Saturday, April 28, 2007

Presence of mind

The thought of running a gallery as an artist places me very much in the present, as opposed to dwelling in an artist's mind of future possibilities. It's a very anchoring feeling to be here in the present moment, and it is with this presence of mind that I traveled to Jenkintown, Pennsylvania yesterday and to the Abington Art Center to install the indoor portion of an outdoor piece.

Demolition and rebuilding would greet me on my return but yesterday it was all about train travel and that green-infused spring light. Abington Art Center has a beautiful show up right now called HandMaking. A couple of my friends are in it, including Lee Stoetzel and Andrea Zittel. The show also has an essay by friend Sue Spaid.

Back at home, I'm realizing it's ok that I only have one free space because I really need to review and organize all the drawings stored here in boxes. I need to stay home and put everything out and look at them on the floor.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Excuse me, #4

Last night 18 people came to the fourth "Excuse me, you have art in your teeth." The event, featuring Klaus Schafler was held at "Pocket Utopia," my off-center, away from center, artist-run, alternative exhibition and salon space with studios for other artists. Everyone that came last night gave me their ideas on how the space should be used, built-out, programed and designed. It was a little overwhelming.

Today I am turning my attention to my "folds" (an origami-like method of drawing) at my LMCC "free space." LMCC's office is really my only active free space. For even my basement laundry room space is off-limits due to a toxic repaint and I'd probably be arrested if I went up to 1000 Park Avenue. There's always 60 Wall Street, but I am quite willing to be LMCC's unoffical-office-artist-in-resident for the moment.

The unoffical future of Pocket Uptopia will definitely be "free space" for awhile, and that means free to those exhibiting, free to those socializing/saloning and free to those artists using the space to make work! Egg rolls not included.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Cleaning utopia

Right now, my husband (Mike) is out cleaning 1037 Flushing Ave., for the first event (my "Excuse me, you have art in your teeth" art and food salon), which is scheduled for this Wednesday night. Grant is trying to nap. The weather is beautiful, but I'll stay in and work on "fill-ins" on the floor.

Yesterday, I was up at Wave Hill all day listening to Brece Honeycutt give a tour of the garden, and her art piece installed up there, and Emily Dickinson as muse. Tonight it's a good-bye party for Luke Abiol. Luke is off to Berlin. I tried to include his free artist book to download here, but couldn't. I can email it to anyone in a PDF form. It's quite nice, titled “The Common Language of Landscape."

Later tonight it's the Alice Neel movie. Tomorrow it's mandalas. Tuesday I'm going to remove myself from the Fine Art Adoption Network for I don't feel like giving it away for free anymore.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Back to the drawing board

I'm going to deliver my new drawings for the Pierogi flatfile on Sunday. I'm at LMCC right now returning to my ruler drawings. Every month I create new "lines" (read "unstraight" lines) to draw. I get out all my rulers and various straight-edges and work them over by craving them, cutting them and taping them up, hence creating an idiosyncratic line to interact with pencil, pen and paper. I like drawing as interaction, it becomes an extension of my social-oriented practice.

Sometimes subtly, cerebrally, or specifically all of my work connects to how I interact with others, places, and the process of creating. I'm constantly organizing my daily life so that I can create as much as possible.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Disciplined to the point of depression

I finished my 10 "by-product" collages today, working at my LMCC desk. I've been so focused on these drawings that I'm now depressed. Perhaps, I've been over-disciplined and need a break-out session to occur in a "free-space" sort of way.

Tomorrow, I'll get back to my other drawings, and attempt to balance the art-making, money-making and self-imposed deadline-making with cupcake baking, travel plans, lunch dates, space-creating, and family. I definitely need to take some different routes, at least walk a different path and shake off this funk.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

New Space

If the all the planets line up accordingly, this could be the new home of "Pocket Utopia." There are many details to work out, but essentially it would be an off-center, away from center, artist-run, alternative gallery and salon space with studios for other artists. To begin with, the next "Excuse me, you have art in your teeth" salon will be held in the space (a former barber shop) with Klaus Schafler presenting on his projects which have a resonance with my projects, current and future.

