Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

A little birdie told me to Keep Going

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Photography by Chris Clark
Post Processing by Courtnee Fallon Rex
Ink by Mike of All Star Tattoo, Tacoma

It was time for me to buy some art, myself.

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Arms are inked, now. Sleeves: Inevitable.

Lovingly done by Mike at All Star Tattoo of Tacoma on a gut feeling, best tattooing experience I’ve yet had. Recommended. Thank you again, Tacoma.

For reference, this was what I was doing with my arms back in 2008.

Keep going.

Thank you Cafe Brosseau!

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Thank you Tacoma, and my Seattle friends new and old for making last night a really fucking great show. I felt so loved and supported and I am ecstatic to have heard from everyone how much they enjoyed themselves.

Set list:

Write What You Know – Courtnee Fallon Rex
Pretend it Never Happened
Black as Night – Melody Gardot
Forgiveness
Please Don’t – Courtnee Fallon Rex
Back to Black – Amy Winehouse
Hey You – Pink Floyd
Wounded – Courtnee Fallon Rex (debut)
House of the Rising Sun – Animals
Meeting the Maker
In My Mind – Amanda Palmer
The Greater You

As per request I’ll be recording and releasing versions of the songs I played on my Bandcamp in the coming weeks.

As for supporting me, being privy to new music, and behind the scenes access, please sign up to my Patreon account! A good example of the kinds of things Patrons get – they heard a version of “Wounded” (as yet unreleased) two days ago. ;)

Cafe Brosseau Artist Reception: December 6 2014

On white supremist heteropatriarchy in America

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

“When White people made the rules hundreds of years ago, they never counted on us being free. This is what [Ferguson] is about.” – A Black Grandmother

I’ve become very passionate over the last two years about social evolution, which means I’m paying a lot of attention to social justice. Racism and Sexism are my staples. Which means I listen to a lot of black feminist women talk about what they see and experience in their lives.

This passion has caused me to get into a lot of conversations about social evolution, including those about race. Sometimes, I save myself a little time (and some extra grey hairs), and send people here.

Note: Though it is absolutely possible to have assimilated to white supremacist thinking while also being a person of color and for this information to be helpful in those cases, the purpose of this page is to speak directly to white people.

Basically, it all boils down to this: Being a racist, (or sexist, or rape apologist, or any number of other sorrid things) in this society, does not require intent.

More importantly: Believing oneself inherently immune, or inherently irreparable in regards to these behaviors is a destructive no-win fallacy.

While the majority of white people ending up on this page wanting to learn more about racism will likely be motivated by their desire to set *other* people right, the ONLY way to do this work, and I truly mean this, is to be doing it on yourself. Though there is an educational and historical element to antiracist work and it’s helpful to have statistics to cite, there simply is no shortcut here: You have to be doing the work to discover and grow away from your own racist beliefs.

I think the single most important element to being antiracist and making headway in this fight is to be educating yourself and changing your own perspectives, which you then become more and more adept and comfortable speaking and acting from from with empathy and tact, including the voice you use to speak to yourself.

Here’s how you can rise to the occasion:

Realize your privilege exists, everywhere, all the time, always: Your White (cis, male, able, etc) privilege is not an attack, it’s simply fact.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gina-crosleycorcoran/explaining-white-privilege-to-a-broke-white-person_b_5269255.html

Dismantle your identification with the Just World Fallacy, the belief in which helps you to disregard the oppression around you (including, perhaps, your own):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just-world_hypothesis

(which is important to do because of this: http://feministing.com/2014/08/19/fatal-hypothesis-how-belief-in-a-just-world-is-killing-us/)

Contemplate the dynamics of our White Supremacist Heteropatriarchal society which may be contributing to how hard showing up to these conversations may be for you (it’s called White Fragility) and yes that’s a real thing:
http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/white-fragility-why-its-so-hard-to-talk-to-white-people-about-racism-twlm/

Consider the distress one tends to feel when something they’ve always had and felt fundamentally deserving of seems to be changing and how that may apply to you. http://weeklysift.com/2012/09/10/the-distress-of-the-privileged/

Learn about the Helms White Racial Identification Model and consider how you have, both in the past and present, related to it. http://www.pittstate.edu/dotAsset/bda607c0-bbc7-4d4b-8e92-4d0e00c48e94.pdf

