This past summer and spring I was excited to be able to take a sabbatical from teaching to work on some of my own studio projects and to travel a little. My True North and Drought Runes projects were the primary things I worked on but I also took a trip to Finland and Estonia to work on my art and to investigate a possible travel study program there for my students at Otis College. Some highlights were visiting the Marimekko textile factory, staying in a medieval monk’s home Airbnb in Estonia and doing daily drawings of the flora of Central Finland. I put together a little slideshow to share with my colleagues about my travels and here are a few images from it. Plus a pic of my insanely ambitions list of things to do while on sabbatical… Can’t say I did it all but I sure had a good time!
I'm pleased to be exhibiting my set of Drought Runes in this exhibition. Juried by Kim Ables, an artist known for her exceptional interdisciplinary work with environmental themes, artists explore the vital elements of life: air, water and earth, during a time of great challenge and change to our planet, using traditional and experimental techniques current in contemporary printmaking; from works on paper to installation and video presentations. This exhibition will present art selected from the national membership of the L.A. Printmaking Society.
Exhibition Dates April 22 - June 10, 2018
Opening Sunday, April 22nd 3pm-6pm
Sunday, April 22nd
1-3 PM -- free printmaking demonstrations suitable for all ages
3-6 PM -- opening reception
Thursday, May 10th, 7:30pm 2018 — Gallery Tour
The Venue: The Muckenthaler Cultural Center | 1201 W. Malvern Ave. Fullerton, CA 92833 | Gallery Hours: Tue–Sun, 12-4 PM, and Thursdays open from 12-8:30 PM
Looking for something cool to do this weekend? As a member of CAFAM you can attend a walk through of "Chapters: Book Arts in Southern California" at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles. As one of the artists in the exhibition, I'll be sorry to miss it, but there will be many other artists there and the show is terrific. If you can't make it this weekend be sure and check it out before it closes on May 7th!
Join me at the 2016 Inglewood Open Studios
I'll be showing some new work and opening up my studio for the day. There will be many artists and lots of great things to see!
Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 12-13
The Beacon Arts Building
808 North LaBrea Ave. Inglewood
Here's a preview...
Be sure to check out the Residency Gallery while you are on the IOS Artwalk! Along with many of the artists from IOS, I'll also have some work on display there Nov. 12-17th.
310 E Queen St, Inglewood, CA 90301
I'm so pleased to be participating in the KaliedoLA Speaker Series at Loyola Marymount University this Friday, Feb. 12. If you are an LA local and can take a lunch break come on over! It's from 12:15-1:15pm on campus at the Murphy Recital Hall.
For more info see cfa.lmu.edu
Save the date for Inglewood Open Studios!
Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 14 &15, 12-5pm
I'll be opening up my studio and sharing some of my work at
The Beacon Arts Building
808 North LaBrea Ave. Inglewood, CA
A link to my studio location and map of the whole event and details at the link below.
Hope to see you there!
Inglewood Open Studios info here.
Last fall I started a series roughly called "Common Ground", which I've now renamed "Ordinary Ground" as it fits better. They are images of ordinary ground to everyone except me. I put it on the shelf throughout the school year as is the way of the full-time Professor! But now that school has ended I'm making my way back into the studio to finish it. This week I have been doing some handmade lenticular studies of these pieces. One photo is from Saarijarvi, Finland taken in an area I visited last summer, and the other is from Beach Pond, Connecticut, where I grew up. The same, yet different.
Here are a few low-tech videos of folded paper tests before I order the real lenticular image. I'm interested in how the files look broken down to split the image as well.
"Some behind-the-scenes images of the work I'll be exhibiting starting next weekend in the Stories We Hold exhibition at Beyond Baroque in Venice."Read More
After a few months of moving and still getting settled in my new home and studio, it feels good to be back to work. Here's a shot of my mini-press, now residing next to my printer and flat files, but still ready to go mobile when needed.
I'm working on a small series of prints of animal trails that I've found walking in the local LA hills. Here are some works in progress of those. Some silkscreens, drypoint engravings and drawings. I'm currently sorting out the medium, size color etc. to proceed with.
This fork in particular stands out for me. It reminds me of a dowser's wand. Apparently my grandfather on my mother's side was a dowser. So this calls to mind an instinct for direction and path-taking- all very relevant to me right now. We'll see where it goes. Oddly I just saw that there is a movie being released this month called The Water Diviner. Collective consciousness I guess!
Yesterday I took the subway in Los Angeles for the first time.
Granted they only put a line in my neighborhood last year. And only in LA within the last twenty years and I've lived here for sixteen of those. But it was an odd sensation to bid adieu to my car in the lot from the high rail and I was reminded of how dependent we are on our cars here. Getting into my car is like breathing. It is like a second home and feels like an extension of my body sometimes. I tote food, water, earthquake supplies, beach stuff, art supplies, school supplies and more daily. I know a car isn't a complete necessity here, but most days it feels that way in this expansive sprawl.
