Art

As we enter 2018...

it felt like 2017 ended on a high note with "Fresh Forward" at Galatea Fine Arts (see previous post), a really great way to see some of you who came out for the opening, and to get to know some of my fellow artists at Galatea. as i look back on 2017, especially on my Instagram account where i can scroll through a whole year of images, it was good to see the steps i'd taken and the progress in various directions my work has taken over the year. it was also good to be reminded of the trips i'd taken and different landscapes, smells, textures, foods, i'd been exposed to that fed my work. it has also been a year since i left my studio in the south end and started working out of a small studio at home. i look back on my residency at the Boston Center for the Arts and am grateful for the incredible experience that was.

and what a wonderful support and encouragement you all have been to me! thank you so much for keeping in touch here and Instagram and Facebook... your support means so much to me.

and now, we enter 2018...

i will be working this year towards a solo show that will happen in February 2019 at Galatea Fine Arts. i'm really excited at the prospect of showing a large body of work and hopefully be telling a better story through this opportunity.

you will also find me working with some students at Boston College this upcoming semester. I will be collaborating with Dr. Lucy McAllister on her course, "Easy Being Green? Waste, Consumption and Environmental Justice in the 21st Century." sounds like a super interesting course, doesn't it? Dr. McAllister wanted her students this semester to work on public art installations for their semester projects. the students will recycle waste products of their own choosing and communicate the message behind their installation. my job is to share with the students some of my work process and help guide them as they create their own installations. i'm excited and a little nervous about this project. i haven't really taught art before, but i'm looking forward to putting into words my process of making art and learning how to communicate this better.

and lastly, i've started writing again. hurray!! it has been many years. i had to leave it behind for a bit and it was healing to focus on my visual art. but now, i'm tackling a new story that has been rattling around in my head for years. i had written a very rough draft of the story a while back, but now i'm getting it to a point where it will be readable for someone besides myself. :)

i hope you will join me on my journey here. i look forward to sharing the new adventures and journeys 2018 holds for me!

Support Puerto Rico

hello, friends, i'm sorry it has been so long since i was here last giving you an update. the summers are usually time for family so i don't get to work very much. however, i have new projects i'm working on which i hope to update you on soon.

but coming up this Saturday, i will be participating in a fundraiser at Art with Amy. we are raising money for Puerto Rico and some of the relief efforts there from the hurricanes. 100% of the proceeds will be going to support two organizations. you can find more info about these organizations here and here.

here are the details of the fundraiser: 8-9:30 pm Saturday October 7th, and open the afternoon of October 8th 1-4pm, at 45 Harvard Street, Brookline.

you can find the Facebook Event page where you can preview many of the art that will be available at the fundraiser here.

 

i apologize for the short notice, but this was literally conceived of last week, a spontaneous desire on the parts of the artists who want to contribute to the needs in Puerto Rico.

Taking Flight install

when my family and i first moved to the Boston area 3 years ago, my youngest daughter was finally old enough to go to preschool for a good portion of the day and i was feeling eager to put my energies into my art. i was in a new city, ready to explore what it had to offer me, but also to figure out what i had to offer it. 

i wasn't sure where the making of many many birds would take me, but i decided to go with it and hoped that something good would come of them. as with my previous installation 100 Cups Of Tea, i began to reuse stacks of my old manuscripts from my writing days.

"Taking Flight" began with Emily Dickinson's poem whose first line is: Hope is the thing with feathers-/ That perches in the soul-/And sings the tune without the words-/And never stops - at all -

those lines fed me when i often felt rather hopeless about finding my way on my journey. the birds began to symbolize for me my creative thoughts, trying to take flight. faltering, but hoping that one day they will take flight. i tried to capture the deeply satisfying feeling that would come over me whenever i see a flock of birds taking off into the sky. that hopefulness we all have as we embark on a new journey, changing course, opening ourselves to new experiences. over the years, the installation has come to mean many many things to me, but i think hope encompasses all those things for me.

so it was incredibly satisfying to see the birds go up yesterday at the Boston Center for the Arts. there were several hiccups during the install process and it took way longer than planned, but we did succeed. :) here is time lapse movie of the process. i'm sorry it is a little choppy, but we had to stop several times to fix some problem and figure out the next steps, etc. there were moments when i wasn't at all sure this would work! but it did. hope you enjoy:

here are some shots of the beautiful space that is the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts where the BCA Ball will take place on June 3, 2017. i hope to share more shots from the Ball when the lighting on the installation will be better/more interesting. but for now, these will have to do:

