slightly wonky


Ho Ho Hell has begun…
December 1, 2014, 10:35 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , , , , ,

We had a lovely drive out to central MA for Thanksgiving!

SNOW

I love Thanksgiving.  It’s like Christmas’s non-crazy twin, or family without the frenzy.  That sanity is short lived, as Black Friday follows (Christmas’s eccentric and unstable Aunt), and today is Cyber Monday (Christmas’s left-brained, introverted second cousin who won’t put down his phone, and hasn’t actually communicated with another human being using his vocal chords for a least two years…)  Thanksgiving is the only somewhat NORMAL member of that holiday family.

Is it bad that I haven’t started to do any holiday shopping, or even any holiday PLANNING, for that matter?  Probably.  Let me help those of you who are also behind schedule by making some gift suggestions:

Mary O’Malley on Etsy:

maryomalley

O’Malley is a fantastic artist who creates intricate paintings that are exotic and gorgeous.  Please take a look at her Etsy shop HERE.  You can either get a lovely reproduction of her work, or you can splurge and get an original.  A brilliant gift idea!

AlmostSundayInc on Etsy:

almostsundayMy friend owns this store, and there are TONS of cute options for gifts.  I like the idea of either personalized stationery or a cool print.

Nicole Porter Design on Etsy:

nicoleporterAren’t those wooden plates/bowls AMAZING?  Please check out her shop HERE.  Again…unique and beautiful gifts abound…

OrangeLadyBird on Etsy:

orangeladybird

For those of you who don’t want to fool around with shipping anything…my friend (who is a graphic designer) has lots of DIGITAL items to buy in her shop.  You can get a download of her digital creations…which you can print at home to your heart’s content.  Check out the cool “infinity banner.”  I like the “home scavenger hunt” cards as well…especially if they had a drawing of my husband’s house keys, which he seems to lose constantly.

I’m basically suggesting that instead of heading to the infernal MALL to buy generic gifts for people…that you buy stuff that is UNIQUE and HANDMADE from brilliant and crafty people.  What would you rather have in your stocking?

THIS?

dump cake

Yes, that’s for real.

or THIS?

omalley

Mary O’Malley

Seriously.  That drawing/painting is divine.

In stark contrast to that gorgeous creation, my son and I have started a comic strip.  It’s kind of hilarious.  It’s mostly me doing the scribbly drawings, and he colors it in and laughs.  Here are the first two pages:

CARTOON 1

 

CARTOON 2

We made up this ridiculous clam character.  He took the drawings to school today, so I’m sure that they are wadded up in the bottom of his backpack by now.  Sigh.  Stay tuned for more.

While this is the kind of drawing that I’ve been up to lately, my friend, Helen, recently had a show open and is the artist-in-residence at the New Art Center in Newton.  WOO HOO!  Her show is titled, Becoming Four Women.  Here is a brief description of it:

The New Art Center is pleased to announce the opening of Helen Payne: Becoming Four Women. This exhibition centers around four female characters that Payne has been developing over the past several months. Payne imagines these women at different stages in their intertwined lives. Taking on their disparate personalities, Payne journals, paints and draws in character to create a series of work that tells a multi-media story from several points of view.

I was lucky to be able to go to the reception.  Here are some of the images of her fantastic work:

payne 2

Helen Payne, Becoming Four Women at the New Art Center

Helen has done many beautiful drawings on tiles, such as this one.

payne 1

Helen Payne, Becoming Four Women at the New Art Center

That is a gorgeous oil painting of one of the characters that Helen is exploring during her residency.  You can stop by the New Art Center, and find Helen busy at work.  Please stop by!  It’s an amazing opportunity not only to see her work, but also to TALK to her about the work.  How often do you go to a gallery and have the artist right there?  I should tell you to bring her food as well, as she probably forgets to eat (unlike me).

payne 5

Helen Payne, Becoming Four Women at the New Art Center

This is Helen’s desk in the gallery.  You can see numerous sketches and drawings scattered about, with notes about each of the four women she portrays.

payne 6

Helen Payne, Becoming Four Women at the New Art Center

Helen is a virtuoso of both painting and drawing.  Please go to learn more about these four characters and the fascinating narrative that Helen has created between them.  The show is up until December 20, so you have PLENTY of time to go, (especially as I have already done the planning for your holiday shopping!!!  You can thank me later by sending me some of these.)

REMEMBER:

Buy hand-made goods!

Spit upon mass-produced/generic junk!

Bring a snack and say “hi” when you visit Helen!

AND…

Send me peppermint marshmallows! (just kidding…sort of…)

Enjoy the holiday season without needing to be put in a Santa Claus themed straight jacket, as January/February will be here soon…and that just sucks!

Ho Ho HEEEEELLLP!!!



Pop up!
November 14, 2014, 3:30 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , ,

Last night, I attended the opening reception for a short “pop-up” drawing show in the South End.  I have four drawings on exhibit, along with the works of many UBER TALENTED Boston artists:  Chuck Holtzman, Sandra Allen, Barbara Grad, Linda Etcoff, Eugene Dorgan, Summer Wheat, and Conley Harris.  Please check out all of their websites…the work is gorgeous.  The show is curated by Conley Harris, and held in his studio space in the South End.  I was SO thrilled to be included.  These are really some of the top artists in Boston, so it was fantastic to see their work and to meet some of them.  The show is open today (11/14) and tomorrow (11/15) from 11am to 5pm at 1140 Washington Street, Boston, 3rd floor.  Go see it!

drawing

These are thumbnails of the work of Eugene Dorgan, Sandra Allen, Conley Harris, and myself.  Dorgan does breathtaking charcoal portraits that are moody and compelling.  Allen is a graphite pencil virtuoso who draws with otherworldly beauty, sensitivity, and scale.  Harris’s rich and layered drawings seamlessly meld remnants of photography with layers of gouache to create fantastic “Nature Morte” works.

