Saturday, September 30, 2006

Same Place Different Artist

Still working in Suzanne's studio...getting comfortable. Had coffee this morning with Eleanor Williams, director of Finesilver Gallery in Texas. She is here for (212) art fair. We've talked about my post studio practice enough so that she is very familiar with the terms. We discussed the "studio as status symbol" issue apparent in the question often asked of artists by other artists and art world people, "So, where's your studio these days?"

I've been experimenting with answers to that status seeking question always answering it in slightly different ways. One possible answer: "I'm experimenting with studio space..." And then I explain or "I don't need a studio to do what I do."

I will be discussing definitions of the post studio practice with Miki Garcia, the dynamic new executive director of the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum (CAF) in Santa Barbara on November 11th. More details and answers to the studio questions to come.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Learning to Work Differently

I've moved out into the artist's studio, Suzanne, who rents the area outside my storage closet at 526 w. 26th Street. Is that confusing? She's away, at a residency, and she said I could work in her space. So here I am. And why aren't I here more often? About 3 years ago, I decided to stop putting the majority of my limited resources into space rental. If I am able, if funds allow, I try to put it all into the work.

I am trying to be in that "studio head space" all the time or a lot of the time. What does making art, working at making art really mean, what does it entail? It doesn't mean having a studio full-time. But it seems like it means having a couple of storage spaces. Yuck, I don't really like storage or do I? It seems like a necessity right now.

Linked above-an artist who has made storage an art form.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

To Be Slightly Uncomfortable Expands Time

I've noticed that in this itinerant art practice of mine that comfort compresses time. Being slightly uncomfortable expands time. For instance, when working down at 60 Wall Street, with the homeless talking to God and birds chirping I work so fast and don't move from the project at hand.

Last Sunday, at 60 Wall "free spacing," I sat for 4 hours without moving; working, gluing, writing, thinking, resolving, completing!

Another overheard studio-artist commenting about their studio-bound practice, "sometimes I just sit in my studio for 8 hours and just stare at the wall."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Mellow Day in the Studio

I added lights to my storage closet at 526 w. 26th Street. I love light, this being the only "free space," which has presented the opportunity to screw in some light bulbs. Putting up these bulbs up marks the first time I have improved a "free space," as opposed to finding a "free space" and working in it. This brings up the point that an artist can sometimes spend more time improving their space then actually making work in the space.

I also want to add to the post studio practice discussion here by sharing an overhead comment by an artist about her day in the studio, she said and I paraphrase, "I had a really mellow day in the studio. I wasn't in a bad mood nor was I in a good mood, but I was ok with it." The artist speaking here refers to the studio as if she was spending time with a family member or some other person. To say, "I had a really mellow day...," says nothing about the work that is made. Maybe she's actaully trying to say that she didn't get anything accomplished? Artists often refer to their studios like the space DOES the work for them. For instance, I've heard artists say, "I spent all night in the studio...," like that's a badge of honor? These are more questions that I have as I try to make work.

Monday, September 25, 2006

526 W.26th Street

Free Space is about freeing up space and this week it's back to my art storage space at 526 w. 26th Street. This used to be my studio, yes, I had space and we were together for 10 years. Now I rent it out for cost (we are not allowed to make money on the space, but I'm sure some people do) and because the sublet agreement was so amiable, the tenant's architect boyfriend and the building's construction staff, built me a closet. (Pictured here before and after I "freed-up" a little space to work, and I put my feet up for about 30 seconds!)

I have chosen to work in "free spaces," and made a decision that 526 w. 26th Street, located in the center of the Chelsea/New York artworld, was not condusive to making work anymore, I needed a more open relationship with work space. There's a constant buzz, for me in Chelsea, and no cracks in the sidewalk that make it possible for the me to bloom. As a cultural worker, I need to continue questioning, and here in Chelsea the answers are presented in hundreds of galleries, literally. I am hoping to find some of the answers to my creative questions in free spaces. Some of the questions are obvious, how do I work for the least amount of money and how do I incorporate a creative process that allows for me to be in that "studio-like creative place all the time?" I don't want to feel the pressure of having to log studio hours when taking care of Grant and when I have the time, I need to be ready to work. More on all of this...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

60 Wall Street

Today I went back to an old favorite and a bona fide "Free Space," 60 Wall Street, which is a big a public atrium open until 10:00 pm, I think every night. There are tables and chairs, guards, little birds have made home there, and the homeless gather.

