30 August 2006


Things seen:
spider the size of a yo yo
hornet's nest broken open
Divine Intervention(about to see on video)

things missing
black skirt
green enamel earrings

things recovered
black skirt (at drycleaners)

things accomplished
1/2 of files
saw friends

to do
doctor's appt

29 August 2006

Howl's Moving Castle & feeding the muse

Good Morning,
I'm thinking about changing the title of my blog. Any thoughts? I was leaning towards Paper Tiger.... we'll see about that.
Yesterday, I got to leave work early. Yay! Susannah and I went to rent some movies. I found Howl's Moving Castle, Everything is Illuminated, and a third about Israelis and Palestinians which I can't remember the title of. Also on my way home, I stopped at the art store. I love going up and down each aisle and looking at all the colors and papers and pens. It's a delight to the senses. I ended up buying origami paper and metallic paper, a new lightweight sketchbook with a ribbon tie, and a starter set of gouache paints.
I got home last night to an empty house as the other residents are on their boat trip up the Erie Canal. I love being home alone! I worked on my shovel for a while-- making letters out of the metallic paper and gluing them on the shovel part of the shovel. I had this sudden vision that I need some googly eyes to glue on too-- I don't know what that's all about. Anyhoo, I had a late dinner of leftover thai and a fruit smoothie with cantaloupe, blueberries and raspberries and I settled in to watch Howl's Moving Castle which is based on a book. This is a beautifully imagined and animated film. It's on par with The Triplets of Belleville-- another winner! Something I liked about Howl's Moving Castle, I couldn't identify the voices-- and when I saw the credits at the end, I thought wow. It really takes away from the movie when you see the actor or actress taking over the character. Howl is a real hottie! I liked that as Sophie ventured out of her shell more, the spell on her started to dimish little by little. I didn't like when Howl says "there's no point to living if I can't be beautiful"-- that was just a little ridiculous- but it's a Japanese fantasy so it sort of made sense at the same time. I loved the scenes of the castle and all the pieces breathing and moving as it walked along the wastes. It was quite magical. Just what I needed.
Today is my last day at the gallery for awhile-- I am so looking forward to some quiet contemplation and art making in the coming weeks. I plan to read a lot, walk outside, start practicing yoga, eat healthy, and spend lots of time making drawings, objects, collages, and photographs-- and whatever else occurs.
Be sure to feed your muse today!
For ideas visit here, here, or here
til next time!

26 August 2006


Happy Monday and Greetings:

Please click here to see some pictures of my studio space. This is a great site for creatives of all types and is put together by an illustrator named Linzie Hunter.

After I took these pictures I realized that the feeling I've been having for a while now, that I have outgrown this space, has become a reality and I need to move into a different studio after I return from Vermont.
I have been grappling with this issue of 'feeding the muse' and sometimes not knowing how to seek out ways to feed her. I often feel like I gravitate back to the same books, places, pictures that have helped me in the past but I start to feel like I'm maxed out on those things-- I have recycled them too many times and need to look at something new. Does anyone else ever feel this way? I wonder how people who are always inspired by new and different things keep going-- Creativity is about constantly changing and experimenting right? Sometimes, I feel like my brain is stale.
I am in the mood to re-decorate my living space and make it more comfy and arty. I feel like this is part of the problem, maybe? Maybe I should start collecting art!

This past weekend was the Elmwood Festival of the Arts. Saturday, I worked. Sunday, Susannah and I strolled, and I needed some retail therapy because I was feeling blue. I bought a yummy smelling handmade bar of soap-- oatmeal, milk, and honey and I scored this awesome pair of earrings from wild things that are long pieces of abalone with a tiny blue green stone at the top. (I would include a picture but the camera is at home.) They remind me of spoons but they are smooths hunks. That would be a funny band name, the smooth hunks.

On my to do list:
finish painting my shovel
figure out how to spiff up my website
design a promo postcard
rent studio space in October and find two other artists to share!

