Friday, November 27, 2009

Free shipping at my Etsy shop this weekend!

Want to avoid the long lines and crowds by shopping online this weekend?  While you're making your online shopping trip, be sure to stop by my Etsy shop,, where you can get free shipping on everything!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

here's what I made this weekend...

Over the weekend I didn't have time to paint in the studio, but I have a very good reason.  I was working on a project for a fundraiser.  We had a live webinar on Sunday evening and the video clips I made were part of the media presentation.

The first one is an overview of the issues the girls in the program are facing:

The second one explores solutions to the problems in the community:

And the third video is about what our organization plans to do to make a difference:

Click here for more information about Demoiselle 2 Femme.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Featured Flickr Group: Eye Candy Art Show

Since I recently created a Flickr group where my classmates and I can pool our photos from the group show, I have made it this week's Friday Featured Flickr Group. Click the images in the slide show to see them full size and click the links in the captions to read the bio of each participating artist.

If you like what you see from the slide show and will be in the Chicagoland area before December 10th, you should stop by to see the art in person.

Visit the show's blog for more information:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

artists statements and the art of dramatic writing

You might already know by now that I have multiple artistic identities.   When faced with a creative stumbling block, I sometimes find myself in a fugue state, shifting from artist to writer when I get tired of painting, or writer to artist when I just can't find the right words anymore.

Last week got to be pretty overwhelming as I underwent my thesis review and prepared to hang my work for the Eye Candy Show.  So overwhelming, in fact, that I didn't even go to the studio and paint on Saturday.  By Sunday, I was feeling like a writer again as my characters had found me and were providing me with new dialogue and backstory.

And so that's why this week I reopened a text from a screenwriting class I took long ago, Lajos Egri's The Art of Dramatic Writing.  It's one of many books on writing  that I have in my personal library.  Reading it again after nine years, I was immediately was struck by what he said in the very first page:

Everything has a purpose, or premise.  Every second of our life has its own premise, whether or not we are conscious of it at the time.  The premise may be as simple as breathing or as complex as a vital emotional decision, but it is always there.
We may not succeed in proving each tiny premise, but that in no way alters the fact that there was one we meant to prove...The premise of each second contributes to the premise of the minute of which it is part, just as each minute gives its bit of life to the hour, and the hour to the day.  And so, in the end, there is a premise for every life.

A few pages later he emphasizes the importance of the premise of a story:

Every good play must have a well-formulated premise.  There may be more than one way to phrase the premise, but however it is phrased, the thought must be the same.
Playwrights usually get an idea, or are struck by an unusual situation, and decide to write a play around it.
The question is whether that idea, or that situation, provides sufficient basis for a play.  Our answer is no, although we are aware that out of a thousand playwrights, nine hundred and ninety-nine start out that way.
No idea, and no situation, was ever strong enough to carry you through to its logical conclusion without a clear-cut premise.
...You must have a premise--a premise which will lead you unmistakably to the goal your play hopes to reach.

And after reading this I realized not only what I needed to do about my never ending novel/screenplay in progress, but my art as well.  Because a premise is to fiction what a concept is to art.  And my creative process does not usually begin with such left-brain things as premises and concepts.  My writing is  usually inspired by people I know, conversations I overhear, or dreadful what-if scenarios I can't stop thinking about.  And my art (except for The Doll Project) is usually inspired by colors I like or textures I find interesting.  But it's not enough to write the kind of artist statement I am supposed to be writing.  My art must also have a premise, a concept, an internal logic that can be expressed verbally.

But where do premises come from?  Lajos Egri says they come from your own personal convictions:

You, however, should not write anything you do not believe  The premise should be a conviction of your own, so that you may prove it wholeheartedly.  Perhaps it is a preposterous premise to me--it must not be so to you.

A story without a premise, and an artistic oeuvre without a concept.  Those, so far, are my creative contributions to the world.  But I do have my own personal convitions, things I believe in, rules that I live by, the personal, idiosyncratic things that give all of the things I create their idiosyncratic qualities.  It's so easy to take things like that for granted.  I am hoping that with further introspection, I will discover that my premise and my concept have been there all along and I just needed to come up with the right words for them.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Eye Candy Show starts tonight!

Tonight is the opening night of the show.  Here are my pictures finally hanging in the gallery.




It's almost time.  Gotta go!  :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gasp! It's Harrington!

Harrington College of Design, Chicago
Gasp! by Harrington students Tomas Alvarez, Heather Harmston, Megan Klock, Brendan O'Connor and Kevin Scott

Look at the fabulous dining display 5 students from my alma mater put together for DIFFA's Dining by Design event.  I love the wavy walls and the Lichtenstein  print .  You can see more pictures of the space on Flickr.

Cultural Residue

graduate review

Today's post gets its title from a term my professor used during my thesis review.  He said that my work contains the cultural residue of our society and the objects I use are like artifacts.  I like that phrase.  I want to use it in my artist statement.  The review went well.  I got a lot of good ideas for my artist statement.  I think I can write something good now.  Well, better, anyway.  So I am going to write all these ideas down in this post before I forget them.

