Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Grant us the Serenity...

secular test-tube mezuzah

The tube is embellished with each of the five elements and symbols of seasons. It contains a paper scroll tightly wrapped around a head of wheat,  and bound with red thread. 

In black ink, the inside reads:

“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

And on the outside of the scroll, scrawled faintly in ephemeral pencil marks, a warning:
“If you don't create change, change will create you”

The test tube text marks my door, just as change marks my life, and the passage of years will begin to mark my face and body.
It reminds me daily to do more than accept change, but to welcome it, to make it my ally. To always be proactive rather than reactive.

On a more global scale, It pleases me to see the Ghandian philosophy of "being the change" we want to see in the world is steadily being brought to the forefront in our collective consciousness.

And as this new year begins, I foresee so much potential for 2010. It can be magical. It's not going to be easy. I have the suspicion it's going to take a lot of valiant effort on the part of all. But it's going to be so worth it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Postpartum: 2009

It's that feeling I get anytime I make something or do something I consider a great personal feat or success. Like I had channeled some force completely outside of myself, and the final result has made its exodus from my being and I am left vulnerable and doe eyed.

It's the downward slope near the end of a relationship continuum. Where you look down and see the end of something in site, followed by the gaping infinite space where the fear and endless possibility dwell.

it is the door you close before another door opens, and you are left for several heart-pounding moments in a whispering dark hallway.

2009 has been quite the dichotic one. A veritable yin-yang of good and bad. Or maybe that's an unfair assessment... as many events are not exclusively good or bad, but no less emotionally challenging. I feel haggard.

I can scarcely remember anything that happened before beginning my first semester at CSUF in August, except to say that much of my summer was geared towards preparing for this past fall. Actually, I can hardly remember the past year beyond my 2 weeks in Australia early December.

What the hell happened this past year?

Many many beginnings and endings in such little time. I know many of us have lost friends, mentors, family members, and I want to take the time to remember them especially right now, before the year is over.
Conversely, some of us have found friends, mentors and family members as well, and so in the face of loss, the world continues to turn in a hopeful little way.

One thing is certain, this has not been a neutral year. It has been highly emotionally charged.
Full of many failures and successes. One thing right after another. I don't think I've laughed or cried quite so much in years prior to this one. Maybe a bit towards the end of '08, that fall was a pretty good lead in to this year...

But... in summation: 2009. Weirdly... you will be missed? Or not, you were fucking exhausting. But much of it I wouldn't change... there were some great gems this year. Some of it I would change, but eh. There you have it. Never try to control the uncontrollable. Bend to avoid splitting in the storm, and when the spring comes, you live again. And stronger for it. It's all cyclical.

2010: What lies ahead? How the hell do you follow an act like 2009?? I'm a little excited, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't also pretty scared. Mostly I'm afraid of stagnation and complacency. As much as I need a little respite, I don't need to get too comfortable. It may be that I'm becoming a bit addicted to the reality or ideology of change.

Let's make 2010 incredible, shall we?

Bunny- the stuffed animal with a higher degree than me (MFA, no joke), travel journal handcrafted by your's truly, and a cup of refreshing tea. Victoria, Australia 11/09 

Friday, November 27, 2009

Proud Big Sis

My brother Jared just started a blog, which I'm really happy about, as I enjoy his fresh perspective. He's got a good eye for photography and intelligent things to say. And that's coming from a totally unbiased source.
Also, if you happen to stumble over there, he turns 20 today, so wish him a happy b-day.

All of the siblings together on thanksgiving:

Amy, me, Jared and Scott

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Instant Gratification

Instant Gratification: a polaroid party opening reception will be Saturday, January 9 from 6:00-9:00pm at Copro Gallery bergamot arts complex 2525 michigan ave. T5, Santa Monica, CA 90404. Be there!

For more info check out www.ISMcommunity.org/FAQs.

Come and see if you can find some of my photos:

Instant Gratification August '09 at the Hibbleton:

My mom and I

 The bearded dude in the hat is my brother.

Chairs at the laundramat by my old apartment.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Return to Objectivity and Formalism

With the ninja-like approach of winter, my sudden discomfort with being alone has transformed into a craving for solitude. Not the kind you get locking yourself in a room, but the kind you take with you into the mountains with a good book or a new set of watercolors. There is something alchemical about the twilight hour between fall and winter. leaves may be dying, but I feel more alive. Maybe it's the shock of the cold- like jumping into a freezing pool.

Life has been very real this Autumn, and imbuing my "paper bags" painting with loaded metaphor left me feeling strangely raw. As this semester draws to a hasty and whirlwind close, as I dust off the dead leaves of bittersweet fall (and as I wax relentlessly poetic), I feel increased need for objectivity and detachment. Maybe not so much detachment as his much more optimistic cousin, non-attachment. (Much less bitter, and with Buddhist sensibilities!)

My intellect is exhausted, my emotions are expended, and the conceptual artist in me may in fact need to hibernate for the wintertime. And I intend to let her sleep.
No more emoting, no more searching for truths and hidden meanings. When something wants to be found, it will present itself. No more self inquisition and pseudo-psychic intuiting. At least not 'till January. Haha.

