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.