30 December 2008

Upcoming Events

I am so thankful to Laurie Trok for inviting me to participate in an exhibit at Garfield Artworks.
The opening night reception is this coming Friday January 2, 2009, 7-10pm.
I hope it's the first of many exhibitions in Pittsburgh.
January 30, 2009 Laurie and I will be sharing a vendor table at the Girl's Night Out event at City Theatre.
I have been knitting scarves to sell like a mad woman and making other bits and peices.

11 December 2008

Isidro Blasco

Work by the freaking incredible photographer/sculptor Isidro Blasco.

I am the notebook

I just bought some new Moleskine notebooks today and decided to look at their website. What loveliness it is to peek into someone else's thoughts and images.

Pablo Picasso (1881–1973)
Cahier No. 40
Approx. 1906 - 1907

71 pages of pencil and ink drawings.
Even the cover of a simple notebook becomes a space
for expression and statement – to identify with one’s own
cahier, to perceive oneself as a blank page, to merge with
one’s own sketches and notes: “I am the notebook” -
revolutionary poetics in just four words.
Printed front cover with handwriting:
Je Suis Le Cahier appartenant à Monsieur Picasso,
peintre, 12 Rue Ravignant, Paris XVIIIe.

Photo and caption: "Je Suis Le Cahier",
The Sketchbooks of Picasso,
The Atlantic Monthly Press New York, 1986.

22 September 2008

Lately Looking At

Early paintings and drawings by Eva Hesse. I think that these are really cool. They are made up of box like shapes in ink, paint and collage. They seem spontaneous and energized with their little arrows pointing off the page and drips of paint running in different directions.
I am inspired by these and have been making some collages based on them. My work is becoming more abstract/map-like, interested in color and shape. I don't know where it's going or even what I am doing but it seems that I get into the process and I just go go go. It seems a necessary step even if it doesn't go anywhere.
Getting to the studio is sometimes agony. I make up all kinds of excuses to myself: I'm too tired, I have nothing to do, there's not enough time right now, blah blah blah. It's exhausting being inside my own brain.
And yet....somehow I get there....and sometimes (miraculously) I even get stuff done.

14 August 2008


OH HOLY HAY-ZEUS! I just spent so much time trying to change up my website only to discover that I did something that made it malfunction and then I had to make it all over again.

Anyhoo, it still needs work but check out the brand new and improved:


I'm excited to say I will be teaching a class that starts September 22 at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

Here is the description:

Cardboard Creations (new)

instructor: Lauren Braun
CES 124 - Level: All
Marshall Annex
6 Thursdays, 6:30 – 9:30 pm
September 25 – November 6
no class October 9

Cardboard is a great packing material but it can also be used to make art! You can make anything out of cardboard-- a cave, as in Thomas Hirschorn’s Cavemanman on exhibit at the Carnegie International, a miniature polar bear, a race car. Take this class and experiment with creating cardboard sculptures of varying sizes. You are only limited by your imagination. A list of household items will be mailed upon registration. $150 members, $175 non-members (fee includes basic materials)

Also, Honey and I have started a collaborative project of words and images, take a look here.

August has flown by in a blur and if the rain lets up I'm on my way out the door to NYC tomorrow for the weekend and then on to Nagshead NC for the week......

Back in September.

05 July 2008

bright colors

The other day I took a break from my studio and went for a walk. I found this beautiful wildflower garden around the corner.
Elise brought me this beatiful bouquet of cut flowers from her garden!

03 June 2008

pop culture catch up

First up, I can't seem to get this image from Lost out of my mind. I feel like this whole chain of events linked to moving the island --unfolded so beautifully. Placing all the metal objects into this very modernist- 60's looking time machine. climbing through the hole from the explosion to a little ladder that takes Ben to some mystery place (within? beneath?) the island that is freezing cold where this wheel exists?) I loved this imagery and the way I can't quite get my head around it all. It's like this wonderful fantasy fantasy land.

