Today was just one of those days that is so nice it makes you
feel happy to be alive again. I started a new painting last
night, ended up sleeping on the couch, woke up really late and
just lounged about. Listened to some Elliot Smith and Jeff Buckley,
two of my favorite singer/song writers... Both of whom died tragically
young. Both were so incredibly talented and with such amazing
voices and unique sounds. It
isn't fair. I think sometimes if you're going through a meloncholic
phase you need to just go with it and their music has always
allowed me to wallow without getting really dangerously low.
I've always felt like the perfect soundtrack to my life would
consist of those two artists
plus Aimee Mann.
I also spent some
time playing the guitar this afternoon, tried to write a song
about how I feel about Elliot Smith basically killing himself
being really awful. Wring music isn't as easy as you might
think, especially about someone you cared about.
Later this evening it started to snow. I LOVE the snow, and
we get so much rain in Juneau that snow is a welcome relief.
The new painting I started is a self portrait playing musical
saw. Since I couldn't actually see myself It looks a bit
anonymous now. I felt inspired to do a self portait from
watching Frida. Of
she was a gorgeous woman and I'm not but hey, I can use some
artistic license...Nes Cafe? (that's a joke).
TIP OF THE DAY! If you happen to paint on canvas,
roll a lint brush over the surface of it after you've stretched
it and before you prime it. It get's rid of all those annoying
little hairs and carpet fibers that can drive you mad.
I forgot to do that last night and I ended up spending 45
minutes with a pair of tweezers removing them from the surface
after I primed the first coat. Then had to sand to remove
the topographical indentations the hairs made in the surace
of the canvas. What a pain. And yes, I'm painting on canvas
again. I've decided to quit working on panel for awhile,
it just wasn't doing it for me any more.
I'm not sure how but I'd like to paint something
about a predatory act. I just like those words. It's actually
from an episode of
Buffy the Vampire Slayer but it has stuck in my head and I'd
like to do somthing with it. Did some sketches tonight of
my cat but he isn't very much of a predator. Think I'll
turn to the human variety.
14th, 2003 Part II
I'm writing twice today because I just watched the movie Frida.
I can't believe I left her off my top ten list. I have always
loved and admired her work and seeing the film just reinforced
those feelings. I am putting together a collection of DVDs about
artists. It's great to watch someone painting especially if you're
having a little painter's block. So far I only have Pollock and
Frida, but I'm going to get Basquiat, I shot Andy Warhol, Surviving
Picasso, and Vincent. Does anyone have other recommendations?
back to the movie Frida...I loved the style of it. I loved
the way they used that sort of living picture technique and
Tromp L'oeil to create that wonderful sense of magical realism.
I am fully inspired. Time to put my leaky frustrations
to bed. Tomorrow, as I pick up tar to patch up my siding
I'll get some more 1" X 2"s so I can start on some new stretcher
bars. I make big gallery wrapped style canvases and creating
one is pretty much an art of its own. Sometimes it takes
as long to create the canvas as it does to do the painting.
But the key is that I really WANT to do it and normally I
dread building canvaseas as much as watching President Bush
give an address.
one last thing...The scene where Frida, Diego, and Trotsky
are sitting at a table of dissidents, artists, writers, and
philosophers...that interview question where they ask you
if could have dinner with any historical
figure and I just thought, that's a pretty amazing mix right
14th, 2003 Part I
Wind Driven Rain. I started writing a short story last
night about a woman whose whole life is changed by a leaky
this is based on true events. I never realized how much
of a stabilizing force my house is. Before I got the MLIS
stable job I floated around from one really crappy apartment
to the next. I lived for probably 4 years or more in an
honest to god crack house in Spenard which is a rather
neighborhood in Anchorage. The tales I could tell from
that place! And now, I have this modest but adorable two
on a little hill in downtown Douglas, on an Island in Southeast
Alaska with a (filtered) view of the channel! It has made
the difference in the world to my sanity. Which reminds
me of my…
ART EXHIBIT STORY
was a brief time in Anchorage when my best friend Rick Quinones
and I were working on a collaborative 2-person show called “Penetrated
Structures” about voyeurism, (of which again, I have NO
slides) and we ended up living in our tiny shared studio. Not
studio apartment, STUDIO, as in, a very small office building
we rented in downtown Anchorage with no windows and no ventilation.
