loads to talk about

So, after last week’s lack-lustre post, this last week (and up-coming week) has been all sorts of full with craziness:  there was Kara Cournard‘s 101 Women Project opening at the Art Garage, there’s Gallery Night coming up on Thursday (have I mentioned that I’m demoing insta-books at the shindig?), there were Seattle Edition in-law visits, there’s an Art Garage fundraiser at Barnes and Noble Saturday as well as the Faerie Festival at Thistledown Greenhouse and the first day of the Shawano Farmer’s Market.

 

Wow, can I have a few more links in there?  *considers*  I could, but I’ll save y’all’s eyes.  Just this once.

 

The 101 Women Project was fantastic and rowdy and loud and all-and-all nifty.  I met a whole bunch of people from the Green Bay Art Scene (I still think that we need to have some sort of monthly get-together in order to be drunken and talk about art), and they are a nice bunch of people.  There’s even a lovely Green Bay Council Person who attended the shindig and is endeavoring to preserve and help to grow the Green Bay Art Scene.

 

I had a really good time even though I was technically doing that faux-work thing and was having the “I’m so painfully shy that I think I’ll just hide beneath the counter for the evening.  Thanks.” day.  Towards the end, I managed to chat and network a bit and be a charming squid.

 

Also, as y’all might or might not know, I now have a studio at the Art Garage, but I’m the Art Garage’s Featured Studio Artist for June (so I had a third wall to fill in addition to my gallery wall and my studio wall–there were a lot of inventory sheets to fill out).

 

 

 

*POINTS*  See!  That’s me!  In the front gallery and everything!  It’s very exciting.  Additionally, I have a section of wall in the main gallery that I currently have my most recent color field diptych up on.

 

 

 
I’ve been having a color field thing since moving to Wisconsin; I think it has something to do with color saturation here. It’s really phenomenal.

 

This particular color field piece is on display at the Art Garage in Green Bay at the moment. The idea for it came from a tv series I used to watch in the 90s called Beyond Reality. In this episode, an artist keeps painting bits and pieces of a monster that lives in his mind and that is attempting to come into being. In this diptych, I have portrayed a calmer, less demonic creature in an abstracted form with only an “eye” really recognizable as anything, possibly.

 

And my tAG studio is wonderfully cracktastic.  Full-to-bursting, quixotic, and whimsical–just like me.

 

 

 

So, yeah, that’s what’s been going on in my crazy artist life, and an explanation as to why I haven’t gotten the Project Sheets up to share.  *hands*

 

Remember, if y’all are in the Green Bay area on Thursday, come on down to the Art Garage for Gallery Night, and watch me confuse people with insta-books!

 

Courage.

Last time, on the trials and trevals of squids,

I think I mentioned (once, twice, a million times) that me, the kitties, and the Husband were moving.  We are safely tucked into our new house, but we are still totally in the unpacking stage; therefore, there’s not going to be a whole lotta art talk today.  However, there will be pictures of the house and the beautiful, beautiful studio.

Also, if y’all are in the Green Bay area on Saturday, come by the The Art Garage and see my art in person!  I have two pieces in the show.  You might even get to see me win some money.

So, without further ado!  Our new house!

     This is our gianormous cloakroom.  There will never be a need for coats or shoes to be misplaced again.

     The front room.  There’s one of my sculptures hanging out in the back.  It’s guarding the back hall (below).

     The bedroom replete with a sleepy kitty (above), and the library/music room/office replete with confused identity (below).

     And, the pièce de résistance, my amazing studio–still a wreck! /o\–but still completely awesome.

     So, that’s the new house.  Of course, there are rooms I didn’t show–because I didn’t want too!  *cackles maniacally and runs about sill-li-ly*  Really, I thought the complete wreckage was just too much to share.  When it’s less wreck-ish, there will be better pictures.

     Ciao, my doves.

*languishes*/ETA *squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee*

***Wordpress is still not spacing correctly.  *FLAILS*  Mad squid is mad.***

     I’m waiting to hear about The Art Garage competition I entered.  I haven’t heard anything yet.

     *is jittery and crazy to know*

ETA:  I just got the call that my both of my pieces were accepted! *EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE*

     Totally compounded by the fact that I now volunteer there.  Talk about a conflict of interests.  <–I was told it wasn’t, but y’all know me, I can’t help but be a worry-wart.

     So, I had promised that I was going to post pictures of the sculptures that I entered.  I was waiting until today because–I don’t know–it seemed appropriate to wait until the competition is over?  Does that even make sense?

     So, my (not-so) little friends.

