I don’t think I’ll ever get over the excitement of seeing work installed in a show. Loving this ethereal setup of Drink Me a group show at H Gallery in Ventura, California.
When you work with a wet medium, you have a lot of dry time (aka down time). I literally can't just sit there and watch paint dry. Having a side project has been an engaging way to expand my art practice. It gives me a space to experiment and play.
I initially met Claire (Apotspot) via another rad creative Elsa (aka Flora Noble) who organized a group show based around adding art on top of Claire's concrete planters. I put off the project for a while. I had the planters on my working table staring at me and reminding me that I didn't know what to do. After some solid thumb-twiddling, I found my flow once I got some acrylic pens.
With my art practice, I am interested in translating the landscape around me. The concrete pot's that Claire makes have such a fantastic texture that they become a map of their own. Adding my layer on top built an additional map overlay of sorts. A lot of the obsessions I have around repetition, contrast, and value appear naturally within the concrete. Our styles amplify the other. Plus, houseplants are my jam. I'm actively trying to convert my home into a jungle.
a p o t s p o t x c l a i b o r n e
We decided to collaborate for reelz and will be selling the planters at the Portland store Bedizen. Here is a preview. Get in touch if you're interested in buying one. It is a limited quantity run, but maybe we'll do more if this batch goes well.
Last Friday I had the crew from 1122 Gallery (Jen & Lauren) as well as fellow artist Abbie Miller over to the studio to chat work and brainstorm for my show in September. It was so refreshing to talk around concepts of surface, flattening and translating space and wayfinding.
1122 Gallery is an immersive and experimental art space. I am excited to have my work go beyond the canvas and reimagine and translate the gallery as a whole.
SHOW OPENING PARTY
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 6-10PM
I am obsessed with light. How it changes our lens on the world. How golden hour becomes magic hour. Light creates shadows. The lightness and darkness flicker, flash, and flow through our purview. Always in motion subtly and sometimes drastically changing what and how we see.
New work for sale coming your way first of July! Stay tuned.
I’ve been craving a creative space ever since I graduated college and had to leave my studio. Since then, I’ve made my art in bedrooms, guest rooms, living rooms, and basements. Having a studio outside the house finally became an option once we moved back to Portland and had room to grow.
While building out this space, I quickly realized it was his vision just as much as mine. It has given us an opportunity to work with and compliment each other. He has a construction background, and I love the design part. Visually we wanted to keep it simple. White with wood accents and lots of natural light.
February 2018 & May 2018
Nine months ago the shell of the studio went up, and the built out began. By November, I had moved into it and was able to start using it to working on my art. We have continued to finish and refine the studio as the months past. This past week we put in the new desk and framed out the windows so now it’s finally 90% there.
It’s silly, but once Gian put up the shelf over the window I immediately went out and got plants. Sentimental nicknacks and friends artwork reminds me of where I’ve been and who has been with me. It has transformed the space to a place that I call mine. This studio is me.
I am an introvert, so I need my alone time to recharge. Having a creative place creates a sanctuary where I can easily replenish my energy and feel centered.
We will continue to fine-tune and adjust as each season brings up new challenges, but for now, I want to be in there as much as possible.
Looking forward to having some time in June to create and live in the space more.
Just posted some new work up on my site for my black and white series. It's been really interesting to see how a reduced color pallet can be so complex. Looking forward to pushing the work more.
The month of April was supposed to be a month of creation and all things art. After a long-ish stint doing some freelance work, I was ready to get things going in my studio. That didn't pan out the way I expected.
A combination of things made to this not happen. Honestly, the motivation wasn’t there. Normally, I am in a go-go-go state and work ethic is on. But, I was tired and drained. I found myself doing mundane chores around the house instead of going outside to my studio. I just felt off. Even when I did go into the studio, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself once I was there. I’d pitter patter around and not be productive. Also, mercury was in retrograde so the universe wasn't helping either.
It’s a bizarre feeling when you know you’re off – even just slightly. It took me a few weeks to even realize that I was. Instead of fighting it, I tried to make peace with it. I acknowledged all the transition I have been through the past couple of months (slash years) and realized sometimes it catches up with you. I couldn’t beat myself up. I’ve struggled with various mental health issues (depression and PTSD among them) and have learned that when you fight it or try to ignore, it rears it’s ugly head even more.
All the good things: plants, being outside, and dogs
Being an artist, you spend a lot of time alone with yourself. This intensifies all the feelings and really makes you live in them. There aren’t that many distractions from yourself when it is just you. For better or worse you are in your head. But when your head isn’t at it’s best sometimes you need to get out. Those outlets for me tend to be doing something physical or reading and watching. Yoga during this time kept me sane and so did Bob’s Burgers.
