Thursday, December 9, 2010

Accidental Inspiration

Protection and Non-Intentions

As my life rocks and rolls right now I remember another time that was this harshly awakening, testing and rewarding. I was 16 and had just moved to Iowa from my childhood home in Vermont. It was a mix of culture shock and teenage darkness that pretty much sent me into a pit of despair. For a while I was eating one egg, drinking one bottle of diet pepsi and eating one slice of pizza per day. I was also running anywhere from 3-10 miles per day. I was worried about myself. I was angry, confused, depressed and exhausted.

Then I found something that worked like magic for me: Julia Cameron's Artists Way. I believe that it saved me: from what? I'm not sure but I knew I needed saving. I also now see that it established some fundamental seeds in my experience that have been growing without my full awareness.

Now, about 11 years later, in the midst of huge life questions, disillusionment, and self growth I almost accidentally found her again. I signed up for a retreat with her called Creativity and Divinity at the New York Open Center in NYC this weekend on a hunch that I needed it. Then today, I came home from work and decided to read or listen to something about meditation/Buddhism and creativity and I found this:

Julia Cameron on the Path of Creativity

I think I'm on to something.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Words and fun

The Swamp of Re-delusionment is my newest sculpture which is currently in the exhibition called
Curious Environs at The Art Museum at the University of Memphis)

The things I find these days that motivate me to write here are not few and far between as much as they are things that I have not found words for. In fact, I have adopted a new conscious practice of finding words to describe the things about art, emotion, creativity, flow, inspiration, contemplation, etc, that I have been struggling to find.

I have been in numerous conversations (especially with a particular friend here in NYC who knows most of the ins and outs of my life at the moment) where it's like I'm thinking out loud. I start feeling very confident about what I'm about to say because I know it so well in my experience and then I find that I start talking and it all comes out "fluffy" and actually obscures what it's trying to express and even my own understanding of it. It's really like I'm thinking it through out loud as opposed to having my thoughts fully formulated in my brain first. I have talked to other friends about their own art writing and understood that they have had similar experiences: the struggles to describe the really deep and profound things they experience. Unfortunately, in our society and many cultures within it, the ability to express something in words is one of the only ways that our thoughts are made valid by others. In fact, I have (mostly unconsciously) based much of my self worth on what I am able to express, in order to seem smart or wise. Suddenly, I am in the midst of something I am not smart or wise about and find that my fear of seeming as such actually impedes my ability to learn from it and actually become smarter and wiser.

Beyond external validation (which isn't sustainable anyway) a truth about finding words for our abstract experiences is that it allows us to do many things: communicate and connect with other people about similar experiences, to teach about these experiences and skillful ways to act with them, to notice the places where we are stuck, etc. Being able to put things into words doesn't have to be an obligation fulfilled, it can actually be a way for us to expand our understanding and capacity to deepen our life experience. The only unfortunate thing about all this is that school often lays the obligation heap on thick and leaves off (what I think of) as the MOST important part of expression: the fun part that is rooted in profound, intimate experiences.

That said, here are the places I have been finding words for my experiences lately:

The truth about all of our thoughts is that they aren't our own. Everything we have ever said or thought about, we heard somewhere else. Therefore it seems skillful (and FUN!) to choose where my thoughts come from and also to try and figure out where the rest of them came from in the first place.

Anyway, FUN is the key word (have I said it enough yet? Maybe I need new words like absurdity, celebration, buffoonery...) Don't take my word for it. Remember the last time you dragged your butt to the computer to write a paper or artist statement or whatever so that you could finish a homework assignment or apply to a residency or school? Now imagine you are writing the same paper but that the subject is more deeply rooted in something you have actually experienced, not just read about. Do you think you would have more to say? More passion to find words for it? Have something that someone else could learn something about you from? Be inspired by your experiences of joy/sorrow/humanity? I think so.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Shows, Bugs and Relaxation

"Double Intention"

Happy Fall everyone. October always seems to bring big changes and strange events and this year has not failed to meet that expectation. Mainly there has been a lot of new realizations about my art and my life that are very significant. The most significant are these:

1) To be able to see what's really in front of me is scary but it also makes me feel more alive.
2) When I relax I have more to offer the universe/myself/my work/my practices than I do if I worry, plan and stress.
3) Meditation really works.
4) I can't teach anything or offer anything unless I already practice it or understand it through experience. On the flip side, I can teach anything that I practice and understand through experience. That's a lot!