     The prompt for the show was–

Seeking works of art in all media that focus on personal memories and the essence of our past. Artwork will need to be created with some recycled materials in order to promote the importance of being environmentally responsible.

     And the application asked for–

A brief artist statement must be submitted with the images explaining what inspired this piece of artwork and what recycled materials were used.

     So, my first piece is unnamed friends:  from the 100 acre wood, and it is, basically, a tree stump (yes, there is a joke in here about my nickname being ‘Trie [tree]).

     This thing was crazy to make and is freaking huge.  It’s about 4 feet tall, hand built (and sewn) from brown paper grocery bags (building a tree from dead trees makes sense to me), has a felt face with buttons, and has crocheted accents and a cardboard interior frame.

     It took a really long time to build.

     The other piece is also quite large.

     Okay, it’s huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge too.  Nearly 4 feet again.

     I keep making things that are nearly the size of me. o.O

     The second piece is unnamed friends:  narwhal, and it is built from old coats that were purchased from the local Goodwill.

     Again with the “it took forever to build.”  Considering I hand-sew everything, that makes sense, but then again, I wouldn’t get the same fluidity and–yes, I’ll admit it–awkwardness if I didn’t hand-sew.

     The artist statement for these pieces was–

The inspiration for unnamed friends:  from the 100 acre wood and unnamed friends:  narwhal comes from a combination of kawaii culture, children’s storybook narratives like Winnie the Pooh, and memories of my own most beloved toys.  The scale of the sculptures, in relationship to an adult, evokes the feeling of childhood where everything feels large and strange—even one’s toys.  The materials, even though they are primarily recycled, gesture to those parts of childhood that are recycled from others:  clothes that have been handed down, toys that have been inherited or made from old clothes, and books that belonged to older siblings.

The recycled materials in unnamed friends:  from the 100 acre wood include brown paper grocery bags, cardboard from a shipping container (ironically from Dick Blick), and felt inherited from another artist.  The recycled materials in unnamed friends:  narwhal include a leather coat and a suede-and-faux-fur coat from Goodwill.

     So, those are my friends.  They took weeks and are taking up huge amounts of real estate in my current studio, but they are so freaking cool.

     I shall sleep the sleep of the accomplished tonight. \o/

An ode to the perfect studio–

It’s bigger than a bread box–wait, that’s most things.

It can jump over tall buildings in a single bound.  <–That’s Superman.  *voice over* No copyright infringement is intended.  Al rights remain with the creators of Superman.

It stays minty fresh all day long.  Or was that gum?  Or toothpaste?

Oh, as they say, well.  It’s the perfect studio.

The Husband and I have been searching for a more permanent place to take up residence in the wilds of Wisconsin, and we are all lease sign-y and move in on May 1st.

*dancing blue elephants and confetti and cabbages*

The best part is not the new place to live, but what the new place has that I have never had before:  a garage.  “What’s so great about a garage, squid?”  I hear you asking yourselves.

*points*  Yeah, you in the back;  I heard you.

What’s so great about this garage is  that it is heated, finished, huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge, and *pause for dramatic effect* it has a drain.  In the floor.  That means that I can make paper all.  Year.  Long!

Did I mention it was huge?

Now, let me tell y’all.  I have never had a studio that wasn’t tiny and/or unheated.  Which sucks.  Out loud.

Let me show you pictures of my previous (and current) studios.

To the right, there, is the studio I had in DeKalb.  It was an enclosed front porch.  Had no heat.  No air.  No storage.  No space to change my tiny squid mind.

And cluttered.  Very cluttered.

So not a good thing.

It did have really good light though.

Now, my current studio is in one of the extra bedrooms.  It is tiny, tiny, tiny–like a sneeze tiny.  It has magically craptastic light.  Even less storage, if that’s possible.  (The low drawers behind my stool are holding, mostly, clothes.)

It’s saving grace?  There is heat in it.  I am never a cold squid–sometimes, I’m a bit too warm because I get over-zealous with the space heater, but that’s not the room’s fault.

But, y’all can see how small it is.  This picture was taken from the door to the studio.  It is also where my Mac laptop is housed and my printer because it was really the only place that would work.

There’s also a big old chunk of the room I can’t use because it’s being used as storage for stuff that the Husband moved in when he first moved up here.

Other pictures of the studio–

All of the boat stuff is so not my idea of a good time, but it’s a furnished/decorated place by a lake.  What can I really expect?

So, yeah, that’s what my current studio looks like.  Soon–oh so soon!–there will be my magnificent, beautiful studio!

*looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooongs for it*

Also, WordPress is stupid and not spacing this post remotely in the way that it has been told to.  *is really mad*

This is the piece that never ends. It goes on and on, my friend.

