slightly wonky


Zip-a-dee-do-da

This past Wednesday, I got back from a fabulous FIVE DAYS IN PUERTO RICO.  No, it’s not April 1, I’m serious.  This was a birthday celebration that my friends and I did because we are all turning/have turned 40 this year.  SCARY!  Luckily, we still have the maturity level that we did back in high school, so we had a blast.

Before I left on my trip, however, my son made me this birthday cake:

a-halloween cake

I think that it says “Halloween…40…For Mom.”  I thought this was hilarious.  Isn’t it creative, and adorable???  Look at the candle he drew!  Awesome.  It was pretty odd to be leaving my family for 5 days, as I haven’t gone anywhere since my son was born.  For me, a trip to the grocery store is a big to-do.

a-laconcha1

Umm…let me just say that the oddness quickly went away as I was in pure Mommy heaven for those five days.  Sitting by the pool…sitting by the beach…going for a swim…reading and finishing Orange Is The New Black…and gabbing almost continuously with a cocktail in hand.  WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE????

a-laconcha3This was my view one morning.  I know.  Ridiculous, right?  If I didn’t have a son and husband, I might not have come back!  Sigh.  I had to swap my flip flops for socks and boots when I came back to the Boston area.  BRRR.

Okay, while we were outrageously decadent and lazy, we didn’t sit around the WHOLE time.  We did go zip lining one afternoon:

ziplineThis was beyond fun.  (This is a photo of one of my friends…who shall remain anonymous…gracias.)  I have no idea how fast you go on these, but it feels like 40 mph.  Actually, when you’re midway…the wind is whipping past you and you’re looking at the amazing scenery…you don’t really notice how fast you’re going.  BUT, when you are hurtling towards the end, then it gets a bit disconcerting as you can’t imagine how you could possibly stop without crashing into the cable support.  Luckily, they have some kind of braking mechanism that kicks in during the last 20 feet.  It’s kind of like how a roller coaster stops at the end…jarring, yet efficient.  Most of the photos I have of people coming in are just a blur.

Okay.  So, now I think that we need a zipline in our yard.  Right???  (You must agree.)  I’m a housefrau re-evaluating the laundry line for alternative purposes.  During the day…it’s mommy’s koo koo adrenaline ride… but when my son/husband is home, it’s got clean towels on it again.  Brilliant!  I think that the neighbors already think I’m crazy, but this will ensure that they never come to my house to borrow any butter.  Now, if I could only zip line to Starbucks and back, then I’d be a happy camper…

While I didn’t see ANY art on my vacation…I went yesterday to see the opening of the small group show that I am participating in.  It’s in Harvard Square, so all you locals have no excuse for not stopping by…

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Cambridge Art Association show

Let me just say that the work by the other artists is really amazing.  I’ll show you some of the pieces:

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Ann Strassman, Singularities IX – (Woman with cigarette)

Strassman does these fascinating portraits of people about town, often on a park bench.  She uses discarded boxes as her canvas.  I love how the people are caught in these familiar scenes…unaware of the viewer.  I also love the cardboard with it’s own mundane story.  Amazing!

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Patricia Schappler, Coming and Going

Schappler does ENORMOUS, phenomenal drawing/collage/paintings.  Mind blowing.  I love the mixed media…the layers, the beautiful way that she draws.  So gorgeous.

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Daniel Kornrumpf, Mr. David Lasely

Kornrumpf does GORGEOUS portraits that have an unfinished and open ended feel because he often doesn’t paint parts that he has sketched in.  There is a beautiful mix of complete/incompleteness to his work.  Even his line drawing/painting is amazing.  His sense of color, composition, and overall skill is breathtaking.  I love that the subjects are often pensive and relaxed…aware that they are having a portrait painted, yet real and at ease.  His work reminds me of Alice Neel, whose work I also revere.

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Yair Melamed, The Extrovert

Melamed is a physician AND a photographer.  I couldn’t find a website for him.  I absolutely love the contrast between her gray hair/background and her warm face.  I love how her face fills the frame.  He has a series of really compelling photographs…a must see.

