Friday, September 28, 2007

Today's cover of the New York Times

In describing my drawing project on the cover photos of the New York Times, I point out that the photos move under the master head from day to day. That's my reason for doing this project, it's a daily drawing record. I'm marking time. Sometimes the photo is placed to the right of the master head, the next day the photo moves to the left. I mention all this because today the photo for the first time since I started this project is directly under the entire masterhead. Perhaps this is because the photo shows Japanese photographer Kenji Nagai after being shot by a Burmese soldier. The caption says that Mr. Nagai later died. Today we dedicate freespace to this fallen artist shot down obviously trying to capture a fight for freedom. A reminder to all of us to stand up.

(Interestingly, these demonstrations began because of an increase in oil prices after the ruling party of Burma decided to remove oil subsidies.)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Two freespaces and companionship

Today, I actually spent the afternoon at Jefferson Library and the evening at 60 Wall Street.

After a trip to Storefront for Art and Architecture's tacos in the Ring Dome and a discussion of how vacant or leftover urban spaces should be used, Audra Wolowiec and I sat down to draw at 60 Wall Street. Again, the large atrium was empty. I guess vacant urban space should be made useful by artists!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Diner drawing

I was on my way to 60 Wall Street when I ran into Pocket Utopia's spring post-studio artist in resident Brece Honeycutt. We walked up to Ben's Delicatessen ate and worked for about four hours total. Veggie burger and matzo ball soup accompanied "unstraight line" drawings and knitting. Brece worked the soup and yarn and I worked the paper and fries. It was a real treat! Thanks Brece Honeycutt!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Pocket U. Pieces

Today (my birthday) I didn't really have a designated place to work. I mean, I have places to work, there's always 60 Wall Street and the library, but I didn't think about where I wanted to work today. I have a little extra time now, with Grant going to school and a new baby-sitter, so I really do have "freespace."

Walking out the front door with ample supplies I stopped on the sidewalk to think which direction to go. I went back upstairs (which didn't really help the Grant/mommy separation process). I grabbed the keys to Pocket Utopia and rode the L out to Brooklyn. It was a great place to work, definitely not as close as the library, but I had a little more privacy than I usually have and a little more time.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

High - Low Drawing

Sometimes I perch on the subway platform and sketch, next to a Tom Otterness sculpture, while waiting for a train

and other times I sit down at this exquisite table at the Met.

The places that I work are really developing personalities, for instance there's the "Big Empty" which is 60 Wall Street and the "Down Low" which is sketching on the subway. My only problem is that because I have a somewhat mobile practice, I loose drawings, or rather misplace them for months. And then one day the drawing reappears and gets reworked.

Today it's off to Pocket Utopia. No sketching, just social space.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Private vs. public

It seems like lately all of my freespaces are public places; 60 Wall Street, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and neighborhood playgrounds. I am productive in public and comfortable. At Pocket Utopia, which is an extension of my social sculptures and therefore also public, I'm uncomfortable. I want to lock the door of Pocket Utopia and have privacy. I think I might be on the verge of my own paradigm shift.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A big and empty freespace

Between the opening of Pocket Utopia and recovering after the weekend of talking to gallery visitors, I've been working at 60 Wall Street. To my surprise, I have found it empty on almost every occasion except yesterday at 5:00 p.m.

Being in that empty space and working alone has been a little unnerving, so I called up Matthew (his amazing self-portrait pictured above), one of Pocket Utopia's interns, who lives across the street. The first time he joined me in the empty space, I showed him pictures of my work and it turned into a productive studio visit. The second time he kept me company, he started to advise me on my collaging, encouraging me to cut it up! I joked that I would not be asking him to join me anymore! The combination of company, Matthew's, and the empty freespace, made me reconsider the dimensionality of my work. The collage I was making might benefit from being in a bigger space, and since 60 Wall Street has a lot of empty tables, maybe I need to spread out and have more studio visits there! Or just make more use of the space. Anyone else want to join me?

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Creating an interest, just another Saturday night at the museum

After the longest 4-day week I can remember, Saturday night finds me in the cool, slightly dim Asian galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I chose the Asian galleries because it was so hot out at Pocket Utopia today and there's a bench that has a wall behind it for me to lean on while I draw on cover photos from the New York Times.

Jorge, a guard of four years, asks me what I'm doing, I show him, we chat, he leaves his post, but returns later to check in on my progress. Jorge also clues me into another drawing spot that I will try out next Saturday night. I've noticed, after 3 evenings of freespace work at the museum, that the object or painting I work in front of always gets more public attention, museum visitors swarm around it with curious intent.

I draw some more, cool down, take the train home and pass out.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Blogging, writing, working

A summer of sketching has subtly expanded the beginnings of my fall forays into a new and seemingly renewed sketching regimen. I've been incorporating the cover photos of the New York Times, a daily current-event of a drawing project and I am continuing playground sketching, which comes in handy when childhood hijinks can be drawn out in the shapes of dollar bills, tickets, ballons and smiley faces. Other children sometimes join me and I am happy to supply paper and pencils.

Now it is off to hang the first official show at Pocket Utopia!

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: New Freespace

Saturday night found me in the European Galleries sketching on a bench. What surrounds me on the walls effects what I sketch.

At the end of each evening of work, Friday and Saturday, I walked to the Asian galleries for continued context for my work and on the way, I passed the back on this painting which contained this interesting pattern. The pattern s on the back of a paiting of Christ, maybe it suggests a larger organization for an alter painting or arrangement. Whatever it is I really relate to it. I'll have to work it into something.

Today it's Monday, Labor Day, and I am working on the floor on my "mandala drawings." I have also started a new project. A few days ago, I started to cut out the cover photograph on the New York Times, and I am incorporating the images into my daily process, so that the photos are getting cut up and sketched into mandalas, folded drawings, and "fill-ins."

The other day, I dropped into an empty 60 Wall Street, and had an impromptu studio visit. I explained to my visitor and Pocket Utopia intern Matthew that my work constantly tries to redefine already defined space, for example ATfreespace attempts to redefine the studio space, Pocket Utopia the gallery space, and my drawings usually take a predetermined structure, like the mandala or spheres, squares and reworks those spaces. Back to floor space.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Sept. 1, new freespace

As I embark on another year of blogging about freespaces and having a post studio practice (I've actually been working beyond the constraints of a studio for about a year and a half), I spent last night at a new freespace. I grabbed my sketchbook and other drawing surfaces and went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I should really call this freespace, vacation space because it's almost free (I usually pay one dollar admission) and it's one of the most amazing places on earth!

I had one minor set back, I realized that the chair I had scoped out during the day was a gallery lit by natural sunlight and that on Friday night it was dark, so I had to decamp to the brightly lit European galleries. No problem. Working at the Met allows me to place the result of my working practice within a variety of contexts. I can examine an interesting photo by David Smith or how text is conveyed in 17th century Japanese woodblock prints. I feel like my work is getting better already or at least more informed. I'm going back tonight!