Okay, I’m still buried (no pun intended) in my sculpting. The unnamed friend that I’m building for the Art Garage competition has eaten around 14 lbs. of poly-fill, and I’m not done sewing him all together yet.  *laments and tears my hair*

 

Toss into the mix that I’m still building the other sculpture (tree stump-ish creature), and my hands really, really hurt.

 

One day, I will  have a sewing machine that doesn’t hate me so that I can do some of my sewing on it.  <–Okay, that really wouldn’t work with the way my critters are built, but I can dream, can’t I?

 

So, I promised some out loud thinking about ecology and world building as it relates to my conceptual process.

 

Be prepared.  It isn’t fully developed yet.  Mostly because it was a typical-for-me shower revelation.  <–My best ideas either come out of taking a shower or insomnia.  When I can get them to work together?  Pure magic.

 

I’ve always know that I was building creatures and habitats that exist in the same sort of world, but I’ve started to suss out where they exactly fit into that world building.

 

The taxonomy series really come out as the insectoid creatures of the world–which makes sense since, in my head, taxonomic structures are connected to insect collections.

 

I had one when I was a kid.  In a cigar box.  Grasshoppers were the hardest to catch.

 

The chimera series are almost like the old gods of the world.  Giant, eyeless, removed from the rest of the inhabitants of the the world, and totally without compassion for the other creatures that live there–which probably explains why a lot of the references in this series are dependent upon popular culture, fairy tales, and archetypes.

 

The scrump series would be the algae of the world.  Especially, since the amorphous ubiquity of the scrump comes from the mass in Tenchi Muyo, although the name and grotesque nature of the scrump comes from Lilo and Stitch.

 

The habitat series are the places that some of these creatures live (mostly the taxonomy insects).

 

It’s not eloquent or complete, but it was nice to have some of this world building situated more firmly in my head.

 

And, now, I must be away to sew more on the Sculpture That Will Not End.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

The last couple of days have been kind of an odd.

 

I stayed up extremely late (like 5 AM) last night because I had more of my unnamed friends decided that they had to escape from my head at that particular moment.

 

Pushy buggers.

 

(They haven’t been photographed yet.  My little revenge.  *cue mad scientist laughter*)

 

Therefore, productive =/=me today.

 

So sue me.

 

Also, yesterday, I did some updating of the images section of the blog.  It’s not remotely done yet, but there are a few things with connected concept.  Always a bonus.

 

Yamato Sakura

 

But!  I would like to share with y’all today one of my favorite artists of all time:  Aya Kato.  <–Why, yes, that is a Facebook page. \o/

 

Little Red Riding Hood: Encounter

Aya is a Japanese artist–arguably a superflat artist, but not because of the critical looking at consumerism or at sexual fetishism (although, some of her pieces definitely seem to have a fetishistic element to them).  I would consider Aya a superflat artist due to the way that she literally flattens surfaces to create depth and shallowness at the same time while combining traditional Japanese art (remember, manga has been around in Japan since the Edo period, and all Japanese superflat art inherently will connect back to that historical moment whether it wants to or not) with modern technology.  Darling (2001) writes in “Plumbing the depths of superflatness” that

 

“Yet in spite of its almost self-deprecating etymology, “Superflat” is far from unnuanced or superficial and has cracked open the discourse about contemporary Japanese culture and society. Its reverberations are now starting to be felt in Western cultural circles. Like a Japanese transformer toy, it has the capacity to move and bend to engage a wide range of issues: from proposing formal historical connections between classic Japanese art and the anime cartoons of today to a Pop Art-like cross-contamination of high and low to a social critique of contemporary mores and motivations. As such, “Superflat” requires exami nation from a number of different angles in order to be fully appreciated and understood, and the best place to start is with Murakami himself.”

 

New Japan: Learn a Lesson from the Past
Cinderella: Metamorphosis

 

If we look at Aya’s art, cultural contamination is everywhere from the meta-narrative ofher fairytale pieces to the highly conceptual constructions of her cityscapes.  The longing for childhood combats with sexual knowledge.  The traditional (and not-so-traditional) East confronts the West.

 

And, it’s all wrapped up in a candy colored awesomeness.

 

Puss in Boots

I think the only complaint I have is that, because she is so prolific, Aya culls some of the work from her online portfolio, and my favorite piece–Uma:  Puss in Boots–was taked down.  But!  I am a bad and stalkery internet denizen, and I have a copy of it from when it was still up.  <–I am very, very bad.

“It will be fun. I swear.”

