Saturday, December 19, 2009

Finalizing the Installation

When I go back to Boston in January, I'll be displaying my work in the Cambridge gallery with half of my classmates. Because I have made SO MUCH work in these last two years, a few people suggested that I contemplate an installation in the entryway of the 601 Newbury bldg - where we have our meals and critiques every day. It is a VERY tall entry space - about 4 floors high with a skylight at top - with battered concrete walls painted white. With the help of some good friends I am going to hoist this huge collage of my studio leftovers up on to the wall -- about 20 feet above the floor. I have been arranging and wiring these together in quadrants all week and I'll load them into a refrigerator box and ship via UPS - the more battered the better -
Here is a look at the piece -- my studio walls are not big enough to display it fully. It does have this crazy energy which says so much about my MFA process and work.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Working, working

I am making more of these flat constructions - varying the approach . Sometimes I start flat, build, and break down. Other times, build first then take down. Always there are surprises and unexpected compositions. I cannot get enough of it and I'm getting closer to some imagery that I will take forward into new directions.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Flattening things out

The process continues.
In morning meeting with my mentor Robert, we decided to cut a box open and splay it out flat . The most amazing thing happened - the composition unfolded as a 2D layout - when it had been created on a 3D form - and in that translation there was something very compelling. I found a way to go around myself or to trick myself. Even I was seeing it for the first time. I cut open a few more just to see what was going to happen.
I have been working toward more accidental effects in the work and this fits in exactly with that concept.
I'm still making the 3D box forms and looking at these flat layouts as a parallel/adjoining project.
I'm still working on the display ideas. I was on to a platform idea and now I am working with a pedestal idea.
Still time.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


After sending the next draft of the thesis off, I dove back into the studio work. This week's exploration is around the forms - looking at the possibilities for opening them up in different ways.
I took 7 - 8 small models - out of tag board - all of the same crooked oblong box structure. Then I cut different sides away and looked to see how much loss and destruction the forms could handle. When would they stop reading as box forms? My mentor Robert wants me to scale some of these up in archival cardboard now and see how they read at a different size. They have a very delicate feel at this scale and I'm curious.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

covering them

This last week I've been doing lots of experiments with the surfaces around these boxes. I have my usual array of
newsprint with markings in ink and paint - many are words and other marks - varying scale and
texture - some acrylic spray paint in the mix. I have been collecting process color from mailers, advertising inserts in the paper, magazine ads - I have sheets of red, yellow, green, orange, blue. It takes a long time to make a sheet, because I am trying to obscure too much readable content - lots of layering and cutting up.
So now I am exploring where to use this color - some things work, others don't. Sometimes I completely cover a form again. Here are a few examples - most are 12" high or smaller. Commodity sized, I call them.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lots of Boxes

So I'm building lots of boxes - most in the same size range - and then I'm going to do all sorts of
experimental surface treatments - same kind of palette - some color added - and my mentor Robert and I are going to see what we think about them and how they want to live in this world. It is a kooky, intuitive, essential direction and I am having a lot of fun with it. I'll post when I get them covered.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Crunching the boxes

Now that the first draft of the thesis is in... I have much more time in the studio. A couple of weeks ago, my mentor Robert and I talked about distressing the box shapes a bit. This led to a great afternoon of smashing and learning how they would react to weight, pressure, stomping - and when they would just rip and break. I wasn't interested in the tearing and breaking, just the bending and curving. They have a whole new vibe to them. It is that awkwardness that I am interested in. So now I am making a bunch of prototypes and applying different surface treatments. Some may be open, they are all a general smaller, "commodity" size. I am experimenting with some colored commercial papers on some sides. Having the color imported from the everyday mailers that come to the house or commercial product labels. Still using the newsprint and newspaper with ink and paint.
We're discussing where they might be living - on the wall? on the floor? on pedestals? in mass? I'll keep you posted on the latest there.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New Mentor

Robert Yoder is my mentor this semester - He is a Seattle artist - represented by Howard House Gallery here and he also teaches at the University of Washington.
The images above are his - He works in mixed media - a lot of collage -
and has been doing some curating here in the city.
He opens a show on this coming Thursday 8/6 , "Send me an Angel" at Howard House.
Robert is a terrific guy and very generous with his time and attention. It should be a fantastic semester.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Coming up for air

This last month has been crazy time... I had lots of new research to finish before writing and now I am in the midst of the slow process. It might not help that Seattle has been literally frying up - 103 degrees yesterday or something like that - and we out here in the NW do not have air conditioning in our homes -

So here are a few rough items - I am working on new forms - starting smaller and then moving towards surface treatment. I'll be constructing a sculptural assemblage for January - employing the wall as negative space and my everyday materials like newspaper, ads and other natural materials covering these things. The question is how sculptural - how far off the wall will they extend? Many ideas and of course, not enough time to resolve it all by November/Dec.

