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.