Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fleeting

What do you do when time tells you that you have had enough?
 I hope I can find the strength to let go when the time is right.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

"Denver and the Big Blue Horse" or "Why 24/7 Flute Music"

I have come to find that the Denver International Airport is indeed a odd place.  Perhaps that why I now feel comfortable riding up and down the corridors on moving sidewalks for 3 hour intervals.  Or maybe that was all Alex and I could do stay awake while American Airlines was sending us a new plane to New York.
However while whiling the hours away I apparently missed something fantastic: the giant blue mustang outside!  Just shows you how hermetically sealed airports have become.  How could I have missed this 32 foot equine collossus? 


Blue Mustang, 32 foot fiberglass statue by Luis Jimenez




Isn't it absolutely amazing!?!  The New York Times has a decent article on the art and some of the stir it has made.  I am in love with this sculpture, and I think that comes down to lousy architecture.  Our American post-post-post modern society has created some REAL shit out there.  So many buildings we have and are still erecting visually pollute our landscape.  Airports are often great offenders of this too.  A public work of art of this magnitude has a chance to heal the eyes of the people who find it in their gaze.  Jimenez had the gumption and support to stand up against the great blight that we cast on our land.  This work carries form, color, emotion.  It is bigger than we are so it can humble us with majesty instead of fear or disgust.  


Now as for the the 24 hours of flute music piped into Terminal A at DIA, the story that I heard while stuck in her hallways, had to do with the cursed enclosed pedestrian skybridge.  This bridge connects Terminal A with the rest of the airport.   It is enclosed in glass so one can watch planes land over the Rock Mountains.   When it was being constructed the bridge collapsed.  This is the same bridge where I met Brianna installing her work Shadow Happy from my I vs. We post.


pedestrian bridge at DIA

So the airport folks brought in some local elders, and there was talk of burial grounds and maybe a curse was mentioned.  And so the only way to keep this area safe was to have a blessing and keep the sacred flute music floating in 24 hours a day.  A local special musician recorded the sacred music.   I wish I knew his name.  I will keep searching and let you know if I find out.


I don't always know what is true in this world, but I do know what is a good story.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I vs.We Blog

I heard someone speaking about blogs the other day on an episode of The Splendid Table podcast.  She very astutely differentiated "I" and "We" blogs and why she only read "We" blogs.  "We" blogs are more inclusive by nature.  They express and share external ideas that a larger population can explore.  Since my art is about expression it seems logical that my blog concerning my art become more than just a personal diary about my attempts to make salable art.



So here is my "We" blog- Public Art:

If you are traveling through the Denver Airport you are in for a lovely surprise.  I was stuck in Terminal A with an unexpected landing and 4 hour layover from San Francisco to New York.  It was a really bummer except I stumbled upon Brianna Martray installing her art, Shadow Happy, in the airport concourse.   10,000 folder paper cranes.  Amazing!  We had a fun time chatting about the series of events that lead her to that place.  One of her companions also told us of the story behind the constant flute music floating down the hall.  (That story is for another time.)  She folded her 10000+ over the last five years from an abandoned novel she had written.  What a way to build on previous work.


So if you are passing on through Denver stop down near the security station at Terminal A and behold a wonderful play with paper and shadows.

Monday, June 6, 2011

More Wax- Secret Layers

I have been working a wax piece for a few days now.  I am feeling pretty good about it, although I am still not 100% sure I am done yet.  Travis and I have been have good discussions on why I took these classes at Wax Works West and the importance of encaustic techniques to my work.  I feel it is worth the time to learn these skills because unlike other whims of mine, like precious  metal polymerclay, dapping blocks and writing "how-to" books, wax embodies Mysteriosity.  I would be a fool to turn my back and put encaustics aside because it will take time to master.

  
I have this sitting in the living room so I can walk by it.  I have to approach it at various times of day and from new angles.   In judging my own work I often try to track where my eyes naturally travel around the piece.  I want to make sure that there is enough going on to move my eyes to land all the important sections or details.
Where do your eyes take you?


This is a lot of layers.  I have hidden things and then instead of revealing them by removing wax I just redrew the elements on top of the old ones.  It is like leaving the leaves on the ground in a forest year after year.  The ones at the bottom are obliterated and disintegrate while more and more pile on top.


The shutters are from a doll house.  Some of the text is stencil and some is hand written with carbon paper.  There are real branches from my plum tree outback painted with wax, although maybe I have too many branches attached.


I think I like the detail shots better the the art as a whole.  I am not even sure what that means.  Maybe I should go blot out parts of it?  Maybe I should get a saw......

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wax Works West and Taska's Ecstacy

Sorry I was lax in my writing last week.  I was caught up in a web of beeswax and pigment.
Mom came out to California so we could drive down to Aptos, outside of Santa Cruz for a weekend of encaustic workshops at Wax Works West.  If your are remotely intersted in learning to paint with encaustics Wax Works West is AMAZING.  All 3 teachers, Wendy Aikin, Judy Stabile, and Daniella Woolfe, are accomplished artists and wonderful instructors.  Explore www.waxworkswest.com and their personal websites to see just what I mean.  Now I will give you a little history.
File:Petersinai.jpg
Encaustic painting is the use of beeswax, resin, and pigment to create layer upon layer of translucent color and images on wood.  The art of painting with wax dates back to the Egyptian portraits done around 100-300 AD.
File:Fayum-34.jpg
These were painted in life and then mounted to the front of the subject's coffin, just in case you forgot who was buried where...

