The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation has awarded me an emerging artist grant! This Canadian organization provides support to early career representational artists and has supported prestigious artists such as Medrie Macphee and Jenny Saville. This grant will help fund my final semester of research and thesis work as an MFA Candidate at San Diego State University.
I will have a piece in the Claremont Graduate University's third annual Southern California MFA Exhibition, hosted in conjunction with The Millard Sheets Art Center.
Southern California MFA Exhibition is organized by CGU MFA students and is open for all Southern California MFA Studio Art students. Howard N. Fox is the 2018 guest juror. He was a curator of contemporary art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art from 1985 through 2008 and is guest curator for LACMA’s current PST LA/LA exhibition Playing with Fire: Paintings by Carlos Almaraz. SoCalMFA is a great opportunity for emerging artists to gain experience and network in the Southern California Art community.
Millard Sheets Art Center, Pomona, CA
Opening reception: Sunday, March 25, 2-6pm
Exhibition dates: March 24-June 2
In 2008 a professor had me write a list of the "things" that make up my creativity. I have recently found that list and have adapted it to the present moment- a good exercise in thinking through motivations
Tubes of cadmium red oil. The way oil paint paints
Childhood drawings and my mother’s yarn-doll named Heidi
Stringed instruments. Hearing my father practice cello
The rhythms that are constantly stuck in my head
Sitting with an empty mind. Being alone. Silence
Early, gray and chilly mornings. Leaving the city for and coming back
Birds and plants
Southern CA sunlight (especially at dusk) and the marine layer
Richard Serra and James Turrell. The Dia:Beacon
A good museum“finding” works therein. David Park’s Four Men
The inability to focus on the moving peripheral. The fact that there is always a peripheral
Annie Dillard, A Pilgrim a Tinker Creek
Joni Mitchell, Tchaikovsky, Alanis Morissette and the Red Hot Chili Peppers
Receiving and sending mail
The ever-changing landscape. We continue to rearrange it, to line, cover and define it in some strange sort of massive and unrealized collaborative performance. The way that grasses pop up through cement and asphalt
Artists who believe that everything has intention and meaning
The simultaneous poetics and blockiness of language (or at least of my own language). The inefficiencies of any single medium
The voices of my mentors and friends- “get to work”
I am excited to have a painting in a Los Angeles group show, Mid-City Movement, curated by Arts Aggregate and hosted by Mogosh Gallery. The above image is the middle of three painted panels on unstretched canvas which forms the largest (nearly 10 x 6 feet) and loosest work I have produced to date. I will share some process shots after the opening event.
Opening reception: Saturday, June 3, 6-9 pm
5522 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
For more information about Arts Aggregate you can visit their website here. Please come if you are in the LA area!
I have been working to translate 3 of my sketches into screenprints- and they are finished!
The sketches come from the travel sketchbook I maintained while in France in January and I have made limited-edition, hand-pulled prints based on the level of interest I received- thanks everybody! The images included are Notre Dame Cathedral, Cafe Francoeur in Monmartre and the Rouen Cathedral. These will be made available individually, or as a special grouping of 3 starting at 9am PST on Monday, May 8th...just in time for Mother's Day (if you can't fly Mom to Paris, maybe a special print will do!)
My MFA peer Moses Muturi and I were invited to exhibit our most recent work in a collaborative exhibition at a great San Diego gallery, Art Produce. I have followed this non-profit, community space for a few years and am so excited to be exhibiting there! In addition to the opening information below, Moses and I will also be hosting two community events at the gallery.
Exhibition dates: January 15 - March 4, 2017
Opening No Host Reception: Saturday, January 21, 6-9pm (If you are able to attend this event, please help me to support the educational and community projects at Art Produce by enjoying your dinner or beverage at the attached Tostadas restaurant or ChuckAlek Beirgarten!)
Make it Yourself Community Class: February 18, 2-4pm
Artist Talk: February 11, 7pm
After a grueling semester of full-time work and school, I am am currently in Paris, France visiting family, friends and sampling every pastry/cheese/wine I can find. I am excited to be recharging my creative juices and while currently posting only occasionally on Instagram.
Happy New Year!
I am delighted to have a piece in the San Diego Art Institute 2016 Southern California/Baja Biennial alongside the below list of talented artists. The exhibition was juried by Anthony Graham, Assistant Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and opens to the public this Saturday, December 10, with a reception from 6-8pm.