My own work is minimal in comparison:

a-kostojohn

Elizabeth Kostojohn, Are You Still There? series

Because my work is so small, I think that it’s good that they are grouped together.  I wish the lighting was a bit better, as there isn’t direct lighting on the drawings…just the downlights for the hallway.  As a result, I think that the drawings look slightly washed out.  Hmm!  In any event, I am super grateful to be participating in this show with these other, talented artists.  The show is in the University Place building, at 124 Mt. Auburn Street.  Go see it!

Now, you’ll have to excuse me as I’ve got a clothes/zip line and a latte calling my name…

zipline2

Starbucks, here I come!!!  Make mine a double!!!

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What is it?
January 21, 2011, 6:23 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., printmaking | Tags: , , , , , ,

Today is a snow day here.  Schools closed…cars buried…cabin fever…

This is the first moment that I’ve had to think…my three-year old son is not one for just lazing around.  He’s a man of action, and he expects a partner in crime at all times, namely, me.  I’ve been Big Bird, Elmo, someone named Harry, Richard Rabbit from Peppa Pig, and countless other characters during our playing today.  In other words, I’m fried.

My snow day today also meant that my printmaking class today was cancelled.  Oh well!  But I DID have my other printmaking class last night.  It’s at a fairly new arts center called Maud Morgan Arts in Cambridge.  I’m taking a class called Print Sampler…with FOUR different, highly respected printmakers.  Each teacher will teach two, non-consecutive classes.  Last night, we have a fabulous teacher named Jan.  Her last name escapes me right now.  [edit 1/26: Jan Arabas]  Truly, in one class I already feel that I learned SO much.  Who knew what kind of fun stuff you could do with a brayer?  I do wish that she had brought some images of her work, just for inspiration.  The group seems varied and nice, so I think that it will be great…assuming that I can attend all of the classes.

Last night, I also had a drink with my dear friend KP.  She’s the one who finally pushed me to get this blog going, and who is a constant font of thoughtful and kind guidance.  Anyway, she pressed me to have my posts share more information…not just the images.  One question she asked was, “why printmaking?”  Good question…I don’t have an eloquent answer.  So, what is printmaking?  In essence, it is transferring ink from a matrix (copper plate, wood block, etc.), to another surface (typically paper).  This impression from the matrix is a print, and it is this process that sets it apart from painting, drawing, etc. etc.  So, why printmaking?  There is something amazing/unexpected/mysterious that happens when you make a print.  Until you actually press the paper to the matrix…you don’t actually KNOW how the print will look.  Obviously, skilled printmakers probably have a highly refined sense, and know exactly what they will get.  But even then, I still think that there is something (and I hate to use this word) “magical” about peeling back the paper for the first time to look at a print.  You control so much of the process, but there is a final toss of the dice that adds a fascinating twist.  This twist can be VERY frustrating.  NUMEROUS times I have imagined how I believe the print will turn out, only to be surprised by the actual result.  Again, with years of experience this surprise lessens/disappears, but undoubtedly the excitement of pulling the print remains.

Here are pictures of the snow, the toys we played with endlessly today, and the print from last night…each a moment in my past 24 hours…stay warm!



printmaking finished…
December 2, 2010, 7:22 pm
Filed under: printmaking | Tags: , , , , ,

I had my last printmaking class this past Wednesday.  I really enjoyed it.  We had a great teacher, and a good group of people.  This is printmaking at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education.  We worked on monoprints, collagraphs, drypoints, and wood block prints.  Everyone’s work was so different, but we had a great time seeing what everyone came up with.  We also made sure to have snacks for everyone, especially those ginger chews from Trader Joe’s.  I felt like I was just getting somewhere, when the class ended!  Oh well…my friend and I have signed up for next semester’s class, which starts in January.  If anyone out there has taken a great printmaking class in the Boston area, please let me know!  I am also willing to travel to NYC for a one day or two day class. (thanks, 3rd Ward!)  Well…whaddaya think?




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