I bribed the janitor with one of my paintings of a wild looking
naked woman, and he let us have access to the janitor’s
closet so we could wash out our brushes (and our hair). We ended
up taking a lot of showers on campus, we were both students
at the time and very poor. It was such a different experience
for us, going into the shops downtown that are geared towards
tourists, looking a bit on the skanky side, and being treated
like criminals. We walked down to the Hilton one night to get
cokes from their soda machine and a security guard basically
stalked us until we left.
slept on the floor on an egg crate foam pad. The place reeked
of turpentine, the pieces we were painting were HUGE, some of
them over 7 feet long, and they were all crammed in this little
room. We both smoked and drank like fiends back then, it’s
a wonder we didn’t blow ourselves up. Or kill each other
in our sleep. It is no easy thing to do a truly collaborative
art show with a friend. We worked on the pieces together and
our styles were not that similar, other than the fact we both
liked painting figures. The paintings were still wet when we
had to transfer them to the gallery for installation. Even worse,
neither of us had wheels.
the day we were going to install the show, we hadn’t slept
in a couple of days. We were both close to delirious. We had
to borrow a friend’s hatch back and try and fit our huge
wet paintings into it, one at a time, and run them back and
forth to the gallery across town. Plus we had to foot the bill
for all of this food, or should I say that I had to foot the
bill for all this food for the opening. At the opening, we were
wired tight and we had to be there and do the whole meet and
greet thing. After the show Rick and I got into a huge fight
over how to split up the leftovers from the opening (leftover
muffins and cheese etc.) and it ended up with me telling him
to “FUCK OFF AND DIE!”.
Later that same day I think, we made up. It was just the stress
had been building up for awhile and things got volatile. He
confessed to me, jokingly, that he had been fantasizing about
having his hands around my throat choking me saying “Breathe
Elise”. It seemed funny at the time but looking back…
is a funny thing because now I remember that experience fondly.
As I was telling a friend recently, an example I use for teaching
students how to do a phrase search in Google is: “They
that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” (Benjamin Franklin)
and I know it relates more to national security, but it is just
stuck in my head because it reminds me of where I am in my life
craved safety and stability for so long, it’s the main
reason I decided to go to graduate school for an MLIS rather
than an MFA (which is what I really wanted to do). I wanted
health insurance and to own a home and have my teeth cleaned
regularly…you know, the American Dream. But I realized
how much we have to give up in the quest for that safety in
terms of our freedom. Once you have a mortgage the expendable
income is gone.
find a lot of inspiration from travel. I’ve traveled several
times to Morocco and all over Europe; I’ve lived in Spain,
Mexico, Hawaii, New York, and Southern California as well as
different parts of Alaska. I like to move around, be exposed
to new cultures and be forced to expand my comfort zone so to
speak. But moving to Juneau, getting a job as a professor and
buying a house seems so strange to me sometimes. I think, “How
did I become this person?”
now, this damn leak in my ceiling. It’s making my life
miserable. I have no money to fix it and I feel cheated. I gave
up my freedom for the safety of a house and not it has turned
on me. And there is nothing like a leak to remind you of how
much it really rains in Southeast Alaska. Let’s just say…
A LOT! I am starting to develop some rather ill will towards
the rain. And yet, all of this self-reflection came about from
the leak. And reflection is always a good thing in my opinion;
even if the picture you see staring back at you is not pleasant.
started thinking “I could sale the house and sailboat,
get rid of the majority of my possessions, and move out of Alaska;
move somewhere closer to friends and family and where maybe
I could earn a more equitable salary, take summers off and travel
more. And it’s amazing how once an idea is broached in
your mind you realize that you actually have options. That you
can make a decision that will change your life dramatically.
That can be unsettling. Particularly because when I bought this
house I told myself that I would never move again. I wanted
to allow myself to lay down some roots, commit to a community
and quit my wandering ways. Now that I have this idea that I
could try somewhere new, the whole world becomes open with possibilities
but it can be scary too. I don’t know, maybe I need to
do this as an artist to keep from getting stale and dead inside.
This is a topic area of interest to me. At one point (before
Rick got his MAT degree) he used to lecture me that he would
rather be poor and work a crappy job and have more time and
energy for his art than have a profession in a non-art related
area. This was at the time I was trying to decide if I should
apply for graduate schools in library and information science.
I think he looked at that as sort of selling out.
then, my friend L C, who was the head of the ceramics
department and only a few years older than me, told me that
having an MFA wasn’t the greatest thing in the world
either. She said that she had to apply for new jobs every
years because most universities would only hire term art professors
and also it was extremely competitive. She was very driven
speaking, and she’d put in incredibly long hours in the
studio and exhibit a lot. I used to think that she was just
a really on fire artist but she admitted that a lot of her
drive was manufactured out of fear of unemployment. I admired
so much for taking the riskier road, it’s what I wanted
to do but I also was afraid of unemployment and the MLIS route
seemed a safer bet.
my question is, do you need uncertainty and change in order
to grow as an artist? Or, do you become a better artist once
the lower portion of your hierarchy of needs has been met because
now you can work on concepts like self-actualization beyond
just worrying about your next meal?
of you out there in cyberspace have an opinion on this?
me know by email or the rants
and raves form!