For now: thinking not feeling, observing not analyzing, representing not imagining.
I don't need my unrelenting thoughts telling me to infuse every creative expression with spiritual meanings, references, simile, or my innermost (yet universal) desires. Blah blah blah. I don't even want to feel the need to provoke insight with the obscure a la Hugo Ball.

I just want to see something, break it down into colors and shapes, and make something that resembles that something. For the first time in a long time, I just want to paint, draw, write about, admire objects strictly for their formal elements. It's like a meditation.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Subjectification of Objects.

 For my painting midterm, the assignment is to compose and paint a picture of paper lunch bags. I see the potential to project human emotion onto inanimate objects: I see relationships, not just of color and scale , but ones based on human emotion. 

I envision an inflated bag standing over a prone, deflated bag. I imagine piled body-bags, bags crowded together joyously in celebration, or a single lonely bag. I feel love and loss, and the whole trajectory from indifference to immediacy to intimacy and back again. 
Maybe that's strange: a "portrait" of bags. Why not? If it means I'll care more about the project, and really put my all into it, then it can't be that crazy.

20 thumbnail sketches due by next Tuesday. Hopefully I'll have something raw and conceptual that will want to be painted so desperately, that when I'm finished, I will stand back and ask, "Oh my god, did I paint that?"

I feel a little ridiculous. I'm falling in art-love with paper bags. 
This must be what you would call dorking-out.
(completed painting) updated 10/27. I just had crit. today, and got a really good feedback. Also it was said to have drama;  so I think my metaphor carried through.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My First (Presumably) Finished Still Life in Oils

Horrible quality phone images, yes. But this is my first still life homework from painting class. Being just as conceptual, if not more, than I am visual, still lifes (lives?) often make me develop a shorter attention span. Mostly because I have no emotional connection to the objects. For homework assignments, I get to pick my own objects to paint representations of.
Naturally all of these items are either significant to me, metaphorically symbolic, or just really attractive to me visually or in a tactile way. (hint: recognize anything round and blue?)

Mystic Orb Journey

Here's just a preview of the long ago promised photos from my conceptual art project, the Mystic Orb Journey. Only the first in more of such explorations, I hope. The actual Physical art objects that will be a result, or lasting document of this adventure are coming along... slowly but steadily. (It's difficult to do with a full load at school, but it's gonna happen).

These photos are the last of the Mystic Orb Question segment of the trip. For some reason blogger deems it right to upload and place in a backwards style. That's fine.
More to come soon!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Coming Soon: the Magic Orb Road Trip!

On Wednesday, I and my friend Carter will begin an epic 2 day journey that will serve as the main metaphor in my new art piece about the roll fate plays in our lives, and the fine line between the excitement of spontaneity and foolhardy reliance on chance as ones main vehicle in life.

Hopefully this will be the premier experiment in an even greater artistic study. A pilot episode, if you will.
I was discussing this venture amongst a group of creative types whom I am fortunate to call my friends, and one of them who had not yet heard of my project suggested I read a book called "The Dice Man," a dark comedy that seems to share a premise with my project's theme.

I looked it up on Amazon, and though I rarely buy online, I think I may just have to order it immediately. Although, on the flip side, I arrived at my concept very independently, and not wanting to appear derivative, I am hesitant to have my assumptions and preconceptions of my uncompleted "assignment" tainted by someone else's thought process.
I won't have time to receive and read it before Weds anyways. Yaaay! Potential conundrum averted!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Quick-and-dirty scans of the cover and several excerpts from my art book "Inundated." Mixed media includes photo, watercolor, ink and bleach stamping on linen paper, cloudy vellum, jute string and found objects. This "Abecedarium," or ABC book is in the form of an alphebatized free verse poem comparing feelings of being overwhelmed with the process of drowning.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The latest ongoing art exploration...

Based on concepts from Ambika Wauters' book "Chakras and Their Archetypes", and my own explorations with Maslow's hierarchy of needs, this project explores and expands the pyramid to match each need to a corresponding chakra, or energy center, in the human body. Each one of the chakras is also representated by both the negative and positive aspects of each one of Carl Jung's archetypes. When one of these chakras is blocked, or one of the needs is unfullfilled, the negative archetype is displayed.
This artistic exploration seeks to figure out, quite simply, what do we (not just want, but) need to be fullfilled and happy? I believe fully, that it is through creativity that we can best hope to solve such deceptively simple sounding questions in life.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Need a Studio Assistant?

(click for bigger image)

Update: as the demand for my services has increased, I have raised my new client rates to $12-$15 an hour. (depending on the amount of physical labor involved- for insurance reasons, and the kind of tax paperwork that needs to be filled out).

Also, I do occasionally discount on a sort of bartering system for clients who have items: artwork, materials, or services, for trade. So don't be afraid to make an offer.

Upon request, I can provide a list of very good references/recommendations and an inclusive resume. My client history includes successful artists, art teachers, musicians, private galleries, a museum, emerging photographers, and creative and artistic people in the field of psychology.

As an artist and student of the arts, I have studied in many media, including, but not limited to drawing, painting (acrylic, oil, watercolor), photography (non digital/film, w/ some photoshop), 2D and 3D color and composition (found objects, collage/assemblage), ceramics, sculpture in various materials, silver smithing, and bookmaking/binding.