thanks for all the studio love... i'm so happy you are all so happy for me !
on monday i was holed up in the studio researching researching researching - and printing printing printing - pages and pages upon things for upcoming drawings. it was super nice outside and i had an urge to just sit outside and sketch for a minute.
and so i sat in my doorway [which i still have to show you - it's a custom swinging door] and sketched the clover at my feet.
it made me realize how much i miss just drawing something in front of me....
and so later in the day after a walk outside with the little i also quickly sketched this:
japanese maple seed pods [totally made me think of abigail and heather ]
i saw poppytalk's post on whitelines books and had to run out and get one for myself. [there was actually a store in oakland that had ONE left. just one. i snagged it]
more info on whitelines
note to self : try and find time to sketch. seriously.
i was recently gifted two books and they are UHmazing. i heart them. [it doesn't hurt that they are both by incredibly great people]
by Lauren Smith and Derek Fagerstrom owners of the curiosity shoppe
Wallpaper Projects: 50 Craft and Design Ideas for Your Home, from Accents to Art
is a BEAUTIFUL book. with easy to follow instructions. of course i now want to add wallpaper to a ton of things in my house. i even have a couple of rolls of vintage wallpaper... now i need the time.
by Amy Karol - our favorite angry chicken
Bend the Rules with Fabric: Fun Sewing Projects with Stencils, Stamps, Dye, Photo Transfers, Silk Screening, and More
how much does this book rock? so much. there is something about the way amy describes things that just makes sense to me. plus she's funny. and the aunt sarah/uncle pete dolls are just the coolest idea ever? enough said.
sketching and books. [well, sketchbooks are books too, huh?]. i love holding books. turning pages... technology is great, but give me a good book anyday. yup.
2nd 1/2 of the week, here i come... hope yours are good. see you next week.
ok. i finally did it. a dumb slideshow of the progress of my studio being built. the slideshow is dumb - but the studio, oh the studio is not !
i think my husband wanted to kill me for having it built in the winter while i was pregnant [and then completed after the baby came early. i joked that the little would only be able to sleep to the sound of saws and hammering since she was so used to those noises]. truth be told that wasn't the smartest idea, but thankfully he succumbed to my whims. i had it in my head that if the studio wasn't done before the baby came that it wouldn't be done in "time". i sort of needed it there to make sure that i was still an artist. or that i could and would still be an artist along with being a mother. [i had some serious fears about losing my identity.]
it also destroyed our yard and made a lot of work for him. but now we have the studio - which i literally daily can not believe is MINE - a re-tooled yard w/ a great veggie patch - 2 brick patios for sitting/eating - and there's even a grassy area for CC to play on. [thank you hubby for working so hard on our yard]
what is super duper amazing is the design. provided by the fabulous John Riordan. who writes for sew green . and who also writes books, like Boutique Restaurants [full disclosure - the image on the cover of that book on the bottom was taken by me :)].
i NEVER EVER dreamed i could have a studio like this. designed by someone like john. during the whole process - from his inspiration board, to asking me what kind of light i liked [filtered], to walking me through the process of getting permits, to having him solve all these crazy problems with the contractor - he was amazing. i have only collaborated with creative people a few times and each time it has been one of the most rewarding things. this was no exception. it feels like i owe john my first born. i am forever grateful. thank you.
i love how it glows at night when the lights are on.....
i'll show you the inside soon.
before i go. one link. the perfect blog for paper and pencil freaks [like me]
pencil talk . introduced to me by the lovely mr. levy . sigh and sigh again.
have a great week!
the days are blending together for me. not because i'm doing the same thing everyday, but because i can't really keep tabs on anything more than what is happening THAT DAY. i think i always want to live more in the moment, but... i guess i must confess that ultimately i'm a planner and i feel as if i'm about to forget something hugely important.
hopefully that won't happen. i also kind of feel like if i can make it through the next few months things are going to shift again. in a big way.
so in no particular order here are some things that have been on my mind/happened:
1. i got a haircut today. as you can see in the above photo [another work day - the outfit made me think of martha and her new line - UN have you seen it?] my hair was almost to my shoulders! i haven't had hair that long since high school??
2. we've been eating out of our garden. the broccoli the other night was the best i've ever eaten. seriously. i'm so glad we conquered those broccoli caterpillars. tonight we had beet greens. our tomatoes are just finishing. my husband has been an amazing farmer and cook. sorry i don't have photos of our goodies [keep eating them before i think of it] but i feel so lucky to see items on my plate that come from our yard.
