it’s week 11 of my weekly habit. here are the last 10. do you follow me on instagram?
archive for the ‘my work’ category
it’s been a while since i’ve added something new to my etsy shop, so i’m really excited about my newest set of polaroid magnets: east berlin! all photos in this set where taken by me between december 27, 2013 and january 3, 2014 in east berlin. this is my first set using only impossible project film, and i couldn’t be happier with the results! if you have a love for berlin, you can find them in my etsy shop here.
50th & xerxes
october 26, 2013
impossible project px 680 color protection
do i sacrifice composition because all i want is the subject? of course. is getting great color & contrast with instant film tricky? hell yes! i know my photos aren’t always amazing. i don’t always have time to consider the perfect composition, and with the expense of instant film, i’m hesitant to take numerous shots in order to get the perfect photo. i’ve never claimed to be a professional or talented photographer — i love taking instant photos, and sometimes they are pretty good, and sometimes they suck. i try not to share the photos that suck, but instant photography is something i love, so i’m going to keep taking photos with my polaroid cameras, and i may share terrible photos. it keeps me from sitting glossy-eyed, mouth open, in front of the boob tube in my spare time, and it gives me something to do outside of long work days (now topped with school work). yes, this photograph is sub-par, but i stumbled upon the orange chairs on a sidewalk on a fall day, and i love orange chairs, and fall is pretty cool too, so i’m posting it. (i’m a little on the defensive after finding some harsh criticism about my photography. i’m pretty much over it, and i’m gonna move on. i think. not fishing for compliments, just need to put it out there so it’s said. i’ve closed the comments for this post.)
in last spring’s purge, i came across my collection of driftwood from lake superior, and found i had the perfect sizes of driftwood to make a tree. i remembered seeing a driftwood xmas tree online, so i saved the pieces to make my own. thanksgiving weekend i painted an old ruler gold and glued the pieces down:
and ugh, i hated the result. it just wasn’t right. then a week or so later, i saw a mobile online. it had nothing to do with trees or driftwood (i think it was something like linen bows?) and i realized that i needed to pull the driftwood off the ruler and make a mobile:
that’s much better (but a pain to photograph).
i had to glue on a few lake stones to get the pieces to balance. they don’t really hit each other, but with the right breeze they make a great sound. and it really isn’t that christmas-y, so it can stay up year-round.
last weekend it occurred to me that polaroids of vintage christmas items from december 2011 may be fun as holiday cards. so i rescanned them, arranged layouts, and printed a couple of each polaroid, then put them in my etsy shop. even if they aren’t popular, revisiting my favorite christmas decorations makes me happy.
i had a creative burst of energy at the end of july, and i started working on a series of collages. i was up late on a saturday night, moving pieces of paper around, and i had to force myself to stop at 2 am. i finished 9 that night, 7 more are arranged but not glued down, and i’d like to design 4 more for a total of 20. and then what? i don’t know.
the collage above is my favorite so far. and while i didn’t think it’d take me so long to get back to them, i’m not going to force myself… i will wait for another creative burst of energy.
my first book binding class was during my senior year of college, and in addition to learning different binding techniques, we also learned how to make double-tray clamshell boxes. we made our boxes following the library of congress instructions, boxes for the protection of books.
as the end of the year neared, our instructor told us our final project should be a portfolio of some sort, something to hold work we’ve created. i decided to make a giant clamshell box. dimensions:18 x 14-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches.
it took me a full weekend to make, and it was all i did that weekend. i remember sitting on the floor of my tiny apartment in loring park, surrounded by pieces of book board, carefully cutting and measuring, gluing boards together (the tray walls of the clamshell are 2 boards thick), pressing the boards and waiting for them to dry, covering every piece with paper, and all the while keeping track of the paper and board grain to reduce tension that could cause my box to pull apart after a few years.
when i brought it in to class on the day our portfolios were due, my instructor’s eyes widened a bit when she saw my clamshell. apparently i had taken the project too literally, and she was expecting simple folios. i had gone much farther with the project than expected. but it didn’t bother me that i had probably worked harder than anyone else in the class. while creating my portfollio was an intense and complex and nerve-wracking process, i had loved every minute of it.
it’s been stored in the back of a closet for over 15 years, and hasn’t been treated well. it’s dirty, has a little water damage, has been banged around… and when i pulled it out recently the weight of the project boards within it were just too much for the hinges and the top separated from the bottom. i’ve said my goodbyes.
i’ll break my trip down to 4 categories:
i stayed in a hotel across the street from the arch, and i had an amazing view from my window. it was there greeting me in the morning, and the last thing i saw outside in the evening. it’s really a beautiful structure, and i loved being able to spot it from miles away.
when i got to the opening of instant @ gallery 618 friday evening i immediately saw my orange vw bug photo on the wall. eeeee! it was so amazing! and then i continued walking through the gallery and recognized another photo, then another: really?! my photo of m’haha (minnehaha) cleaners and my photo of a clicquot club advertisement were also chosen. i couldn’t believe it. i stood there for a few minutes soaking it in. it was so… wow. wow.
beer beer beer beer beer. it was the tail end of craft beer week, and i definitely made sure i had my fill of craft beer. pre-gallery-opening beer? yes. beer before noon with clogged arteries on a bun at quincy street bistro? yes. beer before you get on the metro to meet your friends for beer on the other side of town? yes. beer with your really lovely dish of chanterelles and asparagus at syndey street cafe? yes. beer before noon again? yikes. and i plan to do it all over again next year.