Dry Bones and The Breath

with the celebration of Easter this past weekend, i have ended another busy period of work. last year, i had created Thirst for Church of the Cross' Easter Vigil service. you can find my post on Thirst here.

this year, in addition to Thirst, i created two new pieces for the Vigil - Dry Bones and The Breath. Dry Bones is a piece i cut out of thick paper. light was shone on it and its shadow was projected onto my painting, The Breath, which was covered in a white cloth. Dry Bones was presented during the Ezekiel 37 reading. here is a photo i took during the service. the shadow piece is difficult to see, but i hope you get the idea:

after the Ezekiel 37 reading, the congregation sang the song, Dry Bones. during the song, the dancers went up to the painting and removed the covering over the painting to reveal The Breath. then we were led into the Zephaniah 3:12-20 reading. here is a photo of the painting:

 The Breath, 2017, 48x72 inches, acrylic and paperclay on canvas

The Breath, 2017, 48x72 inches, acrylic and paperclay on canvas

details of The Breath

i will say that as an abstract painter, i worried a little about painting something so concrete as bones! i have to thank Chris Allison for loaning me his model of a human skull and for directing me to the Warren Anatomical Museum at Harvard Medical School. both sources were indispensable to me in the process.

i have refrained from interjecting my thoughts on Ezekiel 37 and talking about the artwork, in the hopes that you will find your own beauty in this very bizarre and wonderful passage from the Bible. to those of you who have already shared your thoughts to me about The Breath, i thank you. it means so much to me to know that i have moved you in some small way.

Highlights from Passage Through Blue

here is a video of the highlights from my BCA Residency, Passage Through Blue:

for those of you who weren't able to make it to a performance, i hope this gives you a glimpse of what i was working on. i would love to hear your thoughts about it. again, it was such a wonderful collaborative experience. i learned so much and hopefully grew as a result.

Upcoming Local Events

i have several events coming up in the month of April that i'd like to invite you to. i am listing the events here chronologically:

first up is an Artist Showcase Reception with ArtLINC Boston, "a local, artist-run organization that showcases area artists and connects them directly with buyers and patrons." below is the invite to the event. i have 4 pieces of art in the showcase.

i am also participating in this year's Brookline Open Studios. currently, you will find one of my paintings at Brookline Public Library Main Branch, 361 Washington Street, in Hunneman Hall on the 3rd floor, where the Preview Show is happening for Brookline Open Studios. the preview show highlights all the participating artists in the Open Studios. there will be a closing reception of the Preview Show on April 23, 1:00-3:30 pm.

and finally, i will be at 33a Harvard Street (3rd floor) for Brookline Open Studios. i will be there April 29-30, 11-5 each day. i plan to have some new and some old works for sale. some of the old works will be available for a discounted price, so if there's a piece you've been eyeing, come on out!

hope you can join me at one of these events in April! look forward to connecting with you!

Recap of Passage Through Blue and a review

edit: i meant to post this a week or two ago... sorry! but here is a recap of Passage Through Blue. i have also posted on my portfolio page images taken by Steve Wollkin of one of the performances.

 

i have spent most of this week feeling slightly off-kilter. comes with being intensely involved in a project. the performances of Passage Through Blue were amazing last weekend. the dancers of Continuum Dance Project were incredible - it was deeply satisfying to watch them. and many thanks to you that came out to the shows. from your responses to me, i know that you left feeling exhilarated and moved and inspired. i'm so glad you were able to share in this wonderful experiment.

i'm going to leave you with some photos i took throughout the rehearsals and of a review of Passage Through Blue which you can find here.

Progress with residency

there's nothing quite so gratifying as seeing your work progress in the way you envisioned. i was a little nervous this week and last as i began work on my papier-mache birds. i had several conversations with Fernadina about the dancers' movements and with Stephen, our lighting guy, to think through all the various issues i need to take into consideration when putting the birds together. below is a video of me testing out the flock of birds yesterday:

and Adriane made a movie of the dancers rehearsing and (i hope) you can find the movie here. if you can put the two movies together in your mind, that's what you should expect to see at the performance. :)

stay tuned for more updates!

