16 September 2006

Making books is fun! I'm experiment with ways to make pages, binding, and imagery. Last night was open studios and then a visiting painter lecture. It's so cool to see how everyone is using their space and filling it. I had an amazing conversation with a woman named Bev last night at dinner. She made some very astute observations about me and honed in on our shared Judaism immediately when she asked me if my Mother wants me to marry someone Jewish..... It turns out Bev is a clinical psychologist and in the mix with our great conversation I did feel like she was psycho-analyzing me just a little in her head. The funny thing is that from a far she seems a little flaky and dreamy, she is a beautiful woman-- with silver curly hair to her chin. She always wears these cute red clog-like shoes with striped socks a some kind of hat that makes her look like a flapper. She's probably in her 60's?? Anyways, she just has a sparkle!

I am in a total news and world void-- even though Im at an advantage to those without a car here- I just have no idea what's happening in the world. My days are structured around mealtimes! I get up at 7:30, shower and go for breakfast. Then, I go to my studio around nine. At noon, I break for lunch-- three days a week I work in the development office from 1-4. Yoga is usually 4:30 to 6. Dinner is at 6. Then, there has been an activity like open studios, slide night, readings, lectures from 8-9. Then more studio time or sometimes the sculptors make a bonfire. And bed-- then repeat!

13 September 2006


Ahhh-- so much news and it seems so little time before I will become sleepy and have to trek through the rain to the house where I sleep.
My time here has been wonderful-- I think I had a eureka moment in the studio yesterday! One of my fellow artists in residence came by and I was showing her some things- and explaining how I have been feeling antsy in the studio-- that I can't stay focused and at some points I feel like I need to leave. She took one look at this little sketchbook I make collages in, usually first thing when I arrive to get me into the space, and said- you should try making books, and then.... i bet you're a book-maker. And it just made so much sense- and it was like something clicked-- I tried making books in grad school but it seemed like I got such negative and mixed feedback that I didn't pursue it. But that is such the way that I work-- cutting, pasting, assembling, designing.

Today, while I was working, I was in the zone. I had that tingly feeling I haven't had in so long that means things are clicking. I was engaged and immersed in what I was doing. And most importantly I was having fun!
In many respects, I have learned more in a week and a half here than I did in 3 years at grad school.
The beauty of being here is that you can see how other people start their processes, and fill a white room. Intuition and play are huge first steps in getting started- following that little nudge that says paint a bright pink square in the corner or rip a picture here or there. I am seeing that with so much more clarity than before-- both in other people and in accepting it in myself. It's not like being in an academic setting where every decision you make has to be explained, intellectualized, conceptualized and critiqued. Art-making is a mysterious, spontaneous, fun process-- I was searching for the work and I think I finally found it.
I was thinking about why I came here and the reasons keep changing and growing. At first, I thought it would be to make a new body of work. Since I've been here though, I've learned more about my own process- what works and where I am stuck- I've gained an appreciation for 'accepting my own style'- not forcing what doesn't come easily ( like painting), starting multiple works so that if I get stuck or bored on one,I can move to something else. Most importantly though, I wanted to figure out how to have a positive, lose all track of time experience while in the studio. Work by the motto, make it and move on!
The other artists and writers are such lovely people, open and honest- non- competitive, willing to share and talk about the balances of life and art- the trials and tribulations of starting something new or getting stuck on something old.

08 September 2006

the rhythms of daily life

I'm learning lots about the way I work, my rythms and habits.
I like to make a mess. Sometimes, I have a short attention span and like to dabble at several things simultaneously. I like to work in the morning and at 11 I get antsy and have to go for a hot drink at the cutie pie coffee shop next door and read or write to clear my head then return to do a little more dabbling.
I'm learning that it's ok to sit in the studio and read or knit or just stare into space without doing anything in particular. These are all things I never really acknowledged before.
It's ok to not have a grand idea to really sink my teeth into...there is freedom in exploring, experimenting, and having a sense of playfulness. I have felt a definite letting go since I've arrived here---
like a breath of fresh air blowing through all the dusty corners and cleaning everything out.

05 September 2006

Look Up Lift Up

Hello Friends. Here is a test pic for the bird beak pictures. I have taken a few pictures but still need to edit them. I think I might have had a mini breakthrough in my studio today. But first, let me tell you about the title of this post. I have a studio in the Church Building-- a converted church (one would assume) there are two stained glass windows in the front. One has a picture of an anchor and the other has these words, look up.lift up. going around a circle with a red plus sign. It's one of the first things I saw when I walked in and up the stairs. I've been repeating the phrase like a mantra. I take it to mean, look towards the sky or God or Heaven and feel brighter or uplifted or It's lighter than you think. I just really like the ideas it brings to mind and the first thing I did after I unpacked all my supplies was to cut up some brightly colored origami paper and make those words.

