Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm in the press!

Check out the write up for the group show I'm in with a blurb about my paintings. COOL!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Card batch # 3, paintings and experiments

 The first stage of some experimental tape paintings

One of the things I really love about art is how it isn't really serious until you say it is. I could spend the rest of my life working some random job to pay living expenses as long as I could spend time experimenting with ideas and materials. Studios are laboratories of messes, egos and wonderful mistakes, a safe place to spend time nursing a piece of work to life. And since art is subjective ( like everything else in the world I suppose) you can just let it exist until you decide that yes, this is something you want to show people, this merits attention, criticism and maybe even praise.
Whether I'm ready for it or not, the Compound Gallery Group show is quickly approaching. I have until July 5th to fine tune my work for selection. Since you dear reader are putting in the effort of actually looking at my blog I'll give you a sneak peek, but first card batch # 3!

Super stiff 400lb Arches watercolor paper

It took me a couple of hours to cut and at least 2 exacto blades, but no finger injuries were sustained!

A 3'x4' board served as a base for taping my future paintings and cards. This was an all day affair.

Mmm rectangles

Drying paint

A close-up

Dried paintings, but not quite finished

Close-up of one of the larger pieces (12x15 inches) before I decided it worked better in the other direction.

A few of the finished pieces, arranged in pairs or triptychs

Except for this loner, he works well by himself.

I started to oil paint again. I haven't worked in oils since October of last year, ever since I became enamored with making my own water-based paints. I've had a painting that I started back in October as an experiment. It started as a wood panel prepped with pigmented rabbit skin glue as a size, but then I got into painting with the size, and gluing size paintings onto the panel, and before I knew it I had piece that didn't know where it wanted to go. It has been hanging around, the awkward guest, the well intentioned but never finished project. On a whim I decided to oil paint on top of the paper cutouts and such. I'll show a progression of the painting in a future post, once I've found a photo of the beginning ugly duckling stage.

Here's a clue to the color scheme...

Stage 2 of experimental tape paintings.
Sometime needs to happen, but I'm not quite sure yet. 
More tape layers perhaps?
Stay tuned to find out!

If you live or will be visiting the Bay Area soon come check out the group show!
I promise that it'll be a good time, plus since it's an open studios event you can legitimately peek into the spaces where all the art magic happens...

card batch # 2 unwrapped

Lots of things have been happening that kept me busy and in a little bubble.
I've been sharing a studio space with 2 of my dear friends- it's so good to have a space again! This picture is from when we first moved in- it's a lot more homey now, I'll post a recent photo soon, after I check and make sure it's okay with the art gang.

 The dried paint on the cards.

 A close up of the textures

Carefully taking the tape off

The card revealed!


Just  a small amount of the tape I have left over- more than I know what to do with right now!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Process photos

Yesterday I spent around 7 hours at the Compound Gallery working on my second batch of business cards. The vast majority of the time was spent tediously taping the cards to a board so they won't warp when painted. Anyone who has worked with me at any job or had a studio class with me can testify for my fondness of labor intensive work. I've discovered that anything I figure out how to do myself is always more drawn out/difficult that what most people do. I don't mind that it takes forever or that body parts go numb or start to ache. I just shift, stretch a little and go at it. There's a meditative connection between myself and whatever I am working on. I feel connect with the past, and sometimes a sense of pride that I am continuing a task or tradition that has been outdated by technology and human ingenuity. Plus I stubbornly try to distinguish myself from what my peers might be doing, and usually that means I meticulously make things by hand.

  Taped cards

The materials

The setup, painted cards and paper mounted on wood panel miniatures

( The blue tape is where the emboss will be)

 There are 64 business cards drying right now.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

the blues of business cards

Sometimes I neglect things. I get so distracted by what's happening around me that I forget what I was doing at that moment or why I am even there in the first place. Textures, sounds, colors, juxtapositions- those strange moments where little things ache with poignancy, leave me staring dreamily.  It's just the way I am. So my few dear readers, this is my apology to you. I have been running around experiencing the little worlds of Oakland, scooping ice cream for the never ending line, reading here and there ( Middlesex was fantastic by the way) and basically doing anything that kept me away from any art. Pain and pleasure are measured and experienced by the same neurons in the brain. That's why some things hurt deliciously, or there's that split second where you're not sure if you enjoyed that or not, but you certainly felt it.
Right now, art making hurts. It's not the sensation itself, but the context. Being studio-less leaves me tripping over the little paintings scattered on my bedroom floor and bumping into wood panels tucked into makeshift cubbies.  There's a need but no direction. No projects to fulfill, no classmates, teachers or clients to impress. I have the post-BFA blues.

Is there a cure? Yes, and it's probably along the lines of sucking it up, so that's been the plan. Being stubborn and hard on myself has lead me to tinker with the way I think about my relationship with the world, and the role of my artwork. How can I interact with people about my work within my aesthetic range? What is the most time consuming but minimal way to do this?

Business cards. Hand painted embossed business cards. An individual painting, waiting to be exchanged with a handshake. An impressive but understated gesture.

Hello first test-run cards. You were measured and cut from Arches 140lb cold press cotton paper, and a bit of bristol board just to see what would happen. Tenderly taped and exposing a brief little rectangle you waited to be painted. Then you had to dry overnight. The tape was carefully pulled back, the embosser positioned just so, imprinting my website domain into your blank edge. Hello my pretties.

