After the rain

"After the rain", acrylic landscape on woodblock 3.5" x 3.5" x 1.5"

Day 350: “After the rain”, landscape on woodblock

I love the patterns that nature and farming make when they commingle. I think this is some form of irrigation with the deliberate ploughing of the soil beds, but it also happens after the rain. The shallow fields fill with gray-blue reflections of the sky, banked by fluffy straw-colored bushes in a beautiful composition I would probably not create on my own. But I enjoy borrowing them for these little landscapes. 🙂 This one and a few more will be going up to the city this weekend to fill my empty wall space. Here it is from the side:


Hands trembling

"Trembling", a poem block

Day 349: “Trembling”, a poem block

Today’s piece reads “hands trembling/ I made up my mind/ to share her”. I’ve decided to stop imparting my own impressions/interpretations for these mini poems to allow the viewers to make their own. 🙂 I don’t want to cloud anyone’s personal connection with a piece based on my own. Here it is from the side:

Thanks for the feedback on the junk mail tree! It was a fun project, and I definitely recommend it. For most of us, it only takes a day or two to collect enough source material to make one anyway. 🙂 Next year I’m hoping to learn how to recycle paper so that I can turn it into more exciting stuff. Wow, how weird to say “next year” and realize that I’m essentially saying “some time after the next couple of weeks”. That reminds me- only 16 days left!

The truth

"Truth", a poem block

Day 346: “Truth”, a poem block

19 days left! Wow! It hasn’t yet sunken in to my brain that I’m about to wrap up a year of this daily art project. I’m so thankful for all of the encouragement I’ve received from family, friends and strangers along the way. I’m also very grateful for the art sales I’ve made that have allowed me to keep supplies flowing into the studio so that art can keep marching out of it! This philosophy of feeling joy, abundance, and appreciation is essentially summed up in today’s piece, which reads: “the truth/ is that everything is beautiful/ be grateful”. If it doesn’t sell in the gallery this month, I’ll probably keep it, as this is a message I would be happy to remind myself of daily. Here it is from the side:

It's hard to tell, but I glammed this up with some gold. The metallic flecks kind of settle into the rough grain of the wood, which is rad-looking with none of the infectiousness of glitter.

Hope you had a great weekend! See you tomorrow.

Protest moved quickly

"Protest", a poem block

Day 345: “Protest”, a poem block

Only 20 days left! Today’s piece reads “protest moved quickly/ to keep her/ in pieces”. These words put together make me think of internal emotional struggle, and how sick to your stomach you can feel when in the grip of negative emotions. It was the first I finished in a new crop of blocks waiting half-done in the studio this morning before going to San Francisco.

I headed into the city today to refill my wall space at City Art Gallery, and since getting it refilled around 2:30 pm, I’ve already got 6 new empty spots! I was surprised to see how much other work had been sold. San Franciscoans love art, though, and apparently they’re excellent gift-givers too! So I guess it’s some upcoming busy time in the studio for me and back into the fog asap.

From the side

It was so beautiful today, driving in and out of these pockets of fog. Not heavy enough to eliminate visibility, but sudden and thick enough in patches that it was exciting. I love the scent of moisture in the air, the fact that it’s so deliciously metaphoric, and most of all, how it diffuses light into a romantic painting-to-be.

Each of them lingered

"Lingered", a poem block

Day 343: “Lingered”, a poem block

Today’s piece reads “each of them lingered/ a few minutes longer/ in the garden of/ wonder”. I’ve been reading Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth” and I’m really enjoying it. Being mindful and aware of “the now”, as new-age and goofy as it may sound, is exhilarating. It’s helping me enjoy the little things and the pure joy of existence, consciousness and creation. I think this found poetry kind of has me thinking along those same lines. Here are a couple of side angles:

I also finally finished the Christmas tree I’ve been making out of junk mail, so look for that one up here on the blog tomorrow! That will give me time to write out the “how to” and publish it on Instructables, so other people who can’t afford/don’t want to buy a tree can bring some upcycled cheer into their own living rooms. 🙂

I thought I’d also include a shot of the bottom edge, which turned out to be the prettiest of the sides:

Caught her quiet

"Caught", a poem block

Day 341: “Caught”, a poem block

24 days left! The Nancy Drew poem blocks continue with today’s piece, “Caught”, which reads: “caught her quiet/ but in need of repair/ come along with me/ my dear”. The more of these I make, the more I start to envision my studio as a poem block workshop with stacks of cut-up books, tiny scraps of words and blocks at every corner, with just a small pathway in and out. It’s kind of like one of those poem magnet sets, except with books. And paint. And woodblocks. And no pre-cut words. I was thinking just today how the general theme of the writing piece I’m using for my source material does dictate the poetry to some extent, and wondering what it might be like if I started using different books, and then my friend Sophie published this great found poetry piece she made today. Brilliant!

