pencil, fall 1992
archive for the ‘my work’ category
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.
i met up with the girls on the east side last friday night, and we worked on little books. i decided to do little collages, with a travel theme. i loved the result, especially the last photo above: i wanted to run home and spend the whole weekend creating collages, which didn’t happen, but there’s always this weekend! will share the little book here when construction is complete.
i was printing minneapolis polaroid cards for a local shop this weekend when i realized i haven’t offered them on my etsy shop yet. done.
i wanted simple & easy: i found a slab of pink speedy-carve in my supplies, and carved 5 triangles. i dug out my stamp pads (chartreuse, gold, aqua, green, grey). i found 4 bar cards in my paper drawer. and i pulled a few packs of kraft envelopes from my papergoods etsy shop. the only thing i needed to venture out and buy was stamps.
i’ve had my new chair polaroid cards for about 2 weeks but the grey days on the weekends have prevented me from taking photos. i finally had a chance this weekend to grab a little light!
the single chair is a vintage eames chair that i found at monument (a vintage furniture store on valencia street) in san francisco last february. i should have paired it with an orange envelope, since the chair is orange, but i’ve already used orange so i went with my second favorite color: chartreuse.
the tulip chairs were a treat to find in front of succotash on raymond avenue in saint paul last january. i chose a deep yellow (bumble bee!) for the envelope, even tho the cushions seemed to be a bit more orange than yellow.
i feel like i’ve been saying that a lot lately.
maybe my to-do lists are unrealistic. maybe i have too many projects/activities. and i keep thinking that if i just stop doing fill-in-the-blank, i’ll have more time in my day to get to the things that i really want to get to. and i have let some things go… and yet…
so anyway, i started carving stamps for my holiday cards, thinking i would have the carvings completed and stamping could begin tonight, but yesterday didn’t go as planned.
i can’t help it, i want to make a ton of laser cut polaroid cards. the latest are minnesota-based: the uptown theater and a water tower in saint paul. i’m awaiting a proof for 2 more designs (the subject rhymes with “air”), and will share them with you very soon.
it’s cyber monday! i’m offering free shipping (domestic & international) in my etsy shop until midnight CST. use coupon code FREESHIP.
another new project i’ve been working on: digitally drawing my polaroids, then having the drawings laser cut into paper. eeee!
i’ve been wanting to do this for over 2 years. the idea came to me shortly after i created my wires t: i knew there was more that i could do with my polaroids, and i loved the idea of playing with negative space. there are many reasons why it took me over 2 years to pull this together, and i did write them out in a draft of this post, but decided it wasn’t very exciting to share. i’ve done it, i love the result, and i’m working on creating more with my collection of polaroids.
yeah, i know, laundromat? it was when i got the proof back it hit me: jen, who the eff is going to buy a greeting card that says laundromat?! and then i brushed that question aside because i LOVE this greeting card, and i don’t care if no one buys it.
but if you want to buy one (or more!) you can find them in my etsy shop.
…when i should have lots of inventory for the holiday season. guess what i’m doing this weekend?
i’ve been taking polaroid photos of random chairs since 2009 (it started with this one) and it’s now an obsession. i want to take an instant photo of a chair in every city i visit. and i still visit the source of the first photo in saint paul on lazy sunday afternoons, looking to see what new chairs might be on the sidewalk.
i kept thinking i’ll do a book when i’m done taking photos of chairs but then i realized i’ll probably never be done taking photos of chairs, so let’s do a book now! life is short!
the book is called chairs : a polaroid collection, and features 35 of my favorite chair polaroids. more than half of the photos haven’t been shared with anyone, so there’s lots of new chair goodness! the book is currently in production, and i’ll share more photos once i have have the book in hand. if you’re interested in pre-ordering a copy, you can purchase via etsy or by clicking the “buy now” button in the sidebar to the right. the book will ship november 19.
balloons on kerkstraat & vijzelstraat
april 11, 2011
expired polaroid 600 film
painted fish studio had 2 big milestones this week!
- monday, october 1: the 5 year anniversary of this silly little blog.
- tuesday, october 2: i had my 600th sale in my etsy shop.
let’s celebrate! use coupon code WOOT25 in my etsy shop to get 25% off your entire order! the coupon code is good until this sunday night (10/07), 10pm central.
thank you so much for reading, cheering, buying, writing, sharing… i couldn’t do it without each and every one of you!
happy weekend! xo
i have been playing with watercolor… not as much as i would like, but i keep everything i need on my dining room table so i can quickly set myself up when the mood strikes.
the east side girls came over on friday night for some bookmaking. i wanted to find a technique that i was pretty sure no one had done before, so i went to kevin smith’s non-adhesive binding, vol. 2: 1- 2- & 3-section sewings, and decided to start simple with a 1 section (8 sheets folded in half) binding, then try a 2 section (2 sets of 8 sheets folded in half) binding. and at the end of the night, we tackled a tricky 3 section binding.
so, while i haven’t felt very creative lately, i’ve been doing my best to facilitate creativity for others.
last saturday’s craftstravaganza was great! i was really happy with my display, and it got a lot of compliments. having my products displayed vertically definitely brought people over to my area, and by limiting my products, it was easier for people to focus on what i make. at previous fairs/sales, i’ve had almost everything i’ve ever made on a table, hoping that there’s something there for everyone. but i think that approach made my table noisy and a little cluttered. so on saturday i focused on my punched cards and books (journals, brag books, photo albums); a tiny bit of polaroid work (magnets and WORD); and spiral bound notebooks with block printed covers (which were a hit with kids). i think i’m on to something and will repeat this set up at future shows.