Ciao people

21 August 2006

creative visualization

"Every set that I did in the gym, every repetition I did on chin-ups or on squats with 500 pounds, I never said to myself, ‘Oh my God, another rep.' I said, ‘Yes! Another rep, another rep,' because that will make my dream turn into reality."
--Arnold Schwarzenegger

There is a beautiful bunch of lantern flowers in a vase on the dining room table. They are a rich orange the color of fire and they're hanging there, off of each stem filled with air, completely still, delicate, balloon-like.

I sat outside today and the wind was blowing in the Poplars and making the leaves rustle.

I spent Saturday, Sunday and Monday in Pittsburgh and had lots of fun with DL. Saturday, I did some work here:

at the 61c cafe in Squirrel Hill, or as I like to call it, Squirtel Hill.
Sunday night D performed in S'Carrie the musical-- based on Carrie the movie. It was equal parts funny but raunchy-- with some bad language! I had a few good laughs-- the actors had only one other practice run-- so I think they did a really good job.
Monday we had breakfast out and I ate a HUGE amount of food, eggs, 2 crepe pancakes the size of a dinner plate, and wonder of all wonders-- bacon....which I normally don't eat but it was so yummy. Then, after a little nap, I was on my way back to Buffalo. There is nothing better than a nap with your sweetie.

19 August 2006

fashion find of the week

Greetings! Friday, I went to get my haircut and this was my example photo. The lovely Ms. Jean Seberg from Breathless. I love her sixties style and the eye makeup.

Check out these totally amazing creampuff shoes Jill bought at Shoefly!
They are definitely the fashion find of the week. Friday night, I helped Jill at the Elmwood Ave. Block Party-- lots of people stopped by and my eyes got to soak in beautifully dyed yarns all night.

I am now in Pittsburgh for the weekend visiting DL. Last night we went to his friend's house for a little party for someone who just moved back to Pittsburgh from NYC. The house was really beautiful and I ate hor's d'oeurves (sp?) all night long! Everyone was asking how D and I met (on Jdate.com) and as I was explaining this a really nice young couple who met on Friendster and are now engaged told us their online dating success story. It was pretty funny. She is a costume designer and he is a filmmaker/film teacher. Again, proof that the internet is crazy!
Anyhoo, the evening continued with D's performance in the TV themesong show at the cabaret theatre. His friend Christine put this sing along show together with all the great old TV themesongs from the 60's through the 80's--- the Facts of Life, the Brady Bunch, All in the Family, Mary Tyler Moore, Wonderwoman....etc. This is the second time I've seen it and I couldn't help tapping my foot and singing along to some of the oldies but goodies.
This morning is a work morning while D is at a rehearsal for S'Carrie the musical, which I will see tonight. More on this later as it promises to be both funny and raunchy (according to D). I suddenly have a lot of work to do before my trip to Vermont. Thanks to Molly Jill and Jana for hooking me up with some projects!! It's funny how you can be going along hoping, wishing, praying that some money is going to come into your hands via artistic means and then suddenly, you're all booked up and busy...
I am very excited about this as I really want to expand my freelance skills and business and have even been seeing a counselor at the Small Business Association and writing a business plan. I am also getting SUPER excited about going to Vermont and creating artwork. My Mom told me the other day that my excitement is palpable. I can't remember the last time I was so enthused about something. It's gonna be SUPA!
Lata gators!

15 August 2006

good things

This is a picture of what that cutie pie DL brought me from the beach. I love it! Today I am a happy happy camper. If there was a dance of joy, I would be doing it now! First, I accomplished all but one of the errands on my to do list today. I finally got to the gym this morning. I finally braved the mall to go to the mac store so that I could use the gift card I got for my birthday (a month and a half ago) to buy a mouse for my laptop and had enough left over to buy some fancy cleaning chamois and spray -- because I can't stand having a grimy computer! I ran around everywhere- to the photo lab, the bank, the cleaners, the post office. I bought myself lunch at the mall, and best of all I came home to find that the mailman delivered my USB cord for my new digital camera that I am now able to use-- and have been snapping pictures all round my garden and work space because I'm so excited!

