Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sketchbook Project 2012

Finally, you can now go see or visit my sketchbook on line, or on tour with the other 6000 journals/sketchbooks.  The theme of my sketchbook is "Transatlantic" but I titled it "Space and Time".  My book is divided into 5 sections.  The world, South Africa, Clarion, New Mexico, Now.  It's a journey that focuses on the path that we follow, how it ebbs and flows, and hopefully some how gets me to this being stage.   The stages of the moon are there to represent the passage of time, there is always some kind of path, and then layers of collaged papers, and drawing. Objects in the pages contain numbers in some form.  They're pretty obvious in the Clarion one.  The number relates to the age I was when I was living there at the time.  So if you start with the world, I am at 0.

Each section has it's own frame of reference and symbols.

The world:  Age- 0,  8 pages (including front and back cover)  countries, airports, continents, chakras
South Africa: Age - 9,  6 pages  flag, geometric lines and shapes
Clarion:  Age - 18 2 pages river, trees
New Mexico:  Age 27, 4 pages, Mountains, dots, desert, river
Present: Age 36, 16 pages, Buddha, sun, trees, Om, many paths, windows, the void

There's other stuff too, but those are the main ideas that pop out at me.  I'm going to show it to my students today, hopefully they won't think that I'm crazy.  I am considering doing paintings like these, but I'm not sure yet.  I need some sort of summer project, though, and I'm trying to figure out what it is.


Transatlantic- Time and Space

Monday, May 21, 2012

Finally finished

Been working on a painting for my friends' new arrival.  They're having a baby in a month and wanted me to make something that went along with a wall hanging they got along their travels somewhere (Africa, maybe?).  So I made a painting for their baby's room.  I threw in a few animals, the one in the palm tree is the stylized bird that is on their wall hanging, and I had to try and complement the colors.  So it's fun.

Fun colors, lots of patten.  I swear the sun is not as bright as that yellow, there are some warmer tones in there.  I also think the monkey looks a little angry, but oh well!  Maybe he's stuck in the tree.

The wall hanging, for inspiration.

Art Weekend

It was a beautiful weekend, not only weather wise, but art wise.  It all kind of started on Saturday, when my husband and I decided to metro into town to see "Song 1" at the Hirshhorn.  We actually lucked out, because they extended this showing a week more.  It was so popular that people have seen it multiple times.  I think it probably is worth seeing multiple times, but we only saw it once.

The Hirshhorn Museum is a round museum, with flat concrete sides.  The artist for "Song 1" projected movie like images on the whole museum, so it was all in the round.  There was music which was "I only have eyes for you", while each "character" sang or spoke lines from the song.  Each person was presented along, except for the obvious singers, who actually looked like they were singing alone.  Some lip synced, and others just spoke.  There were some famous people in it, Tilda Swinton, Devendra Banhart, and a few others.  The whole piece was 35 minutes.  There were lots of colliding images, and repetitive patterns.

I really enjoyed it, you can actually watch it online here.  It's different then watching it on the building.  But you get the general idea.  I noticed that it had a drive-in movie type feel when I was watching it, and then all of the people walking, cars beeping, traffic, sounds of sirens, definitely played into the emotion of actually watching it on the Hirshhorn.

Sunday was filled.  I mean it FILLED!  My friend Vicki and I ventured to New York City.  For the day.  We got up super early and took the Bolt bus to NYC.  It was actually pretty easy, and uncomplicated.  We got off at Madison Square Gardens and made our way to the Whitney Musem by foot and subway.  The Whitney as a Biennial, where contemporary artists are chosen to install, present, and show their artwork.  It interesting, because there are also performances, and art making happening while you're there by the artists themselves.  They'll even talk to you.  I however, didn't have my camera.  Which totally stunk, because I only got a handful of pictures on my phone.