I felt afloat in the city and oddly apprehensive today getting on the train with only one small bag. When I got to the museum and met my class, my T.A. asked me alarmed, "Where's your car!?" Only three people out of the 20 or so students that I talked to at our museum visit told me they had taken the subway in LA. Everyone will tell you that the public transportation isn't easy here. And it is true for most people. It's not close to anything you need to get to or come from, the distances are far, the trips slow...
But today, what I took for granted in every other city I have lived in, felt novel here. I had to figure out the ticket machine, look at maps, and actually walk in LA. I felt a little silly. I was a stranger today in my own beloved city where I confidently drive the long streets to the beach, the hills, the canyons. I love driving in LA. I always have. I was the youngest of my family and my parents never let me drive when I was growing up in rural New England. I lived in New York and Boston afterward and rode my bike and the subway for years. Something about moving to LA and driving myself has always meant freedom and adulthood to me. Much of my work incorporates images I see while driving. Representing that liminal space is something I go back to again and again.
When I went overseas this summer for the first time, I walked and took public transportation all over Paris and London. But it was only when I got to Finland (a country where I could not even read a single road sign), and needed to drive 4 hours north immediately, that I relaxed and breathed a sigh of relief as I got into my rental car.
I enjoyed turning over the wheel today and seeing my city from an different angle, on rail and foot. Although it was disconcerting to me that I was just a little bit uncomfortable as I started out and I am reminded of how we must always break our own boundaries and challenge our sense of place.
Being a naturalist I tend to celebrate the end of the year with the harvest at the end of October. The earth quiets down waiting for winter and the cold days to come. I took a walk very early this morning in Topanga Canyon, where I go a few times a year, to see how things were wrapping up for fall. Although I know California is going through an extreme drought it was sobering to see how dry it really was.
Even in the cool hollows of the trail where there is always just a faint patch of mossy rock to be found it was bone dry. Dusty and gray. The areas where I always see the trap door spider homes that I did a piece about a few years back was cracked and barren. The eucalyptus leaves hung sadly and the dust rose around me like a cloud when a jogger passed by. There were two deer at the entrance to the trail munching on something, but I couldn't imagine what it was since I only saw a single plant that actually seemed fresh and green. I know the plants here store water for years, but lately it must be a struggle.
Although the trail was dry, the morning sun still lit up our beautiful canyon plants and somehow even the dry branches seem to glow. As I exited the trail I noticed a new information area outlining the animals of the area, and I was dismayed to the the deer tick is now in the LA canyons. I watch carefully for scorpions, tarantulas and snakes, but now to keep an eye out for that nearly invisible monster seems too much. I guess every living thing here is looking for something to drink!
I've been revisiting handmade film positives for silkscreen stencils. These are some test films I'm working on. They are made of the magical mixture that simulates lithographic tushe that is made out of old photocopier toner, mixed with alcohol and floor wax.
In June of this year I received a travel grant to go to Finland to work on a body of work about walking through landscapes I have lived in, and the effect it has on my body and memory. In Finland I explored a forest landscape that I had never lived in but one that was from my mother's ancestry and is visually very similar to the one in Connecticut that I grew up in.
It is probably well-known to world adventurers but it was my first time traveling overseas and I was struck by how simultaneously alike and how different the people I met were as well. Certainly the internet has connected the world visually in a whole new way, but I didn't expect the actual "mirror world" experience described by William Gibson in one of my favorite books, Pattern Recognition. Where everything is the same, but just slightly askew.
I'm editing images now and deciding how they will fold into a larger scale installation I am working on about this idea. These are some photo "sketches" for an piece called "Common Ground", which is loosely about the land in both places looking so much alike that it is hard to tell where each one is located, but one is imbued with deep memories, and one has nearly none.
A faux aquatint using sugar collograph. Unexpectedly, where the print is quite raised up from the sugar impression, the scanner can't "see" it when I scan it, and it blurs. So, using a very elemental earth-based medium with a technologically inexpensive scanner, not only do I have a faux aquatint, but a faux Photoshop "blur" filter is born. Can you have a faux filter? Isn't that what filters are to start with? Fake? The idea of a digital fake filter caused by a replication of a tangible print of a fake printmaking method kind of wraps itself around in circles in my mind. Time to get out Walter Benjamin's, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction again.
The other day I ran a piece of iceplant through the little press to test the limits of 3d objects. It was a little hard to crank but I think when I bolt the press to a table it can handle some soft 3d objects nicely. It squashed the iceplant well and there was a nice bright green imprint and splatter. I left the print lying around for a few days and most of the green turned a rusty brown like dried blood.