I’m SO sorry that I don’t have any pictures!!!! I forgot my ipod, which is what I typically use for photos.  SIGH.  At least I made it out of the house properly dressed, and not in pajamas.  It’s tough being a suburban mom.

My other big achievement since I last posted is that I MADE A COAT.  No joke!  Here it is:

a-coat outside

It’s wool, so it’s pretty warm.  I started it with a pattern, but then the pattern was so bizarre…I had to make numerous modifications.  It’s cute, right????  I even added the collar, which it didn’t have originally.  Here is the inside:

a-coat inside

Okay…THAT, I love.

In addition to this coat, I also made a couple of little pouches as gifts for some friends:

a-pouch front

The coffee cup sketch is actually a screen print onto some printed fabric.

I do all of this stuff, and then I wonder why my house is a mess.  Well, it’s messy because: a. I’m messy, and b. I dislike housekeeping.  Simple!  I also have enough stuff to fit into a house that is approximately double the size of the one that I am actually living in.  My son is equally messy, which is clearly a sign that I am being an awful role model YET AGAIN.  Luckily…my husband is pretty neat, or else we’d be in serious trouble.  Why does my son seem to pick up my worst qualities?  He’s messy, he can be grouchy/short tempered, and he scowls a lot.  Hmm.  At least he doesn’t have frizzy hair…yet.

If anyone out there is a “neat person”, I would greatly appreciate an “intervention” at my house to teach me how to be a neater person.  If it involves throwing out any art supplies, fabric, or yarn…then, I’m afraid that you’ll have to leave.  Feel free to take away the vacuum and my pots and pans…but leave the mohair yarn and fabric paint, thankyouverymuch.

I’m just going to rearrange some piles now so that I can get some work done…don’t mind me…

 



Manbaby nightmares and Etsy

 

tree

Yay!  Fall is here!  I love the colors on the trees…apple picking…apple eating…pumpkins…the whole thing.  One thing that does trouble me, however, is the dreaded Halloween costume.  My son has told me that he wants to be some kind of Pokemon.

Oh.

Great.

For those of you that don’t know, there are a billion different Pokemon characters, and none of them look remotely like a six year old boy.  Example:

pokemon 3

Seriously?  How am I going to make any one of those into a costume???  Suggestions?

What if I bought a Pokemon stuffed animal, and just strapped it to his head?  Weird?

He spends a lot of time drawing Pokemon, which I think is cute:

pokemonI think that those are made up.  I mean…I know, I know…ALL POKEMON ARE MADE UP.  I meant that these two are not “official” ones.  Basically, I’m going insane over here with the Pokemon nonsense and I need someone to talk to me about something adult and tangible.  World news?  Syria?  Ebola?  Honey Boo Boo?

Hmm.  Depressing.

Perhaps non-stop talk about Pokemon isn’t that bad after all!

So, my minor achievement (besides vacuuming) is to have actually created an Etsy store!  Check it out here.  Yes!    You can now buy some of the crazy stuff that I make!  So far, not much has happened.  The odds of anyone “finding” my stuff on Etsy is similar to the odds in Horton Hears a Who.

horton

Right?  Sigh.  It’s tough being a metaphorical dust speck.  If you have any constructive feedback about my Etsy store, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.

I’ve recently gotten some fabric back from Spoonflower that I’m using to make scarves.  Spoonflower is an online, on demand textile printing service.  So, you can design your own fabric and then have it printed!  It’s kind of cool  Here’s what I made:

infinity pink 1

It’s a knit infinity scarf.  Here it is again, with more of the green showing:

infinity pink 2

I love it! I need to find a reasonable looking person to model it for me. Actually, I know tons of reasonable looking people, just not any that would be willing to be photographed for Etsy.  Hmm.  Yet again I am feeling the disadvantage of not looking like a supermodel.  Sigh.

infinity pink 5

Maybe I should take a cue from a famous artist and try this strategy for modeling?

magritteRene Magritte, Les Amants

Right???  I could even cover my head with my SPOONFLOWER FABRIC that I DESIGNED!

Would that be appealing, or sort of freaky and disturbing?  I’m thinking the latter.

Maybe I can just photoshop on a cute head?

 manbabyman, baby, manbaby by Ed Alkema

WHOA.  Okay…NOT a good idea.

Oh…nevermind.  Just let me know if you’re a supermodel and would be willing to either:

1. Model my Etsy creations.

2.  Go grocery shopping for me.

3.  Vacuum.

4.  Take out the trash.

Thank you!

 



Hammertime!
August 8, 2014, 9:26 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , , ,

Today is my son’s last day at camp.  SOB!…sniff sniff…That means that next week, I have to be on mommy-duty 24/7.  YIKES.  Some people delight in that.  For me, it puts me in a sort of low-grade panic.  HOW are we going to pass the time???  HOW am I not going to go postal???  I’m sure by the end of summer, my son will be thrilled to go back to school and get away from me.  I know that I would too, but…unfortunately, I’m stuck with me.

He has made some priceless creations at camp this year:

a-boat

They have “woodshop” at camp.  Isn’t this super cute?  This will be used as the centerpiece for the head table at his wedding.  (Just kidding…maybe…)

a-door

This is a tiny door.  I suppose that we could put it at the base of a tree, as if it was the entry to a gnome house?  Apparently, my son smacked his thumb with a hammer when making this.  Ahh…this is the timeless injury which began when early man first started using tools!  It’s 2014, and we still do it today.

thumb

Look at this ridiculous graphic that I found.  What kind of moronic image is this?  Who puts their thumb ON the nail????  Should that even be considered an accident???  Why do I immediately think of Congress when I see this?  I know that doesn’t make sense, as something is actually HAPPENING in this image.