Learn about the multiple forms of racism that thrive in all levels of our society, both individual and systemic, and how to talk about race with others effectively (I am still working on this): https://www.raceforward.org/research/reports/moving-race-conversation-forward

Learn how to be helpful, rather than a hindrance, toward the POC who are resisting this social dynamic: http://theangryblackwoman.com/2009/10/01/the-dos-and-donts-of-being-a-good-ally/

Which, if you are an advocate for women’s rights, likely includes rethinking your feminism, too: http://www.thefrisky.com/2014-10-06/10-things-white-feminists-should-know-to-better-understand-intersectionality/

And then get to work: http://www.mashupamericans.com/issues/be-less-racist-12-tips-for-white-dudes-by-a-white-dude/

Remember to take care of yourself along the way: https://medium.com/@courtnee/an-open-letter-to-guilted-whiteness-93ef22590428

As well, two books I highly recommend on are The New Jim Crow and Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

“There is no anti-racist certification class. It’s a set of socioeconomic traps and cultural values that are fired up every time we interact with the world. It is a thing you have to keep scooping out of the boat of your life to keep from drowning in it. I know it’s hard work, but it’s the price you pay for owning everything.” – Scott Phil Woods

On thing that I run into a lot in my often slogging, infuriatingly frustrating conversations with other white people about racism, is that when many people talk about “Equality”, what they’re actually talking about is a perceived utopia which allows them to continue accepting their predisposed societal advantages and avoid the actual work of creating an equal society.

A better term that addresses the existence of oppression dynamics and the need to adjust in order to right them is “Equity”.

An example of equity is this: If you want everyone to be able to see over the same wall, you would not give the 4 foot tall person, or the toddler, or the paraplegic the same sized crate to stand on as the 6 foot tall person. You would only give each person an equally tall crate in a situation in which equality already exists.

What I hear when most people talk about their view of “equality” is that ‘all people’ getting the same-height crate to view over the same wall is a good enough solution, according to them. This lack of distinction, along with a belief in the Just World Fallacy mentioned above, is often the basis of stubborn, ongoing ignorance.

Your re-education as a white person is an integral first step to being a part of the healing and restorative justice that we so desperately need in our country. But that doesn’t end here, for us, with our voices speaking our truths about what we want to see and how we’ve come to want to see it, or worse with us deciding how we think this gets fixed and taking it upon ourselves to do whatever that is.

Remember that for white supremacy to truly be addressed and neutralized, it’s imperative that we as whites who benefit from that worldwide system take ourselves out of the role of the rationalized, dominant oppressor, in every way that we can, and unlearn having to be the one who calls the shots and speaks for those we perpetually silence.

People smarter about this than me

Mia McKenzie
Laverne Cox
Bell Hooks
Audre Lorde
Mikki Kendall
Christa Bell
Feminista Jones
Grace Lee Boggs
Quinn Norton
Elon James White
Zaron Burnett
Cornell West
Jessica Pearl
Ijeoma Oluo
Jay Smooth
Dr. Stacey Patton
Kiese Laymon

10 amazing Black women to follow on twitter.

Full Circle Zita

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

My signature (nude) aerial silks piece started as a homage to sexual relationship, to not giving up on loving someone, even when you get bucked off. The act began as a physical illustration of the struggle to shed the defenses that bind us, finding strength in being vulnerable, and how sex can contribute to the art of self discovery.

This character is established earlier in the show as someone who is timid and quiet – until they find themselves seemingly alone with their obsession.

The piece morfed meaning, and genders (I now know I am non-binary) over the years as I performed it, representing first a specific relationship, then love and connection as a whole, and then my relationships within, including the one I have with my sexuality, and lastly the one I have with my darkness — which I performed on black silks rather than red.

When I first started performing the piece, and for quite some time thereafter, I had to get to the green room right away when I came off the silks, because the wave of what I now know as grief was so strong I would convulse and sob uncontrollably.

Often the deep sobbing would start while I was still curled up inside the silks, and I’d come down as quickly as I could, choking down a river. When I was safe I would completely loose my shit, and something totally overwhelming would rip through my body like a hurricane, and last for extended periods of time.

Sometimes, when I was lucky, there would be a puzzled someone or two there to hold me.

