Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Show Stopper


I had some technical difficulties with one of the pieces I'm planning on hanging at the library show tomorrow (the one printed on piano paper, from a previous post), so I spent a little while this afternoon trying to fix it. I've got my fingers crossed that it will hold up for the month long exhibit...

I went to a new business tax class yesterday and learned all about how to collect state sales tax. It took some of the mystery out of all that tax stuff, so it looks like I'm one step closer to starting a business. Other than that and getting ready for the show, I've been in my sketchbooks constantly. I'm starting to lose some of that tightness and the attitude that everything in those books is so precious, so now I'm able to be more experimental and have more fun with it. I can't see myself getting tired of working in this format for quite a while.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Olympic Withdrawal


I'm watching the closing ceremonies, and I miss the Olympics already. I guess I don't hate sports after all, just team sports. I like the plight of the individual. The Olympics is basically sports for people with short attention spans, like me. I've gotten so used to watching the events every night, but next week it's back to bad network TV. I guess I'll be watching a lot of DVDs.

On Friday, I went to an art opening then exhanged studio visits with one of the new ceramics grads, which was really great. We also traded a bunch of stuff, and there's nothing better than having new art in the house! I am totally in love with the new sculptures I've just acquired. I taught part two of a two part altered book workshop this Saturday, then I met up with Cassie and her fiance to get ice cream, yum. Other than that, I am just getting ready for a show I'm hanging on Wednesday at the public library, and I've been addicted to drawing/painting in the new sketchbook I just started. I'm working in it in a reverse manner - doing all the filling of the sketchbook before I do the binding. It's a different way of working that I haven't attempted in a while, and I've really been enjoying it. It creates a very different book than one that has been bound and worked in the traditional way.

In the background, I can hear the sounds of a band that rehearses nearby. That would normally annoy me, but my neighbors and I agree that the band is actually pretty good, so we don't mind it. They rehearse constantly - their dedication is definitely admirable.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Of Pirates and Personal Possessions


This week's Photo Friday assignment was "Masculine," and what could be more masculine than a pirate against a backdrop of rust? I also considered taking a picture of my toilet with the seat up, but I decided that this pirate figurine was more photogenic than a toilet. I got the figurine when I was really little at the Florida Turnpike. They used to have coin machines where you'd pay 50 cents to watch plastic pour into a mold and create your figurine right before your eyes. I miss those machines. Do they still exist anywhere? I love that they actually print the word "turnpike" on each of the statues...

I've been drawing in my sketchbooks so much lately that I haven't done any of the things I actually should be doing (planning my Saturday altered book class, packing and mailing stuff I sold on eBay...). I also got to go to a great estate sale with a friend, and we talked about the strangeness of estate sales and seeing a stranger's entire house opened up for all to see - and purchase. They even had files of the couple's personal papers for sale, one of the folders being marked "insurance." Is it really okay to sell that stuff? It makes you think about your own possessions a little more than normal after going to a sale like that.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Sound of Paper


I'm thinking of sitting outside today with my sketchbooks and drawing for a couple of hours. It will be the first time I've cleaned off that porch furniture in quite a while... When I took a sketchbook class in college, my problem was always drawing too fast and too loosely. My teacher was always telling me to slow it down, to concentrate more and do some contour drawings. Now I think my problem is that I am too tight and too slow when I sketch, too aftraid of messing up, and I think it's because I haven't worked in these books for so long. I need to try to find that happy medium between the two.

We stretched screens yesterday in silkscreen class, and I think the students really liked it. It was something very different from our usual classes, and it was actually really fun for a change. There is just something about the sense of accomplishment you gain after making something with your hands, and the product: a brand new screen, is pretty gratifying too.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Parties, a Flea Market, and a Concert


I've been a busy girl these past couple of days. A party on Friday night. A party on Saturday night. A flea market early, early Monday morning. A concert on Monday night.

I had a studio visit on Friday with one of my former teachers, and it was really great to get her feedback and suggestions for my work. It's so nice of her to come over and do that even though I've already finished school. Now I have tons of new things to think about both concept-wise and aesthetically as I'm making new work. Her enthusiasm about a body of work that I had kind of set aside gave me a new perspective on those pieces and made me want to go back into them and really work with them again. I don't know how long those pieces might have stayed on the back burner had she not been so interested in them.