But I digress…my son’s last creation from yesterday:

a-thingy

I forgot to ask my son what this is.  It looks like something that would be legal only in Colorado.  I’m not sure what they’re teaching those kids at camp, but I can overlook it because they make him lunch.  Yes, I’m THAT kind of mom.  I’m just glad that there is no licensing exam for being a mom, or else I’d be undoubtedly parenting without a license.

So, yesterday was the reception for a show of my drawings.  It was fun for me, because it is at my old office.  These were some images of the show last Friday when I was setting it up:

a-sasaki2

a-sasaki1

a-sasaki3

a-sasaki4

There is a blog write up about the show here.  It was great to see many of my former co-workers.  I was also really happy that some of my non-architect friends came as well.  I was kind of stressed about the show before I hung it, but I think that I had forgotten how nice everyone is at my old office.  I could tell that I wasn’t used to getting out much in the adult world because I referred to someone’s water bottle as a “sippy cup.”  WTH?  My son doesn’t even USE sippy cups anymore.  CLEARLY, you can take the mommy out of the house, but you can’t take the house out of the mommy.  Perhaps someday scientists will find some correlation between Stop & Shop and early onset Alzheimer’s?

I wore one of my latest creations to the reception:

a-tunicfront

I’m pretty happy with it!  My sewing skills are improving…thank god.  It’s hard to work with silk.  I’m realizing that silk chiffon is even worse, but I’ll show you that project when/if I finish it.  And the back:

a-tunicback

Do you think that I could sell these on Etsy?  Or, am I the only person what would wear this kind of thing?  Probably.  Growing up, I was always the weird kid who dressed strangely.  This clearly hasn’t changed with age.  It’s less endearing now because people don’t think, “How cute!” anymore…instead its, “Why is that old, fat lady dressed like that?”

Because she’s cray cray…that’s why.

Time to get back to my life and death battle with silk chiffon…so far the score is:  Silk Chiffon:3, Me:0.

 



Elves and a snacking stupor…
March 14, 2014, 9:36 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , , , , ,

My son gets angry every time I buy Cheez-its, because I eat the whole box myself.  (Gross, I know.)  Maybe they have MSG in them?  (Grosser.)  They’re VERY addictive.

I have recently discovered a new snack food to eat excessively:

pickles

I know.  Grossest.  Try them!  They’re not bad.  I still think that salt & vinegar are more tasty, but I had to try these.  I remember in Spain that they had some Lay’s chips that were flavored like a ham sandwich.  Now, THAT’S gross.  (BTW that bag isn’t empty…YET.)

I recently finished another crafty project…a quilted purse!

purse2purse1

It was pretty labor intensive.  I’m going to figure out a way to get small elves to work on these while I sleep at night.  I’m also going to ask the elves to clean the house, since they’re already up.  I’m thinking of opening up an Etsy store.  Any thoughts?  Suggestions?  Words of wisdom?  Are elves hard to find?  They can’t be THAT hard to find, as everyone else’s house is much neater than mine, so they must be using elves.

Please don’t have them take me away and put me in a padded cell.  While that might be good for napping, I’m sure that they wouldn’t give me any Cheez-its.

My son is always creating fearsome drawings:

drawing1He’s 24.

Just kidding.  He’s six.  I love the “v” shaped mono-brow that all of the faces have.  I’m hoping that this truly is supposed to be a monster, and not just me on Monday morning.  I haven’t gotten my eyebrows done in ages, so I have a sinking suspicion that this is actually me.  At least my legs look skinny.

I’ve gotten a bit of “press” as a result of being in New American Paintings.  I got to be the “artist of the day” for March 1 on this website.

artist a day 2

C’mon people!  I need votes!  I only have 28 votes so far.  You aren’t allowed to vote if you don’t give me a perfect score.  Okay, just kidding.  Make it at least NEAR perfect.  It makes me feel better about my imperfections, like my “housekeeping blindness” ailment.  Very troubling.

I also got some press in the latest issue of Artscope magazine.

artscopeRight now, this series of drawings is still up in Dedham at the Mother Brook Arts and Community Center.  Can someone pick up a copy of this for me?  I live in the ‘burbs, and I only know of one local place that has this journal.  Otherwise, I’ll have to schlep into Boston to get some.  Sigh.  Just going to Stop and Shop seems like a major hassle…don’t make me drive 30 minutes to get into Boston.  I’ll have to locate my “good” pair of mom jeans for that excursion.

I’ve recently starting ice skating on a regular basis.  I skated a lot as a kid (not gracefully, mind you) as we lived near a small pond.  I forgot how fun it is!  I hate exercising, so this is pretty much the only way to get me to move around a bit, other than telling me that a fresh box of Cheez-its are in the next room.  I’m even starting to dabble with ice hockey.  I’m pretty terrible, though…so patience is key.  Not falling on my face is generally important too.  I think that the years of playing field hockey is actually doing me a disservice.  I keep forgetting that I’m standing on two, skinny blades on a sheet of ice.  Hmm.

Speaking of ice, my hands are frozen into two claws.  I’m typing this in our unheated basement.  I’m going to stop now, thaw out my hands by sticking them in my husband’s leftover coffee, and then probably finish the bag of pickle potato chips.

THEN, I’ll move onto the box of Cheez-its…



Brrrrboohoohoo!
February 28, 2014, 2:02 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts..., Sewing | Tags: , , , , ,

“BRRRBOOHOOHOO” means that I’m getting VERY TIRED of the temperature around here.

I know.