I've never "blogged" about this space, but I have written about it a lot, so this is merely an introduction. I have a lot more to say about this space, but here's a little description:

One of the best kept secrets of Wall Street is the public atrium of 60 Wall Street. This indoor public park has free wifi (like several other downtown parks), houses a deli, a news stand, and a good juice/smoothie bar. In fact, the deli in the atrium is one of the only places on Wall Street where you can get a good bagel in the morning. Anyway, this place is perfect for a lunch date or a casual meeting, as it's usually quiet, and if you're lucky, you can find a table to sit and shoot the breeze.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Quick Wash n Dry

I worked quickly and nervously today down in the laundry room. I use to know everyone in this building, but it seems that over my summer hiatus, since it's too hot to work down there, all new people have moved into this building. I need to re-establish my artist-in-residence status. I'm not as comfortable down there as I use to be.

Working in the laundry and in other public and semi-public spaces is really part performance and I have to psyche myself up to do it. I'm giving a shout out here to another artist in need of space, another mother, and great artist Andrea Ray. Her website is linked above.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Build Space

Day is done, kid is asleep, husband is quiet and I'm watching The Devil and Danile Johnston...What can I say about that...Weird space? Anyway, I met with JJ today and we started to really plan our construction of "A Framed Social Space," my vacation-home inspired sculptural space for CAF in Santa Barbara.

The image above is my inspiration for the project, for I'm trying to build something and then open it up and make it a Free Space for everyone. Ok, I am inspired by this movie, maybe inspiration isn't the right word...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Multi-tasking in the Kitchen and Looking Ahead

Today I'm in the quiet of the kitchen, trying to get down to the tasks of building and planning events for my Santa Barbara project, it's a salon-based project, so I will be there holding tea in the space and hosting other events. I'm also trying to progress in the drawing department here. Here, being the kitchen table, which I like every once in a naptime since it is so quiet and clean, if I stop to do the dishes, etc. Grant is napping and it might be a 3 hour one, for he was up a lot last night and he appears to be growing!

I really enjoyed working at the "Lodge" yesterday and felt like I made some breakthroughs in the way I draw, for I've been collecting and altering rulers, measuring tools, for the last year and then using them to make line drawings, where nothing is straight-not straight line drawings. I've attached a picture. Coming up, I'll be posting from the laundry room and a public atrium located at 60 Wall Street.

Using rulers to make drawings and working in free spaces really focuses my attention on spaces beyond what's readily perceived.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Nap Time at the Lodge

I'm not really napping at the "Lodge," my friends apartment where I work on alternate Tuesdays and Thursdays, but it is rejuvenating to come here. I climbed up to the perch I built her on her terrace and snapped this picture. It's a very cloudy day, and now I am flipping through a book titled Vitamin D: New Perspectives in Drawing, linked above. It's a helpful review and I am glad it's here for me to see at this particular Free Space!

Last night it was down in the dungeon of the storage space where it was hot and cramped, but I did manage to make some progress, with scissors in hand, a few drawings got built. I like it down there, even though I was sweating. I work fast too because I'm scared someone is going to come in and wonder what I'm doing on the floor. I also wonder what's behind all those storage units-wonderment abounds.

It is much nicer to work here, at the "Lodge," to be surrounded by art and have a little more space to work and look. It's definitely cooler too!

It is hard not having a studio space, particularly as I try to organize projects for Santa Barbara and Michael Steinberg gallery. Not having a studio means staying organized, and the question always remains, "where will I work next, and how will I get my work done?"

Monday, September 18, 2006

Nap Time

When Grant goes down for his afternoon nap, it's work your ass off time! I always feel like that rhymes; nap time is work your ass off time, or is it a haiku? So I leave the dishes in the sink, like Betty Woodman says, the dishes can wait, and I get to drawing, usually, or making something artful. I pull my drawings out from under the couch and go! Grant sleeps for 2 hours, so I can get quite a bit accomplished, my pencils are sharpened and I'm ready.

Loving this artist, Leda Catunda, she's Brazilian and she rocks! Linked above, click!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sea Space and Jonathan VanDyke's Space

I recommend a visit to Guild and Greyshkul (linked here) to see Valerie Hegarty's exhibition titled "Seascape." Borrowing from the gallery's well written press release, Hegarty's exhibition is a re-imagining of the sea as a transformative force that is unleashed. Informed by the current turbulent state of our country while also excavating from America's past Hegarty turns the gallery into a dramatic place of change.

Spent the day today, my birthday, at someone else's studio, getting a look at new work and had a good time discussing it! Here's a link to his website.

  • Jonathan VanDyke
  • Friday, September 15, 2006

    Storage Space

    Storage space is definitely an issue when one doesn't have a studio space. And I'm referring to the storage of supplies, not to mention, at least in this post, the issue of storing older artwork. I've become very resourceful when it comes to storage. A dresser, which once held socks and under garments, jewelry and the like, now serves as a flat file. It took me awhile to find new ways to store clothing items, but essentially everything worn, all attire, is placed in the closet.

