today was day 2 of "basic composition" at Mills - the first day we really got to know each other (yes I did the hokey thing of going around the room and making everyone talk) - I'm really excited about the class because I think that the students are really going to work hard. Today they were working on blind contour studies of their hands - they all concentrated and worked dilligently for 2 hours! One of them mentioned that it was like brain crunches - good analogy I think! I joked that next class we'd be doing brain jumping jacks.... In the spirit of drawing - I decided that I should get back on that horse too - so I bought myself a sketchbook (all the students have to have one and turn it in) and did a mini-contour drawing of my own! (see above) Maybe I should re-do all my own assignments.... hmmmm
this is chief half tail (you can see why) - the companion squirrel for my friends grace & michael (mostly michael me thinks since he's home painting practically daily - he's a work-a-holic painter for sure! more work ethic in one pinky than 10 artists combined!! able to leap tall buildings in a single bound... no wait that's not him). cheif is very smart and comes to visit for his pecan fix.... here he is "kissing" another squirrel to get his treat. if that's not cute I don't know what is! of course grace has laid out a fabulous garden in their yard so between the garden and pecans I don't think cheif could ask for a better setting..... lucky lucky squirrel!!
yesterday was the first day of class at Mills.... bright and shiney faces for "basic composition" - translation: beginning drawing.... too many students showed up - which on one hand is very nice - but on the other... I don't know if I'll have the heart to turn any away.... we'll see what happens come Monday - I'm sure it will all work out in the end. And thankfully I have Sandee - the wonder TA - so I have help! (love help!)
so today I started to lay out the installtion for the Dangerous Playthings exhibition at Cricket Engine - I have a floral wall paper tank... moving along and lo and behold I am out of bubble gum pink felt! and here things were progressing so nicely.... I need the pink to make the part that is normally the color paper square... and I think it has to be that pink - I tried the lime green, the white, the dark pink... no, no and NO! My thinking is to take my tank story drawing and move it to the wall... hopefully it will work out because I don't really have time to come up with a plan B - as I left today I added two little mr.trees along the floor/wall - I love those things - maybe they'll stick... but I think they might need to be another color too.... hmmmm
and speaking of hmmmm (what a segue) I set chris (studio mate) up w/ his VERY OWN blog space on the web... I'm hoping he'll use it - I think he's a blogger in the bud/rough (more bad puns?) and I'm hoping it will give him space to explore the writing side of him (I know it's in there!). I'll link to it if he starts writing (no pressure)
tomorrow to the fabric store I go.... OH! one more thing - I started drilling the blue plexi plane today.... super exciting... hopefully I have enough pearlized pins.... ooohhhhh......
some stories just came out - bats, birds, cone flowers.... oh la la! thankfully I had some elements left from the last set (although I did cut some gingham tanks out yesterday which I couldn't help but use - GINGHAM - need I say more?), so I didn't have to start everything from scratch... Theresa also gave me some lovely pink floral wall-paper which of course had to become a tank shape - it's hanging out on my wall near the floor....
the studio visit went well on Tuesday so I will be included in the "dangerous toys" show at Cricket Engine (another motivating factor)... I've been thinking about making the stories more 3-D - meaning more on the wall and using some hoops to hold the element that the tank is battling - I still want there to be a formal color aspect and a multiple issue, but the wall-paper is looking like the solution for the tank (at least as I left there all blurry eyed this evening).... originally I was thinking painted plaid, but now I might be convinced otherwise! oh studio I have missed you!!
and BTW - pics of Berkeley Student Work are on my site now yes on the teaching page
this was my painting class... aren't they cute? the two students I had from Beijing facilitated the photo.... it reminds me of how Richard Shaw used to take a class photo every semester... there are gazillions of photos that line his office walls - it's great actually.... maybe I should keep the tradition up (if I'm so lucky as to keep getting classes now and again). I'll go through and post some of their work (which was GREAT by the way) on my site soon!
