Friday, December 18, 2009

Keep Austin Bizarre Bazaar

Hi! I will be showing new and old work this weekend, December 18th through the 21st, down at Fiesta Gardens during the Keep Austin Bizarre Bazaar.

Here is the info:

There will be ...

* Live Music
* Over 100 Vendors
* Full Bar

* FREE Admission - Fiesta Gardens
* FREE Parking
* Heated Circus Tents

YES! You heard right! HEATED Circus Tents.

Come Support the Austin Arts!

This is a 4 day event!
The event will take place Dec 18th - 21st
Fri and Sat from 11am - 12pm
Sun and Mon from 11am - 10pm

With an atmosphere true to the life of Austinites, the holiday shopping event will feature over 60 local artists and small businesses housed under multiple heated large circus tents, with a further 40 artists outside on “vendor row” selling unique gifts and fine, hand crafted items. In addition, there will be tribal and improvisational dance performances, fire spinners, djs, circus acts and resident musicians who play while patrons shop.

You can find me at a corner booth near one of the main entrances. Love to see you there! New work will be posted here very soon.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

more studio time

The first plant-based paper batch is finally dry. Not too bad for the first batches- now to figure out how I want to cast them in sculptural work. Planning on trying some basic mold-making either tomorrow or early this week. This will definitely be trial and error as I have never made a mold before. Silly, I know- there are so many great little tutorials out there. Problem is, when it comes to three-dimensional work, I can watch and read tutorials forever, and still be confused as to how to actually do it. I just have to finally do it, figure out my own process, and make a ton of stupid mistakes along the way. While I love working sculpturally, structural aspects that make perfect common sense to so many do not register in my brain. It is like those synapses never formed. Maybe I should have listed to Mozart as a baby, or something. Oh wait, I did. Maybe something else :).

paper drying out on my driveway...

I have added a giant book of "Grimm's Fairy Tales" to my recent reading list and am both fascinated and baffled by many of the stories. I have been wanting to pick up this book all summer, as my recent collage work personally feels very referential to fairy tales. A space where people and animals and magic all sort of exist on the same plane. Only I wanted to read the real stories, as opposed to the Disney versions, etc. The tales that formed out of real life. It has recently become very important to me to understand the visual and literary history behind these thought processes/narratives. Of course, as I begin reading, I have to begin analyzing as well.Grimm's just the beginning and the tip of the ice-burg. I didn't even realize until now that the Brother's Grimm did not write the fairy tales themselves, they just archived and endeavored to write down all of the German tales that had been passed down only verbally from generation to generation. Who knows when these tales actually began to form. Though a clue is that many of the stories revolve around a king, or king's son or daughter, etc. The ideas of magic, beauty, transformation and escape from brutal poverty runs through many of these tales, along strict guidelines of morality. Something tells me this is going to evolve into a much larger project.

Along with these collages, I am working on the beginning of one or two sculptures (hence all the paper-making) and continuing with the series of topography pieces. While trying not to spread myself too thin in the studio, I find the very strong need to develop several ideas at once- the relationships only seem to reveal themselves later. Honestly, it feels so luxurious to have so many projects going on. the hellishly hot weather has finally lifted and I can spend many hours in the studio without drowning in sweat and my son is out of town for the weekend- giving me hours of alone time to spend in the studio :).

What the rain brought! other than the most wonderfully cool weather (relatively, of course!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Well, my first show is officially over. All the pieces have been either picked up or taken down in the last two days. Subsequently, my house is a mess. And to add to the chaos, I am literally cooking up some new batches of paper. I have no idea how they are going to turn out, but I am having fun in the trying...
Now just to make sure that I am very intentional with this process. I love learning new things and can easily just keep following tangents instead of focusing on one thing start to finish.

Corn Husks:


Finished three new small to medium sized collages on my old batches of paper. Trying to decide on the importance of the paper medium. These were drawn/collaged on paper made from books and paper bags, the new paper is going to be made of plants... I have felt like the medium of books underlined the surreal narratives of the drawings. How will a plant medium change this meaning? Will it make the pieces become more about design instead of inferred meaning? Sorting this out as I create.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

summer is gone

Ahhh, with the arrival of September, my life is creeping towards some basic organization once again. The second part of the summer has flown, and to catch up- I am going to be typing in a few of the events from this last part of the summer...