Please, I’m dying for
some art related discussion.
Well, I haven't been writing much. I guess that's because
I haven't been doing anything that creative for awhile. This
past weekend the weather reminded me of the fall in Nebraska.
We used to go for drives in the country. We'd stop on little
bridges and have a contest over who could find the most empty
gun shell casings. I went for a walk with my friend Jennifer
Brown and it reminded me so much of home for some reason.
originally from O'Neill Nebraska, population around 3,000. My
dad still lives there. He used to take us out shooting in the
fall; we never hunted but we'd do target practice with all kinds
of different guns. He used to go to a lot of gun shows and did
some trading for awhile…we had some pretty intense semi-automatic
guns for awhile there.
I digress, this is supposed to be an artist's blog, and truth
be told I haven't been very artistic lately. I have been dreaming
about charcoal drawings lately but that's about it. In the dreams,
the whole focus of the drawings are on the light shining on
the lids of eyes shaped like almonds, something very Modigliani-esqu,
one of my all time favorite artists. In fact, I'll go ahead
and list the artists who have had the biggest influence on me.
Ten Favorite Visual Artists (historical)
always been a huge fan of the Fauves. I love his use of color
and the simplicity of his lines. I am particularly impressed
with his paper
got to see a museum of his works in Nice on the French Riviera
when I was around 18 or 19 years old. I also got to see some
of his stained glass windows of bible scenes. It really blew
love the elongation of the figures and the almond shaped eyes.
I love how he would overlay colors in an extreme fashion, like
red over green in the flesh tones.
(Eugene-Henri) Paul His
paintings made me want to move to an Island and get syphalis.
love him for his subject matter.
loved his figures and the fact he used gold and silver paint.
really related to this man when I was in college. I think I
was generally a pretty depressed person.
love the way this man did hands. Also, that he braved tabo subject
matter. I always admire those who can tackle subject matter
that many shy away from.
always admired her for her bravery and her activism. She was
a huge infulence to me as a printmaker. I ofen wish that I tackled
bigger issue with my art, as she did.
Ludwig Kirchner I
did a reproduction of one of his wood block prints when I was
in art school. I loved the way it turned out. His charachters
always seem kind of hip yet dangerous. I have been told often
that my work is reminicent of the German and Austrian expressionists
and I take that as a big compliment.
I had a chance to work on Kite Club for awhile this week and
I'm pretty happy with the results so far. I still have a long
ways to go but I've burned a first draft to DVD and shown a
few people who liked it more or less. I plan to work on it some
more this weekend now that I've finally finished up the CD ROMs
for the Distance class I teach. Thank God!
I had a
nice talk on the phone tonight with my dad. He's very cool...it
made me miss him. I can't wait to go home for the hollidays and
see my whole family. Speaking of which, my 4 sisters and I are planing
a big sisters only vacation next summer but so far we can't agree
on anything.I just want to lay on a beach somewhere and get some
sun and maybe do some sailing but they want to go on a carribean
cruise which would cost me a lot to get there from Alaska etc. I
am so broke these days, I don't think my married sisters get the
fact that I have to pay my mortgage on my own. Oh well, we'll see.
else going on in the art department. Except I'm working on my costume
for halloween. I'd like to learn how to make real
prosthetic face pieces from foam latex and get some professional
grade movie make-up but I don't have the money or time to wait
for it to get here. I'll probably have to settle for paper mache
I took a break for a week because I've been so behind
in everything. This weekend I had a chance to do some work around
the house, yard work mostly, pruning the big cottonwood trees in
the back that tend to grow so huge every summer they start blocking
out my view of the channel.
done much in the way of creativity lately, too busy with work. I
did meet the new TA in the ceramics department. He was doing research
on kiln technology. It reminded me of how insanely addicted to ceramics
I used to be. So I have added a new
gallery for some of the hand built ceramics I did when
I took classes in Anchorage with Lisa Conway from around 1995-1998.
I wish I would have taken more slides. That's one thing I'm always
kicking myself for, I've only taken slides of a few pieces because
someone else was shooting and offered to let me do mine at the same
time. The majority of the works I've done in clay are, like my printmaking
pieces, long gone.
remind me that I'd like to get back into that sometime...possibly
get my own small electric kiln and electric wheel too. Or at least
I can dream about that.