Though I’d come to many theories about it, and over time that response softened, I had no real idea why it was happening.

Due in part to this reaction, I didn’t perform the piece often, perhaps once a year or two. The opportunities to perform it always coincided with a big level up in my personal growth, often cauterizing what had been a long psychic process.

Each time I performed it, the dramatic swell into my big drop felt angry, and forceful, and nearly always, sexual. It represented for me both what I valued about my personality and what I felt deeply ashamed of. That inevitable struggle for power that would result in me being batted away and hurting.

Now I know why. Now I see what I was trying to tell myself.

The following video cannot do this act justice. People who saw this in person were transformed along with me, and due in part to the nudity, the opportunity was rare. Zita was something special, this act was something special, and I am honored to have had the courage and the support to have done this in my life.

Performed June 9, 2010, four years before I wrote about my epiphanies regarding rape culture, for “There must be something in the Air”, a benefit for Versatile Arts, the aerial gym I call home.

The music is from the Batman Begins soundtrack by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. Video footage courtesy of Block My Eye Films, which I edited over one insomniatic night.

Friday, September 12th, 2014

I am no longer
Paralyzed
By the prospect
Of outgrowing you

Experiment: Daily Post-it challenge

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Challenge: A post-it sketch in ballpoint for every day in August.
Duration: One month

Compendious Result: Fine for 8 days, then trainwreck failure — and I’m ok with that.

This was one of many, many production challenges I’ve given myself over the years, none of which I’ve completed fully.

It is said in most circles that ‘real’ artists art every day. Perhaps that may be so, but I don’t work that way. I go in spurts and phases between my various art forms, and always have. I am inspired and proud for my artist friends who bust out a sketch a day and stick with it, but that just ain’t me.

While the idea of a more structured and disciplined life appeals to me, with more focus and mastery of less, I doubt it will ever show up as rigidity in how I create and practice my artwork.

Today’s work

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Feather/bird inspired by http://ephygenia.deviantart.com/art/Feather-Tattoo-350657489

Conjoining two mediums and styles together.

The eyes have it

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Perhaps I should do something themed-wise with this eye stuff. I’m starting to collect quite a few.

V

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Sometimes, I remember what it was like to let someone who knew me hold me. Conjugated, wordless.

Someone who watched me churn and struggle with you and cry so hard I choked on myself. Cry so hard my face felt like it was going to fill and burst with blood and fall off.

Sometimes, I remember what it was like to keep someone who knew me as more than my fight with you inside with me. Someone who helped me fathom hope and victory.

Someone who helped soothe me away from you, who offered me moments of solace, a temporary haven from the war.

Sometimes I remember that haven, and the bitterness of it being gone feels like choking all over again, the tears frozen behind the caverns of my face.

You’ve taken all of them from me. All of them. Wanted me for yourself, left no room, no choice, no rules or structure around it. No matter how I have tried to keep them it always comes back to down to you, and me.

You have me now. All to yourself.

You can scream at me, you can rip my insides out, beat me down, and I won’t call on him to help take it away. I won’t drink illusion and migraines to transport myself and make your blows hurt less. I won’t coax another soul down my throat to satiate you and help me forget and remember at the same time.

It’s just you, and me. Like you wanted.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that if you have me alone, if you isolate me, you will win. You’re thinking you will again rule us, you will consume me, wear me down, and I will stop resisting, I will stop looking for a better way. I will stop pushing through, stop seeking. I will stop changing.

I thought that, once, too.

But there’s something I suspect you didn’t think through, as you cackle and rise and celebrate, filling my head with pain. Something you’re forgetting, demon, while you loft and billow and pound at your puffed up chest. Fighting and sneering and looming, clouding over my mind. Hurting me. Hurting me. Slashing at me with your jagged viciousness, my fists futilely covering my head.

I’ve taken away the places you had to hide.

And I’m coming for you.

The Opening

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

You sit alone in the dark of an ornate theater, front row center. The massive stage sits empty, curtains swung open, adorning the sides of the performance space like a pair of french doors folded into the inside of a well consolidated room.

The folds of the deep red fabric run horizontal, dipping and rising like a valance into nothingness. The unusual arrangement gives the illusion of the stage as a long tunnel, which in the darkness appears infinite.

