Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

I created this piece last Summer during an afternoon intro to encaustics class at the 100th Monkey Studio. I had a lot of fun learning a new technique and just playing around with the materials they had available there. It seems appropriate to post this today in honor and appreciation of my loving husband who is a better father to our son than I could have ever hoped for. The illustration is a bit silly, I tore it out of an old children's book. But, it reminds me of the devoted involvement that I see in my husband everyday. 'Pitch and catch' at the park, chess games, bedtime stories, tickle wars and puzzles on the floor. . . and that was just today! We are grateful for the love in our lives and feel very blessed.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Just do it!

"First Thursday", "First Friday", "Last Thursday" -there are so many opportunities to see some great art in this town! I keep telling myself I'm going to get out more, SEE more . . . DO More! But it's so hard to push myself out the door. I'm lazy, antisocial and frankly a little intimidated. But when I do bite the bullet and head out into the world, I am usually rewarded with a great sense of fulfillment. It's a charge that fires me up and feeds my hungry soul!

On Friday night, Julie and I ventured out to see the art opening of a friend-of-a-friend. It was fun to discover The Bite Studio. Great work there! We really enjoyed etchings of Shawn Demarest and were intrigued by the block prints of Cameron Thomson. We recommend that you check it out. While we were there, we were told about an art 'Happening' near by. So we hightailed it over to The Store for a Month, (on the corner of SE 12th & Division). How FUN! 60 artists working together to create 'products' to sell in the store for a month. I love it! I love the transient nature of it, (the sign is made out of cardboard!). It felt to me like a bunch of legitimate and pretty respectable local artists letting their hair down and goofing off. I appreciate the reminder that art does NOT have to be stuffy or even serious. It feels good when its playful! So for a good time, go to The Store for a Month -you might even get lucky and score a piece of pie!

I am for an art that takes its form from the lines of life itself, that twists and extends and accumulates and spits and drips, and is heavy and coarse and blunt and sweet and stupid as life itself. -Claes Oldenburg
An excerpt from his 1961 manifesto: I am for an art …

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Urban Foraging

This is what I found on the street today. I call it 'Urban Foraging'. Some of the items I found while biking to and from my son's school. That's why I like biking; it's up close and personal with the trash on the street! Everything is so much more accessible. But walking is really the best way to experience the environment. Things come into a sharper focus when you are in direct contact with the landscape. What might have been just a blur in a car or a sparkling spec from a bike is actually a crunched bottle cap with an intriguing graphic. It's easy to miss it, most people do. These things do not have the same appeal to others, but they inspire me. I actually get excited when I find a crushed piece of metal on the side of the road! I don't even know what I'm going to do with it yet but I know that I want to work with it. Cheap thrills! I'm even lucky enough to have a few friends who have started picking up garbage for me, (much to my husband's chagrin!). I think it's fun to motivate people to see things in a new way, to see the beauty in a mangled piece of metal in the gutter. I have a secret fantasy of stocking my studio with all of my collected odds and ends and recycled doodads -to create my own personal 'Scrap' store. It makes sense to collect it myself rather than buy it don't you think? My husband's not a collector. He says "buy it when you need it". I don't work that way. I need it first, then I will figure out what to do with it.

There is a certain intersection on my way to the grocery store where I have been noticing what seems to be the debris from a car crash that must have happened there a few weeks ago. Today, I finally pulled the car over to get a closer look. I couldn't resist any longer, the thought of finding some good pieces was too tantilizing! It felt a little creepy to be exploring the scene of an accident, but I did score a few dinged up 'auto remains'.

Now if only I knew how to weld!