The Finger-Five Red Dice-Update

pictograph oil painting using Mexician cave art by Heather Brown Truman
pictograph oil painting using Mexician cave art by Heather Brown Truman copyright 2008


New Work

oils & acrylics

 18″ x 24″ x 2″

The quote for this work:

Archaeologists have not yet discovered any stage of human existence without art. Even in the half-light before the dawn of humanity we received this gift from Hands we did not manage to discern. Nor have we managed to ask: Why was this gift given to us and what are we to do with it?

And all those prophets who are predicting that art is disintegrating, that it has used up all its forms, that it is dying, are mistaken. We are the ones who shall die. And art will remain. The question is whether before we perish we shall understand all its aspects and all its ends.

Not all can be given names. Some of them go beyond words. Art opens even the chilled, darkened heart to high spiritual experience. Through the instrumentality of art we are sometimes sent—vaguely, briefly—insights which logical processes of thought cannot attain.

Like the tiny mirror of the fairy tale: you look into it and see—not yourself—but for one fleeting moment the Unattainable to which you cannot leap or fly. And the heart aches…

Dostoyevsky once let drop the enigmatic phrase: “Beauty will save the world.” What does this mean? For a long time it used to seem to me that this was a mere phrase. Just how could such a thing be possible? When had it ever happened in the bloodthirsty course of history that beauty had saved anyone from anything? Beauty had provided embellishment certainly, given uplift—but whom had it ever saved? “

~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


Good day all,

 It’s been a tough couple of weeks here at BAD! Kitty Art, we have been working really hard and sleeping too little. Not that much has changed, just it was harder this last two weeks inside the brain pans of the adults here. Stress, it’s a killer. It’s a “shoot the muse and leave her for dead”, as well. The kind of stress that comes from the pressure of a deadline, a pre-determined deadline, I can take really well, become even more inspired even. The un-determined long haul stress is what I am talking about. The one week rolling into another, and the laundry still isn’t done, kind of stress, that’s killing me. That and the boys are on summer break, so they are either trying to quietly kill one another * quietly, because they both in get into trouble for actual fighting, no matter who “started” it* or they are asking for something. OY! OK, enough with the kvetching, on with some fun stuff.

Oh, one last thing, I am thinking of naming the newest painting “This is me, giving whimsy the finger”, what do you think, kind of catchy isn’t it? *grins*

I hate, no double hate, no not really, I loath my work being called whimsical. It really drives me crazy. In the beginning of my career, I’ll agree I did do a lot of work that was funny or based on something I thought funny. I still do from time to time, but not as much because when I started getting solo shows and events, the reporters started to write their reviews and commentary on my “Whimsical work”. Drove me bat-shit, so I stepped away from satire for a while, to get some “real” work done. These days I just don’t care enough about what anyone else says about my work, but I still inwardly groan when ever some one says , “your work is so whimsical!”. Now I just smile, and ask if they like it enough to buy it. *BAD! Kitty Grins and bears it* OK, now really…no more kvetching…well a girl can hope anyway. “)

This new work falls into what has been called “whimsy” for my style of work… eh, whatever. It is really a very cool collection of pictographs from the Mexico regional native peoples spanning over a few centuries. The main figure is from the 17th century for example, the moon in all it’s phases, from a later date. Every line in the entire work is actually a snippetof ancient language. I mixed all the ones I liked [ read: remembered] together, and came up with this painting. Like shake ‘n’ bake for art. I have all theses reference books, and I love pictographs and ancient text of all types, yes, I totally wanted to be Indiana Jones as a kid, real bad too. It’s carried on into my adult life and has become a large part of my work, telling big stories by focusing on the small details of a universal, easy to understand, human symbol’s. (I call it Heather-speak, shhh, that’s a secret) Seriously, I want you to get my work, not have to study it. I also want to teach, and remind the soul in each person my work may encounter. Either to wake them to something within themselves (reaction), or to re-mind them of something they have forgotten from the symbolic images (resonance) I use. I have not done a painting recently that wasn’t in my own language, and after painting ‘Seasons of Love’  recently I have been back in love with ancient hieroglyphs and pictographs. The only thing about my cave painting is I’m a very modern  cave-person, it gave me a fun excuse to paint bubble wrap and stick it stuff. I love that repeated circle over and over, it’s my favorite. For fear of being “trendy” or Whimsical” I have not been playing as much, you know, just playing around. I’ve been all serious and productive and insightful but it has not been a party place, round here. ( I’ve been the serious BAD! Kitty or as serious a this kitty gets anyway)This work was plain old fun. I turned up the dance groove and spaced out for a while, it was great. I just hope I didn’t put the picture together in some way that says something in a real language, good lord I can see it now…people standing there getting mad because I insulted their mother or something. I was just playing around, I don’t know what all the images mean and I didn’t take the time to find out while I was playing, (or since, I guess I don’t want to know either) then it would have been work. Not fun, putting down the time to play around in my own head space…priceless.  I hope you enjoy seeing it.

Ok, on to the other thing I wanted to tel you all about, because the way things are going I’m sure not posting as much and I think it’s really fun.

I cam across a blog called Five Red Dice. It’s this guy named Alan Mizell, he lives in Austin TX and he had these red dice and started trading them to see what he could turn them into. It’s a fun read, a fun project and I don’t want to give too much away, but you should check it out, maybe you have something to trade for what he has now, which is pretty cool and a total upgrade from the dice. Just go look, like I said I don’t want to give away the suprise, it’s fun.

