Thursday, December 18, 2008

Japan Updates

Bus stop pose!  
Wearing the beautiful rain boots that Clare sent me last Christmas.  I LOVE them and I get many comments about them from my co-workers.  They go nicely with my drab atire.  
(I should really think about adding some color to my wardrobe!  Its just depressing.)
I haven't posted many travel pics for a while.  
We recently went to Matsumoto 
and also recently made food with some Minis so here's the proof!
This is really funny because I was SERIOUSLY scared to be up that high.

Happy Holidays from Japan Land! 
(I made my hat and mittens out of a second hand sweater.)  
This was a restaurant in Matsumoto that our buddy Alli took us on Thanksgiving.  We ate chocolate crepe cake, pumpkin cake and chestnut cake after we had already stuffed ourselves at an excellent Indian restaurant.

You can see our cute plates.  Mikey was taking the pic.  
Ropes Course Magic! 
 Too bad I am afraid of heights (like I said) which also includes heights of three feet...  
That's Alli behind me.  If you are a Facebook friend you can stalk me and see many other sweet, flattering photos we took that weekend.

Here I am helping to plate green mushy dessert.  I think it was made of sweet white beans.  It was pretty tasty.  This school has only six students (1st through 6th grade!!) so it's really fun to hang out with them  They are all really energetic and cute.  
Gotta go home now.  Peace owt!  More soon...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Multiple Dimensions

While riding the bus to work this morning I had a new thought.  I was looking out the window and at the window at the same time.  The landscape outside of course changed as I moved.  The reflection of the landscape from across the bus also moved creating two landscapes snaking and undulating separately and together.  Sometimes it seemed like the image was going forward and backward at the same time.  Sometimes the dark hill would have a sunny glowing forest in it's center.  It made me think that this is one way that multiple dimensions can exist.  The image wasn't just a direct perception and a reflection.  The interaction of the two made something new.  Something that is both understandable to my human perception (like "up" and "down" and "space") but also something beyond that, something abstract and also simultaneous.  Something going forward and backward can exist at the same time and place.  Something deep and shallow.  Two different buildings with two different families living in the same space without even knowing it.  It made me start to think about how depending on how we reflect what we see, it changes that image and the other dimensions related to it.  

I wonder if there is a book that is based on this concept...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cherry Flavored Peppers

I woke up this morning and looked out my frosty window.  
This is what I saw!  I can't believe it!
This beautiful bird was sitting outside looking for food.  
While I was eating breakfast, I threw my magical bird friend some of my breakfast:
The bird (who I decided to name Simon) especially liked the very happy and mini peppers in my breakfast sushi.  He said they taste like cherries and make him feel in love.  He left the window for a moment.  When he came back he had picked these flowers for me.
I couldn't believe such awesome flowers grow in the winter!!  
Japan truly is a magical land.  
I hope he is there when I get home!

I am SOOO happy to say that I had a whole weekend to make things.  
I was able to work on Christmas gifts AND painting.  
I am thrilled about how my new paintings are coming along.  I have thirteen small panels in progress.  That might seem like a lot, but it is perfect for me (maybe too few) because I often just pour a bunch of paint onto a panel and then I have to wait until it dries to touch the painting again.  Anyway, I am working on getting better detail in my paintings (not just pouring paint).  As Mikel says, you can often tell that I use the same 1-3 brushes in my paintings.  I want more mystery in my work at a smaller scale so that the painting draws me in and then isn't disappointing close up.  I am also thinking more about the combination of my 2-D and 3-D work, with the fact in mind that I will be leaving Japan in May and therefore should probably slow my roll a little on sculpture (at least larger sculpture) and do more sketchbook and 2-D planning and playing.  Otherwise I will have to throw so many things away.  
There's only so much I can take home with me!  

I am also all revved up to apply to a few residencies in the next few months.  I won't give up until I get one!  I dream of focusing tons of time on my studio, not just the hours after work and on the weekend.  What artist doesn't?  I like applying because it forces me to revamp my artist statement often and it makes me excited to finish and document new work.  Maybe I will finish some of my new paintings before the next application...

 Happy Monday!!

Friday, December 12, 2008


I was just notified that I am one of many featured artists this month on My Art Space.  They also posted info about me in their blog post today because I am a finalist for the Bridge Art Fair Miami Competition.  I'm very excited!  It's so true that putting things, even little bits, out into the universe makes a difference and allows me to feel like I really exist as an artist outside of my studio.  My studio is my most important practice-- I love it and need it-- but exterior reinforcement does add a little fire to the mix and makes me feel like I might actually be putting interesting work into the world.  