I also found this amazing source online via the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. They have a great Artist Resource Center that publishes a newsletter that's FREE - that is chock full of great jobs, internships, residencies, etc.... I am still amazed at what you can find on the web!
also in the great on the web category - Kim, who posts to many places including theexcitementmachine.org (see on left) has ANOTHER blog diorama that's crafty craft oriented and has lots of amazing links - yes folks, I find it tremendously easy to just continually link around the web.... who knows where you'll end up!
after a late night discussion about the tiring chore of cleaning up after an elderly cat that was having problems making her business IN her litter box (around and nearby do not qualify as IN), my dear friend Sylvia sent me the image below - she claimed it was what her cat had managed to do overnight! oh dear kitty!!
and earlier my studio mate and I dicussed the possibilites of balloons as symbols of cheer... works for me! if feeling down and low - just utter BALLOONS (a little loud would be good - and for extra added effect you can end it like a question: Balloons?? as though you aren't quite sure you are ready to be cheered) - I wonder what other words might hold this power.... something to ponder while drifting to sleep....
the postman came and did a little knocky knock thing - which means he's leaving a little something on the porch. surprised because I definitely wasn't expecting a package today - I opened the door to find the tell-tale Amazon.com single book box. Hmm... I didn't order anything from Amazon...
to my DELIGHT inside the box was this:
it is this amazing book about mapping - with artwork and other images that just pulls on my hearstrings - I feel as though I should be carrying this book around on my person at all times for the next few weeks (sort of in the hopes that the contents will enter my psyche by osmosis).... tucked in the box was the packing slip which revealed the sender of this lovely book.... mr. levy!!! immediately I am overcome with such a melty warm feeling! how lucky am I to know someone who will randomly send me the perfect gift?!?! too lucky me-thinks!
(this definetly makes up for my icky stroke of bad proofreading yesterday! - mid mocking up the map for a wedding invite for some friends I notice I got their street name WRONG - it isn't Missouri - it's Mission - on the invite that I ALREADY PRINTED 120 of the night before! I felt as though I was a bonified member of the Moron Club! yikes! I then had to dash into SF to get more paper at paper-source - where they had 4 packages left (exactly what I needed - I think the luck started to turn then) - long story short - delivery delayed by a day, but disaster alleviated!)
but back to mr. levy....
this is the drawing for his latest hooked rug.... I think it is just an amazing drawing - I love it !!!(of course I'm positive it will look fabulous once it's all yarned in too) - so not only does he send me fun images that arrive like little gifts in my email - but I get a book too!! I'm practially speechless (ok, I'm not typeless as the long speil above attests, but.... you get the idea)
but it doesn't end there... this is the "lisa" necklace - produced for me by the extrememly talented Jodi Douglass (her website currently only has a short bio on her, but....). Jodi and I re-met at a friend's girls night not too long ago where we all oogled and ahhed at her creations! Now I own a few! lucky lucky me again!!! (hopefully there won't be another karmic shift that bites me in the butt for all this good fortune - hopefully it's just deserved for some reason!) Sometime in the near future I'm hoping that Jodi and my t-shirt making friend and I will have a little trunk show together - you can come if you tell me you want to - just email me!
right - studio you ask?? I am almost basking in the light at the end of the tunnel.... next week is the last week of summer school (of course then I have to prep for the next class in the Fall - but we aren't thinking about that right now) - I have a studio visit almost immediately after that - so I better get a little bit of something done.... I'm itching - I see all the students ploughing away and making strides and I just ride the bus home to plop on the couch (it's about as much as I can do).... I did do a few sketches - do I get points for that??
Look at her!! She's only maybe 5 inches tall in real life.... I am mesmorized! She was a gift from my talented and lovely artist friend Miya who's new studio/house I went to visit. She had a whole series of these dolls (called Kokeshi & made in small towns all over Northern Japan and meant to be tourist gifts) on a shelf and I couldn't stop looking at them. She then proceeded to dig up these mini versions and offer me one as a gift! Miya immediately understood how they fit into my work - all I really want to do now is draw them.... so simple yet beautiful - the essence of childhood too (she opens on the bottom and you can slip a little note in to your best friend). Miya and I have a very special bond - she's a halfie too (1/2 Japanese, 1/2 Caucasian) and so we share sensibilities... her work is just gorgeous and tied to a whole tradition of buddhist sword making - go check it out!
this weekend was filled with good cheer (I hope) as we had friends of all shapes and sizes and sorts over to celebrate D's birthday. although the weather wasn't perfect - we all got to hang out outside and oogle our new tiki bar ;). Even though cooking until midnight is sort of tiring, it all seems worth it when you watch guests eagerly eat (mmm charred corn salad)
it's crit day! hopefully the students have pulled all nighters and we get to see their glorious creations - I'm excited to see what's different from my last glimpse of them! I'm bringing cookies to encourage talking... I have a feeling I will come home and collapse (although techinically that isn't possible since I have some work to do!) - maybe I'll just be mute for several hours....