Winter 2017 Residency at the BCA

on January 9, 2017, i began a month long residency at the BCA (Boston Center for the Arts) with my friend and choreographer, Fernadina Chan, and Continuum Dance Project. it was super exciting to get into the space and start working. i am creating installations in the space the dancers will perform in. we will also be projecting some of my paintings onto the walls and the dancers. Fernadina and Adriane Brayton are taking inspiration from my paintings and writings and creating a choreography for the dancers. we are really excited about this opportunity to work together and to have an opportunity to experiment and create something new. it's an incredible experience for me as the artist seeing Fernadina and the dancers bring the emotions of the artwork to life and interpret them with their bodies.

most days, my schedule and the dancers' schedules don't overlap, but the other day, i got a glimpse of them working and it was really exciting!!

i am truly grateful for this opportunity to experiment and to take risks. this is what the arts should be about, trying something different and seeing where collaborations will lead.

the residency culminates in performances that will be open to the public. to purchase tickets to performances and find more info about our residency on the BCA website, please go here. Continuum Dance Project is also offering a workshop on 31 January that is free and open to the public. you can find out more about that here.

here's a time-lapse movie of me painting one of the installations. there are 5 separate dance vignettes so there are 5 spaces.

hope you can join us for one of the performances!

Changes and a new project

i apologize for being so silent here for so long. so much has happened in my personal life and in America's national life and i have had a hard time kicking the melancholy that threatens to set in. for those of you following me on FaceBook and Instagram know already that i am preparing for a move out of my studio. that will take place next week, at the end of the month. i am sad to be leaving the space in which i have grown so much and in which i created many new works, but i am also looking forward to a new chapter in my life. my family is moving into a bigger home and i will have a small room to use as a studio. while i am sad to be leaving behind a community in the Wareham studio, i hope to stay in touch and also to build a new community in Brookline. i am already meeting other artists in my neighborhood and looking forward to what those connections and relationships will bring about.

while packing and prepping for our move, i am thinking and planning in my head and in my sketchbook for a new project that will take place in January/February 2017. i am extremely excited for this project, as it draws on my love of dance, movement, music and art. i am collaborating on this new project with Fernadina Chan, a choreographer and friend i met through my ballet class. we have received a grant from the Boston Center for the Arts to use their space and create a new performance piece. you can read more about the project here. i am really excited about all the possibilities this project holds. really, it could go anywhere! i am particularly looking forward to creating a space for the dancers to move and interact with and a space that will transport the audience.

to prepare myself, i've been listening to Stravinsky's Elegy for viola as it might be part of the music for the performance. i've been listening with my eyes closed and putting pen to paper and allowing my hand move where it will with the music. afterwards, i fill in various spaces on the page with colours. here are some pages from my sketchbook that are the results of this experiment.

IMG_8495.JPG
 this one was actually drawn with my eyes open, just so i could see what my hand would do if my eyes were open. the lines are much more even and self-conscious i think.

this one was actually drawn with my eyes open, just so i could see what my hand would do if my eyes were open. the lines are much more even and self-conscious i think.

why am i doing this? i'm hoping to loosen up my mind a bit and marrying my mark making with music. i'm hoping this will help me as i think about creating a space for movement.

Taking Flight in VSCO's NY studio

first of all, thank you to all that came out to the South End over the weekend! it was lovely to see many of you. and welcome to those who are new here, who i met for the first time at Open Studios! i hope you will visit here often as this is where i primarily share about my work and process. for daily snippets though, i am mostly to be found on Instagram.

 in process shot inside VSCO NY studio space

in process shot inside VSCO NY studio space

today, i want to share with you about a project that i did early last week in NYC. i was accepted by VSCO to one of their open studio sessions which meant that i could come into their beautiful NYC office and use their amazing studio space to take pictures of a personal project. i chose to take in my Taking Flight installation as i felt it was important to have really good photos of the installation to continue telling my story through that particular piece. here is one shot that came out of my time there:

 Taking Flight

Taking Flight

you can now find the rest of my shots on my portfolio page.

i worried about the white background as my birds are mostly white, but having taken the shots, i can now say that the whiteness adds to the ethereal quality of the installation. and the birds really do look like they are taking off! :)

this installation began in a deep place of emotion and movement. i'm still figuring out why i am so obsessed with these birds. part of it is, no one bird looks the same because i've made each of them by hand, and the installation never looks the same. i've taken shots of these in my studio with a black background and they look very different from how they look here. and the shape of them as a whole changes depending on how i have hung them up. there is something i love about that.

thank you to VSCO for the amazing opportunity! i learned so much about lighting and photo taking - loved it!

i would love to hear your thoughts on these!