I've been on a Rauschenberg and Elizabeth Murray binge this week and they are both providing many ideas for this construction I'm dreaming up. (that is Rauschenberg's installation above with the bike)
I'll be posting some more finished things soon - maybe even some COLOR...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The work is on its way

Yes, I've packed it up and taken it to UPS - it takes 5 working days to arrive in Boston.  You'd think I would be relieved and relaxed but no, I have lots of writing and reading to finish up.  I tinkered in the studio until the last minute, added some not-square boxes and continued to play around a bit. You can see the pile of stuff from the other photo in the studio.
The taller piece by itself in the photo is separately on its way to the Boston Young Contemporaries show. Thanks to Anarita for the hand delivery today. That show opens the last Friday we are there - June 26th at Boston University.
Until next semester, good bye!

Monday, June 1, 2009

paper and ink

These surfaces on newsprint are threatening to overwhelm my studio.  I have stacks of different patterns and motifs - some on the classified sections, some on plain newsprint.  I use sumi ink and acrylic spray paint to make the marks and then let go of the control as much as possible.  I am taking big sheets like these to make assemblages - which I later cut up and collage on some of the chunkier pieces. I actually liked the uneven-ness of this piece just as it is - which of course comes from not caring or thinking about what I am doing and being surprised later.  Moving around the brain.

Friday, May 22, 2009


These blocks are consuming me a bit this week.  They are 10" cubes - so not huge but not teeny.  They just make you want to pick them up and arrange/stack them.  I have stacks and stacks of ink and paint treatments on paper and this is a good outlet for those.
Meanwhile I'm still working on some bigger, more sculptural applications.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

More 3-D exploration

I am continuing to push out in different ways with the 3D applications.  This week it was some boxes and using the sides to explore different surface treatments.  If all goes well, there might be a stack of them for the residency.
I am still making the big cut-out shapes too - It is two different pursuits, the forms and the surfaces and now they are coming together.  Much to evaluate before packing it up.  I have found some terrific new artists to research and some great old ones. I am immersing in Dubuffet again and finding all sorts of new avenues into his work.  As for surface treatment , there is the work of Terry Winters - amazing.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Different textures/images

Continuing the exploration - some text printed on colored paper, using strips and a side trip with some old vintage photos from books that I enlarged 200%.  I just finished a paper on Eva Hesse, which has inspired me to obsess and explore all sorts of surfaces.  The 3-D shapes are ongoing.

Friday, April 17, 2009

April 17

I cannot come up with a catchy title today- another week marked in the studio - new things happening -
or as my mentor says, "percolating".  I am immersed in some written work and thought about content and meaning. Pre-thesis work and it is bringing up some new and further thoughts for the work.
The piece above is collaged over that pink construction foam - I've been making these shapes and chunky tablets and using those as the base for the collage work.  It's like a big paper mache' project - brings me back to all the work I've done teaching art to children.  This piece is exploring marks made with sumi ink - and then cut and laid over the newspaper.  The general feel and look is intriguing to me - the ink smears just a bit, everything becomes a little blurry.  I'm moving back towards the long banners today and placing a second layer over those.

