Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New Nest!

Friends, as most of you know, my two studio-mates and I moved into our new studio/gallery space in September!
It's pretty dreamy. 

Now I'm just about finished with the project that I've been working on for the past few months, and ready to try something fun before I start again in earnest on holiday commissions and other booked proposals. In case you haven't already seen it on FB, here's the deal:

Destination Re-creation!

I have two things on my mind theses days:

#1. I am dying to show you our new studio/gallery space!

#2. I just spent a year working on a bunch of super detailed portrait commissions, and now I'm itching to do some loose landscape painting…maybe even a painting a day!
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So here's the deal:

You guys send me a photo of your favorite place (vacation, family spot, wherever) and I'll spend the next month or so turning one into a painting every day! I'll post a photo of each painting as it's finished, and will hang all of the little canvases (8”x10” ish) up at our Studio-Warming Bash in December for you to take home for a steal if something strikes your fancy! I get some sweet reference photos out of the deal, and you get your own little piece of art!

The only rule is that you have to have been the one to take the photo (copyright issues). Oh, and first come, first served! It's all fair game—buy your own painting, snag someone else’s, or just come toast the new studio with a glass of bubbly!

(Of course, if you love your image and definitely want to be the one to take it home, just shoot me a message and I'll mark it as sold before the show.) Live out of town, but still want your own little painting? Same deal--send me your photo, I'll paint it, hang it in the show and ship it to you afterwards!

I’ll start painting October 1, and will post show details as we get closer to the date. Ready, set, go!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bitter Sweet

This has been the view out my studio window for over a decade. (Fine, minus the rainbow most days ;) The point is, I have celebrated a million little triumphs, flung hundreds of paint brushes in fits of frustration and just plain punched a ton of hours in this little DC studio. I've become fast friends with some of my clients who have visited the space, the yogis who practice downstairs, the small shop owners, dog walkers and families strolling the sidewalks of this community.

And so it is not without sadness that I tell you, friends, that I will soon be moving to a new location as Circle Yoga expands its business to the top floor. Truth be told, while I have always wished my landlord/yogi friend luck, the news that I would need to move on initially struck me as nothing short of a disaster. As my ever wise Momma reminded me though, the word crisis in Chinese is formed with the characters for danger and opportunity. And so, I have chosen to see this as an opportunity for growth myself. 

Say your prayers and cross everything--I actually believe that I have found the most amazing new spot! In the meantime, I will leave you with a couple of pictures from my dream studio space which belonged to my future sister-in-law's grandparents (follow that?) in Cape Cod. Where ever I set up shop, I am definitely building a replica of their mind-blowingly amazing easel-table!
Wish me luck, friends!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Walking Toward Certainty with Terror in Your Throat


 Have you heard of performance artist, Philippe Petit? I caught a radio interview that he gave as I worked in my studio this morning. He is famous for so many amazing feats, including his 1975 tightrope walk between New York's twin towers.

 I don't think that many of us can really understand the terror that would accompany pulling off a stunt like that. What really struck me though was Philippe's description of the way that the faith in his last step allowed him to take his first step onto a wire 110 stories above the ground. 

We all think of the thrill of his stunts. Will he make it across or will he slip and fall to his death? Embracing the terror of the unknown is such a crucial part of his art. Philippe himself emphasizes this importance in creative work. "Surprise yourself," he tells us. "Go against your taste. Do not fall victim to something that works." And I agree: making art requires a certain danger, a particular wandering into the dark of the unknown.

Still, I come back to Philippe's subtler message: The certitude of the first step comes from a faith in the last. Art, he says, is the result of work in a particular direction. It is "an adventure that ends in an exclamation and hopefully not so many questions." 