I don't like to waste materials. A perk of making things yourself is that you can control the amount of waste. The tape from the painting process will be transformed into paintings after I carefully select and position it. It's exciting to have tangible potential. It makes my fingers want to scratch. I'm beginning to crave the sweet hurt of making. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Business card mock-up

The plan is that every card will be an individual painting with my website embossed on the lower part of the card. Minimal, time consuming and completely my aesthetic.
What do you guys think?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

round 2 of postcards and minature portraits

I've been slow to post these postcards because I wanted to send them out first. It seems that all the postcards share a theme of animals jumping/ popping out of somewhere else which is something I'll work on more deliberately now that I've recognized the pattern. I think the 3rd one is the most humorous yet.

On a slightly more serious note, I've been working on a pen and watercolor drawing that's 3.5 x 5 inches and photo based. I want to describe the limbs a little more and the clothing, but otherwise I like the direction it is heading in.

I've been feeling a little weary lately so I haven't been making anything. I did go to the library and pick up a couple of books by Aimee Bender. Her writing is vivid and has elements of magical realism- the kind of writing that kick starts ideas- I'm looking for a dose of inspiration.

Friday, March 5, 2010

to see

Michael Borremans, http://www.davidzwirner.com/artists.htm for his surface quality and paint application (yum)
 "One" 2003 Oil on Canvas

Egon Shiele for his alluring portraits and magnetic line quality

1917, Charcoal and gouache on paper

Hayv Kahraman, because things are more than they first appear.





  "flaying the Lamb" 2008, Oil on Linen

Monday, February 22, 2010


Most people know that I am done with school. Everyone asks, "what have you been up to?" and I answer, scooping ice cream (still) and a gallery internship. "Oh." they say, hiding the disappointment in my less than riveting reply. "Are you making any art?" they ask, with a hopeful tonal upswing. This is usually where I say no, but lately I've been saying postcards. Postcards aren't as exciting as they use to be I guess, unless they are covered in illicit, silly or private revelations. (like these ). But I've been making postcards because they aren't as intimidating as little paintings or drawings.
Here they are:
 this one's my favorite and has been sent to the east coast

Grumpy cat in a bag for all those with cabin fever

I doodled this card while listening to Au Revoir Simone, a Brooklyn band that I've just started listening to.

Step by step and bird by bird I guess. At least I can say that I've been making things. This past Sunday I went to a liquidation sale and bought around 10 wood panels of varying sizes, so once the rains stop I'll bike over to the tool lending library for a miter box, clamps and a hand saw and burn a lot of calories making panels to paint on. I'm really excited about where they could lead.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A possibly- hipster love story

My boyfriend and I toy with the line of being hipsters on a regular basis. We both like to think that we are far less self-celebratory and ironic than required to claim true hipster membership but our interest in art, design, bicycles and skinny jeans does makes us suspect. I bring this up because I just made an Olympia beer valentine's day card.
Another thing my boy and I have in common: we are both cheesy as hell. So no, i didn't just feel like painting an homage to cheap beer (besides, being a good Milwaukee girl PBR is my nostalgic beer of choice), it's a symbol of how we met. (cue the awws)
I was at his local haunt for the first time ( which has been transitioning into a playground for all those newly hipstered hipsters) and saw him dancing. My friend pointed him out to me and asked if I thought he was cute. Yes, but hell if I was going to talk him since I'm shy and a little skittish in social situations. My dear friend, brazened by a drink or two, snatches a beer my another friend had just bought for me, walks over to him, gives him the beer and says it's from me. I am horrified and blushed violently. He introduces himself, but goes back to hanging with his friends. A little later my friends and I decide to leave, but before we do, a friend of his notices and she asks for my number. I have never given my number to someone I have just met, and decide why not, and give it to her. Later he realizes I have left and feels like an a-hole for not getting my number. 2 days or so later his friend tosses my number to him as he's lamenting the situation. Now we've been dating for nearly 5 months, which isn't a terribly long time, but a lot of things have happened that make us very appreciative for each other's company; welcome relief from what life has been throwing our way.

We ponder how we met, thank the boldness of our friends but most of all wonder how a cheap can of beer started this exhilarating adventure we're on.
The card is watercolor and micron pen on bristol board. This picture is mid-production, as the flaps open to little water color vignettes that were painted on a separate piece of paper and glue on the inside panel of the card.

As expected, the cheesiness of this card blew my boy away, and at the end of the day, I'm going to say that the response this card elicits snatches it out of the domain of hipsterdom and places it in the land of nostalgic goodness.
Moral of the story? Go out and if you're not brave enough to meet people yourself get a trusted friend or two to help you along and test your comfort level (safely please!) Then craft something from that experience!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

mysterious people

I've started painting figures again. It's been a long time since I considered people as something I want to paint. I think the reason I've shied away from figurative work is that it's harder for me to convey what I am feeling/what situations and emotions I want people to perceive. I get caught up in trying to make the people accurate, in proper proportions and colors and it becomes boring for me, and I don't care as much about it because then it is merely a study on how to get better, and a viewer can only look at so many studies before they lose interest.
But I'm on a "try to loosen up" kick, so here I am, painting tiny images of tots and kids. Re-imaginings of past events, alternative histories, people in wild brooding places.
I am excited about these two paintings.
I'm also revisiting some mono-types I made my second year in college- for now I'm just adding watercolor washes, but I might start being a little bolder with time. Here's what I have so far:
  I like the textures of the prints a lot. Hopefully I can find a way to make these and the rest of the prints I have work...