I have two full days ahead of me for making and playing in my studio.  Part of that will be taken up by making Christmas "things" (kept secret for that reason) but also painting and other random craftings.  I find that if I have something I must get done, and I have one or two other things I enjoy doing going at the same time, they fuel each others' fires.  For example, if I am making Christmas "things" I  might throw in some new slippers I'm making of recycled fleece along with some long legged birds made of kimono fabric and mini landscape-like paintings.  
It sort of becomes a manic cycle of creative energy.   

I wonder if other artists have this experience...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Antlers, Elves and Earrings

"Hana's Super Leafy Earrings"

Yay!  Big news!  We can finally use our Apple computer at home after more than a year of using our sketchy old Japanese one.  This is all thanks to our new American friends who live in another small town nearby.  Nathan was a "computer tech support guy" (official title) in college and those guys seriously know what they are doing.  

Anyway, this means that I will be able to do SOOOO much more computer stuff.  But will I?... We shall see.  Studio time is still tops.

The earrings above are 7.5 inches long.  I made them for my most fun (because she likes lots of colors and interesting designs) and enthusiastic ETSY customer.  I hope she likes them!  I will make myself a similar pair because I like them so much.  They are quite dainty for such long lovelies.  

You can see the length on me here!  

The color is a little blasted because I was taking the photo in direct sunlight by myself. AWKWARD! I had some time off work today after teaching about Christmas to Elementary students (which included me wearing antlers with bells on them all morning, and explaining to them what an elf is...)  All in good fun, here in Japan.  It's never a dull day when you get to wear antlers, long earrings and large man-like snow-boots. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Squirrels and Zombies

Dude! I love this squirrel!
This was made by a cool artist named Josette Urso. Here is her website . Her website has mainly paintings and drawings (which are beautiful) but she also makes great jewelry. Here is an interview of her on My Art Space. I met her a couple years ago through our friend Kathy Gibson who is an art dealer in Tampa, FL.
Anyway, the squirrel is a pin and I`m totally going to copy it!! (in my own way of course)
It is my inspiration for what my weekend will entail: making Christmas ornaments and cards. Yay! I feel a little like a train full of zombies ran over me due to a weird cold-thing, but I should be golden by Saturday morning, ready to jump into action.
Yay for crafting!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cuff Stuff

This is a cuff I made a few years ago.  
It is totally covered in beads, including antique, handmade and found.  
When I made it, I was learning to bead so I could teach a workshop in Florida.  Since then I always tell people it's much easier to bead than it looks, especially if you are willing to experiment and play with your "mistakes."  I actually believe that there is no such thing as a mistake because anything can be turned into something cool.  I love teaching workshops because I love the look on peoples' faces when they realize they made something they never thought they would be able to.  Like Magic!

(another view of the same cuff!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Context and Contest

(A new pair of earrings to be added to ETSY soon!)

Today I found out that I was one of 50 finalists for the Bridge Art Fair Miami Competition at  The photo above is probably confusing, but just to clarify, the Bridge Art Fair Competition had nothing to do with my jewelry.  if you want to see my online gallery to see what I applied with you can go here.  It means that I am not in the show (which would have been SWEET!!) but that I at least get some visibility on the list of finalists.  I recommend any artist to join My Art Space because if nothing else, it is like a Facebook or Myspace for artists.  They post competitions and scholarships and it gives you a chance to communicate with really interesting artists.   

This is another new pair of earrings.  
I LOVE these.  
They are 7 inches long and seriously elegant.  
(I should take a photo of me wearing them so they are a little more in context!  I'm still learning how to take interesting, lovely and informative photos of my jewelry... hrmm.)  

Tomorrow and Friday Mikel and I will attend a work conference so I will not be able to post anything for a while (because starting Monday I will be at the "other" school).  Bummer!  
By the next time I sign in I will have new treasures to share with you.
Happy To-furkey Day!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sweaters and Beaks

This is a blanket I made last year out of recycled sweaters.  
I recently found the pic and remembered how much I liked that blanket!  
It's currently in storage in VT.  
I can't wait to use it again and I am inspired to make more someday!
These are the cups I bought last week in Nagano City.  
They were hand painted in India so they are the same pattern but slightly different.  
I especially love the fact that the birds on the yellow cup have no beaks.  
Cute and one of a kind!  
I think my future kitchen will be inspired by these colors.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