By the way,
I hope you like the halloween photo I added to the home page. I'm
the one in the middle between my two older sisters Diane and Traci.
(I have two younger sisters too, Jenny and Kelly)
Last night I did some more editing of the photos I took of the
tidal plains. I came up with one that looks realy good. I then used one
of PhotoShops artistic filters to tweak it a bit more. I like the stylized
way it turned out quite a bit so today I'm going to do apainting
of it on one of my wood panels.
Driving home from work tonight (2nd night shift in a row) I saw
the northern lights shining out over the mountains. It's interesting that
I've seen the lights hundreds of times probably, but every time I see them
I feel so excited. My pulse starts to race, it's like magic. I never get
tired of it. And the weather has been so clear and crisp and fantastic lately,
it was the perfect end to a perfect stretch of fall days.
I've never been interested in "Alaskana" art,
or "Fish, fur and feathers" as it's sometimes referred to...but
the longer I live in Alaska (over 15 years now if you can believe it!)
the more difficult I find it to not be influenced by the amazing beauty
all around me. For example, a couple days ago the fall leaves were
at their peak. They don't get as spectacular here as some places, but
there was this view driving home to Douglas, that blew my mind.
were the most intense yellow, and the wetlands were also fields of
bright yellow, almost orange, then there was the blue of
the channel, and the black mountains frosted with termination dust,
and above it all, a sky with just a hint of purple to it. I just couldn't
believe anything could look so perfect. And now tonight, those lights
dancing above the mountains; I really can't imagine living anywhere
Fiends I had an idea tonight for some jewelry that I make (inspired
from something Feebee was wearing). I like painting on
and I was thinking I could get some small pieces and
paint my nudes on them and make them into necklaces for Christmas presents.
If the weather is this beautiful tomorrow I'll go beach combing and
see what I can find. I guess it goes to show you that you'll never
know what random image could potentially inspire you.
got in my new Adobe Professional Video Editing Collection software
yesterday. It has Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, and Encore
DVD. I can't wait to get it installed and start working on editing
I'm spending the day helping with our next project which is a rockumentary
spoof somewhat like "This is Spinal Tap". The script is good and
it should be pretty funny. I'm not sure what I'll be doing exactly.
I'd like to get some experience behind one of the cameras but it's
not my project so I'll have to see what the director needs me to
yesterday was an amazing day outside. Perfect fall weather.
I ended up taking down my main sail for the season. Always
a sad thing for me to do but I felt I should take advantage
the dry weather so I don't have a soggy sail drying out in
my living room like last season.
got another long distance phone call Saturday night from Rod
Remily, one of my best friends and former roommate from college.
He's studying wine making in Northern California now. It was
great getting caught-up with him. He's so funny, we ended up
laughing the entire time, which was a nice break from work.
I found out he and Edwin Osowski were planning on coming down
to Juneau to suprise me this summer but the plans fell through
at the last minute because Rod couldn't get the time off from
work. I love suprises but I would have been embarassed if my
place were trashed or something when they showed up. They are
going to try again at some point so I'll have to be better at
keeping things tidy just in case.
found out from Rod that he still has one of my favorite prints
that I gave him years ago called "Nostalgia". I never
took slides of my work when I was in art school and now I have
no record of all the work I did growing up and during my university
days. He's going to take a slide of it for me, which is very
cool. Here is a tip for any artist still in school: TAKE SLIDES!
Do it right away, learn how to do them properly, using tungsten
bulbs, a light kit, and the proper film. You may not think so
now but you'll kick yourself later on. There are so many pieces
I've done floating around out there unsigned, unrecorded, that
I've forgotten all about. I'd love to be able to see them all
today and see how my style has changed over time etc. but they
are long gone.
that's another thing, get into the habit of signing your work.
I always forget to do that and then you have people calling
you up after the fact asking you to do it and anyway, if your
name is on the front of the piece and they have it hanging somewhere
it's good for getting your name out there.
also went running this weekend, yes, running! I like to go out
on the Treadwell historic trail. I went exploring too, and walked
around in some of the old buildings left over from the mining
days. It was creepy but kind of cool.
another note, I bought the Adobe video editing bundle from Creation
Engine and it should be coming in any day now. Then I can start
editing the Kite Club footage. I've watched it and aside from
a few scenes, it looks great. Still a lot of post work to do
but it should be a lot of fun.
