Friday, December 18, 2009


It's been way too long since I've been on this thing!  I got back from Kripalu a week ago and had an amazing time while I was there (the photo above was taken by my new yoga friend Steven!)  Unfortunately I came down with some sort of diabolical plague the last couple days I was there and then my hubs developed a different plague so we have been basically de-plaguing our lives and trying to make Christmas gifties at the same time with little success.  Tomorrow we are headed to Iowa for 10 days of family good-ness and I'm sure lots of cookies, etc.  Needless to say there won't be much action for some more time but hopefully you are so busy that you won't think to even read this until 2010 :-)

***About ETSY:  I am taking my merch with me to Iowa so if you want to order anything in the next ten days go for it!  I will be unable to do custom orders until the new year, however.****

I also won't be sending out a newsletter until then.   A girl can only do so much before she has to say, "heck!  I want to just sit back and watch a million movies and drink Silk Eggnog".  

So Hum So Hum
So Hum Shivo Hum
(I am that I am; I am enough)

May you know the abundance in your life!  
Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mr. Potato Head Yoga

(photo "sketch": idea for paintings)
Hello gals and pals!  
Happy end of Turkey Day week (or Tofurkey Day, in our case)  

Mikel and I did a totally NYC thing and rocked the Macy's Day Parade early Thursday morning.  It was not as glamorous as television always makes it seem (perhaps because we were not in the media box and thus didn't get to see the performances-- did you watch them on TV?  How were they?  I must admit I had never heard of most of the younger superstars, a result of not watching TV.)  It was much more visually interesting than I expected because of all the saturated candy colors.  We took a ton of photos that I am excited to paint from.  The photo above was not taken by me (I cheated because we haven't loaded our images onto the computer yet) but I played with it a little in photoshop with some ideas I have about images and painting lately.

This will be my last blog entry for a couple weeks.  Tomorrow I am off to a new adventure.  I will be at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health for two weeks starting the first half of my yoga teacher training.  This means that I will be taking a vacation from the land of internet until I return home on the 11th (which probably means I won't be on here until at least the 12th.)  
I will also not be sending out my newsletter until I return.  I would like to make sure I like how my website looks before I direct friends and family to check it out (especially since my new work isn't fully uploaded so it would be incomplete)....  
...AND I would like to open my new ETSY shop first ;-)

I hope you have an excellent end of the month and beginning of December!  Namaste!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Goodbye Parasite

This is my sculpture "Hello Parasite" with the colors inversed...  
Happy Monday!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Inspiration Friday

Happy Friday!  
I was able to paint all morning but have nothing documented to show you 
(I'm working on four larger panels which I hope to complete before I go to Kripalu) 
So instead of my work, here are some images of artists who inspire me lately.

I just found Isabel Manalo's work about five minutes ago while looking up another artist.  I can't believe how beautiful her work is!!
Here are two paintings by her:

This next one is epic for me! 
 I can't believe it, but I have been wishing I could remember the name of this artist for seriously MONTHS and I finally found him!  
His name is Daniel Richter.  
Here are two images of his paintings:  

The next image is a rock poster by Jim Blashfield who is famous for his psychedelic images.  The colors slay me-- in a good way!
Finally, this is a painting by Walter Anderson.  
His work has a nice dialogue with Isabel Manalo's work, I think.  
I hope you all have a great weekend!  
I will be posting my paintings from VSC on my website tomorrow if all goes as planned, 
and then I will send out my newsletter.  Happy creating! (or relaxing, working, cooking, sleeping, traveling, etc.  Whatever you plan to do this weekend!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Textiles and Solo Bike Missions

sarah moli newton applebaum
Check out her website.  
(Thanks, Steph, for telling me about her!)
It is a cold, drizzling day.  I was so chilly this morning that I started using the scraps of recycled wool sweaters that I made a blanket with three years ago in Florida to make a new one.  Seems we are in need of blankets so I am working on a crazy quilt of my own crazy design and a recycled sweater throw.