ETSY Japan

Ok, not the best photo.  Unfortunately this was taken on a day when I was taking many photos of jewelry, all of which turned out this bad. Anyway, 
I just became a member of the ETSY Japan group.
YAY! I feel less invisible as an ETSY seller.
I read a good post on the My Art Space blog (which I highly recommend for people interesting in art!!) about the importance of networking online as an artist. I am not very good at it yet because I am always so nervous that it will get out of my control, but that's only because I am a bit timid yet. I decided I will just dive right in. The more people that know about my work the better.
I will soon be posting on the Etsy Japan Team's blog for store/Japan updates, etc.  I might be able to make a pod cast for them... but I don't know what I would do.  Any ideas?

Me in Nagano. 
 I went yesterday to get a new visa, but this was taken the last time I went with Mikel.  I forgot the camera yesterday but I wanted to post a pic today.  Blogs are no fun without pics!  I went to a cool little shop that sells things from all over Asia and Hawaii (Asian influenced I guess) and found some beautiful things!  
My favorite are two hand painted steel cups from India that I bought.  
No pic of them today, sorry!  I will post a pic soon though, because they totally inspired a new rush of ideas in my studio.  

Off to Photoshop more earring pics!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Flickr Account

I now have a Flickr account where I will post images of jewelry that I have made but aren't necessarily for sale (inspiration for commissions?  just eye candy?)  
Just wanted to let you know!

Sea Urchins and Bad Wine

Yay!  I sold these beauties today!  I will be sad to see them go but also excited that they will have a life of their own.  They are called "Sea Spray Pink Urchin."

Although I have been spending more time on painting lately and less on jewelry, with the holiday season upon us I am excited to have a little jewelry party at a friend's house in Iida and perhaps put some more creations on my Etsy site!  Nothing like a little flow shift in my business to give me an energy boost!

Random thought:  I think there is a wine conspiracy between France and Japan.  I truly believe that wineries in France that have a bad year and can't sell their wine to anyone else, send it here to Japan where people seem to have no idea they are buying TERRIBLE wine (they must not be drinking it because if they were they wouldn't be paying for it).  I'm seriously not a wine snob.  I totally believe in the fact that if you like it, it's good.  The problem is that I have bought wine 5 times in my town, hoping each time that it will be at least drinkable and not like nail polish remover, but the truth hurts: there is no good wine from France in Anan-cho (nor from anywhere else!)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mold and Sparkle

"Meghan and Noah"
I miss these buddies.  
This was from a photo taken in Florida when we all lived as happily as we could in Tampa.  None of us live there any longer...

OK, all of these images are a little blurry but I really wanted to post them today so I just quickly snapped pics of them last night before bed.  If I post them now, they will feel finished and I will stop messing with them.  I have a MAJOR problem with overworking my paintings.  
I will do better documentation later on for website posting.

"Sisters in Cali"
This was painted from a picture of my sisters and I in California on the beach, but of course you knew that from looking at the painting.  Ha!  Just kidding.  Abstraction can be such magic.

"Toxic Self Portrait"
Oh, so blurry.  Sorry!  At least you can see my duck-like rotten-yet-cute face.

I am really liking the sparkling and molding quality of this way of painting.  I have some more landscapes and other pieces too so I will post more soon.   I'm on a roll!  I worked hours this weekend sanding 13 mini panels by hand  (NEVER AGAIN!  My back is killing me!!)  At least they turned out smooth and ready to be new paintings.  All of my more recent paintings have been on paper and I miss the feeling and different process of panels so mini panels seem to be the answer right now.  I am loving painting people but running out of compelling photos so I need to take more (and maybe I will get some excellent Christmas card photos or find some Facebook treasures?)  

I finally feel like I am able to regurgitate my experiences here like I haven't been able to yet.  It's like they have been hibernating inside me, influencing my work but never totally waking up.  And now, "Good morning Japan-ness!"  Just in time for me to be LONGING to be back in the USA. 
(I wonder what Japan-ness eats for breakfast?)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tofurkey and Mr. Butter

What can you do on the train for an hour?  
Read, write letters, pick your nose,  OR practice making funny faces and take pictures for comedic relief!
Mikel and I went to a puppet show in Iida last weekend.  It was the first time I have seen people with black bags over their heads that weren't either terrorizing or being terrorized (or executed...)  The performance was really amazing because it takes three people to make one puppet move and there is one or two people off to the side making music and speaking the dialogue.  The puppets seem to float and move on their own.  It's really spooky and lovely. It made me think that the puppeteers, the puppet-makers and the music/dialogue performers could be considered the puppets' souls.  I wonder what my soul would look like if it were outside my body.