going to use my new skills at burning data CDs to put the project
that I did with Emily Wall and Alexis Easly, into a webpage
for CD distribution, since Alexis doesn't want some of her poems
on the web. I'm excited to do this so we can then send the CD
to possible publishers for our book project. I'm going to make
a funky CD label for it and everything.
yes, just found out the David Walker, one of my closest friends
in the world, just passed the bar exam in Maine. Congratulations
D! I'm so proud of you.
another amazing friend, Emily Wall, is getting her first book
of poetry published "Freshly Rooted". I remember having
lunch with her maybe 3 years ago, and she had her manuscript
and she wasn't sure about trying to get it published...maybe
she'd been rejected from a few publishers and was feeling dejected...but
I told her to keep on trying, that the poems were fantastic
and that she just needed to find the right publisher. And she
kept trying, and now she's published poems all over the place
AND is having her first book published with is so very cool.
I'll be able to say I knew her when.
Rick called tonight, I forgot that we had planned to drink a
bottle of wine over the phone. We ended up talking for 5 hours
straight! It was so much fun, to talk with someone who really
knows me and all my various psychological disorders and still
loves me. OK, I'll admit it, I'm a little buzzed, we drank maybe
more than a bottle of wine each and I didn't have a chance to
eat dinner before he called, but it's not just the wine talking.
I have really missed him since he moved out. It's hard for me
to even envision what his life is like in DC. We don't see each
other everyday like in the past. We have experiences outside
of the two of us so we don't have all the same frames of reference
as in the past, but it's still Rick...and he still knows me
better than anyone. I realize how much I've missed that living
in Juneau. I don't have anyone here who I really connect with
in the same way.
about art, creativity, teaching, books,films, life in general. We
talked about our best friends from college, Sean Hannigan and
Jenni Williams, who are married to each other and live in Baltimore
a 45 minute drive from Rick. Talking about them made me so nostalgic.
I miss them all so much. It was always so invigorating hanging
out with a group of intelectual artists and writers, drinking
wine, maybe have a few smokes...I really wish I had that here.
I do have
a lot of creative outlets here but I don't have the same group of
creative bohemians to hang out with and plot against the "man".
Maybe that's just a part of getting older. Oh well, Rick and I have
agreed to talk every other week, to discuss books and films and just
to stay connected. This week he wants me to read Mrs. Dalloway,
by Virginia Woolfe, which I read when I was younger but I don't
remember all the details. I'm already looking forward to discussing
it with him.
My musical saw arrived on Thursday. It's so amazing.
At first I couldn't get it to sing, I could if I tapped it with
a wooden clay moulding tool but not with the cello bow.
So, I started watching the instructional video and even
though I have a tenor saw the video is geared towards
an alto, I've still been able to get a huge range out of it,
I'd say two octives! I'm learning how to play "Some where
Over the Rainbow" which sounds pretty cool. Osiris is
spooked by the sound the saw makes but I love it, I can
feel the sound waves vibrating. It's just as wonderful
as I'd hoped it would be. Hear a short sample of my first
few notes on the musical
another note, I took all the photos of my sister's soaps
and lotions today. I had the nice black velvet back drop
set up and spent over an hour adjusting the lights to eliminate
hot spots from the plastic bottles. The end results look
pretty professional though I wasn't able to open them in
PhotoShop because the digital camera I'm using saved to a
floppy disk and my computer doesn't have a floppy drive.
So I'll have to wait until Monday to play around with them.
will hopefully be able to remove the
black back drop from the final results using the background
eraser in PhotoShop. Then I'll add a drop shadow and it
should look pretty cool.
night I watched the tapes from the Kite Club shoot. For the
most part it looked pretty good. There was one scene where
the lighting looked terrible. It was all yellow, and unfortunately
it's in the middle of a back and forth scene, wo the other
person's lighting doesn't have the same color at all. I
remember commenting on the lighting being too harsh for that
shot but I was convinced by someone working on the lighting
that it was necessary. Next time I'm going to be more asertive
when I direct a project and make sure I get the scene the
way I want it. Maybe there's a way to fix it in Premiere.
also watched a really bad movie last night called "Darkness
Falls". It wasn't that scary but it still gave me nightmares.
It's ironic that I LOVE scary movies but now that I live
alone I wonder if it's such a good idea to watch so many
of them. Another really bad movie I've watched recently
was "The Core". It had promise but the task of suspending
disbelief became impossible very early on. too bad.
I'll spend working on LS193. Today was nice though, for
the first time in weeks I took a day off from work, slept
in, and spent the whole day doing things I wanted to do.
Last night we had a dinner for three new freshman students
called "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" where faculty and
staff take new student out to eat. The students were actually
of fun. Last year I had a really dull time but last night
was actually fun.