Next, I gotta say----Carrie is so very


31 May 2008

"The mystique of rock climbing is climbing; you get to the top of a rock glad it's over but really wish it would go on forever. The justification of climbing is climbing, like the justification of poetry is writing; you don't conquer anything except things in yourself....The act of writing justifies poetry. Climbing is the same: recognizing that you are a flow. The purpose of the flow is to keep on flowing, not looking for a peak or utopia but staying in the flow. It is not a moving up but a continuous flowing; you move up to keep the flow going. There is no possible reason for climbing except the climbing itself; it is a self-communication."
----from Flow The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Nancy Crow

Just received this postcard from the Miller Gallery at CMU, they are showing these quilts made by Nancy Crow-- these images are from the website. They are really stunning- and geometric.

standing still

I've been feeling a little under the weather since Wednesday and when not scouring the internet for interesting pictures and ideas, I took some pictures in the yard, worked on some knitting projects, watched the season finale of Lost (!) and am just generally laying around and drinking lots of tea.
I am working on this baby blanket for Dagny, who I haven't seen in a whole week! I hope to see her again soon.
I'm also almost finished with this crazy collar/scarf type thing. The model on the left is wearing it in different colors. I used this gorgeous hand-dyed orange yarn and probably spent way too much money on it- but whatevs, you only live once! The pom-poms came out gigantic and are kind of funny. They are a combo of the orange yarn and another yummy cream colored textured yarn. After making the first pom pom, I realized the cream yarn is really too nice to use as a pom pom and it's cool texture gets lost because all you see are the ends- but that's what I bought it for, and I will have some left over to knit into something cool looking! I just have to attach the poms and put the finishing touches on this.
Now onto the garden, I planted a lot of veggies in pots because I haven't finished digging up a space in the lawn for a garden in the yard. Plus, the things I did plant in the ground: broccoli, zucchini, peas-- are all becoming lunch for our neighborhood posse of groundhogs-- who literally hop the fence to get into our yard. I used to think they were cute but now they anger me!!!!!
Here are some highlights from the veggies in pots.
These are beets:

These are swiss chard:

and chives:
I also have lettuce, parsley and baby cantaloupe-- but you get the idea. My goal is to transform the backyard into a lush garden with veggies and flowers. It's kind of slow going at the moment-- but I have grand ideas!!!

Here is Phase I though!

This is the before pic--- crazy overgrown and dangerous cactus patch, a tangled mess of prickles, weeds and grasses. This is a little space just behind the deck--

and after: Those yucca or century plants (whichever they are) are going to go too-- they are just a bitch to pull out! I came home from work one day and fueled by a little bit of angst at the boyfriend, I pulled the whole mess out myself-- there is still a big pile of cacti in the yard waiting to go into the trash bin.
Anyhoo-- I am envisioning some lillies along the back and sedums amongst those rocks (more artfully arranged of course) for this space.

30 May 2008

Lately Looking at...

artist, Kim Jones aka Mud Man
I wish I could have seen this exhibit at the NewMuseum about collage.

26 May 2008

a tiny bundle

My friend Erica had her baby over the weekend! I am holding her! How tiny and exciting she is!! Welcome to the world Dagny Dash!

07 May 2008

More on Matthew Monahan

Matthew Monohan's sculptures, which I saw at the Carnegie International use materials in very unusual ways. The International has 4 or 5 statuettes and large columnar figures. The human body is carved very realistically in some places and indecipherable in others, like ancient Greek or Roman statuary. Also, one of the figures was sandwiched between two tall pieces of glass and held together with one of those bungee cord- like flat ribbon ropes with a metal buckle. I'm not sure what they are called. They reminded me of artefacts you might find in a shipwreck, frozen in time. They were carved out of huge blocks of floral foam and painted to look like granite or other carvable material and give the illusion that they way tons when floral foam is just that-- foam! Very interesting!

Check out the Carnegie Museum blurb on artist Matthew Monahan or here

just stuff

I started working on a drawing from 5 years ago and in the process of re-thinking and filling in, I learned something about myself.... I'm not afraid. This is a really great news because I think 5 years ago my confidence was rocked and I was afraid of doing everything, going anywhere, trying anything etc etc. I'm so much better now! Yay for me!

So, back to this drawing-- I started it in grad school and it depicts a Utopian landscape complete with grassy hills, streams, bridges, trees decorated with tiny lights and these comfy egg shaped modernist chairs hanging from the branches. It was exhibited unfinished but I recently decided to finish it and have been coloring it in and thinking about some changes I'd like to make. It's a very slow process because I'm coloring in each leaf individually.

Otherwise, it's been a while since I've written in the blog- here's what's new in no particular order.

