really not exactly true since I often end up surfing the internet when my intention was to read my ebook. I even tweeted about it. So I was happy to find this post, 7 tips to help you read more (& love it).
#YesAllWomen was a hashtag on fire on Twitter this past week. It apparently first popped up Friday 5/23 in the aftermath of the Elliot Rodger shooting spree in California in response to his misogynist rants on YouTube. When social media takes up a cause like this, I find it much more interesting and enlightening to read personal blogs written by everyday people to get a feel for how the issue affects or is affecting everyday people. Here are a few blog posts I read this week that touched me (to tears in some cases) and/or just made me think in a different way, breaking open the festering sore of misogyny.
First, here’s a link to a Vanity Fair article that includes a graphic showing how the hashtag spread worldwide.
Brandi writes a very personal account of her experience of being bullied by a boy (and, yes, it was bullying) at age 11. I really identified with this post because I experienced the same thing at the same age and I remember the humiliation I felt.
Roxane Gay’s post, In Relief of Silence and Burden, is a heartbreaker written in the unmistakably honest voice that is Roxane Gay. Reading this made my stomach hurt.
Walking While Fat and Female – Or Why I Don’t Care Not All Men Are Like That was an eye-opener. I guess I’m naive but it never occurred to me that adult men acted this way.
And, from the men:
My Girl’s a Vegetable: A Father’s Response To Isla Vista Shootings in Luna Luna Magazine shares how a dad’s eyes were opened to the every day misogyny directed to women via his daughter’s experience while walking home from school.
Local Blogger Ian McGibboney writes “A Letter To All the Nice Guys”and makes some really good points.
And, finally, Emily Shire says “#YesAllWomen Has Jumped the Shark” and wonders if it’s being diluted by people tweeting about such things as “complaints about women being told to smile”. What do you think?
New-To-Me Blog of the Week
To end on a lighter note, I want to share a blog each week (or so) that’s new to me and that I enjoyed reading – you know, show a little link love.This week it’s The Art of Simple, a blog that shares ways to live a simpler, more meaningful life as well as giving great organizational tips. Give it a click, I think you’ll like it!
Seven years ago, when Ally Boyd relocated to New Orleans from Austin, she considered herself crafty mom, but not an artist. While wandering around the city during homeschool excursions with her children, she found items left behind as litter: the arm of a doll, an old glass bottle, screws, bottle caps, and wood. She collected these items, seeing the beauty in ordinary things, and used them to decorate her home. The vibe of New Orleans influenced her greatly, making her want to build, create, express herself. The darker themes of work by local artists inspired Ally to push limits and redefine her own boundaries. Four years after making New Orleans her home, she was now making New Orleans her art. NOLA Breeze Art was born.
When she first started creating shadow boxes, she began using the items she had collected from around the city. She believed most of the item she found were art in and of themselves and loved bringing them to light in her own work. She reserved most of her pieces for friends and family, or for use in her own home. Last May, a friend encouraged her to try the Freret Market.
Since that first market last May, Ally and NOLA Breeze Art have participated in the Freret Market every month, selling her pieces to those both local and visiting. In 2012, one of her pieces was accepted into the 4th Annual Femme Fest. Last month, The Green- Eyed Gator on Chartres St. began selling her art. This month a new gallery opening on Magazine St, Coq Rouge, will be featuring her art as well. NOLA Breeze Art has expanded from shadow boxes to steam punk statues, wall hangings, frames, and dolls.
Art has become a form of therapy for Ally. Recently, her estranged father took his own life. While she was hundreds of miles away from family, her art became her refuge, allowing her to process her feelings about what had happened in a way that she hadn’t been able to before. For her, art is the most constant of companions – the friend you share all of your pain with.
“The art that I created immediately after I found out about my dad is much different than the art I usually do. It helped, though, to get the storm inside of me out in something material that I could see.”
Ally hopes that her art helps people to connect or reconnect and when they look at her art, it inspires them to feel – taking away something personal from something that was so personal for her to make.
It is also her goal that NOLA Breeze Art offer people a little piece of New Orleans, no matter where they call home. This is why she uses reclaimed wood and other recycled items she’s found throughout the city in her all of her pieces.cc
“The city of New Orleans is such a huge inspiration to me. I like being able to take something that I found in City Park or on the ground at the French Quarter festival and be able to incorporate it into something new. I want to give people a little bit of what New Orleans has given to me.”
