Sunday, August 7, 2011

Book Medals

I made these this summer.

The inscription reads, " If I were a machine, music would be my fuel, and art my exhaust. What would my purpose be you ask? Well put simply, it would be [XXXXXXXXXXXXX]!"
Later, I changed the last sentance to say " Well put simply, to change the world!"

This is my favorite lately. The inscription reads,
 " Late in October I hear the sweet evening
sounds impressed upon the sky. Each melodious
note a star.

Missoula Montana

The city of Missoula Montana

Driving through a storm somewhere in Montana

The sky just opened up, like in classical paintings. I was half expecting the hand of some one's god to reach down.

I figured out why they call this place "Big Sky Country"

Have I mentioned my appreciation for the aesthetics of power lines?

This is actually Wyoming, i think.

At the end of last semester, a good friend of mine and I decided to go on a road trip, Literally, to "get away" from the awesome intensity of grad psych school. We had a lot of fun. We slept on couches, ate peanut butter and jelly, and went exploring. We did absolutely nothing serious at all. We went to a beer festival, a farmers market, "climbed the M" ( a touristy hike up to a GIANT "M" on the side of the mountain) participated in a flash mob advocating public transportation, and went drinking at a bar where we were by far the youngest people (by about 20 years) and the 60-something year old female bar tenders with raspy voices gave us funny looks when my friend tried to order a mixed drink instead of a shot or a pitcher. It was marvelous.

Monday, May 23, 2011

THE Container Project.

My container is finished! What the f is that you say? Explanation:  In an art therapy class, I was asked to think of an issue I would like to work on. Then I was asked to think of a symbol that represents the issue and build a container of some sort. The container was to be a metaphor for therapy. I was then supposed to work on my issue through art and symbolism (staying in the metaphor) and create seven pieces that represented the stages of the therapeutic process AND they had to fit into the “container”.  Here is my semester long exploration of my issues through art. This is REALLY personal, so I’m going to be a little vague. (Yes, it is possible to be vaguer then I usually am.) 

This suitcase is entirely handmade. I built the frame out of masonite, carved the handle and feet, dyed the fabric orange and added the necessary hardware (D rings, hinges and snaps). I even brush painted the burlap and hand embroidered the flowers.

In the middle of this field there is a pocket on the side of a hill. This secret compartment containes the rest of the pieces of this project

Here is what's inside!

{...     click clack click     are you following me?    ...}
This is stage one: Identifying the issue. There is a quite in depth exploration on the reverse of this comic strip.

This is another little book with a slightly different format. Its about changing your (my) perspective on the issue. it folds into a cube and/or folds flat into a wallet looking book. This is what went with it:

 I close my eyes. There is a slam of a car door. I open my eyes and I am in my mom’s car.       Oldies, doo-wop, slowly become more and more audible. I look over and my mom is younger  with her hair blowing in the wind of the open windows. I become aware of where we are. We are driving through an endless field of dandelions. I am happy. Content. I look behind me, my sister is in the back seat. I smile. Behind her, through the back windshield, more  of the endless dandelion field.


This series of pieces was a very personal journey through a tangle of childhood trauma. This is about residual feelings, thoughts and a lens through which I saw the world that no longer served me but still had a huge impact. I didn’t mean for it to reach such depth, i didn’t even know what exactly it was at first. It just started with noticing a yellow Dandelion as a reoccurring theme in my life. Through this art making and meditative exploration of my "stuff" I watched the tiny, innocent, youthful yellow flower transition into a tall, large, mature white ball of softness. The flower didn’t go away, they never do, It just turned into something else. Someday, I hope to see the white fluff blow away in the wind.

So, when I started, the symbol was obvious, but deciphering what the issue truly was, was very difficult. I had to redo the first couple of steps several times and then the last couple of steps ended up being alterations to the first. So…there are not quite seven complete pieces, yet there are "leftovers". In the end, there was one giant sculpture-the transforming suitcase, three non-sequential paintings that I later realized fit together, two books, and a pile of letters and crayon drawings. Also, I got a tattoo during this process and when this project was all over, I did yet another painting that felt like part of it.


{It's hard to see in this photo of the oil painting, but there are dandelions in the background and a new symbol has emerged. The Cardinal...}
{My arm}
To be continued.

Travel Journal

{I go with the wind:) }

       This is a book I started when I was accepted to grad school in Colorado. Moving halfway across the country was big for me, so I intended this to be a journal about the transition. It started when I was called for an interview; It came to the interview with me and explored the school and city of boulder. Then drove cross country and started school with me when I was accepted. It’s been one year and it’s still in progress. Here are some of my favorite pages so far.

{This is a song my mother used to sing to me. }

{This last page reads: "This is what it all comes back to." P.s. I am not working on the pages in order. It is no where near being done.} 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Moving to Colorado summer 2010

So, I drove from Philadelphia PA to Boulder CO. It took about three days. It was a whole lot of not much to see. These are the only photos I took that I thought were interesting enough to post. I like them mostly because they portray how weird and eerie this trip was. My mom kept talking about horror movies like Children of The Corn and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and so wouldn’t get off the highway to see any of the bizarre attractions advertised on the billboards or in my weird America book.
Talk about compensation.

I swear you dont want to let that mist stuff get close to you. (Too many bad SiFi movies for me!)

My mom wouldnt even stop at night, I look photos the whole time to stay awake. This Mac truck almost hit us and then flew by!

I know, only city kids take photos of things like GIANT ROLLS OF HAY! (YEY)

I love this photo because its the embodiment of ceepy oldness. It reminds me of 1800's photos I've seen.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Waxes from forever ago!

The waxes I promised in the May 29th 2009 entry... Still incomplete…

Despite his dystrophy, his imagination would not atrophy. This is my favorite out of this bunch. It’s the most positive and it was fun to make. I have a lot of fond memories of the boy this piece is about. When I met him, he walked with leg braces. As time went on crutches were added, and then a manual wheelchair for when he was too tired. The last time I saw him, he was in a power chair full time. Always, despite this gradual decline, he was creative, playful and hopeful. He was Godzilla to imagined cities, we watched piranha fights in the pool, and we told jokes all the time.

He lies with his eyes but his smile always tells the truth.
                                                                                        This is about a man I worked with who had
quadriplegia and used his eyes to signal yes and no to asked questions. After working with him for some time, I realized that he often lied when he was tired of being misunderstood or felt like he was being a burden. Smiling however is an interesting function. He cannot control his mouth to eat or speak but smiling is an involuntary action. I made it my goal to make him laugh and smile as many times possible during our time together.

They had to sew his face back on; He can’t stop drawing yellow buses;
 I made this after working with a very small boy who had been hit, along with his brother, by a school bus while riding on the handle bars of a bicycle. He was basically catatonic for weeks after the accident, until an art therapist brought him art supplies. I never heard him speak, but the in depth drawings of the grill of a yellow bus were such strong images I often left the sessions almost in tears. The art really helped to start bringing him back to a functioning state. I think I made this piece mostly for myself to try to cope with the hugely powerful intensity of the situation.            Thanks to shitty health care policies, he was discharged as soon as he could walk again. I wonder about him sometimes.