Friday, April 30, 2010

A One-Two Punch

My studio time these past two days has been utterly consumed by a one-two punch of pregnancy+allergy-induced exhaustion.  After a bit of grumbling, I've decided to give myself a break and extend my self-imposed deadlines a little bit.  I did manage to make this tiny illustration: 
One of my adult ed. drawing students was one of the first coeds at Princeton when the school first opened its doors to women in 1969.  She commissioned me to make this image, which will be printed onto buttons and handed out at her upcoming reunion. 

I can't even believe how much time I've spent eating this week.  So far, my own pregnancy has been a surprisingly realistic simulation of what I think motherhood might be like.  For example, the following is an actual conversation that I had with my abdomen this afternoon:

Fetus: "MOM!"
Me: "Not now, Mommy's working."
Fetus: "But I'm hungry."
Me: "How can you possibly be hungry?  We just ate lunch."
Fetus: "But I AM!  I'm starving.  I need you to make me a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.  Actually, two grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.  But I want you to make them the way Daddy does.  I don't want you to burn them.  And I want you to eat them really fast, like you're in a contest.  Because I'm really really hungry!"
I've already begun teaching him/her how to cope with disappointment.  As I swiftly downed my (oh my god delicious) burnt grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, I pictured our kiddo throwing a little tantrum, or flipping me off with his or her tiny, newly formed hands, shrieking, "But that's not how Daddy makes it!"

I will post much, much more art next week;)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Open Studios

Open Studios has come and gone.  It was a fun weekend, full of visiting family, friends and nice new people too.I spent all of last Thursday and Friday making my side of the studio presentable.  Hanging work (the super obsessive-compulsive way that I do it) is kind of intense.  But I always find it rewarding to see everything up all together.  It's also a good time to notice previously unseen connections--conceptual and/or visual.

When I have a show I hang my work much, much more sparsely than this, since there is so much going on in each piece.  But this weekend I chose to create a riot on my wall.

A lot of these drawings were illustration friday submissions.  Looking at them as a group and talking to visitors about them made me realize the crazy amount of inspiration that I got from participating weekly.  I'm looking forward to the summer, when my schedule will slow down a bit (sort of), and I can put an end to my IF hiatus.
Here's a rare, intelligible glimpse of our entire space.  Since I share my studio with another artist, it usually looks so cramped that a photo of it would just make your head hurt;)

And my little sister got engaged yesterday!  I can't stop smiling:)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Finishing Touches

Yesterday I finished my newest batch of egg paintings by attaching their hanging apparatus.  This process involves driving a big pin into the back of each egg and making it into a sort of big thumb tack.  I used to hate this part, and it used to take forever.  But I worked out a new system sometime last year that involves hammering a tiny nail in first.  I love to hammer stuff, almost as much as I love to work crouched in a ball on my studio floor.  I used to make all of my huge paintings crouched on the floor like this, but I stopped to save my back later on down the road.  It seemed fine to gnarl myself up when I was in my reckless twenties, but since I've entered my thirties, I've been thinking more about things like long term consequences.  I actually used to sit right on the paintings while I worked on small details.  It was dreamy, literally living in my paintings.  Egg-finishing day calls for a crouching revival.  And combined with hammering stuff, it's really rather delightful.  I'm a big proponent of simple daily pleasures.  Speaking of which, if you look close at the photo above, you can see that I'm wearing my Charlotte Brontë T-shirt made by Susan Sanford of ArtSpark Theatre fame.  

I hope you're having a happy week, noticing and doing little things you like too:)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Brand New Things

I'm in the final push to get ready for open studios.  I've made a little schedule for myself, and so far I'm just half an egg behind;)  

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Mostly Thinking Day

I took all of these sparrow paintings out of their frames.  The frames were dragging them down and something had to be done.I'm planning to mount them on square panels instead.  I played around with different possibilities.  When I held this guy up to this painting: 
my heart sang a little bit:)  

I spent a lot of time today playing around with my old photo collection.  I have hundreds and hundreds of these pictures of strangers.  I look for clues.  

I also made this new pair this afternoon, keeping with the theme of sparrows and vintage photos.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy Tuesday

Had a nice morning making some new eggs.  Had a lovely afternoon and evening teaching lots of lovely people:)  

Two six year-old twins in my painting class had the best conversation:  
"I didn't know that squirrels had lips."
"Of course they do!  How else would they be able to kiss and mate?!"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Slow Greetings
This one is almost finished.  I've just got to turn that guy in the distance around so he's peeking into the painting, instead of fleeing.  While I'm at it I'll make his tiny shell more beautiful.  

I've got a serious hankering for watercolor and gouache.  I always go back and forth between my media.  I get tired of one thing and switch, tired of the next thing, and switch.  Generally, I cycle between watercolor/gouache/sewing, collage, acrylic, pen and ink, and pencil.  I had some more acrylic pieces planned, but I've learned that with painting, things work best when I let my cravings guide me.  So as my forest creature series comes to a conclusion, I'm looking forward to splish-splashing in watercolor, and sculpting forms in gouache for a little while.  

I'm going to teach some private lessons at my studio this morning.  I have three teenage girls who come every other Saturday to take lessons with me.  These particular girls are so bright, good-natured, fun and creative, that I want to tap their parents' brains for future parenting  advice:  "How did you raise such a great kid?  Did she just come that way, or did you use some sort of magic system? How can I get one as nice as her?"

Here are some beautiful and inspiring things that I've seen on some of my favorite blogs this week:

This piece, most particularly, by Jenny at Yarn Soup.

This werewolf by Susan at ArtSpark Theatre.

Nick Sheehy's work, posted on Pikaland.  

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Woodland Chronicles Continued....

Some new guys:
This turtle is my new love.

And the whole group together:
The Woodland Chronicles is the name of this series and also the title for my upcoming June show at Three Graces Gallery in Portsmouth, NH.

I have more on my plate than usual, so my posting is correspondingly lighter than usual:)  I'm also taking a break from Illustration Friday for the next couple of months.  

Oh, and if you live in the Boston area, come visit me at the Watertown-Belmont Open Studios on April 24th and 25th.  My studio is located in the Arsenal Center for the Arts.  There will be snacks!  Someone once did admit that he'd only come to my opening for the snacks.  He added that he'd just gotten out of prison and hadn't had real cheese in two years.  That was the same opening where another man brought a tote bag full of his own paintings with him.  He cornered me for about half an hour, pulling out painting after painting, pointing out the high level of skill required to execute each one.  Finally, he took out his sketchbook and began flipping through page after page.  He turned to a pencil drawing of a seashore and a lighthouse.  It was very tiny and gestural, roughly drawn with thick pencil lines.  He told me that if I'd had a magnifying glass, I'd be able to see that he'd drawn a tiny lighthouse keeper inside the lighthouse.  And if I'd had a microscope I'd also be able to see that the keeper was wearing a tiny raincoat and holding a tiny lantern.  Crazily poetic.  Poetically crazy.  

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Friday!

Whew!  It's been a blissfully breathless week around here!  Before I dash off for the weekend, here's a little peek at how my Woodland Chronicles Series is coming along:
I changed the colors on this owl painting.  I liked it before, but now I love it:
I spent the day beating my head against the wall over this new rabbit piece:  
I like it OK, but I don't love it yet.  Ooh!  I think I just came up with a solution! Bring on the sandpaper!  To be continued......