I tried, but things didn’t work out, so here is this instead.
I tried, but things didn’t work out, so here is this instead.
two of my favorite activities. this week i joined them in a union that may lead me somewhere. i had just boiled some beets and was really taken (again) with the deep rich color left behind in the water. i soaked a piece of sketch paper and left it to dry overnight. testing the paper with white ink, i started drawing circles … a rather mundane yet meditative practice. the result … barely interesting.
yes. it’s a lot more energy consuming than i thought. while i’ve been going to my new studio digs, getting in a groove is proving to be a wee bit tricky. not that i’d imagined it to be a seamlessly scripted tv show kinda event. y’know what i mean … show opens, something happens and by the 22nd minute (excluding commercial breaks) everything is resolved and folks live happily ever after. not so fast little girl….
what i have been consistiently doing is taking pictures with my phone, then over-proceesing the shit out of them and having some fun. it’s my one consistent attempt at staying in the game. the camera phone has proven to be a worthy sketching device. a handy tool to use when all you wanna do is keep your head in your art. i’ve even found a few worthy of printing and sharing.
so, let me start again… good day fair folk. here are some pics i made while waiting for the other artist side of me to get her studio shit together .
I’m tired and when I’m tired I throw stuff down on paper and slop it around, pretending that my subconscious has something to do with the chaotic garbage that is left.
But is it art?
Humans are full of sh*t , huh?
PIG, mixed media on paper, 11″ x 7″
That’s what I’ve been doing. I’m making a fire pit! I spent the week digging the hole and removing the sod. Today, we laid out the landscaping fabric and started laying stones on the patio. Here’s what it looked like this morning.
and a proper soundtrack…
Love & Flames,
-Steph the all-time fire starter cuz i called it first!
I’ve got nothing this week, so here’s some nonsense.
Last week I asked for and got some very good advice from you guys about how to maybe pursue some of my macaroni challenge ideas. I’ve settled on two ideas, both require changing the nature of the pasta from it’s current form.
Phase One: The Watched Pot
This is where I sit around for what feels like forever and wait for this thing to boil. I follow it up by dumping an entire box of macaroni in there and waiting some more. I left it all in longer than I would if I were to want to eat it because I wanted it to break down easily and from there it went drained but un-rinsed (need that starch) into the chopper to pulp it. It was goopy so I threw in the suggested additional cornstarch, which promptly made it into a paste comprised of a viscosity for which my Cuisinart will forever resent me.
Phase 2: Seeing What Sticks
After I saw the consistency I was able to make some choices about how to proceed. One idea was to make it into a sheet that I could potentially paint, or better yet, print on. It seemed like this could be a good time to experiment with dehydration so I pre-heated the oven to 200 degrees and spread the mixture out on a foiled cookie sheet.
I left it on the oven for 2 hours and so far like the results. The top side is dry, but flexible, the bottom side was more like a soft rubber. I can see potential for both, but left it soft side up to air dry over night.
The other thought was to use it like a paste over a form, which could later be sanded or sculpted into shape. It was far too sticky to work into anything literal so I spread it over a wire mesh form and stuck it in the fridge to try another drying technique. The extra blob over there is just that, an extra blob. I’m curious to see what texture it will have in the morning without a substrate to support it.
Next week, I’ll follow up with part 2 of the Great Macaroni Experiment.
I first met Andy Reiss of Hamilton Landscape about 8 years ago at a local art opening, where he gave me a pink rubber pig wearing overalls that had his business contact information on it. As far as marketing strategies were concerned it worked, I couldn’t personally afford to hire him (or anyone else) but he had my attention, and I started keeping an eye on what he was up to around town. His landscape projects always had a little twist that you could identify as his long before you came upon on the Hamilton logo; some sculptures down on Rt.7 made of reclaimed materials, or a fence made of rough cuts of wood left over from the lumber yard and arranged in a cross hatched pattern that to my eye created a softer, more natural landscape line than the cheap uniform crap you buy at Home Depot.
About three years ago he purchased a house around a mile from me, a fact that wasn’t obvious at first but it’s on the way to the town dump where I go to get all my skulls and local gossip and pretty soon you could see some changes were taking place. What started as a small conservative looking house on a hill began to evolve as large undulating rock walls sprang up, white clapboard siding was replaced with a warm stucco finish, and huge piles of wood and materials started to accumulate. To me it was pretty obvious that he was working on something big, and big things usually take a bit of time, so personally I never thought much of it but his neighbors had other ideas and a two year battle of cease and desist and clean up orders were issued from the town. Signs were posted outside of his house urging local residents to “take a stand” against this terrible visual menace at what was scheduled to be a final appeal at a zoning meeting set for April 19th.
