Wednesday, September 30, 2009

she will eat you alive...

A new sketchbook page inspired by the carnivorous plants at the San Francisco Conservancy of Flowers...

Snippets of Nature


San Francisco:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Experimenting with Textures

I taught a "Making Textures with Acrylics" workshop on Saturday and had SO much fun! Not only with the class day itself, but with the preparations...especially with making additional sample boards.

I put together some examples of textures made with basic gels... my inspiration was this recipe with High Solid Gel from the Golden website... which, when I gave it a shot, turned out like this:

It's a really easy recipe... High Solid Gel (Matte) + Iridescent Bronze + Palette knife control, add a dusting of Iridescent Pearl when the texture dries and you're done. I thought I'd branch off and try a variation... the same High Sold Gel (Matte) + Bronze mixture... but a different pattern with the palette knife, and a different set of colors to finish off the look. It turned into some faux-reptile skin technique that was really cool to play around with:

My support for these texture experiments was the 6x6 inch size of the Strathmore Acrylic Linen Canvas Paper...two thumbs up in terms of a strong base for heavy gels!!

P.S.: Minnesota and other Botanic photos next post!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Move.

First of all, I must say I cannot get enough of my Frank Sinatra radio station on! For those of you not familiar with Pandora, it's an online radio site where you can design your own stations...I usually keep my playlist on a mix of different types of stations, but the past week or so, the vocal stylings of Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, Fred Astaire and Harry Connick, Jr have been keeping my spirits alight. Their songs make me dance, which makes me smile, and the problems of the day dissolve to nothing.

This morning I got the keys to my new apartment. I loaded my car last night and this morning with the intent to take a load over to the new place when I picked up the keys...easy, right? My goal for the morning of unloading a car of stuff was impeded by these facts:

a) I helped my sister move on Sunday/Monday, so already my bones were weary and muscles sore

b) There's no easy parking situation... the "no parking" zone in the alley (right by the back door and quickest route to my new apartment) is best explored when you have someone to watch the car, and the meters demand $3 per HOUR (25 cents buys you a measly 5 minutes)

c) I was running very low on silver change, only had 2 dollars worth and kept having to refill the meter, realizing I would not have the hard currency to provide enough time to fully unload my car

d) It was a scorching 100 degrees in downtown LA...I was miserable and sweating profusely (my undershirt was damp the rest of the day, throughout my work day)

e) I was stubbornly doing all of this by myself.

I have no qualms about admitting I have a LOT of stuff. Here, see...

That is only a fraction of it. I have an abundance of art supplies (mostly for Golden), storage shelves on which to keep said supplies, plus loads of other art making tools and goodies. And I'm a girl, I have modest amount of clothes and shoes, bathroom supplies...and also storage devices that house these items. I have a big problem with burdening others with helping me move this stuff around... but can't really afford movers... so I try and move as much on my own as I can. I have a hard time accepting when I need to ask for help. But today was that day. After having a near meltdown, I knew I would not be able to tackle this obstacle alone.

My lovely friend Cecily gave me an hour of her time tonight and we finished emptying out my car... which really helped my sanity a lot, to see an empty car. It felt productive, things were looking up. Now it's almost 2am... I've packed up more things to prepare for more trips tomorrow. DWP is turning my power on tomorrow, so it's possible this night may be my last spent in this apartment. I can't say packing up my studio hasn't been a little sad... but I'm looking forward to the new change.

Leo has been really confused by all of his environmental changes... I'm pretty sure he's convinced I'm going to leave him here...

Many fun photos to share from my double wedding weekend in Minnesota... it's SO gorgeous there this time of year. Sunflower fields, little garden critters, warm sunshine and great company, the trip was too short! Images to come soon!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Double Whammy!

So, I have the fire under my butt to post more blogs ever since my last Golden lecture. I met such a wonderful group of ladies that encouraged me to keep maintaining my blog...I keep talking about it, but I really want to get back to posting more regularly here. I want to share stories of things that inspire me, paintings I'm making, new sample boards and supply tips for Golden, food and movie reviews...the WHOLE she-bang. Please stay tuned!

My double whammy title refers to a couple things... firstly, my two blogs in a night (!) but also some recent happenings in my home life.

My wonderful boyfriend (for future blog posts, his name is Justin) moved to San Francisco this month to start law school there. It's been a rough adjustment, as he lived not 3 blocks from me here in Silverlake and has become quite the partner in crime and confidante. Have no fear, we are staying the course and making the distance work, even though it's a challenge. My logic to make this transition smoother was to move somewhere else myself! The timing was right for me to leave my little studio here in Silverlake, so I decided to return to my old stomping ground...downtown LA.

I know, I know...for those of you who are familiar with downtown LA, it's not the most desirable place to live given the close proximity to skid row. BUT! I lived there my first year in LA, and I miss the sense of community and all the exciting things happening in the art scene there (and Raw Materials!). I found a loft...810 sq/ft...big enough for me to use for teaching classes and conducting workshops at home! Once I get things organized, I will be making postcards and advertising my home-studio workshop offerings! Have a peek at the new space:

I had huge anxieties at first about making this change... I'm leaving a lovely neighborhood and a huge backyard with plenty of nature (hummingbirds, butterflies,, skunks and coyotes, too). But I warmed up to this place pretty has a ton of space and is perfect for what I have planned with workshops. Words cannot express how thrilled I am now to move next week! I get the keys on the 26th!!