11 degrees isn’t THAT bad.  But when the wind  blows, it IS cold enough to make one’s face ache, fall to the ground, and get lost in a snow drift.  I almost tripped on mine the other day.  We sort of missed out on warming up during February vacation, as we didn’t go anywhere.   I was delirious with kindergartener fatigue for that entire week.  I found myself staring vacantly at a spot on the wall while my son talked incessantly about: double inverted fishtail bracelets, how he needs more rubber bands, and why it’s better to stay inside all day and make bracelets instead of going outside for sledding and exercise.  Because my son is obsessed with Rainbow Loom, we have an explosion of colored rubber bands all over the house, in addition to all of the bracelets/charms/actions figures that he makes.  He keeps reminding me that I said that it is the “worst toy in the world,” which I mistakenly said when I was in a fit of frustration trying to help him with some rubber band disaster project.  I get a migraine just thinking about it.

Actually, those days at home were much easier than the days with playdates.  I yearned for a large margarita both during, and after, every playdate.  Thankfully…there weren’t many of them as MOST people were gone because they had gone somewhere to thaw out.  In our house, that’s standing in front of the toaster oven.

Let it be said that I am thankful that we have both a house and a toaster oven.

The vacation was a general success, though, as we did manage to get through it without Mommy falling ill with a case of the vapours.  I threatened to do so numerous times.  In order to cope, I also obsessed over my own crafty projects:

kostojohnquilt

THAT…is a stupendous baby quilt that I made for a friend.  I even sewed on a poem:

kostojohnquilt1

I know that I can post this without spoiling the surprise, as new mom’s don’t have time to get changed out of spit-up covered pajamas, never mind read my mindless blog!

NEXT PROJECT:

kostojohnbagfront

Yes.  I made that.  I followed a pattern that I found online, so I can’t take credit for the design…but I CAN take credit for the snazzy fabric choices!  I’m using it to keep my knitting in…(more craft addictions…pls send help!)

kostojohnbagback

Check out the super cool lining!   I nearly broke my sewing machine with this…so next time, I’m using lighter weight fabrics.  OR…I am going to get an industrial sewing machine, which I’ll set up in the middle of the dining room.  (JUST KIDDING, HONEEEEEY!!!)

Besides showing you my ridiculous crafts…I am also proud to say that some of my drawings have been included in the latest issue of New American Paintings.

new american paintings 1

nap2

nap3

WOO HOO!!!!  Yes, I draw AND make garish things out of fabric.  Maybe I need to start drawing the garish things that I make out of fabric?  Maybe not.  I should probably start with some overdue housework first…

Nah.

The drawings in New American Paintings are actually up at a new arts center in Dedham right now: Motherbrook Arts and Community Center.

overall

It’s great to be included in this show, as there are many really talented artists who are also participating.  I’m going to show you the work of just a couple of people…

corcelle

Christiane Corcelle, Square 27

This gorgeous print is part of a series that Corcelle has done.  She specializes in carborundum collagraph printmaking.  I have taken several classes with her, and she is also a great teacher.  I LOVE this whole series…the colors…the transparency…the textures.  Amazing.

wakefield1

Martha Wakefield, Slip #11

Wakefield is one of the co-curators of the show.  She has an entire series of paintings on slips.  In each one, the slip is almost floating down off of the canvas.  She really captures the lightness and hidden quality of these garments (or rather, undergarments…).   They don’t hang as if suspended from a hanger, but they are almost drifting away…slightly billowing to suggest the form of the wearer.  Beautiful!

williamson

Jeanne Williamson, Fence as Lace #7

Williamson is the other co-curator.  She describes her own work as: “Contemporary abstractions that combine grids from orange construction fences and rich textured mixed media surfaces.”  She has taken such a neglected part of our landscape: plastic construction fences, and transformed/re imagined them into compelling works of art.  I love the neutral palette with limited color. The dark textures almost seem to relate to the construction origins of the material, whereas the dots of color (and the title) relate to textiles/femininity.  

Go see the show, as it’s up until March 21.  Please feel free to buy one of my drawings too, as I know that you’d love to have a picture of me on your wall!!!!  I go with most decor, especially Chinoiserie.

Actually, I just need more funds for my craft addiction…and maybe some groceries too.



Technicolor yawn
January 24, 2014, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts..., Sewing, textile forms | Tags: , , , , , ,

Where have I been???  What have I been doing???  Honestly…I have no idea.  I was SUPPOSED to post last week, but my beloved child was home with a fever.  We were all pretty much sick, and my husband is still on the mend.  DRAMA.

You know that it has been cold when 14 degrees Fahrenheit feels not so bad.  I’ve been wearing the same, over-sized wool sweater for what is likely a month.  I didn’t wear it today, as I had to meet with a museum curator…and I didn’t want to potentially offend her high aesthetic standards with my Sasquatch-like appearance.  How cold does it have to get for all standards of appearance to be eliminated in favor of comfort?  Clearly, that bar is never very high in my world.  I’m always wearing some kind of sad, D.I.Y. project.  It’s funny that after YEARS of being an architect, where we are trained (brainwashed?) to avoid color in favor of black, gray and white…my D.I.Y. projects are always crazy colorful.  I often think that my aesthetic sensibilities actually haven’t changed since I was seven years old, which is kind of sad…as I dressed kind of weird as a kid.  Things haven’t changed, I guess…

I finished up a knitting project recently:

a-front2

That’s the front…here is the back:

a-back2

Kind of neat, right?  I can’t take credit for the pattern…even though I changed the neckline…the cuffs…the length, etc.  This is not the sweater that I’ve been wearing for the past month.  The sweater that I’ve had on is more like a wool mu-mu.  This week, I realized why I can’t move somewhere warm…I’d have no reason to knit.

I’m totally serious.

You’re likely wondering when I’ll stop yammering about my technicolor craft projects, and move onto something more interesting.  Well, your wait is over!