An earthy, metallic effusion lightly permeates the stale air. It reminds you a bit of how the cellar of your grandmothers old farmhouse always smelled, but lighter here, less overbearing. Occasionally, a whiff of ancient popcorn deftly slices through, or the smell of your own deodorant.

You notice in the stillness the sound of someone breathing, and wonder if it’s you.

Before you have a moment to correlate your insufflation with the noise, a soft, melancholy organ begins to play, a kind of uneasy tone in the depth of its knowing. You search around the theater and see no one, not even in the booth.

The idiopathic music warmly chills you, like a stranger who effortlessly identifies a tender secret you’ve done everything you can to hide, before you’ve even had a chance to stop shaking their hand. It feels, somehow, like family.

You are startled nearly to your core by a loud hissing sound and a splash of movement along the distant edges of the stage. Through the near blackness you make out the soft grey vapor of the theaters’ multiple fog machines crawling across the stage floor, like a sooty, ominous blanket that sees you with no eyes.

You cannot explain why you know, for certain, that it is alive.

You cry delicately from one eye at the sudden memory of your long-deceased uncle’s laughter. In one moment, the sound of him seems to take residence in the height of the massive room, bouncing frantically like a large bird who took a wrong turn and trapped itself there. In the next, the sound, and the emotion, are passed through.

The living soot blanket that sees without eyes has reached the floor. You instinctively raise your shoes to your chair, suddenly feeling as though you were very small again, avoiding the grasp of the monster under your bed. A momentary sense of claustrophobia washes over you as you pull your knees tightly to your chest.

You notice the center of the stage rising, like an excruciatingly slow backsplash from a single drop into a pool of thick black water. The fog wisps down its sides, channeling around the expanding elevation like a trickling stream, anonymously washing the music away. The scent of sulfur flashes by so quickly you can’t tell if it is real or your mind playing a trick on you. Despite your eyes having acclimated somewhat to the dark, you squint, attempting to see better.

The expansion forms into a shadowy torso, which then slowly outstretches its muscular arms, spanning nearly the entire length of the stage. You find you are unable to take in the immenseness without turning your head to look down the length of them, down to its two clenched fists.

You can see its shoulders gently rising and falling as it breathes, and immediately recognize the corresponding sound and being a much louder version of the breath you had heard. The figure partially raises its head, brow lumbering low, bowed in a fierce silence.

Though powerful and masculine, the figure appears to be trapped as part of the stage, its belly and legs snaking endlessly behind him, barely risen above the fog, disappearing down into the red velvet tunnel. You feel certain The Trapped Man’s eyes would be piercing directly through you with their intensity were they open rather than squinched tightly shut.

You feel a tender compassion in the pain of the forms scrunched face, yet find yourself selfishly thankful for that mercy, anxiously weighing the possible cost of being confronted with two open windows into this excruciated soul.

Rage is thick and heavy in the air, swirling tendrils of sickness and misery dripping with tar. It’s filling up the room with heat and foreboding. You realize you’re shaking and at some point have forgotten to breathe.

That constant companion of your increasingly hysterical inner voice now petrifies in stunned silence, the transition as stalling as a room full of humming electronics suddenly losing power. A slightly electric tingle rushes your skin as the enormous figure jerks its head skyward. The Trapped Man opens his massive mouth, fast and counterfeit like a nutcracker, expression twisting further into ferocious suffering.

He lets out the impossibly loud, devastatingly anguished scream of a very small, very terrified child.

You realize now that his eyes are sewn shut.

You squeeze yours closed, unconscious to your mirroring of the tormented screamer, pulling your knees in tighter, suddenly compelled to become as tiny as possible to fight against the weight of the noise.

The 7 stages of Creativity

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

1: This is awesome!
2: Hmm. This is sorta unpredictable..
3: This is shit.
4: I am shit.
5: WHY THE FUCK DO I PUT MYSELF THROUGH THIS?
6: Ok. Maybe it’s not complete crap..
7: This is awesome!

Heavy in your arms (updated)

Friday, July 4th, 2014

https://soundcloud.com/soundofnee/im-so-heavy-fatm-cover-in-progress

Originally created by Florence and the Machine

I was a heavy heart to carry
My beloved was weighed down
My arms around his neck
My fingers laced to crown.