The 1950's saw a resurgence of encaustic work with Jasper Johns.  Personally I am most interested in the oldest and the newest explorations of the medium.  
I don't know if it was the fumes or what, but I was in heaven.  I have played with wax a little in my work,but was always disappointed in the results and the struggle.  I felt like this medium was made just for me.  I was so overwhelmed by the inspiration bombarding my head I got exhausted just imagining what I could do.  Here is a snapshot of my pallet.  
note the torch pointed at the fire extinguisher

That, by the way, is Aliziran Orange in the bottom center.  Yes that color is that vibrant.  It rose through the layers to the surface.   More iamages of my practice work to come.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Isabelle de Borchgrave, an inspiration

Isabelle de Borchgrave 
Isabelle de Borchgrave has joined the ranks of Frida Kahlo, Artemisia Gentileschi, and Nick Bantock.  I just found another hero.  Her exhibition, Pulp Fashion, at the Legion of Honor is stunning.

She creates full scale and full detail historic costumes out of paper.  100% paper.  She paints large sheets, hand prints designs, and recreates patterns to achieve breathtaking interpretations of the entire ensembles.  Lace, ribbons, feathers, pearls, chains, all the nuances out of just paper.  How can paper emulate silk?  Borchgrave will show you.
The exhibit does not take up too many rooms, but each room is a treasure to occupy the eyes for hours.  She even created a tent out of paper to set the some of the costumes in context.
While I was there I was overcome with the urge to just sit down on the floor and cry.  I wanted so desperately to be in the middle of creating one of those costumes right then and there.  It was deep seeded desire that made me ache.  I hope one day I can create something that draws that sort of response from myself. So I went home and went straight to the studio to start dressing my next bedouin in paper.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Your Papers, PLEASE

I am up to my ears in paperwork- business license, seller's permit, business bank account applications.... let's talk about something fun for a change.  
Ann McMillan, a friend and accomplished painter, led me to The Sketchbook Project.
I just signed up and will receive a blank sketchbook in the mail.  I chose the theme- "Writing on the Wall"  I know it has morbid connotations but, I actually like the idea of using the sketchbook to explore my fascination of petroglyphs and pictographs.  There was also the theme "Prehistory" but I thought that was too obvious.  (I really want to do a mural/instillation on pictographs, now I just need someone else who is desperate for a mural in their house- any takers?)  So I fill my project sketchbook and send it the Brooklyn Art Library.  There it will be digitized and exhibited.  Pretty cool!  Now I just need to get in on The 1000 Journals.....

Monday, April 25, 2011

Visit my new Etsy Shop

Mage's Coat, mixed media

Yes I did it!  I opened up an Etsy shop.
www.etsy.com/shop/posTTaska
This is a bit of an experiment.  I am unsure if it is the right market for me.  However, Etsy makes it very easy to start a shop so why not?  They also have quite a few educational tools that I would love to take advantage of when it comes to listing items online.  My goal was to get 5 items listed by last Sunday... Well I am up to 3 so the next 2 need to follow pretty soon.  Then my next step is to come up with a strategy.  
Do I keep working on larger more expensive items similar to what I have posted now?
Or do I work on a small body of work that is less expensive and more accessible?
Let me know your thoughts?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I am in Marketing- why is this so hard?

Print
marketing I do for Timbuk2


Wow when it come to marketing your own business- your own baby.... it is really freaking hard!   I mean I am in Marketing!  I think about Marketing all day at Timbuk2 and yet here I am stalled, dumb struck.  Yes Taska is dumb struck, make a note in your calendar.


I don't want to commit to a direction because what IF it is the WRONG direction?  I could blow my one chance to make an impression on the world. Ah!


Ok really it can't be this hard.  And besides can't I change directions later if I feel I need to?  Business rebrand all the time, right?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Making a Commitment- Follow Me

DSCF2117


I need your help, oh community of mine.
It is time that I prioritize my life.  I need to ask myself in my daily life "Does **** nurture my ART or get me  OUTSIDE"?  I should evaluate my decisions, actions, commitments, frame of mind, use of money and on and on.  I am still trying to figure out the principles behind this focus, but I have one place I can start, here.


I need to post about my art once a week- no exceptions.  This blog is dedicated to my art and yes this will be nurturing to my art.  I would like to use this to get the word out on what I am doing and work out ideas with others.


What I need from you: follow me, comment on things you see, email me, share this.  The more people that will interact with me the more I will respond.  I am a feedback kind of woman- good or bad I react to it.  This will help me focus on art. (You can follow my blog via email by typing in your email address on the right or by following my RSS feed.)


