24 February 2009

to bee or not to bee

as i left work today, i discovered a giant bumble bee on the floor. it was beautiful, yet it a bit scary looking because it was so ginormous! that got me thinking about my art process and how beign creative is a beautiful thing, yet so scary sometimes. i have been VERY resistant since my inspiring moment...although truthfully this is the first time i have had time to think about it.

it has been haunting my dreams, which have been full of highly imaginative objects, people, even artwork. Last night there was a man whom I was mixing tempera paint for. He was painting a large ghostly image of a woman's face that appeared under an umbrella like shape. when i asked him who the woman was he said there was no woman and insisted that I was making it up. perhaps i was...perhaps i should!

so my creative procrastinations have lead me to baking once again.
in fact, i think the cookies are ready!

20 February 2009

new inspiration

I am so inspired by Amy Karol, who is the author of the latest book I am devouring, called 'Bend-the-Rules Sewing'. I recently traded sewing books with a friend, after she turned me on to Karol's craft blog, 'Angry Chicken', and was bestowed with this gem of a read. Not only are the projects and tips for sewing just down to earth and fun, but the photographs and illustrations are so beautiful that I am inspired to get cracking on my own work again!

I love how inspiration takes you away out of nowhere. I also love how what inspires me about her work is that she can do it all and it works! She is a painter, designer, seamstress, mother, textile artist, author and just overall a fabulous writer and is quite genuine.

In the midst of all the other projects I have going, I would like to take my time learning to sew, while working on my new series. My new series had it's own moment of inspiration when I was at a cafe and saw an illustrated poster on the wall with flowers and spices.

I love maps. I love diagrams. I use them in my art. This time I want to make the art more personal. Maybe make my own diagrams about my life. I also love to collage and draw or paint on top of it. So somewhere in the 'what I love' category and the 'what inspires me' category I am finding my way back to my practice. this is merely part of my process.

I am itching to get going. Sometimes the inspiration phase needs to be jumped on before it goes away. But I will be looking at art this weekend which will keep it near. then next week while the hubby is off to LA I think I will start the next phase of this process, which is sketching. Not my favorite phase since I tend to be so ahead of myself that I want the art DONE. In an effort to be as present as possible with my process, I think I will just take my time. After all, art does take time. all of life/things take time. It's so hard to live in a society that forgets that time is precious and the difference between something mediocre and something special is taking the time to do it right.

17 February 2009

projects ahoy!

dear curious bees,
i am taking on loads of projects as usual. hence the reason i am the bee, as in 'busy as a bee'. i am constantly working. thinking. writing. researching. it is curious that i should be so concerned with not making art when in fact, that is all i do. just not the kind of art that constitutes a body of work in the formal sense. my life is art. i do not need to be a painter to be an artist.
here are a few things i have been up to my bees knees in:
-building a new web site for my main client and hopefully building a web site for a new client, another artist in the Bay Area.
-polishing up a slick portfolio and wardrobe for my dearest husband who is off to LA next week to promote his talented self to the College Art Association
-sewing undies out of old message tees (i just made my very first pair last night out of an old 'aqua teen hunger force t-shirt'...i find the text at the top which says, "they are going to eat you!" to be very appropriate for wedgies...)

-signing up for a new blog and etsy site with my friend Ashley who have dubbed ourselves "Minnow and the Bee" the etsy site is coming soon-ish...
-making brooch designs which need to be made for the etsy store
-designing a logo for minnow and the bee
-designing business cards for curious bee designs (which would be all of this minus the etsy store-the web stuff, the art studio assistant work, the freelance curatorial design work, post card imaging, artwork, etc.etc.etc. whew! i am exhausted just typing about it!)

well world...i am just to damn curious to stop doing any of this. i look forward to the day when i have my various talents are tucked neatly under one umbrella. until then i will continue to do everything art related to gain experience and pay the bills.
so there.

