Tuesday, December 15, 2009

sketchbook (at the cemetery)

Drawn partially from life, partially from reference photo at the Mountain View Cemetery (it was so cold I didn't stay as long as I wanted). It is a really good place for sketching, though. The statuary is fascinating and there is a whole section of gravesites that have an Ancient Egyptian theme going on. Pyramid mausoleums and sphinxes and the like.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

finally done, and some sketchbook pages

Tentatively titled as "Gifts."

Here is a detail shot:

I'm also trying to finish five sketchbook pages a day for the rest of the month.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I think I'm about 2/3 the way there. I'm still less comfortable painting than I am drawing, but I think I've figured out a way to make it work; if only I weren't so slow.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

progress shots

Camden and I are driving up to his dad's, a lovely cabin-style two story house with acres of pine trees in the back yard, his two dogs, his sweet stepmom, and no internet dun dun DUN.

(I typed "internut" at first.)

I'm looking forward to having a weekend retreat to just working on my school assignments and catching up on Etsy drawings. And, in the mean time, here are some progress shots of the canvas I hope to finish by Saturday afternoon:

The ochre underlayer.

The layout.

Most of the underpainting.

About halfway there. The photo is a little washed out.

Hopefully I'll be able to have the second half of the process to upload when we get back home Sunday evening.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

new drawing

"Housekeeper," graphite on paper 8.5"x11".

I scanned this in just now from my sketchbook, so it needs a little cleaning up before it's ready to print.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

winter displays

Busy, busy, busy, but I made myself make time to re-shoot some framed prints with a more cold-weather appropriate background. Not that you'd know it's autumn where I live - today was a balmy 77ºF and not a cloud in the sky - but I know many of my friends are enjoying their first bevy of hot drinks and warm woolens to brace themselves against the cold.

New ideas are stirring, but I'm playing a vicious game of catch-up with my schoolwork so I'll have to leave them be for now.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I feel like I am in hiding, in the open. School is going well (knock on wood) and I've met some amazing classmates and teachers, but it still feels like my mind is rusted over and creaky at the joints. I'm not used to writing long papers or examining a simple question with anal-retentive scrutiny. Admittedly I'm exacerbating matters by insisting on reading more, writing more, talking more than is required, but since the beginning of the semester I've been cognizant of the fact that this year will determine my desirability as an applicant once I'm ready to transfer and, with good luck and a consistent level of good work, once I'm admitted the environment there will be way more rigorous and intense than anything I'm setting up for myself at community college.

Anxiety is the name of the game, I'm afraid. That hasn't changed, at any rate.

Still, I am so grateful I've been given an opportunity to be a full-time student again. I know I'm lucky, and I plan to take full advantage of it.

In other news, Camden and I went out for lunch and a leisurely stroll a few days ago, and on the way back home I tripped on the sidewalk and scraped the holy hell out of my elbow and shin. It hurts a lot, but it was actually kind of nice because as soon as I hit the pavement a guy who had been passing by us in the opposite direction asked if I was okay, and the owners of the restaurant immediately behind us asked if I was okay and got a chair and a damp napkin so I could wipe away the dirt. They were so sincerely concerned, even though it wasn't really a big deal. I was pretty verklempt. Kindness of strangers, indeed.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Can't put my finger on it.

Something is off about these display photos for this print I listed, but I can't quite figure out what. I think when I have more time I'll try painting a few thin balsa boards different colors and just use those consistently for each print, so the shop has an underlying color palette to boot. But that will probably have to wait until the weekend, when I am not two hours away from handing in an essay I did not spend nearly enough time on because I totally forgot how much time Etsy can suck out of my schedule.

Cure What Ails You

When my sister and I flew into JFK around a month or so ago, as soon as we stepped off the plane we realized we'd underestimated the oppressive humidity of New York at the height of summer. It didn't stop us from walking everywhere and exploring various nooks and crannies of Manhattan, but it did mean we made a lot more pit stops than we'd originally anticipated.

Thankfully, too, otherwise we might not have discovered this amazing thrift shop: Cure, on 111 East 12th Street.

My pictures do not do this lovely store justice. We easily spent two hours combing through their meticulously selected inventory, cooing over their vintage mugs and glasses, decorative brass plaques and antique inkwells, mid-century lamps, framed political propaganda posters, not to mention shoes, coats, blouses and sweaters, and dresses. It's set up on two stories, housewares and furniture on the top floor and clothing in the basement.

