Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Eve

Another low energy day, just like last New Year's Eve. And another day of chores and catching up on reading. Let me try something new, a to-do list for the coming week. Not New Year's Resolutions, which I don't do. So this coming week I will --

1) take the violin to the shop
2) try the Lenox with the plexi
3) finish the magnolia drawing
4) finish Byzantium, Faith & Power

That should be pretty doable. I'm meeting with a critique group this coming week too. I'm joining as a new member into an established group, with some fairly well known artists, so I'm pretty thrilled that they've accepted me into the group.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Artist statement, part II

So this was what I ended up with for the Rake exhibit. I hate statements that are academic gibberish, so I hope this is perfectly clear.

Multiple voices and narratives have been a cornerstone in my work, a reflection of both the world at large and my personal history. Visually, this has translated to my use & manipulation, and re-imagination of traditional Asian symbols and ideas in a contemporary context. In this process, making art is about search and contemplation.

I have recently started to construct symbols of my own, by observing natural forms and making unscientific leaps of faith about their nature. In doing so, I am creating my own 'folk wisdom'. In this process, search and contemplation continue to play important roles, but so does personal expression.

The moths series represents my first constructed symbol.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Artist statements

...and I'm not so good at writing them. Spent the afternoon/evening writing up something for Karen, who's giving a talk on the GBW's centennial exhibit and she's including Fatherland in her talk! This is very exciting for me, of course, except for the fact that I have to write about my work! I've spent a few hours on it already, and am still not finished; I spend as much time deleting what I've written as I do writing. And I still need to write up something for the Rake exhibit, which I should've done already today.

I did have a surprise visit with Eliza today, and then the b-day dinner with Mike, at Higgins, his favorite restaurant. So I didn't get as many hours to work as I had figured.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Overdue library book

Having renewed Byzantium, Faith & Power twice (or maybe it was 3 times) already, and finding that it's due again (tomorrow, yikes, where does the time go?), I spent the evening reading. I'm afraid I'll have to renew it yet again, if they'd let me. I'm just getting to the good part -- the intersection with Islam. There's probably a limit on how many times you can renew library books.

Dropped of my 6 pieces at Rake this afternoon. Of course I forgot to do the artist statement, something I hate to do. I'll have to work on that tomorrow, when I'm fresher.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Lotsa framing going on

First of all, it's bye bye Garden Shed. Jill is buying this.

I also framed up the 2 violin studies and the last of the moth series for a show at Rake in Jan. Here are some views of them. The movie last night was The Good Shepherd, one of the better movies in a while, I think.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas chores

Mostly cooked today, both for Bend and for leaving with Mike while he stays behind during Christmas break so he can work. Made 2 pans of lasagna (yum). Wrapped presents, decluttered, got some treats for my mom. Looks like Rake wants 6 pieces, rather than 4, which means I'll have 3 pieces to frame when I get back. Hopefully the frame shop won't be out of the frames that I need.

Friday, December 22, 2006

..And a little bit more

The plastic shop surprised me by calling me first thing in the morning and telling me that my order was ready. I figured it'd be end of next week before it was ready. Picked it up later in the afternoon and was surprised at what a little box it was. I figured I'd barely be able to carry them, but there they were, just a short stack.

Had a bunch of back and forth in email with Jeremy about the show at Rake next month. It's coming up and I still don't know for sure which pieces. Hopefully that will be figured out in time for me to frame, and with me out of town for 3 days.

This is why I should never knit, I get started and I can't stop. I decided to get some yarn to make a felted hat, this is so that I'd have something to do while I'm in Bend for a few days. Stopped at the yarn shop in the afternoon. Came home, made the swatch, felted it, measured, started knitting, and knitted half the evening away. At this rate, I'll be finished with my hat before I leave for Bend.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A little bit of work

Finally ordered the plexi today; also got some quotes for having small pieces cut, possibly to use as tags. But small pieces turned out to be much more expensive ($3+ a piece, at 1"x2.5", about twice the price of the 5.5"x5.5" pieces), since they need to be laser cut. So out with that idea. Spent the evening flipping through Found Object Art by Dorothy Spencer, a very fun book. Particularly liked the baskets woven with bottle caps, some of the jewelry, and some of the quilts made from various materials.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

...And it's 5 days in a row

that I've not worked in the studio. Overslept. Unexpected phone calls. Library. And the movie of the week was Charlotte's Web. Spent a little time crafting an ad for craigslist for the art book club, but the post was rejected for some reason and I didn't have time to investigate before leaving for the library. Will have to deal with it tomorrow at this point.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Holiday distractions

This is a record, I think, 4 days straight without working in the studio. Bad. I must get some work done tomorrow, before I head to the library.

But what was good -- the 2nd roofer I called yesterday showed up today and replaced the damaged skylights already and swept off the roof. So take that Oswego Roofing.

Had to revise plans for Mike's b-day party due to everyone's travel plans for the holidays; changed the restaurant reservation, sent out another invite, etc. Then I ended up 'holiday shopping' today. Got a gift certificate from Mike's Mom, so I did some shopping on Lands End. Then I remembered I wanted to buy a food processor, which then reminded me that I wanted to get something more suitable for the sipping chocolate that Sundry introduced us to (like espresso cups) instead of the tea cups that we've been using, their shape allows the sipping chocolate to cool off too quickly. Not finding anything online, I ended up at Uwajimaya's, getting even more teacups but shaped so that the contents would not cool off so fast. We'll try them out tonight and see how they work. Of course, we may not have enough sipping chocolate tonight. I did stop in at Trader Joe's to get some, but they were all out.

In the mean time, I meant to go in the plastic shop to order the plexi this afternoon, but was completely sidetracked by all the shopping.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Where's my roofer?

So the roofer was suppose to come today to make an estimate and then schedule repairs. No Roofer. When I called and found out that there will be no roofer today, but they'll be here tomorrow, I said they might've called me and informed me of such. All I got was a lot of lip from the customer service person. So that put me in a foul mood. No matter, there are lots of roofers in the sea.

Groceries (dang that Oswego Roof), coffee (dang that Oswego Roof), gym (dang that Oswego Roof). Grrrrh! Some eye of newt and toe of frog. There, that should put them out of their misery!

Right, here's the Maryhill 2007 exhibit web page with Fatherland.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Storm aftermath

It was a bit warmer today so I ventured out and cleaned up the fallen branches and also cleaned up up the mound of cut Siberian dogwood after pruning. I still have a much bigger mound to deal with though, from the flowering plum. Then this evening was the play, a one man It's a Wonderful Life. Looks like we'll have to reschedule Mike's b-day dinner, too many people are going to be out of town between Christmas and New Year. I guess I should've thought of that.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Our own private rainbow

Here's one of the broken skylights; you can see the Doug Fir that towers over it. When the sun came out this afternoon and came through the water filled skylight, we had our own private rainbow show in the kitchen.

The windstorm must've blown off this magnolia seed pod from the tree. I found it on my walk this morning. I thought it serendipitous since the drawing I just started has the magnolia blossoms. When I found it, it was partially covered in frost, very beautiful.

It's been a very sleepy day. I had wanted to get some yard clean up done, but it's too cold for that. Instead, I caught up with the 3 short stories that Shane had sent along for me to read a while back. And now it's dinner and opera time.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Storm damage

The windstorm hit last night, just as they promised. We woke up this morning to 2 broken skylights and a lot of 5"-6" diameter, 10' long Doug fir branches on our deck. I haven't had the chance to walk around the yard yet to see what else is there. So it was a flurry of phone calls -- insurance, roofers. The earliest a roofer can come out is Monday, not surprising given the amount of damage all over town. Good thing the sky lights are double paned, although water is collecting in there, we're at least not (yet) exposed to the elements. This would be the 3rd time a windstorm has brought down branches which then broke the skylights.

Then it was another flurry of calls because I've been asked to co-curate a printmakers' bookarts show! Of course I accepted right away. And there's not a moment to lose, since the show is going up in March. Did some research online, trying to locate, contact, and just plain trying to remember some names.