14 February 2009

domestic bliss or blisters?

lately (and by lately i mean since i got married last year) i have come to find myself in pure domestic bliss. cooking, sewing, baking, organizing; i really enjoy it and this winter has been full of it all. somewhere between finding the perfect low-fat banana bread recipe and hemming the jeans i have been secretly pinning for months (years?), i started pondering this state of bliss.

it is quite interesting to me that i am enjoying things that my mothers mother had plenty of, but my own mother had very little of once i came along-time to enjoy domestic life. in my mother's situation she had no choice but to land a career since my father was ill. for a while my father couldn't work at all, so he learned to cook while my mother paid the bills. but most of what i saw growing up was women putting their careers first, cooking last-even the word 'domestic' somehow translated into letting a man tell your place in this world. then there is the woman who does it all-the career, the child, the clean linens and somehow has time to bake a dozen chocolate cup cakes for fun and still maintain happiness.

having seen two extremes-(my grandmother who had 12 children, a garden to feed them with and a husband to bring in the money to support the details and my own hard working mother had no time to really consider much else)-i have made a world that allows me creative freedom to live healthy and happy minus the children (for now). i can chase the career i really want, the man i really want, the home i really want, the wardrobe i really want, and what is it i really want??

i want to make paintings, make cookies, sew duplicate versions of my favorite undies, hem my jeans so they don't get all gummy and nasty as they drag along the streets of oakland, make new playlists of music i like to sing to, pin inspirational mish-mash on my bulletin board, read poetry, read the paper, draw cartoons of the people who piss me off, write music about cats with my husband, make brooches, sew stuffed animals, have finger puppet shows, make the bed cozier, drink tea, do yoga, do anything and everything i can to make this moment a little sweeter and share that with the people i love.

i find it inspiring to see others i know do the mommy thing with the greatest of ease and the greatest of love. i know that it is not easy, sacrifice never is, but love is the ultimate driving force in this world. i do know that i am nowhere near making that very personal decision- so kids aside- what i am loving and therefore being driven by, is the idea of getting in touch with domesticity since i now have the time.

having this time is blissful. it reminds me of when i was younger and had moments of solitude in which to create my own world. i think it is so important to have space-especially emotional space-in which to create more beauty, heal wounds, invent new traditions, or even just stare into nothingness or watch the rain and the wind tussle with the trees, or as my grandmother said often, "remember to stop and smell the roses". she was right, otherwise life is one big chore filled with domestic blisters.

09 February 2009


this past week, working between a young emerging artist and an older established artist, a major theme keeps emerging in various conversations with people and observations. authenticity.

i first made the observation that in both cases the art i am working with doesn't suck. it is done with such sincerity and skill. next i began to have several conversations about art with people that somehow or another landed on the topic of authenticity in art and how contemporary art is so full of concepts that the aesthetic falls by the way side and it becomes too self conscious. pretentious. anything but authentic.

what inspired me to write about this, after several false starts, was a comment made tonight by a museum director regarding his own post undergraduate down period.

with no encouragement from me, he began reminiscing how he began his undergrad painting landscapes. once in school for a while the brow beating to abandon landscapes and make a cohesive body of more 'interesting' work set in and then once he graduated he didn't paint for a long time. then one day he started painting landscapes again.


earlier in the week a museum curator was also chatting about art with me. she spoke of how academic art has been for so long and how we are so consumed with what art is and isn't that we aren't making authentic art anymore.

i agree completely.

over the weekend a friend and i shared some tea and she told me how she recently decided to go back to painting after a year of trying other mediums. she came to this after having a professor at her grad school lectured her about how distant her art had become after trying to be more ambiguous with her subject. she realized that all that time she was making the artwork everyone told her she should rather than what she knew really wanted to.

sometimes you have to create distance to see what it is you really want or where you want to be.

the issue of authenticity comes up in most conversations about art. my husband has grappled with it many times over. i bitch about it constantly upon returning from some art openings and then rave about it when returning from others.

i think the bottom line is that i don't want to go back to making art until i feel that it is authentic again. at this point i am still detoxing and processing all of that bull shit you face in school. i know this space is necessary. to breath again. then reconnect. to figure out what i want.

i still can't help but wonder though...did i ever make art that was authentic?

remember the pet pine cones...
pretty damn authentic.