1) lovely vacation with my family. Watched my sister race in a half-ironman in NY. She placed 3rd in her age group and qualified to compete on Team USA in the World Triathlon championships in Australia this Oct. Amazing. Our Dad also competed in the sprint triathlon the day before and he did really well also! I loved getting to see them both compete and support them.

2) Saw Niagra falls on the way back to Ohio for the first time in 10yrs. Interesting family trip- Falls were beautiful. My son was starving during the whole hike, my sister was limping along, completely exhausted from her race the day before, my mother seemed very moody and kept getting ahead of everybody else, my dad sort of bounced between all of us trying to keep the peace. There is no family picture. :)

3) Rest of time in Ohio goes pretty well. Lots of time with my sister- who has become one of my best friends as we get older. Mother seems very emotionally fragile lately. This is stressful for me. :(. We did go to a wonderful museum in Columbus (Franklin Park, I believe?) that had a butterfly observatory and many greenhouses dedicated to different ecological systems all over the world. Gorgeous.

4)Home again. All of my grains, plus pretty much everything else in the pantry becomes infested with weevils while I was out of town. Bf did not notice this as he does not cook. YAY. Spend rest of week cleaning out entire kitchen.

5) Good news from weevil infestation- I discover my cookbooks again. In my newly clean kitchen, I am cooking up gourmet food like a storm!

6) Triathlon training for me too!- working hard to overcome new psychical challenges like swimming and biking. Doing well and am finally getting back into really great shape. Got completely out of shape during school last two years. Feels good, but takes time.

7) Emotional talks with bf. Heavy- like marriage and children. Feel like annoying stereotypical woman. We have been together for years. We both want this? but the question is when is really the right time. Not on the same page. Still not resolved. Still emotional.

8) Even more emotional fight with my ex. He seems to think that he does not need to ever read the signed agreement to find out when/what his visitation is. Misses it, and is angry at me for holding him accountable. Transitions from holidays always seem to be especially difficult. He sends me incredibly ugly emails that has me reeling for a bit.

9)My son is going into the 5th grade! How did that happen already! He continues to amazing me with how smart and intuitive he is. We still have the teenage years to come, but the young man he is slowly becoming is pretty impressive.

10) Not making much art during this time- feeling incredibly guilty about this. Can't seem to get organized. Can't seem to get ideas organized. Constantly finding other things to do. Distracted.

11) I can finally swim over a mile, bike over 30 and run after it all. Race is September 7th, and I am nervous!

12) Bf is on vacation from work. When he is off, it is like living in a constant music video. He walks around the house playing guitar, or is recording in his studio. It is both wonderful and sometimes wonderfully irritating :). in the best way, of course.

So now the end of summer. Something just hit me this week and I am able to get organized again. I finally wrap my head around how I want to practice my ideas (though I have missed the importance of daily regimented practice lately) and develop latest work. I don't know why this has been so elusive lately. First couple of tries are not so great, but giving me a starting point at least. I am going to try to log in at least 20hours of actual studio time a week this fall. Working and with my son, this is a challenge, but I need to at least get as close as possible. The house will always need to be cleaned and the laundry will need to get done. Work on managing my time more effectively.

Thank you for reading this- and for staying with me when I have so neglected my blog lately! I am looking forward to spending time this weekend catching up on all the blogs I have been missing. I hope your end of the summer has been a sweet and productive transition!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Through the month of June I participated in a wonderful exchange between artist friends from Twitter, curated by @Art_News, called #MailArt. 33 artists in all, we sent each other original postcards of our art. It was both time consuming and really fun- I found myself developing new ideas using this medium that I would love to expand on further in my personal art.

I began with making handmade paper for the project. I had wanted to do this for awhile, and this project seemed the perfect way to experiment. How the paper turned out determine how I wanted to present my collages. I decided on using b&w photographic images from an old photography encyclopedia, mixed with original drawings drawn on tracing paper and collaged on the card as well. I sometimes drew on the actual card in ink, and used ink and gouache to enhance the tracing-paper drawings. I am now in love with tracing paper- such a thin, delicate medium to draw on, and it mixes in perfectly with other media as well because of its transparency.

