Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The opposite of painting

Starting with Imperfect Things, I've been working on a new series within Post-Consumerism. I've been using paint skins, which are dried pieces of paint, to create multicolor assemblages. Instead of applying wet paint with a brush, palette knife, or other instrument to a surface, I am using paint that has already dried. There is no mark-making involved. What I like about this process is the crazy textures you get.



If you look closely, you'll notice that many of the colors in these new pieces look familiar. In Art Supplies, there are paint skins from my palettes when I was working on Ruby Horizon, Eternal Spring, Shanda's Sunrise, and Cerulean Rhapsody.


Art Store has paint skins from Adaptive Reuse 2 and Verdant. It gets its title from the text on the fragment of paint that came off of a paintbrush from The Art Store (which is now Blick).


Why use paint skins and broken art supplies? Because I'm trying to create work in a sustainable, zero-waste fashion. As I mentioned in a previous post, when I wash my brushes, I do not pour any of the waste water down the sink. Instead, I wash them in buckets and let the water inside them evaporate, leaving behind a thin film of dried paint.

Using clear acrylic media, (like gloss medium or gel medium) I create a thicker film which I can use to make acrylic sheets. And then I use the sheets to create new paintings.

Also, there's the economic factor. What better way to save money than to use items that I already have?


All these new paintings are for sale in my Etsy shop. They are $200 each.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fundraiser this weekend

This weekend I am participating in a special fundraiser to help a little girl named Maeve who is fighting cancer. I'm donating a small painting called Golden Hour to the raffle.

Golden Hour
Golden Hour
foam packing material and acrylic on canvas
6" x 6"
All the details of the event are on the flyers below. I hope that some of you will come and support this worthy cause.


Monday, May 13, 2013

In praise of popcorn

If you've been to one of my open studio events this year, you may have noticed that I've been serving popcorn. Since I first started opening my studio to the public, I wanted to offer my visitors some nice snacks. I've been to a lot of art shows where the food they served was pretty disappointing. If you frequent openings and open studios, you might know what I'm talking about. You've probably seen the dip that people have been double-dipping in, the bowl of pretzels everyone's germy hands have been in, sad looking bunches of not-quite-ripe grapes, oily cheese chunks that have been sitting out too long, and no alternatives to cheap wine other than generic bottled water. But as an artist, I understand why people do this. Having nice food that looks attractive enough to be in the same room as art is expensive! Which is why I cut back on the designer desserts and fruit and vegetable trays I used to have all the time.

I was looking for an alternative that was less expensive. But it also needed to be something that was shelf-stable, (meaning it can sit out at room temperature without breeding bacteria) easy to prepare, and easy to serve. And in a perfect world, it would accommodate the dietary needs of people who are vegan, gluten-free, can't eat much salt, and can't eat much sugar. Even better if it was something that wasn't alien to the palate of the typical American. And I found my solution in air-popped popcorn.

I'd noticed a few venues serving popcorn. Most had the fancy stands you see at carnivals with the old-fashioned lettering and red and white striped boxes. After reminding myself that my studio is not a restaurant, (my menu mantra) I looked into other possibilities and came across these lovely little air-poppers from Cuisinart. And did I mention that they come in a lot of fun colors, too?

I have the blue one!

And so that was how my open studio popcorn bar came to be. In an ongoing effort to be eco-friendly, I serve the popcorn in reusable cups. Of course, I wanted something colorful and fun. As an added bonus, these cups are also durable, since I got them from the kids' section in Ikea.

I have a nice assortment of seasonings so that everyone can have whatever flavor they like. And I'm serving an assortment of flavors of pop (which I know everyone outside the Midwest calls soda) to go with it. Of course, my concern for aesthetics (blame design school) forbids me from using ordinary cans and bottles, so I stock my cooler with beautiful glass bottled drinks. Most of them are made with cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup, too. There's a nice variety to choose from. I like to provide my guests with something a little out of the ordinary.

Yet even though these drinks cost a little more than Coke or Pepsi products, I am still spending a lot less than I did when I was getting gourmet cupcakes and pretty veggie trays. Now I see why it's been a staple of movie theaters all these years. Sadly, I know that popcorn isn't for everyone, like toddlers who might choke on it, or people with certain digestive issues. But for just about everyone else, it's a pretty good option. And the aroma draws people to my studio, which is always a plus.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Constellation: A new mini painting

Normally I don't even give my mini paintings titles, but for this one, I decided to make an exception.

detail of Constellation | acrylic and ink on canvas | 2" x 4" | 2013 | $25

Just as I did with Adaptive Reuse, I started on this painting about a year ago and set it aside because I didn't know what to do with it. And then as I began working on some new paint skin assemblages, I realized I knew exactly what to do. Most of the dried paint is from the nozzles, caps, and spouts of paint tubes and bottles. I liked the circular shapes they form. So I decided to cluster them together and form a sort of constellation.