Mark your calendars pls for September 24-25!

i'm getting super excited for the South End Open Studios coming up! there's a lot of energy going around in my building and we are all looking forward to seeing you! i want to list some details here for that weekend that will make you navigating the event a little easier.

my building is 59 Wareham Street, and i am all the way up on the 5th floor. a good way to navigate our studio buildings might be to begin on my floor and work your way down. :) there will be maps in the building to guide you!

PARKING. we have partnered with Jacobson Floral at 500 Albany Street to provide FREE parking for SUNDAY, 25th September. unfortunately, because they are open on Saturday, we cannot provide that service on Saturday.

we will have an information booth at Wareham and Harrison. our building doors will be clearly marked with signs and balloons.

 

lastly, our building has been listed on Flux's listing which you can find here - you must scroll down a bit to find us.

looking forward to seeing you at South End Open Studios!!

Sketchbook pages

hello! hope you are having a great start to the week! it's raining quite a bit today here in the Boston area, which is a good thing as it has been much too dry, but that means i'm staying home today instead of biking to the studio. which is also not a bad thing, as i have lots to catch up on at home, like updating the blog and the website. :)

as you know, i'm getting ready for the South End Open Studios on September 24-25. i'm hoping to have a set of abstract paintings ready that were inspired by a family camping trip we took over the summer to Acadia National Park. i've been sharing some of the sketchbook pages from my trip on Instagram but i wanted to share them here as well. i hope to share some of the process photos of the larger pieces that i'm working on in the next few weeks leading up to the open studios. i will also have available my watercolor paintings of roses and peonies and have framing options for those. and of course, my miniature bird pieces will be available as well.

here are some recent pages from my sketchbook and i look forward to sharing more about the larger paintings born out of these soon. 

 inspired by the pink granite rocks of Acadia

inspired by the pink granite rocks of Acadia

 inspired by the beautiful lichen

inspired by the beautiful lichen

South End Open Studios

hello, friends,

it has been WAY too long! the summer has been full and has flown by. i haven't been able to spend much time here or at the studio as i've been busy hanging with the kids, but school starts next week and there's lots going on in September that i have to get ready for.

one of the things i'm prepping for is the South End Open Studios happening the weekend of September 24-25. i'm super excited to be a part of this large celebration that happens every year in Boston's South End. below is some info written up by a fellow artist in my building. i hope you will mark your calendars and stop by! 

BOSTON’S SOUTH END, MA (August 2, 2016) –

Arts and culture are alive in Boston with no better example than the 30th annual South End (SoWa) Open Studios, September 24-25, 11am-6pm, when the public is invited to visit the inner sanctum of working artists at the Wareham Street Studios, 35-59 Wareham Street between Harrison and Albany. This weekend celebration of art is organized by United South End Artists, a membership association supporting neighborhood artists. Wareham Street Studios is a privately owned complex of truly affordable work-only studio spaces occupied by artists creatively working in a wide range of mediums including painting, works on paper, ceramics, photography, textiles and mixed-media.

Many of the Wareham Street artists have been in the building for decades such as painter Michael Costello located on the 4th floor of 35 Wareham Street. “I have painted on Wareham Street for almost 30 years and have watched a vibrant art neighborhood whittled down to a handful of buildings such as ours which continue to be a refuge for the making of art in the South End. Open Studios is the rare chance a collector has to see art in the environment in which it is birthed.”

The Wareham Street collection of active studio spaces is open to the pubic on only the most seldom of occasions, and many visitors have remarked at the high quality and one-of-a-kind authenticity of the art on view. 20 artists will be opening their studio doors on Wareham Street this year to welcome art enthusiasts, collectors, and the curious. Included in this select group are Clint Baclawski, Jessica Burko, Michael Costello, Anne Foresman, Tristan Govignon, Heather Greenwood, Will Howcroft, Soyoung L. Kim, Rose Leitner, Maria Malatesta, Mary ann Obrien, Wendy Seller, Nancy Seymour, Karen Lee Sobol, Katherine Spencer, Annie Zeybekoglu, Sara Zielinski. Celebrate SoWa’s rich and diverse arts community and go home with a piece of locally made art.

