Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Managing time

While at Aunt Kathy's this Memorial Day weekend, I squeezed in some art making time between naps and between sofas. Cousin Michael, age 5, pulled out his drawing board, watched me and commenced gluing and drawing. We drew together.

I'm back in New York now and organizing for Pocket Utopia's "soft opening" on Friday. I really can't say enough about the expert technical website advice from Artcal and Artcat. I'll be trying to finish up the website tomorrow while working on more drawings.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Excuse me, #5/hallway hang

I'm in DC, a different space, for sure. But before leaving New York, I held the fifth "Excuse me, you have art in your teeth," salon at my house accompanied by a hallway hang. I've posted a picture of my neighbor Anita looking at my drawings. The evening went by quickly, 70-80 drawings saw the light of day only for a brief moment and they shared space with cocktails and discussion of Pocket Utopia's upcoming "soft" opening on June 1st, which will feature an installation by Jonathan VanDyke.

Look's like I'll switch up the hosting of Pocket Utopia to Artcat. Thanks Barry!! Looks like I'll be working in a "webspace" for the next few days.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Circle time

Grant is snoring. He does that at night when he has thoroughly exhausted his parents. I've discovered a new "free space," within the historical walls of the Jefferson Market Branch library. There's a table on the top floor that looks out over the garden and they are open until 8:00 pm on Wednesdays. I went to there on Friday instead of going to LMCC.

Grant's babysitter has also offered up her apartment to the "free space" cause, which I think is super sweet since it's her very first apartment. She just graduated from NYU two weeks ago and moved out of the dorms. Her apartment is somewhere on Bleecker Street. She's promised a desk and she has a kitchen table, light, and air conditioning, so it looks like the summer "free spaces" are spacing up. And of course, after a long day, there's always the living room floor (pictured above).

Thursday, May 17, 2007

LMCC today, tomorrow and last Tuesday

My empty desk at LMCC isn't empty today...Applications for studio space (ironic, don't ya think), fill my usual work area. An intern is sitting where I usually sit. I have been misplaced (again), but as usual, I'm going to make the most of it. First, I'm going to go make some tea, and clean this pig sty of a desk, introduce myself to the skinny art worker sitting across from me, and tolerate (somehow) working next to the nose-picking curator I mentioned in a previous post.

I'm working on "build drawings" today, and emails, and websites, and demolition plans, installation plans, play date plans, art transport plans, cocktail party plans, and of course, trying to stay on the potty training plan!

I've noticed that people notice me more at this desk. I'm more centrally located and feel the pressure of working in the public sphere. I often struggle between the comfortable private realm and the more uncomfortable public one. This is the dichotomous struggle of the artist, balancing the private and the public realms.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Free at last

I finally got a chance to go to a "free space" today. After the opera, openings, and a trip out to 1037 Flushing Ave., I walked into the World Languages Department of Donnell Library and worked. It was the best thing I've done in days. I've decided to put everything aside and "free space" for awhile. No email or blogging, no laundry (although I will work down in my laundry room) and no evenings out, instead I'll be making more time for "free space."

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sometimes you need to stall to move forward

I ordered a new calendar, one of those moleskins, to appear to be a little more organized now that I am planning a 10-month exhibition schedule. It arrived today, so I went and bought a new pair of Levis and penned in the next few months, including day trips and toilet training for Grant.

Tonight I'll work on some drawings at home and finish watching The Sketches of Frank Gehry. I've been organizing all the bits of drawings into landscapes, forming mountain clusters with them, trees, and swirls of clouds. I am definitely inspired by 60 Wall Street, with its strange combination of rocks, mirrors, and slow moving fountains. I wondered if any of this will change? The Paramount Group just purchased 60 Wall Street from Deutsche Bank for $1.2 billion. The sale price is nearly double the $610 million Deutsche Bank paid for the building in 2001. That's pretty expensive "free space."

Monday, May 07, 2007

2 hours here, 2 hours there

Right now, I have 2 hours, so I'm writing, baking, and making art. I'm baking cupcakes to bring to LMCC, so that I can start giving back (for letting me use their deskspace for free workspace) and demonstrate my special artist-service oriented usefulness. Baking or rather eating what's cooked is also making art, according to Jerry Saltz's most recent article in New York Magazine. Yeah Jerry and organic cupcakes with red and chocolate sprinkles!