By the time I was ready to head out to Wong's King to put down the deposit for Mike's b-day, the weather was turning bad again. It was snowing and hailing as I left the house, but turned to rain and slush shortly after. I'm not sure why they wouldn't take a credit card over the phone; I had to go in person. Stopped in at the bakery to see about ordering a cake. I know, yet another errands day on Friday, what bad planning.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Just drawing

I haven't drawn for a long time, maybe for a couple of years, and tonight I suddenly got the urge to draw. Probably because both paintings are stalled and I'm still in the experimental stage with the book project. So tonight, I dug out my pastels and started this drawing. Not sure what it's about. I picked out something from a clip art book (the one on the left) and just started working intuitively.

Once I got going though, I started to work in the dream from last night. I dreamed that our house was connected to our neighbors house. When you looked out the window of our house, you saw a stone wall; but if you walked next door, you saw a highway. And if you walked out the backdoor, you were in this really lush garden. I also dreamed that I told my mother that I had a dream of my father sitting on a chair, and a snake came out of the cushions. The snake had 2 arms; it walked to the backdoor, looked at me, and opened the door and walked into the garden. Huh?

Anyhow, about the book -- I got a sheet of Stonehenge to try with the plexi, and I don't like it as much as the BFK. It's slightly lighter weight, and personally I just like the feel of BFK better. Although the difference in weight is very minor, Stonehenge is 245mg/sq. meter and BFK is 250mg/sq. meter, it feels lighter to the hand. I still need to try printing on Stonehenge and see how it takes the ink. I know BFK doesn't gocco all that well without dampening, and that's kind of a drag. I was also going to try Lenox, which I completely forgot about tonight, so will do that tomorrow.

Spent part of the day putting together Mike's b-day party -- booked the room at Wong's King & sent out the invitation. I'll need to go in to drop off the deposit tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Drawing parallels

Started to mock up the cover for the shadow book. Experimented with sanding the plexi and using a cosmetic sponge to apply the gel medium, and it helped a lot in terms of making the adhesive less visible. This means the plexi covers will cost me a lot less -- I won't need holes drilled, and since I'll sand, I won't need the polishing and all that; I won't even want the scratch resistant. The paper I used was a scrap piece of BFK, and you can see the toothiness somewhat. Got out a sheet of superfine coverstock but it isn't heavy enough. I'll need to go paper shopping tomorrow.

Gocco'ed some text on the smooth side, and it casts a nice shadow on the paper below. (This is why saving all those old gocco screens is worthwhile.) To get a better idea of what a full sheet (5.5"x5.5") of plexi would look like over paper, I used a sheet of mylar and hand wrote some stuff on there. Imagination is necessary to pretend the mylar is a sheet of plexi and is glued to a piece of paper the same size. The colored squares are supposed to be pans of eye shadows, which is how I might print the cover page, but I'm undecided at this point.

Started to organize the words I've received so far, and also picking out words and phrases from The Affair blog. It's very serendipitous -- the words people have sent are dovetailing with the blog...I couldn't have come up with more perfect parallels.

Dry afternoon

Dimsum day again; comes around once a month, but a month does go by awfully quickly. After that, I took advantage of the dry weather and got some yard work done. Did a little planning for Mike's 50th birthday party...

Anne brought over a small jar of eye shadow that Lauren had gotten her for a 'mom makeover'. The movie tonight was The Queen.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3...

One of the packages of eye shadows I got was one of those free samples, so I decided to use that for my tests. I want to reserve those that had been 'invested in' and used for the actual book.

I used an X-acto knife to release the eye shadow from the pan and pulverized it with a small stone. Then I mixed a batch of egg medium (egg yolk + white vinegar + water) and mixed up just a blade's worth of the pulverized eye shadow with about equal amount of the egg medium. This was used to paint the 4 test patches, the lines, and the dry brushing on the left page.

I then mixed another blade's worth of the eye shadow pigment with about an equal amount of matte medium, and this was used to paint the 4 patches, the lines, and the dry brushing on the right page.

Both seem 'permanent', ie, couldn't be smudged nor lifted with water after drying (don't know about 'archival'). The egg medium resulted in a smooth surface -- the painted area did not feel much different from the unpainted paper. The matte medium definitely had a texture to it. I'm liking the smoother surface better, and it would definitely be the better choice if I was to paint the paper first before printing the text. I used both a brush and a makeup applicator (a spongy thing) to paint the 4 patches.

I also tried adhering paper to the plexi with pva and gel medium. The gel medium made a good bond but the pva did not. Both left visible marks. Also, every little bit of fuzz stuck on there was visible! If I glue, I can only glue a portion of the paper to the plexi, and I would have to cover the other side too to hide the glue marks. I'll try scratching the surface of the plexi to see if I can create enough of a 'frosted' surface to hide the glue marks. The alternative option -- having holes drilled and then sewn -- does not really appeal to me, both in terms of the visible sewing through the plexi and how I visualize the book will open -- if I can't glue at all, then the end paper will flap around, unless I come up with a solution to that.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Holiday mode

This was Carolyn and Dave's 19th annual cookie exchange today. I took over about 15 persimmons which pretty much took care of the persimmons. Brought a few cookies back for Mike to try, but not too many. Picked up more unwanted eye shadows from Giao at the party and Barbara promised to put some in the mail to me. I'm getting a pretty good collection of colors and brands. Tomorrow needs to be another errand day, but I should have time to experiment with making some paint with the shadows.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Art book club, anyone?

Spent the whole day cleaning the bedroom and bathroom. Dusted off the books & the bookshelves in the bedroom, reorganized them. Now all the books on Islamic art and the Mid East are are at eye level (no longer have to stoop over to find them, yes!), as are most of the art books. Why didn't I think of this earlier? Looking at so many of the yet unread art theory/history/crit books, I'm thinking that I should start a book club for art books. The problem with reading these on your own (ie, not in a theory/history/crit class) is that there's no one to discuss it with. And I find that ideas don't stick if I don't have a chance to discuss it with people.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Correspondences, errands, mistakes...

Another day where little was accomplished -- some correspondences, errands, picked up someone else's gocco order by mistake, had to go back (it was most definitely my mistake, and it was funny, at my expense). Bonnie and Richard came over for a mini persimmon tasting party. They brought over some locally grown fuyus and I supplied my hachiyas, and we compared them. They're trying to decide which kind to plant to replace the cherry that died. I remain loyal to my hachiya (I love that custardy texture), but they might go for the fuyu.

Tonight is the Omneon holiday party, so we're about to leave. I don't think anything will be accomplished today...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I'm a hero

Again, didn't get much sleep last night but this time, due to a sort of upset stomach. I was so sleepy this morning I didn't even remember Mike's leaving for work, and he claimed he said goodbye. Had lots of correspondence to do today, and it was noon before I knew it. Picked up the supplies to frame Jill's piece, put together a CD for the Rake exhibit, and then I visited neighbors, giving out persimmons! They're all ripening at the same time. Now I'm a hero.

Dropped off the CD at Rake's, stopped in at Print Arts for the reception, and at Broderick's for that reception (plus pick up my piece from the show). I guess I'm calling this a day.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Library, and one more idea

It's been 4 weeks since I've gone in; first the foot, then the cold. Helped Jim inventory what he had for the "A Message to Garcia" exhibit. Also asked to see some books that had parallel story lines, but he didn't really have very much there either.

Got to town a bit early because I was on auto-pilot and found myself driving in rather than heading for the transit center. By the time I realized it, it was too late to turn back and still catch the bus. So I got into town rather early; while deciding what to do, came upon the idea that I should make cosmetic bags or evening bags as enclosures for the shadow book. Stopped in at Josephine's to check out their velvets and got 1/4 yard to experiment with.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

On a roll

I hardly got a wink of sleep last night, thinking about the shadow book, tossing and turning. I did come up with a lot of usable ideas. So helped by a little caffeine today, I did some research on using plexi for book covers; found a plastic shop and got some quotes. They also gave me a scrap piece so I can experiment a little. Checked with Jim to see if they had examples of bindings using plexi and imagery painted/printed with cosmetics, but turned up nothing. Did find some examples of plexi binding on the web, but it was hard to see what was going on.

