31 January 2008

studio update

Hello Friends: It has been a busy few weeks and I am feeling like I want to rent a bungalow on Venice Beach and and just lay in the sand and soak in the sunshine for 2 or 3 days. Or even a week. I have always had this fantasy about living in a beach-y place and wearing bathing suits and sarongs and living in a little cottage type house with bright colors and palm leaves.

But alas, it's winter here in the North East and my studio is lacking heat. Hence the portrait of me bundled up like an Eskimo. I was moving some things around this morning and just doing a little brainstorming.

These are some sketches inspired by denizens of the deep.

21 January 2008

dinner amongst friends

The weekend flew by and I could barely get myself up and going this morning in the 15 degree cold, rushing out the door to work on a crazy Monday. Now, it's almost time for bed again, only to start the same cycle over for tomorrow. I feel like I am one step behind.

17 January 2008

a series of little tiny epiphanies

I wish I could take credit for the cupcakes above but the image is from Martha Stewart-- click on the pic for the recipe and original site.

It's a cold snowy morning this morning. I am bundled up in my chunky knit scarf with a hottie mug o' coffee. Today is a very special day, D's birthday!!!!
Aside from birthday festivities and having to work this afternoon, my mind is hard at work!
I've been thinking about professional accomplishments I have made and would like to make in the coming year. I'm making a list and checking it twice. One of those is creating a class proposal to take to some of the local art establishments around town. Something having to do with collage-making and non-traditional books. Something clicked into place in the last couple of days-- a need to push myself in a certain direction and become very focused. I feel excited about it. Tomorrow- I signed up for a creativity symposium with some guest speakers. I have no idea what to expect but will let you know how it goes!

14 January 2008


We saw the Diving Bell and the Butterfly last night. It was incredible. I was transported into the experience of Jean-do, the main character. I saw through his one working eye. I understood what it felt like to be locked into his body, to hear his clear thoughts, his wry humor, his wants and needs clear within his own mind but not be able to express them to the outside world. I felt the disconnect he felt upon looking in a mirror and seeing a foreign face reflected back at him, not at all the image he had of himself in his mind. It is easy to see how lovingly and sensitively this film was crafted. It is so very compassionate and thoughtful. An absolute butterfly.

12 January 2008

activities & inspirations for today

I often check in on Simply Breakfast for some inspiration. Here is a picture of our breakfast from this morning. I bought a sack of blood oranges from trader joe's yesterday. They taste delicious and their color is a beautiful ruby red. Below is a detail of a greeting card I bought a while ago, it looks like me!!!

Catching up on some overdue work. This morning I spray-fixed some finished drawings outside on the porch. The sun is streaming through the railing.

Behind me is this view of Pittsburgh's South Side from our deck, across the Mononghahela River. It's pretty nice today! Brisk!
Last but not least, here is some new work in progress:
I've been on this Arctic animal kick lately with the polar bears, and now, I'm trying to fashion a Walrus sculpture. It doesn't look like much right now. It has a chicken wire base and then I was doing some pseudo paper mache over the chicken wire-- which incidentally is not one of my favorite materials to work with.....it hurts my hands. Plus, I'm sewing the different pieces together with wire which is very cumbersome and awkward. But, hopefully one of these days it will begin to develop a personality and the look of a walrus.
That's it for now! Happy Saturday.

09 January 2008


This is the last painting in the Hopper exhibit at the National Gallery in DC. While D and I were there with Honey, D made a very observant comment that this painting - made towards the end of Hopper's painting career and his life, is pared down to the essential elements, the essence. A very apt observation. (I had a teacher at Otis College of Art and Design that gave us multiple step projects having to do with building on an idea or element and then reducing it down to it's fundamental essence). Sometimes, those lessons pop up in my mind like a buoy in an ocean. It seems like life does this-- and as we get older the things that become most important to us change and gain clarity. The other night I had dessert with a friend and I was worrying about getting a second job and having enough money yet still having time to make art and let my brain play. My friend said, take advantage of the freedom you have right now-- I don't have kids, I have a day job that is just that-- not very taxing with a lot of flexibility. She said, you are in an enviable position. And I've been thinking about that a lot because it took me a decade to get to a place in my heart, spirit and mind that would allow me to just enjoy life, not worry too much, and make peace with being an artist instead of running away from it-- (which I sometimes still do). Funny how life changes. I'm not living the vision I had for myself when I was younger-- but I realize that vision was slightly more mainstream than I want to be. I think I'm living something better-- closer to my values and beliefs.

I love that it's a new year right now and a fresh start, a clean canvas. Who knows what 2008 will bring?! It's pretty exciting! Even a new president! Here is my polar bear on an iceberg made of cardboard.

05 January 2008

Yesterday's breakfast. Today, the girl's came over for brunch and we had a lovely time with scrambled eggs, croissants, mimosas and feisty conversation. Still admiring the yellow walls and today we hung up two of my framed artworks.
I finished two pastel drawings yesterday-- and even signed them to deter me from going back to do little things. Which I have been doing for 2 weeks already. I will take some photos tomorrow. One of the these days I will update my website again too!

04 January 2008

Our new dining room wall color with brand new shelves from Ikea!!! It's so cheery and bright and happy. We spent the last 2 days organizing and reorganizing

01 January 2008

It's gonna be bright yellow

Above: Jeremy Blake, Reading Ossie Clark, 2003, digital animation with sound on DVD, stills from 9-minute continuous loop, courtesy Kinz, Tillou + Feigen, New York

Got back from a trip to DC where we saw friends, family and ART. Hello to friends and family-- thanks so much for your hospitality!!! We had a lovely time.

Out of all the Museums we went to and all the art we saw, the exhibit that left the most inspiring impression on me was Wild Choir-- 3 animations/video's with sound by the late Jeremy Blake.

Today, we started the giant project of priming and painting the dining room. It was a color akin to masking tape.....and it's going to be a color called Lemon Sorbet. We trekked out to Ikea and bought the Norrelbo shelving unit and sang songs using all the names of the Ikea furniture. I am very excited to have a newly designed dining room!

Movies we've seen in the last week:
Charlie Wilson's War
Knocked Up
The Assassination of Jesse James
Sweeney Todd
Jeremy Blake, Sodium Fox, 2005, digital animation with sound on DVD, stills from 14-minute continuous loop, courtesy Kinz, Tillou + Feigen, New York