Stunned slightly

"Stunned", a poem block

Day 340: “Stunned”, a poem block

It’s a race to get more poem blocks finished as I have empty wall space nagging me from the gallery 90 miles away. Today’s piece is one of my favorite word arrangements so far, and I paired that with one of my favorite colors- orange. It reads “stunned slightly by the/ beautiful commotion”, which is I guess how I often feel when I visit San Francisco. Here it is from either side:

I’m curious to see what will become of these as I continue to create them… how they will evolve/change and which ones I’ll decide not to part with and keep on my own walls. Only 25 days left!

Deserted dessert

"Deserted", a poem block

Day 338: Deserted

Four of the nine poem blocks I put up for sale at City Art have found new homes, along with one landscape woodblock, so I need to create some replacements. 🙂 After spending a good couple of hours cutting out words and laying them out into possible poems, I finally grabbed a few lines I liked and headed into the studio.

At first, I was leaning toward green, but then something in me suggested gray-blue and magenta with cream and a hint of gold. I’m pretty sure this palette sneaked into my brain after a couple of evening trips into SF during dusk-time. The moisture hanging in the cool air glazes over the landscapes with periwinkle while the last few rays of sunlight peek out over the horizon with impossible pinks. It wasn’t my intention to replicate this when I sat down, but some how it ended up resembling that when I was done.

From the side

This piece reads: “deserted/ in the midst of this adventure/the girl laughed”. These words together make me think of a dauntless woman persisting in rejoicing in her inner strength and adhering to a positive point of view even in a situation people may see externally and expect it to have crushed her. As soon as I’ve got a few more of these lovelies, it’s back to the city for a refill.  27 days left!

Above the fruited plain

"Waves" acrylic landscape on woodblock

Day 336: “Waves”, a landscape on woodblock

I recently discovered my local Trader Joe’s. It’s got a smaller selection than Whole Foods, but it also has smaller prices. So I went by today to pick up a few things and as I was hunting for the bread with the farthest out expiration date, I had to make my way around a few people. It’s a pretty crowded store. Normally I see all of them only as obstacles to be avoided, a skill I first picked up during Jr. High afternoons of playing Tetris and later perfected as a cocktail waitress- if you can walk in and around crowds of dancing people with martinis on a tray and not spill them, you can navigate around cranky hippies.

But this time I was caught off guard when a voice in my head stopped me and said, “hey… are those pockets on the back of that hoodie? Yes. Yes they are! On the BACK! Ugh. Hipster alert!” and while I was engaging in this moment of perplexity/ fashion outrage, I angered an old lady by blocking the bagels, who let me know by “accidentally” bumping into me with her cart. Which was just as well. Who knows how long I would have stood transfixed by the insanity of pockets intentionally placed in the lumbar area of a garment.

From the side

So when I got home, I decided to give myself a little bit of mental peace by making a mini landscape. This is one of the last square-edged, white-sided blocks from the first batch my dad cut up for me. It has a very tight grain pattern. I decided to use it for a farm scene from the Tracy, California area with this huge antenna tower smack in the middle of it. I asked Rob for some help with the title and he said “Waves. You know, like ‘amber waves of grain’ and the radio waves from the cellular base tower”. “Perfect!” I replied. And that’s why I love him.

Only 29 days left! 🙂

Pick a peck of poems

"Stumbled", a poem block

Day 332: “Stumbled”, a poem block

My grandma and I were talking the other day, and she said she wished I had done more with my writing. I assured her that I haven’t given up on writing- I’m ‘working on a novel’ like a million other people, yes, but what’s difficult to explain is that writing is one of those ebb and flow deals for me. I can sit down in the studio and make visual art every day, but writing seems to be something I must wait for. And I can feel it coming up, and it’s about that time again after several months of absence. I’ve got a new notebook and a fresh pen and I’m ready to go when it gets here. 🙂

Today’s piece is another poem block that reads “stumbled upon/ what anyone would want/ just the man for/ an easy regret”. It makes me think of a gut full of grenadine and guilt. This piece is in orange-y red with a little brown and stripe of gold and I let the red drip down the sides.

This is the 9th in this recent bout of poem blocks, which are headed to City Art gallery for the December affordable art show on Tuesday. If you have your eye on one, be sure to let me know before I put ‘em up! I plan to list them for $35-40 each. Next out of the art-conveyer-belt of productivity that is my studio, 3 mini cityscapes, so stay tuned!

Aww, it's a bouquet of art!