Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Home of Mandala

Monday evening, after several pots of coffee, (it's amazing I fell asleep right away) found me making mandalas at the kitchen table. I like making the mandalas at home. The mandalas are private space. Mike joined me. He talked at me for a few hours and it balanced the coffee buzz.

Today I worked on "fill-ins" (pre-determined shapes/space filled in with drawing and collage) at 1000 Park Avenue in the kitchen. From kitchen to kitchen, private space to another space. Maybe I'm nomadic.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Not everything is always free and at Michael Steinberg's 515 w. 29th Street fair project, I sold a mandala drawing (pictured above) to some very nice folks that have also offered me a "free space!" Maybe I'll start to go there on Thursdays, instead of 60 Wall Street. It's a design firm space in Dumbo! Could be fun.

I'm back...I just deinstalled my wall of drawings, and sold another one! Those nice folks that bought one sent their friend! So now I'm wrapping and packing. I like selling a few pieces, for that makes room to make more, mentally and physically.

Looking at the week and month ahead, I need to take slides, and rework all my rulers (taping and carving), for I like to start every new month with a set of new "lines" (or unstraight lines) for the drawings. This Wednesday is my food and art salon, "Excuse me, you have art in your teeth," night with artist Valerie Hegarty. It will be a private affair at her studio, but I'll bring dinner, maybe make that pear bread again.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Time expands...

This morning on my way to 29 West, I shouted to my husband in the shower, "thanks for letting me participate, even peripherally, in this weekend's art fair activities." Through the steam he laughed. I feel grateful that I was able to install a wisp of drawings, a selection from my mandala series.

Most days finds me taking care of Grant for 10 to 12 hours and then trudging out to a "free space" or down to the basement, worrying about our sorry financial state and my lack of time (and lack of studio space.) Last night, having only a couple of hours to draw at a table located in the atrium of 60 Wall Street, I decided to make time my friend. I spread out paper and my collection of curved rulers and worked as if I had four hours. Instead of working one surface, I worked 10 surfaces. I focused with one pencil and one altered ruler and then switched it all around, working with 20 colored pencils and all the rulers. With many rulers and lots of paper I tried to embrace my inadequacies.

Trying not to rush myself I packed up and headed up to a group show, featuring artist friends Rico Gatson and Molly Larkey, among others and curated by friends Amy Smith-Stewart, and Omar Lopez-Chaud. Running into Maggie Michaels fresh from her installation at the Pulse Art Fair, the evening was a buzz with activity. Now it's time to pack up and head down to the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council where I'll be grateful to work at an empty desk for the rest of my life!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


This is my 100th post, and I probably have that many drawings. I'm assembling them now in order to take over to Michael Steinberg's art fair weekend project. We'll see what happens, for me it's a chance to look at a selection (20 to 30 mandalas) of the drawings all at once. Chance can be a very good thing.

As chance would have it I decided to spread out at 1000 Park Ave., right when the lady of the house arrived home from London! I am usually there alone, but she didn't bother me and I hope I didn't bother her. In my spreading out to every table, I like how a little disco globe added a glitter of light to my notes (pictured above).

It should be noted here that I took a detour on my way to 60 Wall Street the other night and walked four blocks to DC and NY artist Brece Honeycutt's apartment. We made a salad and drank wine! And managed to make some art, thanks Brece for giving me studio shelter!

I also want to give a shout out to a couple of artists that have contacted me from a far, one of them is Sasha Petrenko and Farida Hughes. Keep me posted!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Fair Space

It's cold. I am going down to 60 Wall Street to work and take a temperarture reading. I'll wear lots of layers and try to blend in with the locals. I need to prepare a drawing installation for Michael Steinberg's 29 West project that opens Friday night, an event to coincide with this weekend's art fairs. The show is a group effort between 31 Grand from Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Irvine Contemporary from Washington, D.C.

I plan to install about 20 to 30 new drawings made at "free spaces" in the last year, so come see. Here's the schedule:

Friday Feb. 23
Hours: 10am – 8pm

Opening Reception: 7pm - Mid.

Saturday Feb. 24
Hours: 10am – 8pm

Saturday Brunch: 10am – Noon

Sunday Feb. 25
Hours: 11am – 3pm

Friday, February 16, 2007


The carrot soup/stew love-bowl I just made totally changed my outlook on life. I've been drawing and folding and suffering a little with the cold weather, but have raised some funds to pay a babysitter, so I can go down to the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's office on Friday afternoons. I will revisit a set of empty desks there and see if I remember how they recycle (last time I was working there, I got scolded for putting something in the wrong receptacle).