08 February 2009

memory and truth

for quite some time now i have found myself thinking about memories, the way they transform over time, and the "truth" they contain. it began when i was still in undergrad, last year, working on multiple series trying to define one, start another, and still uphold the theory that the art should be consistent, which i am just not. in the midst of that confusing time (yet another reason i have favored this procrastination period of mine) i began to see how my memories are integral to my creative process.

i think childhood memories are such a common occurrence for me because my twenties are nearing the end and i believe you cannot write (or re-write) history until the past is truly the past. therefore childhood is the furthest historical moment of my life to explore. i am sure sometime soon my childhood memories will be taken over by teens,
then twenties and so forth until i die. what i am most interested in is how they take over, morph, and dissolve as time passes.

it is intriguing to me that many of my strongest memories seem so sad and dark even if the absolute truths, such as time and place, are not. like chasing butterflies on a bright sunny day, smelling lilacs in the air, but knowing that moment is shadowed by someone's death.
it is how i feel about this memory that is very poignant, very real. so where is the "truth" in that? that seems to shift all the time so is it even real? for me the truth is whatever it is at the time i am with it and the trick is to not remain attached to that emotional quality of the memory-especially if it is unpleasant.

i do feel that by telling a story in great description i am be able to recall more and more, however i also find that the truth begins to fade as the imagination takes over. it becomes difficult to tell which part is true anymore outside of the absolute. at this point, the point where a memory becomes engrossed in imagination, is the place where i often find myself seeking out inspiration for a new series. my biggest problem is finding the appropriate visual language and then determining how literal i want to be, if at all.

in the past i have used animals to represent humans and create a narrative between the composition and the title. for instance this one is titled 'the independent one'...
which more or less was composed to convey the feeling of loneliness or being left behind and titled to reflect the way that i used to justify my loneliness through independence. it really just doesn't quite push me there though. almost. not quite.

i am still interested in using animals in my work however i have been to inspired to start painting figuratively since a show that i went to a few weeks ago at AutoBody in Alameda to see paintings by my former professor Dickson Schneider and art friends/former classmates, Raymond Wong and Richard Kramer.

this piece was at the show. it's by my friend Raymond, titled 'homeland obscurity' and while that has nothing to do with childhood memories, it does have soemthing to do with truth and reality. i find the way the paint moves around the canvas to be just as inspiring as the emotional quality of the figure.

that whole show made me want to focus on painting again and welcome back all of my struggles with it.

i am eager to work again....period.

let's just hope that i can find some time in march!

having this part time WSPS thing is too fun to not put it on hold for a little longer...after all...there is always a reason to procrastinate!

02 February 2009

o fortuna

at some point this afternoon, somewhere between watching the tiniest birds flutter in the trees above me and gazing at archaic looking, profoundly beautiful, ceramic sculpture, i found myself thanking my lucky stars for this life. my work day was filled with so much enjoyment that i had to stop. look. and for a moment just be with that feeling-which i believe was the feeling of true satisfaction.

quite simply, my job (working as an assistant to an amazing pair of local Bay Area artists) is the perfect next step to my career. it allows me to do what i love (look at and talk about inspiring art with other artists) and what i am naturally good at (keep things harmonious/organized) simultaneously. which is truly ideal for an aspiring artist because being around successful artists that are so genuine (and humble) keeps me motivated and hopeful.

upon returning home from work I received a phone call that was surprising, yet so very welcome, and only added to my elatedness. I was asked by none other than Ms. Lea Redmond to help her at The World's Smallest Postal Service for the Valentine's Day rush. She is an artist that I had recently come to know by the chance that I should apply for the job she was leaving in order to give her art business her full attention. Since I did not get the job (I was a close second:) she thought of me when she decided to hire some extra, artistically inclined, hands. honored indeed.

my fortune cookie read:
"you will meet an important person that will help you advance professionally"
my second fortune cookie read:
"some think you are handsome. others do not."
in any case, I say:
o fortuna fortuna, your capriciousness is welcome.

01 February 2009

Curiouser and Curiouser

Hello world! I am now officially committed to telling the world my thoughts. So let me just start this blog off by saying what it is. I make art, I work with art, I am just plain fascinated by art-especially when I don't like it. Since I graduated last year I have found myself in, what I am now referring to as, a post graduation procrastination period. There are many excuses and conditions that exist for my procrastination. The usual suspects; work, laundry, work...and I no longer have a studio. The thing is, I also just find myself curious about where I will take my next series of artwork. So for the past 7 months I have reorganized what little space I do have to work in and have been active with my relationship to the art world, artist friends and my sketches, but mostly...I have been writing. I have found it to be a great way to summarize all of my pondering and eventually (maybe soon!) I plan to turn it all into a visual language that feels honest. Art education has a way of making you forget why you are an artist. Working makes you remember that making art is just as important as laundry-it's essential! So what this blog becomes for me is an outlet to ponder aloud, rather silently, the various creative endeavors that cross my path, my mind, or just what I am up to.