I took a 20 minute power rest- although I didn't fall asleep and then specifically inspired by this, I went to Amvets in search of a sewing machine. Does anyone have a simple sewing machine I can buy or have?? No luck at Amvets, but I did find a pattern for a cute drawstring skirt in a box of old 80's sewing patterns, two small flower pots and a glass jar with drawings of peas on it that I can use for water and paintbrushes. I don't even know how to sew that well-- I mean I did a little sewing when i was in highschool but I really want to start making some skirts! Everytime I pass by Elmwood Fabrics, there is this adorable skirt in the window made out of this vibrant colored fabric -- it's calling my name, and when that happens, one must answer. It would be so satisfying to go in there, buy that piece of fabric and be able to make my own skirt.

Can I just say, the internet is crazy! Every time I venture out to look at something online, it completely amazes me. What I find amazes me, but then the suggestion of what I haven't seen but guess to be out there somewhere also astounds and amazes me. I stumbled upon this pretty cool animation/design/illustration website.

Otherwise, the rest of this week is all about appointments, painting my shovel for the Artspace groundbreaking, helping Jill Friday night and preparing for my trip to Vermont: countdown 2 weeks!!

14 August 2006

p. 85

Esther's head was shaved like a boy's. Lying next to her, he felt he could hold that coconut head for the rest of his life. She could beat him in an arm wrestle and most arguments. She was bigger than he, and more beautiful. But he was tortured by the idea that she would grow old! He understood in all likelihood this sort of thinking would lead him to die lonely, without anyone. He told himself the story that this was the great tragedy of his heart. The great tragedy of his heart was that it always needed to be told a story.
- Zadie Smith, The Autograph Man

It's a gray day out today.

It was a lovely weekend, D visited and we walked around in the park, had a Saturday date-- dinner at a Thai restaurant where we ate lots of delicious foods and then we saw a movie, Scoop. Sunday, we went to the waterfront and watched all the spinnaker sailboats on the lake. The breeze felt so cool and the sun warm on our faces-- it was just a beautiful day. Then, we went to hear Jazz behind the art gallery which was nice until the people in front of us all started smoking. At that point we decided to go for a walk.

I am very excited to report that I have in my possession, thanks to Jen, a digital camera!! Thank you Jen!! Now I can make my top secret digital images! Also, in preparation for Vermont, I ordered some used books at half.com- These include: Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland, and 6 Steps to Free Publicity by Marcia Yudkin. I found these at Keri's recommended readings. I have been studying over her site these last week's for inspiration, information, ideas, and just to read what she has to say. She has a really accessible writing style and I feel like if we met we would be friends, which is I'm sure how lots of other people feel too. She is just one of those people who seems like a kindred spirit.

11 August 2006

the bulk aisle

I have never been one to be a prolific art-maker. I always wished I was but that's just not my pace. If I allow myself to, I get very self conscious and start wondering why I'm doing this, and what's the point, and I think it's not good enough, yadda yadda yadda. I end up sounding like Nicolas Cage's character in the beginning of Adaptation when he's psyching himself up to start writing while thinking of every excuse in the book as to why he can't.
Anyway, something really quite lovely happened this week, I have made a lot of work-- without acting as the judge, jury, critic, pie-thrower in the face, shusher, or whatever else you want to label the inner critic that often stops me cold. I just relaxed and made some stuff for the sake of making it, and it was pure pleasure! I thought WOW, if I could spend every day doing this and maybe even get paid for it, I would be the happiest camper ever!!!
I have been making lots of these wave pattern drawings, which then turned into color block drawings and then I decided to experiment. While working on these, I thought about how I could prepare a bunch, color the pages and then block them out in black-- I could do multiples and then etch the lines into them at a later time. This raised all sorts of other questions about the immediacy of seeing what I was doing, which has always been something I enjoy.
I thought about artists who make art in bulk-- they prep 10 canvases at a time, and work them all up simultaneously.....I've never worked that way, at least not that I can think of. I always get wrapped up in one project or piece and it want to nit pick and perfect it, but maybe this is something to try. Hmm, an epiphany??!
Back to the work table!

