Friday, March 30, 2012

Happy Weekend!

Have you heard of "As We Forgive"? My friend, Laura Waters Hinson, is responsible for this beautiful film on a very serious subject. On this Friday though, I'll leave you with a fun little side project from their time in Rwanda. (Just click the highlighted link to watch.)
Happy Friday, Friends!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Art and Adertising

"Publicity images often use sculptures or paintings to lend allure or authority to their own messages" - John Berger
Left: Advertisement for Hi-Fi Audio, Right: The Madonna of Port Lligat by Salvador Dali.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Catching Your Second Wind

Since this blog is about sharing those little Eureka moments, I am going to let you in on a little mental breakthrough I had last night. 
Those of you who know me personally know that I dubiously started a exercise program recently on the recommendation of a friend. She knew what she was talking about. I am now officially hooked. That said, I am continually frustrated by my lack of strength, agility, endurance, etc. Last night's workout called for the building of certain new skills that I found particularly challenging. After it was over, I forced myself to work for a few minutes on a different skill which I also am struggling to develop: a box jump of a certain height. 
I took the box down, stared at it for a good minute, replaced it on a shelf and pulled out a lower box instead. After jumping twenty or so of those, a woman working across the gym walked over. "You know, you could totally clear that taller box. Your toes are at least six inches above the one you're working on now." She said it with such confidence that I took the tall box down and gave it a shot...and cleared the landing with no problem!
The reason I am sharing that little story is this: It made me realize that what was blocking me from my goal was not a insurmountable physical impediment, but a simple mental shift. I am bringing the high box jump into my art and my life. Some of us never realize that we have a second wind (myself included). I am forcing myself to mentally push past some of the limits that I have reasoned out so carefully, and I hope that you will too.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Match: Your Intensity Blows Me Away Edition

{Every week I post an image of an interior that reminds me of a work of art either in its palette, composition or mood. I hope that you enjoy!}
This room, found here.
Henri Fantin-Latour, Self Portrait
*This is definitely a "mood" match. There is a sparse aggression to both the room and portrait that the sweet little details (a dotted pillow, a bowed collar) cannot tamp down.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy Weekend!

You know how some mornings you just wake up ready to blow that day out of the water? I've had one of those mornings. I show up at the studio every day waiting for the muse (as Steven Pressfield says), but the days that she actually decides to grace me with her presence are worth all the slogging through!

Thank you to the passerby who took this picture of me starting on a new commission out doors, and a very happy weekend to you all!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Million Dollar Idea

My mom is always coming up with wonky sounding business ideas for someone else (anyone else) to use. I confess that I usually end up laughing and gently dismissing them as hair-brained or irrational. Until now. 
A few years ago, she was waxing on about how some enterprising soul could make a killing setting up painting supplies and wine in unused office buildings. Her logic went something like this: "People would pay good money to have an excuse to drink, mingle and try to make art!" I told her the idea was clearly insane :/
Flash forward to the grand opening of ArtJamz permanent space in Dupont Circle. A friend invited me a few months ago to join her at one of these sessions when they were still (yup, you guessed it) charging people good money to drink, mingle and make art in empty retail spaces. We had a great time, and now the company is clearly doing well enough to be opening a permanent space in one of DC's priciest retail neighborhoods.
So here is my formal apology to my mother and proclamation of her genius! Mom, I promise to follow through on at least one of your amazing ideas in 2012...and split the profit :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hitting the Wall

We've all been there: After working tirelessly on a creative solution to a problem, we hit a wall. All the facts start to blur and we just can't go any farther toward our goal.
image via
Last night at Politics and Prose, neuroscience writer, Jonah Lehrer, spoke about the surprising upside to this frustrating problem. In his new book,
Imagine: How Creativity Works, Leher explains that hitting the wall forces us to step away from the problem and focus on something else. It is precisely during these moments of relaxation that our brains experience eureka moments. 
"The brain is just an endless knot of connections...There are all sorts of ways seemingly old ideas can get reassembled in a new way...What scientists have found is that when people are relaxed, they're much more likely to have those big 'A ha!' moments, those moments of insight where these seemingly impossible problems get solved. So when you hit the wall, the best thing you can do is probably take a very long, warm shower. The answer will only arrive once you stop looking for it."
This sentiment definitely rings true for my art practice. I find that I hit the wall after about four hours of intense painting. (Not art business work, not conversational studio work, but focused art making.) So just like the diet wisdom on eating small snacks throughout the day before you get really hungry, I try to leave the studio every four hours and let my mind relax. It's often during the time away from my canvas that I have those really inspirational moments. Art is always in the process of being created...even when the artist is in the shower ;)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Doing What You Do Best

image via
As some of you know, my husband is a champion cook. It's actually starting to kind of cramp our style -- dinners out just don't compare. I know, rough life, right? 