For the past year my partner Micah and I have been working on creating a new conceptual magazine called Momma Tried. Both long term New Orleanians (he was born in Opelousas LA, I moved here in 1998), our vision is to bring together a print-only publication that is equal parts literary journal, art magazine, and non-heteronormative nudie mag; a new platform to showcase the talents and perspective of our community.
From the very beginning of this project, we’ve been inspired by the idea that print is “dead,” and chose to fully embrace the romance of this allegedly lost medium as a part of our concept. By only making it available as a tangible publication printed in editions of 1000 and distributing it internationally, we’re hoping to create a magazine that is an archive of a moment in time and feels more permanent and precious than what can be achieved with pages displayed on the internet. We’re endeavoring to create something that is a nod to the publications that influenced us most when we were growing up, including the role of iconic and often misogynistic retro advertising. As an ad-free publication, Momma Tried gives us the opportunity to explore the tropes, manipulations, and possibilities of print advertisements, so through an aspect of the magazine that we call “disruptive content,” we’re partnering with artists to create original and appropriation based satirical adverts that deconstruct the nature of advertising, while simultaneously embodying the essential visual role of magazine ads.
Micah and I started the magazine while we were working on a large multi-disciplinary art installation in New Orleans last year, and from that experience of collaborating with many local and national artists, we realized that a cornerstone of our objective for Momma Tried was to create a new platform to share the talent of local artists and writers with the world. Since then, this dream has manifested into a collaborative work that is nearly complete. The first issue of Momma Tried will be approximately 150 pages long, full color, perfect bound, and contains the work of dozens of contributors from New Orleans, across the U.S, and abroad, as well as our core team of local collaborators which we have worked closely with to create our conceptual nude photo editorials.
The aspect of sexuality in Momma Tried is something we feel strongly about as an opportunity to create a new, more diverse and inclusive presentation of bodies and identity. We feel that art and sexuality go hand in hand as forms of expression and discovery, and that being interested in depictions of nudity or sexuality shouldn’t be an embarrassment, or kept away from other expressions of creativity and thought. We believe that sex and art are intrinsic to the human experience, and it is our hope that by pairing them in a way that is inclusive of people regardless of orientation or gender, we will be creating common ground for a diverse array of people to share, regardless of perceived differences. Idealistically, we’re attempting to create an artistic platform that allows artists, writers, and readers of the magazine to be embracing of their sexuality as well as intellect, which however small of a gesture it might be, is a step towards being more comfortable and honest with ourselves and each other.
After a year of working on this very rewarding and ambitious labor of love, we’re almost ready to send it to print! We’ve recently launched a Kickstarter campaign where people can pre-order the first issue and support us in our efforts to publish what we believe is a valuable addition to our local creative culture.
One of my favorite things in the word has to be fashion. I absolutely adore it! The creativity is what I love. It’s all about the art of you and your specific personality. Imagine my excitement when Nola Fashion Week (NOLAFW) got started in 2011. NOLAFW is the next best thing to getting to the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, but probably with a little more flavor.
Nola Fashion Week was the brainchild of the Nola Fashion Council, whom work to connect designers with resources and exposure throughout the South and beyond. The Nola Fashion Council puts on NOLAFW biannually not only to showcase Southern talent, but to offer industry based education workshops as well as access to local designers and retailers.
Southern born and /or based designers come together to show their greatness and to in my opinion put a smile on my face. From the efforts of Nola Fashion Week, we’ve come to know and see the rise of phenomenal designers such as Amanda deLeon, Andrea Loest, Matthew Arthur, Jolie & Elizabeth and more. It’s quite amazing to watch the talent right here at home doing innovative things.
Happening this week is Nola Fashion Week A/W 13’ showing. Showcasing this year is 17 designers which include Amanda deLeon, Andrea Loest, Anthony Ryan, Blackout, By Smith, Ella ose, Fair Fit, Hazel & Forange, Iacono, Izavel , Jolie Elizabeth, Libellule , Loretta Jane, Matthew Arthur, Noel Martin, The Dope.Game and Tallulah’s Designs. These designers will not disappoint with great pieces you will daydream about for days as well as ready to wear pieces you will probably find at local stores this year! Also on the schedule are several cool workshops such as Sustainable Dyeing so you can get your learning on.