a huge thank you to the wonderful krissy, who made sure i saw, ate, and drank the best st. louis has to offer. krissy introduced me to some of her friends, including jude, who was absolutely lovely and fabulous. and the amazing jackie was in town with her boys: i whisked her away for an evening for some blubbering and beer. (not my finest hour, jackie! i’ll make it up to you.)
i’m still recovering 3 days later, which is the sign of a great weekend.
last monday i found an email in my spam folder, sent to me 2 days prior, with a subject line of “polaroid film.” the sender mentioned she saw my work in uppercase magazine, and she asked a question about which film to use with her daylab*… my heart skipped a beat at the uppercase mention — really? having my work mentioned in uppercase is a dream of mine! and then i started kicking myself for letting my subscription lapse.** dammit! and i had just seen a pile of uppercase issue 18 at two hands paperie in boulder, colorado, the day before. why didn’t i flip through one? arrrgggg!
and then i realized there was a good chance she had seen a “peep” i had put in a previous issue, promoting my chairs book. and i settled down. it was a peep, it had to be. i answered her film question, but couldn’t help ask which issue she found me in.
the next day the stranger responded. it wasn’t in the peep — she saw my work on page 13 of the latest issue! omg! i couldn’t think of local retailers that carried it, so i decided to renew my subscription to get my hands on a copy. last friday issue 18 arrived. and there i am, page 13, my chair polaroid cards included in a feature about chairs. wow. wow. wow.
i had no idea i’d be in the magazine, and seeing my work there was the creative pick-me-up that i really needed. i spent the weekend doing the types of creative things i haven’t done in months. it feels so amazing. and i’m never letting my subscription lapse again.
acrylic on paper. february 2002.
pen & ink, fall 1992
pencil, spring 1996
pencil, fall 1992
conté crayon, spring 1996
pencil, fall 1992
when i was a junior in college, i signed up for a course within the design school called design process: creativity. it was a new course and no one really knew what to expect. but once in, we knew it something different from our other design courses: it was taught by illustrator carl wesley, and he wanted us to spend the quarter letting go of the rigidity of graphic design and learn how to be creative again.
we went to movies, to his studio, to a commercial billboard company to meet his buddy that drew gas nozzles with lightning coming from them for a gas station billboard advertisement (the best part was digging in the trash area behind the building: the dot grain of the printed work was so amazing to look at/work with). i’m sure we took a few more field trips, but i can’t remember them now…
mid-quarter i called him and left him a message that i would not be going to class that night because it was my 21st birthday and i had some boozing to do. he called me back within an hour, and said that he was coming to get me to take me out to lunch and what was my address? he picked me up at my apartment in loring park (in minneapolis), and drove us to st. paul for a slice of pizza and a beer at cosetta’s. a little unorthodox? yes. but it was only lunch and a beer.
weeks later i somehow ended up at his studio in lowertown st. paul at night, to work on an assignment. it was me, carl, beer, and other artists in the building who would pop in and out. i had been struggling to create a piece, and he opened up his studio and supplies to me, and after a few beers i created the piece above.
i dug it out of my office closet last weekend.
it’s not an amazing piece, but it was one that i was proud of at the time, after struggling so long to create something. the other piece? total shit and is long gone. should i have been drinking beer with my instructor late into the night? probably not. but nothing happened, and his studio seemed so magical at the time.
a few months after the school year was over, carl called and asked if i could give him tell him about the 2-dimensional design course i had taken my freshman year. he was teaching it in the fall and apparently needed some guidance. i gave him my final project, and a book that we had used during the course. and i never heard from him again.
2 years after graduation, i picked up a city pages (our equivalent to village voice), and carl was on the cover: portrait of the artist as a killer. it was heartbreaking to read. and while there is no excuse for the horrible thing he did, it’s so sad that his work has seems to have disappeared with him. i cannot find any of his work online, other than the article about his crime. and it’s so sad that we lost someone so talented.
so i’ve kept this piece for years, to help me remember those early days of adulthood, and to remember carl.
i’m a klutz, and drop my phone constantly. my last case held up pretty well, but eventually my klutziness wore it out. so i designed a new case.
note for my local readers: this saturday april 27, join me, wild dog studio, olfactory scents, and shaggy baggy for a spring crafts sale! perfect for mother’s day, father’s day, bridal showers, graduations, teachers gifts, new babies, old babies, bridal parties, weddings, best friends, mans best friend, spring organizing, days at the beach… the sale is from 10am to 4pm at 7135 47th court north, oakdale.
ps: europe trip posts coming later this week. thank you for the birthday wishes!
on friday night i joined the east side girls for art group, and valerie taught us how to make an encaustic collage. we layered paint and mod podge, added our compositions (paper and ink), and then sealed it all with beeswax. my piece is supposed to be a row of dutch canal houses, and while i really wasn’t happy with it at first (the paint looks muddy, and the wax seeped into the paper), it photographed ok and i don’t completely hate it! : )
i had the east side girls over last friday evening, and we made mobiles. we punched shapes in colored paper, strung on them on fish line (using crimp beads to hold the shapes in place), and hung all 4 strings from an embroidery hoop with a knot at the top. pretty easy & fun. i made the above mobile for my niece.
and while i was at it, i finally fixed melinda’s mobile, which needed a little love & adjusting. i brought it home with me from the ozarks last july. it gathered dust for a bit but it is balanced and on its way back home.