This piece received special recognition along with, "Silkworm Castle" in the current show at Upstream Peoples Gallery.  Out of the five that are showing, I would not have expected this one to receive special recognition.  
That's the interesting thing about putting work out into the world.  
So here's some more I'm putting out there! 
"Radioactive Maggie"
This is my "Old Lady Baby" kitty who died last Spring.  Suddenly I have a streak of spooky, decaying, toxic paintings coming out of me, all of which are from photos and are mostly recognizable.  This isn't my favorite of all of the new pieces, but it gives an idea of what I have been making (and it is one of the only ones I have on my computer at the moment).  I like this one, though because it looks like there is a fairy or something magical sitting on Maggie's shoulder.   

This was a totally happy accident and It makes me giggle when I see it unexpectedly.  I say it was an accident, but what I really mean is that I made it really quickly and was being silly and this is what I came up with.  I think it looks like it could be a children's TV show...  a future possibility? It is one of the illustrations I made for "The Scavenger Project."  The theme word is Toaster.  

"There, They're, Their"
The title of this illustration is also the theme word for this piece.  
These are so hilarious and so much fun.  I will be making more this morning during my much awaited free time.  Hopefully I can get these submissions in the mail in the next few days.  I have about fifteen so I need nine more to finish the project.  Here I go!
In case anyone was doubting that tofu can actually be made from scratch: 
Here is proof!  
1.  In the right pot, is a mixture of soy beans and water that were blended and then boiled until the smell changed from "grass" to "tofu."  (The fact that tofu has a specific smell is a good indication of the subtlety of Japanese olfactory senses.)  
2.  Then, we put a colander in a bowl (middle) and two pieces of cheese cloth.  When the mixture on the right is cool enough to handle, put it in the cloth and squeeze.  What comes out is soy milk.  Don't drink it even though it looks delicious and creamy!  The stuff left in the cloth is called Okara (I think) and we put it in the bowl on the left.  (It is mostly fibre and some protein.  Many people mix it with meat to make a kind of burger here.  Mikey and I mix it with veggies and spices to do the same burger-making.)  
3.  When this is finished (there is nothing left in the cooking pot) take the soy milk and put it in a pot.  heat it to a certain temperature and then take it off.  Add Nigari (which has an English name I don't know, but I DO know that it is made by boiling sea water for about 12 hours.  This process makes sea salt and Nigari, a bitter coagulant.  My students made sea salt and Nigari from scratch and used the sea salt to make Udon from scratch also.)  Anyway, add the Nigari to the heated Soy milk and quickly put it in moulds as the tofu starts to form right away.    
I was thinking about making a tofurkey from scratch for Thanksgiving...   

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Show and Tell

Hello from Sunday afternoon in Japan!
Yesterday a new exhibit was opened at an online gallery called Upstream People`s Gallery out of Omaha. I am part of the Current Exhibition. Yay! It was my first "congratulations" letter after so many "sorry to inform you" letters. They are showing five of my new paintings, none of which are my more "realistic" works which will be posted soon, I PROMISE!
Today I am working hard on finishing my pieces for The Scavenger Project. Hopefully I will get to some painting by this evening. I miss it! I enjoy the new problemsolving that this illustration project brings me, but I love getting lost in paint most of all.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tofu and Sea Salt

i've been tagged!

The six random facts meme, passed along from miss-frugality!

Here's the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself. (See below)
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them. (See further below...)
5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up. 

Random Things:

1.  I recently came to terms with the fact that I don't like sweet red beans in Japanese desserts.

2.  I teach English in Japan to save money and experiences for when I am a full-time, self-      employed artist.

3.  I want to live in Vermont someday soon and build a cob house.

4.  I am married to Mikel Bisbee-Durlam.

5.  We have horse meat in our freezer even though we don't eat meat.

6.  We filmed a horror film in Paris two years ago.

I tag:

OK, so far I don't have anyone else to tag.  LAME.  I will work on adding more.

Just a quick note:

Happy Halloween!

This is my halloween costume: a chimney sweep.  
Just kidding.  
This is me trying to slide down a railing at a fire festival a couple weeks ago.

These are some of my students.  Cute, huh?  They all wish they had Halloween.  They love the idea of wearing costumes and going on nighttime adventures to get lots of candy.

