Friday, January 26, 2007

My most emotional artwork from college

These two pieces may be my most emotional work to date. I did a silkscreen of Polly's name after I'd learned she had died. I was very attached to her story and it deeply affected me. I showed it to my serigraphy class as part of my final and I cried.

The other piece is a lithograph and the first time I used words in my art. (The words had to be written backwards as the image prints in reverse). It is a bit of self-reflection and also, "Here I am, I'm a little scared to come out but I'm doing it anyway". This was also part of my final for lithography class and I knew everything was OK when a girl from another class walked in, read it and copied my words down.

That's when I learned that while plenty of art can resonate with you, your work can also resonate with others and when you least expect it to.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Farm Fresh to You!

Once about 2 years ago I called Lissa and she was cooking dinner at her home in Petaluma. I asked what she was making and she said gingered carrots. Wow, that sounds neat Liss. She said they are delicious and little Ella even eats them. It's because she gets a box of organic vegetables delivered that come with these great recipes. That always stuck in my mind.

I finally decided to try it myself! Imagine coming home from a long day at work and finding a box on your doorstep. Oh boy! A box! You open it up and behold...a medley of gorgeous, healthy-looking fruit and vegetables that are all organic, grown on a farm near you. This set you back a Jackson but it's a way to support local farms and be assured that you are eating your vegetables. The service is terrific, as all they need are a couple days notice to tell them you'll be on vacation next week and don't need a delivery. You can get your delivery once a week or every other week or once a month. Anecdotes from the farm accompany the delivery, along with recipes for most of what they've included.

Last week was the first time trying it. I have to say, the apples were some of the crispest I've had. I am very picky about apples. The red carrots were so crunchy and fresh. The sweet potatoes...well I didn't really know what to do with them except try the recipe. I can't tell you how fun and delicious they turned out. This week I am going to try their recipe for stir-fried cabbage and shiitakes. It has bacon in the recipe, so how can it be anything but wonderful? I'm happy.

Here is that sweet potato recipe in case you'd like to try it for yourself. Watch that hot oil!

Sweet Potato Fries

3 medium sweet potatoes, washed and cut into long strips
2-3 cups cooking oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Heat the oil in a pot. Make sure that you have a slotted spoon and paper towels piled on a plate ready. Once the oil is hot (375f), fry potatoes until golden. Take the potatoes out with a slotted spoon and place on the paper towels. Let the paper towels absorb some of the oil, then transfer to a separate plate. Blend spices and shake generously over hot fried potatoes.

Click here for recipes.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

When I go to my studio

When I go to my studio in Redwood City, I use a table-top etching press to make monotypes. I use oil-based printing ink to paint an image on plexiglass. I lay the painted glass face-up on the press, place a sheet of paper strategically on the glass, and roll it through. The paper and glass get rolled under a giant "rolling pin", and the intense pressure transfers the ink to the paper, with the image now in reverse.

Oftentimes the image turns out differently than what I expected, which is one reason I love monotyping. As you may have gathered from the name, only one print can be made in this process. However it is common to sometimes run the glass once more on a new sheet of paper, which results in a faint "ghost" image. Sometimes these turn out more beautifully than the original and more color / new shapes can be added to the glass for several more run-throughs, to create rich layering.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Monday, January 15, 2007

Something new and cool

Jay gave me this bitchin little water bottle for Christmas. It's the new spill-proof one from CamelBak and I'm really liking it. It took me a day to get used to the mouthpiece - kind of a bite and sip thing.

Jay's buddy Damon was on the team that designed this. He's a really talented designer - moved out from Baltimore to work at CamelBak in Petaluma. Stayed for 6 months, knocked this out and then went back to Baltimore because California just wasn't for him. Anyway, good water bottle...and dishwasher safe.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

One of my Top Ten

One of my top ten things to do in life is seeing surf movies at the Red Vic Moviehouse on Haight.

After the film last night, the director and producer of Chasing the Lotus did an informal Q&A. Usually the crowd is your slightly rowdy, brawny OB surfers who pop a beer during opening credits and hoot at the awesome rides on screen.