xx L

10 August 2006

First, let me say that I had an entirely orange lunch today! A little piece of salmon, a sweet potato and some carrots- I wonder if you eat that way every day if you would turn orange? Next, let me say that this has been a banner week for art making-- yesterday for the first time in I can't remember how long I sat outside in the garden and sketched flowers, I worked on some new wave drawings (inspired by my loopy sedated state in le hospital) and I have lots of ideas for experiments and new work underway. It's strange how a medical crisis can clear a space for something creative to happen-- I will not question it! I will just ride it out and enjoy it. Too many times in my life, I have had this feeling like I'm spinning my wheels artistically but not moving anywhere....So I am really thankful that good things came out of the scary things. As for my ongoing recovery- I feel pretty good today- my left ear feels stuffy and I think that is making my equilibrium a little off, also I had no sense of how much distance was available to me while parking my car today and had to try 2 different spots before pulling into a third and then realized I left too much space. It's very weird to walk around with this floaty feeling-- like I'm not worried about anything- and yet I physically still have this wobbly unsteadiness-- I remember the last time I was in the hospital in Boston, the same thing happened. For weeks afterward my entire perception of my world felt different- I felt lighter, fragile, yet like I could see my life circumstances with more clarity and perspective.
On a separate thread, yesterday as I was sitting outside, I started thinking about family legacies. Probably due in part to the fact that I just finished reading both of Jonathan Safran Foer's novels, Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close, and Everything is Illuminated. Of the many themes that come up in Everything is Illuminated, he talks about this idea of the family legacy and looking forward through your children's children's children and back to your parents, great grandparents, etc. In fact, the novel gives birth to itself-- and it just made me think about how I come from this very artistic family. My Grandmother wanted to be an artist, my Mom too. But my Grandmother either didn't or could not pursue her art for various reasons-- the generation, raising a family, women's changing roles in the workplace and family, etc. She ended up being very depressed and unhappy by the end and sometimes I wonder if it's because that creative part of herself got squelched and left behind. This makes me very sad yet it also makes me feel adamant that I need to stay true to that creative part of myself. I wonder how different a place the world would be if there was more support and space for people to learn and pursue what they really love in life. It's so hard to find a balance between finding a way to pay the bills and having the time and mental energy to do what you really love. I wouldn't be able to do what I do without the help and support of my family and friends, especially my Momma-cita!!
These are drawings that my Grandma did when she was in High School-- I have been meaning to have them framed forever-- but I thought it would be nice to put them out there!

09 August 2006

Last night, I woke up at 5AM and couldn't fall back to sleep-- so I wrote in one of my many journals. Boy, I do keep a lot of books going! I have a moleskine journal that I write in,

a small blank book that I keep inspiring quotes in, a large sketchbook/journal, a small one, and now-- since last week I decided to start an asthma diary to track my progress. Which is steadily improving. This morning I took a short walk down the street and then sat outside in the garden for a little while.
I am feeling very inspired to do creative things and I feel very in line with what I'm doing now-- which is something that has not come easily! It takes a medical emergency to really put things in perspective- and ground you.
Otherwise, I have to share this picture of my wrist-- which is not entirely acurate because I scanned it directly onto the flatbead- but I came home from the hospital with this bruise on my wrist that is literally purple --and it hurts!!

Be well! xxLauren

08 August 2006

Last week I was in the hospital from Tuesday to Sunday after having a big asthma attack. I had to be intubated for the second time in my life and it was a traumatic experience to say the least. I don't want to go into too much detail about what physically happened- but I will say that at one point I came too- and I was on a ventilator and trying to breathe on my own at the same time. Someone blurry lifted a cotton pad off of my eye and waved a flashlight across. I saw for a glimpse that I had thin velcro restraints around my wrists and my whole body was twitching. At the same time-- there was another part of my brain that was experiencing this strange undulating landscape of colors in waves-- which I'm going to make some drawings of out of cray-pas. Needless to say it was weird and scary. It's taken a few days to feel better both emotionally and physically but if there's one thing I've learned-- Im strong! and I keep moving forward.

The biggest part of why I wanted to start a blog is because next month I will be doing an artist residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT and I thought this would be a great project to work on while I'm there and a way for me to let friends and family know what I'm working on. I am so excited about this adventure!!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot the part about the bird beak-- as a result of the breathing tube-- my upper lip was sore and swollen for a few days and it still feels as though I have a pointy bird beak!

Be well Everyone!