Filling my world with flowers

this was originally going to be a rather happy and light post, but after what happened in Orlando yesterday, my heart feels heavy and everything is tinged with the sadness i feel for those affected by the shooting. this morning, i went to my kindergartener's spring sing and they ended the concert with "What a Wonderful World" - my heart is bursting with the joy and beauty in the voices of those little children on the one hand, and the pain and violence of Florida. it is hard to believe that this world we live in has so much hate and yet also has the capacity to make so much beauty.

so while my thoughts are tinged with so much sadness, i look around me and see so many beautiful flowers. and it is these beauties that i have been busy filling the world of my mind with. here are some photos i've been posting on Instagram. while i cannot have my own garden here, i am growing a garden in my head with these paintings. 

Last two releases for Limited Edition series 13

it is with a bit of sadness i present to you the last two pieces of "13". i am always slightly melancholy when i wrap up a project, but all good things must come to an end! but i do have plans for future projects, so it's not all sad.

i think you may have noticed that many of the pieces in "13" have come in pairs and i see these last two as a pair, more because they are conveying similar feelings, not necessarily because of a visible similarity. however, i have chosen to make the background of both of these more smooth and one color rather than having many textures and layers as in the previous pieces. 

I call No. 12 and 13 "Hope Deferred". when i made these, i was thinking of all kinds of moments when we defer hope, but i was thinking particularly of those women who have had to defer hope in relation to having children. we are in a time when we women realize that we can't do it all and we must choose one path over another, sacrifice something for something else. i know that sounds really vague, but we are all in very different circumstances and have different choices to make.

13, No. 12 (Hope Deferred) - unlike the first piece i did (13, No. 1 (Too Hard To Hold)) where there was a hand to catch the pearls being dropped, there is no one here to catch the pearls. the pearls are rolling away fast. and to me, the hand that's letting go of the pearls here is a bit more reluctant. because the choice to let go of something in order to make room for having children is a hard one. as women, we must sacrifice a career, our time, our sleep, and the ability to call our bodies and time our own. fathers have to sacrifice too, but unless they are the primary care givers, this sacrifice falls largely on women. and we do it willingly, do we not? i certainly did, but it still doesn't quite prepare you for how difficult this is in reality.

when my husband and i decided we would have children, i decided to put aside my goals to pursue writing. fortunately for me, i managed to eek out an hour here and an hour there of writing after our first daughter turned 1. it took me over 7 years to write a very short novel. i still have no idea what will happen to this novel that i poured so much of my effort into and i am still figuring out this journey of being an artist, but it feels so late in life for me to be struggling over these things! there are moments when i think, i should have figured this out in my 20s!

hope deferred.

i was having a conversation about this with a friend who was saying that we are privileged to even have this kind of thought, to have the luxury of making a choice, as there are many people in this world who don't have this luxury, who must live to survive day to day. but it is a reality many of us face and we must make a choice.

 

13, No. 13 (Hope Deferred) - when i made this piece, i was thinking about all the women i know who at some point in their lives were unable to conceive. this is a different kind of hope deferred, one that is not our choice to make. this, i believe, is particularly difficult. i am also thinking of those women who have lost babies, through miscarriages or other complications that took their babies' lives.

i recently watched "March Of the Penguins" with my daughters. there is a gut-wrenching scene where a mother penguin whose newborn froze during a storm tries to steal the baby of another penguin. her grief and desperation drove her to attempt something so unthinkable. because the void left by a dead baby is surely too painful to bear.

i'd like to believe that this kind of hope that has been deferred blooms somewhere for the women who must carry this burden around with them daily. i'd like to believe this even if we can't see it. 

***

 

i feel that my words here have been rather halting today. it is not easy to think about these kinds of pain. but this month of work has been about embracing both the joys and the difficult parts of life and looking at them as honestly as i can. thank you for accompanying me here on this journey. i hope the experience of accompanying me has enriched your days in some small way. i know i have learned so much this month, having the discipline of producing a certain amount of work every week.

i look forward to other projects in the future! i will continue to share them here, so if you'd like to follow along, please subscribe by clicking on the icon below, bottom left corner. once you click on the icon, you can choose to either read in a feed of your choice or receive emails. i generally write here at most once a week, so you won't get inundated with emails from me. ;)

have a wonderful week, friends!!