Wednesday, January 20, 2010

silly songs stuck in my head....

Today, I felt like Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Sort of like this:

I got a phone call at five oclock this morning from my sister Christen. She was hysterical because our family dog, who has lived with her for the last couple of years, died. She had to watch as Daisy's little organs shut down and she yelped in pain. Daisy was a purebred Chihuahua that we got when I was four years old. She was not a friendly dog. She did not like people she didn't know. She would bark at them with all her five-pound might. But she loved her family. She really did. She always recognized us, even in her old age when she had cataracts and couldn't really see us well. The last time I saw her, she got really excited to see me and wagged her tail and licked my face. I like to think that was her saying goodbye.

OK, I'm glad I have gotten that off of my chest. It is making me a little preoccupied, but there it is. Also, I almost hit a deer today. I was driving on Bonisteel and a deer jumped out from between two parked cars in front of my car and I slammed on the brakes. I was on the phone with my mother and let loose a slew of profanities, causing quite a bit of alarm on her part and mine. I narrowly avoided the deer. So my car was still going and the thing jumped back in front of the car again! It looked like this:

Honest to God, it is a miracle I am still alive.

I think i need to get some sleep to recover. I will post the newest work soon (tomorrow I hope). I am working on several papercuts. But these are soon to be transposed onto a large scale. I obtained a projector and a roll of black paper, so look out world.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Prints and New Considerations

I have created some new works, which I am happy to be doing. This weekend was full of glorious sun, which allowed me to print, which is great. I have been absolutely fascinated and entranced by baby dolls and have been doing prints of them:

a small porcelain doll

baby doll with clothing

creepy oversized troll doll

two similar dolls next to one another

another baby doll

What was most interesting about the new set of prints is the shadows they cast. Because the object cast a shadow to the side, the prints have a very eery and surrealist quality to them. I think that it is interesting to do these photograms of the toys because it is a way of memorializing childhood; of putting importance into these objects that we forget about, but which have so impacted our development.

I also was able to do a full size print which turned out like this:

I really like how this turned out; I quite like the two pieces separately; there is a sort of disembodied quality to them. The scale, however, is my favorite part. I think they are very impactful on a large scale. Doing this print makes me think about issues of scale and number of bodies and the form the bodies take. How they interact and if there are two bodies vs. four vs. more. There is a lot of potential here and I am excited to see how I can push this. There are certain variables that I simply cannot control, so that adds an entirely new element of surprise. Things like water drips and other things are not things I can control, but they impact the piece very much. This weekend, I am going to try some of the fabric pieces and see how those go. I am excited to see how the fabric reacts and what the color quality will be. I will be in Cincinnati until Saturday, but I will still have some time to get these pieces rolling (before the all student show? fingers crossed....)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Observing your surroundings....

Today I was walking to class and I saw how they rake the leaves on campus. It is not, in fact, small men who come with rakes while everyone is sleeping. There is this moving vehicle with a giant vacuum attached that goes around and sucks up the millions of leaves that are all over the campus ground.

My thought was.... where do i get one of those?

And what else could I suck up (besides leaves)?

Monday, November 2, 2009

toy giraffes, body parts, and apple tarts

ever working, never writing....

i have failed in my bloggerly duties. but i am back on board and am excited about some work i have been doing as of late.

i am trying to master the process and the technique of the cyanotype. i want to master the basics so that i can really work with the process and test the boundaries. i have done several tests with different objects/subjects:

the body; or at the very least, a body part. i think this appears a little eerie; sort of strange. a little titanic or x-ray. i am not sure how i feel about this arm separate from the body. i am thinking about what it means to separate the body parts from one another and why that would work and not work.

the body is a very important part of my original concept; one of the main reasons i began pursuing alternative process and specifically, the photogram. i wanted to make people themselves become a part of the art. however, i am not sure how crucial or realistic this is. this is one of the many questions i am asking myself at this point. how important is the physical human aspect and how do i make that work? especially as it gets colder and the light sources are limited, i am analyzing whether or not that is the core of this work.

a test using chain and film strip; perhaps a tid bit over exposed. i am especially fond of how the chain looks.

testing how paper cuts work with the process. not bad, but a little too clear for me. leaves out the mystery that i believe exists in a sincere photogram...

exposure study meets the rain; that's what the lovely drip to the left and the white speckles throughout are.

family photo from 1915 turned into silhouette cutouts, tested with differing exposure times. i need to start printing photos on mylar and transferring into cyanotype.

this one is my favorite test. i love the mystery and the nostalgia that appears in this image of the toy giraffe. i think this one gave me some great ideas for where to go next. i am going to start looking at the childhood toy and doing some more prints like this little giraffe friend.

endi also suggested that i start looking at scale. so now that i have scanned these little tests in, i can start to play with how they might appear. i have been focused on the process and getting the science right. but i need to start to shift to the content of what i am trying to say and in what way.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I know everyone always says that failure is great and it's what art is all about. And while part of me buys it, the other part is still discouraged.

I experienced several setbacks over this fall break regarding IP. First of all, I was unable to stage the large-scale cyanotype with my sisters. My first problem was that I did not have the space or time to prepare the fabric. Furthermore, I had not experimented enough on a smaller scale. Also, it was too cold to be laying outside without warm clothing. I have been researching several sources of UV light that are not the sun. Unfortunately, they all seem to have extremely negative effects on humans. Therefore, I probably should not force my family to lay underneath them.

I guess I am just a little frustrated with what I am doing. I really enjoy being able to work and work and I feel like I am running into far too many roadblocks for my comfort. I am not producing enough work. I am just frustrated.

For now, I am going to work on small scale tests. Hopefully, that will take me somewhere meaning ful soon.

Sunday, October 11, 2009



My project, ever evolving, is becoming photogram-tastic! My first big test for large-scale photogrammin' is scheduled for this weekend (assuming I can get the chemicals in time). I will be treating a king-size sheet in a lovely mix of Potassium Ferricyanide and Ferric Ammonium Citrate. Then, my three sisters and I will don nightgowns and lie together on the sheet. Once exposed, it will probably look something like this:Haha.... but, seriously. The idea for this mostly stems from the fact that the four of us used to sleep together a lot in one big bed. It also represents this incredibly feminine household I grew up in and my relationships with my sisters. And I'm not entirely uncomfortable with the Virgin Suicides reference. I am super excited to get working and be able to test some things out. However, I am feeling a little nervous about getting my sisters to participate. I did talk to them and they seemed willing, but they also think I am crazy. And if the weather does not participate, I know they will not be willing to lay out in the freezing cold with me. So I am just a little nervous, especially since this is my one big shot for a while (my sister Lisa lives in Florida and will only be in town for the weekend). But here's to hoping that the stars align and things work out!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Light and shadow is the topic of the day!

Why? You may ask.....

because i like it!

Shadows are so interesting to me. I think it's something about the mystery and the nuance that surrounds them. I have been looking at some artists that use shadow in interesting ways.

Remember Xu Bing? He came for Penny Stamps and I remember being really blown away by his work. I didn't really understand his lecture, but luckily his work spoke for itself.

So great!

Apparently, there is something about those fabulous Asian Artists.... because Japanese artist Kumi Yamashita does some really beautiful things with shadows and figures as well.

Street artists have also had a history of using shadow for their art. Ellis Gallagher, for example. He traces shadows at night using chalk. During the day, their shadows exist where they wouldn't normally.

Finally, Tim Noble and Sue Webster are London-based artists (also absolutely brilliant!)

So I'm making shadow monsters these days..... more to come on that topic later!