Picked up a couple of packages of eye shadow today. I wonder what you call those -- a tray of eye shadows, a compact of eye shadows, a box of eye shadows? What is a unit of eye shadows?

I'd been waiting for a chance to use this anonymous diary that I came across that documents an affair (yes, someone was blogging about their affair), the link to which was sent to me. I hadn't had quite the right vehicle for it, but now I think the 2 stories can be interwoven together -- the eye shadow's trajectory from object of desire and glamour to something that gets stuffed in a drawer, and the affair's trajectory from passion and seduction to 'boring', as the blogger wrote in one entry. I'm not going to lift the diary straight, I'm looking for a few words here and there as starting points. And 'shadow' fits this 2nd story as well. But a lot still depends on what words the contributors will send along. I might get distracted yet.

Ordered the frame for the small painting that Jill is buying. Will pick up tomorrow.

The movie of the week was Babel.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A good day

I think I made pretty good progress on the Monkey/King piece. Had to run to Kinko's again because I forgot to left-right reverse the map, but didn't have too much traffic problem.

Am getting good responses for my call for eye shadow; will be picking up a couple of them tomorrow and next week, plus Eliza already put hers in the mail. I had been asking for eye shadow that was no longer being used, and turning down the 'I have so much of this stuff, you can have some' type, although I didn't really know why...until Rebecca asked. And I had to put into words something that had been wordless before. It's always good to be challenged. In the end, I think there's just something about the transition from being something desired to something no longer desired that I find interesting, and sad. Especially in cosmetics, always so seductive at the beginning -- the surface all velvety and the color so rich, and its purpose to make us more desirable, in theory.

I regret being so harsh with the plum tree yesterday. It looks pretty sad, just bare branches and hardly as tall as me, all the trimmings left in a big mound next to its stumps. I most certainly hope it comes back ok next spring.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Off with their heads

It was a nice day today (cold, but not raining), so I took the opportunity to finish pruning the grape and the peach. Then I got to work on the plum. Now this is a tree I've been tending to for a few years, careful to follow the instructions of pruning manuals. But every year, it grows more and more scraggly and blooms less and less. So I'm fed up with it. Today, I chopped off its head. Head and torso, and maybe the hips too.

Now the studio is much more exposed to the houses up the hill across the street. And that's how this entry is connected to the studio.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Memorial service for Roxanne

Today was Roxanne's memorial service. I made a quince, apple and blueberry crisp for the dinner after the service and headed down to Salem. Rick put together a beautiful service, there were photos and videos and many people who paid lovely tributes. I didn't know Roxanne very well, and I'm sorry that I didn't. When they first moved out to Oregon, we saw them more, but as they got involved with the community and made friends closer to home, we didn't see them as much. Mike and I are like hermits ourselves, and tend not to be very social at all, so that didn't help. She sounded like an incredible woman, a well loved physician, very involved with the community and many social justice and political causes. After the service and dinner, some of us went out to their house and visited with the extended family. I didn't get home until late in the evening.

I had my one and only dream about Roxanne this morning. It was a real surprise, and it was a dream within a dream. I had woken up and fallen asleep again, and I dreamed that Mike and I were headed down to the memorial, he was driving and I was asleep and dreaming in the passenger seat. In this dream within the dream, Roxanne was sitting in front of me in the passenger seat and said "see, I told you there was a lot more room in this car than it looks". Then I woke up from the inside dream, and then I woke up from the dream.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Out and about

I've been slowly catching up on errands and chores this week, finally being able to drive and am mostly over my cold. And luck was with me today on my errands. Things went smoothly and there wasn't much traffic to speak of. But my foot was pretty sore by the time I finished my errands and got home.

Reorganized my studio this afternoon. It seems like I'm always rearranging my studio, but I have so little space that I'm having trouble figuring out how to do what I need to do. I had my easel against the long wall, which meant I could only get as far away from a piece the length of the short wall minus the table width and minus the easel thickness, which was only maybe 2-3 feet. Which isn't enough for the larger pieces. I swapped the chair with the easel, so now I can step back at least the long length of the room, something like 8-9 feet. Took the opportunity and cleaned up some, especially the entry way which has become so cluttered with mats and frames and it was a fire hazard. It's still not that great, and I'll probably have to move some of the mats into the guest room, but tomorrow.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

There it is!

The 2007 exhibit brochure from Maryhill museum, with a picture of Fatherland in there! I've sent off a query to see if I can get more copies. They got the date wrong; I did it this year (2006) in the spring, but it's labeled as 2003; I don't suppose that matters too much.

This today was balanced out by my rejection from Beaverton Visual Arts Showcase which arrived at the same time. I don't have very good luck with this show, I've been rejected 3 out of 4 times that I've entered; I think maybe I'm just not their thing. Every year I think I won't enter again, but the next time it comes up, I waste another $20. Hope springs eternal I guess. For the record, these were the 2 pieces they rejected -- Look at Them Girls in Their Pretty Brocades and The Three Vanities.

Collected some materials that I might use for the Monkey/King piece. Can't work on it tonight, I'll need to do it outside (for ventilation); so if weather permits, tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Naps are good for somethin'...

More napping today, but while I was napping, I figured out what I was doing with the Monkey King piece. Yes, from weeks and weeks ago, the one I was thinking about cutting into 4 pieces; I now have a better narrative for the image. Given that my Monkey King was already modernized and was wearing Nike shoes, why didn't it occur to me earlier his similarity to another monkey/king of sorts who's wrecking havoc on the world's stage, due to his hubris and naivete? Spent the evening mocking up the image with a few handy things...the map on the bottom is a stand-in for maybe a book like object. Figures on the finger tips might be Buddhist images, or maybe they'll be contemporary images. Don't have anything concrete yet...more naps might be necessary.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cough, cough, nap, nap

OK, so maybe going to the movies last night was a mistake. I coughed all night and then napped half the day away. Hardly got up and finished breakfast before I got back into bed and slept until 2pm. Then I had to deliver a painting for a show, and after that, I napped until after 7pm. Had dinner. I'll probably crawl back into bed, or sofa, and read. Got the new Art News today, so maybe a little of that, and a little of the Eliot Pattison mystery.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Horse, pig, goat, cow, frolicking in the snow

Ooops, separate incidents. We had our first snow today, big flakes but there wasn't much to it. I stood right at the front door and snapped this.

I could barely stay awake in the morning. Had some breakfast, read the paper, and had to take a nap. The throat is worst than yesterday, but my head isn't congested. In the afternoon, finally got back to the studio and back on Giao's painting after many days absence. Today, I decided I must choose among the options I was considering and just go with it; and so I did.

Sketched in the 4 animals with charcoal:

Roughly added some colors:

And scrubbed it in a bit:

The movie tonight was The Fountain. A very romantic idea but the movie really didn't work. If you've seen the trailer, you've seen the movie.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Washed my hair...

Sigh...well, what I can say, I did almost nothing today. Got the go ahead from Alice to upload the newly revamped web site on her web host, so I did that...Washed my hair...Drank lots of hot water with lemon juice. Went to add some honey, only to discover ants had found the honey. Did I mention that we've been having ant trouble? Had tickets to the play tonight, and decided I was feeling up to going. I did have a couple of coughing fits, but I had throat lozenges with me, and water, both helped. Made it through the play without having to leave. A couple came up to me during intermission and introduced themselves and said they had visited my studio during Open Studios and really enjoyed my art. So that was very nice.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Under the weather

The bright shinning moment of the day! Check out these persimmons. I gave maybe 20 to Diane the other day, and I think there are still 15 or so on the tree, a bit too green to pick yet. We finally had a dry day today, and it wasn't too cold, so I decided today was the day. Also picked the rest of the quince. Well, almost; later I noticed that I left some behind.

I'm definitely coming down with whatever Mike had. Made further changes to Alice's site per request, and did some research on the shadow project. Now that I might already be getting a care package of unwanted eye shadows, I'm getting excited about the prospect.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Almost out the door

Put together the final details for #20 issue of Pudding, duplicated the technical notes, cut & folded, stuffed, stamped and licked all the envelopes. It's all set to go to the post office. Made more changes to Alice's web site per request. No movie tonight, but just as well, I think I'm finally catching Mike's cold.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Quest for Immortality

Had a quiet Thanksgiving (actually, we didn't celebrate it). The museum was open, so we saw the Quest for Immortality show, which was pretty good. Glad I got the audio tour, too. Mike is still sick so we didn't see anything else at the museum; got a cup of coffee and came home. Wrote up the technical data for this issue of Pudding; I'll go try my luck at Kinko's tomorrow (yuck, at Washington Square II, it will probably be crazy).

And it's another movie tonight, two nights in a row. Well, it is a holiday. Little Children, which I really wanted to see, so I was glad that the coin turned up correctly. Although the other choice tonight I really want to see as well (The Fountain), maybe we'll make it three nights in a row. Anyhow, it was excellent.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

New issue of Pudding

Finally printed the fall (10/2006) issue of Pudding. I'll need to write up the technical notes and get to Kinko's, and I should be finished with all that on Friday. Hopefully, everything will be out in the mail on Sat. See goccoing on for what the new issue is about.

I must've overdone it on Monday (driving and walking around all day without my boot). The foot's been pretty sore today and yesterday, so now I'm back in the boot again. Everything goes so much slower with the boot, can't walk very fast, can't move very fast, takes 20 minutes to walk around the block a few times.

The movie tonight was Casino Royale. It's the best Bond movie in a long time, and Daniel Craig is the best Bond. Ever. Better than Sean Connery...yes, now I've said it (and what's more, I never liked him). Craig was definitely sexy; in the first scene with M, I thought he was positively going to give her a passionate kiss (that'd be Judi Dench)! The only glitch was that his declaration of love to Eva Green didn't ring true, and I think he was supposed to have been sincere about it. Her change of feelings towards him didn't feel right either. I thought for sure they were setting each other up for something.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Shadow looming

Before I forget, there's 'capturing shadow', the Chinese phrase for photography, and eye shadow. I like the 'eye shadow' idea, it can easily be both humorous and serious; I bet I can even score a ton of unused (and no longer wanted) eye shadow from people...hmmm, I think my project just took a whole different turn than what I intended. But I should definitely see what unused eye shadow I can pick up on freecycle.

Spent the morning helping Diane with her dollar bill project. It's really improved a great deal since she first started trying the gocco printer with it. Each time she changes her drawing and ink mix a little, it gets a bit closer to what she had in mind. I think today she got a lot closer to what she had in mind. It's starting to look pretty good. Then she took me out to lunch at the sumo place.

Cleaned up the house a little, the boot contraption tracks in a ton of needles and leaves and the place was just a mess. Then I started to set up for printing the next issue of Pudding, which will be No. 20! It will see which of the gocco inks contain carbon and will actually flash through the screen if the screen is stained with that ink. I flashed a partially used screen a couple of months ago, and it had previously been printed with an olive green. Where the screen was stained with the olive green, it flashed through. So needless to say, the original design on the screen is no longer usable. So I've made little ink stains and labeled them, and tomorrow, I'll flash a screen with it and see which colors flash through. There's something about the little sheet of labeled stains that looks so sweet...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Toss, recycle, give away

Took a short drive in the car this afternoon; driving turned out to be much easier than walking, so I probably could've driven a few days ago already. The foot's still pretty sore, and it's hard to clean wearing the boot, so I've dispensed with the boot for the day while I finished cleaning. We'll see if I pay for it tomorrow. So ta's the oh so clean gocco room (which looks suspiciously like a bedroom):

And one thing leads to another -- while cleaning the gocco room, I came across old gocco'ed stuff that I'd been saving for maybe making collages. Deciding that I'd probably never use them, now I'm looking for stuff that I've saved in the flat file but will probably never use either. Tossed out some old never finished drawings (in the recycling bin, that is), and here's the pile that's still waiting to be sorted.

Not sure what I'll do with the gocco'ed bits (old prints, cards). Seems a shame to stuff them in the recycle bins too, I do think they make good collage fodder. I might see if I can give them away.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Low energy in the household

Mike's been feeling pretty miserable and continued to feel so today. I'm still house bound and got caught up on some reading. Cleaned up the Gocco room a little bit until my foot started to bother me. I will have to finish cleaning tomorrow and then I can dirty it up again printing the next issue of Pudding. That's how it always goes, get it cleaned up just so I can dirty it up again. Here it is, half way through the cleaning, at least most of the stuff on the floor is now in boxes...most.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Hohum sale, fantastic concert

OK, lets quickly get this part over with -- the holiday sale was hohum, I got close to my goal which was $200, I haven't tallied it up yet. But sold a couple of prints and a smattering of cards.

Then there was the concert with Rachid Halihal and Souhail Kaspar which went late into the night. Souhail is his usual self, a great drummer who wants to do stand up comedy, and Rachid was his usual to die for self, with that beautiful smile that he flashes when he's playing just right or when he sings. Too bad I my foot was still in the boot, but I did get up and 'danced' for a bit (just waved my arms around while Carolyn danced circles around me). The dancers say Rachid is just the sweetest guy, too. They all know him from camp, which I've never gone in all these years. I really must sometime before I get too old to move around.

Here's Rachid on the oud (he also plays the violin, both the Arabic style and Western) and supplying the vocals, and Souhail on the dumbek. I don't recall the name of the other drummer or the woman on the tambourine.

And here's closer one of Rachid. You can sort of see that he's smiling and having a great time making music.

Unfortunately we had to leave before the party was over, but it was just a great evening.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Ferry Tale

It's been almost 2 years since I started the Ferry Tale on my web site. People do seem to read it and I've heard from people wondering when I was going to add new segments, and now I have. Not sure why I didn't have any interest in adding to it for so long, it was so much fun remembering all that and putting it all down. I hope to be more consistent with it, at least for a little while.

Got ready for the holiday sales tomorrow at Portland Art Center. Not sure what to expect. I did send out an email announcement, but it's a busy time of the year and people might just be sick of getting announcements from me by now. I'm keeping my expectations pretty low. I did manage to buy one of those folding 6' tables -- fold in half, that is -- with a handle so it's much easier to manage, and I can haul it in the Saturn rather than having to use the Jeep. Unfortunately, I'm still not wanting to put much weight or pressure on the clutch foot, so Mike will have to take me tomorrow, but he can take me in the Saturn! Too bad I didn't manage to get to Target while those tables were on sale, I could've saved 30% ($15), not a small difference.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Some pictures

Giao's painting, with the underpainting done. I found some images of their zodiac signs -- horse, pig, goat, and cow, and made some sketches (the cow's not done yet, and I don't like the pig so will find another). Image below has 3 of the sketches on top of the underpainting. Right now, I'm thinking that I'll paint most of the background white, and then draw on top with charcoal. But I'll wait and see what happens when I find a pig I like and add the cow as well. And I was in the studio by noon today.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Giao's painting

I'm finally back to work on the commission for Giao. It's a family portrait of sorts, done in their zodiac animal signs. I keep thinking about Fred Tomaselli's paintings when I think about this painting. I don't mean that I wish to imitate him, although he's one of my favorites, I just can't help but think about his paintings in this instance. And yes, the blog has a slightly different look. Have started to think about the 'shadow' book again -- shadow play, hand shadow, shadow puppets, shadow world, shadow government, casting a long shadow, standing under someone's shadow, rain shadow. Right, and there's Shadow, the neighbor's dog, and 'shadowing' someone. Deadline in mid February, I should have a more concrete idea by the end of the month, I hope.

Wrote Bonnie a thank you note for putting my name forth to the Maryhill show. Still need to write Roberta (who also put forth my name) and also the curator himself. After he left, I realized that there was one book, another deck of cards, that I really wanted to show him but completely forgot. I guess I best get to work writing them thank you's.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Exciting news!

The curator from Maryhill museum came by for a visit this afternoon to look at my artist's books. They're doing a books arts exhibit next year and I'll be one of the artists in the show! I won't find out for a while which book(s) he chooses, but apparently, he already knows that one of the images I sent will be in a brochure! !! !! !! I can hardly believe it! Although I guess until I see the brochure, I'll keep in mind that it may not happen...don't count your chicks and all. My cell phone arrived right before the curator arrived, so after the visit, I spent most of the afternoon playing with the phone, trying out the camera and video features. It also has a panoramic feature that's very cute. The movie tonight was Borat; it had its moments, although I wished he had made up a country rather than insult the Kazaks.

Finished the Kiki Smith interview, and I'm left somewhat disappointed -- that her process isn't more rigorous (seems more like how I work, try this, try that...), and that she's 'angry' (at her parents, as implied) that she's not better educated. It seems to me that a 50+ year old person should be taking responsibilities for such things for herself. Of course it is possible that the interviewer misrepresented her.

Anyhow, this is the boot contraption I'm walking around in, taken with the camera on the phone:

Monday, November 13, 2006

Still house bound

My foot hasn't improved much since yesterday. Talked to Eliza about the San Juan Island gocco class, and she thought that it would be better to go ahead and cancel the class now rather than wait until Wed, since I couldn't guarantee that I'd be able to drive up come Friday. So this means I'll be able to participate in the Saturday holiday sale at Portland Art Center. Carolyn brought over her card rack for me to use, but I realized after she left that the slots are too small for the larger cards I've been making. Oh well. Had long chats with both Eliza and Carolyn. I had ordered a cell phone last week, thinking that I should have one for the long drive to San Juan Islands, after my experience with the car accident last week. But now I don't need it anymore. It's supposed to have decent camera in it, so hopefully I'll enjoy that.

Yesterday, after struggling with the dropdown menus -- if it all works in Safair, then it doesn't work in Explorer; get it to work in Explorer, then it doesn't work in Firefox -- I gave up. It just went on and on. Obviously it's possible to do such a thing and make it work for all different browsers on different platforms, but I'm not able to figure it out armed with just the javascript reference book and the html reference book. I finally gave up and proposed a different scheme to Alice, which she liked, thankfully. So I got that pretty much wrapped up today.

Cleaned up the house a little bit, someone from Maryhill is coming for a studio visit tomorrow for a show next year.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Accident prone

Today's turned out to be quite different than I anticipated. I tripped and hurt my foot again last night, the same foot I broke a few years ago on the same step! I'm getting rid of that step in the remodel, I swear. I didn't break the foot this time, although it still hurts plenty. I can't put any weight on it, so walking or driving a clutch are both out of the question. So that took out my plans for the day -- to see the embroidery show at the Contemporary Crafts Museum and the Sitka exhibit a the Forestry Center, this being the last day for both shows. And to add insult to injury, I was carrying a cup of tea I had JUST made, so of course I burnt my hand as well. Oy and double oy.

After sleeping until 9:30 this morning, I've just been sitting around reading. So now it's almost 3pm, I better get to work finishing up Alice's web site.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

More big dreams, and some reality

Reality first. Today was the Portland Art Center show reception. I admit that I didn't make a big effort to invite my friends, I just handed out the postcards to people as I saw/met them. It was pretty quiet, more or less what I expected for a Saturday and out of the main gallery loop opening. There were maybe 50 people through out the afternoon, a steady flow but never very many at a time. There were two people whose work I really liked, but the rest were pretty uneven. They're all very enthusiastic though, so you have to give them that. The organizer is very focused and enthused, ambitious, and really seems to know what she wants, so I hope she finds her niche with what she's doing.

Now the big (bigger) dream -- I looked at the main floor today, and thought about the added on 2nd floor, and realized that the space would probably be way bigger than I'll realistically use. Then the light bulb went off...I can rent out the extra space, either as a rental studio to another artist, or maybe a day-use studio for classes. How is that for a good idea.

And more reality. I was reading the Kiki Smith interview in the NYT magazine today, and she's only in her 50's, something like 52, or maybe it was 56, I don't have the article in front of me. That's only 6-10 years older than me. How depressing. For all that she has done, I always figured she was getting up there, but I guess not.

Friday, November 10, 2006


No, I didn't waste all day daydreaming. I actually got a fair amount of work done on Alice's web site. Then there's more Portland Art Center show label stuff to deal with -- making a 2nd set for some people, and others who have hung additional work or swapped out work since I got the labels done. Updated my resume for the folder. It's another super wet rainy day and my feet got pretty cold and wet on my walk tonight, so I got in the bathtub and that was where the daydreaming occurred.

I think an added 2nd floor to the house would be just so perfect for a studio space. I've even figured out how we can do it without sacrificing all the wonderful natural light that we get on the main floor now. We can also add solar panels, since it will have quite a bit of south facing roof. The north side will look down into the main part of the front garden, and of course that's where most of the large windows will be for lots of natural light. Perfect!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bye bye to Wild Abandon

So this is the piece I sold today (it's gouache). It's funny, it's from 2002, and many people have said how much they loved the piece, but I just sold it today. And the person who bought it actually saw it last year and returned this year to buy it. I guess that's not the longest someone's waited. I had someone who came back 2 years after seeing something and called me and ended up buying 2 pieces; then she came back another year later and bought another piece. Well, that makes me happy. And this is what it looks like framed.

Went out to Hillsboro with Theresa today to see the Glen and Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center space. We'll be doing a 2 person show in May. She's pretty excited about the prospect and seemed to like the space a lot, so that's good. I invited her after seeing the space and realizing that I'd not be able to fill the space by myself.

And sounds like the labels at Portland Art Center are not falling off after all. Someone just saw it while they were still being moved around.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Label trouble

Seems like the labels at the Portland Art Center show had to be moved, and now they're no longer sticking to the walls. Sigh. Not sure if the labels themselves are not up to standards (Avery brand), in which case a different pack of labels will be necessary. Still waiting to hear back from Karen, and anyone else in the group, to see what they want done about it.

Dropped off the prints at Print Arts NW for the Dec show, and Jill decided to buy one of my small paintings! Yay! She's getting it for herself as a treat for her new job (once again, boohoo, she's leaving us!). I don't think I have a picture handy to put up, but I'll probably take one before I frame it up. Then it was the library, then the Portland Open Studios wrap up meeting/party, and did a little work on Alice's web site.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The business end

I finally finished my proposal for a class at OCAC next summer and sent it off; this is the image I sent for the catalog, although they may or may not use it. I hope the class goes, it will be the first time I'm teaching this 3-day class. Maybe the prospect of making large prints on those tiny print beds will attract a few people.

Went to the frame shop; framed up another copy of Skin & Bones for the Dec show at Print Arts. These are two small prints that I did this summer, I was having fun with them. I wanted to do something different from my normal way of working, so no computers, just found and hand drawn images. Well, ok, I did use Illustrator to make the circles. There was a third one which I haven't printed up yet. Everything just takes so long.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Down with dropdowns

Spent the afternoon working on Alice's dropdown menus. I tried 3 different versions and didn't really like them. I think the problem is that they drop down over images of her illustrations. I tried moving the illustrations far down enough to not interfere, but the gap is too much. Not sure what she would choose. Tonight's movie was Flushed Away; it was a little disappointing, I didn't think it was all that original, although the high speed chase on mixers was a good one.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Portland Art Center exhibit, Armory tour

Today was the day to hang the Portland Art Center exhibit. Didn't take very long, I only had 5 pieces. Some of the others in the group were much more ambitious, including one who was painting the wall orange (just a stripe). I put up The Three Vanities, Look at Them Girls in Pretty Brocades, Cobwebs in the Fetish Cabinet, Do You Read Me?, and Up to the Western Sky. I was in the washroom when everyone had to choose their spots; good thing Mike was there and he chose a great spot.

Toured the Armory in the morning. It was funny, the historian (1 of 3 people giving the talks and tours) said something about how probably nobody ever walked by the building back in the 90's and thought about putting a theater there. I felt like jumping up and down and saying I did, I did! I used to walk by in the late 80's and early 90's, and would tell Mike that when we got rich, REALLY rich, we should buy the armory and turn it into a theater. So take that, historian! The did a great job with the building, it's both historical and modern, a nice contrast which they talked about a lot. The afternoon was spent catching up on the paper and voting.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

No prizes for me

Well, tonight was the IPRC Text Ball, and unfortunately, I didn't win any prizes with my creation. First prize was Better Dead Than Red, very deserving of the prize. I can't remember who 2nd prize was, but the 3rd prize was good, too -- Times New Roman, a toga printed with, well, Times New Roman text. I liked the romance novel jacket, too -- on the front of the jacket were front jacket covers from romance novels, and back covers were on the jacket back. And inside, were quotes from romance novels.

Spent the afternoon packing up for hanging the show at Portland Art Center tomorrow. Good thing I wasn't able to give away the suitcase, I ended up using it to pack the pieces for the show. It was perfect. The morning was Print Arts Northwest membership meeting. The big surprise is that Jill is leaving...boohoo. The show, Print Arts Currents, up at PNCA right now is very good, which is good, since I didn't get in.

Friday, November 03, 2006

By definition, it's done

Here's the front side. The picture I had of Eliza, taken by Chris years ago of her lying on some rocks, was perfect for the opening line! I've always loved the contact print framed in the tiny gilt frame, and it's just perfect for this. The rest of the day wasn't so perfect, however. The printed wonton 'fortunes' were not as successful as I'd hoped. Some were somewhat legible but most were not. But I didn't want to spend much more time on it, and in either case, didn't have any more time to spend on it. I should write down what I did today so if I decide to experiment some more, I know what already didn't work --

- Coated whole wonton skins with melted butter, let dry.
- Gocco'ed text with warmed hot fudge sauce. I used Kroeger's, since you can't taste the chocolate anyhow, there being so little of it on there. Anyhow, it hardly printed at all! When I experimented with it last week, using Harry & David's choc. sauce, it worked so beautifully. So 2 possibilities -- 1) the choc sauce makes a difference, or 2) since I used an old screen for test, the screen still had some oily residue left from when I printed with gocco ink. It's possible that what was printing was the residue on the screen and not from the choc sauce.
- Scraped off the choc sauce and used cake decorating gel. This worked a little better, but not much better. I think maybe coating the wonton with butter was a mistake. Printing on the unbuttered side yielded better results, but still, only some of the fortunes were legible.

I baked the strips in the toaster over, 5 minutes at 350 deg. They came out nice and crisp, but not a lot of taste, which was what I expected. I got some hummus from Ya Halla tonight, and also some bread, so at least I've got that.

Did work on Alice's web site a bit today. Got all the small changes done. I'll make the big changes next week.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Much more work than I anticipated

I ended up working on my IPRC ball costume for most of the afternoon, and only finished the back, maybe. The front side has the text done, but not the embellishments. The red and black spots are supposed to be droplets of blood...Didn't work on Alice's web site (oops).

Tonight was the last night of fencing. The class was a ton of fun, unfortunately, I just can't take on another regular thing to do so we won't be signing up for anymore for the time being.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Panorama photos

Today's another day of a little of every project -- more of Alice's web site, updated my own web site, worked on labels for the Portland Art Center Show (10 women, some with as many as 10 pieces), worked on my My Name is Red costume, and buffed the leather covers for my Byzantine book. Then this evening, I unexpectedly got a panorama photo from a friend asking for feedback. This is something he's going to print 90" wide. I hadn't thought much about stitching 360 deg panoramas until I had to look at this, but it's tricky. The light levels change from shot to shot, with bright windows and deep shades giving you a wide dynamic range. Then you have to stitch them all together seamlessly. But it was an interesting photo of a house, the owners having been moved into a nursing home. The furniture, photos, magazines are all in place, but no one lives there any more. So the upshot of this is that I spent an hour and half tonight looking at the photo and didn't get any work done.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A little of each

Finished up some of the weekly errands today, shipped the painting to Margaret in CT, worked on the IPRC text ball costume some more, and looked at Alice's dropdown menu some more. Someone came by to look at a painting, not sure anything will happen though. Did a bit of yard work. The movie was Short Bus at Cinema 21.

Monday, October 30, 2006

My Name is Red

One of my favorite books, which I will be dressed as for the IPRC text ball. I'm just part way through working on the costume, but I'm afraid it's not terribly creative, just a literal interpretation. There are a couple of nice touches though. The book starts with a corpse talking, which for a close-to-Halloween party, it's sort of related. The corpse was an illuminator, so I did the text in gold. I'm thinking about emphasizing the word 'felt', since I felted the sweater (hahaha) first. But then again, maybe I won't. I'll do the back side tomorrow. The moth holes will be covered up with round red droplets of 'ink' that I'll applique over the holes.

Spent a little time working on Alice's web site update, but today was mostly an errands day -- Costco, groceries, etc.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Finished book

The finished book! It's hard to see in the photo, but the exposed binding is very pretty, forming a 'butterfly' (or figure 8) at the top and bottom of the spine. The leather is kangaroo leather, the white stripes vellum (animal vellum), and the square and round punchouts show the underlay marbled paper. The clasp strap is also of kangaroo leather. The leather is pretty easily marred; when I was just now holding it, I scratched up the surface a bit with some chapped skin on my thumb. I will finish the surface of the leather by buffing with wheat paste, but not tonight. That's supposed to help protecting the surface.

It's a nice size book, just right for holding in one's hands. It's about the right size and shape as a light switch plate though, maybe a little bigger. I keep thinking about maybe using light switch plates to make book covers; the cut outs can be used to display a recessed image or title, even.

The class was pretty good, Bonnie's instructions were clear and we had enough time to finish every step of the way. Actually, I would've liked the opportunity to purchase a 2nd set of materials; I think I had enough time to make a 2nd book. Especially today, when I packed a lunch instead of going out. I had lots of free time, and we finished the day maybe an hour early too.

Of all the sewn structures I've learned, I like this the best.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Byzantine binding, coptic cover, Ethiopian dinner

Day One of the Byzantine binding class. Actually, we're doing an exposed Byzantine binding on the textblock with a late coptic least that's what I think we're doing; it might be the other way around.

It's the first time I've worked with leather, and it's so much easier than working with paper! I've never worked with book cloth, but I understand it's also harder than leather. It definitely has it's own pitfalls too, but my first leather covers are looking a lot better than my umpteenth paper covers already. We left them under weight to dry over night; I can't wait to see what they look like in the morning...they'll be perfect, but of course.

And for dinner, I suggested two theme eating places -- Greek or Ethiopian, there being no Turkish places in town that I know of. The group went for Ethiopian and it was a big hit with the out of towners.

Too bad I forgot to take pictures of the class.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Book weekend

Following the egg tempera/icon painting class a couple of weekends ago, this weekend is the Byzantine bookbinding class. It should be fun. The instructor, Bonnie Stahlecker gave a talk and slide show of her own work this evening. She showed a selection of her work from the past 10 years or so, many of which were accordion books or sculptural works, but there were couple of examples of the binding we'll do tomorrow. Not sure what I would do with what I learn, but of course I'm interested in anything Byzantine. Her imagery is very painterly, very beautiful.

Took care of the business end of things today -- got a submission out and got some details of the Hillsboro show ironed out.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


OK, I'm finally making some progress with the pulldown menu stuff. Still having trouble with the pulldown links not changing colors when the mouse hovers over, but only in Safari. It seems to be working fine in Opera, Explorer, and Firefox. We'll see if Alice would be willing to proceed knowing that this problem may not get fixed.

Visited with Tami (another artist in the area) today.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

It's a tough town

Visited another artist today. Pamela moved up here from LA last year and is trying to establish herself. She's an amazing artist, doing allegorical, figurative paintings. Apparently right after she moved up here, she sent out her slides to some of the major galleries in town and was turned down by them all; she was picked up by a new gallery, but the relationship seems a bit tenuous. After hearing her tales, I'm a little discouraged. She has a beautful space to work in -- spacious, bright, and has a view of her garden.

Got home from visiting Pamela in time to have lunch and work on the javascript a little before heading into town for my library volunteer duties. Then it was dinner with Ray and Bonnie and off to see the Silk Road Odyssey film, which turned out to be quite disapppointing. A not very well done travelogue.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Gocco, wontons, and chocolate sauce

What do these have in common? Well, as it would turn out, they work pretty well together. I was able to print 12pt text onto wonton skins by using the gocco printer to print and chocolate sauce as my 'ink'. I was playing around with making something edible (more or less) and readable for the IPRC text ball. After baking in the toaster oven, they become sort of like chips, and the texts are still legible; with some tasty dip, I think it would work pretty well. I'll make 'fortunes' by printing text directly onto strips of wonton skin and baking them.

I think I'll go as 'My Name is Red'. I have some wool things that have gotten holey from moths. I felted them tonight in the washer and dryer. I'll either gocco the text or embroider the text on them.

Outside of that, it's oy with dropdown menus for Alice's web site. I'm starting to make a little progress but it's a lot more complex than I can do in a day or two. Went out and bought a book, but after looking through it tonight, I don't think it's quite what I need; I think I'll return it tomorrow.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Back to work

Today was the last day for me to invite someone to join me at the show in Hillsboro next May, and since I visited Theresa and liked her work, I decided to invite her. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to visit everyone last week since the car was out of commission, and I hope this will work out well. I really liked some of her paintings, but others I didn't care for as much. That's always how it goes, I suppose. Got back from visiting her studio at 3:30pm. Then it was looking at updating Alice's web site, trying to figure out how to implement drop down menus in javascript. Made a little progress.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Last day of 'vacation'

I'm seriously getting back to work tomorrow; no, really! But today, I had a relaxing day of visiting a few of the east side open studio artists. There weren't that many I wanted to see, but I did want to see Andrea Benson and Briana Linden; both of them work in encaustics. Ran into Abigail at Briana's and chatted for a little bit, and that was very nice. Briana's husband Troy is an artist/illustrator, and they share the garage studio, and I spotted a bat t-shirt! So he custom made one for me while I visited Dawn Phelps McConnell's studio. Here's the shirt. I know it's lame putting up someone else's design work here...but it's a very nice bat.

Lets see, what else...saw David Kerr's studio and garden, saw a lampwork bead maker. I guess that was it. David's garden was amazing. There were a couple of other artists that I wanted to visit, but I ran out of time. Had to get home in time to make it to dinner and West Side Story at the new Armory.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Gocco flash & swap

Today was the 2nd Gocco flash & swap, and it was much quieter than the last one. Only 2 of the 5 people who rsvp came (2 canceled and 1 was a no show), and only 1 of them had a project to work on. Diane was still working on her dollar bill project but was having 2nd thoughts about the distribution process -- she doesn't want to get thrown in jail, even though we promised we'd visit ("but I have children!"). Rachel didn't have a project ready but came to be social anyhow. I did send them home with bags of quinces from the tree.

I'll try hosting another flash & swap and see how that goes, but it may not be as much of a hit as I figured it'd be.

Yeah, when I was planning my POS tour tomorrow, I noticed that the 'artist by category' listing didn't even list me in the right category! I checked my application, yes, I did say 'watercolors & gouache', but they didn't list me there. That, along with printing my image sideways and REALLY dark, makes me rather unhappy. I wonder how much that has to do with my 30% decrease in traffic this year.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Belated realizations

I just figured out that yesterday was a real 'rats' kind of a day. Not only did I buy the Robert Nelson drawing of the rats, the Brad Adkins exhibit had a neon sign that said 'Rats' (for $3000! I wonder how much it would cost to go down to the neon sign maker and have one made?). The 2 people that I talked to on my gallery walk also happened to mention that they were 34 years old, which would most likely make them rats as well.

Which brings me to the 2nd realization -- that how important it is to get out there and make the gallery rounds. In the past few years I've just not been very good about that, but...I appreciated the Brad Adkins exhibit a lot more after I talked to the gallery assistant (the 34 year old rat), and also, I got invited to participate in an exhibit in Jan/2007 (by the other 34 year old). I think it's a case of 'see artist, invite artist to exhibit' syndrome. It's not the first time that's happened -- you walk in and they say, oh hey, how would you like to send me a CD/bring me some work for a show in x month?

Well, I'm still taking it easy. I got the car back from the shop today, so despite that it's Friday, the worst day for running errands, I ran some errands. The pent up demand you know. Spent a little time cleaning up the studio. I should've looked at Alice's CD for the web site update, but didn't manage to get there. And we're off to see the Science of Sleep now.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Gallery walk

Since the car's still in the shop, I had to take the bus to Citizen's to pick up slides. That being a fairly long commute, I decided to make a day of it in town and went on my gallery walk. Ended up buying a Robert Nelson drawing, one that I was looking at earlier in the year and thought for sure it would sell during his show in September. But for some reason, it didn't sell, although the show was a big success and he sold a lot of work. Anyhow, since it was still there, and it being a drawing of a big rat lifting weight, I now have even more reasons to claim it. And so I did. (See here. It's the giant muscular rat lifting weight.) I probably shouldn't have, since the car is going to cost $1600 to repair. Spent a good 5 hours walking around in the Pearl today.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Late breaking news

On my way home from dropping off the extra Portland Open Studios tour guides, I had an accident. While getting on 217 from 26, I lost control of the car on the on ramp. I thought I had a flat tire. I decided that if I had a flat tire, I shouldn't be getting on the freeway; so I hit the breaks and at that point, really had no control of the car and hit the cement guard. Luckily, there were no other cars around, and I managed to get the car onto the shoulder. I was pretty lucky, after that, it was non-stop traffic, and I saw a few cars swerving around at the same spot. So maybe it was a slippery patch there.

There was no flat tire, but I banged up the wheel a little bit. I waited in the car for a while, thinking someone would stop, but nobody did. I finally got out, stood by the side of the road and made telephone gestures at the cars driving by. Someone stopped pretty quickly and I called AAA. The tow truck came in about 5 minutes and we were off to the garage. And now I'm home, a little sore that I had, on a lark, decided to go 26 instead of Walker. But one never knows, something else might've happened had I taken Walker. Anyhow, glad to be home and not hurt.

This does mean that I have to cancel my library gig this afternoon. So I guess I'll clean my studio instead. So that's how this entry is connected to what's happening in the studio.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Visits with Josephine and Blake

I'm going to spend this and next week visiting some Portland Open Studios artists whose work I don't get to see because I'm open at the same time. So today was my first such visit. I went to Blake's glass beads studio. Blake and I met when she was program manager at the Chinese Garden. She organized the printmaking class I taught there. Soon after that, though, she decided to leave her regular job to do her own thing and started this glass beads studio. She now has a showroom, has a lot of commercial accounts, and even has a boutique in Taiwan carrying her jewelry. We chatted for quite a while as she worked on some necklaces. We decided to do a trade. Earlier in the afternoon, I delivered a framed print to the Chinese Garden office (someone working there bought a piece this last weekend), and took a long walk in the garden with Josephine. She did a lot of the PR for the event in various local papers. This was the first time I'd been in the garden when the Osmanthus was in bloom. Too bad my nose isn't that good, although I could smell it when I got really close. According to Josephine, you could smell it 4 blocks away!