If I could have guessed things about my future when I was born, I wouldn't have guessed that I'd love everything about surfing.

From the film:

"You start off dreaming about it, then you go and chase it. And you find it, then go you ride it. Doesn't matter if you're a surfer or a musician or a photographer; finding that elusive bit of perfection out there is what it's all about".

"Out of the mud, grows the lotus" Confucius, 400 B.C.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Monday, January 08, 2007

My brother

Billy Boy Arnold & Bob Welsh, backstage at Yoshi's

Bob Welsh & Rick Estrin, backstage at Yoshi's

Last night, Jay and I were sitting in Yoshi's watching my brother play the guitar and the piano. He was part of the house band for Mark Hummel's annual Harmonica Blues Blowout.

I was so proud of him and moved to tears that our family is so blessed to have my brother.

He asked me to take a photo of him backstage with Billy Boy Arnold. That is the one photo that came out blurry, and I feel so bad about it! Bobby told me last night, "One of the first blues records I ever bought was one by Billy Boy Arnold. I never thought I'd be playing with him one day".

We'll always have the blues. For a talented musician like Bobby, it's probably one of the least likely genres to get you a recording contract. They do it for the love. They have my utmost respect.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Bag o' Books

Today's mission was to go to the San Carlos library. I am going to ignore my other missions of mopping the floors and taking down the Christmas tree. Ah the library. Why is it so much fun? I felt like I was a shopper at my favorite boutique, leisurely wandering about and picking out whatever caught my eye. And it's all free, free, free!

This is what caught my eye and made it home in my tote today:

- Simple Money Solutions: 10 Ways You Can Stop Feeling Overwhelmed by Money and Start Making It Work for You, by Nancy Lloyd
- Kathey Kaehler's Celebrity Workouts
Financial Peace Revisited, by Dave Ramsey
Hope's Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet, by Frances Moore Lappe' and Anna Lappe'

- (DVD) Good Rockin' Tonight: The Legacy of Sun Records
- (DVD) Homage to Chagall
- (DVD) The Art of Romare Bearden
- (DVD) Piano Blues - A Film by Clint Eastwood
- (DVD) William Wegman - Video Works 1970-1999
- (DVD) Squirrel Wars...and how to win them

Let me read the back of the Squirrel Wars DVD to you:

Squirrel Wars is a 40-minute PBS television event, hosted by naturalist George Harrison, which explores the impact squirrels have on people, often causing outrageous human behavior. Scenes of foolish battles people wage on the pests are followed by practical, safe and easy solutions for both people and squirrels.

Woven into the battles are the fascinating secret lives of squirrels. How they live, their enemies, longevity, courtship, and rearing of young are all revealed in this fast-moving presentation.

Squirrel Wars is entertaining, startling and informative for squirrel lovers and haters alike. Viewers will learn answers to questions such as, "Do squirrels really remember where they bury acorns?" and "What happens if squirrels eat too many sunflower seeds?"

Tonight, I reckon I'll surprise Jay by popping this in the DVD player, handing him a beer, and let the fun begin.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Shopping Sabbatical

This article from yesterday's news has inspired me, Jay, my Mom, Jess and Clare. I think we are all going to be talking about this for awhile and sharing ideas. For example my Mom and I are going to each come up with 10 ideas for hand-made gifts and share them. If we come up with anything good, I'll post it here.

I'd like to try this experiment 3 months at a time. I know I will probably buy a couple of things, but I'd like to really concentrate on this. It's an excellent challenge. It's starting to change the way I've been dealing with money. I can save more than I have been. I am also interested in finding ways to make more. Whether that be a future job that pays more, or selling art. Sometimes I participate in those research things where they pay you $25 for 30 minutes to taste a new soda or candy. That's kind of fun.

Let's keep the ideas flowing! Doing things like this will really make us feel rich inside. I know that if I turn my focus inward and focus on training for a race or making art, making photo albums, cooking, growing a garden...I will feel more rewarded than buying a new purse. Aw, who am I kidding. I love shopping.

Evil laugh! No, I can do it! Plus, my goodness, I have a little wedding and honeymoon to save up for.