Krk-rk from my paper series from Banff along with some prose is featured in Issue 6: M O V E M E N T. Magazines hit the shelves July 5, 2018.
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.
It’s been a whirlwind. Lightening speed until today and then calm. I packed up my work and painted the walls white. My supplies and artwork is neatly tucked in the corner of a now empty studio. The end comes back to the beginning. A state of freshness and renewal that only white walls can give.
Here are the top 5
1. STUDIO VISITS
From curators to peers it’s been amazing to talk shop, ask a questions and poke holes in my practice. Lots of little light bulb moments that create big change on how I think about my work and what I want to do next. I am so grateful for the time people were willing to exchange and share.
2. WALL SPACE
It was amazing to be surrounded by all the art I made while here. I was crazy productive and it was really impactful to see it all up in one space. It was a lot to take in but it allowed me to see how far I have come.
This residency has been intense. From switching between solitude and group hangs in a new space it has been nice to kick back and relax a bit with a glass of wine with new friends. There are a lot of good people here that have helped me stay sane or at least can sympathize with my thought patterns so I didn’t feel alone. Unlimited cheers and thanks for the words and laughs.
4. PHOTO SERVICES
The trio at photo services is amazing. They documented all my work for me and captured some amazing studio shots along the way. I am so excited to see my work professionally shot and I am so grateful for their time and their talent. They literally saved me over 3 days worth of work. Total GODSEND.
I thought I would be tapped out and need a break from art but honestly, apart from going home and reuniting with my crew, I can’t wait to get back to work. I have a flood of ideas that I can’t wait to try out. I want to push, pull and break my process. Remove the scaffolding and see what I am left with on the page/canvas
NOW time to eat asian food with some of my favorite people and then drive to the airport to pick up my FAVORITE PERSON IN THE WORLD.
you get a strange feeling when you're about to leave a place...
like you'll not only miss the people you love but you'll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you'll never be this way ever again.
found on the wall in the bathroom at the bear's paw bakery in jasper. timing is on point. thank you azar nafisi for your words and to the bakery for toilet and the latte.