Selected artists in the 2016 Southern California/Baja Biennial include: Eduardo Aispuro, Mira Alibek, Trevor Amery, Terry Arena, Debe Arlook, Christine Atkinson, Anna Bae, Tami Bahat, Kristina Bell DiTullo, Adam Bemanian, James Bertucci, Ashley Blalock, Andrew Bracken, Carolyn Brann, Cathy Breslaw, Kelly Brumfield-Woods, Jessica Buie, Debbie Carlson, Anastasia Castle, Chenhung Chen, Sherry Xiaohong Chen, Gina Cholick, Lissa Corona, Camilo Cruz, Amanda Dahlgren, Alec Dawson, Carol del Tufo Harmon, Sheena Rae Dowling, Corey Dunlap, Ashley Fenderson, Kevin Freligh, Kaori Fukuyama, Stacie Greene, Eleanor Greer, Janice Grinsell, Marina Grize, Ivy Guild, Kristin Hough, Nicholas Hullibarger, Bryan Ida, Beliz Iristay, Aaron Garretson, Terry Hastings, Adriene Hughes, Abbey Hepner, Alexander Kohnke, Georgia K. Laris, Nick Lesley, Adam Manley, Christine McKee, Carrie Minikel, Scott Mitchell Putesky, Yuka Murakami, Tim Murdoch, Khang Nguyen, Leah Pantea, Paula Riff, Vabianna Santos, Gail Schneider, Jeannette Scollard-Hurd, Julia Schwartz, Ilanit Shalev, Aren Skalman, Ash Eliza Smith, Tyler Stefanich, Maya VanderSchuit, Rebecca Webb, Andrea Welton, Charisse Weston, Sheldon Wood, and Jeremy Zierau.
I am in my first semester as an MFA candidate in the Painting/Printmaking program at San Diego State University. The SDSU University Gallery will be hosting an exhibition of graduate work with a formal opening on Thursday, October 27 from 6-8 pm. I am happy to have this graphite drawing (detail shown here) and two newer paintings in the exhibition alongside my stellar and diverse peers.
SDSU School of Art & Design XVI Graduate Review Show, October 20- November 2, 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 27 6-8pm
A detailed campus map can be found here, the University Gallery is located between the Art North and Art South buildings.
Here are the final phases of my Summer Studio Experiments paintings on paper. These served as explorations of paint texture and ability and are a practice that I think I will continue as a personal project.
What's going on now? The first semester of my MFA is off to a speedy start- hang on everybody!
The other day I was asked what Master's program I was in. Upon replying that I was studying in the visual arts I was received, "Can you make any money in that field?". Now, all of you creatives out there know that this is THE question. It will always be asked. And the answer is yes, there is money in creative work... provided the creative is diligent and understands that in a creative field, open door are often less clearly delineated than in other fields. In other words, there are multiple paths forward and "can't" doesn't always apply. Of course you can. You just have to find a way.
That said, my fall semester starts SOON! As in, one week soon. I will keep a running list of "How to hold a full time job while performing an MFA" for a forthcoming blog post. Up next, a summary of my Summer Studio Experiments!
Studio shot from Be-coming Photography
I am a little behind in providing this update but here is the most recent work in my Summer Studio Experiments. Recently I have been using Adobe Sketch more frequently to provide myself a further layer of testing ground for these loose paintings on paper. With the summer coming to a close, I will soon be looking towards the fall semester and starting my MFA- Yippee!
I hope you are enjoying the summer sun!
In 2007 a dear professor had me write an inventory of things that aid my creativity. From that list, here are the ones that have remained true... along with a few more. I am sure many creatives share these!
- Writing- it is good and therapeutic for me to do so.
- The ability to sit with an empty mind and watch the world go by.
- Ice cream and coffee.
- An early gray and chilly morning. The early morning is MY time.
- The way oil paint paints.
- Listening to music when entering/leaving a special place and the way that song is forever connected with that location.
- The ever-changing American landscape. Man continues to rearrange it, to line, cover and define it in some strange sort of massive performance. I support nature's victory over man.
- Being alone, especially going for a walk, having a coffee, watching the light change or visiting a museum/gallery.
- Artists who believe that everything has intention and meaning.
