slightly wonky

Don’t expect greatness this week…

I have no new drawings to show.  But, what I am missing in my own work…I plan to make up by my entertaining photos.  Guess what I bought this week????  Only the coolest thing on the planet:

Do you know what that is?  (besides the obvious…)  IT’S A PURSE!  I kid you not.  Can you see the two zippers?  Whoever came up with this idea…truly spoke to my soul.  Here it is OPEN:

Come on.  You love it, right?  It doesn’t NEED to open…but it does.  BRILLIANT!  Where did I get this fabulous item, you may ask?  From Dick Blick.  Seriously!  My kind brother and sister-in-law got me a gift certificate.  I’m sure that this is not what they imagined I would buy…but, in addition to some art supplies, I felt that this item was calling my name.  No, I’m not really hearing voices, but hasn’t a hamburger ever spoke to you?  Did I mention that I’m trying to be vegan?  Hmm.  Actually, it is kind of making me hungry looking at it…

Yesterday, I met with Erica Licea-Kane.  Besides being an accomplished artist, she is ALSO the director of the Towne Art Gallery at Wheelock College in Boston.  Do you know WHY I met with her?  BECAUSE I am going to be in a TWO person show this fall AT this gallery!  I kid you not.  I’m very excited.  Here is what the space looks like:

Pretty cool, right???  I’ll get the wall on the left.  I need thirteen drawings for this show.  Although I currently have twenty…the Concord Art Association is going to have ten of them at the time of the Towne Gallery Show.  SO…I need three more…PANIC.  I literally could not sleep last night stressing about this.  Why am I writing this post instead of drawing? Who knows.  Screwed up priorities, I guess. 

Speaking of drawings…this is the creation I made this week with my son:

He is obsessed with building demolition.  Every drawing that he makes is a building being demolished.  How did he get this idea, you ask?  Because, like the brilliant mom that I am…I show him videos of building demolition on You Tube.  This is one of his favorites.  Did you watch it?  I have seen that probably forty million times.  Anyway, it kind of leaves an impression, right?  So, those images are burned in my son’s mind.  Hence, this is what he draws:

Let me describe to you some of the objects that are falling off the side of the building: a square table, a round table, four table legs, plates, a pizza cutter, a mattress.  My son doesn’t know that people usually EMPTY a building before taking it down.  He imagines all of the contents falling out.  One drawback to this subject matter is that he tends to scribble all over the drawing to show the “dust” from the crumbling building.  I feel that too much “dust” on a drawing covers up all of the other brilliant things, so sometimes I have to try to distract him so that he won’t scribble all over the drawing before I can get my hands on it.

Here’s something that I keep thinking about.  I look at this drawing, and realize that his drawing ability (compared to other 4.5 yr olds) is not conventially “good.”  BUT…he loves drawing, and I think that his drawings are GREAT in their non-conventional way.  I fear that he will someday have an “art teacher” at school who will crush his enthusiasm by pointing out how is drawings aren’t “good” (i.e. realistic).  There are SOOOO many people who have had that experience.  I will have to have a heated parent/teacher conference if that happens to my son.  Heaven forbid.  Let’s hope that antiquated way of thinking has gone the way of the tsquare.  (btw…they still sell those at Dick Blick, just not in the same aisle as the hamburger purses…)

Just so you know…for the next two weeks, I’ll be in Seattle.  I can’t guarantee a blog post…but MAYBE if you’re LUCKY…i’ll post some Seattle pics.  That is IF I remember my camera…and IF my son does not smear saliva all over the lens again.  (btw…did I mention that it’s my birthday today?  Hence, I treated myself to that hamburger purse.  You know you want one.) Happy 4th!


A balmy day at the BPL

So, today was another oppressively hot day in Boston.  Yesterday, it was 104…today, a mere 98.  I know.  The Sahara Desert is hotter.  BUT…do they get 48″ of snow in the winter?  Noooooo. (Remind me again why I live here???)