I, on the other hand, am a champion eater! This makes for a good partnership ;) 

Well, apparently the people at Feastly think so too. People who love to cook serve amazing meals in their homes, and people who love to eat pay to enjoy their food and company. Sounds like a win-win to me! 

What do you think? Would you try this?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Match

{Every week I post an image of an interior that reminds me of a work of art either in its palette, composition or mood...but with the weather turning so lovely, my mind is on outdoor spaces. I hope that you enjoy!}
The Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh, Morocco
Richard Diebenkorn

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Weekend Is Here!

 How have you been? I'm sorry about the lack of posting this week. I haven't been feeling quite up to snuff. I am kind of an all-or-nothing, black-and-white, live-it-bold kind of person...but the last couple of days have just felt like a gray blur despite the gorgeous weather we've had here. I'm looking forward to the weekend and I hope you are too!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Touch Factor

image from
 I finally got around to listening to the This American Life episode about the man who visits the factory in China where so many of our gadgets are made. Then I watched last night's 60 Minutes episode on Khan Academy, the self-described free, world-class, online educational opportunity. Both stories are fascinating and well worth the listen. 
They raise so many questions about the nature of technology and its role in our lives. The most mind-blowing consideration for me though is one of the human touch inherent in these technologies. 
My sleek laptop is the result of a Chinese factory worker spending long days layering pieces of equipment thinner than human hair into a computer shell. Even the online educational system on its way to replacing mainstream classrooms across America depends on a guy who sits on his desk lecturing into a computer mic. In other words, Siri cannot make us a computer...she just is one.
Have you hear/seen these episodes? What did you think?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Match: Hazy Lavender Morning Edition

{Every week I post an image of an interior that reminds me of a work of art either because of its.palette, composition or mood. I hope that you enjoy!}
photographed by Ditte Isager

Joseph Mallord William Turner, Venice: Moonlight on the Lagoon 

Friday, March 9, 2012

The weekend is here! What are your plans? We have a bunch of parties to go to, including the Midnight Feast that our friend is making for his awesome wife's birthday. 

Isn't that the best idea ever? And how amazing does this menu look? The invitation says to "wear what makes you smile," so I will be donning my new electric orange lipstick! Hooray for reasons to celebrate! Happy Weekend, Friends!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

And So It Begins...

Here's the first five minutes worth of work on the newest portrait for my project, As Is:An Urban Treasure Hunt. I love the physicality of painting on a larger scale--reaching up with the whole arm and then squatting low to lay down a sketch. Can't wait to share it with you when it's done!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Can You Say Watermelon Mojito?

Friends, spring is in the air here in DC. My studio felt like a tree house this morning with the windows open and new leaves shaking in the breeze. I'm thinking that I may need to bust out a spring version of my favorite summer drink tonight--the watermelon mojito. OK, OK, I may be jumping the gun just a little!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday Match: When the Flowers are the Main Attraction Edition

{Every week I post an image of an interior that reminds me of a work of art either in its palette, composition or mood. I hope that you enjoy!}
Rachel Whiting photograph                    

Edgar Degas, A Woman Seated beside a Vase of Flowers

* I find it equal parts compelling and odd that enormous bouquets of autumn flowers take center stage in both of the above images.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Weekend!

Remember how fun dorm life was? The Copy Cat in Baltimore looks like an adult-ish artists' version. Follow the link to watch a video tour of some of the artists and their live-in studio spaces.
 Fun! Happy Weekend, Friends!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Loosen Up

You know how you stretch out before a long run? Well, I'm about to start in on a big project that will take up a lot of my energy for the next couple of months. So this morning I did a quick little painting sketch to loosen me up. I didn't want to have any attachment to the finished product, just a reason to move paint around a bit. I tore a page out of one of the catalogues that was delivered to my studio a while back to use as a jumping off point. Now I'm thinking I should start every new project with a little loosen-up sketch.
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