My friend, Helen, has her work up at one of the well-known Boston galleries…

a-helenpayneHelen Payne, detail of installation “Here I Sit, Brokenhearted” at Bromfield Gallery, Boston

Here is the description of the installation:

An installation on bathroom tiles where drawings make visceral vignettes, showing moments ranging from giving birth to getting booked.  A shape-shifting protagonist emerges from the tiles. She morphs in time and race and limps along at odds with expectations but at one with viscera. 

“Here I Sit, Brokenhearted” is about the ill fit of the body and how our most private moments can play out in the public sphere.

Helen beautifully elucidates aspects of humanity (primarily vices and viscera) that are typically hidden.  Her work is both sensitive and bold.  Helen’s drawing fluency is as compelling as her chosen subjects.  Please check out her installation at Bromfield.  It will be up for a few months…but don’t procrastinate!  Go see it!  If you see something that looks kind of like Sasquatch at the gallery, come over and say, “hi.”  It’s probably me.

I’ve been sidetracked on a quilt project that I’ve been meaning to do for AGES.  Yes, I said “a quilt.”  Yes, I know that I’m supposed to be focusing on art, but as I just said…I’ve been getting a bit sidetracked as of late…

a-quiltSewing curves is challenging…so I decided to put myself in circle boot-camp by doing this koo koo quilt.  So far, it has been super fun…albeit a royal pain in the tush.  This is a mini-quilt…so the width is around 32″ or so.  Each of those little scallop shapes is probably 4″ wide.  In doing this quilt, I learned why people don’t normally use linen-type fabric for quilts (which I did.)  The weave of linen is so wide that it’s like trying to sew a piece of friggin’ GAUZE.

a-gauzeOkay, well not quite THAT bad…but almost that bad.  I fear that this quilt can never set foot in a washing machine, lest I want the thing to turn into a huge blob of colorful thread.  Kind of like this, but made out of thread:

a-fish

Do you know that’s actually a creature called a “blob fish?”  I kid you not.

Sigh.  I always have to learn things the hard way.  At least I can sew a half-decent circle now, in spite of the fact that I look like Sasquatch.

Speaking of blobs, did you read about that recent study that says that sitting too much will pretty much kill you???  WHA?  HOW?  WHO?  I have pretty much sat through my entire adult life.  Besides pulling all nighters at school and at work, where I was SUPPOSED to be sleeping but was just deliriously SITTING instead…all of my favorite hobbies and activities involve SITTING.  Can I possibly knit whilst hopping around?  Can I somehow read AND do jumping jacks?  How about sewing and yoga?  Quilting and Tae Bo?  No?

Upon hearing the bad news about sitting, I promptly slid down within my enormous wool sweater and pouted like that hideous blob fish.

a-fish5

Boo.

I’m waiting for the study to come out that says sedentary craft activities are actually good for everyone’s health because they keep mommy happy.  And we know what a maelstrom of discontent mommy can be when she’s NOT HAPPY…

a-fish4

Be thankful that you don’t live with me.

 



Cresmes and One lump or two…
January 3, 2014, 12:45 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts..., painting | Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve managed to make it through this holiday season with most of my sanity intact.  The snow day today and tomorrow, however, has REALLY made me borderline cray-cray.  If it hadn’t been 15 degrees outside, I might have just  bundled up my son and shoved him out to get him some FRESH AIR, and me some SANITY.  Alas…I was fearful that his cherubic cheeks would ice over, so we’ve been inside all day.  ALL DAAAAY.

I may have to go for a walk/trudge to Trader Joe’s tomorrow…just to get out.  I’ll just hang out there all day, eating samples and commenting on what people are buying, until I am asked to leave.  There’s a Starbucks next door, so I’ll just move my insanity show over there.  I suppose I’ll return home when I’m no longer welcome there either.

This has been a particularly busy time.  Not only was it Christmas…but my son’s birthday IS Christmas day, which adds complication and hysteria.  Not only that…just a few days before, I drove out to Cohoes, NY for the opening of a two-person show that I am in at The Foundry.  The show is titled, “The Human Condition + Communication Technologies,” and my series titled, “Are You Still There?” is on display.

a-kostojohn1Elizabeth Kostojohn at The Foundry

The work of the other artist, Nancy Daly, was SO interesting…

a-daly 1Nancy Daly, Status Update, at The Foundry

a-daly 2Nancy Daly, Looking for Love, at The Foundry

Her work comments on social media, its simultaneously transient yet permanent nature, and the vastness of it.  It’s just a coincidence that her work is as monochromatic as mine.   The pieces looked good together!

My best Christmas gift this year was not a nap or a box of chocolates, but an amazingly funny poster that my son’s teacher had him fill out.  I guess this poster is supposed to be an “about me” type of thing.  I love the fact that my son didn’t even ask for help in any way…he just grabbed a marker and set out working on it.  Here are some of the things that I learned about him:

a-pekokHe is six years old and his favorite animal is a “pekok.”  REALLY????  Since when does he like peacocks???  Look at his crazy self portrait….I love his arms.  He’s kind of “groovin'” along like he’s on Soul Train, or something.

a-familyYes, that’s our happy family.  I’m just glad that we’re all smiling.  Let’s hope that he remembers his childhood this way.  Mommy looks so relaxed and happy!  Look how wiggly I am!  Please also notice that his favorite color is white (wht?), and that his favorite food is “hot dog.”  So true.

a-cap codHere is his favorite place…no surprise here.  I notice that he omitted including the lyme disease infested deer ticks in the long grass, which he so lovingly drew.  Good call.  He also doesn’t show mommy yelling, “AAAAA!! GET OUT OF THE GRASS!!!!!”  Nice.

a-treehouseMake the treehouse?  WHAT???  I think that he and his dad must have come up with some idea about this.  I’m staying out of it so that I can’t be blamed when he falls out of the tree and DSS arrives.

a-demolisherOh, joy.  He wants to be a demolisher when her grows up.  Greaaaat.  Well, judging by the looks of our living room, I’d say that he’s going to be a natural.

a-cresmesOkay, how friggin’ cute is that???? He’s wishing for Christmas.  Notice that all that’s needed is himself, a present, and a tree.  Notice also the enormous grin on his face.  Mommy is probably still asleep upstairs in this image.  I know…I know…he didn’t wish for “peace on earth” or anything thoughtful like that.  We’re working on peaceful at home before we move onto the whole dang planet.