What I will provide for you:  a little snippet of what I am doing to grow my business, posTTaska.  You will watch me develop plans and ideas.  I will show you glimpses into my studio.  You will hear about any art functions I attend or hold myself (sneak peak: I am planning on holding an open studio this year).  If you make a comment I will respond because I would love to turn this into art dialogue. Focus, it is all about focus.


Deal?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pulling Together Elements

IMG_1064
installation sketch

IMG_1110
beginnings of the diagram of the moon's apex

The installation was starting take form.  Getting up the first layers of paint was extrememly motivating.  A contract was signed, a to do list was created, and the paint was drying.  Now here comes some fun stuff- shopping for bones and bugs.
fox skull from The Bone Room

The Bone Room in Albany, CA is an amazing store.  I was able to acquire, bugs, bones, fossils, minerals, and ideas. The staff was very helpful, and I was even able to get some things on discount because they were not perfect specimens.  It is a trip for me from San Mateo to north of Berkeley but well worth it.  I also frequented Paxton Gate in San Francisco.  Although the two are both curiosity shoppes I find they are very different with unique items to offer.  The each deserve a trip or two, especially at Christmas.  Paxton Gate is near Timbuk2's office so I was always coming up with excuses to got there after work for "official art business".

As a side note Travis and I have just been doing the taxes.  Well, if the mock-up was a hint that this was a "real" project then doing all the tax shenanigans really gave me a kick in the pants.  I have several good books on starting your own craft business, but they all skirted around giving tax advise.  Actually they contained very little about taxes for a small personal art business. Turbo Tax Home and Business is my friend.  I am always hunting around for new classes to take.  A "start and run your small business" class would be the most helpful right now.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Me Mops and Me Brushes

Boy, do want to know what is intimidating?
Painting a 27' swath of dark blue and purple on a white wall.


IMG_1098
gathering supplies, taping and adding plastic really make the actual painting downright thrilling and invigorating


I found out very quickly that painting feet instead of inches is a very different experience.  On top of that using wall paint is like painting with cement after working with high quality acrylics.  I had to teach myself in situ how to blend wall paint with a roller and a 2.5"brush.


IMG_1096
I really had to work quickly to get the appropriate balance of smoothness and visible strokes.


IMG_1097
midnight blue to purple to magenta

Friday, February 25, 2011

Inspiration Board

This made the beginning of the instillation feel real and important. Somehow in my mind only "important" art gets mock-ups.


IMG_1260

This was actually quite helpful when discussing what direction they saw this instillation/mural going.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Philosophy: An instillation



It starts with an idea.
sketch posted on the opposite hall wall for my reference
Al Landrum and Angela Fazio-Landrum have commissioned me to create a mural in their residence. 6' x 27' entrance hall in their San Francisco home. A bit daunting but incredibly invigorating. The entire project started with a tiny idea. One day Angela swept her arm across the wall and said "What if we had a mural of evolution here?" After that the seeds began to germinate in the back of my brain, working forward into more concrete images and concepts.

Haeckel's "tree of life", Darwin's metaphorical description of the pattern of universal common descent made literal by his greatest popularizer in the German scientific world. This is the English version of Ernst Haeckel's tree from the The Evolution of Man (Published 1879), one of several depictions of a tree of life by Haeckel. "Man" is at the crown of the tree; for Haeckel, as for many early evolutionists, humans were considered the pinnacle of evolution via Wikipedia.

I don't like to depict ideas literally. I like to pair opposing concepts and see how they play off of one another to bring a viewer to some of my same conclusions. Although I do think it is crucial that the viewer bring their own unique conclusions too.
Kepler's Platonic solid model of the Solar system from Mysterium Cosmographicum (1596) via Wikipedia.

So I came to philosophy: the love of knowledge.

Origin:

Middle English: from Old French philosophie, via Latin from Greek philosophia 'love of wisdom'



Monday, February 14, 2011


I love Wordle!
I really want to explore what is important that I don't even notice. This is like reading Tarot cards to me.
Wordle: posTTaska

Friday, February 4, 2011

Travel Journal: Physicality, part 1, Planning

I see the purpose of a travel journal as two fold: planning and documentation. What do I really mean by these words?
DSCF9045
Planning
The only thing that is possibly more exciting on taking those first steps out the front door on an adventure is that first moment that you decide it is high time that you go. I get such a rush from collecting maps and books on places I want to explore. I spend hours day dreaming of all the wacky and racy situations I could possibly find myself in, traveling across a new county or country or continent. Sure I enjoy my workday most of the time, but there are times when the best way to stay sane while doing busy work, like filing, is fantasize about an upcoming trip.
DSCF9357
Then I can't wait to get home to pour over maps, make notes, and even in rare cases make reservations. These ideas and notations can be valuable for maximizing a short trip or coming up with something remotely interesting when the weather is keeping you from getting off your "quaint" island. Who knows if I will even want to climb that obscure volcano by the time I actually find a clean bed in the Mexican jungle, but I know I want to have a few crucial notes about who to call and when I wake up on the last day with a second wind.

IMG_1044