Monday, April 6, 2009


I'm going after more value range and have reversed out lots of sheets to use - the 3-D dimension is emerging and that is very interesting and very time-consuming.  All of the construction and covering takes hours, but it is a lot of fun.  The up-scaling continues and I'll soon be looking for new places to store and view things (my studio is not large - and the one big wall is a community space - fortunately, my studio mate likes having my stuff up right now -)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Scaling Up

I am making these 6 foot sheets of combined classified ads - it is growing into a large mural sized wall of type -
a much different experience than the smaller pieces - this is pulling me toward some new ideas for image and content -

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More Studio Images

I now have all sorts of people saving the classified sections for me - If you can help me out - please save yours too - I can either pick them up from you or I will reimburse you the postage to send them to me.  I am interested in the ENTIRE pages - please do not cut anything - I will take the adjoining page even if it does not have any ads on that side... I am using the automobile, real estate, public notices, want ads, personals, etc, etc. and I am gathering daily papers, weekly community papers, university dailies, little nickel want-ads - anything with the classifieds. 
I am hoping to gather texts from all sorts of states - Do they have this practice of posting classified ads in other countries?

New editions are the text and I am still working this element out - it feels a little vulnerable to be posting these in such an early stage - but this is part of my process too.  I am overwhelmed with all the connections that this project is bringing my way.  It is intersecting with a very personal space - that deals with searching and loss and hope in my own life.  Seattle recently had a daily newspaper fold and die - the Seattle Post Intelligencer published its final issue last Wednesday.  It will be 100% online from here forward.  There is a loss for many of us in that and an eerie wind of change.  I actually like change and I also have some sacred(?) rituals in my life that revolve around holding and touching my reading material.  You may have guessed that I do not own a Kindle. But never say never...

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I am limiting myself to using the classified sections of various newspapers.  It seemed like such a prudent decision... to cut down on noise and confusion... to limit my palette ... to focus attention and force the creativity to arise in new ways.  And it is terribly difficult.  There are some days that I just have to leave the studio and walk around the block to reframe my mind - saying, "you can do this - reach past the voice that tells you that it's ridiculous." I laugh a lot and try to honestly dialogue about it with my studio mates.

It is not flashy and it is not gorgeous and it is not easy.  I am just believing that within this process will come some more deep learning and understanding of my own working systems and decision-making.  My mentor Rebecca says that I am making the "rules" and then I can break them, disrupt them, use them to make my points.  It is entirely MY game here.  I don't think I am used to being in this much control and it is both compelling and frightening.  The images above are experimental - I find myself tumbling from one thing into another - process is the only way.

I am mesmerized by the material on a mental level - all that the newspaper represents - Stuart reminds me that
it's an eclectic material if you count the privileged role of say, the NY Times or the Wall St. Journal -- and it is a throw-away material if you gather it in the recycling bin or wash windows with it.  It represents the arrival of breaking information and yet the message is dated within 24 hours.  I am using the classifieds for many reasons.  One, I am drawn to the natural grid and organization of the page - Two, the want ads represent the desire for connection and exchange between people.  Three, we are in a time now when many are forced to find new connections, jobs, help - this inter-dependence makes so much sense.

I welcome any feedback / ideas - I'm looking at enlarging these pieces to huge -- and thinking about new ways to mount them - combine them - 
I wonder if they might be interesting in a video format - stop-action 0r  slide show type - 
this is turning into some rambling - so for now, I sign off.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Just back from Los Angeles

Last week I journeyed down to LA to meet with my mentor Rebecca Morris for the first time. She is an exhibiting abstract painter and an art professor at Pasadena City College. (the work above is HERS)
It was an incredible day and I came home with all sorts of studio ideas and new things to research.  Rebecca is one of those people you wish you could be neighbors with or something... funny, honest, smart and generous in her spirit.  We spent the afternoon together and had an extensive critique/discussion of my work.

With her encouragement and thoughts I am pushing ahead with the newspaper investigation.  
I honestly had to laugh as we looked up at the wall of images and there was a bunch of everyday classified ads collaged onto paper.  How in the world did I get to this place?  We actually had a fascinating discussion about why I might need to be here right now.  This common, low material gives me more space for my meaning and expression than anything I have ever used.  It is remarkably free from gender assumptions and sentimental associations.

My task is to take this to my own place - I am experimenting with different papers, background papers, scale, content and image choices.  Rebecca tells me to pay close attention to my unconscious choices - which will inform my next steps. She explained that this is a grand process - and I am learning to create the system that works for ME... one cannot rush these things.  I'm having a great time in the studio and I'll be posting some new images of the work soon.

Monday, February 23, 2009

New Postings coming

It seemed time to start over - so check back next week for a new start.