Monday, December 29, 2014

The More I Build You & 1-7

Part I:  The More I Build You

So it's safe to say that I've been completely and obsessively absorbed with drawing a house.  The growing heap of work overtaking the studio has come to be known as The More I Build You series.  Naming, writing about, and documenting a body of work always helps me finagle it into manageable, bite-size morsels to digest.  These very words and photos below are doing just that.

Details about each piece can be found at

If someone says they truly enjoy writing artist statements and other like documents then they are not to be trusted.  Coming up with the right words to explain what my hands and heart want to make and why is not an easy thing to do and it is constantly morphing into new ideas and reasons as the series grows.  Here's what I have for the moment…

The conflicting need to establish an idealistic home while longing for travel and new experiences proves that home is a great deal more than just its physical structure.  The More I Build You is a collection of paintings, drawings, and mixed media work that allows me to construct and scrutinize my longing for the ideal and elusive "dream house".

The two paintings not included in the above collage are a perfect segue for…

Part II:  1-7

7 Moves, oil on wood panel, 2ftx4ft, 2014

Inside the Ideal, oil on canvas, 32"x24", 2014
1-7 is the title of TCU's fine art grad student group show.  It opens in a couple of weeks.  What does 1-7 mean, you ask…well, it begins with the fact that there are seven grad students.  Here's an excerpt from the gallery's press release which gives a more in-depth explanation of the exhibition: 

"1-7 presents the work of current TCU M.F.A. students whose works respond to the idea of algorithms in art-making.  Within the parameter of 1-7, the artists' reflect on possibilities in making which involve the presentation of a number of objects and ideas, or a progression of processes and narratives."

I super dig parameters in art making - it's problem solving and puzzle-building rolled into one and the best part is that you, the artist, get to dictate the solution.  I worked on two pieces simultaneously with 1-7 in mind and documented the process.  Inside the Ideal is a representation of what a perfect house would look like (in my brain) and 7 Moves is part of my search for that idealistic home through seven major moves I've made in my life.

Check out the show!!

January 16 - March 7, 2015
Opening reception Friday January 16th, 6-8pm

Fort Worth Contemporary Arts

Friday, December 12, 2014

First Semester…finito!

KA-BOOM - the first semester of grad school is officially finito!  The studio is in full blown house mode.  I side-swiped myself with the geometric structures…and I like that.  The bottom three works were completed for my 2nd committee meeting of the semester.    

Blue Diamond House, oil, 32"x24", 2014

Pink Diamond House, oil, 32"x24", 2014

Long House, mixed media, 18"x24", 2014



Coming together or pulling apart?

Stage 1

Stage 2

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Houses. More. Houses.

Holy shitballs…there are only three weeks left of the semester - nobody panic!  To do:
1.  Need to stand in judgement of my committee one more time before winter break.
2.  Write a ten page paper for art theory seminar (and I have exactly zero pages written so far).
3.  Come up with a bombass artist talk for grad painting class.
4.  Make an art for the grad group show.
5.  Keep churning out work in the studio.
6.  Don't freak out and remember to eat food, sleep sometimes and make trips to the grocery store and laundry mat.

No need to worry, everything will be a-ok.  I had a minor existential crisis earlier this week but I usually do that every Wednesday.  Studio stuff is headed toward house drawings and paintings.  I finished the large weird bird/house/cactus painting - added some grommets at the top for hanging.  Made some tini-tiny wooden houses to use for perspective references (and I just like making tini-tiny houses).  I've been looking at drafting tools and supplies and scale model house kits to help amp up the architectural elements happening.  

I'll have to say that I'm pretty excited about the painting below.  It's been a few years since I did anything remotely like it and back then I incorporated maps, masking tape, and other collaging materials.  This is the third painting for this poor canvas.  Ironically the first painting was an architectural-type exercise from my undergraduate Painting I class, then came the blue sparrow painting from earlier this semester, and now it's progress is looking like this...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Settling in.

It has only taken me about nine weeks to feel that I am finally settling into grad school.  That feeling might change at any moment so I'm savoring it while it lasts.  The above shapes are inspired from the below shapes that came from the magnolia tree outside of the art building.  They were collected at different times and are full-blown amazing.  I thought - what do I love a lot…hmmmm…MY ANTFARM!  And so my farm of ants makes its first portrait debut.  The tunnels are especially wonderful.  It is still a work in progress.