ANYHOO…I went to see the “ReThink INK” exhibit at the Boston Public Library.  This exhibit showcased the work of printmakers who have been a part of Mixit Print Studio in Somerville over the past 25 yrs.  WELL…the work was so great to see.  I have actually had classes with many of the printmakers who were included, such as Catherine Kernan, Jan Arabas, Deb Olin, Annie Silverman, and the list goes on.  It was also a treat to see people that I am not familiar with.  I’ve got photos of some of the prints from artists that I was not familiar with:

Nona Hershey

This work by Nona Hershey is titled, “Branches, Spring.”  I love the soft green areas behind the strong tree boughs.  My photo does this print no justice, but I loved the texture of the bark, and the three-dimensional quality of the interlaced branches.  I also love all of the scratchy black lines in the background.  It is soft, yet hard.  Here is her website.  (please look)  Next:

Mongezi Ncapheyi

This print is titled, “Migrant Workers’ Hostels.”  I loved the repetition.  The lines were so delicate.  Here is a closeup:

I thought that this was really beautiful.  I’m a sucker for lovely lines.  Isn’t it so simple, yet so beautiful???  I can’t seem to find his/her website, though.  (You’ll just have to see the show in person to take a look at the work…hee hee!)  Next:

Thaddeus Beal

I loved this as well.  This print is titled, “Compressed Crawling.”  The rhythmic texture and subtle greys…ahhh.  Dreamy.  Doesn’t it almost look three-dimensional?  Love it.  Makes me want to run my sweaty hand across it.  (Don’t worry!  I didn’t.)  Next:

Valda Zalkalns

I can’t find a website for her, either.  This print is titled, “Corn Print #1.”  There is actually corn embedded in the print.  Fascinating!  Here is a closeup:

Isn’t that cool???  Maybe I’m seeing a theme here…I guess I like work with TEXTURE.  I realize that’s so odd, when my own work is so “clean”.  I know someone who always jokes about the fact that I love Cy Twombly, and yet my stuff is nothing like his.  I think that this same person was surprised to find out that I’m a messy person.  I guess that my clean drawings imply a certain amount of fastidiousness.  That’s sort of true…but that’s about as far as it goes with me.  Martha Stewart would sob into her monogrammed handkerchief if she stepped into my house…actually, she’d probably keep her face covered like that the whole time!   (but no matter)  I just make friends with the dust bunnies. 

In spite of the fact that my son has created numerous drawings this week, I have decided to show his collection of “rusting iron thingys”, which are sitting in front of the house:

This type of thing typically migrates into the house somehow, but then I have to migrate it back out again (the dust bunnies get scared).  That enormous “nail” on the right is about as long as my forearm.  Why can’t he collect pebbles, instead?  Sigh.  I’m hoping that the family’s tetanus shots are up to date…

My own work continues at a snail’s pace.  As you have seen with previous posts, I’m experimenting with what direction my work should now go in.  Here is my latest drawing:

I’ve drawn the hammer as blurred, or “pixelated”.  I’m wanting to have the tool blurred, as if to create anonymity.  I also had the hammer beginning to slip off of the edge of the drawing.  I was pretty happy with it.  My advisor suggested that I reconsider the negative space.  HMM!  Well, as a result…I’ve been pondering and pondering.  I haven’t even STARTED another drawing.  Hey, at least I did the laundry, (finally!)  Everyone at my house is less grumpy when they have clean clothes to wear.  Such fusspots.  Go figure.

So, your homework assignment is to go and see ReThink INK at the BPL.  If you wanted to…you could also GUSH about my brilliant drawing, but I won’t put that as homework.  Think of this blog as OpenCourseWear, much like that of MIT’s…except that I have nothing intelligent to teach you, and I won’t email you a certificate either.  Hmm.  Maybe I should get back to my art cave in the basement…I think that the heat is getting to me…

Jury duty makes my head hurt
June 15, 2012, 1:07 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts... | Tags:

Yes, this week’s fun adventure was to the Framingham District Court.  No, there wasn’t an amazing art exhibit there.  No, I wasn’t arrested for being generally annoying.  I had jury duty.  I can’t complain, as they ended up not needing any of us…but I still had to hang out in a semi-subterranean room with 15 other people for 3.5 hours.  I decided that if I looked sort of “weird” and “artsy” that day, then I would be rejected as a juror.  I never got to test that theory out, but I’m sure that I’m onto something.  Is there such a thing as a temporary body tattoo?  I must consider that as well for next time.  (I know…I know…civic duty…democracy in action…I was just JOKING about the body tattoo…sheesh)

Well, as a result of that lost morning, and other commitments this week…I have no new work to show you.  I did take a picture of some decaying flowers, though:

You don’t think that they look sort of moody and INTERESTING???  I know.  Why is there always something rotting in my studio?  Who knows.  If you find out why, tell my husband.