    There are a few socks tucked around papers and drawings, but I'm working on that issue, and am pairing down to bare necessities only! Even the kitchen holds art storage spots, although I have to be careful there, for some of my models, pictured here, were squished by some bowls!! Maybe I should throw those bowls out or maybe use them for more storage!

    Wednesday, September 13, 2006

    The Laundry Room

    I worked down in the laundry room (my old standby) today and into the evening. I took a picture of my view, which is of the dryers directly in front of me and to my right are the washers. I have also included a picture of my clean table and of the table with works in progress.

    When one of my neighbors came down to do his laundry tonight, he said, "Oh look, it's craft corner." I wanted to say, "Want to look at my scrapbooks?!" But instead I just lent him a quarter! The lighting is pretty bad down there, but that's the case with most of my Free Spaces.

    So with tired eyes and after losing myself in the spinning dryers, watching the tumble, I finally finished a model for my Santa Barbara. I collected my supplies and put them all away in my little storage space. I'm becoming quite fond of that storage space, with it's vaulted brick ceilings, navy blue storage units, and narrow corridor. I laid down on the floor, stared up at the ceiling, and tried to organize my thoughts without the help of dryer sheets.

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    The solitude of the subterranean space must be refreshing...

    The title of this post was taken from a comment a "studio visitor" left me (a convenient term for someone who posts a comment on my blog) and I use this visitor's comments as inspiration to go down to the dungeon again to work. Quiet? It's not. The laundry room is next door, and I prefer to work there, but my husband was doing laundry, which I had to finish anyway, but I was trying to avoid him and the bottle of Tide. My thought was to hide and work. Was I hidden? No, Grant outted me, pulled his patio chair out of the storage closet and looked around...But after the laundry and after Grant went upstairs to bed, I laid down on the floor and it was quiet.

    This space is not about creating a lot of new work, for it is very cramped, but I do manage to cut things up and review. Solitude is replaced by editing, the post-studio practice is about getting work done.

    Sunday, September 10, 2006

    Domestic Space

    Tonight it's "no room of one's own," but it is a hallway. Last weekend we rearranged our small apartment, so that I could have a workspace in the hallway. In truth, it's not that functional, it looks good and all my books are there which is a secure feeling but I feel like I am in the way, in the hallway, next to the stroller...

    There is something about creating an actual room or the feeling of a "room" when one works on ideas of and the making of art work. I think this "room" space is the creative space and that's what makes studio spaces so intriguing. Sometimes an artist's studio is more interesting than the work they are making. I'm attaching a link up at the top the post to one of my favorite sites that features creative people's desks and workspaces. I look at this site often for inspiration and to get into that "room" kind of space.

    Saturday, September 09, 2006

    Back to the Basement Space Sort of...

    I feel a little bit like a refugee today. With Grant, my almost 2 year old asleep, and husband home fiddling around, I couldn't work during nap time, so I decamped to the streets with just my Santa Barbara project file and went to look at art. After about a half hour, I was hot and needed to organize my thoughts, so I went to Loehmann's on 7th avenue to sit (I know that they have chairs for husbands whose wives are shopping). I sat there and wrote out some notes on building and drawings and cooled off significantly.

    And now tonight I had planned on working in the basement laundry room, which is a tried and true "Free Space," but someone has covered my (not really mine) work table with their clothes. Plan B, my storage unit! I've pulled out a folding chair (I store all my art materials and portfolios of drawings in there anyway) and am typing away and will soon get on the floor and make some art!

    If someone decides to organize their storage unit, they'll be in for a surprise!

    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    Openings-No Space on the sidewalks

    I took in the evening's openings and overheard someone say there were 300 art openings in Chelsea Thursday night. I only went to about 3 and a half. And tonight I will go to one opening, which is for fellow artist friend Dario Robleto at D'Amelio Terras. I downloaded a picture of his recent work from the gallery's website, and took a picture of another piece and took a picture of Dario with the artist Taylor Davis.

    The title of the piece downloaded from the gallery website is titled "A Beauty to Fatalism She Intends To Nurture," 2006; Homemade paper (pulp made from military photographs of soldiers and brides from various wars, ground eternal flower, cotton), colored paper, World War II carrier pigeon message capsules filled with battle field dirt from various wars, carnivous plants seeds, ressurection plants, excavated scarpel). Hair flowers braided by war widows, fragments of uniforms from various wars, mourning dress fabirc, silk, ribbon, typset, and poplar. 12 1/4 x 10 1/4 x 3 1/2 inches 2006.

    Reads like liner notes.

  • Taylor Davis' website

  • D'Amelio Terras
  • Wednesday, September 06, 2006

    Ideal Space/AZ Birthday Tribute

    Today it's" Tribute Space," time to say "Happy Birthday, Andrea Zittel!!" Fellow artist and an inspirational person, making places and spaces better for all us. Andrea once said to me,"if everyone just left a place better than they found it, just think what a difference that would make." She's a very generous artist and has loaned me her space in the past.

