Wednesday, January 31, 2007

An adaptable practice

The cake is in the oven. If all goes well, it'll be a truffle cake, no flour, for tonight's "Excuse me, you have art in your teeth" salon at Michael Steinberg Fine Art . It's the first art and food salon of the year and hopefully I'll be able to get organized enough to hold it every month on the last Wednesday.

Grant won't nap, maybe it's the smell of chocolate? So, I'm juggling a truffle cake, a computer, and a 2-year old (I know, it could be worse)! In order to drive the message home that he couldn't be bothered with a nap, he threw diapers all over his room and spread greasy baby balm into the carpet, on the bathroom floor, and in his hair.

Yesterday, it was just me at 1000 Park Avenue, working, as I am now in the kitchen. When I'm uptown I usually work in the dining room/library, but the table was being employed as a document sorter, so I set up my art studio in the kitchen. I think I like working in the kitchen better, for it's a lot brighter and there's a plethora of monochromatic objects to rest my eye on.

It's all eyes on the oven at moment, well the eyes in the back of my head are watching Grant draw with a red Sharpie! Maybe at the psychiartric hospital where I go to be treated for a nervous breakdown they'll have a nice big table for me to get a lot of work done on alone. One can only hope.

Later, it'll be fine, with art, I mean, cake and Amy Yoes's beautiful show to feast our eyes upon. Uh-oh, Grant just unlocked the front door (his new trick) and is running down the hallway with chocolate smeared on his belly (he's only in his diaper). I better go catch him, or it'll be social services that locks me up!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Well I thought I was falling into a regular "free space" schedule, but mine is an irregular practice.

Well I thought I was falling into a regular "free space" schedule, but mine is an irregular practice and Sunday finds me experimenting with another new place to make art. I'm at the Donnell Library, which is open from 1-5pm, the only public library open in Manhattan on Sundays. It's right across the street from MOMA.

I'm sitting in the World Languages Collection, which I thought would be quiet and it is very quiet, maybe too quiet, and peppered with weirdos. I pack up and leave, my scissors were making too much noise, and a guy sat too close too me reading a Japanese book upside down (maybe that's the way it's supposed to be read). I also felt like I had to pretend to read Russian Cosmo while I tried to concentrate on folding and building drawings. (I just discovered on Google that the Russian-language edition of Cosmopolitan has entered the Russian Guinness Book of World Records for having the highest circulation among glossy magazines.)

I go to the third floor, where the Central Children's Room is located. I pay my respects to the original Pooh Bear, but move on. Down on the mezzanine level I discover Teen Central! To my relief and delight, I have found a "free space" home, with new tables and chairs, circular benches around computers, music playing, and young people. The music is slightly loud, but that seems to keep the population down and restricted to teenagers. The music also masks the sound of my scissors. I feel comfortable, which is not a normal feeling for a teen or for this artist working in the public and sometimes semi-private realm.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Warm but loud

It is usually quite quiet at 60 Wall Street. The silence is pressing and the cold depressing, but I wore my leg warmers and an extra layer and was, therefore, relatively comfortable.

The "occupants" at 60 Wall Street play chess and backgammon, burp, and listen to 1010 Wins. There's one burper occupant who always sits in the same place. I think she uses burping to scare people away because her burping increases as your proximity to her increases. I stay away from her, but last night she came up behind me and shouted, "Go to hell!"

Burping doesn't lend to her credibility, so I kept on working, after a moment of readjustment. Last weekend when I was down there another occupant of 60 Wall Street came up to me and asked if I was an artist and then told me my drawings looked like electrocardiograms. In this case, I appreciated both the question and the observation.

I continued working on my "unstraightline drawings" (made with my collection of craved rulers) and drank my tea. A little later, a man sat down at a nearby table with a battered laptop in his hands, he opened the lid, and I looked over. Catching his eye, I noticed he resembled a sort of urban vampire, and I packed up and left. It was almost closing time any way. I have no idea where I am going to work tomorrow, or rather today.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Free space schedule, a comfortable routine

I seem to be settling into a comfortable routine of free spaces. It's best to go to 60 Wall Street when the work week is in full swing (Mondays and Thursdays), Tuesday is ear-marked for 1000 Park Avenue and I'm essentially in the basment laundry room the rest of the week.

Wednesday nights in the basement are cool, it's usually pretty quiet, for the Sunday/Monday rush to wash is over. Folks that do their laundry on Wednesdays are in general, pretty laid back. Last night Edna (my resident muse) was folding her laundry and reviewing my progress, offering insights, only at my insistence and Jeremy and Gail (the resident cool couple) came down later.

Jeremy and Gail are a joy to draw to. They understand what I'm doing and seem genuinely interested. No comments about making crafts from them!

I'm working on curating a page on the Fine Art Adoption Network of my Santa Barbara artist friends. Hopefully, I will launch it next week and the page will bear the name AT Freespace. It will be my first foray into an under radar, free gallery space, and a continuation of what I started in Santa Barbara. A sneak preview is above. It's a pen and ink drawing by Laura Devendorf titled "Jerry."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Ahhhh, uptown!

I love coming up here to work. It's inspirational. I've spread out today in order for the inspirational to cover my drawings like a blanket. I'm feeling it. I'm in a celebratory mood, for I just had my first official museum sale. The Corcoran Gallery of Art purchased a drawing and sent me a check.