I made tofu from scratch with them last week.  It was amazing!  
For a class project they grew the soy beans and we made tofu from those and "nigari" which is something they made (along with sea salt) from boiling sea water.  
It was a magical day.

Sorry, no pics of paintings yet.  TGIF!  Time for long awaited larger chunks of studio time. 
Time to go pick apples!

Blog Design

Yay!  New Blog design in progress!!!

Don't get scared if you open this page and the colors are hideous.  
I'm trying not to copy the beautiful color choices on my friend Stephanie's blog 
(seeing her blog inspired me to update mine)

Here I go!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Roosters and Structures

These are my rooster babies that I painted when I lived in Florida.  My friend Kathy Gibson sold another one for me.  She lives in Tampa, FL and runs an awesome art space out of her beautiful and stylish bungalow-style (I think that's how I could describe it??) Florida home.  She said the buyer bought the red one so I am guessing it is the on in the first row, second from the left, or the one in the third row on the right.   The buyer said it made her smile.  They all make me smile with the humanity that comes through in their awkwardness and their eyes which give the roosters such weird personalities.

My roosters started because I was just playing around with recognizable imagery at the time when I met Kathy.  She came to my studio to see my work and happened to see a rooster on the floor-- my dirty DIRTY studio floor.  That was the dawning of a beautiful rooster friendship (at the dawning of Kathy and my friendship).  Now that I am painting recognizable imagery more seriously (OK, I only started about a week ago, but still, I am serious) it is really interesting how just a whim or experiment can inspire a whole body of work.  I think it is the best part of my practice to follow my whims.  Also, I realize that sometimes the best work comes out of a process that I am not totally comfortable with.  It keeps my eyes and decisions fresh.

And why don't I have any images of my new work to post?  Because I am lazy.  Tomorrow I will go to Nagoya to get my new work visa and try again to find the "Key to Paradise", but maybe on Friday (Halloween) I will post a freakin' painting.  We'll see.  Until then...

Again, not my work, and again I don't know who the artist is.  
(If someone reading this does, please write it in the comments...)
I love it, though.

My new favorite painter again.

Happy Thursday!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Inspirational Images

Mie Olise Kjaergaard is my new favorite painter. 
This is what it looks like outside right now. 
 No, just kidding.  
This is a photo taken by...I don't know.  
I put it in our desktop folder that we activate to be our bank of images for when our computer is idle and I didn't take any notes.  Sorry.  Just some eye candy.

This artist has been KILLING me with total painting skills.  
It's really too bad I also don't know who s/he is.
I will use the handy dandy interne-to to find out.

So I have been inspired to make paintings from photographs of REAL people and REAL landscapes.  Weird for someone who has been clinging to abstraction with my life.  I realize that to make a good painting with recognizable imagery I have to look at it like an abstract painting anyway.  I like the end product so much more that my purely abstract paintings.  I will post pics of my new paintings ASApple.

It's Monday morning, back at work after a weekend of weird restlessness.  For the first time in weeks I had a studio weekend but all of a sudden I felt like it was pointless.  I started and finished a bunch of paintings so when I think about it logically, it was a productive weekend, but it didn't feel like it.  I spent a good amount of time just staring at stuff.  I think October is the worst month of the year for me.  For the last three years it has brought the biggest questions about what the heck I'm doing with my life and why.  It's like I have a mid-life crisis every year in October.  At least there are only a few more days left of the month...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Birthdays, Babes and Burn-outs

Happy Birthday to Mikel! He's 31!
We had an excellent day full of delicious food and a great hiking trip.
But that's not all we did last weekend...
Hello from Roller Disco Girl and 70's Rocker Burn-out!!

We won "most effort" at our friend Charlie's 1970's theme birthday party last weekend.  I wore roller skates from 4:00 pm until 3:30 am.  This is an exercise program I recommend to those of you who are coordinated drinkers.  It goes like this.  Put your roller skates on at home while you are making your t-shirt.  Wear them in the car as your husband drives you to the party.  Then roller skate about two miles to a bar which happens to be downstairs.  Make sure you have some help climbing down the stairs.  Then, mingle, still in roller skates, while carrying gin and tonics.  At about 11 pm, go back upstairs and around the block to a karaoke bar where you have to climb a spiral staircase a few times and sing until your voice is hoarse.  Then, once again, roller skate back to the car.  Then you can take them off, but you won't be able to drive yet, even if you feel sober because it is a no tolerance country as far as drinking and driving so a nap in the car until 4:30 am is necessary, immediately followed by an emergency bathroom run to a convenience store where you also buy fried sweet potato chips and sushi filled with fermented soy beans (natto) (skates not needed for driving).  Then drive your sleepy husband home.  It's a great workout.  I highly recommend it.