Besides this fantastically funny poster from my son, my other treat this holiday vacation was to get myself to the ICA to see Amy Sillman‘s show, “One Lump or Two,” JUST before the show closes on January 5.  I LOVED IT.  Sillman is a wry, master of color, and supremely talented.  I bask in her artistic brilliance.  Here are just a few of the highlights…

a-ocean 1Any Sillman, Ocean 1, 1977, Oil on Canvas

So gorgeous.  I love the use of primary colors…the contrast between the saturated background and the bold, graphic waves…the layering and transparency…ahhh.

a-gouacheAmy Sillman, The Umbrian Line, 1999-2000, Gouache on paper

This series of drawings is so beautiful.  Sillman’s colors and her mix of almost collage-like flatness with delicate linework in these works is amazing.  I felt like I could have stared at each one for an eternity.

a-portraitsAmy Sillman

This series of portraits was fantastic.  I love the distortions in the figures…they seem more real, as a result.

a-psychology todayAmy Sillman, Psychology Today, 2006, Oil on Canvas

She has many large, bold paintings with a combination of discernible figures and loose abstraction.  I think that one of the things that I really love about what she does is that she is always mixing unexpected colors, images, shapes, and ideas.  She can create both minimal drawings of great humor and enormous paintings with visceral intensity.  This show feels as if it gives a very rich view into this artist and her world.  Perhaps that is more a result of her willingness or desire to have herself revealed in these works?  Not sure…

a-bird in the handAmy Sillman, A Bird In the Hand, 2006, Oil on Canvas

a-shadeAmy Sillman, Shade, 2010, Oil on Canvas

a-drawerAmy Sillman, Drawer, 2010, Oil on Canvas

This is a MUST SEE show.  I’m sorry that I’m writing about it so late!  Sigh. Now, I’m getting panicky that it’s closing soon…it would take a small miracle for me to be able to see it again.  Best not push my luck…but YOU should see it.  I know that there is a blizzard outside, but if you head out now with your team of sled dogs…you’ll probably make it to the ICA in time to see this before it closes.  Hey…while you’re at it, pick me up along the way!  I’m lovely company, and I’ll bring you a bunch of extra samples from Trader Joe’s.  I PROMISE.



Who the hell would want a carnivorous plant, anyway?
December 5, 2013, 4:17 pm
Filed under: printmaking | Tags: , , , , , ,

We would!  No joke…I bought a VENUS FLYTRAP!!!

a-venusEww…right?????  You’ll notice that some of the little “mouths” are closed.  Why, you may ask?  Well, because we were told to feed it little balls of HAMBURGER.  I’m not kidding.  So, it’s digesting hamburger blobs.  I love how my husband is vegan, yet we have a carnivorous plant.  I’m not sure how happy it is with the burger bits.  I mean, are they going to dissolve?  Or, does it spit it out when it’s done with it, like “plant poop?”  No idea.  It was kind of disturbing to watch it clamp down on the hamburger bit.  It looks so coy, with it’s sassy green “lashes.”  But don’t be fooled…it’s looking for MEAT.  If you’re a product of the 80s, this is likely the first thing that came to mind…

little_shop_horrors_xl_01If this starts to happen, I’m stopping the hamburger balls (aka a mini-meatball) STAT.

Does anyone else out there completely ignore their landline when it rings? I do.  99.9% of the time, it isn’t someone that I want to speak to.  Considering that I rarely check our voicemail, it’s a bit of a black hole, really.  Why do we have it?  Well, it’s kind of like a technological pacifier…it makes me feel “safe” that we can always make a phone call, even if  our cellphones are lost/not charged/left in the car.  Does that make sense?  No?  Well keep reading, if you find making sense boring…

So, I’ve managed to tear myself away from staring suspiciously at the Venus flytrap in order to go out and see some art!  (Or, “aht,” as this is a Boston ‘burb.)  My advisor, Adria Arch, recently had a show at Bromfield Gallery:

a-arch2Adria Arch, Bromfield Gallery

a-arch1Adria Arch, Bromfield Gallery

a-arch3Adria Arch, Bromfield Gallery

a-arch4Adria Arch, Bromfield Gallery

The show was fabulous and ran from October 27 – November 30.  I was hoping to post about it earlier, but something awful happened recently (see my last post), so I got a bit sidetracked.  Arch’s work explores the innocent, yet sometimes revealing, doodles or marks that people make.  She magnifies these marks so that they command attention in a way that is unusual for something typically done without conscious thought.  She captures every nuance of the mark, both in paintings…and now in plexiglass sculptural works.  Arch has a great deal of experience in installations, so these newer plexiglass elements allow her pieces to be unfettered from their typical painted fields.  Beautiful!

Nancy Diessner was also showing at the Bromfield.  She is a printmaker who’s subject is often animals, both domestic and wild.

a-diessnerNancy Diessner, Bromfield Gallery

a-diessner2Nancy Diessner, Bromfield Gallery

a-diessner3Nancy Diessner, Bromfield Gallery

I love this new series with pairings of delicate images.  I think that’s a nose on the right…amazing!

