i draw. and sometimes i post music too. but i make you dig through the pile first to get to the good stuff. oh, and welcome.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

frozen stuffs.

i'm babysitting The Roomies two black beasts tonight. London, the older lab, is so fraught with anxiety at the disappearance of her beloved Roommate 2 that she keeps passing gas. i'm drowning the annoyance with beer and cookies.
i'm still working past the deadline for the next Basement Gallery show. i hope to get a lot more done with the next few days.
i'll leave you with a piece from the upcoming show along with some seasonal tunes. there are few christmas songs i can actually stomach after all these years, but these are two:
judy garland - have yourself a merry little christmas
is there anything more depressing than this song and this first version? it's off the movie "meet me in st. louis" which is a family fave. taken in context with the storyline, it's no wonder this song is laced with heartache.

sharon jones & the dap kings - ain't no chimneys
i probably shouldn't, but i giggle at this one. well-executed, sharon. top lyrics.

and merry christmas, new year, hannuwhatevers to all of you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

virtues and risks.

december 18th came and went like every other day. there was no tear shed, no fanfare of any sort. it briefly crossed my mind to call my mother that day, but by the time i had gotten off work, i had forgotten to. morning of the 19th, i couldn't decide whether to mention to her how i regretted not calling or to just forgo mentioning the date altogether.
i didn't say a thing.
i wondered instead, in the back of my mind, how she passed the anniversary of my grandmother's death. did she feel the same sadness of her absence itching under her skin? this year was different. this winter is different, i think.. i can see my grandmother's house from my back door.
looking out my window, i tried to grasp the feelings of that winter she passed, as i stared at her home-- the one i came to know well as a child, but have not stepped into in thirteen years.

what became of the energy of your body? i could feel you haunting me, slow, sure, and sweet.. beckoning with a strange curiosity toward your old home.
when i saw my estranged grandfather load into his pickup and drive away down the road, the spell was broken and i returned to my desk to continue working on art.
grief seems to me, to be a very solitary journey.

it's with this, i present a few more songs from my winter playlist:

jon brion is one of my two favorite contemporary composers. (the other being thomas newman) this song is from the movie "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind." when i really listened to this the other day, it nearly made me weep. i think, for the first time, i was able to grasp the meaning of it. i can distinctly recall a conversation with one of my roommates in which i told her, "you can't just erase your mind of it, no matter how you try." the song can seem misleadingly peppy, but i think you can hear the underlying sadness of a lost love you can't seem to erase if you just listen for it.

frank, AB by the rural alberta advantage.
from wiki:
"Frank, Alberta is a coal mining town in the Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. On April 29, 1903, at 4:10 a.m., 90 million tonnes (30 million cubic metres) of limestone crashed from the east face of Turtle Mountain and covered approximately three square kilometres of the valley floor. The slab of rock that broke free was approximately 650 m high, 900 m wide and 150 m thick[1]. The slide dammed the Crowsnest River and formed a small lake, covered 2km of the Canadian Pacific Railway, destroyed most of the coal mine's surface infrastructure, and buried seven houses on the outskirts of the sleeping town of Frank, as well as several rural buildings. Frank was home to approximately 600 people in 1903; it is estimated that 90 of the roughly 100 individuals in the path of the slide were killed."
i can't get past the quiet end of the song, a soft drumming mimicking what i imagine to be a subtle dying heartbeat. the lyrics could be interpreted as lovers dying together or my take: a strangely possessive Nature, trapping sleeping citizens and lovers to keep them forever in its lonely hold. it's so delicate, and hauntingly tragic.

last for now is Kettering by The Antlers. word on the inter-street is that "hospice" is a concept album. kettering seems to tell the story of a hospice worker falling for a patient dying of bone cancer. it breaks my heart, but it's so deliciously addictive.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

long distance iz done.

the "Long Distance" show opens tomorrow at Lisk Gallery for First Thursday. i dropped off my work today with a mix of relief and worry-- worry, as usual, that it won't be a strong body of work and relief that i can move onto the next project. i'll be downtown for the show sometime between 5-9, so if you're out and about, do come say hello.
now, i have about 15 days to round up some art for the Basement Gallery's illustration show opening in january. so far, i've only heard of ben wilson and myself being on board for this one, though i'm sure there are some other players. i'll keep you posted when i find out the illustration roster.

