Blue moon

Blue moon, a photograph

Day 263: Contemplation

The “drive of shame” home from LA today was bittersweet. I was so thankful to have my cousin Jaclyn with me, thankful for the many well-wishes from friends and family, thankful to have had the opportunity for a portfolio review with those “in the know” in the art world, but disappointed to know I wouldn’t be packing my bags for longer than a weekend. I stopped in Davis as the sun was setting to take this photo of the moon presiding over the hazy dusk in the marshlands. It’s still and quiet, and reflective of my contemplative mood after the casting.

I did get a callback, which was gratifying. I met some great artists, got some good feedback, and will surely feel much better about the whole thing in a short time- I bounce back pretty quickly and don’t generally wallow in self-pity for long. And experiences like these are part of building one’s career. Like someone in line said, “at least now I have a decent portfolio put together.” 🙂 Tonight, after about 10 hours of driving and two nights of sleeping in hotels, I’m happy to be home with my hubby and puppy… and bed. I’ll be back in action in the studio tomorrow with some non-photographic work. Until then, thanks again for your support!


Beyond the Staples center

It's a bird! Oh wait, it's a plane advertising Bud Light Lime.

Day 262: Gettylicious

As Jaclyn and I are carousing about in LA this weekend, we decided to fill our afternoon with a trip to the Getty museum. I’ve never been there and we were only able to make it about 90 minutes before closing, which reminded me very much of my first visit to the Louvre, where we had a whopping 30 minutes or so to run from the Mona Lisa to the Winged Nike (which is not a permanent sports shoe exhibit. See “Victory at Samothrace”. I think. The Art History section of my brain says that’s right, anyway). And of course the art was stunning, but the architecture was also jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and the view wasn’t half bad either. If you mentally edit out the fine layer of smog and stupid flying advertisement, that is. 🙂 I’ll be heading back to home base tomorrow, so it will be another late-night and likely photographic post manana. See you then!

Boxes of wine for everyone!

Cool ass art car in front of the Santa Monica Museum of Art

Day 261: Theft Deterrant

Need a clever way to prevent your car from getting stolen? Try filling it (literally- FILLING it) with succulents. I spied this sweet art car in front of the Santa Monica Museum of Art while we were scoping out the Bergamot Station for Bravo’s casting call tomorrow. And as I have spent all day driving down here, this image is the extent of my art efforts for the day. I really do love night images though. They always have a chance of ending up as paintings. 🙂

Who’s this “we” I’m mentioning? My cousin Jaclyn, who stocked up on great road trip snacks including a couple juice-boxes of Pinot Grigio. Yum! Yay Jaclyn! Off to bed before getting up early. See you tomorrow!

Friday night’s alright for writing

Day 260: A Haiku

I don’t like the feeling of nervousness. Even when it’s nervous anticipation. Teetering on the line between nausea and fear just isn’t my thing. But it’s been with me since I started prepping for the Bravo casting call. And as I have spent almost every waking moment compiling application materials (mainly putting together my GIGANTE portfolio of photos), I am fairly well and pooped….and not done yet. 😀

So in lieu of some hasty painting or drawing, today I’ve composed a haiku about nervousness which I’m pairing with a photo of the street in front of the Crocker Museum I took last month while it was closed on a Sunday morning. I seem to always want to take pictures from the middle of the street, but then I’m nervous about getting hit by careless drivers. So somehow it seemed fitting. 🙂

I plan to post Saturday and Sunday despite being on the road and being put through the reality-show-wringer (i.e. waiting in line for hours on end if it’s anything like last year), as my gracious cousin Jaclyn is accompanying me and bringing her laptop. Fingers crossed!


Oh, you tummy moths

Please settle down already

Aren’t you tired yet?

Jeggings and flannel and stirrups, oh my!

"Make one's fortune", a mixed media mini painting on 5x7" canvas.

Day 259: Make One’s Fortune

Ah, the mixed media minis. Sitting down to make one after being away from them for a few days is like putting on a nice warm sweater I’ve been waiting to wear all summer and now it’s finally cool enough (which is not yet the case out here in scorching hot Sacramento, btw). I sometimes miss my cool Bay Area weather. But I do not miss the retarded traffic out there.