I hope this post finds everyone well, good and happy.



  1. Vikki North
    July 11, 2008

    This really wild and fun Heather. Very Inca Indian. I’d love to see the pyramids, Machu Picchu and the lost city of the Inca Indians. That would be amazing.

    If we go, we have to take this painting with us, okay?

  2. Kris Cahill
    July 11, 2008

    Hi Heather,
    This is a very interesting piece, a bit different. I love the style you are working in here, and as always, your rich colors.

    I get the stress thing, I do believe we don’t create more than we can handle. It has been a big challenge here too, and I keep reminding myself about how strong I am getting as a result! It looks to me like there is a whole lot of evolving going on. (Insert rock and roll song here…)

    The best to you! Nice to see you again.

  3. Alan Mizell
    July 11, 2008

    Love the art- so NOT whimsical. Thanks for the mention and I am going to shoot out an e-mail and let my Five Reds Dice friends know about your work!
    Alan Mizell

  4. badkittyartstudio
    July 11, 2008

    When we go my fair Lady Vikki, of course we have to take this painting, it’s probably a divine map of some sort. 🙂 That is if no one offers to buy it first!

    Hey Kris! Yes, I agree with the stress thing, but I have had a talk with the universe and am learning to say “Uncle”. 🙂 Glad to see you round these parts again.

    Alan, your words sooth my inner savage beatsie. So not whimsical is damn straight! Thanks for stopping by.:)

  5. cynthia
    July 11, 2008

    Stress is hard to deal with – short or long term. It’s like a constant nagging buzz behind everything. Well, at least for me. Stay healthy and take care of yourself!

    As to whimsical – I guess we all have our hang ups. I like whimsical stuff because it just is. It’s colorful, playful and isn’t interested in being perfect. But, that’s just me – I’m not calling your work whimsical 🙂

  6. badkittyartstudio
    July 11, 2008

    I love whimsical work too Cynthia! I do! I do! I love it very much, I don’t want anyone to think I don’t! I do!

    It’s just that people (galleries, public, reporters ect.) have in the years taken the meaning of whimsical=not fine art. It is used too often and has become watered down. In the 90’s whimsical was trendy, now it’s like a backhanded compliment. I love whimsy, and fun and play and most of my work shows that. I had an agent one time tell me, “Yea, when they say your work is whimsical now-a-days, it means they don’t what to do with you.”

    I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I have been on the other side of a up-scale gallery owner too many times that said “Oh I like your work, it’s fun and whimiscial, it’s just not selling right now” whimiscal work isn’t selling anymore….my take is that it’s not selling any less, either. I think they just re-branded whimsy for gain and snobbery.

    I am all about having fun, and not giving a damn, I just don’t want to be type cast you know:? This is more than just a one act show. That’s all I was trying to say. Thanks for the opportunity to clear that up!

    Good grief, Molly get the mop!

  7. Jean Levert Hood
    July 12, 2008

    Heather, I really like this piece. Strong, and *not* whimsical!! I do hope the next week brings you some peace and quite, and time to stoke the creative fires.

    We have Pictographs about 90 miles away from where I live, and they are so fascinating. Every time you view them, you can imagine something different.

  8. gypsy-heart
    July 13, 2008

    I will try to remember to never use the “w” word describing your work. 🙂

    Of course, You know I love your work including this piece!
    I especially like snakes..maybe because I am snake sign. 🙂 I have them in some of my work too!

    Hang tough Heather dear…thank god you have painting..meditation it All will unfold as it should.

    Sending you energies of light and peace of heart!

  9. San
    July 13, 2008

    Heather, I too am drawn to pictographs. Maybe it’s the bare-bones, stripped-down-to-the-elements power of the language–image as message–that so appeals.

    And the Mayan and the Incan were such whimsical cultures. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)

  10. Pages tagged "dice"
    July 15, 2008

    […] bookmarks tagged dice The Finger-Five Red Dice-Update saved by 10 others     ocir33 bookmarked on 07/15/08 | […]

  11. Mental Mist
    July 16, 2008

    Hey Heather,
    Liking your singsong voice of writing 🙂 … Me too big Indiana Jones fan… And the whole “universal symbolism” thing … You actually put those particular words together beautifully :)!

  12. Kalliope Amorphous
    July 16, 2008

    Your work is so NOT whimsical! When I think whimsical, I think fairy tales, primitives, and altered art. Nothing wrong with it really, but it is an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT thing.
    I think sometimes people don’t know what whimsical means exactly, so they just pin the label on inappropriately.
    I love these archetypal pieces. Your handling of these types of images is purely shamanic. They speak to the subconscious heart.

  13. Austin of Sundrip
    July 16, 2008

    One of the things I worry about is being type cast. I don’t want people to get “comfortable” with one type of painting so I know exactly what you mean. And for some reason when I hear the word “whimsical” also hear “not serious art, no fine art, not top notch.” I hear that they like it but I also hear a bit of negativity. Do you hear that as well? I also think whimsical only touches so far, it doesn’t do what you’re trying to do, touch hearts and minds, move people. Whimsical art is good art too but I can see you’re trying for something different, wanting to move beyond the surface. I want that for myself. Sometimes I’m going for the feeling of joy but other times I’m trying to soul speak.



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