19 December 2014

Blog Moved!

In a sneaky and rebellious move I have relocated the entirety of my blog to a shiny new url. You can now find all old posts and new posts at

This blog will remain intact for a time, but will sooner or later be slated for demise. Please update links and etcetera accordingly. Thanks!

10 December 2014

Thoughts on Consumption

Create more than you consume.
That sentence really strikes a chord with me. I struggle with that so much. As a visual artist I don't think consumption is limited to just what is viewed either, but what is taken in by all the senses. Especially nowadays with Pinterest, Spotify and podcasts always at my fingertips it's hard to reign in the binging. All I seem to do most days is consume, consume, consume. And I'm not talking about drinking in nature, I'm talking about over feasting on what has been created by human.

To an extent, as an artist, I need to consume in order to create. I need to let my brain drink in the surrounding sights and sounds, feelings and textures in order to have something for my brain to process into my own expression, my own art. I'm not sure I could create without consuming. If I locked myself in a cabin Thoreau-style I'm sure I could continue creating for a while, but since most of my subject matter revolves arounds humans it wouldn't last long. I thrive on interactions to inform my art. Heck I'd wager than every single artist needs to keep at least a toe in society in order to stay relevant.

Where one spends their time and how much of that time is spent on consuming is such an important balance to strike. Much like food fueling the body, one has to be intentional to be able to fuel one's creative soul in a healthy way. If I'm being honest, I have to admit my consumption is not healthy. I'm fat and bloated with the amount and rate at which I consume. I'm calling myself out. I consume junk at such a rapid and staggering pace in hope of finding that "one magical bit" of inspiration. But that one magical piece to rival all others doesn't simply exist in one single place hidden in the pages of the internet. Great inspiration exists in the mind. Great inspiration is accessed by showing up to a blank page armed only with a pen and taking that pen to the page to create even when creating is hard and the output sucks. Great inspiration is cultivated with fresh air, human connections, new experiences and seasoned with a hardy dose of variety.

Everyone likely has their own innate balance and formula for healthy consumption. I'm not sure what mine is. It probably involves seeing more things live/first hand, focusing more on my other sense rather than relying so heavily on sight to experience the world and getting back to reading novels to let my imagination wander. I look forward to experimenting to discover a good balance for myself which I've already started to do. Slowly but surely.

03 December 2014

November Reminiscing

Well I was quite the instagram slacker in November. Not for a lack of taking pictures, but just a lack of taking pictures that featured something other than my baby. Oops. I'll work on that I swear.
After two months I was hoping to have a better handle on getting a substantial amount of work done, but nope. Kid knows what he likes and he likes eating and being held. I've decided to make my goals for December stupid simple: get more done than I did last month and document the proof.

19 November 2014

September and October Reminiscing

Getting back into the swing of things is slow. I'm currently in between several thoughts as an artist and I'm not entirely sure which way to turn. The pressure to make the "right" choice is distracting me from making any choice. I know I just need to start going in a direction and time will sort things out as long as I'm moving forward. Hopefully in the next couple weeks I'll gain enough forward momentum for things to shake out.

12 November 2014

Baby + Workbench!

Well that was a fun surprise. Our little bundle, that I had carried close to nine months, decided to come three weeks early. With everyone saying over and over again that the first one is always late I was kind of banking on that fact. Part of me had an inkling that I wasn't going to be so lucky, but I ignored that little voice of mine. Oops. It's now been a little over a month and I'm smitten with our little one. I wasn't sure how smoothly the transition from normal person to mother would go for me, but it's been great. Yay for hormones! We're just starting to come out of our little bubble and get back into the swing of things. This week we took our first trip to NCMA to see the art and I was head-over-heels for this installation of African carved heads.

A few weeks ago, with the help of my husband, I was able to built myself a workbench from start to finish in between feeding the little one. It was the best feeling! I cobbled the design of the workbench from a few places. I used these plans as my blueprint for how to join all the pieces and I used the plans from here for added a bottom shelf, but I also added a healthy dash of my own flair for good measure. I drew up my plans in my trust graph paper notebook like always before buying wood.

For various reasons I decided to make the workbench 28"deep by 48"long by 35"tall. One reason being that I hoped to be able to wheel the workbench around the house for projects, but I forgot to test it so I'm not confident the workbench will fit through the tight corners of the hallway. Oops. The frame is made from pine 2x4s and joined together using pocket holes.
The top is two pieces of 11/32" pine plywood glued and nailed together with wire nails. I made the top thick so I wouldn't have to have additional framing under for support. The top is screwed to the frame from above with wood screws. The bottom shelf is a single piece of 11/32" pine plywood and has framing underneath for support. The shelf is also screwed simply from the top with wood screws.

I plan on adding a few bells and whistles too down the line (outfeed support, pipe clamp storageshallow boxes on wheels and maybe locking wheels). The studio is still mostly a disaster, but this workbench has gone a long way in making a dent in the chaos. Little by little I plan on continuing to chip away at the rubble to create order.

13 September 2014

The Latest: a Love of Woodworking

Nothing on the art front to report this week besides a handful of subpar doodles and lettering sketches. Instead I've been creating with wood. I love building useful things with my hands out of wood. The process is always so gratifying for me. Even when the final product doesn't function exactly like I hoped I still love working with wood and learning. My first house was trimmed entirely in Southern yellow pine and since living there I have fallen hard for the distinct wood grain. Every time I go to the hardware store I pause to pet and gaze at the wide and wavy grain. The age and style of the new house (1950s ranch) doesn't lend well to building everything out of Southern yellow pine, but I did put up a shelf in the bedroom for nostalgia.

With a little one on the way, I'm quite sensitive to the fact that a smooth working house is paramount. Once the little tik pops out there will be no more "oh hey we could really use blank, let me just build that quick". So I'm trying to knock out as many building projects that will make home life easier and that our wallets can handle.

Yesterday I built a much requested nightstand for my husband's side of the bed. It's simple, inexpensive and I love it. I made it from a single 1"x12" pine board that was 8 feet long. The lovely people at Home Depot did the cutting for me and I glued, clamped and nailed it together with 2" finishing nails. As soon as I get the thumbs up from my husband after he's done testing the nightstand I'll putty the nail holes, sand and shellac the whole thing to finish the piece. Then I'll go pick up another board and build one for my side of the bed.

Most of the rest of my woodworking energies are going towards things for in our future babe's room. Thus far I've built a simple wooden ledge above a chalkboard wall and constructed a folding growth chart which will be filled in after the birth with details like name, birth date, etc. Next on the list is to finish building the shelving unit and baby bed I designed.

Hopefully next week I'll take the time to break in the chalkboard wall. Someone has to do it, right?

01 September 2014

August Reminiscing

My time and energy during August was torn between many things. Getting my studio in functioning order, preparing for a baby coming in two months, and of course squeezing in much needed naps to keep my body working. I haven't been as productive in the studio as I thought I would, but things are slowly progressing so I'm reminding myself to go easy on myself. My September art goals are to get more sketching in, do a chalkboard drawing for fun, blog here weekly and organize my studio at least a tiny bit more. Slow and steady.

From the archives > some old artwork