Thursday, August 16, 2012

Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area

There is some art that I do for myself and for an audience, just for the sake of doing art.  There is some art I do on spec or for cost.  But sometimes there's art that I do, free of charge, in order to further my experience.

A few years ago, I created a youth booklet for Hawaii State Parks.  It was mostly a coloring book-style activity pamphlet for kids of various ages.  It was an interesting experience because I got to work under a council of elders who oversaw my drafts and made sure that everything I was doing was properly representing the Hawaiian culture and environment.

Recently I was approached by rangers at the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area, part of the State Parks system in California, to help them update their Junior Ranger program.  Personally, I perceive this as a much easier task already because I'm far more familiar with the ecosystems here than I was with those of Hawaii!  I've since sent them my first set of sketches, some of which you can see above.

It's always an interesting challenge to pick up projects like this here and there.  I think commissions like this really push your abilities...AND force you to work under constraints like time and material availability!  But all in all, it's FUN.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Untitled in Progress

Here's a canvas sketch of the mixed media piece I'm working on now.  It's never a dull moment - I actually pulled this sucker out as I was setting up for the P!ay Showcase, being well aware that this particular piece is a little too risqué to show at that family-friendly venue.

Updates to come over the next few weeks (months?  Hopefully not) that I'm working on this one.  As of yet, it's untitled but I'm pretty sure I know where I'm going with it.  Who knows?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Showcase @ P!ay Hair Lounge

All set up for my showcase!
Thanks to the awesome ladies at P!ay Hair Lounge and to my amazing husband and mother who came to help me set up yesterday!

We hit a few snafus - as one often does - like a frame that suddenly broke and a small mismeasurement that threw things off.  But there was no panic and there was much laughter and we had a great time setting everything up.

My Drill Sergeant!
It was pretty fun to play the part of director: I basically outlined everything and told Ian where to drill the hooks, and he did it.  Not only that, he did an amazing job, making sure that everything was level and perfect.  My mom played the hero and ran out to pick up another backup frame from the house when the one "Gamera" was in broke (and when I say "broke," I mean BROKE...the wood cracked, the glass chipped, the nails came out...wotta mess!).

But we got everything in order and it all looked great!  Brig, the owner, told me that it was the "most bizarre" display that they'd ever had up...and then qualified that comment by insisting it was a compliment!  I told her that there was no need to clarify, I DEFINITELY take that as a compliment!

If you make your way to Simi Valley in the near future, the display will be up at P!ay for 8 weeks ('til early October 2012).  The salon is right off of the 118 freeway at Kuehner Ave.  Some paintings are for sale (marked with the price), but some are for this display only.  If you do make a purchase, the funds are very fairly split between myself and P!ay, so you'd be supporting two local "businesses."


My mom, chronicling the display.  Awwww...thanks, Mom!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Showcase @ P!ay Hair Lounge - Teaser

One thing that hasn't changed in the past couple thousands of years of people making art is that they're always being really pushy about getting people to try and look at it.  I am definitely no exception!

This Wednesday night, you might be able to find me and my husband yutzing around at P!ay Hair Lounge in Simi Valley, where my art is going to be showcased for eight weeks.  We'll have a few hours that afternoon/evening get everything installed.  If you're in the area, please stop by!  P!ay is not "just" a hair salon (although I do get my hair did there and nowhere else), it's an artistic outlet: the salon is owned and operated by Brig Van Osten, the winner of Shear Genius Season 3.  She is one of those awesome business owners who helps out the artistic community by showcasing local artists and advertising them on their website.  It just happened to work out that she and I connected at the exact right time, and it just happened that she liked the digital mini-portfolio I provided.

With that luck, Brig extended the invitation for me to install my art.  So for the past couple of days I have been calling up folks who own my work and asking permission to borrow pieces for the showcase.  I've also been going back and touching up details on pieces in storage that I think may look too worn or that have been damaged in transport (I have moved twice in the past three/four years!).  It's not a very simple process, unfortunately, so my dining room has taken a pretty hard beating while I get organized for Wednesday.

This picture doesn't look too bad, but please don't be deceived!

I've also been super motivated to finish a couple of pieces that have been on the backburner for too long!  All three peices in mind happen to be parts of series.  You remember the untitled photo series I hinted about a while back?
Photo Project: No.6 (left) and Photo Project: No.13 (right)

I've finally got these two babies mounted and completed.  The only thing I don't really like about them is the size of the photos themselves because so much photographic detail is lost, although that's what happens to work best with the additional pieces of the collage.  My goal was to have the photos work with these other pieces to evoke a sense of poetry...although there are 11 more parts of this series that are not completed and not ready for display yet, so a lot of that poem is lost.  Hopefully these will stand on their own for the time being!

I AM super excited about the dried flower in got preserved better than I'd even hoped!

Gamera Tours Tokyo!
Then there's a new piece in my series called "Animals That I Like, and Some I Don't."  You may recognize another piece from this series called "Paul Eats the Moon!"  I'm still sketching this series out, but it's been a lot of's a huge mood leap from the Photo Project, if not a complete 180.  But it's something I feel like people of all ages can smile at.

Just as a sidenote, you may recognize the name "Gamera" from such Japanese monster movies as "Gamera vs. Viras" or "Gamera vs. Giron" or even "Gamera Strikes Again."  Tokyo DOES get destroyed in a lot of these kinds of movies; however, Gamera is the name of our turtle and she doesn't actually live in Tokyo, she lives in a tank.  She's also far too fat and lazy  to destroy anything the size of a bread box, let alone a city.  We do take her for walks on the lawn every now and then, but I thought it would be nice to take her someplace a little more exciting.

The current view at P!ay Hair Lounge
More updates to come later this week! For now, I will leave you with the nearly-empty walls of P!ay to muse over.  See you soon!