This weekend, also a double whammy, I am headed to Minnesota for not one, but TWO weddings. One Saturday in a gorgeous backyard garden and one Sunday with a masquerade reception (bring your own mask!), each for the unions of dear girlfriends. It's sure to be a lovely and inspiring trip...I will post photos when I return!

P.S.: Here's a new sketchbook's a study from Vogue magazine.

"Zen of the Button Box"

Back in early May, I made a long overdue trip to New York City to visit friends and deliver a commissioned painting series to its new home (Thanks Todd!). Between my day job, Golden events and a painting project to fill my free time, I hadn't found many moments to relax and refocus in quite awhile. When I arrived in Brooklyn I sought out on an adventure to find these moments and was pleasantly surprised to discover one inside a cozy little fabric store in Park Slope called fibernotion.

My mission on this trip was to support some of my favorite local businesses. I moved away from Brooklyn two years ago and miss so many of my old haunts, but I also enjoy finding new places that have popped up in the meantime! After dropping off my painting commission at its new home, I began wandering around, floating in and out of shops, snaking my way up 7th Avenue towards the Tea Lounge on Union St. As I turned down Union from 7th, I looked up and was met with a flash of color, fabrics, yarn, ribbons...and buttons. I had stumbled upon fibernotion, and joyously ventured inside the door.

Almost immediately I gravitated towards their button box. I'm attracted to and inspired by color, especially when I see the palette of colors I paint with grouped together somewhere. I thought that some of these buttons may be a good addition to some textile projects I'm cooking up, so I grabbed a little baggie and began to pick out a selection of buttons from the box...

As I stood there hunched over this button box, I experienced the most wonderful sense of calm. The stresses of the previous few months of work went away, I no longer heard cars outside or people around me and the world itself seemed to freeze still, as I raked my hands and fingers through the buttons, selecting small morsels of color to take home. When I filled my bag to the brim, I stood up and snapped to. I realized those 15-20 minutes had given me the most relaxing feeling I'd had in months. I felt refreshed. I thanked the lady at the counter and told her how blissful it was to sort through buttons...she said "We call that 'the Zen of the Button Box'". I smiled, chatted for a bit, took some photos of their store and made my purchase.

I kept looking at my little bag of buttons the rest of the day. I liked how I kept seeing new combinations of colors together as a shook up the bag. I began to pull creative inspiration from the bag itself...reminded by how lovely the experience was to put the bag together, I couldn't help but smile when I looked at it. When I returned to LA, I started putting the button bag in my purse, would take it to work and put it on my desk. It became something more than just a bag of buttons, and I knew I would never separate them from each other for my textile projects. Since the trip, I've used the bag as reference when I'm trying to think up colors for paintings...I shake the bag and look for relationships between colors and shapes, fragments of letters and subtle metallic glow. I like to tell people about my buttons...those of you who are creative types understand my attachment to them. They've become a symbol of good fortune, happiness...and zen :)

If you are in Park Slope, Brooklyn...please go check out fibernotion:
849 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215
shop and studio: 718.230.4148

Monday, July 20, 2009

Getting back on track...

Blogging Round 2: Let's see if I can stick with it this time!

I've had so many things inspire me that I want to tell stories about, it's overwhelming to think my last post was in FEBRUARY. Yikes! Oh how life's joys, demons and surprises have occupied me so!

My latest project was a new series of paintings that I exhibited for a one-night show on June 27th. I really challenged myself to make a new body of work, even if only to be seen initially for one night... I was really happy with the results, and a couple pieces sold! Now I have the rest of the art to market to other places and advertise in my etsy shop!!

Stay tuned for the next post: The Zen of the Button Box!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

one week ago...

I was in the Redwood Forest...

I was so humbled by these magnificent creatures and overwhelmed by all the jewels hiding at the bottom of the forest floor. Some of these trees have been around since Pompeii was covered in ash, yet new life is constantly growing and dying around them. The beauty of this place is truly amazing.

Friday, February 20, 2009

friday sillies...

My cat, Erebus Leonardo...



Thursday, February 19, 2009

a slow start

One of my projects for the new year was to get this blog started up again. It's been a long while since I had my thoughts and ramblings up on this page, and I thought it would be great to have an outlet for telling stories of life, laughs and the creative process.

I am currently sitting at my desk at work, bubbling over with ideas for new art projects. I am kept company by my sloth-faced pumpkin, a gift from Rhonda that's been on my desk since October. I thought he'd rot by now, but he's going the distance with me...keeping an eye out while I research antiques...

My new inspiration is the idea of finishing something it a drawing, a painting, processing a photograph or posting something here. I often think about my friend Bill and his 365 portraits he ambitiously schlepped his camera gear around NYC, capturing the soul of someone new everyday. It's definitely something to aspire to!

Friday, January 09, 2009

and so it begins...

Create an atmosphere.