Friday, February 24, 2012

Recent studio shots

Studio wall shot - about/face in process

The Fates in process. Part of the nine months series - thinking about life and death, personal mythology and the origin of imagination

The Fates (detail 1) The Weaver

The Fates (detail 2) Balance, the decider of the length of one's life

It's Always A Choice (sketch). Work after re-reading Thought Forms by Leadbeater.

In the hour a day I have in studio - after the little one goes to sleep and before I pass out from general exhaustion - I have begun to sketch. Putting things up on the wall, exercising the art muscles in my brain, is becoming more and more important. The below are sketches from a couple of years ago, that are becoming larger and more fleshed out.

Re:visiting three dimensional drawings

I had an inspiring conversation with C. last night about the Morse code beaded pieces I started so many years ago.

She had sent me a link to a retail website that is currently selling morse code jewelry for $59 - $160. I started to panic: did I miss my opportunity to sell my own? Why hadn't I ever done anything with my idea - from 2006? I was kicking myself. Time was fleeting; I felt run over, passed by by my own procrastination.

However, the conversation proved very informative and incredibly helpful.

After talking about my pieces in one way - that they were Morse code necklaces, talking about how to get them into the world of commerce, talking about aspects of retail, etc., C asked me to explain the original concept to her, to go back to how the pieces began in the first place. So I did: the idea was born at the mixed media and drawing workshop in 2006.

Before that time, I had a failed beaded jewelry business. My intention was there, but the drive to succeed in the world of retail was not. I had no idea about marketing, trends, or mass production. None of that made sense to me. It still doesn't.

That summer, I went to La Cip for mixed media and drawing. It was my first workshop since graduating from massage school, and over two years after I had stopped making work at all. I needed to reconnect with the artist that I was. Bodywork was/is great as a day job, but I'm an artist and that is what I should be doing. Needless to say, it was a very new experience to be there again after taking a leave of absence from my art practice. The art history lectures expanded my ideas of art in ways I couldn't imagine, and the drawing course proved to have a lasting impression.

The day the idea of using Morse code came to me, we were learning what elements comprise a drawing - dots, dashes, cross hatching, lines. Incidentally, I had brought some beads and string with me, and began making a small necklace after the lesson and before dinner. However, as I was working, I realized that the piece I was working on had no meaning. I began to question: why beads? Why string? What meaning did the material have, if any? What could they be transformed to say?

After dinner the questions were still in my mind, and I wrestled with trying to find a common connection between what a drawing was and the beads in my hand.

Enter workshop insomnia!

At around four in the morning, I finally found a solution that put my mind, and body at rest: Three dimensional drawings using Morse code. Conceptual drawings that can also be worn (as necklaces). It was important that they were worn around the neck, as communication and my relationship with language is important to underscore. Their weight became important; I was interested in transforming immaterial spoken words into objects that were in physical relationship with one's body.

Needless to say, explaining this to C. changed the way I remembered my own work.

I'm now more curious than ever to follow the questions that led me to begin the pieces in the first place. The piece you and I wrote together takes on a WHOLE new meaning.

More soon - off to studio.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Getting to Kassel/getting to Documenta

Throwing caution, and a large portion of reality, out the window - let's talk about going to Documenta this summer! I have no idea *yet* how we'll get there, but here's a plan: meet the group in Kassel, then go to Prague and visit with you and your family for a week. The last time Turu was there was in 1994, and I've never been.

What do you think?

Are you staying on for residency at La Cip after Documenta?
Let's discuss - flight prices increase by the day....

Saturday, February 18, 2012

New work in process

Hello Tereza,
I'm sorry to have been absent in recent days.

I've attached an image of a painting in progress - the first one I've started in eight months.
Some things feel familiar, some things feel very new; I'm interested in deepening my connection to whatever "this" is. I'll add more when they arrive - from my brain into the world.
There is something about working with the concepts of redemption, devotion, and beauty that are in the forefront of my mind. It feels like many things I've worked with in the past are right here in front of me (again).

The studio is practically done.

We've finished the insulation, drywall, electrical, and heat source (wood burning stove).

It makes me feel incredibly lucky to have this as a space in which to work.
I hope to give myself the gift of solitude, and get on with things already ...

(one essay in an 8th grade exam)- daydream

Last week my 8th graders were subject to a week of standardized testing. It brought me right back to sitting behind the desk with the black and white sheets in front of me, and all coherent thoughts leave me.

But as I looked over the test from the new perspective, of not having to take it, there were some interesting topics. One specifically caught my attention having to do with daydreaming. In the time the students answered their two essays, I wrote one especially since it had to be hand-written. Here it is:

In a daydream, I am lost in a pleasant space of nothingness. The temperature and feeling is just right albeit nondescript. It is a space I am both present yet at the same time absent. It is a lingering, a pause, a gap in time.

Within a rushed society, our run-around nature prevails--that continuous looking at the clock. Did we consciously construct this concept? Or is time slowly swallowing our inner nature wrapped in a daydream? The one that enjoys breath, the inhale and exhale with a pause in-between. Can just that be enough?

The daydream remembers. It remembers the desperate need for silence, inactivity, the breath. My daydream, at times brief, makes a substantial part of my reality, so much so that I call it my reality.

There are no particulars within each one, no recurring pattern. Patterns form from habit. In a daydream, particulars collapse the practice. It is a glimpse of colored thumbtacks, that are visual but also background. The focus is fuzzy. I am seeing and not labeling. I am in a state of in-between, a suspended mind.

My daydream has the feeling of meditation, a slowing down, a delicious void. It is where my eyes go to be still--a student's hand moving rhythmically across paper, a cross contrasted against a white shirt.

Time bends in these pauses or at least it is nonessential. The battle with the clock however is a hard one, as the ticking is continuous. Can the ticking clock become part of the dream? For now I choose to not own one and follow an inner rhythm.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Collapse of Distance- Project with Lisa Ulik

more information here:

along the Mississippi- by Lisa                                    roughly 4x5" watercolor and charcoal

Receiving images from another's perspective within their landscape, sending one's own, and translating their landscape, their view. Another lovely dialogue.

then there were three