I also have a studio visit today at Le Pain Quotidien with the lovely Regine Basha. She suggested we meet there, which I thought was very serendipitous. Is she reading the blog, but she sprang for tea?

I realized today that I have so many new drawings that they could be hung "salon style" that way continuing all things salon (tea, perching, eating, community, discussion, free for all).

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Free Spacing II

I am working upstairs in my apartment tonight. I was scared away from my basement because I ran into 2 people having sex in the trash room! My husband said I shouldn't blog what I saw and I am always grateful for his advice, for I owe my current structure of working to him, but here I am at the kitchen table.

I've been researching contemplative spaces lately, for I need one. So I spent some time drinking tea this afternoon at Le Pain Quotidien specifically at their communal table. It wasn't peaceful, for the place was hopping with Sunday brunchers, even my dermatologist was there, but I loved sitting at such a long table.

Tables are essential to my practice and the one at Le Pain Quitidien is probably about 22 to 24 feet long. It might be a good place to have a studio visit. On a quiet day, I could really spread out, show a lot of drawings, and drink organic earl grey tea.

I was supposed to have a studio visit this week, but it never happened. Ever have that happen? You clean up, get ready, prepare yourself to open your private space and have a showing and then it doesn't go off? Well, let me tell you, it's even harder when you don't have a studio, for I rearranged all my folders, packed my bags, and then waited. Nothing. Now everything is organized and I am ready to having studio visits, so let's meet at Le Pain Quotidien. I'll buy the tea. (Contemplative Lotusland pictured above)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Free Spacing I

Until now, I hadn't had the opportunity to show off the cupcakes I made for my cupcake closing at CAF. I would love to have one right now! I am so grateful to CAF for giving me the opportunity to salon in their space. I think the director of CAF, Miki Garcia is a visionary and I wish her well with the next salon and show. Her staff is great and I loved all the artists I met. Thank you Santa Barbara! We are all trying to create space for something awesome to happen!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

All over space

I've been reunited with my computer, and now I have a lot to catch up on. It's been a little insane here today with water main breaks and hence dripping bathroom ceiling (yuck) , but that meant that the laundry room was quiet. No one could do wash.

I've been working all around lately, uptown at Park Avenue (I love it up there) and downtown at 60 Wall Street, and in the basement. I seem to be rotating between those spots. I have some reports to make from all of them as well as continuing thoughts, summations on Santa Barbara. But right now I have to go mop up the bathroom!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Quiet Uptown

Hopefully Tekserve will call me today. In the meantime I am at 1000 Park Avenue. I've inserted my memory card full of photos into the computer in the office and have spread my drawings out along the dining room table am working away. No one is here. It's very quiet but bright. I remember last time I was here I had to move lightbulbs around.

I miss my computer. Being without it has forced me to slow down, read more, work more, and feel disorganized and disconnected. It's good and bad to be without one's computer. Call me Tekserve!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Barely Blogging

My computer is still at Tekserve and will be until at least Tuesday! I've been coming upstairs to Edna's apartment. She's the board president of my apartment building and she always visits me in the laundry room while I'm working. She's even helped me with grant applications. I love making work when she's doing laundry. She's like a muse, so now I'm working on her computer.

I've been working in the basement a lot over the past few days and it's been quiet down there. The water was shut off today due to some water main break so it's really quiet. It's been great. I like to shut all the doors of the dryers, pick up stray socks and do a general straightening up before working. I've been pretty productive without a computer, more art, less distraction. I've been baking and drawing, molding dough and paper, no typing, a lot of thinking.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A meeting of the teas

I am back from Santa Barbara, but my computer is at the shop. Grant pulled too many keys off and finally I couldn't type out clear sentences, so I am upstairs at a neighbor's apartment...Till further notice.

In the meantime, here's a picture from a field trip to Nathan Larramendy's gallery in Ojai. It was a fantastic trip, a lot was learned, and I am grateful to CAF and for the artists and people I met in Santa Barbara.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

60 wall street in panorama

Sixty Wall Street is definitely a place for people who have no other place to go. The nightly backgammon games that take place here are in full swing and it seems like the budget has been cut in the security guard department. I'm working on my drawing "folds." The hush that is usually present here is absent tonight. Next time I come here, I need to remember to wear tights or leg warmers because it seems like the heat is shut off once all the office workers are presumed to have left for the night.

I am off to California tomorrow and will report back when I return. I am not planning on bringing my computer. I'll be sure to take pictures of Lotusland and document my visit to Nathan Larramendy's gallery in Ojai. I'll take notes on the cupcakes served on Sunday and I'll being taking down my show on Monday. If all goes well, I'll be back in the basement drawing by Wednesday night.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Building in the basement

The basement is really quite a nice space, and I've snapped a sort of blurry photo of it so I can view it upon it's approach. It's painted silver and white. The floor is silver. I'm doing laundry too, multi-tasking (my speciality), and building up some works on paper.

I put too much fabric softener in one of the washing machines, actually Grant put too much softener in, but it seems to be a little secret in getting clothes really clean! Now, back to building on paper. Another secret, that Warhol Biography, is beautiful!