Before I showcase some real art done by a recognized artist, I’m going to show two creations made by my four-year old son this week.  The first:

Empire State Building

It might be hard to tell from this angle, but this is the Empire State Building.  My son created this in his Spanish class.  (don’t worry…I’m under no illusion that: 1. This is the Empire State Building. 2. That this class will teach him Spanish.)  I prefer to live in my bubble of unreality.  The teacher was hoping that all of the kids would make a letter, but my son, being the anarchist that he is, decided that a skyscraper was a better idea.  I am slightly concerned about his academic potential, as being able to follow directions comes in so handy when you are trying to learn something.  He seems to be allergic to that (both following direction and learing something).  Anyhoo, after his skyscraper (with glitter), he made this:


THAT, unfortunately, is a gun.  I played ignorant (which I’m an expert at, naturally), and pretended that it didn’t recognize it as a gun.  “Cool sculpture,” I said.  My son looked at me like I was a moron.  I’m still getting used to that.  I thought that four-year olds were supposed to be in an oedipal stage right now?  Whenever following the norm (like the oedipal stage) is desirable, he doesn’t comply…but when following the norm (like making things into guns) is NOT desirable…he’s more than happy to toe the line.  Sigh.

So, before you all close this window for fear that you lose any more brain cells, here is the work of someone that you should look at:

David Oliveira

This is the work of David Oliveira.  SOOO COOL!!!  It’s like a sketch that has come to life.  Please check out his website here.  I love his work.  I love the loose quality to it.  Here is another piece that looks awesome:

David Oliveira

Seriously.  Isn’t that SO cool?  I’m not sure that I’m crazy about the diver in the back, but I love the hand.  I would love to see his work in person.  As I’m not scheduled to go to Portugal any time soon, I think that I’m out of luck.  I seriously feel like I could stare at that hand ALL DAY.  Am I right?  You must agree.  Now.  He’s brilliant.

Ok, enough mooning over other people’s work…it’s back to the drawing board for me.  I’ll try to actually get something done for next week (besides the laundry, the grocery shopping, playdates, etc. etc. etc.) 

I think that the laundry makes my head hurt too.

Cambridge and Danforth…just sayin’

So, this past week has seen the opening of two, group shows that I am participating in.  The first show is “Community of Artists” at the Danforth Museum, in Framingham.  The other show is the “11th National Prize Show” at the Cambridge Art Association, in Cambridge.  I have one drawing in each show.  Here is my drawing in Cambridge:

Can you see my wee drawing?  Here it is again:

I’m happy with how this turned out.  It would look better with ALL of the other drawings in the series, but then it wouldn’t really be a group show, now would it?  You should also take note that I took this photo with my messed up camera.  Luckily, the people at the camera shop were able to remove the maple syrup and saliva that my 4 year old graciously smeared all over the lens.  I somehow felt that if I told them exactly what I thought was on the lens, this might help in their cleanup operation.  I believe that this makes me a “helicopter customer” as well as being a “helicopter parent.”   Two words:  micro.  manage.

I want to show some of the other works that I saw.  I only have photos from the Cambridge show, as my camera was still out of order when I visited the Danforth.  Here’s an interesting sculpture:

Eleanor Sabin

I can’t seem to get into her website, but I like the little house.  I think that it spoke to my inner architect.  I’d like to see a room of these dilapidated houses.  I used to always dream about having a little cabin (with no doorbell, on the other side of our front lawn, mind you), where I could escape.  This little house made me think of that.  I’m going to also say that the Cambridge Art Association should reconsider it’s choice in flooring material.  It hurts my eyes.  Just sayin’.

Malcom Davis

I think that this is speaking to my inner architect again.  I like it.  I don’t know why.  Something about it feels kind of dated, but I like the space that’s created…especially in the right hand side.  I keep wanting to crop it into a square…with the lighter side becoming just a slim rectangle next to the darker side.  Maybe that’s just me.  If we were in architecture school, and a critic felt the same way…(s)he would likely get a hacksaw and start cutting the canvas to show you how much better it would look.  Actually, because this series of paintings is based upon airports, this symmetry and landscape orientation makes more sense to me conceptually.  (not that it didn’t make sense before…)

Yes, I finally have some amazing artwork by my son to show you.  Ok…this is the point where anyone seriously interested in art can basically sign off.  Now, begins my “Refrigerator Front Gallery”.  Here is his latest creation, co-created with Grandma:

Don’t you LOVE it???? Or, is this the kind of scribble that only a mama could love?  Should I mention that the house is on fire?  Should I be worried?  As long as my son does not know how to use a match, I’ll try not to worry.  Maybe we should get rid of our “strike anywhere” matches?  Hmm.  And another:

I imagine this as sort of a Cy Twombly hopped up on froot loops.

