Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I've posted goals on the wall of our kitchen. Come January... I'm going to hit the ground running. Studio here I come!

-Revamp Artist Website
-Start Posting on Blog Regularly (done and done)
-Hang pictures of old work to inform new work
-Update Artist Bio & Artist Statement
-Apply to as many shows & galleries as humanly possible.
-Keep picking away at new work.
-Experiment with cheap, archival materials
-Photograph work made since school to date
-Keep Reading/Stay Informed/Research


...no excuses....

-Complete at least 4 new works before January 2012.
-Participate in 4 shows before January 2012.
-Try for 1 solo show before January 2012.
-Apply to Stanford Graduate Fine Art Program Fall 2011.
-Apply again Fall 2012 if necessary.

Love this boy even more:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Cathartic Birth

I have a studio space I’ve acquired a few miles from my apartment.  I’ll be moving in come January 1. I’m excited to be able to make large pieces again! I’ve been creating these mockettes for the last few months and honestly… I hate mockettes. I get absolutely no satisfaction from doing them at all. I can see the benefit of seeing if the initial project idea will work and all but it’s just not as involved and exciting as making a life-sized piece.
This is a recently completed mockette that I plan to make life size come January:

It’s made out of wire, parchment paper, and masking tape. Nice and cheap materials! This is my general response to being pregnant and the cathartic birth process. For those of you who did not hear the story of Brody’s birth, I was in labor for about 36 hours. I ended up receiving an epidural but not until the very end. I was about 7 hours from when I delivered when the pain became too much for me to handle. I can’t even describe the pain. I think I would still try and do it naturally if I were to have another child since I had to be induced with Brody. Being induced makes the contractions unnaturally strong and close together. I’ll always wonder if I could have done it naturally if I was not induced. We’ll see someday I’m sure!
The whole birthing process was like being in this weird bubble where time stands completely still. It felt like forever but also really quick.  Giving birth was the hardest thing I’ve ever accomplished in my life to date and this sculpture is of a pregnant figure being stretched beyond human means. The hands are cupped, as if to receive communion.  In a sense, having a child is the unspoken sacrament that every good Catholic should be sure to do.  The cupped hands are distanced from the figure, as a visual representation of my own separation from the church and my wavering belief in god. When I was younger, I always said I would never have kids. I think this stemmed from the pressure from the Catholic Church and my family to have kids.  When my husband and I got married, we had to sign a document that stated “when” we had kids (not if), we would promise to raise them Catholic. (Brody won’t be baptized at this time… I just don’t feel right deciding that for him… but that’s a topic for another post). I didn’t think much of this ‘Catholic-contract’ at the time of signing it… but when Zach and I started talking about having a baby, I remember thinking to myself that I wanted to have kids on my own terms. I didn’t want to have children because a religion told me I should or because my family wants me to. I wanted to be 100% positive that I was ready to be a mother and give unconditional love to my child(ren). I thought about it long and hard because I knew it would change my ability to make art or travel. Ultimately in the end, I decided that I wanted to be both a mother and an artist. 
I’m grappling with what materials to make the larger figure with. A part of me feels it should be done in an all white material such as plaster or marble dust/resin with some copper wire accents. White being pure and clean and the copper wire color being precious.  Everything would be clean and pristine. I’d also like to make the figure with all natural materials such as burlap and jute fibers covered sloppily with amber shellac. The figure would look almost moist because of the sheen of its finish, which would speak to the birthing process in all its frantic messiness.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Coming Out of the Woodwork

My life has changed in a lot of ways since the last time I posted here. Being pregnant is way in my rearview mirror at this point. Having Brody in my life is incredible! He’s a physical manifest of my husband’s and my love. He’s our little guy and we love him very much! (It doesn’t hurt that he’s so beautiful! How did we create such a cute babe?)

Overall, I think I’ve been having some rollercoaster feelings about making art and having a child…

…which is interesting since I thought I’d have more of a push-pull with going back to work and having a child. I have no real problem with being back at work. I feel a little bit guilty about the fact that I sort of get a “break” from motherhood for the time I’m at work. Even weekends are not as relaxed as I am at work since being a mom is more than a full-time job. Might I remind you… my job is stressful? I work for many very important people who expect perfection out of me day in and day out. There’s hell to be paid if I’m anything less. I’m good at my job and it pays the rent and much needed health insurance… I just think it’s a little sad that that’s my “low-stress” point of the week. Don’t get the wrong idea please… I don’t dread coming home! I just am fully aware that more of me and my energy are needed when I go home. It’s not that I don’t love ever second of it… it’s just that it’s much more work than anything else in my life right now.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so exhausted in my life. There's an underbelly of sleep deprivation all the time. Chronic and ever-lasting. I don’t think even my closest friends can understand what my husband and I are going through in terms of the tiredness and the rewards of parenting. That can be depressing at times… okay that’s an understatement… it’s apparent and depressing all the time.

