Sunday, October 29, 2006

Renaissance (on the bus)

I'm beginning to think that being on the bus (which I rarely am) is in some way a momentary incubation box for thinking. It's one of the few places/situations that I allow my mind to wander freely without guilt of "time-wasting". Heading towards east end downtown Seattle yesterday afternoon (sniffing around for visual art truffles), I looked out the window thinking about the architectural differences between Seattle and San Francisco. My eyes were drawn again and again to this wedge of sunlight on this cropped view of a baby's hand between passengers. Something about the way the light illuminated it, the lithe and strangely elegant, "mature" movements from such a young child. Realized they reminded me of the hand gestures in Renaissance painting.

Detail. Coronation of the Virgin. Raphael, 1503.

I couldn't resist telling the baby's parents. His mom found it interesting that I picked up on that because they had noticed from very early on that he had always been very expressive with his hands.

hmm.....a renaissance, humanistic principles and ideals, re-birth.
Something pertinent to ponder at this juncture in life/career situations.

Open Studios (Holding My Breathe)

It was a tiring and stressful time. The crowds were thin, but apparently so were most of the wallets, though I did manage to sell. The main craze-induced blur was the unexpected and unwarranted eviction due in great part to a careless studiomate (after I JUST got the studio the way I've wanted it....oh well...I try to leave things better than I found them.) As a month-to-month commercial tenant, you pretty much have no rights, per legal counsels I spoke with. I had 3 days amid client meetings to clear out the studio before leaving for Seattle for work. Luckily I'd been preparing to move in the near future and have my eyes on some particular spaces. The bright side of things is that I save nearly $1K in rent while I'm away for work and travel and don't have to give one more red ยข to that ridiculous landlord. It was sad not to have time to say goodbye to my studio properly.

The whole experience has left me a bit dried out. Here are some pics of the studio. The hazy blurriness is probably a more accurate depiction of my (mental) space in light of the situation.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Open Studios (this weekend)

Procrastination has always been one of my stronger virtues, so prepping for Open Studios is always a spirited adventure. Tracy Grubbs (studioperson) and I spent a few hours yesterday culling and curating works from each artist in the building (13 are participating) to showcase in the main gallery for the opening on Friday.

Then there's the matter of dealing with the mounds of miscellanea in the studio itself. Nothing like a deadline to get things moving. I'm finally getting around to organizing the studio in a way I had envisioned (2 years ago). Am cleaning up all the avalanching randomness and somewhere in the middle I've managed to even get some new artwork done ('process', really, but since I don't have time to do my normal double-think, the ideas seem a little fresher somehow).

I'm not sure the general public who come out to Open Studios realizes the amount of effort that goes into putting these things on. We seem to start 4-5 months before the actual Studio Open. My old studiomate, Pete Howells, had the whole system working like a well-oiled machine: coordinating artists, press packet deadlines, mailing database maintenance, postcards (designed by our esteemed resident artist/graphic designer, William Salit), mailing parties, curating, hanging, labelings (and that's just for the main gallery). Now that Pete's gone, the machine's more like a squeaky wheel, but it still keeps rocking and rolling, I suppose. It's nice having the buzz of activity with everyone working in the building. (I love my studio community. such great people.)

This year it's a little more madness-making than usual as our fantastic landlord has decided to make yet another arbitrary demand that we pay $150 to simply "use our studios", which we already pay rent to have 24/7 access mind you, during this once a year event, and which each artist already pays the City $175 to participate. In the past, his one nice gesture was to give us the use of the main gallery for free, but this year we're being charged. Basically, he wanted to make $2100 from that's what he calculated out per head. So, unfortunately the budget for the fabulous bound studio booklet/invites we normally treated ourselves and patrons to had to be slashed to accommodate the Artistic Open Pocketbook Greed. Sure it doesn't seem legal, or moral for that matter, but if the excuse wasn't to "use our own studios", it would have been some other cacamami reason from the netherworld, and we're helpless to really do anything about it (as he's been known to hold grudges decades long and we end up suffering for it. Also it's difficult to have the great sense of comraderie our building artists have built up, which has something to do with why we're all still there).

Anyway, I finished reinstalling the Safety in Numbers steel wool installation last night with a few new site-specific changes (5 hours, ugh), but I'm determined to have it seen. The studio work is coming along. Don't think I'll really have time to begin a new thorn piece. Long days lately. The low hum of what's left of my adrenaline keeps time with the incessant buzz of the fluorescent lights in my studio. 3 days and counting!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

new territory & one non-sequitur

In some ways I feel working from "memory", though there are no physical locations involved, is important for me in these little 'scapes. landscapes, mindscapes, e-scapes (...from landminds>>landmines). The exercise being one in which I get out of my head and generate place/perspective (emotional locations) from "rebecca", rather than channeling it through a single image/place from the "outside" world. I wanted to focus on the sense of space as a mood or atmosphere of experience. It's this unnamed place that is very much real, but somehow slightly elusive and non-tangible that I'm most interested in. In the Adyashanti video that I linked to in an earlier post, he refers to "vast fields of silence" around your mind as a place where you can let pre-conceived notions/ideals go. Whether or not you get into the oogey-boogeyness of the speaker, I think it's this silence/stillness (ie without overbooking your calendar with activites, making "busy" work, or basically making excuses to avoid being quiet, not distracted, attentive) that allows you to "see" what is actually there. It's like the line my mentors always say, "What are you without your problems?" I think about this often. I suppose these small works are my attempts to translate that as something "grounded", even if it's only a sliver of soil (the sky's no limit).

The usual: glare, extra blurry, bad lighting. too tired to properly color correct. Will probably have to reshoot/repost. Click to enlarge, refresh page as needed.