*I applied for the associated artists of pittsburgh and didn't get in. oh well, will try again in the fall.

*I went to see the Carnegie International on sunday and while I didn't see it all-- I was pretty impressed by some of what I did see-- Matthew Monahan's sculptures made out of floral foam, beautiful and unusual statuary relics that look like they are from another place and time. In fact, I can't stop thinking about these. (more on these later)

(image: carnegie museum)

Also, Mark Bradford's huge collaged paintings which use found papers and posters, permanent wave hair wrappers from the hairdresser and other urban detritus. He collages these huge canvases to look like maps of his neighborhood in LA and then sands them down and builds them up in places. These are so freaking awesome and huge and layered!!!

*Stacy and I went to the gallery crawl on Penn Ave on Friday night and we visited some cool little alternative art spaces on Penn Ave., the Glass Center, plus the Tunnel Gallery located in my studio building- which has a cool show of 5 kinetic metal sculptures by Boston artist, AM Lilly.

*Braun Brunch took place with a smaller group than usual this past Sunday. I made lemon ricotta pancakes-- they were REALLY tasty. I found the recipe on the site the kitchn.

(I did not take this picture, it's from the kitchen website linked above!)

*I had a job interview last week and the interviewer asked me to bring a writing sample. I realized I should really start writing more about the art I see. I did not want the job nor was it offered it to me- but I developed a nice piece of writing because of the interview!

Jeremy Blake’s animated videos combine photography, computer art and drawings to create a rich and densely layered landscape. Inspired by pop culture, fashion, the Sixties, psychedelia, punk rock and video games, his artistic process was as complex and layered as his body of work. One of Blake’s video projects, Reading Ossie Clark, was inspired by the 1998 publication of the London based fashion designer’s illustrated diaries. Clark, whose clients included Twiggy, Bianca and Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful, had a great impact on the “swinging sixties.” Blake’s videos mimic diary form with a stream of conscious, non-linear visual narrative of words and images. An ambient soundtrack consists of Clarissa Dalrymple, a NY art dealer and critic, reading fragments from Clark’s diary entries. Employing color, imagery, pattern and sound as tools, Blake constructs an animated world that pays homage to Clark’s influence while referencing the youth culture of life in London in the sixties. Blake grew up in the Washington DC area and was formally trained as a painter. He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA 1993) and earned a MFA at Cal Arts in 1995. Blake unfortunately committed suicide during the summer of 2007.
* Erica and Heidi had their baby derby party on Sunday and I bought them both little somethings which I wrapped in really cool paper with black ribbon-- distinctively un-babyshowerish but I really like it!

22 April 2008

an afternoon at Phipps

An afternoon spent at Phipps Botanical Gardens sparked my green thumb to life. I love these flowering trees of spring. This one was so gorgeous.

Orchids are such cool flowers. They have such personality. Each one looks like a miniature and intricate work of art.

This is a living wreath. I would love to make one of these to hang on the front door. It uses another of my favorite kind of plants-- sedums or hens and chicks.
As for me, I have been getting into watching The Wire -- we just finished watching Season 1 and now are eagerly awaiting the next netflick shipment. This show is so smart and gritty. I love it!
Working at the theatre 3 days a week for the summer so that I can be in my studio while the weather is warm.
Making new work and revisiting some old things which might morph into new things.
Thinking about photography and sculpture and bright colors and 3 dimensionality.
Trying to read Jumpa Lahiri's new novel but I keep getting interrupted.
Voted in the PA primary today.
Thought about Earth Day and how screwed up the world is right now.
Trying not to eat bread or baked goods in observance of Passover (boy is this hard!!)
Making plans for this year's garden, I have a list about 10 items long.....
Happy Earth Day

10 April 2008

Lately Looking at...

work by the painter, Elizabeth Murray:

Images from Art:21 and the NYTimes.

08 April 2008

revisiting the past

I stumbled upon this cd of images from my MFA thesis exhibit and decided to take a look and prepare them to archive on my website. It's strange to look at this work now that I have some distance from it.- It was such a difficult period of time in my life. I worked so hard on this and had so much mental anxiety. I thought about destroying all of these delicate mobiles and sculptures that I made out of paper when I finished school but I resisted the urge and packed everything away in boxes to return to at some point far off in the future and I guess that day is here. Interesting how time and distance changes your perception.