…Back to art-making melding with motherhood. I feel like I’ve sunken into this weird under-world of artists. Like a glass ceiling made especially created for artists who have families. I look up through this transparent glass floor and can see the progress of friends with their art careers and I become resentful. I try to be as supportive as I can and give honest feedback for friend’s works and writings but find I don’t get similar support for MY art career anymore. I really think it’s because I had a baby and that’s really unsettling. It has just been hard going from having my friends take time to critique my work and help think-tank with me all the time to hardly at all. I have to really push and ask repeatedly to get any feedback and even then it’s always surface level. I miss getting honest reviews and thoughtful responses. For some reason I still give out my thoughtful responses anytime I’m asked. Makes me feel like the things I’m doing are not important because the people who used to think my work was important won’t give me a minute of their time.

To take on a more proactive viewpoint of the same problem: I need to be able to create art and not need the approval or support of any one and be satisfied.

But I'm not an island and truly desire the support of my friends.

I’ve been trying to control what I can. I can’t do absolutely everything that I want to at this point in my life and I need to come to terms with it. That may sound like giving up but it’s not. I’m trying to not overwhelm myself with everything I ‘should’ and ‘could’ be doing.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Little Man!

Little guy is a little guy! I knew it! :D

He wiggled and jiggled during his ultrasound. It was super cute. His fingers and toes are so cute and little! The size of one foot is BIGGER than his whole body was when we had our first ultrasound! He's so big now! I won't get precise measurements of his whole body for a few days when the pictures are analyzed.
Little guy kept hiding his spine from our practitioner so she had me eat a cookie and apple juice to get him to move so she could measure the spine. I'm unsure if it worked or if I have to go back for another ultra sound... but it was fun to watch him bounce around from the sugar rush!
I liked watching him kick and feeling him kick simultaneously! Its like interactive TV! haha! Its hard to believe that our little gummy bear 11 weeks ago got so big!!

I can't wait to meet him!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Almost Halfway!!!

We had another doctor’s appointment yesterday! It went really well! I got the results back from my blood tests and my baby has a 1 in 90,000 chance of having downs. Good numbers! My iron is up and baby’s heartbeat is strong and healthy. 140 beats per minute! Weight gain, as shocking as the numbers are, is healthy and steady. It’s hard to believe that I have gained 15 pounds in the last 19 weeks!! Gaining that fast and suddenly is really shocking my body! I have a hard time getting up off the couch or out of bed. I make these grunting sounds now, haha! Apparently in the next month, the baby is going to gain about 26 more oz! That’s so fast!! I have a feeling this won’t be comfortable at all. We’ll see!
In other doctor news: I CAN EAT DELI MEATS, INTERNET! This whole time I thought I couldn’t. If I had to rank my cravings, I’d say deli sandwiches are number one… (Closely followed by Flaming Hot Cheetos… haha! Hooray for having prescription heartburn medicine!) At my appointment, I felt guilty because I’ve been eating deli meats like it’s my business (Subway is my secret place to indulge)… and I wanted to know if I should stop. My doctor laughed and said that she wants to slap everyone on the internet who says you can’t eat deli meats or cheeses. YAAY! I can also eat hot dogs apparently! To celebrate, Zachary got me a Polish dog from Costco that night lol! I always want one when we shop at Costco every other week! I was the happiest pregnant lady. Haha!

I’ve been having really bad cramps these past few days. They are like lightening strikes that are super intense for maybe 20 seconds and then it passes. I’m experiencing round ligament pains. My doctor says it should only last about a month. Whoa, it was so weird! At my appointment, my doctor pulled out a tape measurer and was quickly able to measure my uterus… I asked how she knew where the top was so fast… since it was inside me… haha! (I’m sure they get dumb questions like that all the time) She had me feel the top of my uterus and that was just the strangest feeling! It’s currently above my belly button too! Felt like a tight ball got lodged in me haha!

This is my last week of being able to sleep on my back. For a few months, I was under the impression that I HAD to sleep on my side even early on in the pregnancy. Oh man, my hips hurt so bad! My doctor told me last month that I can sleep on my back until the 20th week… NEXT WEEK! AHH! I’ve been trying to train myself to get used to mainly sleeping on my side and even with my fancy-pants maternity pillow, it hurts like hell! I’ve been contemplating utilizing Chiropractic visits, seeing how my doctor said there are lots of benefits to it and my health insurance covers it. The only problem is that I would have to travel pretty far to get to a doctor that is within my HMO group plan. I’m going to see if they have weekend appointments. That would be ideal. I just feel guilty taking company time to go get my spine realigned and a massage. Haha! I’m going to have to start using a heating pad on my hips and back too. I’m not really a big bath person, or else a warm bath would help. We’ll see how bad I suffer.