"Double Decker: Fueled By Stuff"

All of the paintings I am posting today were made in Vermont this summer and are also on display at Better Than Jam until November 1st. This one I started when I was outside looking at a double decker bus. I then brought it inside and finished it in my studio, allowing the initial marks to tell me what to do.

"Held Together by The Trees, The Dead, The Gun"

"A Meeting of The Dead in Bear Forest"

Death has been a theme in my work lately. It seems to be an embracing of death as a way to be more fully alive. There is a Buddhist practice like this where monks sit with corpses. I have only been sitting with bug corpses, not human ones. The dead that meet in Bear Forest above were a collection of dead bugs on top of a sculpture that the painting was painted from. The painting above that started from an old cowboy photo with a dead beast of some sort.
I have more thinking to do about this death stuff...

Some Business:

*As I mentioned, my work and jewelry are now at Better Than Jam.

*I teaching some sweet workshops at Spoke The Hub Sunday afternoons from now until Christmas from 2-5:00 (check out the link for more details!) I'm teaching candle making, found object jewelry and greeting cards (which will include pop-up card basics!) If you know anyone in the area that might be interested, pass it along!

*Mikel has an upcoming show/performance at SOHO 20 Gallery on November 6th at 7pm.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Impotent Bears and New Wallets

I'm even slower at blogging now that I'm out bringin' in the bacon (the the vegetarian kind of course!) so when I do blog I will try to make them juicy and fulfilling! Here are some images from my summer residency. Above is a shot of my studio from above. I don't know what to say about it except I miss having that much space and I'm very excited to share my large paintings I made with you all once I document them. (You can see one of them hanging up in the studio image.)
I made this assemblage while at The Barn. It includes a wasp nest I found in a double decker bus, tubing from maple syrup collection, pink foam, sticks, mini moss trees, etc. I went on many walks to look for "treasures" and then used them to make sculpture. I'm very excited to continue working in this larger scale, transforming the materials and the space I work in.
This is a diptych-in-progress I made. Each painting is 12"x 12". I started them by looking at images of dead men. I was thinking about the Buddhist practice of sitting with corpses in order to fully face the impermanence of life and in turn be able to live life more fully. They look and feel much different than most of my work previous. In fact my work made a huge shift in Vermont.

During my residency I was able to spend a lot of time asking myself questions like: what is meaningful to me? How am I making meaning with my work? What is my work telling me already? I learned a lot about myself and my process. In a bigger sense here is a very important thing I learned through a studio visit I had at The Barn:

We were looking at my many paintings I made with bear heads in them (one of which is the large painting I mentioned above in my studio shot). I was also working on a collaborative sculpture with a bear head in it that Mikel made (part of which is also in the image above). The visitor asked me how my work with bears fits in with all the other bear/animal art that is being made right now (apparently there is a current of nature nostalgia going on in the art world). At first I really tried to answer that questions for myself but then I realized that the question is moot. For me, my art is more like looking at dreams. The more appropriate questions becomes: What do bears mean to me? and What kind of bears am I painting?

Here are some of my discoveries: I've been painting impotent bears. Bears are naturally strong, powerful, and full of productive rage. My bears are the opposite: wimpy, powerless. The important questions for me are: what part of me is an impotent bear? Who are the impotent bears in my life? And the meaning-making goes on...

This piece has a super duper awesome title but I wrote it down in my other sketchbook that is now at my house and not here at Orwell Cafe with me. It is the sculpture that will be part of Firehouse Gallery's traveling Human=Landscape exhibition. I finished it while in VT. I imagine that if Florida and Vermont had a love affair, this is what their child might look like. As the climate warms, Vermont may have to have it's own tropical arranged marriage, if not love affair.

Finally, some business:

My etsy shops are back in action!

My jewelry has been included in two etsy treasuries! Fire and Cold Water. Interesting combo!