I woke up incredibly early on Monday to go to the flea market with my dad, and I didn't come away with much, just a few small things. There just wasn't that much good stuff for sale, and the things that were good were very overpriced. It was still fun to see all of that old stuff, nonetheless. That, and we got to have lunch at Bob Evans, which we don't have in Gainesville, so that was kind of a treat. They have killer bread at Bob Evans.

The Fiery Furnaces concert on Monday night was a bit of a disappointment, because they speeded up and punked up all of their songs, and it really didn't sound anything like the cool, keyboardy, experimental music on their CDs. Not that I want bands to sound exactly like their CDs in concert, but this was a little too different to be that enjoyable. But it's always nice to see live music and to get to see what the singers you've liked for years look like in person. Wes and I both agreed that that opening band, Deadboy and the Elephantmen, sounded better than The Fiery Furnaces.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Baby Oh Baby


I decided to participate in Photo Friday for the first time this week, what with my new blog and webspace. At first I was stumped as to how I'd get a photo of a baby since I, um, don't have one. Then I remembered I had these two crazy baby heads, found at an auction last November (along with a bunch of other crazy stuff). If you haven't seen the Photo Friday website yet, definitely check it out: weekly photo assignments and the results. It kind of reminds me of Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher's fantastic website, Learning to Love You More. I should try to do one of those assignments one of these days... (By the way, has anyone seen Miranda July's awesome movie "Me and You and Everyone We Know?")

Speaking of things that have been inspiring me lately, I saw this book at Borders the other day and was jealous I didn't think of it first... As a twist on the whole mail art thing, the author asked complete strangers to anonymously send their secrets to him on a postcard. This book is the result.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Curtsey


This is a detail shot of part of a very long piece I did on paper mounted to wood. When I finished it last night, I wasn't sure I liked it, but this morning it suddenly looked a lot better to me. It's funny how much your perspective can shift over night.

Yesterday I was spoiled with good food and good company: lunch with Lauren at Satchel's and dinner with Cassie at the Swamp. Today, I'm carless again and stuck at home. At least there's a lot to do here... I'm trying to figure out what my next moves in the studio will be. I started working on another set of older wood pieces that I never finished during my last semester of school. I'm thinking it will be more silkscreening and painting on wood for me today. Most of it is discarded wood from the scrap piles at school, lots of interesting shapes and textures to work with.

I updated my profile too, so now it actually says stuff!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Graining


This is my birch plywood piece in progress. I'm not really sure where it will go from here, but I have a few different ideas. I haven't had a chance to work on it as much as I would have liked to yet today, since I ended up breaking one of my dining room chairs this morning (due to it being too old, not due to me being too heavy...). So most of my time was spent taking the chair apart the rest of the way and cleaning up the ensuing mess. There was disintegrated particle board and rusty staples all over my kitchen floor this afternoon, enough to qualify this as a domestic disaster. I took a break from it by going on a "nature walk" around the pond by my place. I saw two yellow-bellied slider turtles sunning themselves together on a rock, very cute.

In other news, I'm currently selling another one of those cash cows Blythe dolls from the 1970's again this week. It's about time. It blows my mind that people will pay so much (upwards of $2000.00) for these things that are really not that old. I would take a true antique from the 19th century any day over this chunk of plastic. So far it's only at $200-something, but it's still got many days to go until it ends, and I'm thinking there will be lots of bids in the last few seconds... There are currently FIFTY TWO (!) people watching it on their My eBay Watched Items page. I hope they aren't just spectators and will actually bid.

I worked on the look of this blog a bit last night: added my own banner and changed some font colors, etc. And I also ammended my comment section so anyone can post comments now, not just people registered on Blogger. So post away! (Please...) I'm going to start working in my studio for a couple hours right about now.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day


Ink, pencil, gesso, and goache.

I also started working again on these old pieces had I started on birch plywood during my last semester of school but never finished. I'll post pictures of my progress tomorrow. It's been a slow process of painting along the grain using contact paper cut outs as a resist. I think I will add some more silkscreens to it at some point too.

I taught my first non-adhesive bookbinding workshop this past weekend, which is a brand new class for me. I was worried about it since it was new for me, but everything went smoothly, and it was actually really fun to teach. We made a Japanese stab binding and another exposed spine stitch. My students were really interesting people too, so that always makes for a good class.

In my silkscreen class today, we're printing our first t-shirts of the semester: always exciting. I debated about whether or not to do a demo, but these kids are already so good at printing, I don't think they'll even need it. I'm just going to work with everybody one-on-one. Plus, two more demos would mean printing two new shirts for me, and I just don't need yet another set of t-shirts silkscreened by me for me!