    Another Andrea quote below:

    I know that there are always plenty of "imperfections" in my work. Once I attended a conference discussing the "ideal office space." One of the speakers made the point that the perfect office space was actually one with flaws - because in the process of trying to correct the things that the user considers flawed, he is able to assert himself more directly into his environment. It is when someone feels that they have identified an "imperfection" that they feel they have the right to change it. I really liked this observation a lot since it brought up the idea of future potential as end ideal, rather than perfection itself. - Andrea Zittel

    Tuesday, September 05, 2006

    September Free Spacing at The Lodge

    The picture included with this post is of a perch I built for an art collector and close friend-one of the most beautiful and wonderful people I know. LOVE her! And for the month of September I'll be reviewing recent work and making new drawings and collages at her place, on the table, and today, on the floor (which was very comfortable in it's carpeted state).

    While at this particular "Free Space," which I call the "Lodge," I am surrounded by a provocative collection of contemporary art, Her collection has just been rehung so I am relishing works of art, mainly in black and white, that look down on me while I work. It's inspiring and I feel an aesthetic challenge all around me and hopefully a lively dialogue will ensue between us all.

    Monday, September 04, 2006

    Lobi Spaced

    Laboring on the floor on Labor Day at Lobi's. Listening to public radio, loving it, wanting more space. Lobi's apartment is a sort of social space-a private apartment of a busy New York family, not my apartment, with their life entering my work, my thoughts quietly. Now to pack up and move again...

    Sunday, September 03, 2006

    Lobi Space

    I'm up at Lobi's for the next few days...Drawing, organizing, looking ahead to fall. And since no one is here, I can leave things out and that is a real "Free Space" luxury since I usually have to put every away, pack up and move on. So I will soon leave and leave everything out and come back up tomorrow morning.

    Saturday, September 02, 2006

    Lobi Space/Free Photo Space

    Tonight I'm free spacing at my upstairs neighbor's Lobi. She's away; kids, husband, all gone. I'm working at the table. When I first started I could hear Grant, my 22 month-old crying downstairs! Now I've been here for 2 hours and he's no longer crying and I'm finally sorting through the drawings I started at LMCC and 1000 Park Ave Free Spaces. And I've started my Flickr site, which is free photo storage!!

    Lobi is incredibly generous with her space and just give me the keys. I use to work here in January, February and March before their second child was born. I would babysit for the first kid, and make collages while she slept. But tonight I'm here alone, here's a bad picture, proving I work in bad light. Free Spaces often have bad lighting.

    Almost Free Space

    Almost Free Space took me to the Metropolitian Museum of Art where admission price is "suggested" and I paid one dollar to visit my friend James Langley painting the walls of a new gallery in the American wing. I looked at Rembrandt drawings and walked through the Susan Sontag tribute show. The picture is of James' workspace, he's an amazing artist, detailing the walls into a big painting. It'll be amazing when he finishes. The Met is an excellent almost Free Space to collect thoughts, pictures, notes, talk to guards, search for paintings, meet friends, and get a view from the roof. I use to bookmark the Met since they have an "art piece a day" option which is very informative and nice to look forward to.

    Friday, September 01, 2006

    Free Work

    Along the lines of Free Space, I have placed some older work on the Fine Art Adoption Network (FAAN). This is an AMAZING new idea, everyone should take a look. FAAN is an online network, which uses a gift economy to connect artists and potential collectors. All of the artworks on view are available for adoption. This means acquiring an artwork without purchasing it, through an arrangement between the artist and collector. Our goal is to help increase and diversify the population of art owners and to offer artists new means for engaging their audience.

    I have had a few pieces adopted and am working on having other pieces adopted, and I will add more artwork to it! This collage pictured was my first adopted piece.

    No Space, Other Spaces

    Yesterday and today it's no space. I'll start a new space next week with maybe an inbetween space in the interim. But I wanted to mention other spaces I have worked at this summer and the past year. David's apartment is a frequent Free Space. He's been a friend of mine for about 12 years. He's in Murray Hill, so we order Indian Food, listen to music and drink wine, and I draw, and make collages. He reads. He has hundreds of art books and I look through them for inspiration. I started working at his apartment in December. On that night we listened to The Dave Brubeck Quartet, drank Cotes Du Luberon, and we decided that "life is a dance, not a race."

    I made this collage at David's house. It was inspired by a Cezanne watercolor of trees. I took a picture of the table I work at when I'm at David's house. Free Space is a lot about a table. Here's another shot of a table from my 1000 Park Ave. Free Space!!