Sunday, July 1, 2007

Hot Summer Daze

I’m back in the saddle again. Yes, it’s been awhile. It really has been a busy summer. Let’s see, what’s been going on?

I’ve been filling in at the natural food store while my friends take vacation. They keep asking me to come back full-time but I don’t want to be a bookkeeper ever again. I like to help out, but I am an artist and I don’t do well when I have to sit at a desk all day. This just reiterates how grateful I am that my hubby makes enough money to support us so I can work at my craft.

Lee’s friend, Maillo came to visit from PA in May. He’s this amazing 6 foot, gay, bald, black man who wears tied dyed robes. He’s an artist, too. He does homoerotic art and I don’t think he got my stuff at all, but then I didn’t get his either. It’s all ok, though.

Quarry Publications has accepted 5 of my visual journal pages for the new book called “1001 Journal Pages”, due out next year. I also sent in some pics of my “House Divided” altered book for a new book by LK Ludwig. I should hear back from them soon if they are going to use it.
I had 3 paintings in the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts this year and nothing sold. I did price them a bit high but thought that the fat cats over there in rich suburbia might reach into their deep pockets and come up with the scratch but noooooo…..

I had a real come-to-Jesus experience about my weight over the last 2 months and have been trying hard to get more exercise. I’ve been walking every day to and from the store, the library, the post office, the bank and best of all, our gorgeous local park. Although I just might have to kill some people if they DON’T QUIT FEEDING BREAD TO THE DUCKS!!! This is causing a bad case of toxic algae in our pond and driving the ducks away.

I’ve been living with a bad case of TMJ these last few months. I decided to take a whole body approach to try and heal my jaw. I’ve been doing the rounds at my chiropractor, acupuncturist, and the dentist and signing up for some yoga classes to deal with my stress. I have no idea why I should be stressed. My life is pretty damn unexciting and laid back.

We had to re-fi the house to get out from under a line of credit that had an ARM that was spinning out of control. The finance company said we got out just in time. We may see some double digit inflation next year. Thanks, Bushie!

Just got back from seeing Roger Moore’s new film, “Sicko”. This is a must-see if you are concerned at all with your insurance coverage. Oh, and you will be wanting to move to France as soon as possible.

Well, that’s all the news fit to print. I am going to try and stay on top of the blog from now on, but we’ll see how it goes. And threats to steal the horsie out front are NOT going to get you on any mail-art lists!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

making friends with the trash can

Well, the art is taking another turn. After the last year full of a spontaneous and loose style, I've happened back on to the grid. You'd think that I would be done with this approach after spending 4 years at UCLA graphic design school having it pounded into my brain but I'm finding it oddly refreshing. It's kind of like filling in the blanks for me now. I still have to mind the colors and think about that nasty focal point but I feel like I've found an old friend. I'll keep to the painting but it was never easy for me to let go and be messy. The grid appeals to my sense of order and I'm also finding that it is a great way to use up a lot of those paper bits that I have lying around.

Speaking of stuff lying around...I'm feeling overwhelmed with all of the half-finished projects in my life. In the past 5 years I've accumulated tons of supplies and partially created things that I've started in classes and never finished. This is rare for me because I like to finish stuff right away but there are still a few odd assemblage pieces, the repousee book with one cover done, the canvasses with only the backgrounds painted sitting there staring at me in their mocking little way. I used to be so anal about these things. I couldn't continue on to another project until the last one was done and dusted but these days I've become yes, a slacker. Is this progress? A way of letting go? Can I move to the next step and actually remove these things from my sight? I'd say that trying to tie up these loose ends now would be taking a step backward. I know in my heart that I've learned all I can learn from them so trying to complete them would only be making my "grandma voice" happy. I'm thinking that now is the time to make a big donation to SCRAP.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

it's a wonder that anything gets done

Well, I checked out the new Altered Couture publication and I did see 2 berets in there but neither of them were mine.
I sent Suz my article for Artitude and later decided it was crap.
I can't get started on my little houses because I'm distracted by the ever growing pile of magazines in the living room that I need to get through and out of my life.

Ok, ok it's not that bad but I haven't been in the art zone at all this week and the outside world is squeezing in from all sides. Sometimes, I really have to make a conscious decision to break away from the distractions and hunker down in the studio. I'm not one of these artists that are driven to create 24 hours a day. I'd rather lie on the couch and eat jawbreakers and and watch Eastenders for hours on end. Then I can beat myself up for awhile (remember grandma?) until I surrender to the paint. Thank god, I can't afford a studio outside my house or I would never get anything done.

I'm reading a biography of Walker Evans and right now, I'd say he was a real jerk. Talk about an enormous ego and being lazy and depressed. Jeez Louise! I haven't gotten to the Let Us Now Praise Famous Men part but I'm getting ready to kick him in the ass.

Lee and I were asked to attend a cooking class last night at our friend Matt's store called In Good Taste down in the Pearl. It was Mexican food night and the chef was amazing and the food was fantastic. Ceviche, carnitas, guacamole, piccadillo, pork tinga, virgin margaritas and last but not least, wedding cookies. I was in heaven but god, was it a lot of food. We moaned all of the way home.

That's it for now. Stay cool everyone and caio...