In other news, I think I witnessed my first pair of “jeggings” in the wild today. It was nearly a driving hazard. They were almost shiny/slightly white, stretched tight and clinging for dear life to some lady’s leg flesh, so at first I thought “oh wow, she’s totally wearing nylons with no pants”, but then I saw the jeans “stitching” or whatever craziness it is that’s pretending to be stitching. Wrong. All wrong. As is the resurgence of flannel (we all did that back in our Nirvana days, thankyouverymuch) and stirrups. STIRRUPS! *Waits for fashion industry to stretch out its hand* <Slap!> And do you know where I saw these atrocities? Lane Bryant. Elastic-footed thin pants for large ladies are pretty much as bad as jeggings… which they were also selling there. I DO NOT APPROVE.

Today’s piece is a mixed media mini painting with (surprise!) vintage sewing patterns, a bit from an old Spanish/English dictionary with “make one’s fortune” on it, and an illustration of a boy and girl in smashing plaid jumpers. I used liquid watercolor, oil pastel, sewing notions and a bit of wire casing plus a little paint to play up the colors in the pattern and the idea of 3-D (red/green glasses) and storytelling. As I prepare to head south for the Bravo casting call, I find that part of me is still cranky and resentful about the way adults present adulthood to children. I think we all grow up expecting our own fairytales to unfold in some way or another and have to learn how to cope with our own bitterness when that doesn’t quite work out. Then again, I can’t imagine having the gumption to look at sweet little faces like these and tell it like it is. 

All that glitters

Long gemstone necklace with turquoise, onyx & agate

Day 258: Chunky Necklace

It’s been awhile since I made jewelry. I have a substantial amount of jewelry supplies, however. It’s like scrapbooking. I’m pretty sure everyone knows someone who was so into it before and had to have every little fancy schmancey tool with a purpose.. but now she never takes pictures anymore because she’s self-conscious about her burgeoning doublechin (and honestly who wants to look at that) and really she should get back into it and stop wasting them or just donate the stuff to her perky cousin who just got married and make it HER box of crap. 😉

So I decided for today’s artwork, I’d make myself a necklace to go with the outfit I’m planning to wear on Sunday when I give my I-am-awesome-elevator-speech to the lovely people at Bravo and hope they decide to put me on their show. Only I forgot how long it takes to make necklaces and now it’s nearly 11 pm. Yowza! Note to self: start earlier than 8 pm tomorrow.

Ugly bags of mostly water

Day 257: Forms continued

If you’ve been following the blog, you may recall my illuminated-figurative-quilted-plaster piece from Day 237, “They’re forming”, (OMG I totally used another Star Trek reference for today’s post title without even realizing it. NERD!!!). This is the other piece- and in fact the first piece I thought of doing- but it took a little longer to finish.

I learned that I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) a couple of years ago. More recently, I read that this condition contributes to obesity because of the hormonal imbalance. I’ve struggled with my weight since I “became a woman”, but I’m not saying PCOS is to blame. I’m sure that never taking an interest in exercise and having a long term love affair with carbohydrates has something to do with it, but at any rate, I have to say I’ve thought of my health more since seeing the “string of pearls around the ovary” on the ultrasound those years ago.

I wanted to make a sculpture that depicted PCOS in kind of a pretty way while referencing my issues with body image. I know that might sound kind of weird, but I had an epiphany last night while I was falling asleep about my artmaking. I realized that I really enjoy taking things that might go unnoticed or that most people wouldn’t find beautiful on first glance and transforming/arranging them into something more interesting or aesthetically exciting. So there you go.

Like the other one, this was made from rigid wrap casts of my body that my lovely husband helped me with. That shell was placed around a wire armature attached to a wood base. I bent aluminum screen into the top to support the fabric.

Internal view before adding fabric

I sewed together two layers of white curtain sheers with grey thread stitched into a cellular pattern resembling the polycystic ovary; the wavy oval pieces are the ‘cells’, the larger circles are the ‘cysts’. Take my word for it when I tell you that this representation is much prettier than the actual cross-sections I researched in Google images. (Can you tell I’m not a fan of surgery shows? Blech!)

Now I've got "Baby Got Back" stuck in my head. GREAT. Oh, you too? MWA-HA-HAAA!!