Also, I have an art opening on October 1, 7:00-10:00 at Better Than Jam in Bushwick. Better Than Jam is an awesome shop and art venue. I will be October's artist of the month and today I will be hopefully purchasing a wallet there due to mine being stolen yesterday. Bummer in some ways but also awesome because I needed a new wallet anyway! I also got a much cooler phone out of the deal. Thanks thief! :-)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Interview With Juan Hinojosa

Juan Hinojosa in front of his installation "Vomit" at Vermont Studio Center, 2009.

This is Juan Hinojosa who I met at Vermont Studio Center last fall. He currently lives and works in Queens, NYC. He makes collages and installations using found and mundane materials that range from fashion logos to metro cards to pornographic imagery that he picks up around the city. In continuation of my artist interview series, here is my conversation with Juan:

Megan: What are your biggest struggles and fears in art making?

Juan: Finishing a piece seems to be hard these days. I start a piece, have an idea then start a new piece. That repeats over and over. I have to stop and force myself to finish something. I find myself very annoying. I struggle with self-control all the time.

M: Yes, I think finishing work is sometimes the hardest part. I actually say this probably way too often, but my professor in college once said about painting something like: being faced with finishing a piece and really solving the problems is when real painting begins. So in a way, the finishing of your art is actually art making. Are there ways that you have found useful in “forcing yourself to finish something”?

J: That's a great way to look at it. I usually have to talk myself into turning my iTunes really low, turning HULU off, and ignore my phone. I sit in my kitchen and I don't get up till it's done.

M: Discipline and it sounds like you have a good idea about the things that distract you from your work. In what ways is your creative process related to supported by or connected to the rest of your life?

J: Because I reference pop culture, I get to spend a lot of time “researching” by buying comic books, surfing the interweb, and watching a lot of YouTube and HULU. Though it may seem that I am spending hours in front of the computer on a bright sunny day I am clearly “researching” ideas of what to do next. The Internet has altered the way pop stars and the news is released to the public. As an artist / consumer I have to keep up with what’s going on.

"022, 2009"

M: You seem to have a bit of a mocking tone about your process, almost like you aren’t totally taking yourself seriously but when I look at your work you seem to tackle very authentic, serious and specific topics. For example: homosexuality, super heroes, debris of consumerism in the form of colorful litter. Why are these topics important to you? Do you feel like you take yourself seriously? Also, if you feel that you must “keep up on what’s going on” what do you think would happen if you didn’t?

J: I really don’t see it as mocking. It’s just the way I talk about things. In all honestly I mock everything and everyone. Nothing is off limits. That’s just my personality. I do take my artistic career and myself very seriously. The topics I decide to focus on are my way to a future understanding of them and to play with their meaning.

As for “keeping up with what’s going on”… it’s fun. Pure and simple. If I didn’t keep up I think I would be very bored.

(Photo by Howard Romero)

M: How would you describe inspiration?

J: One word. POPCULTURE. It's one of the few things that everyone can relate to in some way, shape, or form … especially on a global level thanks to the all mighty Internet.

M: What is it about pop culture that is so inspiring for you? I understand that you see it as something everyone can relate to. This seems more like an excuse or a reason to use it as a muse. What I want to know is what makes it your muse? The colors? The glamour? The speed? What about it are you drawn to? We also already talked about specific elements of popculture that you sample from (gay porn, found candy wrappers, superheroes) what else would you add to that list? Can you talk about why you might specifically choose those elements and how they relate to the rest of your life?

J: I would have to say it’s the Glamour. Pop culture in many ways is like visual candy and like candy itself, it is something I crave. It also has to do with the unattainable. Because of my ethnicity and economic background I was not suppose to have certain things or to achieve certain goals. So I make conscience efforts to obtain certain things I, and others like me, shouldn't have. So I am playing with pop culture in order to understand it and in some way control its effect on me.

M: Why do you make art?

J: Out of spite.

M: Out of spite for what?

J: Off the top of my head… my parents, other family members, my college professors and my own self doubt.

M: Do you think about a spiritual connection with your work?

J: Nope.

M: Why do you think art is important?

J: I think art is very important. As a kid, I would go to museums and I would fall into each and every piece of work and dream about making art as embracing as the ones I was staring into. I can only hope my works can have the same effect on some kid at a museum on a Saturday afternoon with his mother.

M: I like the image if you falling into each piece of art as if they are embracing you. Although you do not see this as spiritual, that sort of loving image seems very spiritual or at least connecting to me. I wonder what spite has to do with this embrace you are seeking to create with your work? As you said, this is your way "to a future understanding... and to play with... meaning". Thank you for sharing your art making thoughts with me and my readers. Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm home

Hello "real life"
I'm home after being in Vermont for 7 weeks, 6 weeks of which was spent at The Barn making lots of art. Here is a photo of a studio visit I had with Gregory Volk. I know it's strange but the painting of the face in the background is mine. I had some major breakthroughs while in Vermont! Also hanging out in this photo is David Grainger (right), one of the three people I lived with this summer. The other two were Agnes Barley and Elliot Katz.
Gregory and I were talking about narrative and my new desire to include more of it in my work. His response to this was, "what do you mean by narrative?" Good question. What I think I mean is more of a driven subject from the beginning of making-- choosing my subjects more specifically. Out of this hunch, I painted many things this month: impotent bears, dead guys, landscape, etc.
I also made sculpture. This is made of found treasures (aka garbage) like pink foam, moss, maple sap lines and bits and pieces of a double decker bus.

This is one of my larger paintings made on Yupo, my new favorite material. It's about 5 feet by 6 feet (roughly) and hanging here on the outside of my studio because I ran out of space inside.

Now that I am home I am hitting the ground running with three jobs:
Spoke The Hub (teaching painting and drawing on Monday nights and various workshops)
Iwona Yoga (teaching Intensive Kripalu Flow Thursdays from 8-9:15)
Studio Creative Play (teaching, playing and creating at a preschool alternative)

I will hopefully have my etsy shops up and running soon as well as more images of my new work. For now here's a big "hello" to you all. I hope you had a great summer!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Odds and Ends and Beginnings

This morning in the studio.
Under my studio table= storage for broken umbrellas, gardening stuff and paper products.
New sculpture detail and a bit of painting.
I'm leaving for Vermont on Tuesday. I have some serious packing to do. It's funny to decide what to bring for 7 weeks away from home. I am hoping to pack it all in that orange suitcase and the box under it giving priority to art supplies. My mom pointed out recently that I have no problem wearing items of clothing that I like over and over again so that takes care of that. I just have to make sure I have something to wear when I give artist talks and things to wear to make art in and do yoga. No problem ;-)
My sister recently reminded me that I haven't posted a picture of the litter box house I made last winter. It's made of 100% recycled materials. It also acts as the "shelf" where we keep our recycling. It was inspired by my friend Ariele's litter box house.
Here are the yellow bauble earrings I made last month. I love them! They are super light weight. When I bought them the shop owner said they are Japanese glass... I'm not sure if that means they're from Japan or in the style of Japanese baubles. Either way, they rock!

I'm super excited to be going to The Barn for a residency and life just gets better and better because when I return I will start working at an amazing place called Studio Creative Play, a preschool alternative. I've been a sub there for two days during the summer collage camp and I LOVED it. The Studio is all about creating connections with the children and to help them cultivate their own inner voice. The staff are so well taken care of even to the point of the program being designed to inspire us as well as the children. I left work feeling super energized. What a dream boat job! Also, I found out that the building I work in is in a scene of The Royal Tenebaums when Anjelica Huston and Danny Glover walk out of a building and talk to Gene Hackman (toward the end). The building is so old and beautiful. All of the children I taught this week believe it's magical and haunted which inspires some excellent storytelling and art projects.

When I'm at The Barn I am not entirely sure how much I will be blogging. I am waiting to see if I am going to use the time to go on a computer diet or perhaps I will be so inspired to share my thoughts regularly. Either way, there will be updates sometime! I hope you are all having a great week!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Inspiration and Epoxy

are a sculpture duo who I just fell in love with. They're sugary sweet and delicious.

Perfect for inspiring my new, less-ephemeral sculptures. I started using an amazing epoxy clay called Magic-Sculpt. Images coming soon!
More inspiration:
I found them all on a blog called Vondy.

Happy Friday! I spent the morning painting and playing with epoxy clay . Now I'm off to see some art at the MOMA and hopefully eat some dope food with my husband!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Waves, Tomato Boxes and Gang Signs

What's up home skillets?!
This is the gang sign that my niece, Sophia, and I made up while we were kickin' back in Arizona, thowin' back a few brews (by brews I mean I drank more water than I thought possible and she totally downed the breast milk like a champ).
Here's the cute little squidlet posing for the camera... in her sleep. It's way too hard to be back in NY and so far away from her and her mother but hopefully we will be reunited soon! I also miss doing so much Bikram which I did there. Also I tried Dancing Shiva which is a combo of Bikram and vinyasa. I highly recommend it. It totally kicked my butt :-)
The desert was so beautiful! It was only my second time in the southwest and I was totally amazed by the dramatic color and the intense, diverse textures of the landscape. Someday I will go there just to paint... and maybe to build an Earthship ;-)

But for now I'm on a NY adventure (at least for three more weeks before I leave for my residency in Vermont!) I FINALLY finished my fire escape garden!! Yay! Thank goodness because what I should really be doing is painting. Above you can see my tomato box. It's a bit longer than three feet across and one foot wide. I made it out of a wood pallet I found in Bed-Sty are. I also have some basil and other random seeds in there. Well see what comes up! I'm sure I'll have to transplant some treasures soon!

This is the backside of my green planter and smaller herb planter above. I forgot to take a photo from the street so you can see it all together but at least here you can see some details. Everything on my fire escape is recycled (aside from the soil which I bought... and the Ubolts and the seeds... well, seeds are all sort of recycled, especially local heirlooms!) I also installed window boxes in front of two of my windows. The one in the kitchen has herbs in it. I hope it grows! It overlooks our farm I wrote about in my last post:
Strange shadow, I know, but at least you can get the gist of what it looks like. The random wall on the right is a handball court wall which has caused a TON of controversy. In fact, Mikel and I went to our first town meeting yesterday to learn more about the problem and to add our input. There farm is actually part of a park that is a bit more than an acre in size. Unfortunately, most of it is taken up by a parking lot. Lame! The other unfortunate thing is that rather than taking over the parking lot with the farm, they took over the only recreational area and without notifying anyone in the community ahead of time. There is a huge possibility that the farmers will have to totally tear up the farm and put it somewhere else. Where? We will find out after our on-site meeting next Wednesday. Mikel and I are totally jazzed by this democratic process, so jazzed in fact that Mikel expressed how he feels like Chris in the morning on Northern Exposure on election day (if you haven't seen Northern Exposure ever, I highly recommend it-- it's a truly wholesome show!)
Onto business! Before I head to VT I have WAY TOO MUCH to do! Thank goodness the heat wave broke for at least a couple days so I feel like I can move around more (it's been almost 100 degrees for days--and nights!!-- It feels like walking through water!) Above is a cuff I made for Ashley last year that I recently re-mixed. Also in the realm of jewelry, my earrings are officially on display at The Whitney Museum and I just sent a bunch to Bliss in Portland, ME.

Business bummers are as follows: This is a common sting for an artist I think: disappointment. I was getting all geared up to teach a Monday night painting and drawing class this July at Spoke The Hub in Brooklyn but it turns out that the adult and teen sign up for summer classes is super low and the class will be cancelled. I have been longing to teach art workshops for a while now so hopefully if I put that wish out there the universe will open some opportunity soon! On the up-side, it does mean that I have more time to get ready to go to VT for six weeks.

These past few blog entries have been 98% business and only 2% thoughtful. Is that because I'm so busy this summer or is it because I need a spiritual, creative jump-start? Both I think. creativity and depth in my life come and go like waves and with every cycle I learn something new. Until the wave crests again, here's to some sweet summer reading: Let The Right One In, Eragon, and Letters to a Young Artist.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Growing, Traveling, Finding

I saved these images in my blogging drafts two weeks ago before I went to Arizona with the intent that I would blog while hanging out with my sister's new baby Sophia. Now that I'm home in Brooklyn I have no excuse about not getting somthing out there about the fun news going on around here. I would also like to add that hanging out with newborn babies does nothing to curb my baby bug. Maybe being busy is New York will for a while ;-)