I was a heavy heart to carry
My feet dragged across ground
And he took me to the river
Where he slowly let me drown

My love has concrete feet
My love’s an iron ball
Wrapped around your ankles
Over the waterfall

I’m so heavy
Heavy in your arms
I’m so heavy
Heavy in your arms

And was it worth the wait
All this killing time?
Are you strong enough to stand
Protecting both your heart and mine?

Who is the betrayer?
Who’s the killer in the crowd?
The one who creeps in corridors
And doesn’t make a sound

You said I was safe

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

An ode to acrimony

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

https://soundcloud.com/soundofnee/blackasnightsoloeffectsbeta

 

Forever in debt to your priceless advice

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

https://soundcloud.com/soundofnee/covering-nirvana-heart-shaped-box-whim

Heart Shaped Box on a whim. Because fuck it.

Played live with my Harmony G-XT which I am still getting used to.

All in a day’s work

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

I pulled down my acrylic and water based visual art show today and put it right back up a couple miles away; Currently Showing at Broadcast Coffee: June 1, 2014 – August 1, 2014. 1918 E Yesler Way, Seattle, WA ‎
(206) 322-0807 ‎ · http://broadcastcoffee.com/

A few things didn’t make it. For starters Black Cat watercolor was adopted by Christi, and Orion, the round bubbly acrylic, was also spoken for during my last show.

IMG_4354http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/IMG_4354-460x345.jpg 460w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/IMG_4354-688x516.jpg 688w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/IMG_4354.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

As well, my watercolors Brown Cat, Neil’s Owl, and Untitled Boot all have new homes at my office.

IMG_4379http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/IMG_4379-261x348.jpg 261w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/IMG_4379-688x917.jpg 688w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/IMG_4379.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

And though neither of my pieces that were displayed at SEAF this weekend sold, I gifted Penned One to David Jones, one of my favorite poets, who incorporated poetry about both of my pieces into the Poets Tour at the festival today.

IMG_4351http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/IMG_4351-460x345.jpg 460w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/IMG_4351-688x516.jpg 688w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/IMG_4351.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

Add in the fact that I directed the performances at the Festival this weekend, (can you tell I’m all important like with my radio thingie?) and, well.. I’m not really sure why I’m still awake.

Goodnight, Grandma P.

Friday, May 30th, 2014

In addition to directing the performances this year, I have two small pieces of work that were juried into the Festival (first time), and have modeled for Jim Wilkinson’s installation “Stall”, as well as being the model in the photograph Jim Duvall chose to be in the show as his Masters of Erotic Art piece in the festival.

Today I am most thankful, however, that no matter how stressed or overstretched the task may mean I am, each performance production I direct invariably gives me at least one opportunity to console and remind a troubled artist (as well as myself) that I do what I do because art heals.

Break many legs, and have a great Seattle Erotic Art Festival, everyone.

Watercolor finished

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

9×12 Inspired by Jimmy Gersen’s work

Watercolor in progress

Monday, May 26th, 2014

9×12, Inspired by Jimmy Gersen’s work

Sketchbook update

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

First page with color in my tiny sketchbook. It will be full by summer, I’m betting.

The thread

Friday, May 9th, 2014

I began my Patreon campaign in November of 2013, in an effort to both fund and emotionally encourage my work.

Since then, through my art sales, a few equipment selloffs/trades, and my supporters/patrons, I now have:

Framed my artwork for the first time
Had that framed work juried into the Seattle Erotic Art Festival
Renewed my Soundcloud Membership (so I can keep posting music)
Purchased watercolor pens, papers, brushes and misc. art supplies
Purchased an art projector, digital recorder, and vocal effects processor
Been directly gifted or traded equipment contributions for: an acoustic-electric ukulele, an acoustic-electric guitar, a wireless microphone, and 12 bass accordion.

I ain’t lyin’ – life has been really fucking heavy lately, on a personal/psychological/spiritual level. I’ve been getting the living shit kicked out of me, and barfing up a lot of old hurt in response to those re-enactments.

Art has been saving me, flat out.

The ability to put this much funding, moxie and juice into my work without having to cut off my nose to make it happen has made a profound difference in my life, and in the rising quality and consistency of the art I am making.

All I can say is thank you.

Thank you.
-nee

Meditation

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

2×3 ballpoint + snapseed

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Ballpoint in 2×3 sketchbook.

Pencil Eye

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014