Bright white LEDs placed on the ovary section of the armature glow through the sheer material in bright points while also casting larger white circles into the cystic area of the fabric (which I didn’t expect, but which is a cool effect!) when the piece is lit only by LEDs.

A 15-watt chandelier bulb adds more glow and better illuminates the cellular stitching, but is low enough to allow the LEDs to still be visible. It’s hard to see in the photos, but they also give off different light (blue-white LEDs/yellow-white bulb).

When I began this piece, I was mortified. Seeing my most-loathed body-section right in front of me almost made me cry. But I was determined to see it through and turn it into something that didn’t make me want to run out of the room when I saw it. I never would have thought I’d accomplish that, but I have to say I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. Yay!

I really want to make a joke involving the word "cheeky" BUTT I'm going to refrain. HAHA! I CRACK myself up. Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Fabric detail with both LEDs and internal bulb lit

Why, I dare say that’s a dog costume, Watson!

"You're using a dog costume as daily art? Seriously?"

Day 256: Upcycled Dog Costume

I created a couple of dog costumes last year, and they flew off the digital shelves on Etsy. I’m not sure if this was because:

A. Chester (model) is super adorable

B. Small dog owners are slightly crazy

C. All of the above

But this year I had more requests, and I still have a guest room full of fabric, so I agreed to bust out a couple more custom creations. I had intended to post an instructable on how to make an upcycled Sherlock Holmes dog costume as today’s art, but this whole preparing for the Bravo casting call thing is really time consuming. So consider this a part 1- the finished example. Part 2 will be the how-to/pattern.

Old sportcoat= $2 at the thrift store. Making it into a costume for a puppy named Sherlock = priceless. Mastercard can't sue me for saying that, right? If so, I retract it. 😀

Did you just say “elfin dingleberry”?!

Day 255: Squash, an illuminated sculpture

I have this inner brat who constantly finds things to be irritated about. Like when my husband picks the same three songs to listen to every day for a week but flips out when I do the same thing. Brat starts off with a mental tirade… “SERIOUSLY HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU LISTEN TO BAKER STREET?!?!”…but then ends up enjoying the song about 30 seconds in anyway despite herself.

(FYI- Rob’s other picks lately are “Don’t fear the reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult, “Wolf like me” by TV on the Radio and “Gamma Ray” by Beck. I’ve been partial to “Tamacun” by Rodrigo y Gabriela, “Party with Children” by Ratatat and “Life in a Glass House” by Radiohead recently. In case you were wondering. Which I’m sure you were. /tangent)

"Squash" sculpture, unlit on its side

Also, today is my friend Jennan’s birthday. She is now living in Hawaii, so my new birthday joke to her and her whole family from now on is going to be “hey, I know! Why don’t you go on a trip to Hawaii for your birthday? Oh wait…” 😉 Happy 30th Jen!

On to the art! I had this idea for an installation made up of illuminated quilt sculpture orb/cocoon things last week, so today I decided to try out the technique for constructing them that I had jotted down in one of my (many) notebooks. This involved creating a basic form from copper wire, covering that with mesh (partially plastic embroidery mesh and partially aluminum screen), quilting panels from scrap white fabric & batting, covering the form with the fabric and lighting it.

As I had originally envisioned these in hanging groups, and seeing just the one feels like seeing a single grape on a stem, I’m not super jazzed about it yet. But as a “proof of concept” kind of exercise, I’m pleased. I plan to try some different shapes; hanging there, it kind of looks like a punching-bag-shaped-pillow. Or an elfin dingleberry. Lying on the ground on its side, it feels more like a magical gourd. Welcome to my mind, folks. 😉

"Squash", illuminated quilt form sculpture, about 12"x6"x6".

Oh, you sell matte medium by the gallon? Excellent.

Day 254: Carelessness

Mixed media mini madness marches on. Using vintage sewing patterns, bits from a thesaurus & dictionary, an illustration from a 50’s children’s storybook, a page from the Iliad, drafting film, thread, oil pastel and paint, (pausing for breath) I created a philosophical dialogue on this 5×7” canvas.

If you’re starting to wonder if I’ve become slightly obsessed with this style of artmaking, wonder no more. 🙂 The mini format is so delicious, and the mixed media so endless and interesting to me… I’m enamored. What can I say?

"Carelessness", mixed media on 5x7" canvas.