Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to Live: Follow Your Heart, Risked Be Damned - Ben Stein on CBS Sunday Morning

I don't watch a lot of TV. I can almost always think of better things to do with my time. Occasionally, I watch the nightly news and catch a random episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations or The Nanny.  I do, however,  intentionally carve out time every Sunday morning to watch CBS Sunday Morning, a show about art, culture, and a hodge-podge of other things happening around our nation. One of the regular contributors on the program is Ben Stein. Last summer, he gave a commentary called: How to Live: Follow Your Heart, Risked Be Damned.  His monologue so touched me that I tracked down the transcript, printed it out, and taped it up in several locations around the house. Today, I am watching the video...again...and soaking in some much needed encouragement as I continue to swim upstream in my life as an artist.

If you would like to print out the transcript to tape to your fridge and studio door, you can find it here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Let's Talk About Love Baby" - Chido Johnson's Love Library

Ann-Maree Walker - The Secret Lover
Ann-Maree Walker - The Secret Lover

Betsy Timmer - Cookie

Betsy Timmer - Cookie detail

Some months ago, I was invited by my dear friend and artist Ann-Maree Walker to participate in the St. Louis installation of Chido Johnson's Love Library project. The Love Library is a traveling exhibition in which "individual artist’s interpretation of “love” are concealed and superficially homogenized as romance novels."

Each artist invited was asked to submit a "book" for the exhibition. While basic dimensional guidelines had to be followed, each artist's book could take a seemingly infinite variety of forms. Once submitted, each book is assigned a call number and becomes a permanent part of the library. You can view the growing library online. Images of each book are available along with an audio recording of the artist explaining their work.

I created a book called "Cookie". It is a mixed media work that includes encaustic wax, paint, human hair, cookie cutters, an old night gown, and text from romance novels and sugar cookie recipes. This form was fueled by observations of cultural descriptions and definitions of love - feeling that we constantly bombarded with messages about what love is and what form it should take. Please take a look.

The current installation of "Lets Talk About Love Baby" is on display in St. Louis at the Craft Alliance now until April 24th.

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Zealand Book Council's "Going West" and 4th Estate's "This is Where We Live"

I first saw this animation via Inkthread, one of the blogs I frequent regularly. Careful manipulation of light and shadow really make this film sing.

Here is another I first saw via Inkthread:

This Is Where We Live from 4th Estate on Vimeo.

If you check out 4th Estate on Vimeo, you can see several behind the scene videos that reveal the painstaking processes involved.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Oren Lavie - Her Morning Elegance

I can't stop thinking about stop motion lately...

See below for a idea of the process used to make this animation.

Friday, March 25, 2011

KTWU Segment & the Harveyville Project

The Harveyville Project in Harveyville, Kansas is a great place to be. It is a strange, unexpected creative retreat in the middle of nowhere. The old school buildings are charming, the food is delicious, and the hosts/founders Nikol Lohr and Ron Miller are delightful. Throughout the year, Harveyville hosts artists and crafters and offer worshops on felting, spinning, encaustic and more.

For me,  "Felt School" was an educational, inspirational, creative sleepover. I drove home relaxed and excited about what I had made. I met crafty people from all over the country, slept in a classroom complete with chalkboards and antique class photos,  and showered in an old locker room. The school itself adds a lot to the experience; there is just something exciting about walking past lockers in your pajamas.  Where else can you learn to make felt in a 1930's high school science lab?
In the years since I was a Harveyville student, I have come back to share my artwork at Felt School. On one of these occasions, I met John Njagi, a filmmaker from KTWU in Topeka. He was doing a film about craft for Sunflower Journeys, a local public TV series. He kindly included me in his film and even traveled to Kansas City to document my current exhibition. Take a look a the video to learn more. Check out the Harveyville Project's website for their current course schedule.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

This Thursday is special...

...if only because I have finally started this blog. It has been on my list of "studio goals" for months now. What do I expect from this blog? Nothing really. I guess I hope for community, exposure, conversation, inspiration...who knows?

For my first post, I am sharing my newest work, "Dream House". It came about in an accidental way. The pillow is made burlap stiffened with Paverpol and the house is made of Creative Paper Clay. The surface layered with encaustic. I enjoy the simplicity of this piece...for me it says a lot and a little at the same time.