I had an amazingly fun adventure yesterday:
First I met with my new friend Aidan Earle (who I met at Vermont Studio Center) for coffee.  She makes beautiful work that combines painting, sculpture and textiles.  Here are two images I took in her studio at VSC.  The colors are probably a little off as I don't have them here to look at but at least you can get the idea about the physicality of her work.

Also, I would like to mention that she has one of the best jobs I have ever heard of.  She makes the puppets for Saturday Night Live.  She also told me that she just finished a costume for Sesame Street.  I'm not sure if she has a website...  If I find one I'll post it!

It was so inspiring talking to Aidan that it totally jazzed me up to send out my newsletter I wrote the other day.  I have to set up my new ETSY shop and put my new paintings and sculptures on my website first before I can send it out, though, so you might have to hold your horses for a couple days.  If you would like me to e-mail it to you and you think I might not have your e-mail address, feel free to post your e-mail in my comments page and I will be sure to get it to you.

After our coffee date, I went on my first solo bike mission in Brooklyn.  I didn't get hit by a car!!  yay!  I also found four pairs of pants at Salvation army that will work for my yoga practice when I go to Kripalu next week for my teacher training.  Finding pants that fit was total luck because there are no changing rooms at Salvation Army shops in NYC.  I guess that's part of the reason why they are so affordable for thrift shops...?

My thrift purchases and my giddiness at biking without dying lead to a total craft explosion in my studio involving lots of fabric (and more specifically, materials for the blankets I mentioned above) and some fabric paint (to alter a super ugly logo on one of my new pant legs-- I will post a picture sometime soon!)

Then, I hopped on the subway and headed up to Time Square area to meet two friends for dinner which was AMAZINGLY delicious Thai food from a place called "Room Service"-- which is an awesome name.  What a full day-- a perfect balance for today's slow, grey chill.

Why freecycle rocks:
Mikel found a printer and scanner on Freecycle for us!  We will probably be able to pick it up next week.  I have my fingers crossed that they will work at least basically (and at all) for what we need.  I am still waiting to get my greeting cards printed...  If you need anything in the universe and can't afford it, give Freecycle and or Craigslist a chance!  Ask the universe and you shall receive.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

To Animal Combinations

"To Other Men"
(acrylic, gouache, dinosaur sequins, glitter and wood glue on panel)

"Wilting Unloading"
(acrylic and gouache on paper)
*I think it looks like a sick moosheep (moose+sheep)

After spending yesterday editing about 45 painting images for my website 
(which will be up probably this weekend) 
I feel like sharing a couple more!
Happy Wednesday!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Trash to Treasure

"Weather Island"

Happy Monday!

I finally documented my most recent paintings today because the weather was so beautiful; perfect light for taking photos.  It was a great experience because a few people from the neighborhood were very friendly and stopped by to see what I was doing.  A certain group of three were very interested and listened when I explained the fact that many of the paintings start as recognizable images (like monkeys and shoes) and then get abstracted in my process.  They seemed excited when they started to be able to see the monkey face or the pair of excellent cowboy boots.  Great fun!

It was so nice outside and I was getting such good vibes from the neighborhood that I suddenly had a great idea: to collect trash on my street and make a sculpture to be put back into the landscape.  "Weather Island" is what I made.

I'm not totally excited about how it looks from afar...  It still looks like random trash... not enough of something that might make someone look twice when they pass by.

Up close, however, I think it looks really fun and the colors  and lines work really well with the surroundings.

I collected trash for about one minute, took it into my studio.  Used scissors, Elmer's glue and hot glue to alter and re-attach all of the trash.  I used every bit that I picked up.  I'm going to try lighting it and photographing it at night to see what shadows do for the material transformation.  The lighting might just be the trick for adding the bit of I-don't-know-what to make passers-by stop and look.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Being Unhinged

I never imagined I would feel this way, but I have a new serious love for psychedelic art...

Onto something else new and strange:

The wind.

The wind here is trying to unhinge me I think.  I'm not sure why, exactly.  I'm usually quite tolerant of things like wind which makes me think it is a sort of real manifestation of something else blowing me apart and open.  