Klaus is currently doing a residency with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council on a grant from the Austrian government. In Vienna (his hometown) he works for Kunsthalle Exnergasse on media and exhibition projects. He has exhibited his own works througout Europe at Neue Galerie in Graz, FIT in Berlin, MAK in Vienna, in St. Petersburg, and Slovenia. He works on many collaborative projects with other artists and curators.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Morning playdate, afternoon artmake

By naptime, the cars and trucks are pushed aside and the playmat becomes a place to make drawings. By evening, the cars are gone and more drawings get made, and an upcoming installation gets it's finishing touches.

Tomorrow I'm going out to 1037 Flushing Ave to see if I can make a former barber shop into a gallery/salon/studio space.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The muse has returned

After writing my last blog entry, I realized that I don't necessarily need a pencil or scissors, or even a glue stick, for that matter, to make art. I had my computer, so I opened up my file on text drawings to review my list of words and worked out the next text piece. Now that I am back in New York, I've been really diligent about completing my "byproduct" drawings for my Pierogi flat file box. Today I worked at my desk at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. I even left things in the desk drawer! I'll open that drawer again on Thursday and again on Friday. If all goes well, I'll be sitting at that desk for the next few Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Check out their blog. Then check out the movie Bottle Rocket, for some muse-sustaining entertainment.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The portable muse

I'm on the road again. Last week while traveling in Boston, I brought one of my portable art-making folders and every night and most mornings I worked; cutting, drawing, folding, and arranging my world on paper. Now in DC, I don't even have a pencil. I can't stand it, I'm going back to New York in a few hours, hopefully. Grant likes it here, but he wouldn't mind spending the night in his own bed.

We left New York in a hurry, making a train with about 4 minutes to spare, so we had to pack light, hence not even a pencil. I did bring my computer so there's always art to look at online, if not to make. Tonight, we'll arrive home late and I'll throw one of my many pencil pouches in my bag, so that I'm never without again.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Anti-muse

I've been distracted lately from my mission of post-studio practice. The other night I set-up my art practice in the kitchen, while husband Mike typed away on my computer. He was a distraction. I couldn't work. Last week Michael Steinberg owed me money. That's another distraction. I can't work when people owe me money (right now, I have a team of professionals shaking him down).

Hopefully the professionals will come back with money (or at least some of my artwork) and I plan not to work at the kitchen table with Mike again. With some cash and new free spaces (anyone have one), I'll have the muse again, I hope. Come back, muse! For I need you as I move forward with opening a gallery/salon space out in East Williamsburg and start my print projects with Rico Gatson, Valerie Hegarty, Lucas Reiner and Chris Caccamise. There's the phone...maybe it's my muse calling.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I'm starting to work on a series of drawings called "byproducts." These are like stamps made up of leftovers from all the other drawings, from the "mandalas," for example and from the "fill-ins" and the "folds." They're like swatches. I'm trying to make about 10 to 15 of them and refill my box at Piergoi.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Austin in Boston

I'm a little behind because I was in Boston on an art-seeing vacation of sorts. My mom (Kay Thomas) took me along on a museum tour of Boston, Salem and Harvard. Kay favors the arts of Asia, but we also went to the new ICA where we saw art by 2 young Japanese artists, Misaki Kawai and Chiho Aoshima. There was a lot of good lookin' going on.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Excuse me, #3

The third installment of my food and art based salon, "Excuse me, you have art in your teeth," salon was held at Bjorn Meyer-Ebrecht's studio. It was a fantastic salon with Rico Gatson and Molly Larkey participating. They both really helped out and invited a few other friends. I think I enjoyed it so much because it was purely artist to artist, with the discussion focused on Bjorn's art, which was also fantastic!