Here it is with one of my dolls for scale. Remember Kana from The Art Club?

Kana and Constellation

She likes it so much, she wants to take it home!

Kana and Constellation

Get it before it's gone! I'm selling it at my studio tomorrow night!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Doll Project Memes for International No Diet Day

In honor of International No Diet Day, I would like to present a few memes I've made from pictures in The Doll Project. Feel free to share them.

ana reading - stfu special k copy

please don't feed me meme copy

Thinspiration meme copy

My First Diet - Ana

ana's modeling career copy

Friday, May 3, 2013

Two shows in June

I have two shows at The Double Door in June. I feel like a rock star!

Kaleidoscope is the June installment of the RAW:natural born artists ongoing series of events that showcase work by emerging artists around the country. I'm very excited to be participating for the first time. Part variety show and part art gallery, Kaleidoscope will give you a chance to see the many-faceted talents of up-and-coming artists, musicians, fashion designers, and filmmakers from Chicago. See them now so you can say you knew them before they were famous.

Thursday, June 13th
8:30 p.m. - midnight
The Double Door
1572 N. Milwaukee
Chicago, IL
Tickets are $10

*Please note: when you buy your tickets online, select my name in the drop-down menu as the artist you are coming to see.

Gynaceum is a unique and female empowering evening of performing, visual, and multimedia art. The evening's entertainment will include burlesque, comedy, dance, music, performance and video art, as well as visual art and fashion. The mission of Gynaeceum is to bring local awareness to those affected by eating disorders, with profits benefiting The Awakening Center and their Chicago‐based ED treatment services.

A Gynaeceum in Ancient Greece was a building or portion of a house reserved for women, generally the innermost apartment. I will be showing and selling pictures from The Doll Project.

Wednesday, June 19th
7:30 p.m.
The Double Door
1572 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL
Ages 21+
Tickets are $5

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Destroy the Picture at the MCA

Destroy The Picture at MCA Chicago

Painting is dead! Long live painting!

The debate over painting has been going on for a long time as artists dare to push beyond the limits of the picture plane, or obliterate it altogether. The artists whose work is on display at the MCA's exhibit Destroy The Picture: Painting the Void 1949-1962 have done exactly that. In some ways, their response to the destruction in the wake of World War II is similar to the reaction of the Dada artists to World War I. These postwar artists question the war machine and try to find ways to cope with the horrors they have seen: cities reduced to rubble, casualties, and nuclear devastation. These paintings have been covered in bandages, splayed open, burned, and shot. In addition to their social messages, these paintings challenge the viewer to see them as objects in and of themselves, and not just a two dimensional picture plane.

Destroy The Picture at MCA Chicago -  Otto Muehl
Otto Muehl

Destroy The Picture at MCA Chicago - Salvatore Scarpitta
Salvatore Scarpitta

Destroy The Picture at MCA Chicago - Salvatore Scarpitta
Salvatore Scarpitta

Destroy The Picture at MCA Chicago - Salvatore Scarpitta
Salvatore Scarpitta

Destroy The Picture at MCA Chicago - Lee Bontecu

Destroy The Picture at MCA Chicago - Lee Bontecu

Destroy The Picture at MCA Chicago - Lee Bontecu

Destroy The Picture at MCA Chicago - Lee Bontecu
Lee Bontecou

Destroy The Picture at MCA Chicago - Jacques Villegle
Jacques Villegle

Destroy The Picture at MCA Chicago - Alberto Burri

Destroy The Picture at MCA Chicago - Alberto Burri

Destroy The Picture at MCA Chicago - Alberto Burri
Alberto Burri

Destroy The Picture at MCA Chicago - Niki de Saint Phalle
Niki de Saint Phalle

Destroy The Picture at MCA Chicago - Kazuo Shiraga
Kazuo Shiraga

The museum has done an excellent job of providing information about the context in which these works were created. There is even a small library of books by important authors of the era. For those interested in art history or world history, this is a show worth seeing. I plan to see it again. Destroy The Picture will be on exhibit until June 2nd.
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