Monday, January 25, 2010

New Work! + Jen Sbragia

Stop the presses! Hold the phone!

I've made a few new little paintings (or drawings, or whatever you want to call them). These were all made with graphite pencil and acrylic paint as the eraser/ghost maker. I am thinking of these grisailles as my ghosts and would like to make a series of them, houses and people... for my solo show coming up at Betty's in May? Maybe title it "Haunted"? Or something.

Anyway. The work:

Ghost (1), mixed media on paper, 11" x 14", 2010.

Ghost (2), mixed media on wood, about 3" x 4", 2010.

These are obviously not the best photos—I took them while sitting in the parking lot of Big Orbit Gallery, where I was bringing them to submit to this year's members show. Always last minute, I am. But I got stuff done, and it felt great to be making art again.

Then there is the third "ghost". It's bordering on cheesy, I guess, sitting there at the dining room table making drawings of dead (and beloved and missed) rock stars. This one is Elliott Smith. I can't believe it's been almost seven years since his death! I always thought he had the best face and hair, I've been wanting to paint him for a long time. This was a fun little project to work on, and I'm happy with how it turned out. I think I will hang him in my bedroom.

Close up

Framed, with Nico the cat nosing around


Finally, since we're almost out of January and the thrill of the new year has all but passed, here is the lovely card that yet another inspiring, talented friend who is also an amazing musician and artist, Jen Sbragia, made! I'm almost certain it is stenciled and it is just so simple and cool. (My other friend that fits that bill is Tae Won Yu, who in addition to being an amazing artist and designer, was also in the band Kicking Giant in the heyday of 90s indie rock.) Jen, if you didn't know, was pretty famous back then, too, as one half of aptly-named The Softies and now of the All-Girl Summer Fun Band.

Funny, I seem to remember a fun photo of Elliott and The Softies that maybe Tae even took himself? But I can't find it anywhere. Too bad—that really would have tied this whole post together, yeah?

Anyway, I am so lucky to have cool friends like these who still send me cool stuff after all these years. Thank you for the encouragement and support and inspiration!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just so you know...

I've drawn in my sketchbook two days in a row now.

No, I won't show you. I drew, but I didn't draw anything noteworthy.

I am happy though!

Instead, here is a portion of my cube wall. "Suddenly I've Got That Old Time Feeling" on the left and "Please" on the right.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Finding a Groove + Tae Won Yu

I am an artist, and I love making art.

Yet it is somehow hard for me to fit in the making of it. Should I admit that here?

I see so many artist blogs where everyone is so productive, so thoughtful, so linked in to the rest of the world (whatever world that may be, here online among artist blogs or elsewhere)... and here my poor blog languishes mostly in inactivity, or showing stuff that I made previously. In 2010 I'd really like to change this, and I hope I can. I miss making art all the time. I want to be able to show people new things frequently. That is who I am.

Sure, it is nice to have languid, lazy weekends like the one I had hence, but the reality is that is not how I achieve my goals (except for getting all the books read I'd like, that's one good thing about a weekend like the one I just had).

One step I have recently taken is to always bring my sketchbook with me to work, in case I have a moment for inspiration. So far nothing has happened.

But, things like that don't just happen, do they? One must resolve to do them.

I don't have anything new to show you from me at the moment, but I'd like to share this photo I just took of a lovely little new year's card I got from my old friend Tae Won Yu, who designed it (maybe even printed it himself? I'll have to ask). I've got it hanging in my cube at work, it looks nice juxtaposed with a sketch I did of a dead chipmunk years ago (we're talking 20+) that I still really love. I ought to get it framed properly one day. Anyway, isn't Tae's work amazing? He's been a great inspiration to me over the years as an artist and as a graphic designer, and I am fortunate to have quite a few examples of his work in my files and on my walls.

Goal for today: One drawing in my sketchbook of anything.


This week is the beginning of what looks like a fairly busy teaching season—I hope so, anyway. I've listed the classes I am scheduled to teach in the coming months in a new section on my website, CLASSES. I'm also starting to teach online as an adjunct professor at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh today! This is my first online teaching experience and I am very excited to see how teaching a drawing class online works out. The school has provided a really good class structure and resources, so at least I have a strong foundation to build on, plus a mentor for my first class! I guess this is the wave of the future. I think it's pretty nifty. It definitely appeals to the hermit in me, I admit it!

Lots to look forward to. I just need to carve out time for the activity that is most important to me: making my art. Should be easy, right?

(Hmph, if it was easy I'd have already done it.)

I'd be really interested to hear what you other artists out there reading have to say about my predicament: balancing more than full-time work and family with my studio practice.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Update in the Etsy shop!

It's been a few weeks, and I am finally getting around to putting my leftover handmade books from the Holiday Panic Sale into my Etsy shop! There are still a few more to add, but plenty of new things to look at in the meantime. Here's a photographic sampling.