I saw a garbage bag on Myrtle Ave today that had been blown in the center of the road and driven over until its guts spilled out.  It was visceral and smelled like rotten things but aside from my body's reactions, it looked quite beautiful.  I thought about how garbage bags on the street often look more or less the same, all controlled and packaged up, but here was this messy, smelly gem-of-a-bag all because of the wind.

At Vermont Studio Center I had some great peers suggesting artists for me to look at.  I'm a little slow to check stuff like that out (why?) but I finally did and here are some images and names:

On a final note, if I am in fact being unhinged and blown apart, what exactly is blowing apart and what will be left when the wind has passed?

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Oh, lord almighty, there are so many good artists out there.  
Here are a couple that you might want to know about: 

Amazing, delicious, inspiring...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ghost and Squirrel Work Together

"Ghost as Profile"

I'm applying to Smack Mellon today and I have to give super huge thanks to Mikel for spending so much time last night helping me hash out the newer details in my artist statement that I've been working on.  Having breakthroughs in my work, like finding my ghosts, is very inspiring and fresh, but it also means I have to go back once again to my thinking mind and give words to the ephemeral things I'm making.  It's essential to have someone else to bounce words off of.

About my ghosts:  I initially called them 'ghosts' as a playful association.  After a studio visit with Nina Katchadourian at VSC I realized that 'ghost' is a good word for what I've been making because they disintegrate into hints of something illusive that might have been there but isn't fully described.  The meaning of the ghosts must be imagined based on their 'containers'.  My definition of 'container' is: the described limit of what we do know on which we base the meaning we make of the unknown.  The ghost/container above is sort of a purely abstracted ghost named for an image association I made when it was complete (doesn't it look like a profile?).  I am also starting from recognizable imagery to create different 'containers' for ghosts such as in this piece which started from a polaroid of Mikel:

"Permeable: Ghost and Squirrel Work Together"

I like the more specific content to each piece that comes from the recognizable images.

I meant to mention this artist yesterday when I was writing about 'sunyata'.  Her name is Aurora Robson and she currently lives and works in Brooklyn.  I haven't met her... yet!  Her sculptures are more interesting to me than her paintings as she uses recycled plastic, tinted poly acrylic and rivets, transforming the materials into magical and beautiful assemblages.  An interesting tidbit about her painting, however, is that the second piece listed on her website is called "Sunyata".  Imagine that!  

"Listening Pleasures"

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fertile Space Pants

(a ghost and monkey combo platter)

In the book I'm reading called Going on Being bMark Epstein, M.D., I found a word for what I have been thinking about with my ghosts: Sunyata, a Buddhist word for an emptiness which is not a void but a fertile space where nothing has intrinsic or absolute reality and is therefore relational. Anything can exist in relationship.

"Wear Your Space Pants"
These will be posted on ETSY today!

"Are we going on an adventure?" Mahoney asks with a smirk. 

"Well, my dear, we're already on one. All I'll say is this," Mr. Magorium continues. "With faith, love, this block, and a counting mutant, you may find yourself someplace you've never imagined." 

Friday, November 6, 2009

Floating Cakes and Pastry Dates

"Dragon Tears"  
Just posted on etsy!

Last night Mikel and I ate a pile of Chinese pastries and then went to the The New Museum to see a Urs Fischer exhibit.  He likes tricks, like phantom exit signs and a floating croissant with a butterfly on it.  I like when his tricks move more into the sublime like on the 4th floor where he had a melting street lamppost, large aluminum blob-like sculptures that appear weightless, and a skeleton climbing into/out of a box.  The piece above was my favorite trick.  The cake is floating!  This was also in the room with the lamppost, blobs and skeleton.  Hot!

While looking in books in the museum shop I came across two AWESOME artists:

Then I went home and started gluing things together.  
A little inspiration goes a long way, especially when you've only had pastries for dinner.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Snap Shots

This is actually a HUGE wall sticker that is made to look old and tattered.  It's a little like how my brain feels right now.  I don't have the mental capacities to write much due to a long walk and a soul draining trip to Target.  Some comments of photos then.

I originally took this photo because I LOVE the garden of fake flowers.  When I looked at the photo I realized it looks like the saint is about to dive in which made it more interesting to me.  Sometimes just doing something as simple as taking a snap shot can reveal new things.