I'm also finalizing my exhibition schedule for my salon/exhibition space, "Pocket Utopia," beginning with a provocative, pre-demolition installation by Jonathan VanDyke. We are planning an installation-viewing party for June 1st.

The cupcakes will be done in a half hour, so that gives me enough time to finish inviting people to the next "Excuse me, you have art in your teeth," food and art based salon. It will be at my apartment and will feature a "hallway hang" of all my drawings completed in "free spaces" thus far. Then, it's down to LMCC for a couple of hours of working on the "build" drawings, then back home to a napping Grant and 2 more hours...

Pictured above is a 2 hour stint of working at the kitchen table on Sunday night with a silent husband. He spoke, only when spoken to, for he was scared into silence from a previous blog entry of when he spoke too much. Yum, the cupcakes are good (naked, no frosting, no time)!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Not quite noon...

It's not quite noon on Saturday and the house has been cleaned and I've completed a "Fold" drawing. I ventured down to the basement this morning. The place has been redone and repainted with a metallic paint that still smells but this morning the windows were open and it was very quiet. There are new chairs, a new bookshelf, but the same table.

I've spent all week sorting through boxes, files, and drawers full of drawings, whittling over 100 drawings down to 70 (not including the 11 that are safely out at Pierogi). It's refreshing and frustrating to tighten up the structure that defines my drawing practice. Maybe this is the result of not having a studio, but my work is never static. The drawings and my social spaces get assembled and reassembled and now I'm trying to evaluate them as a whole. That's the tricky part.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The mechanics of being an artist

When an artist has a studio, certain things are a given, like studio visits, materials and tools, books, and a teakettle. For me, not having a studio, these things are assigned a specific time and a place. I plan everything out a couple of times, a couple of different ways. For the past year and a half, I've been testing and re-testing different non-studio methods, like deciding on what books are absolutely essential and which ones get sold on Amazon. Can my work be informed by just a few books?

I'm finding that the hardest thing to do is set up a studio visit. When I had a studio, I just opened the door and people walked in. I've been planning a day when I hang everything in the hallway of my apartment building, a "hallway hang," but it's been really hard to get people to come over, perhaps it is too unorthodox. I really need to rethink the whole studio thing. It's not that I want certain people to come look at what I've done, it's more that I want to select people/viewers based on their ideas, and have a dialogue with them.

Maybe I should try bringing my finished work, for there's a whole slew of people at LMCC to dialogue with about art and different ways of working. I watched one guy (a curator) pick his nose (literally) most of the time I was there today, maybe he has something interesting to say?

I've also been rethinking a lot of the drawings and have decimated some of my stockpiled categories of drawings. I've edited 20 "build" drawings down to 4 completed drawings. I've sorted through the "text" pieces and I am about to overhaul the "folds." I think that when you have a studio, you tend to just keep it all. That's not a possibility in "freespace."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


I actually saw workers protesting in the street today, while I sat in Union Square (I guess that's appropriate) discussing the possibilities of organizing a "Pocket Utopia" tour to Leipzig, Berlin, Dresden, and Prague. I've always been interested in tours. I was the unofficial docent of AZ East, I organized a tour of the Staten Island Ferry titled the Staten Island Ferry tour or "SIFT," and in the summer of 2005 I lead tours downtown. Now we'll (Danielle Rubi and I) take it to Leipzig, where Piergoi Leipzig will greet us, so join me on my next tour adventure!

This May Day also marks the official start of my gallery (Pocket Utopia). We've been trying to figure out how to make it work financially and I think we decided to stop thinking about it and start demolition and construction. I might have a temporary show in the space before we take out the sinks that the barber shop left behind. We'll see what can be organized quickly.

I'm also organizing all the drawings (the mandalas, text pieces, built drawings, fill-ins, folds, unstraight-line drawings, and the byproducts). Each day, a different drawing gets inventoried and edited, with some drawings not making the cut; for good life, good art and good love are all about good editing. Happy May Day!