Friday, September 28, 2007

Art Grrll on the Town

Besides watching CSI last night and staying up until 3 am trolling blogs on the web, I also went to Last Thursday on Alberta . . . my first stop was the Guardino Gallery. I've seen a lot of things there in the past that I like - they have a huge variety of work and seem very comfortable bouncing back and forth across the great art/craft divide and ignoring it as is appropriate.

This show blew me away - Diane Archer was one of the featured artists, and she uses topographical maps combined with natural found objects to create what I think of as interior landscapes set in the natural world. And sometimes they have words! What could be better than that? Maps, bones, words . . . I was in heaven. So I bought a piece. After all, if I'm not out there supporting artists in a town where art is really pretty cheap, then who the heck will? I got to talk with her a little bit about her process - she described a level of precision and planning that is utterly alien to me - but looking at her jewelry, it makes total sense. And Oregon Art Beat (I love public television!) is even featuring her this month!

And I got a really cool piece by Julia Gardner - an artist whose work I've had my eye on for a while . . . transparencies and found objects and resin and text . . . Yummy! Though she doesn't seem to have a website anywhere . . . so I took a picture of it sitting on my file cabinet in my office.
Right now, it's sitting there inspiring me - soon it will go up to the living room.

Life is good that there are such beautiful things in it!

Geeks With Superpowers

I was listening to NPR today - I can't remember what program - and a TV critic was on talking about the new crop of fall shows. He said that there seems to be a run on shows about geeks with superpowers. And I had to think, "Wow! Am I the new target demographic or what!?"

I do have a tendency to watch shows for geeks (Star Trek Next Generation, Battlestar Galactica), shows about people with superpowers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Medium, Angel, Charmed, The 4400), and shows about geeks and squints (Freaks and Geeks, CSI, Bones, The Closer). Of course, I don't usually watch these shows until they come out on DVD and I can get them from Netflix. Ok, I did break down and watch the premier of Bones Tuesday. (Gift hint: Why, yes, I'd love a Jeffersonian Institute mug!)

I'm not sure what it is about those forensic crime shows - geeky, quirky, socially awkward people in labs fighting evil with their brains . . . ok, well I guess that's it! And too, there's something about the dissections . . . I'm fascinated by anatomy.

And I didn't think of this as having much of a
connection to my art until I was looking at some pieces I'm submitting to a Day of the Dead themed show. Skulls, anatomical hearts, bones. The things that are underneath. Evidence and remains.
I guess inspiration is everywhere!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

5 of My 15 Minutes - Gone!

So, I used up 5 of my 15 minutes of fame this morning - and it was a lot of fun! If you want to see me in all of my plump-a-licious craft-o-ramic glory - and learn the bare bones basics of Memory Jewelry, check out this link to the video on the KATU "Seen on AM Nortwest" section of their web site . . . Driving home, I was imagining all the possibilities: My own regular segment . . . or maybe a guest appearance on DIY TV . . . or even my own TV show: The Craft-A-Zons, where me and my friends Linda and Kristin and Gretchin get all dressed up in super-hero costumes and save the day with our mega crafty moves! Or maybe we're under-cover crafty spies, sneaking into corporate headquarters around the globe, inspiring people to stitch sock monsters during meetings, thereby releasing tension and increasing humor and creativity in workplaces worldwide! Or maybe we go in to moderate the Middle East crisis by sitting Israel and Palestine down to a good old-fashioned craft-off . . . Ok, a girl can dream, can't she?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I want to make monsters!

So, I'm supposed to go on AM Northwest - a local morning talk show - tomorrow (today?) morning and give a presentation on basic Memory Jewelry techniques - and really all I want to do is make glove monsters! Can't you see these shifted slightly into really cool pincushions?! Sadly, I don't know if I'll be able to make it to Church of Craft on Sunday, October 14th or not - there's a class on surface treatments and fiber transfers at the Contemporary Craft Museum that weekend. Yup, it's fall - there's so many cool classes and arty-crafty goodness going on . . . YUM! The Portland Tribune did a special section today on the Arts in Portland - and some of the artists interviewed wished that Portland would turn its seriousness up a notch. Frankly, I'm glad that Portland has its sense of humor around the arts turned up to 11.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The inspiration for this . . .

I've been thinking about doing this for a very long time. I love the idea of sharing what's going on in the world of my artmaking and creative life, and connecting to a whole community of other making-type people. But sometimes things just have to incubate. Stay warm in the shell before they break out. Now, I've finished grad school, and I'm moved into my new studio, and I've had a month off to start really making things again, and it's just time to come out my shell.

I went with a friend last night to watch the Vaux's swifts gather at sunset at the Chapman School chimney here in Portland. There were these wonderful gentle pulses - thousands of birds swooping in towards the
chimney (where they all nest), then dispersing, then swooping in, a few spiraling funneling into the chimney, the rest dispersing out . . . So cool, and it went on for 45 minutes, like the chimney was gently breathing the swifts in and out, sucking a few more in with each breath. I've been doing so many things with images of birds lately that it really resonated with me . . . birds are all about freedom and home . . . lovely contradictions. I made this shrine, which I call "Stirred," from an actual barn swallow nest that a friend saved for me . . . I love how the little bird has two mugs of coffee (hard to tell they're mugs in the picture, and they could be tea, but let's say for the sake of argument that they're Stumptown coffee). It says so much to me about what I want home to be. And then I start thinking that I really don't want to analyze it that much! Anyway - if you want to see it in person, it'll be on display at the 100th Monkey Studio here in Portland as part of their October "Transitions" show. It's my first show in a very long time - I love that feeling of momentum.