I met with a couple other creatives for coffee and/or lunch and had some really honest conversations. A lot of them as well have been trying to regain their creative mojo. These conversations made me feel so much better because I realized I was not alone and it is part of the process.
I also went to the doctor to run some test. I found out I have Hashimoto’s among some other things that were contributing to my physical and mental symptoms. It's good to know what I am working with.
Changing spaces, locations, and staring new adventures are all transitions. For me, I find myself most productive when I feel settled. This takes time. Sometimes a week, sometimes longer or shorter. Living a creative life seems glamorous from the outside but in reality, it is one of ebbs and flows. I needed the ebb to slow things down so I could mull it all over. It forces reflection and allows space for tasks I might otherwise put off such as reading and researching.
After 5 weeks being in the ebb, I feel like I am finding my flow. While traveling the other weekend I was craving being in my studio. I couldn’t wait to get back so I could be in there and get to work.
Ok, enough typing – the canvas is calling. Time to pick up that brush.
As I begin my class Claiming Voice at PNCA I have been thinking about what I want to research most. Communication has always interested me. I even have my masters in it. How humans connect and communicate. Looking back, pre-language marks and the graphic language are examples of a basic need to leave one's mark.
Can't wait to really dig into this topic and learn more.
PRIVATE PLACES: SECRETS
Group show: Katie Aliprando, Aline Cautis, Sonja Gerdes, Lia Lowenthal
The seed was planted in my head at the tail end of my residency at The Banff Centre. I was having a studio visit with Rachel Bacon and we were talking about the differences between painting and drawing. With my background in watercolor I’ve always treated my paintings like drawings. The essays I love center around contemporary drawing and mark-making. I relate more to the language of graphite than that of oils. So she prompted me with a simple question…
“Would you ever try this in black and white?”
Talk about a light bulb moment. That is exactly what I needed to do to push my work. I could see it in my head so clearly. Conceptually I can justify the shift. It made sense. Take the color out of it and let the marks sing.
With the start of 2018 I’ve entered this new phase excitedly. I started with some small canvas test, works on paper and now am in the middle of a large canvas piece. It's quite amazing to see these pieces come alive even with a reduced color pallet.
The bustle of December has got me in hibernation and refocus mode. I finally had some time to think what I want my 2018 to look like and how art can be at the center of it. With the New Years and all the talk of resolutions it got me excited because I realized this is my first year where art is my focus. That said, there is a lot of unchartered territory that I needed to think about. With the help of some art/business/everything-outside-the-studio books and creative podcast my thoughts began to form all throughout December.
There is something to be said for getting it all out on paper. I used to journal all the time throughout middle and high school so it feels natural. It really helps me sort through the ideas/thoughts and make a plan. Not going to lie, buying a new journal and pens always gets me going. I am a visual thinker so just listing things out doesn’t work for me. To make sense of it, I have to map it out. Luckily I found a method that is great for connecting the dots and helped my brain get organized.
Since my return from my residency I have been chomping at the bit to do some explorations of my work in black in white. By simplifying the pallet and removing the color story the marks and their narrative really have a chance to shine through. I am really excited about some of my starts and can’t wait to keep pushing it forward.
This lifestyle isn’t just a change for me but for my crew too. The dogs and I are trying to negotiate studio space and when/if/how they are allowed in there. I love their company but sometimes I need to focus. Luckily Gian’s shop is finally all setup so when I am in my studio he can be out there making furniture, knives and whatever else he imagines. That’s the idea at least, we’ll see how it goes.
I know a lot can happen in a year and I am excited to see where 2018 takes me.
since july of 2016 my crew and i have been in full on go-mode.
we packed up our first home and moved to a place that i had only visited for 2.5 days the month prior. we both left our jobs and set off on our own path in the same location.
when you are in go-mode you set mile markers to hit. you know where you are going but are constantly thinking in immediate next steps.
unpack, find a house, make it home, find a job, find creative community, get a dog, change plans, sell house, fill boxes, take a break, pick a place, find a house, move stuff, unpack, artist residency, make house a home, be an artist.
we made it back to portland +1 fuzzy friend.
it’s a little weird moving back to a place. it is familiar but, at the same time, disorienting. it’s like a dream; it all feels right but it’s different. a continued state of déjà vu. nothing has changed and everything has changed. there is this underlying comfort that feels good but there is a lot of unknown which feels strange. it’s terrifying and exciting at the same time.
when we moved away i learned how to direct my energy towards a single goal: focus more on my art. this is something i set in motion back in 2016 but when we moved to a new space, this idea finally had room to come to life.
here i am, 479 days later, and i've made it to my final mile marker: be an artist.
today, i start working in my own studio… so i guess i am one step closer.