This is called "Weedazzler" (a play off of weeds and Bedazzler). 
 I just posted it in my shop today along with other treasures.  
Check 'em before you wreck 'em home skillet :-)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


This is my top pick for my logo I will use on my new greeting cards.  What do you think?
I spent the morning taking photos of a bunch of stuff I will be adding to my etsy shop.  For example:

"Pink Blossom Leafies" will be up by tonight.  

I've been struggling with my photography (as you know by now, I'm sure) and I finally decided I should just take photos of myself by myself from different angles.  They seem to be more intimate and natural and I always find surprises.  Like this one, which isn't the best etsy image but quite inspiring to me.

After my photo bonanza on the fire escape, I worked on greeting cards.  Here's one: 

I haven't printed any because we don't have a printer yet, BUT, I do like my designs and that's the first step to getting these babies to exist in the material world.  

This is how I'm trying to think, now, in steps.  I came back from Vermont Studio Center full of ideas and creative energy and then I realized that, Oh, right, I'm trying to make a living from my art which means I have a lot of work to do.  This ginormous amount of work easily piles up (specifically on the middle of my forehead) and soon I feel like my brain is being squished into a pancake, and not a delicious one, I'm sorry to say.  

So how do I do this step by step business?  I go back to why the heck I'm doing such a challenging thing: because I want to be able to choose how I structure my life.  I want to be able to continue to paint, do yoga, cook magical vegan food, have a family and travel.  I also don't want to work on someone else's clock.  Some people are made for the 9-5 jobs.  I am not.  I know I'm most creative in the morning, most needing of exercise in the afternoon and a waste of space after about 10pm (unless I'm at a dance party, the mystery of which never fails to amaze me.)

Today's first step came to me like this:  I have been saying I'm going to put more earrings on etsy for a LONG time, telling a billion people this, and I have about 100 pairs in my studio.  Seriously.  That's crazy!  They should be out in the world on wonderful adventures with you and your mom, not stuck in boxes in Brooklyn.  Also, how am I supposed to make a living if my work isn't some place where my creations can run into you and say "hello"?  Etsy here I come!

I wonder if this step-by-step process could work for any pursuit?  I guess it takes a certain amount of big picture thinking for me about why I exist.  It's a big question, I know, but my specific thoughts about it hold the strings of my daily life together.  I don't want to waste any minute of my life so I like to do things like make a list of all the things I might ever want to do in my life, barring any thoughts about impossibility.  It's a daydream list.  Then I think about how to live now so that it will open the doors for all of those things to happen.  

On the other hand, I also believe that my life today reflects the rest of my life so I try to make my day the way that I want the rest of my life to be.  On that note, I better get some earrings up on etsy so I can go home, do some yoga, eat dinner and go see a rock show with my main man Mikey.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Appetizer Post

This is an ad for a bank (I'm about 97.55% sure) in Japan.  The amazing color and busy image arrangement lead to me to slipping it into one of my books before I moved back to he US.  At Vermont Studio Center last month it was somehow one of the only things I brought with me other than a bunch of paint.  In the first week all of my paintings started from this image.  

This one is small-ish.  About 8.5 x 11 inches.

This one is largish (about 4 feet by 2 feet) and the most interesting to me of all my monkey paintings.  It seems to combine what I am trying to figure out in my studio right now with what I already know so well...  
This is a painting of a friend Christiana who I met at VSC.  This is a good example of what I feel like I'm trying to figure out.  Sometimes I think I am painting the energy of form rather than the material form.  Whatever it is, it is freshly awkward for me to paint recognizable imagery.
This is only a sketch but it has something else freshly awkward for me (I mean that in the best possible way!)
It is a photocopy donation from a studio mate on which I painted the green

Here is one of the biggest breakthroughs of the whole month.  
This is one of my smaller ghosts.  More thoughts to come about my ghosts and the other cryptic things I hinted at (fresh awkwardness, new ideas, etc).  
For now I need to go home with my hubs and make some dinner!
("Japanese Spring" for Halloween.  Hope you had a good one!)