Monday, November 30, 2009

wrapping up.

wrapping up my work for the "Long Distance" show tonight. i've got a lot of ideas for works for this show that i'm just not going to have time to get to before the opening thursday.
i imagine a lot of these ideas will spill over into the Basement Show.. last two peeks:

(the line "why haven't you called?" comes from loch lomond's "scabs on this year" posted in the last entry. being an illustrator, you can't help but be swayed by words often times more than the image it conjures.)

Monday, November 23, 2009

not far enough.

i'm adjusting to having two new roommates who, upon moving in, came with over 500 channels of DirectTV: the invention of the devil.
i haven't gotten much work done, to say the least. ten minutes ago, one of their gigantic black labs took a small break from chewing on a bone (the size of a human femur) to vomit sporadically all over the living room and kitchen. 20 lbs of unchewed dog food and a half-masticated, uncooked bratwurst lay all over the floor amongst the splatters of blood-- because, as if this couldn't be topped, the same dog is in heat. it looked like a serial killer explosion. i could only laugh as Roommate One whimpered and faux-cried while Roommate Two forced her to scoop up the steaming mess.
yay me.
(now they're "playing" board games. i just heard One yell and knock Two's playing pieces all over the floor while screaming she's a cheater. Two insists she didn't remember where her playing pieces were.)
this is a test of my art-making diligence, right?
... there are so many enticing tv shows beckoning...
eff you, tv. eff you.

damn, working from home iz hard, yo.

Monday, November 16, 2009


more work for the Long Distance show. i decided to try my hand at some more literal, less melancholic interpretations this weekend. this is what i came up with:

my framing influence is present in this one with the border work. i enjoy the embellishments.
back to work.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

should be..

i should most definitely be working on some more art.. but then i get trapped on the internets like some little kid with ADD and a sugar-high. i was just trying to make a playlist on the ipod, i swear. four hours later..
it's getting colder, the pup's winter wardrobe has been pulled out, and i'm searching for my winter playlist.. something i can draw to.. so far, this is what i've found and am digging:
edward sharpe & the magnetic zeros. this gigantic band has a rockin' seventies influence, sounds a bit like a harder America to me.. mostly, i love the cute exchange between the two singers in the middle of the song "Home." maybe it's the way she says, all drawn-out, "alexaandeer.." or how he says "nearly broke your ass.." that makes me giggle to myself. i can't say for sure. also check out the more psychedelic "Desert Song." really more of a late summer/fall feel to them, though.
tv on the radio. the band that refuses to be pegged under any certain style or genre. i like "Love Dog" best. the pulsating, driven, laid-back shuffle of it gets me each time. this is definitely on my winter playlist.
i was a big fan of The Microphones, but haven't listened to them much since the name change to Mount Eerie. Mount Eerie just released an album in ode to the wind, if i remember correctly. it's a sweeping, dark album, reminiscent of the earlier album released under The Microphones "The Glow Pt. 2." these songs should be on someone's winter album, might as well be mine. check "Between Two Mysteries".
i discovered greg laswell when i heard his cover of kate bush's "this woman's work." his cover is worth checking out, as is his cover of kristin hersh's "Your Ghost." i can't think of many lyrical lines that leave more of an impression on me than "i think last night, you were driving circles around me."
(disclaimer: i'll leave these songs up for a week or so, then take them down. if you represent any of the artists mentioned, or are one of the artists mentioned and wish to have your music taken down, don't hesitate to email me and i will honor your request in a timely fashion.)
ETA: music links removed to make room for new, word.

Friday, November 6, 2009

long distance.

now busy working for next two shows. this is the first sneak peek at the batch for the show at Lisk Gallery for december. the theme is "Long Distance." it will feature mostly small works dealing with long distance (both literal and relationship-wise), homesickness, travelers, loneliness and general melancholy. perfect for the winter blues, yeah? the astronaut is a primary figure in a lot of my work. the idea exemplifies everything about long distance. i think we can all relate to his emotional plight.
after that, i'll have work for january at the Basement Gallery for its annual Illustration show.
back to work.

Monday, November 2, 2009


for the halloween party this year, i made a small batch of zombie fingers and strung them onto a hemp thread. the stubs glow in the dark as though infected and glowing with Solanum, the virus responsible for reanimation. the blood splatters are coated in a glaze to appear still wet. life-size and cast from my own fingers, i only have two left. i will offer one each, for free, to the first two people to show interest! email me at erin@erinruiz.com, or leave a comment on my blog and i'll get back to you.
game on!

