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!)