I had no idea any of this had been going on but was lucky enough to stumble into it after my general curiosity about what he was building got the better of me and I went over to his house to reintroduce myself and see what he was working on. I found him in the yard building one of the offending items, the Peace Wall, a fence constructed entirely out of recycled metal and found objects, designed to eventually be taken over by plants to become something of a living wall. I’m no stranger to wanting to block out the neighbors, or of using the materials you have at hand so after all my hey-how-are-ya-whatcha-workin-on stuff questions I was treated to a full tour and an explanation of the thought process behind the work.
After spending a number of hours with him I can tell you there is no paucity of ideas taking place over there. Each project is given very thoughtful consideration with an emphasis on conserving energy through the re-use of discarded items. He spoke of the time and energy spent on the creation and transportation of most common building materials, many of which are discarded when left over from projects and deemed excess or unusable. Taking a walk though his home and yard demonstrates that nearly anything, even things that appear broken and unusable can very often take new life by doing something as simple as flipping them over and looking at them as abstract 3 dimensional objects without the same symbolic meaning of it’s first use. What do these things become when you stop looking at them as what someone told you they are? I like hanging out over at his house because I always go home looking at my own current challenges with fresh ideas, not to mention after looking at everything he’s accomplished in three years I feel like a lazy piece of shit that needs to get her ass in gear. I’ll take my motivation where ever I can find it.
The big appeal has come and gone, and I’ll refer you over to the Wilton Patch to get all the details of the proceedings and results, but I will say for a 3 hour small town zoning meeting it was pretty fascinating. High drama with show and tell demonstrations, discussions of the “what is art?” variety (substitute “fence” for art), accusations of Thanksgiving holiday ruining, and fears of nudity. I started to wonder if I was caught in an absurdest theatrical production and I was happily reminded that small town life is always far more bizarre than what happens in the city. No wonder I love it here.
So have a look for yourself and decide if this is the holiday ruining visual menace that they claim, an inventive use of materials, or somewhere in between. Either way, now that this drama is over it looks like I am going to have to figure out some other reason to go and see what he’s up to because I could seriously go there and never run out of stuff to take photographs of.
World’s Coolest Cat Bed
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I finally finished the Identity Project that I had been working on since last August. I ended up with a solid twenty subjects. Now, I am moving on to the second phase, which is going to be quite less difficult to complete. So, I need 1 East Asian, 1 Caucasian,
1 African-American, 1 Middle Eastern, 1 Indian, and 1 person of Latin-American descent, ages 25-35 and male for a simple portrait. Help me out here peeps!
I admit it; I have a little cache of freaks that I refuse to delete from my life. What I mean, is that, when out shooting, whether for a client or myself, I sometimes capture an image that doesn’t quite “work” as a presentable photograph, but occasionally, these misfires possess a quality that I really enjoy looking at, over and over. That’s the power of camera vernacular I guess. Nonetheless, I decided to assemble a few of them here for you all to see, and decide whether or not I am crazy. Some of these are out-takes from client shoots (which they did not see), some are while testing new equipment, some are accidental trips of the shutter, and one is from selling a pair of my wife’s shoes on Craigslist. Enjoy…
No. I’m just gonna skip the commentary and let this vid speak for itself.
And if you don’t believe that they are legit….
Yes, they are fucking awesome!
Their statement: “White Flag Projects presents the Provincial Gallery Simulator. White Flag believes that negligent provincial art galleries operate with undue pretense, and abuse their inflated authority to routinely betray the good will of their patrons by exhibiting art they know to be compromised, by misrepresenting their motives and expertise, by effectively defrauding both their artists and clients, and by generally diminishing the environment for meaningful contemporary art as a result of their perverse curatorial behavior.
This video documents those patrons abused by the provincial gallery system between February 14th and February 17th, 2008, in the Front Room of the Contemporary Art Museum-St. Louis.”
White Flag Projects is a Contemporary Art Gallery in St. Louis. See more slaps here.
People you might not know after the jump…
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…or, at least that is what I am hoping to have happen this year. I might be a little scarce around D’ArteBoard trying to make that a reality, but I’ll try to at least contribute something entertaining every week. Here is some randomness from my life over the past week: