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.