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.