While I was wandering around the other galleries, look what I found at Carroll & Sons:

a-bdp1Boston Drawing Project, Carroll & Sons

WOO HOO!!!  You’ll notice my drawing folder featured on the middle shelf, second one from the right.  I was SUPER EXCITED to see it on display like that.  Having anything up at Carroll & Sons would pretty much be the apex of my career, so I think that this is as close as I’m going to get, realistically.  Anyway, I’m happy.

I also went to the Boston Printmaker’s Biennial at 808 Gallery at B.U.  I LOVE THIS SHOW.  So much variety and so much talent.  I love that gallery space, but it is kind of a pain if you are looking at works behind glass.  The glare is pretty distracting:

a-francisCate Francis, Around The Tree

Now, that’s an amazing print.  Unfortunately, it’s hard to see.  I love the graphic quality of this paired with the warm, Japanese paper.  So cool.

Because the glare was so difficult, I’ve selected images to show you of prints that didn’t have much of a glare problem.  There were lots of beautiful prints, but I won’t bother with the ones that have too much of my silhouette ruining the image.

a-iancu1Raluca Iancu, Corroded Mammoth

This is an enormous, and simply gorgeous print. It’s beautiful.  I love the limited palette.  She’s a virtuoso.

a-bricher1Naya Bricher, Mini Fridge

This is so amazing.  I think it’s an aquatint.  Doesn’t she capture the light and feel of the ubiquitous mini fridge?  Look at the Pur water pitcher!  Look at the Glad storage containers!  Brilliant.

a-talcottJulia Talcott, Portable Color Trap

I am especially fond of this print, as we have one as well!  I’m not sure how many she printed, but isn’t it amazing?  The image looks tipped because it was above me when I took the photo.  I love the bold, mechanized quality of it.  It simultaneously has both flatness and depth.  Fascinating.

a-korman2Louise Kohrman, …Forever on the Mind

a-korman1Louise Kohrman, …Forever on the Mind (detail)

Isn’t that so delicate and amazing?  Kohrman’s work always seems to have a kind of etherial quality to it…lovely.

a-kernan1Catherine Kernan, The Heart of the Matter

This is an incredible and enormous print. I’ve actually taken classes with Kernan.  She is very skilled and knowledgeable.  Her prints are obviously gorgeous.

a-mazure1David Mazure, Defeated/Amputees (WAR)

What you can’t see is that there is actually recycled rubber tire flocking on the black areas.  Amazing!  It looks like ornate wallpaper, yet there is something very dark about it.

a-corcelleChristiane Corcelle, Boundless

I’m sorry that this photo isn’t great.  Both the glare and the height which it was hung make it a challenge to see this well.  This is the work of a printmaking teacher that I had for several months.  She’s super talented, and works a lot with carborundum collagraphs.  I believe that there are actually strips of paper collaged on, which you can sort of see here.  I like the contrast between the delicate paper strips and the heavy inked area near the top. Lovely!

a-welden1Dan Welden, Fairly Squarely

Dan Welden actually invented solarplate printing (I believe.)  This looks is a solarplate intaglio.  I love the heavy black area with the gray, scribbly zones…it’s kind of crackling with energy…

a-miranda1Ibrahim Maranda, Mapas

Oh. My. GOD.  His works were GORGEOUS.  I wanted to own all of them.  ALL.

a-miranda2Ibrahim Maranda, Mapas (detail)

His works are crazy, multicolored, multilayered smashups of marks and images with a “graffiti” sensibility.  STUNNING.  I could have put a chair down in front of these works and looked at them all day.  I didn’t do that, as I had to get back to the Venus flytrap to be sure that it wasn’t eating the house.  You know how it goes…

This is kind of a long post, so I’m feeling a bit worn out.  I’ll finish with a hilarious drawing/installation by my son:

a-spidermanHe stuck this on the front panel of a wood bookcase.  LOOK AT SPIDERMAN!  DON’T YOU LOVE IT???  WordPress actually provides a way to set up a “poll.”  Part of me is tempted to set up a poll with the question, “Isn’t this AWESOME????”  Of course, the only right answer would be “yes.”  Those who answer “no” will get the stinkeye from me, his adoring yet slightly unstable mother.

I hear scratching sounds in the living room.  Gotta go…it might be the Venus flytrap (soon to be…the Venus mommytrap.)  At least I have a landline so that I can call for help from the depths of its jaws, right?  The cord will come in handy as something for me to anchor myself to when the plant decides that I’m next on the menu.  See?  Landlines DO serve a purpose!  Told ya so.

October 27 – November 30, 2013
October 27 – November 30, 2013


Searching for solace…

This has been a rather rough week.  A friend of mine, her two sons, and her husband died this week.  I won’t go into the details, as those are even worse.  I want to say something profound about the whole ordeal, and about her, but I’m at a bit of a loss.  I feel as if my brain stopped working this week…my thoughts have been stuck like a needle skipping on a record, repeating the same awful refrain.  Short periods of heartache and angst have been interspersed among longer periods of numbness.

I tried to find solace this week by going somewhere that I love:  The deCordova Museum.

a-decordova3

I have been coming here ever since I moved to the area in 1998.  I find it to be peaceful and beautiful.  It truly feels like an escape to me.  This week, it helped provide me with fresh air and a necessary, albeit temporary, distraction.  While I walked around like a bit of a zombie, there were things that made me smile and appreciate that there is still beauty in this world.  I don’t mean beauty in a superficial sense, but beauty of thought and sensibility. I present to you what I saw at the museum…because I can’t talk or think about my sadness right now.

a-genger1Orly Genger, Red, Yellow and Blue, deCordova Museum

It was a cold and clear day.  I aimlessly meandered through the grounds and was drawn to this new installation by Orly Genger.  I first saw her work at Mass MOCA.  This specific piece was originally commissioned for Madison Square Park in NYC.

a-genger2Orly Genger, Red, Yellow and Blue, deCordova Museum

I love to knit, so the loopy, monumental, yet somehow furtive, quality of this work appeals to me.  I like that it becomes taller than a person at times, defying knitting’s typical scale and delicacy.

a-genger3Orly Genger, Red, Yellow and Blue, deCordova Museum

It winds its way around, changing from red, to yellow, to blue.

a-genger4Orly Genger, Red, Yellow and Blue, deCordova Museum

See how it winds around the grounds?  Knitting is very meditative, and I looked at all of the silent stitches and wondered about each one.