So, my sister sent me a bunch of the lotions and soaps that she
makes. They are starting to look really professional. I
am going to photograph them this weekend and post them
on her website. Today I finished the first set of CD-ROMs
for LS193 and got them in the mail. YEAH, now I won't be
quite so stressed out and can do some actual painting this
So, I've been making some changes on the website to make it
a little more fun. When I first created the site, I wanted it
to look and feel professional. I wanted my art to be taken seriously.
The truth is though, it wasn't a reflection of what I'm really
like...so I've decided to just be me. People will either like
the work or not.
Photoshop has been a lot of fun. I should have been working
on finishing up the class I start teaching on the 23rd, but
instead I spent the majority of the weekend playing around with
filters in Photoshop, and working on projects like making wallpaper
and my funky self portrait as the King of England. I added a
few new sections as well.
First of all, I'm letting this blog replace the formal "Statement"
I had up originally, which didn't say much anyway. I also started
another page for posting daily aids to fight against creative
blocks. These types of things will make this site more fun for
me personally and so I'll use it more as a creative tool and
not just a link to include on my artist resume.
watched a terrible movie last night called "Dark Side of the
Sun" which appeared to be one of Brad Pitt's earliest movies.
However, during one scene you could see part of a painting on
the wall in the background; it looked very abstract, really
interesting…so I sketched it out. When the camera pulled pack
it turned out to be a huge photograph of a woman, I was just
seeing a small fraction of it. But I liked the way the sketch
turned out. It seems everything I see anymore makes me want
to start a new painting.
night driving home over the Gastineau bridge to Douglas Island
there were all of these ravens sitting on the curved lamp posts
that line the bridge. This happens a lot but for some reason
it struck me as more interesting last night and I had to pull
over and sketch those as well. I seem to go through these phases
where I become almost overwhelmed by sensory overload. I should
take advantage of it while it lasts.
want to do something today as sort of a memorial for 9/11. But
not necessarily about the event itself, but more of what's left
of our country because this happened. I taught a class this
morning and I used a quote by Benjamin Franklin to demonstrate
how to do a phrase search in Google:"They, who give up
essential freedoms for a little security, deserve neither security
harder to do images of complex ideas, but I'd like to give it
a try. Do somthing a little more subversive than my colorful
nudes. I'm thinking collage might be the appropriate medium,
although I saw a wonderful video piece on the Sundance Online
Film Festival's site for 2003 called "9/11 Redux"
about media coverage of the event. It's awesome!
friend of mine, David Noon, is giving a lecture tomorrow night
titled “Operation Enduring Nostalgia: WWII, the War on
Terror, and the Abuse of Historical Memory”. I'm excited
to go. I hope that people from the community come to it so he's
not just preaching to the quire.
Recently I've been feeling upset that I don't have
a show coming up. I've had exhibits during Gallery Walk in December
for the past two years in a row and I miss having a deadline
to work towards. I want to work on a couple of my smaller panel
pieces this coming weekend, Even take some of my medium sized
panels and cut them into 4 or 6 pieces, and do small experimental
works that I can then frame and take around town to various
local galleries. There may still be one out there looking for
work to display in December.
going to concentrate on the likes and dislikes theme. On the
likes theme I have "playing the musical saw, watching the channel
through a spy glass, smelling the spices in my spice rack, lying
awake in bed (reading?) with a sleeping cat on my lap, listening
to the wind blowing through leaves, etc.
may not actually get to the dislikes as they make less visually
pleasing pieces and are hard to capture visually but some possiblities
- scooping kitty litter, huge American flags flying from the
back of big trucks with gun racks, Donald Rumsfeld (and the
whole Bush administration), sudden over-use of a single word
or phrase by the media, such as "salacious" or "the
terrorist will have won" or "winning the hearts and
Today I looked up my web page in Google and noticed
this site has been added to the Google web directory as a catagory
under figurative art. I submitted it a long time ago and forgot
about it. Unfortunately it doesn't actually show up on the page
it's listed under, but maybe that's coming. I know I need to
do a lot of work to make this site more interesting because
web development is one area of creativity that I need to spend
more time with. For example, now that my server allows streaming
video, I may want to do something with that. I'm also learning
how to create with Flash. So hopefully I'll be able to spice
this site up a bit in the near future.
sister Jenny needs me to help her design a site for her bath
and body type business too. I'm going to design some logos and
lables for her soaps and lotions etc. I never thought I'd enjoy
graphic design but I'm findng that as I get older I'm worried
less about how we define creative processes and just enjoying
whatever I feel like doing, without feeling like a sell out.