From what we could gather chatting with one of the lovely employees, all the clothing is hand-selected from donations to the store. While a little more expensive than, say, the Salvation Army a couple blocks away, all the clothing looked clean, in good wearable condition (I bought a shirt at said Salvation Army without unbuttoning it only to find some pretty impressive armpit stains when I got home; no such worries at Cure), and there is seriously something for everyone. I know how that sounds, but I mean it.

My only regret is that I won't be able to visit my sister in the fall, when I'm sure Cure's selection will overflow with all the kinds of clothing I love most: tailored wool coats and blazers, thick cozy scarves, winter boots. I guess I'll have to commission a shopping spree via my sister.

If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit. You won't leave empty-handed.

Cure Thrift Shop
111 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10003

Friday, August 28, 2009

so many travels

Here's a little preview of a wonderful place my sister and I found in Manhattan while we were there towards the end of August. Full post to come soon.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

So I never had a chance to update from Seoul -

- because we were constantly on the move. I think we only stayed in our hotel room long enough to sleep and, once, to recover from heat exhaustion. And even so, a week was seriously not enough time. We managed to see most of the bigger attractions, like the Seoul National Museum and one of the larger palaces, but we missed out on Seoul's thriving independent music and art scenes. My sister and I had a lot of things we wanted to do - see a few punk shows in Hongdae, visit the DMZ, check out the dozens of independent art galleries in Samcheongdong - that we didn't have enough time for. Next summer we'll probably stay for closer to a month, and arrive in June so we can catch the annual Queer Culture Festival and avoid the worst of the summer heat.

So in lieu of real-time accounts I'll just post a few retrospective pictures. I took over 4,000 (I know, it's ridiculous, but in my defense a lot of them were "crap, why can't I steady my hands" repeat shots) so I'll try to spare you the bulk and just post a few over the next few weeks.

A sampling of the wares available in Insadong, the neighborhood closest to our hotel. Insadong used to be the main road leading out of the royal palace (which was less a single building and more a city within a city, designed to house not only the royal family but their courtiers, officers, civil workers, and attendants) and is now known for being a bit of a tourist-oriented neighborhood. There is a high density of traditional wares and restaurants, and an even mix of locals and foreigners shop for things like traditional brassware antiques, ceramics, handmade paper products, and the usual tourist trinkets. All of our younger relatives said there wasn't much to see there but I actually kind of liked it.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm leaving for the airport in twelve hours. It's crazy, I haven't been to Korea in over a decade, and I'm freaking out a little because a) I hate flying, b) I hate companies with pathologically indifferent customer service, and c) I hate crowds and yet I am making a twelve hour flight with a notoriously indifferent airline to one of the most crowded cities in the world.

So instead of, you know, making sure I have everything and stuff like that, I've been enjoying the time I have left at home. (And yes, yes, I'll be back in eleven days, but that's the longest I've been away from home in four years. No, more like seven years. So it's weird for me.)

The next update will be from Seoul. HOW NUTS IS THAT. Holy moly.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

He knows.

We travel infrequently. As soon as the suitcases come out Bartleby knows something's up, the same way he knows something's up when his cat carrier comes out, or when we reach for the kitty shampoo and squeeze a little into a full bath. He hates, hates, hates when we leave for a trip. August is going to be full of travel, and I'm a little afraid he won't stop sulking until Christmas.

My sister and I are leaving for Seoul the day after tomorrow and I still kind of can't believe it, and I am so underpacked, and I have basically been feeling a constant level of subdued anxiety for the last week without actually acting on it until this morning. Posts will be sporadic until I get back on the 11th. But then: get ready for a deluge of travel photos.

P.S. Yes that is my bra in the corner of the photo. I figured I should get that out of the way now, before things get too awkward.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Some little lockets I made earlier today. Each panel is an original gouache painting, measuring 23 mm in diameter and glazed to an enamel-like finish.

Also, they are a major pain in the ass. But my sister thinks they are cool and I should make a bazillion more. Dilemmas!

That means you, William.

I was testing out a new kind of paper for papercutting purposes and saw this deliciously passive aggressive missive to William Carlos Williams linked on a friend's Facebook profile. Associative papercutting: the new thing?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

future listings

Some of the pieces I'm planning on listing in a couple weeks. All of them are gouache, 4" x 6" or smaller, on either paper or salvaged cardboard.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

little enigmas

I wanted to share a new object I'll be listing in the shop towards the end of the month.

They are hand drawn wooden blocks, one inch square, done in white ink and pencil and lightly varnished for protection. I'm not sure what to call them yet. I'll probably be making between twelve and twenty, depending on when my patience runs out.