These cold evenings and fear of the 60 Wall Street "free space," finds me looking for inspiration. The other day I came across an interesting site to buy and sell all things homemade, it's called Etsy. From there, I found an interesting art site, where they make zines and invite people to join them out on a little island, they call themselves Islands Fold. I love that...I want to start inviting other artists to my "free space" islands and maybe we can make zines or sell our stuff on Esty!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Free Art

Part of my practice as an artist involves working with other artists. I create social spaces, networks, and organize salons. The folks at the Fine Art Adoption Network (FAAN) let me curate a page under the name "AT Free Space." (I have works available for adoption under Austin Thomas, which include my perches and drawings.) But at AT Free Space I have curated a page of the artists I have met through my social practice.

It's is a curatorial experiment. Presented are six artists from Santa Barbara, California. I met these artists while doing a project at the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum. The project was a social sculpture which included an ongoing salon with local artists. I wanted to continue the salon, so I thought I would introduce them through FAAN. Here they are; Laura Devendorf, Graham Bury, Danielle Rubi, Warren Schultheis, Calico Brown, and Jenn Figg. There are more artists I wanted to include, and I will as work gets adopted. This is the first virtual exhibition of "ATfreespace."

Sunday, February 11, 2007

VA Beach

Free Spacing takes me to Virginia Beach, Virginia this weekend. After putting Grant to bed last night we sat around the living room, in Nanny and Grandpa Charlie's condo (rented for the month), and talked about everything from Hamas to medical schools for older students. I pulled out my drawings (which included a traveling set of my craved and manipulated rulers) and worked into the night while the discussion undulated from pancake recipes to home remedies and personal histories.

Talking turned into a "drawing circle" or what I like to call "drawing social space." It's when conversation and company combine with creating something. Today brings more drawing and a walk.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Free preview

Whether zapped by low levels of electromagnetic radition or not, I always find it difficult to work here and be in the Washington, DC area. I came in last night to attend the Washington Projects for the Arts annual art auction preview. Anne Ellegood curated a piece of mine into this year's event, so I came down and got to hang out with Anne and Elissa Levy, pictured here with Grahman Caldwell. Also in tow, were local artists Brece Honeycutt, Maggie Michael and Dan Steinhilber. An inspired evening, thanks Anne, for bringing us all together!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Mandala Monday and too cold Tuesday

Yesterday it was "mandala" Monday in the kitchen workspace. I have an expandable table which makes for convenient art making. I usually head out Monday evenings to 60 Wall Street but last night it was too cold, so I stayed in the kitchen. I worked on my mandala drawings and baked pear bread (which is really cake in the shape of a loaf).

Today I ventured out into the cold, first to Clementine Gallery and then up to the warmth and long kitchen table at 1000 Park Avenue. Here I am in the kitchen again, making my "fill-in" drawings, creating a topology of the private, while considering a public. Both needing a lot of raw material, organization, and hard work, and scissors, glue and generosity.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Kicked out

I was taking off my coat, feeling slightly conspicuous, when a teenage-like librarian asked me, "if I was with a teen today?" I was about to settled into 4 hours of art making, but I was politely told to go to another floor. So, I decamped to the World Languages Collection and found an empty table and settled into 4 hours and 15 minutes of productive art making. I'm happy to say no one bother me again.

I had the opportunity to sort through a good portion of my works in progress. Since I do different types of drawings and collages (folded, mandalas, "fill-ins," "builds," "unstraight" line drawings, and text pieces) on different days, and at different places, I don't always get the chance to look at them all at once. Today, yesterday, and the day before, I sorted, filed, and stored all the different drawings and paper sculptures, so I can move on and make more. Mine is a moving practice.

I also made more space in my dresser drawers, closet shelves, and on my bookshelf for the finished work and works in progress. Everything I don't wear (and Grant doesn't play with anymore) went downstairs in the storage unit. Anything having to do with art making came upstairs. All art is united within my apartment.

Now I have to move everything out of my 526 w. 26th Street storage and I'll really feel reunited with my art world. I'm trying to consolidate the making with the already made and get rid of everything else. With all this moving around, a new "drawing" category has made its way into the line-up and it's called "by-product." I better keep moving.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Art and Cooking

The dust has settled from the confectioner's sugar of Wednesday night's "Excuse me, you have art in your teeth" salon. The cake was pretty good, the crowd better. Cupcakes were also served, which were fabulous, I didn't make them.

Now, Grant naps. Carrot soup cooks in the kitchen and I am gluing down folds, building paper sculptures. I think my ideal studio would be a kitchen. A place where both art and food could be made. The next "Excuse me, you have art in your teeth," salon will be more intimate, a studio dinner with another artist. It'll really be a studio visit.