3. i've got a couple of ideas i'm researching for drawings. i'm thinking about how to take familiar imagery [my vocabulary] down new paths . seeing heather's layered drawing got me all excited to try these new things. it's been a couple of weeks since i've done anything in the studio and i'm itching to. next week....
4. i'm trying to relish teaching as due to the insane budget shortfalls here in california it looks as is my teaching days are numbered. this makes me sad. i've been thinking about how much i missed teaching when i was on maternity leave. and now that i'm back how much i will miss it again. of course there are things about it that are exasperating.... but there are moments in the classroom where i can feel and see minds and ideas shifting and forming and that is so exciting. i keep trying to believe that there is a greater force at work [all things happen for a reason] and that it will be good for me to take a break. spend more time with the little. maybe more studio time? maybe go back to freelancing?
5. the smell of rain is so good.
6. my parents are going to japan soon and i've been reliving my trips there. wishing i could travel again. i think i still have some polaroids to show from that trip. and speaking of polaroids... film. will be back. the impossible has happened !!!
6 is a good number. will stop here. hope things are good in your necks of the woods....
it was a really nice opening. Lisa + Rena [of rare device] are super kind and supportive and it was a treat to have my parents, and husband, and baby, and father-in-law at the opening. it was also a treat to meet some folks for the first time, and see some friends who managed to make it, even though i gave out the wrong address. [oops. baby brain!]
so the body of work i made for this show is super duper personal [i know... most artwork is personal, but in this work feels even more so]. when my grandmother was sick with lung cancer i tried to make sure and visit her in LA as much as i could. once she found out i was pregnant she sat me down at one of our lunches [we always went to lunch at nice restaurants] and told me that i was going to inherit a good chunk of money. she said i could use it however i wanted, but that she really thought i should use the money to build a studio in my backyard. especially since i was about to have a baby which was going to change my world more than i could imagine [she had sparkles in her eyes when she said this. boy was she right].
thanks to my grandparents - AND the incredible building design of grub [ bug's partner ] i now have a space that is mine all mine literally 10 steps from my backdoor. [i know i still have to show you it. i've been waiting to make this little movie... haven't done it yet. it's on the LIST].
i felt it was incredibly important for the first real work i did in the studio to somehow pay homage to my grandparents. because without them and their generosity i wouldn't have the studio.
and so the show was born.
here's the statement i wrote about the work::
His + Hers
a show about my grandparents
My grandfather passed away in July 2006. My grandmother in October of 2008. Apart from my parents no 2 people had a more profound influence on me growing up. Their personalities, quirks, likes, dislikes were woven into my life in such a seamless way. In many ways I owe my artwork to them. My grandmother as she taught me how to crochet and knit and was an avid embroiderer. My grandfather as he taught me to love tools and how to take things part. Both of them taught me to be curious and work hard [traits that serve artmaking well].
One of the functions of making art for me is acknowledging the past – connecting with and seeking to understand the nostalgic. I also often look to the “mundane” and the “domestic” - searching for small moments and objects that ultimately signify something greater than what they appear to be. I am also keenly interested in gender – what signifies and constitutes something as masculine or feminine? In rendering objects that may be seen as “male” or “female” can I alter or emphasize the perception, or can I create some sort of hybrid take on them as objects?
In my work I often leave long threads dangling – to me these threads emphasize the physicality and “drawing” nature of the work [they also pull the work away from “straight” embroidery]. The threads elude to time passing. In some instances they begin to hint at decay, things fraying and pulling at the seams. In my mind our memories start to have dangling threads as time passes – things are not as clear – they become fuzzy... The threads become longer. In other instances the thread highlights connections – moments where similarities are shared. And for me ultimately thread is a drawing device – like a pencil or pen – the thread simply has a different historical reference point than charcoal or ink. [The connotations of “women’s work” and “craft” are also things that intrigue me].
These pieces are about what I remember as a child with my grandparents. What they wore, what they drove, what they played, where cancer invaded their lungs. Although they are in essence highly personal there is, I hope, intrinsically a universality to them as well. I’m sure there are people who have their own memories or associations with whisks, pliers, track suits, and American Matzo. These are just pieces of his and her story.
all the images are in a set on flickr . some of the pieces have comments there [like which one is one of my favorites and why bacos].
they are all available for purchase on rare device's site. [although part of me wonders if anyone is interested in this imagery besides me and my family].
oh! i also am part of pikaland's latest zine "good to know" where she asks if you need to have qualifications to be an artist. you can get a copy here . there are lots of really great answers!
have a good weekend!