It was interesting, it seemed like a quieter display.  When I think of other Biennials I've been too you can see some pretty outlandish, scary, disturbing, explicit stuff.  BUT, of course, a lot of the work is extremely conceptual, and there are lots of meanings behind the symbols... so I probably didn't "get" all the work.

There were a few that stood out, and I'll have to post them later.  I want to research them a little more, look them up, and then talk about them.

I loved NY.  It was a perfect day for walking.  I think we practically went through almost all of Central Park, most of Time Square (can do with out for the most part).  Lots of interesting people, lots of interesting stuff just out to look at.  A great lunch of crepes at some French place, some amazing cappuccinos (my first coffee in months).

It was pretty rushed, but possible.  I think we spent a total of 6 1/2 hours in the city and almost 9 hours of traveling.  If you have a goal in mind, and traveling within the city isn't a hassle and you know what you're there for, it can be done.

Here are a few highlights from my phone, from this weekend (wish I had some better pictures, but my camera isn't working at the moment:

Song 1

Sun is set.

"Song 1"- Man singing and standing alone at wall

One of my favorite parts.  2 characters in a denim factory.  They're lip syncing, maybe thinking the song in their head

Denim factory becomes pattern!!!! YES!

No words, just music and figures dancing within the figures.

Eyes for you.


Multiples images city and figures, buildings.

Playing with color, pattern and light.

Pretty Fire Escape around 48th and 7th?

Subway, off we go to the Whitney.
Organ playing music (not recognizable) and also part of the piece is scattered throughout the entire museum.  The artist took apart a book about the universe, and placed the illustrations of the book all over the Whitney.  I don't think we managed to see them all, but the ones I saw looked like the Milky Way.

This was in the same room as the organ and missiles.  It is said that these are abstract paintings of an organ.  I love the composition and the brightness.

This artist made tapestries.  LOVE MAZES!

Central Park, Children's Zoo.

Bus home, someone tagged the seatbelt guy.  AHHHHH!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's a beautiful evening in the neighborhood

Wow, I am actually sitting outside this evening.  Having a lovely glass of wine, smelling the scents of the yard.... grass, honeysuckle, cool air.  It's a perfect night for a Wednesday, and I'm not going in until it's dark.

I haven't been able to experience these peaceful nights so much lately.  Time just seems to fly by that I forget to listen, or get into some form of bad habit. I like watching tv, it's a welcome escape most evenings.  Or I'm off to a yoga class, or even rushing to prepare dinner, or thinking about art class the next day.

I value these evenings when even the noise of the distant traffic seems kind of calming.

I see all sorts of greens that range from almost yellow to a deep forest green.  So many things that I just pass by on any given day.  I really don't want to go in.

The breeze feels good and even though it was quite warm for a May day, it's settled into the 70's.  Just right.  I see the fading sunlight casting on the tree in my back yard.  The yellow is fading, and the light is dispersing.  It will be dark soon.  And, I'll go in.

I hear the noises of my neighbors working in their yards.  Machinery.  Trimming, edging, taking care of their own yard.  Isn't that something?  The "American Dream".  Have a yard, take care of it.  The thing is, even that machine sound isn't bothering me at this moment.

The birds are still calling out, and I hear a variance of tweeting.  They don't sound like cell phones, although I hear how many types of birds who live in urban areas are changing their tones, just as we change our cellphone rings.  They still sound like birds to me, and certainly much more pleasant than a phone ring.

This area is still bustling when I think everyone should be at home eating a meal, catching up on the day, or going for a stroll.  I dream about finding a place where all I hear are the sounds that nature makes again.  When I lived in New Mexico, I was fortunate to live close to the mountains for a year or so.  My apartment complex was away from the main road and overlooked the valley of Albuquerque.  I took advantage of the nearby trails and the quieter roads.  You could still hear and see the main road, but the nature is what was present.  Howling coyotes, chirping birds, wind.  I miss that.