As to whether my attendance was down due to lack of press coverage -- I don't know. It's true I got some press coverage 2 years ago, but according to my informal poll, NOBODY came due to the profile in The Asian Reporter. I got no press coverage last year, but my attendance was about the same. The weather this year is about the same as last year, drizzly and cold. It's true that my image in the tour guide was reproduced very poorly this year -- they printed it sideways and REALLY dark. I was really disappointed with the tour guide, actually. I haven't talked to anyone else who's done the event before, so I don't know if this was just me or if it was everyone.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Taking it easy

Day 1 of recovery from Portland Open Studios. Went to the bead shop to get beads for my bat earrings. Went to Paloma's, but their sale was over so I didn't get anything. Made a CD of some recent paintings for Carl over at the Art Center in Hillsboro and dropped it off. Met and chatted with him for a bit. Looks like I'll be showing there in a 2 person show next May. I'm a little bit disappointed in the space -- it's a long skinny hall way with no natural light (although it's well lit), and the walls were painted red and yellow. I suppose it's ok.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Done for the year

Another year, another Portland Open Studios. Traffic is definitely down this year, for me anyhow. I'd guess we had 100 people for the 2 days, which would mean down about 30% from last year, and the year before. My sales are down 40% from last year. There just wasn't that 1 person who came in and bought a $500 piece like before.

Moving on to the November show. I guess since I still have the large pieces, I'm now ready for the November show. I really have no hope of selling anything at the November show though. I'm going into the show not knowing what the other's works are like, except for 2 people, so I don't know what to expect.

But it's exhausting to be on your feet for 7-8 hours a day, 2 days in a row, doing demos. The 'self-guided tour' of my painting process seemed to be a hit though.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

One down, one to go

Day 1 of Portland Open Studios. This was a bit of a slow day compared to Saturdays of previous years. I think I had maybe 50-60 people there, compared with more like 70-80 people in the past. There was a fair amount of down time, or times with only 3-4 people there. There were a few times when there were 10+ people there, but not as much as in the past, I don't think. Sold some prints but no paintings, which was disappointing. But I recovered my framing cost already, which is nice. And if I don't sell the paintings, that means I'm all set for the November show, too. So I guess it's not all bad.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Ready or not...

This is Friday night, I still have 1 more thing to do -- prepare for the demo. Otherwise, I'm as ready as I'll ever be. The upstairs is clean, all the pieces are hung (2 pictures below) and labeled. Cards are made, PR materials are put out. There's food/snacks/water for everyone.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

House cleaning

One trouble with doing Portland Open Studios is that I have to clean house. That took up most of today, and now M is finishing it up for me while I work on some PR materials and labels. Plus there was the Portland Art Center show meeting this afternoon. As always, I'll be ready just by the hairs of my chinny chin chin.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Moving on to labeling

All finished with framing and matting. Now I'm onto labeling...

(And the studio is much cleaner.)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More framing...

Art made with a colorcopier, it's fabulous.

More framing today. Here's the mess:

And more mess:

Monday, October 09, 2006

Rusty is framed, and sold!

I sold Rusty Fragments last night! Made the deal from the email announcement I sent out for Portland Open Studios.

Today was photo day and framing day. Frame Central redeemed themselves by getting all of the frames ready today (just 3 days late in stead of 5). So I started framing. Since Rusty got sold, I framed it first. Also framed Cobwebs in the Fetish Cabinet. The rest will have to wait until tomorrow, and maybe Wed. Here's the framed Rusty:

Sunday, October 08, 2006

St. Andrew

The 2nd and last day of the egg tempera painting workshop. Our assignment was to paint an icon of St. Andrew. The instructor, Sean Cain, had an outline for us to copy on our clayboards, and then we could paint as we wished, following the basic guidelines of 1) painting dark to light, 2) feathering transitions areas in the skin tones. And also following the traditional color choices for skin and hair.

So this was my finished icon. I decided to play around with the background area, since I had all that unused space. The texture was created by wiping (with some oomph) with a paper towel while the top layer of paint was still damp. I also wiped into the painted icon around the edges so that it looked more integrated. The clayboard that Sean had specified for the class was 7"x9", but I already had this board that was slightly larger at 9"x12". And it was just a little to big for the composition, so I created the border, originally thinking I would do a decorated border, but there was no time.

Now I'm thinking that I'd try to use it as a cover board for the Byzantine bookbinding class that I'm taking in 3 weeks.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Egg Tempera

Today was the 1st of 2 days of my egg tempera painting class. All day. Both days. And I'm already exhausted after one day. My right arm was already REALLY tired from fencing on Thursday night, and having to work in hundreds if not thousands of little tiny strokes seemed to have done me in. I don't think I'm getting anything else done tonight. I'll try to remember to take out the film tonight so I can photograph the pieces before they go into the frame tomorrow night. Or maybe Monday night.

On a brighter note, I might have sold Rusty Fragments already, just from the announcement! They wanted to know the sizes and everything, so it can still not work out, but still, I'm excited.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Never run errands on Fridays

Maybe now I'll remember that, having written it down.

Since I didn't get museum boards yesterday, I decided to do that today. And since I'd be headed Beaverton way, I figured I might as well run some Beaverton direction errands. Bad mistake, as I remembered once I was caught in traffic. Anyhow, got the boards, checked out the framing services at Art Media (just noticed today that they had custom framing supplies). Prices seemed pretty comparable to Frame Central, but I like the selections better, so I'd definitely try them next time. Especially since FC told me that most of my frames would be cut and ready to be picked up this afternoon, and then I found out at 6pm (and I had to call them), that they wouldn't be. They ran out of the moldings. So now I have to wait until next Wed.

And I seemed to have left the announcements to the last minute. I've been meaning to get them out early this week but didn't. So got the email announcement out, but I still have maybe 40 postcards that I'd need to send out, the old fashioned way.

Tonight, I should be cutting some mats, but maybe I'll decide that it's Friday night after all. I do have to get ready for my egg tempera class tomorrow and Sunday.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Time to get serious about preparing for Portland Open Studios. Went to Frame Central to order frames for 8 new pieces (almost $800!!). Went into town to pick up 6 pieces that were in a Open Studios Preview show. Tried to slip into Art Media to get some museum boards, but couldn't find parking so decided to skip it for today. Will try the Beaverton Art Media so I won't have to deal with parking. Did work on a small painting, but no pictures to show for today.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Rusty Fragments

That's the title for this piece for now. I'm still thinking about it; there's another title that I'm also tossing around in my head. So this is one of the pieces that I've been working on for a couple of weeks. You can see previous incarnations of it in older entries (Sept 29 and 26). I might fuss with it here and there for a little while longer, but I'm pretty much finished with it. This was a good day.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Two days later...

Finally, after 2 days of printing, I'm finished with cards for now. Again, I'd get 1 image set up to print 10 copies, run off to do some errand or chore, and then come back to get the next card started. And so now I have cards to sell at Portland Open Studios.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Cards, cards, and more cards

So it's yes to cards after all. Printing high quality inkjet prints is a slow process, so I'm babysitting the printer as it slowly spits out cards in between my doing various chores, like cooking dinner and cleaning the laundry room. The new dryer was supposed to be delivered today, and in fact, they did bring it; but it was slightly damaged and they took it back. They took the old dryer though, so I was able to clean the room. It took a couple of hours of playing with colors and test prints before I had 3 images ready and printed. Hopefully, it will go a little faster now that I've had some experience.

Tonight's movie was Jet Li's Fearless. A little preachy and stilted, typical of that genre I think, but it was alright.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Maryhill Double

Today was the day. As always, we didn't start too early, around 12:30pm or so. Got there 2 hours later and met up with R and J L. at the site. Walking up to it, M and I were both disappointed, considering how much press the installation had received, it simply did not have that ethereal/shimmering quality that I was expecting. But once we got there, and were able to interact with it, walking around and climbing up the scaffolding, we both changed our minds. And after talking to Annie Han (the artist) about the impetus for the project, it all came together.

This was a photo taken at the top of the scaffolding, about 4 stories up. At the lower center left, you can sort of see the steps coming up the scaffolding on the other side. There were 2 stairs going up, and we climbed up both. The photo was taken with M's cell phone; not the best quality but I rather like the impressionistic quality of the image.

And here's a shot of the Columbia River taken on the stairs you see in the picture above, just a few steps from the top.