The great thing about NOLAFW is there is something for everyone! In whatever way you want to get involved from financial support to volunteering, to retail therapy and more; its something for you with NOLAFW. Not only are our brightest designers showcased, but also all the amazing individuals based right down in Louisiana making things happen behind the scene from makeup artist to stylist, to bloggers and more. This state produced a talented bunch and NOLAFW proves it just by the high value production put on since the beginning.
I don’t co-sign most events, but I look forward to NOLAFW each year and can’t get enough of the Nola and Southern Talent.
Anyone who grew up here in New Orleans should remember watching our beloved Morgus the Magnificent. For over half a century, Morgus prefaced the weekend horror movies with his own New Orleans style horror vignettes. Morgus, along with his sidekick Chopsley would entertain us with his weekly scientific experiments gone wrong, dissecting and poking and prodding various New Orleans B-listers, with the week’s story line progressing during the commercial breaks of Godzilla or Mothra, or Godzilla-Mothra-King Kong end of the world movies. I swear, Morgus’ dry, morbid sense of humor has affected generations of New Orleanians, claiming his rightful place alongside the satire of Mardi Gras and the unique New Orleans musical soundtrack of our lives.
Well today, the ever elusive character has proverbially come out from hiding – behold the man behind our Morgus!
Allow me to present Sid Noel Rideau, a.k.a. Momus Alexander Morgus. Sheila Stroup of the Times Picayune wrote a beautiful article profiling Mr. Rideau with his latest contribution to New Orleans culture, the New Orleans Public Library’s Internet Story Club of America. What an admirable endeavor, and it seals the deal that future generations will have the privilege of being entertained and enlightened by Morgus the Magnificent, now publically known as Mr. Rideau. Thank you sir for all you’ve done, and continue to do for our city.
Via the Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans (MACCNO):
On 11/1/12, Councilmember Kristen Gisleson Palmer introduced two ordinances regarding activity in Jackson Square. These ordinances have been drafted with the support of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration.
In summary, the first ordinance would ban anyone from stopping, standing or loitering in Jackson Square between the hours of 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM. The punishment for loitering would be a “fine not exceeding $500 fine and/or imprisonment up to six months.”
The second ordinance states that only persons holding “A” permits or “B” permits may conduct business in Jackson Square. This is consistent with the current existing ordinance. “A” and “B” permits are for visual artists. Street musicians are not required to have permits and no such permits currently exist. However, what is different is the punishment for violating the terms of the permit. The existing ordinance states that the punishment for violating the terms of the permit is having the permit revoked. However, the new ordinance proposes a punishment of a “fine not exceeding $500 fine and/or imprisonment up to six months.”
The very nature of enforcing a punishment that is not limited to revoking a permit could mean that there are serious repercussions for anyone conducting business in Jackson Square that does not have a “A” and “B” permit. We are very concerned about the potential for the criminalization of street musicians, performers, and tarot card readers.
The highlighted sections are revisions to the existing ordinances: Proposed Jackson Square Ordinances
MACCNO is working to secure a meeting with Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer’s office ASAP to raise our concerns. We encourage you to contact her office to raise your concerns:
Mary Cunningham, Director, Constituent Services
If you do contact Councilwoman Palmer’s office, please remember to also thank the councilwoman for supporting Siberia in securing their permit for live music and ask her to continue supporting live music.
City Council’s Government Affairs Committee will be voting on the ordinances on Monday, 12/3/12.
Please spread the word about these proposed ordinances and attend our next meeting on Wednesday, November 28th at Noon, at Kermit’s Tremé Speakeasy, 1535 Basin St. At this meeting we will be having a teach-in and will be updating the group on the outcome of our meeting with Councilwoman Palmer’s office and presenting a proposed plan of action. Please be on the look out for further action plans!
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(For additional information, please see Jackson Square needs maintenance and patrolling, not superficial ordinances.)
Update 11/29/12 – The Governmental Affairs Committee is presently tentatively scheduled to meet at 10:00 AM on Monday, December 3, 2012, at City Hall’s City Council Chambers, 1300 Perdido Street. It is believed at this time that the two ordinances regarding Jackson Square will be discussed and considered at this meeting. Voting regarding these ordinances could occur at any subsequent City Council Regular Meeting; the next is scheduled for Thursday, December 6, 2012. For additional information, please see the New Orleans City Council Calendar.
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