So, I keep experimenting with different drawing substrates.  (is that what it’s called, or am I slipping back into architecture?).  This week, I experimented with Ampersand’s Claybord.  Here is my experiment:

Now, all was going well until I tried to make DARK marks.  Then, it was like trying to draw with a candle on Teflon.  The soft pencil just slid across the surface, and didn’t really work.  Here’s a closeup of the shadow:

See how scratchy it is?  I almost feel that the only way to work on this board is to keep the pencil very light, and think of it almost as a silverpoint drawing.  I know that the two people out there (yes, you’re one of them) who read this blog never respond, BUT:

Have you ever used Claybord with pencil?  Did you like it????? (Bueller?)

If it wasn’t 9am and trash day, I would probably hear crickets about now…

What should I even call this post???
June 1, 2012, 3:53 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts..., painting | Tags: , , ,

You know that it’s going to be a snoozefest if I can’t even come up with a title for this post.  Why bother with a title, you ask?  Or, why bother with this post?  WELL…if I asked myself THAT question too often, I wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning.  So…why not?  (has anyone out there been to “Perche No” in Florence, Italy? two words: bacio gelato…but i digress)

So, this week, I’ve been slaving over a drawing that I’m not sure is really turning out too well.  I’m trying to use a different medium.  Normally, I use graphite on Duralar.  THIS WEEK, however, my advisor suggested that I coat some cradled plywood with absorbent ground, and draw on that.  WELL.  I think that if I was better at PAINTING…and could have applied a SMOOTH layer of absorbent ground…then this might have been more successful.  (notice how I deflect the cause of the problem to the board, and not me)   Here it is:

Okay…it’s NOT done yet.  Still…I think that it still may be a bit off.  I’ve changed the vantage of my usual still life subject so that you can better see the impact of the hammer on the pear.  Do you think that it’s effective?  Or, is it just weird?  Actually, don’t answer that.  Nevermind.  Perhaps when I finish it, it will feel ok.  Here is a side view, so you can see the board that I’m drawing on:

HMM! It’s so different than the thin and translucent Duralar…

We visited some friends over the long weekend who have a fantabulous house on Cape Cod.  Yes, it’s true.  Not only do they have a HOUSE there…but it’s dreamy as well.  In all honesty…after just three days in that house/with those friends/at the Cape, I felt so refreshed.  That’s amazing when you consider that my 4 yr old son and their 4 yr old son played the entire time.  In other words: shrieking laughter whilst the boys throw things at mating horseshoe crabs, etc.  Luckily, we weren’t thrown out by the Audubon “crab copulation” police.  If there are fewer horseshoe crabs next year, it’s because our kids distrupted their love-fest.  It’s so refreshing to take a break from helicopter parenting, and just say “who cares?” 

ANYWAY…that weekend made me fantasize about my own dreamy house.  Here is what our house looks like:

Pretty typical, huh?  It has painted white shingles…a stone foundation…brick steps…original, dilapidated windows…you know, the norm.  It’s a very sweet house.  (“sweet” is a euphemism for “tiny”)  But, I’m NOT complaining…it’s really lovely.  We’re sooo lucky to have it.  BUT…wouldn’t it be NEATO to live in a more modern house, like THIS one???

 Servie Boetzkes and Jeroen Helder

Isn’t it GREAT????  No, I don’t think that it’s Darth Vader’s European hideout, thankyouverymuch.  This house is designed by Boetzkes and Helder.  OF COURSE, it’s in the Netherlands…not the ‘burbs of Boston.  Here is a closeup of the metal panel exterior:

DREAMY!  Or, as I used to say when I was working as an architect: BUTTERY!  (that’s not a technical term, fyi)

I have no artwork completed by my son to show you.  I know.  That’s why you read this blog, isn’t it?  If that’s not why, then I’m not sure what’s left, honestly.  ANYHOO, here is the work of an uber-talented artist you should look at:


This is the work of German street artist, EVOL.  Umm…that’s a painting…on a piece of scrap cardboard.  SCRAP CARDBOARD…for Lord’s sake.  Here I am, whining about working on cradled plywood…and he’s making crazy paintings out of cardboard.  Here’s another:


Are. You. Kidding. Me.

Sigh.  I’d love to have that on the wall of my Darth Vader house at the Cape.

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