For now I'll just have to enjoy the sounds of my own back yard.  Appreciating the careful breeze as it moves the wisps of hair around my head.  It's good to notice, it's good to witness, it's good to just be where you are and nowhere else.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


Maurice Sendak, thank you for your wonderful illustrations, amazingly funny, scary characters.   My parents didn't really like your books because the characters were strong minded, brash and sometimes obnoxious, but really, I loved them.  Your monsters were delightful.  My childhood would have been so different without you.

May you find that your dinner is still hot when you return "home".

Monday, May 07, 2012

Still thinking about MCA!

I talked to my students about the Beastie Boys today, they were very receptive.  Which was amazing.  They even compared it to how they felt about the loss of some of their favorite performers.  I think it was a great connection to make with my students.  I'm not sure what they see when they look at me.  They could easily focus on the way I look or how I dress.  But most students, I like to think, realize that the people standing up in front of the classroom have more to offer than just an educational lesson.  Somestimes, little by little, I get to shed the outerlayers of my onion. This was one of those moments.  They could have made jokes about white rappers, or laughed at the idea that I like hiphop music, or felt that I was making light of how they react to their favorite entertainers passing.  But they didn't.  They were supportive, they asked questions, they wondered why I found him to be interesting...all this without judgement.

I also gave them this quote my MCA: 

"I give thanks for this world as a place to learn,

and for this human body that I'm glad to have earned."

I will be keeping that quote up around my desk until the end of the year.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Posting is happening...in my mind

So, I've been away from this blog for quite some time now.  It's been a very busy year.  Most of my "free" time has been taken up by yoga training, which has been so fulfilling on so many levels.    All of a sudden it seems as if the months have just flown by.  I guess that's how it feels when you're so busy.  But seriously, where does the time go?

I just finished teaching my first officially planned glass to my teacher training group yesterday.  I have to say it went pretty well.  I spent many hours planning, prepping, and practicing for the day. We worked in a group to create a 1 hour 15 minute class that focused on the hara.  The hara is a term used to describe the belly, the third chakra, the solar plexus, celiac plexus...whatever term you want to use.  So I researched the different ways it's talked about across psychological, energetic, and physical terms.   It is MULTI-disciplinary yoga teacher training, after all.

My main task was to open the class, get people warmed up, welcome them, open the space, and settle them in.  I was nervous being up in front of these beautiful people, but I totally felt the support behind their eyes as they looked on.  I even had the courage to use the singing bowl (LOVE IT, by the way, gotta get one of my own).  We went through a series of breath work, and a little bit of core work and we finally ended in Tadasana (mountain pose).  And that's where one of my partners picked up.

My partners and I are very much alike in the fact that we're creative people, quiet people.  So our main yogi-mentor dubbed us "the quiet storm".  We nearly died laughing.  But it was true.  This practice was all about the core work, and we were strong, yet caring and careful about our practice.  (especially since people had just come from lunch).  People noted that our voices were pleasant (maybe a little too soft at times).  But all in all a great practice where they felt cared for and relaxed....

It was interesting to hear the feed back, of course it was mostly positive, we are yogis!  There are things I need to work on.  I felt my energy level drop off towards the end.  It's really important to keep it up!  I think with more practice I'll be able to keep it going.

I did learn that I can teach yoga, it's just like teaching art.  I've been teaching art for almost 12 years now, and yoga only really about 5 times in my entire life.   It all comes back to the brain, learning things everyday is good for us.  It keeps us healthy, it keeps the mind fresh, it keeps us from being kept in one spot.  We grow.

Today we go back so the second half of the class can also teach.  So looking forward to what my yogi friends do.

P.S.  This was also a really sad week for me.  One of my all time favorite musicians died on Friday.  MCA, Adam Yauch, this band was really a part of my life, and also my way into looking in Tibetan Buddhism and the Free Tibet campaign.  Of course, I never met him personally, I can say that him and the Beastie Boys have a profound effect on my life, my music choices, and how I view the world...  Thanks MCA, RIP.  Check out MCA skills in this video