I changed up the photo/collage/drawing/mixed media configuration by placing the meteorite mixed media piece with a meteorite drawing.  I used it for a group critique we had Thursday and no one seemed impressed.  "It's too precious.", "Work bigger.", "Make looser marks.", "Are you OCD?", "Why are they framed?" are some of the comments that came from the visiting artist that led the crit.  I've heard all of this before (minus the frame bit).   At age 12 I was told my mark making was timid and yes I am completely OCD - I've been trying to flip that switch for decades.  I am also stubborn which makes me want to turn these into tiny-mega-precious-ridiculously-meticulous-elaborately-framed works of very fine art.  But instead I just continued to work on a LARGE scale painting...

This panel (4ftx6ft) has been up for a couple of weeks waiting for me to figure out what the next move was.  Turns out it was waiting for the inside view of the house I obsessively draw.  Next step?  No idea.  But that move led to the next move on the painting next door.  Apparently that painting had been waiting for the view of the house I obsessively draw if it were stacked upon its flipped self and possibly made of glass.  Who knew?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Javier Tellez, an exploding house, and nature tidbits.

Up until this very week I could have honestly said, "Why no…I've never assembled a movie theatre before."  Well now I can say with pride, "I have indeed helped construct a theatre for a film I find extremely wonderful!"  Being a grad student at TCU entails a part-time gig at Fort Worth Contemporary Arts for the first year - this experience is stocked to the tip top with hands-on experience.  Installing Javier Tellez's exhibition is part of that experience.  Swing by and check it out - the show runs through Dec. 20th!

Aside from the theatre, the gallery has a "Clinic and Waiting Room" that coincides with the film.  I am very familiar with this chair configuration but I've never experienced it as an art installation before.  Surreal.  Oh silly art, how you can instantly turn something so deathly serious into something so approachable is pretty amazing.

This week has been the busiest to date with the install and an upcoming paper deadline, not to mention a couple of presentations, my first committee meeting, and a critique so studio time had to take a backseat.  This sentence is on repeat - "I can't wait to graduate from art school so I can make some work." 

I did manage to squeeze in a couple of hours to make a collage and edit and arrange the house drawings.

from a magnolia tree outside of the art building

And I'll always make time to appreciate some nature.

left:  flower arrangement at the Kimbell
right: skull gifted from a friend

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Silly Owls & Grownup Stuff


Dang, 7"x5", acrylic, 2014
Fukn Hoot, 7"x5", acrylic, 2014
I'm Awesome, 7"x5", acrylic, 2014
Owls Rule, 7"x5", acrylic, 2014
Wisdom 4 Life, 7"x5", acrylic, 2014 
I Brake for Owls, 7"x5", 2014
Night Life, 7"x5", acrylic, 2014
I thought having a 180 degree turn captured in owl portraits was sufficient but I still had three more canvases to complete the project…so what's a girl to do?  She asks herself this question:  if a velvet Elvis painting and African folk art had a baby what would it look like as an owl version?  My mind thinks it would look a little something like this…(I still have one blank canvas to un-blank.)

My owl friends must step aside, I've got some grownup biz to attend to…committee meeting-style.  Yikes!  Each grad student has to meet with their selected committee twice a semester to check up on progress, critique the work, and generally cause stress in the soul and heart of the student.  My first meeting is Tuesday.  For the last nine weeks I've lived in the midst of an existential crisis which I am told means I'm right on track for graduate school.  The upcoming meeting has taken that feeling up a notch or two.  How do you prepare for such a meeting?  Not 100% sure but straightening up the studio and hanging some work sounds like a good idea.  Let's do this.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


I've got five words for ya:  Botanical Research Institute of Texas.  I went there and it is amazing.  There are around one million specimens from around the world and the two oldest specimens in the collection are from 1791.  Yeah…1791.  No big deal.  This initial visit has instigated some ideas and I'll return soon to take some photos and sketch from the archives - I can't wait!

It is unbelievable to me that these two specimens are from 1791!
One million plant specimens live here!  E-ghads! 
Hand-painted print from BRIT library collection.
The BRIT has a nice collection of living, breathing specimens too.

I'm not sure exactly what to call the five works below.  They are photographs taken within the last two months that I have paired together and printed on drawing paper and then drawn on with graphite and framed.  I self-published a small book a couple of years ago filled with paired photographs (no graphite) but this format is new which is exciting.

Fort Worth Botanic Gardens Conservatory
Monnig Meteorite Gallery
Starling/Botanical Research Institute of Texas
Cactus Garden

I spent a portion of the day getting the studio prepped for my first committee meeting next week.  It always seems something comes out of rearranging and getting organized - the vignette below happened.  I like seeing all the work that has sprung from one fallen starling.  The mixed media piece above can be included as well.