Here are all the cards I created below. Each is approx 3 1/2"x5 1'2" in size, and made from pencil, ink, gouache & mixed media on handmade paper. My theme generally involves humans interacting with an environment based entirely on insects, rodents and birds that match the scale of humans. In some, humans actually become part of the environment in the form of plants, in others they are able to interact peacefully, and in others they work to have some form of control over the insects, rodents and birds.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

the wall

I am going to scream. As a matter of fact, that's where I was right before I took a shower: soaked to the skin in sweat, face covered in tears, and screaming. In marathon running there is this thing that happens at around the 20mile point called "the wall". It's where you feel like you can't go any further, even though you have 6.2 more miles until the finish line. I feel like I have hit "the wall" today, even though instead of having 6.2 miles, I have a lifetime to go.

We have this lovely wrought-iron arbor-gate that has ripped off it's hinge for the 2nd time- this time leaving a hole in the wrought iron that looks exactly like a rip. I, the artist in the family, who is interested in metalwork, says "I can fix that"...Okay, that was four months ago now? First, I realized my oxy-acetylene torches were not going to fix something like that. So we spend three months looking for a used MIG that I can also use in my studio and is somewhat affordable. Finally found one, now I have spent the last three weeks slowly teaching myself the machine, plus actually making it work right. Discovered that it was missing a couple parts along the way. I emphasize the slowly part, as of course there many other life things that have to be done, like work. And the #MailArt project I just completed with wonderful Twitter artists (more on this later).

So now I am working on the gate itself. I need to first re-enforce the hole with steel rod before I "sew" up the hole, level it, and re-attach it to the hinge. This all sounds so simple, but it has taken me two solid days of work to figure this out exactly. Not to mention, it is well over 100 degrees by the afternoon, beginning at around 80 in the morning. I work as hard as I can before the sun drives me inside. Considering that welding also involves the wearing of heavy clothing, I am sweating buckets of water.

I finally almost have the hole re-enforced, when the MIG acts up- wire spool unraveling and when I open up the machine, wire pops out at me everywhere. I lose it. Miller doesn't make the bushings that make this easier anymore. I don't exactly know why, I just need to re-adjust the nuts again for the spool, but this is where I break down. I am crying and stomping and sweaty and frustrated. Why am I doing this project? What money is this actually saving us? The fact that I am the owner of this MIG, and therefore responsible to actually use it in my art is settling on me like a lead weight. Why did the professor say when she saw my metalwork that I had found my calling? It's easy when I have a professor and all the tools I need at my disposal. Now, in my relatively small studio, with maybe 1/4 of the tools I would need to actually do something artistic, no extra money to buy these tools, and no room to store the work anyway- I am ready to sell everything and call it quits. I feel about a millions years away from having a viable business as an artist. I feel very alone out in the real world right now. The momentum of being built up by professors and finally graduating with my dream degree is gone. Even my fellow artists I graduated with are becoming more and more difficult to network with. I am 5-10 years older, with a family, doing a completely different type work. insert scream of frustration again. This is only a small sample of the many negative turns my brain has recently taken this morning.

When my dear boyfriend comes home to find me in my disheveled state, he says "at least you didn't die in the car accident I just saw."

I just want to draw.

Okay, so I am not going to call it quits. I am going to once again, put the spool back together and finish this project. I'm taking the next two weeks to see my parents and sister in Ohio- then I can return refreshed and ready to tackle this challenge again. I'm not sure how the marathoners get through the wall, I think they just put their head down and do. I'm going to try to do the same. Every person goes through this. I am also going to stop complaining for the rest of today.

On a different note, here are two beautiful discoveries I have made in the last month. Found an almost intact butterfly a few days ago and the cocoons were spun on our wrought iron gate. In fact, they are from the very same caterpillars I almost killed, but saved at the last minute instead. (see very first post). They have come full circle, and left me beautiful cocoon shells in their wake. I'm not sure how I am going to use this artistically just yet, but they will become part of my work in the near future, I am sure. They will go on my "shelf of special treasures".Just as soon as I finish this damn gate.