When More is More

Nilofer Merchant, author, speaker and a Silicon Valley dynamo purchased a little assemblage painting from me last year. Bliss has hung in her office across from her desk as a reminder that happiness is not all rainbows and kittens but has an edge to it too, and maybe in the end it means more if you have to work for it. But she spoke more eloquently about this when she blogged about it in  Are You Experiencing Bliss?

Nilofer Merchant & Mug photo Marie Cameron 2012

I’ve known that she is quite the Wonder Woman for some time so when Good Housekeeping approached her for some photos of her inspirational mug (which ran in the Dec 2012 issue) I was only too happy to help out. It was then that we began sharing our other Wonder Woman bits and bobs. She had a box full of postcards depicting early WW comics and I had a little cropped photo I’d kept taken of a some street art in San Francisco from the late ’90s.

WW Mug Shot- Marie Cameron 2012   ww postcards - Marie Cameron 2013   Wonder Woman peeking through - photo MarieCameron 2012

This was the seed of a fun, collaborative process that would lead to the commission of four new works based on the idea of owning one’s onlyness and the acquisition of three earlier works that fit into Nilofer’s vision. The result was a portrait of sorts, one in which individual pieces not only say their piece but come together and spark a conversation. It takes a vision and a curatorial eye, but surely this is an instance when more is more!

Twinkle in the eye - Marie Cameron 2013

One of the first stars to echo the one on Wonder Woman’s tiara was the twinkle I placed in her eye.

Do It - side view - Marie Cameron 2013

Do It was inspired by those vintage Japanese match boxes from the deco period. I loved how the registration line was off either intentionally or by accident, either way, the black shadow line for the lips looks like a Nike symbol – hence “do it”, as if the ruby red lipstick wasn’t enough encouragement to kiss!

Speak - Marie Cameron 2012 - side

I love how the text balloons hover empty while the blacked out speak seems to implore one to break the silence. Pretty appropriate for a speaker!

Kapow - Side  Marie Cameron2013

The canvas edge doesn’t show a lot when these pieces are hung together but it makes for a great space to reinforce the playful graphics of the work.  Kapow! was inspired by artist Harry G. Peter who’s original was for issue # 27, 1948. I fixed some metalic rope that was unearthed in a dig from Latvia and some Soviet military stars to reference the cold war sentiment behind much of the Wonder Woman comics – rebelling against the “evil power structure”.

Nilofer interviewed me about my process for this series and my thoughts on onlyness and how it relates to this project to art and to life. You can check out the interview on her blog post Unanswered Questions to Ponder.

Onlyness Series - Marie Cameron 2012- 2013

Inner Wonder Woman

Vintage Shell Lady Secret Wonder Woman Wannabe photo Marie Cameorn 2012

Vintage shell lady is a secret Wonder Woman wannabe! Photo Marie Cameron 2012.

I guess I have a thing for Wonder Woman too.  I had taken a photograph of this street art image of her in San Francisco in the late 90s and had cropped it down to the minimal essentials of the portrait, the eyes and the crown – stopping  just before it would have crossed over to abstraction. It’s a tiny image in a small frame and I think it has some of the same qualities of a reliquary, something you might meditate on to remind you of a higher power. In the face of all I need to do in a day (today it was crawling about the roof cleaning out the rain gutters before the storm and getting off an international painting shipment) I feel the need to tap into my inner Wonder Woman. I’ll take a pass on the metal bra but I sure could use the magic lasso and, what to you know, I’m already wearing the red boots!

Wonder Woman Cropped Street Art -  photo MarieCameron 2012

Wonder Woman street art as religious reliquary. Photo Marie Cameron 2012.


Mug Shots

I was recently asked to help a friend with some mug shots. No, she was not arrested. She was asked by Good Housekeeping to provide some photographs of her beloved Wonder Woman mug and I happened to be around with my camera.

Nilofer Merchant & Mug photo Marie Cameron 2012

When asked by Gretchen what makes her happy, Nilofer shared that drinking coffee from her Wonder Woman mug that was given to her as a gift by her step daughter had turned into a real source of pleasure.

An innovator in business thinking in the new social network climate,  Nilofer Merchant has authored The New How, #SocialEra and Yes & Know. As a writer, corporate director and speaker, she is a dynamic person – a real wonder woman! No wonder Gretchen Rubin, author of the Happiness Project wanted to talk with her, to provide some insight into where this Silicon Valley mover and shaker finds her happiness! In the interview, http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2010/01/wonder-woman-rumi-and-erin- Nilofer had mentioned this mug. Good Housekeeping needed some pics for their January issue, so, I got to work with my camera. I bet it has something to do with New Year’s resolutions – don’t we all long to tap into that inner Wonder Woman (or Superman)!

Wonder Woman Mug Transformation photo Marie Cameron 2012

I love the transformation of business woman to Wonder Woman on Nilofer’s Mug!

Shiny Wonder Woman Mug photo Marie Cameron 2012

Maybe we are what we drink from – it worked for Nilofer Merchant!

I thought about what mug I like to drink from in my daily ritual and what it means to me.  My favorite cup (part of a pair – one green, one blue but I exclusively use the green one) was a given to me as a wedding present by a dear friend from art school.  The cup is lined with polka dots and covered with playful naked people cavorting about and was made by a potter in Scotland. I find it beautiful, arty and celebratory and I love how it fits in my hands. What makes it really special though is the fact that someone I care about gave me the gift which says she knows the real me, that she sees who I am, that she gets me – and I get to drink from that gift every day!  Sometimes a cup is more that a cup!

Celadon Cup with Handle- photo Marie Cameorn 2012

My favorite cup was a gift from a dear friend from art school – we share a similar aesthetic appreciation.

Celadon Cup - photo Marie Cameron 2012

I love the color, the craquelure glaze and playful union of people on this handmade Scottish cup.

Is there a special mug or cup that you chose to drink from, and have you thought about why?