Wednesday, January 26, 2011

something to look forward to

Today I received a book of children's photographs (say cheese!) , and after looking it over, I think it's safe to say that it is going to be my new favorite reference book. The other neato aspect of the book is that I got it through an online bookclub : you get a credit for every book that you send out to another reader, and you use those credits to choose books to have mailed to you. Book recycling and supporting the postal service? Yes please!

Pieces to keep an eye out for:
Boys with bows series
baby in a pot ( do I keep it a wicker flower pot or change it to a cooking one? decisions decisions

I'll post some pics of work soonish, I promise.

Monday, January 24, 2011

absorbing versus production

I am very effected by stimuli. One of the reasons why I don't have my driver's license yet is because I like looking out at the passing world too much, and I worry that I would be a distracted driver. As a bike rider I've learned to focus- but really it's just honing the kind of observation centered on whatever is going on in your personal space bubble. Car doors that fly open a split second after I pass them send shivers down my spine, and I can almost feel which cars will suddenly swerve in front of me for that coveted parking spot. As a viewer and participant in the world I bounce from a type of focus that hums out conversation and is at times mistaken for a fierceness and unintentional intimidation, (a modified biking attitude) and one that wants to notice and capture details that connect to stories, images and smells. In everyday terms it means that I am appear either seriously occupied or spaced out, silently focused or blabbering about every little thing I notice.

I sometimes wish that all of this awareness would lead to a die-hard artist work ethic but that is a nut I have yet to crack. Maybe I am just weak-willed or too good at psyching myself out, but damn do I get distracted while doing things. Originally I meant to publish this post on the the 5th. I was going to talk about how I had found a box in my room and spent all day working to transform it into a beautiful and fitting carrier for my precious business cards, with explained process and photo evidence. I nearly finished it. The gold paint is alluring, the cardboard wallet box transformed and lined with velvet. Two details threw me off though- do I affix a black masking tape label with my website embossed to the box cover or not? The gold paint made the fit of the box very snug and now it sticks- do I keep it as it is and fumble while opening it, or do I figure out a way to make the box easier to open? How do I do that? And with those questions it has sat. I don't quite have the right type of ribbon or even a solid idea of how I want to do it, and this project follows my pattern of working. Things get started, sometimes they almost are finished, but usually I'm missing the last touch.

Today that last touch is uploading the photos I've taken to support all this chattering. I can't get it work and it's frustrating. I find myself skimming text a lot lately, so I imagine that people will notice a lack of pictures and skip this page. I'll just end these chunks of letters with a list and the acceptance that people will skim and the list has the best chance out of everything.

Things that have been eating my non-work time:
(In order of appetite)
netflix instant watch:
21 Jump Street
The X-files
movies from the 80s
movies set in California or with Aaliyah 

playing scrabble (ipod version and in person)

better job hunting:
barista/espresso test
by phone
in person
editing resume and writing cover letters
Art projects:
 Making a watercolor color chart
( because I am ashamed of the "b" worthy one I made for Randy Chavez's illustration 1 class)
composing little studies with the left over paint from the chart
a valentine's day lino cut with astronauts
business card box

cooking tastier than what I usually eat food:
soups with tomato bases, carrots, cabbage and potatoes plus whatever veggies I have around
curried lentils with collard greens and bacon
sausage, spinach and mushroom sandwiches
Brussels sprouts
peach-ginger black tea or lycee red tea

hanging out with friends and my boyfriend


the packers playoff game
Hopefully I can get my photos uploaded soon, but I can't promise that I will be distraction free.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Projects from 2010 that didn't get blog credit until now

Rabbit skin glue experiment papers in a triptych frame

A thank you painting of a loon for my dear aunt, watercolor, color pencil and gouache on illustration board

 A collage thanksgiving postcard for a friend. The texts reads "gobble gobble" at the top and "heh heh" at the bottom.

This was the 2nd year that I've made holiday lino cut cards. The two lino cuts were carved on the same block, which made the edges more fragile than I like. The Frontier Mother and Child was inspired by a photo of women and children in Time Life: The Old West: The Women- on of my favorite sources for reference. I drew the image on the block and carved it out. The Lunar Mother and Child was carved a week or two after the frontier one. It started with a more complicated and geometric boarder, and I wanted to do something challenging and fun. Abstracting the spacesuits and lunar landing was a major highlight of the past few months art wise.

test runs of the blocks- I love how crisp they are in the beginning!

I sold a dozen Lunar cards to Lola Home which was very exciting. I haven't had a chance to stop by and ask if they sold well, but these are the ones I have left.

 Playing with the ink application was fun and a lot less stressful than planing a painting's color and compositions. I'm beginning to understand the thrills of printmaking, and feel more regret for not taking more print classes when I was in school.

 I love how over the time the ink stays on the block and it becomes a singular distinctive piece that creates multiples.
 I posted a few of these cards on TroubleFox, the Etsy shop Stephy and I are working on. Right now we're using this quick drawing of a fox as the profile pic.
 I've been covering this board with black masking tape salvaged from Devin DeKing's Senior show. I have two large plastic bags that have fused around the tape (14 roll's worth I think) and I like the challenge of untangling it. Devin is also one of my dearest friends- on a girl talk and a "let's get messy and make something" level. She's a solid source of inspiration and just as enthusiastic and in love with rabbit skin glue as I am. Devin and I also share the same madness for time-consuming and body effecting work. Will the work and its process make us ache, our joints stiff, dye our skin, bother the prissy and make our lazy art peers look bad? Then we will revel in it.
Devin has been teaching English to naughty and Über adorable elementary school students in Japan for most of the year. I miss her dearly, and this project has morphed into an expression of that removed excitement and missed kinship; it is slow, because it takes time and because I'm savoring it. I think eventually I will make this a canvas for a rabbit skin glue painting, because I know all the crannies and layers are begging for the ooze and sediment.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A new year

Re-evaluation is important. I try to keep track of changes in thoughts, to see things from multiple perspectives, but it is something I have to work hard at. Introspection can be a painful process, and for the past few months I have done everything to avoid it as much as possible. After participating in a group show in June I hit a dead-end. A creative block trickled into a depression and I spent some serious time in the doom and gloom department. It's not easy asking for kindness, or making mistakes without booby-trapping yourself with guilt. The past few months were mostly spent learning these life lessons, and slogging through the banality of post-college life in a part-time job.
I don't know how much of this anyone really wants to know, but I feel compelled to fess up and take full responsibility for shrinking away from art. I don't know exactly what I want out of life, but I do know that I don't want to be the art kid. I don't want to have a blase relationship with self-expression, I don't want to be ironic, I don't want to flounder anymore.
This year I hope to create a body of work that surpasses the pieces from my "We Are What We Have Lost" series, to continue experimenting with lino cuts and selling cards on the side. I need art again, I want it to be a fully developed part of my life.
Consider this the to-do list of this new year.