Oh, and fake mushroom tats are essential for this workout... and lipstick... 

I'm back at the school I like to think of as my "research station" so that means more blogs and more exciting Internet searching for ideas about living a green life and blart-making.  I need this thinking time to keep from getting more burnt out.  I hope I make it to New Year vacation without exploding from how much this job kills my spirit.  I CAN DO IT!!


Monday, October 13, 2008

Mud Huts

I`m at the bummer school again (therefore too few blogs).

The most important and exciting news of my week is a new book I`m reading called Animal Vegetable Miracle. It is so inspiring. My creative moments of the day yesterday were spent designing our future "mud hut" (as my brother-in-law likes to call it) that we want to build in Vermont, including an ambitious garden I want around it. I have a lot to learn before I can build a cob house and garden, but I am SOOOO ready to live more sustainably. In the face of this crazy economy I think it is my calling (and hopefully others` as well) to learn basic things that could allow me to live the way I want--frivolity and all-- by doing it sustainably. The best part is designing a sunlight filled studio and kitchen. Also a greenhouse off the kitchen and a cob pizza oven on the patio. My dream house!!!

I must admit I am going a little too fast for my own good. I`ve even been researching alternatives to septic systems and a new solar panel recently invented by Nichole Kuepper which is made using an ink-jet printer, nail polish and remover in a pizza oven. Yay! Hopefully by the time we need it, we will be able to get information about how to make these solar panels. Mikel asked me if I`m nesting. I suppose I am a bit, but I have always been excited to design my own living space in a green, sustainable way and now that it is in the near future, I see it as the ultimate art project!

Happy October!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hello Parasite

"Hello Parasite"

I saw a rainforest episode of Planet Earth where there was a kind of fungus called Cordyceps (check out the images: sick and beautiful!) that gets inside insects and makes them crazy before growing out of they and killing them.  When I made this sculpture I was thinking about something similar taking over Hello Kitty.  

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lines, Balloons and Fear

OK, I'm not so impressed by the title, but because it is so linear, it was really hard to photograph it in an interesting way.  It is another addition to my new sculptures which Mikel worked his butt off to get onto my website along with new paintings (thanks, Mikey!)
Yesterday I received my package from Art House Co-op for the Scavenger Project.  I have to send back 24 images made according to 24 moments on a list they have me.  Some of the moments are, "fear", "there they're their" and "a dog with his head out the car window."  I am taking this as a challenge to combine my abstraction with recognizable imagery, like landscape painting and cartoon-like bits.  Here was my first try.

(This is based on a balloon they sent me.)

Here is my second try:


I don't know if I will send either of these images.  They are so awkward, but there is something refreshing about them for me.  Illustration is not in my comfort zone so it is nice to play with it.  

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mutually Parasitic

"Mutually Parasitic"

Must... stop... looking... at... the... computer.
Time to catch the bus!
Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hot and Cold

"Green Landscape"

This is one of the paintings I finished this week.  Even though I am fighting a cold (my weapons being raw garlic and lots of water) I am really excited to get applications out to the BEMIS and Irish Museum of Modern Art tomorrow or the next day.  I learned a lot about painting last weekend.  I didn't do anything particularly different (like go to a gallery or residency) except that I had a critique with Mikel.  We both decided it is really important to have official critiques with each other.   It was great to work toward the crit time.  I haven't done that for a while and it really forced me to make smarter decisions as I was working.  It allowed me to work faster and didn't allow me to overwork my paintings (as I usually do).  

I have been working on little sculptures that will be displayed in a dark room with (hopefully moving) spotlights.  I installed a couple pieces in our bathroom (which has no windows) so that each time I hang out on the porcelain throne I play with the lighting.  The pieces are really magical when the light moves a certain way so I am really excited.  The only problem is that I have no ability thus far to do anything with machines, even simple ones, so this will be a learning curve for me to be able to make a light that moves the way I want it to.  

Here is a test photo of one sculpture:

It's not lit well enough or the way I want it to, and it doesn't show that magic I'm talking about (which can only be seen in person!) but the image is interesting to me anyway. I'm really proud of my sculptures and really excited about the direction my work is going!