After last week’s post, it seems that the consensus is that my theme for my sketchbook for The Fiction Project should be my new little unnamed friends series.  It seems like it’s going to be a bestiary; I’m thinking about calling it The Bestiary of Unnamed Creatures and combine the bestiary aspect of the sketchbook with a Virgil wandering the Underworld travel-log ala Dante’s Inferno.

 

And I have loads of little friends for it too.  I’m up to four completed sketches and three more ideas just kicking around.  Some of the text too.

 

The working text for this little guy is:

“Like Byatt’s “The Thing in the Forest” from The Little Black Book of Stories, these creatures literally move through their environment–slinking, slithering, pulsating, and subdividing.

 

Like cellular mitosis but with pain.  Yet, do we know that there is no pain in cellular mitosis.  Do the mitochondria scream when they are torn asunder?  Do the cilia ache when they remember that they once belonged to another entity?

 

There are worlds upon worlds at the micro-level–how can we know?  Maybe this little creature is but the unrecognized mitochondria of another, larger being?”

 

The other new guy’s working text is:

 

“They are tiny blobs of hot air, dirigibles of dragonfly elegance.  Pretension is their stock and trade.

 

They, ginormous in their iteration, glide through mangrove swamps filled with slinking crocodilians–preying upon the unsuspecting denizens, enveloping them in their yearning, bilious membranes.”

 

They keep multiplying, and they’re starting to become the very flora that creatures are wandering in–an environment that is a sentient as the creatures within it.

 

There seems to be something rather scary going on their.

 

All we need know is an iteration of the brainweasels in there.

The Fiction Project

So, as I’ve said previously, I’m participating in “The Fiction Project” which is described as

“Share a story.

Calling all authors, ‘zine makers, comic-book writers, diarists, poets and storytellers: Our library needs your words!

The Fiction Project is an opportunity to tell stories in a different way by fusing text and visual art. Add your voice to this year’s coast-to-coast tour and create new work grounded in the act of writing. After traveling across the country, the Fiction Project will enter into the Brooklyn Art Library’s narrative collection, archiving your stories to share them with the public.

Anyone – from anywhere in the world – can be a part of the project. To participate and receive a journal that will travel with the 2011 tour, start by choosing a theme to the right.”

 

My theme is “It will be fun.  I swear.”  I’m kinda trying to decide what to do for it.  They want 51% of the moleskin to be handwritten text (not a big deal), but I’m not sure what to write about.

 

Suggestions?

 

I’ve been thinking about the zombie!bunny apocalypse or detailing the misadventures of Stymie (all Justin’s fault).

 

Maybe both?

 

I can see it now–haiku poetry about the ending of everything and death brought on the rotting, softly plophop of zombie!bunnies.

 

So cute.  So deadly.  So smelly.

 

In my defense, there hasn’t been a zombie!bunny novel yet (as far as I know); the best that I can come up with in that department is Bunnicula.  Obligatory Wikipedia article over————————->here.

 

Did y’all know that there was a third book in the series?  I mean, so few people know about The Celery Stalks at Midnight, but I’ve never heard of Howliday Inn.

 

Actually, there’s a bunch of Bunnicula books.  Maybe there’s a zombie!bunny in there somewhere?

 

With Stymie, I’m not sure what I would write about.  I have this weird thing going in my head that he’s very sad and morose–kinda like Eeyore–but that he bounced and drip-drops like one of those post-egg but pre-limb Digimon.

 

The Husband and I were also playing with Stymie’s plushie rendition and decided that he can fly, but in order to fly, he has to flip himself upside-down.  And, then, he kinda putputputs rather than zoooooooooooooms.

 

Maybe, that should be the plan; somehow, have the “It will be fun.  I swear.” as part of the shennanigans that Stymie and his other awkward friends get into and have little pencil/pastel drawings and plushie things in there.

 

*plots*

 

This might work.

 

I’d still be happy for suggestions or prompts, so feel free to share or suggest.

 

*tra lala la las away*

*flails uselessly*

So, because I am evidently incompetent in regards to web-programming, we might not be moving.  I’m going to get a book later to see if I can figure out what I’ve done and what I can do to fix my lack-of-smart.  If that doesn’t work, I’m going to find myself a class on web design.

 

*SULKS*

 

I guess I can’t be good at everything, can I?

 

But!  I have been working on the initial drawings for the a scrump installation that I hope will be the primary focus of the Neville Public Museum residency if I get it.  If not, there will be more scrump trying to take over the world.

 

That should be worrisome, right?

 

And, because I love her work, Mandy Greer.  Go check her out!  She makes large scale handicraft-integrated installations and wearable, performative pieces.  Garish and organic and totally graby-hands making, her work totally obliterates the distinction between craft and art. <3