ETA: all zombie fingers are accounted for. thanks to all for playing!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


it's nearing the end of my favorite month and the house is all decked out with pumpkin guts, skulls, and candles. halloween is, in my opinion, the most interesting of holidays. i squeal with delight when i start seeing fake blood, plastic machetes and swords, orange lights and horror movies on sale in the stores. i, no doubt, disappointed my mother many a time because i never took as much an interest in some of the kinder holidays, more specifically her favorite: christmas.
she once asked me why i would never draw her a nice Victorian house. i told her, matter-of-factly, that the only way i was going to draw her a "nice Victorian house" was if it was being besieged by a horde of the living dead. she never brought it up again.
i was a big comic fan, and among my favorite was "tales from the crypt." whenever moms would take us to the Paperback Place to purchase secondhand romance novels, she allowed my sister and i to get one comic each. beth would pick up a "bugs bunny" or "the who cares bears" without fail. i'd chose a "tales from the crypt" or a spiderman. now, i only have one "tales from the crypt" comic left in my collection; its pages folded and cover worn. thumbing through it after rediscovering it after the move, i wondered two things:
one, how the hell did i convince my mother to buy me this fantastic piece of morbid horror? and two, where are the others??
if you had access to HBO cable back in the early nineties, you remember the tv show with the crypt keeper. though, i'm not sure how many of you will remember the "crypt keeper" released a few songs like "deck the halls with parts of charlie" or "the crypt jam"?
if you want to deck out your computer desktop with silver screen era monster awesomeness, go here.
(last year i created a batch of dismembered toes with toe tags as party favors for some of my favorite people. this year will be no different. for now, it will remain a secret, but i will be sure to post photos of this year's eerie creations soon.)
in other creative news, i just ran across these embroidered texts and thought it such a clever idea.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

in the works.

for those of you who have noticed a problem with the store link off my website, milquetoastpress.com is no longer. this summer, we took on a business advisor and we are currently changing things up a bit. what this means: the new website is now under mqpclothing.com. most of our designs are being retired or redesigned to make room for new apparel. what you'll find at mqpclothing is a working site, and one that is subject to change as i work with our tech guy and tweak the site store to reflect our style. you can still purchase shirts directly through me- i believe the new site is still in progress at the moment- or we have some designs we printed up for the Slings & Arrows show at the Visual Arts Collective available. i don't run as much of the business as i used to. we have allotted different positions to others within the business to cover things that cut into my design time. what i no longer do? build and update the site, 50% of the printing, schedule meetings and boring business stuffs. what i do now besides have my hands in everything? oversee site building and design, 50% of printing, attend meetings, and all shirt design work. with my hands free of the technical and business side, i am able to concentrate on fashion trends, yay! and new ideas, as well as following them through from concept to shirt printed.

i'm currently working hard on some fresh designs for release very soon. we were hoping to get this up and running by october, but i've been far too busy to get everything up to speed on my end. i'll keep you updated as i change out old links and the new line is released. i might post some sneak peeks at the new designs before the launch. we'll see.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

almost there..

just picked up the postcards for Slings & Arrows from sam at the Visual Arts Collective and they look pretty sweet. (big thanks to them for helping by getting those printed!)
started on the last few paintings i intend to have finished up for the show, and also completed the twins' painting "It's Not That I Haven't Thought About It" today as well.

photo is kinda shite, so come check it out at the show. there's some nice detail in their hair. once the show is up and running, i'll post detail shots/scans.
with every new painting i complete, it usually ends up becoming my favorite. i have a special fondness for my creepy, little twins. it shall be a sad day when and if we ever part ways. i'm hoping the next one will knock it from its esteemed position in my heart.
i'll leave this with another mini-mugshot. this one's james hanley for passing worthless checks. photo is to size.