I'm watching Amelie by Jean-Pierre Junet who is my all-time
favorite director. His earlier and much darker film "Delicatessen"
is what inspired me to learn how to play the musical saw. One
thing I can't help doing when I watch a film is see each scene
as a series of stills. I often find inspiration for paintings
from movies and have used imagery from films like "Birdy",
"Before the Rain", "Brazil" and "Bladerunner"
(hmmm, all b titled movies).
has so many amazing images, all of which would make wonderful
subjects for paintings. One thing I like in the movie is that
every time they introduce a character they show a series of
images describing their likes and dislikes. I particularly like
an image of Amelie skipping stones on a river.
wonder if I could reduce my likes and dislikes into a series
of 8 images. Four likes, four dislikes. I'm still working on
my tidal plains series which I'm doing on driftwood, but I'm
going to start a few new paintings today, this will make a good
project for the oil on panel idea I had of first doing the painting
in stiff gesso and then in an oil wash. Now comes the hard part
of deciding what four things I like and what four things I dislike.
So, yesterday I went to my friend Lea's art opening at the Juneau
Arts and Humanities Council Gallery. It looked great. Also went
to the final showing at the Empire Gallery. I'm so bummed it's
going away, I plan to write a letter to the Empire begging them
saw a nice piece that was oil on panel and it reminded me of
how I want to paint my next panel piece...not the subject matter,
but the fact they used the texture from the way they applied
the gesso to the panel for their final affect. I want to paint
a figure using white gesso only, leaving heavy brush marks,
and then paint over the embossed brushwork with oils that haven't
been diluted with white or other mediums.
Today was the big day for the Kite Club shoot. I was so nervous
last night I couldn't sleep; I kept obsessing about all the
things that could go wrong. In the end, we did miss a few things,
a cut-away shot here, a line there, but for the most part we
got everything more or less then way I envisioned it. It's great
having a crew to help out but it was also frustrating at times
because I didn't really have the final say on anything. There
were times I thought the shot looked great but we had to do
it over again because someone else wasn't happy with the lighting
or the audio. I need to learn to be more patient.
ironic because I'm such a perfectionist when it comes to other
mediums...oils, ceramics, photography, music etc. For some reason
with this project I was just all worked up about getting through
all the scenes. To be honest I thought there was no way we'd
have enough time. Plus there were all these extenuating circumstances,
like not knowing exactly where we were going to shoot half the
scenes and having to get certain shots while we had extras and
before it got dark out.
the end we wrapped by 6:30pm...a new club record! I still have
a ton of post production work to do, including all the voice
overs and one establishing shot. I have a feeling it will be
a long time before I have a rough cut to show the group. Overall
it was a great learning experience. All I know is that I love
doing it and I want to keep doing it as much as possible. Everyone
in the group will have a shot at doing a project so it might
be a year or more before my turn comes around again but I think
I'm going to do some independent work in the mean time...or
at least be working on new scripts etc.
going to work on finishing up the new class I start teaching
in less than two weeks, work on my paintings for the All Alaska
Juried Show, and THEN start on the Kite Club post. Now I'm off
to sleep where visions of kite string will dance in my head.
Last night was a lot of fun. I met another friend of Heather's
named Tony. She was very interesting and fun to work with. We
rag painted yellow stripes on the walls of the room that will
be the bedroom in the play. It took a lot longer than we thought
it would. As we were painting we nick named ourselves "three
women on the rag". It was funny because it grossed out
the guys. We listened to mixed tapes Heather made with very
eclectic songs like "Gypsies Tramps and Thieves" and
the theme music from the Dating Game - among others.
taught me interesting trivia about stage lighting, like what
a foot candle is and how the term "lime light" got
its name. (New lighting used Lye for creating stage spot lights
and it gave people a greenish cast). He also told me about a
new guitar sheet music archive I'm going to check out.
tried to help me figure out how to play my saw but he thinks
the metal is too thick and doesn't allow it to bend easily enough.
So I guess I'll need to get one specifically designed for playing.
All the people I've met at Perseverance have been so great to
work with. I'm glad I'm doing this even though I don't have
the time for it.
weekend Holly Keen and I are going to a fund raiser for the
Juneau Arts and Humanities Council...it's a sing-along at the
movie theater for The Sound of Music. I can't wait!