- Leaving the city and realizing that starts, in fact, do exist in mass quantity.
- Sending and receiving hand-written letters.
- Being in the mountains.
- Late afternoon sunlight.
- Good conversation, being able to not watch the clock.
- Nature: rock formations, all that is green, the way that plants adapt to their environments, collecting seed pods, new leaves.
- Text that brings visual imagery to mind (book or poem titles, single lines from a novel taken out of context)
- Taking a slow, long or new way home.
I am always interested in learning about and from the habits of other artists. We can learn so much from observing each other work. Now, if I had to choose one word to describe my studio practice it would be LABORIOUS. Although slow might be a good alternative. A recent painting came together in just under 2 weeks and I was so proud until I realized that I had been collecting and working with the imagery for that composition for nearly 2 years. Darn.
Here are a couple of the steps I take when starting a new painting:
Sketching- A lot. I refer back to my sketches to trace out elements and layer them back into a work in progress. Sketching also aids in thinking through resolving problem areas in a composition.
Collage- I often start composing by collaging or I might resort to it as a quick way of seeing an image differently. Just cut it in half! Turn it upside down! The results of collaging by hand are different for me than using Photoshop- I use the two for different needs. Collage lets me stay in the realm of the tangible (versus digital) and I like the clumsy inaccuracy of a hurried hand.
Colors- I typically start a painting with a set of complements or a single local color in mind that I pull from the location or objects I am painting. All other color decisions are made based on that dominant relationship. In this case, one of the sites I am working from contained a lot of orange and blue- Voila!
In- progress photos- A quick snapshot allows me to work out composition kinks on the go and while at my day job using Adobe Sketch on my iPad. Doing this helps me to plan ahead and to minimize decision-making time for the next studio session (although sitting and doing nothing is also a huge part of my practice!)
On the note of sitting and staring- I am going camping this weekend! So glad to have time to escape the daily grind. Happy Independence Day weekend to all you USA folk and a great weekend to all!
These past days have been oh so very full. Full of running from one place to another, full of forgetting to remove the paint off my hands before going to my day job, full of gray mornings and tea (the best!), and full of studio time.
I am wrapping up my second week of Summer Studio Experiments and wanted to update you on what I have been trying. The above painting is the only current experiment that I dare share with you- the others are hiding their strange and contorted faces behind my studio table. Yes, I said that no judgement was allowed with this project and I meant it! That does not mean I am ready to share them just yet...but I do promise to show them all at the end of the August.
It is infrequent that I paint entirely abstractly so this large sheet of paper was a true experiment. Not concentrating on subject matter is allowing me to focus more on technique and indeed I have tried quite a few things- pouring, printing, layering, scraping, using the back of the brush, splattering.... there is more to come and I feel the need for more mess!
My next post (Friday, July 1) will share the process and the progress behind one of my newest paintings on canvas- it is my most complex piece to date and I am excited about it! My goal is to weave some of the loose experimentation from these formal paintings on paper into my larger body of work.
Happy experimenting to you!
This painting palette is pretty indicative of how I [hopefully] will be painting this summer. Color! Mess! No boundaries!
As I was planning out my studio time for the summer season, my thought process went something like this:
I am an expert at assigning myself more than I can handle. Every summer I map out a number of very well-intentioned to-dos ...only to accomplish a handful of them. This summer I want to treat my studio practice a little differently- as a space for continued experimentation and discovery. I have spent too many years of my life being too afraid to start a painting for fear that it will not live up to my expectations. MY expectations? Who am I anyway? So, to quote Sol Lewitt in a 1965 letter to Eva Hesse, "relax and let everything go to hell- you are not responsible for the world- you are only responsible for your work- so DO IT."
OR in the words of my Dove dark chocolate wrapper, "Get messy."
Over the course of the next three months (June- August) I will work simultaneously on large experimental [read: MESSY] paintings on paper and planned paintings on canvas. The paintings on paper will be a exploration into the capacity of my materials and I have zero expectations. I will try my hardest to not judge them. The paintings on canvas will be thought out, researched and I will finish one for each month- 3 total. I will blog 2x a month about the process as well as to share the final work.
I am calling this project Summer Studio Experiments and will also be posting progress shots twice on week Instagram.
Here's to throwing criticism to the wind and exploring what paint can do!!!