Monday, July 13, 2009

slings and arrows!

i'm spending most of my days preparing for my first technical solo show coming up next month at the Visual Arts Collective. the theme is Slings & Arrows, a collection of mugshots and mishaps, insults and injuries, wounds and weapons. it'll be the first time i'm responsible for filling up a whole gallery by myself and the thought is quite daunting. (and i've got a lot to live up to with the showing of ben wilson and erin cunningham's excellent show "Hello Friend" that is still running through the end of the month at the VAC. do check it out.) luckily, i enjoy a challenge and have a strict schedule of energy drinks, bathroom breaks, and five-hour naps. throw in some beer for those late painting nights, and i feel quite blessed for such an easy lifestyle. (also amazed to find out that i have to be pretttty drunk to affect my painting skillz.) i really do have the best job.
but on those days off, i do have to battle this little distraction:

every now and then i get an ambitious idea for a painting that i end up needing photo reference for. i basically force my sister- on her visits to bring me food- to pose for these reference shots. this photo sums up how she feels about this:

Andie's telling me it's time for her evening stroll to smell fire hydrants and pee in the neighbor's yards. i'll leave you with some progress shots of one of the paintings i finished last weekend and one of the mini-mugshot paintings i'll have there.

Monday, April 27, 2009


the art i've got up at the Lisk Gallery downtown has been extended for another month, so if you missed the chance to see any of it, rest easy. it'll be up until the end of may. i've got [high] hopes to finish up some new stuff and drop it off, but it's gonna be a busy month so we'll just play it by ear.
(i've since picked up the remnants of art i had hanging up at the Basement Gallery back in January&February. some of the pieces sold, but if you're interested in purchasing any of the art i've got left from that show for cheaper(buy it directly from me, the gallery commission isn't necessary)have a look on my flickr page and drop me a note inquiring about any pieces you may be interested in.)
as for future news, i've got another show at the Visual Arts Collective tentatively in the works for what's looking to be August & September. i've plans to work on some larger scale paintings for this one, but as sketches and themes are still being worked out, we'll see what happens and evolves. i'll attach photos of progress as we get closer to this date.
for now, it's monday and i can't think of anything better than working from home, energy drinks, and good music.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

codependency & other human weaknesses.

'bout time for another update, right?
i'm currently on break from a spat of art in preparation for my next showing at Lisk Gallery in downtown Boise. it'll open First Thursday next month (that's April 2nd, kids).
the loose theme for this show at Lisk is "codependency and other human weaknesses" with a focus on mug shots of various no-name criminals from the early to mid 1900s. the new pieces have allowed me to work in a new media that i'm growing quite taken with. the mugs are time-consuming, but i feel these forgotten people deserve a resurrection. i'm fascinated by their forgotten lives. each mug is painstakingly rendered with a small exacto blade onto a masonite board. i've worked scratchboard before, but it's never been something i put into any of my shows. i like that i can get minute detail out of the blade. i can never get that small with a pencil. i've thrown in some hand-rendered typography to boot.
there will also be smaller works of various things i've been working on in the past month. so do come check it out.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

until later.

i did complete some art this weekend, but i decided against rushing to get it into the basement gallery show for january. i'll have a handful of new art there for january, but i plan to stick the stuff i'm working on right now in the show in time for the february opening. i started working with colored pencils and it's progressing into... something. i want to follow it to see where it goes instead of selling the pieces right away. i need to just sit with them surrounding me, listening to them telling me where to take it..
i dread the return back to work in a day, but welcome the ritual. i only hope that i can shed this perpetual sleepiness and make some real painting progress on my last day off.
i spent a short new years eve with my family. i tried to rush home just after midnight to avoid the drunk driving masses and managed to make it home safely only to find i was locked out. once i finally got into the house, i was glad to spend it with my slumbering pups.
i thought about my grandmother today. another year past since her death. i was sitting in the hallway throwing my dog's frog toy to her, she's running back and forth with it and i just glanced in passing at the framed photo of gram's holding my mother as a baby hanging on the wall. we have the same hands, i thought, though my nails (chronic nailbiter) are shorter.
she died in '98. now over ten years ago. if i reach for it, i can vividly remember that winter she passed. i wonder what she would think of me now. i wonder how it is there was ever a time i knew her. it's been so long now that she seems like a made-up character in some epic tale. sometimes she feels close.. and sometimes her memory feels as far away as pluto.
when i watched distant fireworks over the city from my older sister's kitchen windows feeling stone-cold sober, i felt grateful to have seen another year. but it's painful to grow.
i hope for everyone that the new year brings some joy and love.
dan fogelberg - same old lang syne
the good life - album of the year or (acoustic demo)
david gray - this years love