Inside the museum is the biennial exhibition…

a-murrowEthan Morrow, Flotilla (detail), ball point pen 

Morrow’s work fills the main staircase at the museum.  His drawings are amazing.  Detail:

a-murrow2Ethan Morrow, Flotilla (detail), ball point pen

Isn’t that breathtaking? He has drawn gorgeous, ethereal ships floating up the expanse of the stair wall.  He included historical details and text along with his drawings.  I bask in his drawing brilliance.  You must go see this.

a-yurukogluBahar Yurukoglu, Primodial Future, Mixed media installation with projection

Please take a look at Yurukoglu’s website…it’s very interesting.  I like bright colors and transparency, so I liked where this was going.  Everything was wall bound…and I kind of wished that there was even more, somehow.  Look at his website…lots of beautiful images and stunning photographs.

a-bracialeLaura Braciale, Rods and Cones, Mixed media installation

I liked this piece.  I liked the translation of these odd objects into flat, 2D paintings.  It looks like some kind of research project to me…an experiment in perception.  I also like all of the white space (of course.)  You’ll see that there are quite a few installation pieces in this biennial.

a-jane4Xylor Jane, Magic Square for finding missing people,  Oil and colored pencil on panel

I really liked Jane’s work.  It felt very different to me.  At times, it almost seemed to be like a textile, with seams.  Her work was very bold.

a-jane3Xylor Jane, Via Crucis XII,  Oil on panel

There is something both dark and menacing, and happy and lighthearted about this piece.  Overall, it’s chromatically dark…but you can see the sort of rainbow palette with almost heart shapes throughout.  What you can’t see in this photo is the beautiful use of textures…the main background is a matte black, and the colors are glossy dots in a grid.  So cool!

a-jane2Xylor Jane, 2,3,5,7,  Oil, graphite, marker and colored pencil on panel

This was really fascinating.  This painting in particular felt like a quilt/textile…and yet it had such depth and transparency at the same time.

a-jane1Xylor Jane, Nox Rex #26, Hypnos,  Oil on panel

This is an amazingly detailed pointillist painting.  I can’t help but think of The Matrix. (Perhaps, I shouldn’t admit that? Does that automatically make me a total philistine?)  Again, the grid and precision are rigid, but the undulating colors brings some levity to the piece.  I love how her four pieces worked together.

a-gibersonPetrova Giberson, Tree Flowers, Mixed media installation

I really liked how this piece and its shadows interacted.  It’s kind of like a sad, old comforter that somehow went to heaven.  It’s hard to see, but there is a line of threads hanging from the ceiling to the right of the comforter, which created an interesting threshold.  The whole piece had a very intriguing way of occupying the space.

Upstairs, there was more to see…

a-gross1Rachel Gross, woodblock print and acrylic

First off, I want to apologize to Rachel Gross because I did not keep track of what the title of this piece is.  In any event, Gross’s work is stunning.  Her woodblock prints are some of the most beautiful that I’ve seen.  Please take a look at her blog.  I love the layering, textures, color palette, composition…everything.

a-gross2Rachel Gross, Pink Box, Woodblock print with spray paint

I love the simplicity of this.  I love the crinkled paper and flat texture of the wood grain.  (I also love hot pink…)

a-abbas1Hamra Abbas, Kaaba Pictures 1-7, archival pigment prints on dibond

Again, my apologies to Hamra Abbas, as I don’t know which number this work is in the series.  Abbas does miniature paintings of the Kaaba, contemplating its historic, religious, and everyday influence.  She then has the miniature paintings photographed and enlarged to form these prints.  They have a mysterious and atmospheric feel to them.

a-abbas2Hamra Abbas, Kaaba Pictures 1-7, archival pigment prints on dibond

This is so luminous…with both flatness and three dimensionality…

a-abbas3Hamra Abbas, Kaaba Pictures 1-7, archival pigment prints on dibond

This has a fairytale feel to it…beautiful!

The final artist that I’m going to show is someone who’s work I love, and who I managed to meet at an open studio that he had.

a-palocci4Anthony Palocci, Jr., Empty Fridge, oil on canvas

Don’t you love it?  He just looks at everyday household objects and reinvents them.  Brilliant.

a-palocci2Anthony Palocci, Jr., T.V., oil on canvas

I love the cold glow of this T.V. So amazing…

a-palocci1Anthony Palocci, Jr., Phone Call, oil on canvas

I love this too!  It’s sort of humorous…but there is something “vacant” about all of his work.  The viewer is looking at these objects distilled to pattern and value.  They’re so ubiquitous, yet now they have a sort of uncanny feel to them…

a-palocci3Anthony Palocci, Jr., Window Fan, oil on canvas

This is a large painting.  Take a look at his website to get a sense how how large it is.  It’s as if something that is normally forgotten and silent has somehow been given a voice.

a-palocci5Anthony Palocci, Jr., A/C, oil on canvas

I took a photo of this painting with context, so that you can see some of what I perceive as the humor in this work.  It doesn’t look odd to see an A/C unit sticking out of a wall…but this is a painting, of course.  I thought this was a wry location for the work…

a-decordova

Well, I’m signing off. It’s been a long week.

On Tuesday, there will be a vigil held for my friend and her family.  If you’re in the Arlington, MA area and would like the details…let me know.

Peace be with them…




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