So, the meeting for Kite Club was held last night and I feel
better about it now that I know there will be several group
members who are committed to helping out with it, and also because
nobody thought (or at least they didn't tell me to my face)
that the project sucked.
still a little anxious because I'm not sure if I have a place
to film either the fight scene or the grubby interior scene...which
is not good since that's basically the whole shoot. I did call
someone in scheduling out here at the university to see about
using the new pavilion but they haven't responded yet. Keeping
the old fingers crossed.
meeting was fun, lots of laughing- my favorite.
I have to go back to Perseverance for some more stage painting.
I'm feeling burnt out after teaching 4 straight sessions for
New Student Orientation but I guess I have to do it. blah. I
often bite off more than I can chew, not a good thing.
good friend of mine here in town, Lea Vose, is having an opening
next Friday (Sept. 5th) at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council
Gallery. I'm really looking forward to it. Her style is similar
to mine except her nudes are males and not females, and hers
seem to sale better than mine. sniff sniff.
get over it.
Just finished the storyboard for kite club. Still needs a lot
I volunteered to work at Perseverance Theater painting stage
props awhile back and today was the first time they took me
up on it. Turns out the artist in charge of the project is an
old friend of Rick's and mine. We practiced life drawing together
at "Pig Day Studios" in Anchorage. It was cool to
see her again although it took us awhile to place each other.
until 10:30 painting huge wooden blocks to look like the kind
children play with, with numbers and animals painted on them.
They turned out pretty good.
go back Thursday night to help her with graining the fake wood
floor, and to do the walls etc. It's fun seeing the "behind
the scenes" aspect of the theater. Also, she's just moved
to Juneau but already seems to know more local artists than
I do. Hopefully I'll have the chance to meet some more creative
types. Eric, a stage manager, is going to help me get my musical
saw singin. yehaw!
Last night while staring at the ceiling I had a few more ideas.
I was thinking about the FDA’s food pyramid and how I
believe it’s responsible for the outbreak of obesity in
this country. Low fat/high carb diets are being proven ineffective
and counterproductive for weight loss. I feel kind of pissed
that all these years I’ve struggled with my weight while
eating what I was told was the healthy way to go, when the studies
proving otherwise have been around for 30 years!
done a few sketches of some sculptures, originally they were
going to be life sized but now I think that would cost too much.
I’m thinking now to make miniature sculptures of hugely
overweight, incredibly angry people, carved or molded from various
low-fat and high carb foods, like white rice, bread, bagels,
idea I had was just a title for a book I’m writing. It’s
a series of short stories that have reoccurring characters so
it reads more like a novel. Anyway, I’ve been trying to
decide on a name for the longest time and I’ve just come
up with one “Never Married, Never Had Kids”. It’s
a term you hear all the time as a summation for someone’s
life who “tragically” remained a bachelor or singleton
their whole lives. I think it would be a fitting title for this
particular book. I checked in WorldCat and there don’t
appear to be any other books published with that title so that’s
Last night I had another idea for a children's book called Fat
Cat. I looked up the title in WorldCat and there are a few books
with that title already so I may change the title to something
like "Miss Wiggle's Fat Cat". This character is an
overweight woman who becomes fixated on her cat's weight problem
because she can't get a handle on her own.
going to use my own cat Lemoni as the model for the illustrations.
I'm pretty excited about it, although the story is still in
its infancy. I've done a loose story board but I still have
to make some decisions like what age group to make this for,
whether or not to rhyme (I'm thinking rhythm but not rhyme)
and what kind of illustrations to go for. I've already written
a couple of sample pages, I'll actually post them to this blog
I work them out.
another note, I forgot to clean out my paint brushes again.
I found them under the dry rack. I had put some dish soap on
them to keep the oil from drying but it just created a gunky
nasty mess. Thankfully my order from Dick Blick came in last
week so not all is lost.
I sold a painting to two years ago contacted me by email and
asked me if I could sign their painting. I was flattered and
actually drove over to their house last night to sign it. I
used Prussian blue oil paint and signed in the lower right hand
corner, but something about the placement of the signature has
left me irritated. I feel like in ran too closely to the right
hand border. It's weird but I keep obsessing about it. I generally
don't like to sign my work on the front but I keep getting asked
to do it so I better figure out a better way of doing it. I
swear, this is going to give me nightmares.
August 19th 2003
What I need to decide for my current series on tidal flats is
whether to do the paintings on panel, carved driftwood, or driftwood
layered with carved modeling paste. So far I can't seem to decide.
I'm not sure if the 35mm photos I took of the tidal plains turned
out or not. Need to get the film developed eventually.
Also, next week is the meeting with the video club to work on
my short video "Kite Club". I still have no formal
screenplay, locations for my shoot, the majority of roles are
unfilled, and the storyboard is very juvenile. I need to get
my %@!!@$ together.