Last week I felt the first “flutterings” of Little Guy in my belly! He mainly likes to wiggle at night when I’m really relaxed. It could also be that I’m calmed down enough to really focus and feel what is happening. I can’t wait till Zachary can feel the movements! It will be very special indeed. In 14 days (!!) we will find out if Little Guy is actually… a little guy. Haha! I can’t wait! My last ultrasound before we meet our baby! I can’t believe I’m nearly 5 months pregnant already! Where did the time go?? Who knew such an uncomfortable process could fly by so fast!

Can't wait for this:

Friday, February 5, 2010


It has definitely been a while (too long) since I’ve written here, and I’m sorry for that! I’ll be updating more! There were a few months where I couldn’t write because I was secretly pregnant and didn’t want to tell everyone on the inter-web before all my family knew! Tada, I’m pregnant! So now I’m pretty far along! Already in my 15th week of pregnancy! Second trimester!

The first 12 weeks were pretty rough, let me tell you. That is partially the other reason why I have been unable to focus on updating this blog. I had intense morning (noon and night) sickness just up until a few weeks ago. It was like having severe car sickness all the time. I never really threw up all that much, but I felt like I needed to all the time. I think that’s almost worse than barfing… because at least after you throw up you might feel a little better. I had a hard time eating anything. Everything sounded gross or I’d have to eat a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Around the 8th or 9th week I figured out that if I just continuously forced myself to eat small snacks throughout the day, I’d feel a lot better. I’d also wake up in the morning, and before I did anything, I’d eat a Popsicle to boost my blood sugar levels. That way I’d have enough time without feeling sick to shower and get ready before having to eat breakfast. Weird, but it worked.

Being pregnant is like living in somebody else’s body and with their weird eating habits. I can only describe it as your body is in complete control and you are just along for the ride. There are foods that I would eat all the time that I just can’t get down anymore. The top of my ‘no-no’ list is vinegar of any kind, most salad dressings, eggs, and poultry is difficult but doable if I must. The one food that I can eat no mater how I’m feeling is cereal and milk. Last week I ate a Costco size box (not bag… the whole box) of Multi-Grain Cheerios in one week. Zachary will eat a modest bowl in the morning and I practically eat a mixing bowl size of cereal. Haha! I can’t help it! I also went through 4 gallons of milk in 5 days. Yea…

I’ve only had one really bad, dramatic mood swing to date (targeted at Zachary of course… because it’s his pregnancy too!) Hormone levels are off the charts.

Over the last few months, I’ve been having the worst hip and shoulder pains. I had hip problems before being pregnant… but being pregnant just made it ten times worse. It got to the point where I had to buckle and buy and official “pregnancy pillow.” It was expensive for sure, but totally worth it. I sleep so well and wake up with no pains at all! Zachary loves the pillow because its soft and he likes to lay in it occasionally… but he also hates that it takes up half the bed! Lately he’s been sleeping on the side of it so that’s nice. I feel very separate of him though… which is sad… but honestly I like not walking around like I have severe arthritis in my hips.

It’s been really fun watching my belly blow up. I am amazed at how fast the size changes go from week to week. My mom pointed out to me that I am currently the size she usually was at 6 months… but I’m only at 15 weeks! All I can think about is just how huge I’m going to be! I wonder what position Little Guy is in that would make him stick out so far?! I went to the doctor this week and was happy to find out that my weight gain is average. I gained a lot of weight in the first trimester and then only about a pound or two between my first and second OB appointments. Wheew! I’m not noticing any severe weight gain anywhere other than my mid-section which is comforting as well.

(IMAGES -above: 14 weeks -below: 15 weeks)

Words can’t describe how excited I am to have this baby. It’s so strong and powerful. I find it to be odd sometimes being so connected to my belly and wanting to touch my belly 90 % of the day… but it really makes me feel connected and like I’m forming a bond with my baby. Zachary is so cute. He likes to talk to my belly and touch my belly. I think he’s going to be the best father.

I also strongly feel that it’s a boy. Zachary and I always call the baby Little Guy… and use boy nouns like ‘he’ and ‘him.’ I could be wrong… but it would be fun if I were right! I’ll find out the sex of the baby on March 18th!! March is a busy month! We have 2 OB appointments… the sex-determining ultrasound appointment… and I find out if my current job is going to give me a hefty raise! So much! I can’t wait!