Welcome to Art Garage

Around 3 years ago, I tricked out my garage with some tables and chairs and lots of art supplies and invited some of my closest art buddies to come over and make art with me twice a month. That was how Art Garage was born. This year we are meeting on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month from 5pm-8pm and we have been working on a special charm project (with an eye towards publication). Each artist brings a mystery material and we proceed to make 5-6 1-1/2"x1" charms in the time allowed. So far, we have worked with aluminum foil (me), twigs (Stephanie), bottle caps (Tammy), plastic screening (Linda) and rubber finger cots (my fave from Tammy).
Art Garage is just one of the great art experiences I've had the pleasure to be involved with in Portland and I can't begin to tell ya how jazzed I am to be surrounded by such talented people. I moved up here from LA where hardly anyone shares a thing about their art or their process. I have been blessed to land in an art community that embraces the fact that we are all are enriched by what we give away. We all share in the Art & Soul Art Retreat experience, ArtFest, ArtFiber Fest, the many demos at Art Media, art group meetings at Collage, galleries in the Pearl district, Last Thursday on Alberta, Open Studios in the fall, neighborhood Art Walks, Oregon College of Arts & Crafts, PNCA, 2 huge art fairs and on and on. Everywhere you look, there is inspiration and the pure joy of living in an environment that says, yes! you belong here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

it's all about me

Art Related:
1. I will have 3 pieces in the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts from 6/22/07-6/24/07. I won a blue ribbon here last year. Time to raise those prices!

2. I supposedly have some work in the new Altered Couture Vol. 2 magazine due to hit the stores in May 2007. You should see my altered beret from the Art & Soul 2006 gallery. I used Pere Lachaise Cemetary in Paris for my inspiration, so it's all goth and spiky with chains and a crucifix. oh my.

3. Suz Simanaitis has asked me to write a spotlight column for the summer issue of Artitude Zine. She is spotlighting my visual journal work I did in Juliana Coles class last October. Need to get cracking on this one.

4. "Kaleidoscope" ISBN-10: 1581808798 is #13 on Amazon's Art books list. My work accompanies the Juliana Coles postcard book chapter. If you click on the book on Amazon, you will also see a photograph of my pages. Once I learn how to add links to this blog, it will make it easier to navigate directly to this stuff. Anyone know how to do this?

5. My mail art went out yesterday. Heads up to Paula, Randi and MA.

6. I haven't heard back from Rockport Quarry Books about whether they are going to use my journal pages in their upcoming book "1000 Artist Journal Pages". The picture posted here is one of the pages I sent in.

7. I'm working on a 3-D project where I need to make 12 little 3"x3" houses out of different materials. I am starting with my tried and true, beloved rusted tin cans. I threw about 5 tin cans out in the back yard to start cooking while I chase down some small wooden blocks. 2 of my blocks ended up being 2"x6" so it looks like I may have to go condo on those. I'm going to be nailing vintage lithoed tin can walls to my wooden blocks and putting rusted "corrugated" tin roofs on some of these little darlings. After that, I am imagining houses with rubber walls, duct taped walls, and on and on. Any suggestions for wall material will be highly appreciated...

8. Tania Davenport at Northlight Books has asked me to do my own book. This is a great acknowledgement but I really can't come up with any new fresh ideas for her. I'm a big blank.

House related:
1. We have decided to get rid of our front lawn (if you can call it that, more like a whole lot of sprouty, tufty bits with moss all around them) and replace it with a ground cover. There will be vinca minor all over with it's little purple flowies that match my house perfectly. There will be round concrete stepping stones all over in a random pattern so I will have dots all over my front yard. Yea, dots!

2. I bought my next door neighbors there own horsey to tie up to their horsey ring. They named him Champ. I call him Chump.

I'm leaving the building now. Can you tell I like lists? A bit of the old OCD coming out. Well, that's what you get for hanging out with me.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

born in the wrong time

I love the past. My muse is Clio, the muse of history, the one with the laurel wreath and a volume in her hand. I am the one who finds a vintage photo and peers deeply and intently into the fine details, placing myself there and wondering how it felt to live then. I want the story. I have a hard time living in this century. I can't drive anywhere without imagining the town 100 years ago. Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Weege's photographs leave me weak in the knees.

Here is a photo I took downtown during Randi Watt's photojournaling workshop. I added this one to a series of shots of neon signs I'm working on. Just a recording before they're all gone.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

mi casa es su casa

One more post about my house before I get to the art...

I love my house. It looks like a bowl of fruit. It makes me smile everytime I drive up to it. It's an old house. It's 101 years old. Funky colors for a funky old house.

The inside feels like me, all retro. I always wanted to live in a novelty store and now I do. How old am I anyway? Old enough to appreciate a good cigar box, the dynamics of Pez containers, the whir of the wheels on a tin toy, and the collective wisdom of owning a whole village of salt & pepper shakers.

My kitchen is retro too. My prize posessions are my Gaffers & Sattler stove and my gorgeous pre-50's fridge with revolving shelves.

Ok, ok enough about the house...yawn.

what gives with the horse?

About the horse tied up outside my house...

There's another horse across the street and I can imagine these two neighing it up when we are sleeping.

Friday, April 20, 2007

look ma, i'm bloggin

Well, here I am, in blogland. Another distraction. See, I should be in the studio. At least, that's what the voice in my head says, my granma's voice. The voice that tells me that life is a struggle, that you must finish your chores before you can play, the voice that says you must sacrifice if you want to go to heaven. Well, there it is then. I am hellbent, for sure.

What I would be doing if i was doing it...

1. Making some mail art for my friends, Randi and Paula.

2. Looking for Chagall pictures for a presentation on color that I am giving in May to my local art group. I went to the library yesterday and every single Chagall book was checked out or the catalog said "this book is unavailable for checkout". wha wha wha??? They must of all been stolen, I guess.

peeve for the day...
my neighbor to the back of me just put in a new water feature and it is so loud that i couldn't hear my birds singing this AM.

praise for the day...
my backyard looks gorgeous. I love, love, love the spring in PDX. Everything is just vibrating with color. It makes me want to cry.

That's it. My first post. I'm going to try and get some pictures up for ya'll so you can see my environs as the weather warms up. I have a new steed tied up out front. Wait 'til you see this.