We must dive into our creative endeavors with all the risk associated with unknown, but we should be fortified by our conviction that the full-heartness of such an adventure will bring us to the beautiful. We have to walk toward certainty with terror in our throats.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Violence and Love

The anniversary of JFK's assassination has me thinking about violence and familiarity. Bear with me. 
 You have undoubted seen the news clips recently like this one about the brutal "game" that bored teenagers have been "playing" on innocent strangers. (Side note: I realize that there is controversy regarding the potentially racist lean of these clips in filming only African American teenagers. Black, White or Purple aside, I believe that we can all agree though that this is brutality.) 
I think that what so many of us can't wrap our heads around is the WHY of this violence. WHY would someone use deadly force on a complete stranger minding his/her own business? WHY are these teens laughing about their friends smashing the skulls of fathers waiting at bus stops, and teachers walking home from work? WHY can't these kids see how easily the victims could be someone that they love?
 I think that the answer has less to do with hate than with numbness. I'm talking about the kind of detachment and apathy that comes from being removed from the other living human beings around you. We all know how much easier it can be to yell some obscene thing at another a driver than it is to say the same thing to the person who cuts in front of us in the grocery store line. Zipping past, behind the anonymity of our car windows, we don't need to have the same accountability for ourselves. Lets face it: when we live/work/learn in unofficially segregated neighborhoods, and then spend so many of our waking hours communicating with even the most familiar people through the screens of our personal devices, we can become a little detached. Maybe a lot detached. Maybe even detached enough to laugh about real live people being murdered in the name of fun.
I think that we all wish that we had some easy solution to violence. I wish that I did. I do know though that familiarity breeds respect. It is harder to scream and punch when you've shaken someone's hand or looked in to her eyes. That is why I love this photography project.
Talk about faking it until you make it. What do you say, Friends? Can we try to look at each other with the compassion of the familiar? There are bigger things at play here, but I believe that really seeing the people around us can go a long way.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Warming Up

OK, so its an odd post title for one of the first chilly days of the Fall. I wanted to talk a little bit though about that thing that we all do before we get into the meat of a day's work. We warm up with some little, less demanding tasks. Maybe we check email or read the news. 
Before I dive in on one of my commissioned projects or on a new body of work, I spend my first twenty minutes or so in the studio on something loose and simple. I force myself not to think about the end result. I try to just play--to just make marks on the canvas, or to experiment with some new way of thinking, without caring about how completely atrocious or ridiculous the finished project might look. Sometimes I make big, looping gesture drawings. Sometimes I collage a bunch of left over materials onto an old canvas. Today, I tried to see the world through my grandfather's eyes.
He was an architect and artist too, and I am lucky enough to own a few of his paintings. He painted the large canvas in this picture, and it just rocks my socks off! I brought it into my studio to color match and fill a few of its scratches.
The little canvas on the far left is the beginning of a commissioned painting. The tiniest canvas in the middle was my quick attempt to translate that into a Ernest Daly-ish view of the scene. 
I think I might need to be clear here that I am fully aware of how sub-par my efforts are, but that is really beside the point. It was a fun, quick challenge, that primed my mind to take on a day's work.
What's your warm-up routine?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Yoga Arts Market on Saturday! Gorgeous weather and fantastic company.
For those of you who asked about commissioning a painting to give as a holiday gift, stay tuned. I am booking my Fall project schedule this week and will be in touch soon!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Snag a Slice of Summer (before it slips away!)

 Friends, if you are in the DC area this Saturday, you should swing on by the Circle Yoga Arts Market!
 My painting studio is on the treetop floor of the building, but every Fall my awesome landlord calls off all of her yoga classes for the day and invites a bunch of artists and craftsmen to come show off their latest work!
I always snatch up some good deals on creative gifts for the holidays.
 I usually show limited-edition prints and greeting card packs of my DC cityscape paintings, but this month I've been saying goodbye to summer with a few quick little paintings of the salty sea air! 
The weather is supposed to be glorious, so I plan on pitching my easels right out front in the courtyard. If you're free, stop by and say hello. I'd love to see you!

3838 Northampton Street, NW
Washington, DC 20015 

Saturday, Sept. 7, 1:00-4:00 pm




 
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