Anyhoo- breakthrough in the studio-- I didn't really have that much time to work today because I slept through my alarm (a whole other story) BUT I was doing some work and a fellow artist came in and asked to borrow a sharpie and complimented what I was doing-- I felt great about that and then I just had this major release- as though I could really play and have fun and throw caution to the wind and work instinctively. The work I made today was really loose and wild compared to yesterday's tight nervous work. It was very exciting- I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. Everyone has meals together in a dining room and the conversations are really fascinating-- the general meet and greet is always what's your name?, where are you from? have you been here before? but sometimes, you get into a deeper conversation about process or materials. I listened to a writer talk about index
Meanwhile, I bought myself a present today-- there is a yarn shop in town and I bought a beautiful skein or yarn that has reds and greys. I plan on making a scarf.

So- I overslept and missed breakfast. I went for a bike ride and rode past a covered bridge over a river and some old New England-y run-down Victorian homes.

03 September 2006


Hello Friends. I am here in Johnson, VT. The drive was quite lovely-- america's farmland. I saw sheep, hawks, a fawn (Bambi), a pumpkin patch, the mist rising off the mountains, a moose crossing sign! It looks like the color is just creeping in to the green leaves- there is just a tinge of yellow- and some trees have red. By the time it's time to go home- the trees will be a sea of color.
Upon arriving here I had a quick look at my room and studio space and then off to a reception and dinner. The food is very healthy and delicious-- salad bar, and salmon, lots of veggies. I met a few people but not a lot- I felt very shy and awkward as I'm sure a lot of others did.
going to go rest now--- more soon!

02 September 2006

tomorrow, tomorrow

The time is approaching people...an adventure is about to begin. I will set out early in the morning and make my way to the East. My belongings are boxed up and stacked appropriately - hopefully, I have just the right amount of, for lack of a better word, stuff. Not too much, not too little. A lunch is packed and sits waiting in the fridge. The vehicle is in traveling condition. The morning awaits!
The next time I write something here I will be in the green mountains, under the 10 jazillion stars of the night sky and steeped in the artmaking process.
Wish me luck!

01 September 2006

Solid Gold

Happy September 1st!
I am puttering around surfing the internet when I should be packing up my belongings. I had a superb day today filled with riding my bike all over town. Having coffee at cafe aroma, my morning ritual, where the hot firemen stopped to get coffee and were flirting with all the girls. I went to the downtown library. I picked out two books on tape, and three books, Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Plant Dreaming Deep by May Sarton, and Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf. At one point this afternoon, the chain fell off my bike and I didn't know how to fix it-- I thought, maybe I should call Douglas or Jim, or go ask my neighbor across the street for help. But then, I thought I can do this-- and I figured out how to do it and felt like a super rockstar! Then I came home and made some chicken and threw all these different ingredients together!
If you want to see a feat of beautiful baking please hop over to Honey's blog and look at the gorgeous tarts she made for her best friend's baby shower.
OK-- I have to go get to it!
ps. i forgot to mention that the pictures are of my shovel for the Artspace groundbreaking!
pps.tonight, I went to the gusto at the gallery to catch the Petah Coyne exhibit before it ends. It wasn't really that compelling for me although there were a few moments when I discovered something up close that I wouldn't have seen had I not inspected closer-- like the angelic white face of what looks like the virgin Mary, hidden away beneath a veil of black silk flowers and feathers-- facing the corner closest to where the sculpture stood- so you had to walk around to see it. Or the giant woven hair sculpture with trapped taxidermied ducks.
Anyhoo, my FAVORITE moments of the night-- seeing the tiny paper and card board mock-up of the Jim Hodges sculpture that was trucked here and actually weighs about 9 tons and then walking oustide and seeing it in the courtyard-- and looking over it to see the light installation by Leo Villareal-- that is by far my most favorite thing at the gallery. They are white lights on a grid that are programmed to light up randomly and in patterns on one glass wall of the auditorium which looks black because of the treatment of the glass. This installation is so beautiful- I could watch it for hours. The other really cool, newly installed piece is the Rachel Whiteread sculpture of the fire escape. It's massive and commands your attention and inspection.
Now Im tired-- I know I left some details out of my descriptions, but I have to go do some more packing, more later!