Below is a photo of my fire escape garden in the works. I hope to create two more larger planter boxes (12"x 36"x 12") to hang off of the front and from my window as well. Then I will paint them.... what color? Maybe sage color... maybe electric blue... maybe a warm color that would look at home in Tuscany.
Since I left for my trip, Mikel made sure they were watered and loved and now the seedlings are totally thriving! I don't have a more current photo yet but when I get my full garden planted (on Sunday??) I'll show you!
Image from two weeks ago-- the seedlings are back on my window sill again because the landlord is totally bent on having nothing at all in the way of the fire escape. It's frustrating but I understand the reasoning. It just gives me more motivation to finish the other planter boxes. Now to find some more wood... if you see some on the streets of Brooklyn let me know!

This is the quilt I made for my sister and her new baby. I've been working on it since January. I'm so proud of it and it has been so hard to not post any images in progress but I didn't want to ruin the surprise.

More good news has to do with the space behind me in the photo. What was once a handball court is now a farm! It's amazing! I'll post photos and more info soon but for now I will just say that I woke up this morning and worked on a farm next to my apartment in Brooklyn for about and hour and a half. I hope they need lots of help because it is the best experience for me to be around things that grow and people that care about things that grow.

Before I went on my trip to AZ I went to my friend Miranda's Bachelorette party. It involved a drag burlesque restaurant, embarrassing scavenger hunt moments, a mechanical bull and some pretty sweet dancing.
Here I am with Miranda and Alison drinking an "orgy" cocktail at the drag burlesque club. Classy ;-) but really, what do you expect from such a place?
Finally, I was walking two weeks ago to pick Mikel up to have dinner on our 5 year anniversary and I suddenly looked to my left into a storefront with Julie Peppito's work in it! The gallery 0.00156 Acres is a Brooklyn Arts Council space named for its size and the full show consisted of Julie's work along with paintings by her husband Gideon. Small world! Small city!

More soon! I have four weeks to paint my butt off, teach yoga and teach are before I'm off again to The Barn for my residency. I'll keep you updated as things start rolling. Hope you are well!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Magical Rats and a Clothing Fairy

This was Ariele and my table at Artists and Fleas this weekend. Ariele made all of those amazing lamps from mostly recycled materials like bunt cake pans and doughnut cutters. They are so beautiful! It was really a bummer how little traffic there was this weekend though. Although sales were depressingly low we entertained ourselves by doing such things as:
and doing collaborative drawings with other bored vendors. (I'm considering getting a real tatoo like this... but if I did it would have to be much bigger-- more of a manly 'stach, I think)
Here I am, patiently waiting for customers that didn't come... BUT, as sad as the weekend sounds (and there were definitely rough parts) I actually had a very lucky weekend! Mikel and I went out on Monday to some excellent vintage/thrift stores where I found a black sequins dress. I was thinking, "hrmm, I would like some more summer clothing too." Because NYC is hot as H-E double hockey sticks right now. Anyway, Mikel and I were totally bonked-- in dire need of some grub and a cool beer. A couple of veggie burgers and slight tipsiness later we walked home to find two bags full of amazing clothing on our front steps waiting for the recycling truck. OK, I know you're thinking "eww! What about bed bugs?!" but as I was looking through the bags it was obvious that they were organized by someone who had just moved out and didn't have the energy to bring them to a clothing drop. We brought them in you won't believe it but they are all exactly my size! Even her shoes! I think the clothing fairy felt bad that I had such a bad sale weekend and decided to give me about $500 worth of clothes and a handbag shaped like a chicken! I'll have to post an image of that for you soon.

Speaking of luck, I forgot to tell you about my the magical rat that sat on my foot a few weeks ago. Mikel and I went to eat at a cool place in Bushwick called the Northeast Kingdom. On the way home we walked to a cool building that sits on a sight that was a plantation in 1612. As were were looking through the fence at little kids playing flashlight tag in the grass and smelling the trees (something we can't really do in our neighborhood) I felt n on my foot. I am so used to Dr. Pancake hanging around my feet that I wasn't startled. I looked down and there was a cute little rat sitting on my toes! (yes, I know it's weird that I think rats are cute) anyway, when I looked down is scurried away. I think it was an auspicious moment... but what could it mean?