I realized that I like the forms of the found objects I use and that formal concern is my main reason for choosing recycled materials.  The act of recycling itself is secondary to that.  But I am concerned with the transformation of waste into something beautiful.  Movement and the expressionistic use of color matter to me.  My work is about pattern and the interweaving of shapes.  And because most of my pieces are in relief, light and shadow are important.  The story of consumerism is important but may not necessarily be the main thing.  It is not about a social issue, but about design.  And that makes sense, considering my design background.  (Which I hardly ever get to use.)

graduate review

Some of my work uses materials more literally while in others the raw materials are transformed.  Adaptive Reuse and Adaptive Reuse 2 might be part of a series within a series, or a series all their own because the fact that waste materials are used in both of them is so obvious.

Adaptive Reuse 2

Adaptive Reuse 2 (*note: more objects have been added since this photo was taken)

So, where do I go from here? Well, I have a lot of work to do. I need to:

-read more Bauhaus and Hoffman
-address the reason for emphasizing found materials vs. disguising them
-consider why I use the particular colors I have chosen in my work
-manipulate the viewer around my images
-consider the edges
-add more colors to many of them so they are not too monochromatic
-seal each piece on the back
-paint the sides of each piece
-get 1 x 2's to build frames

Yes, I have a lot of work to do.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Echoes of "Silver Whisper"

This acrylic sheet painting is made from the paint left over from Silver Whisper.





I like the way it resembles crushed and twisted metal. I have just listed it on Etsy.  It measures 8" x 10" and I'm selling it for $40.  Here's the listing if you're interested:

Don't sleep on the SOFA show

I must admit I have felt quite reluctant to go to the SOFA (Sculptural Objects and  Functional Art) show at Navy Pier  because for the past few years  people have been telling me it was boring. But this year I decided to see it for myself on Sunday and I'm glad I did because I found work by a lot of artists I hadn't heard about before.  Here are a few of the things that intrigued me.


Pandora's Aquarium

Saturday I worked in the studio and continued working on the blue painting.

I also put the finishing touches on the new green painting.





And I finally finished the gold one.


The ribbed cardboard wrinkled a bit in the wet paint, but I like the effect of it.



It reminds me of mattelasse fabric. And the paint itself looked like liquid gold when it was wet.

Sorry it took me so long to post this.  I've been very busy lately preparing for the Eye Candy show, working on dvd projects at work and for my family, and trying to have a job lined up after I graduate.  Too busy to come up with clever titles for these three.  So this is another post with the title of one of the songs on my painting playlist.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My work will be on display at the Eye Candy show

 Eye Candy Group Show

For my Graduate Seminar course, the final project is a group show put together by all the Masters candidates in the class.  I'm still not sure when my graduate solo show will be, but in the meantime, if you would like to see some of my work, please come to the Eye Candy show.  Here are all the details:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gallery F1617 at Governors State University
One University Parkway University Park, IL

Opening Reception: November 18 6-8 p.m.

Artist Lectures: 7:30 - 10: 30 p.m. November 25, December 2, December 9

My artist talk is scheduled for December 9th

All events are free and open to the public.

Related Links:
Eye Candy blog
Eye Candy Facebook event page

The blog is pretty much a blank slate right now, but I will be updating it soon so you can read about all the artists in the show and see their work.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Groove is in the Heart

Yesterday while a lot of people were out trick-or-treating, I was in the studio painting.



I went back over the new metallic green painting with an additional glaze. This one is bronze. I think next time I will glaze it with more green. And it warped on me again, which is absolutely infuriating. I'll try to straighten it out again.

I worked on the piece below several months ago.  I am adding some corrugated paper that Chris gave me to make it more dimensional and interesting.  I can't wait to see what it will look like once I paint it gold.


The paint on this piece was left over from the public art project I worked on.  It doesn't look like much now, but this shade of blue will be deeper and much more brilliant when it dries.


Now that it is all the same color, it seems too flat. I plan to add more objects to the surface to make it more dimensional.

And speaking of making things more dimensional, I have also added more scraps of paper to this white piece. It's getting there.


Since none of these have titles yet, I decided to just give this post the title of a song I was listening to when I was painting.

Je t'aime, Maison Française

Je ne comprend pas much of the text in Maison Française, but I read shelter magazines for the pictures, anyway. I find myself drawn to foreign interior design magazines since I can't afford to travel abroad right now, but I still want to know what the trends are in other parts of the world. Ever since I worked in the Designers Guild shop at Marshall Field's, I found myself fascinated by the ways in which European designers reconcile the often ornate interior architecture of centuries-old buildings with cutting-edge furniture, textiles, and accessories. Somehow, baroque and beaux-arts moldings don't fight with contemporary lamps and chairs. Here are a few of my favorite images from the April-May 2009 issue:

Maison Française can be hard to find in the United States. I usually see it at bookstores with a substantial international periodical section. If you want to subscribe to it, there are several dealers online that carry it.

If reading this makes you yearn to have some French style of your own, I suggest you take a look at, a great source of French linens online that delivers to the United States.

Michelle plaid by Bassetti

Chan granfoulard by Bassetti

Wash blue by Diesel

Champs de mars by Robert le Héros

Regnskog by Ekelund

Tzigane bleu By José Houel

Princesse marguerite by JC de Castelbajac pour Garnier-Thiebaut

Sunrise oceane by Essix

Monochrome2 by Möve

"Chocolate Gâteau" made up of a serviette/towel by le Patissier

So often what you need to give your room that certain je ne sais quois is the right textiles, and this site has plenty of them, from bedding to tablecloths to towels. It is a great source for both Provencal and contemporary patterns.
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