Hope you are all well! I'm headed to Arizona to meet my new niece, Sophia, on Tuesday so I will hopefully post some more good stuff on here before I head to the desert.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Peanut Blossoms

My friend Julie gave me these amazing peonies at my birthday party on Saturday night (which was a blast!) I have so many amazing friends, including so many more who couldn't attend!!

The framed piece above the flowers is my sign for my upcoming sale at Artists and Fleas THIS WEEKEND!! I used my new stamp and rainbow 'Happy Birthday" ink pad to start the collage and then used paint, pens and markers to jazz it up more.
I'm on a roll with jewelry for this upcoming weekend. Later today I will make the stand for the earrings to hang from. So much to do and time is moving fast! This is always how it happens.
Check out this plant! This is the one we found on the street in Chelsea last fall/winter and thought it was dead but now it's beautiful and flowering! What is it? I'm sure my Grammy will know!
Paintings in progress.
I'm on a roll with some new ones that will be in really nice white frames.
Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lenny and the Snoozers

This photo is full of good stuff to talk about! First of all, I'm wearing the new yoga mat bag that I made as a birthday gift for myself (I'm also proudly wearing a Miley Cyrus T-shirt from Mikel's mom). I know it seems weird to make something for myself rather than buying it for my Birthday. I was actually planning to buy one on etsy but after looking through all of the mat bags I decided I wanted to make myself my ideal bag. It is big enough for two mats or a mat and blocks as well as a change of clothes! The truth is, my favorite thing to do is hang out at home, listen to a good book on tape or watch a movie while making something funky with no stress or expectations attached. So that's what I did for my 27th birthday! That is, AFTER Mikel made me an amazing breakfast and then had to go to work an before I went out in my party dress!

This photo also shows my new stamp print on the bottom of the calendar behind me. It turned out so awesome! I ordered it at Simon Stamp which allowed me to design it exactly the way I wanted. I even bought black and rainbow ink. The rainbow ink pad is called "Happy Birthday" and of course it arrived yesterday, exactly on my Birthday!

This image also shows my new haircut (which I did myself in the bathroom earlier today). Mikel and I have been cutting our own hair for about 9 years now. Usually I cut mine and he does the final touches on the back of my head where I can't really see.

Finally, on the table is the amazing bouquet of flowers Mikel bought me for my birthday along with two awesome books: Coop by Michael Perry and 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
My new bag can be carried like a sling bag or a duffel bag. It has a super wide strap for comfort, especially for when I am biking to yoga classes.

Here is the inside of my yoga bag. You can see it has my blocks and mat in it and two interior pockets.

Here is a blurry photo of my talk at A-Lab last Saturday:

There is something really funny about giving a talk. (for more photos click here.) My perception as the one giving the talk on Saturday was totally different than Mikel's perception. For example, I was super nervous and felt like no one was interested. Mikel might have been being overly nice to me, but he said it was smooth and clear and he was bummed that the host didn't leave enough time for people to ask me questions. I was totally under the impression that no one wanted to ask questions so the host moved on. Funny how perception can be so different (and how I can be so neurotic!) I often feel when I am giving talks or teaching that I totally lose myself, lose track of time and by the end I have almost no memory of what happened. Anyway, this talk was such a great opportunity and it was located in the China Town of Queens which is a totally awesome place!

About Birthday stuff: last night was the most hilarious and amazing birthday outing. I don't have photos yet but I'm working on it! I wore my favorite cocktail dress and got all fancied up and went to Flavor Paper (where Mikel works) for a party. Guess who was there!! I totally saw Lenny Kravitz! Apparently he has a design company that has been working with Flavor Paper lately. I was hoping he would show up to the party but wasn't depending on it. My friend Julie and I were sitting on a super mod couch, drinking amazing cocktails with watermelon juice and cilantro (among other things) and totally watching the Lenny Kravitz show go by. It was amazingly NYC!
For a final note, to get in the mood for snoozing, here's a photo I took of the meowsers. I know I'm becoming one of "those cat ladies" who feels like everyone else must want to know everything about her cats... but I just can't stop myself! I totally understand if you roll your eyes every time you see these two squishers. I won't hold it against you!