Saturday, March 31, 2007

Book worms and inspiration

Books are a source of inspiration, a place to escape, and sometimes a world away. I am never without a book to read, they travel in my purse, my car, a suitcase, whatever I am in that day. It often happens that when I read something that has captivated my full attention I want to get to the end, but at the same time savor every moment. I get so close to the characters that they begin to feel like friends in another place and time. Tonight I finished "Middlesex" by Jeffery Eugenides, it follows a family from Greece through immigration to Michigan and goes as far as three generations. The narrator is Cal, a hermaphrodite that tells the story of how he came to be. It is a great read, a Pulitzer winner, that I recommend to all. Many of the recent books that I have read have such visual paragraphs that I walk away from them thinking of one item in the book that stood out, solely from its description. In this book it was Desdemonda's silk worm box that she brought with her from Greece, she fills it with mementos all through the book and in the last chapter there is a wonderful part where Cal comes to it and notices all his Grandmothers sacred mementos that she has collected. Being a collector of mementos myself, particularly one that sticks everything in boxes, I related to this and could see it when he said the box was so full that it no longer shut. Last summer I raced through "Five Quarters of an Orange" by Joanne Harris ( the author of "Chocolate"), and in that book the narrator talks about a recipe book that contains all of her mothers recipes. Mixed in with those recipes are journal entries, flower pressings, drawings, and only fragments of certain recipes so that the narrator can not actually make some of them. This was so vividly described that it brought memories of my mothers recipe book that has so many odds and ends sticking out of it and blobs of grease and chocolate and such in it. Again it was something that I could relate to, it is a feeling of comfort almost reading these descriptions and at the same time, a visual feast in writing.
Below is a list of books that I have read in the past couple months, I
recommend each one.
"The Birth of Venus" -Sarah Dunant
"Five Quarters of an Orange" -Joanne Harris
"Jigs and Reels" - Joanne Harris (Short Stories)
"The Bell Jar" -Sylvia Plath
"Running with Scissors" -
Augusten Bouroughs
"Magical Thinking" -
Augusten Bouroughs (Short Story Memoirs)
Middelsex" -Jeffery Eugenides

On another note I am very excited about a series on the discovery channel called "Planet Earth" the filming is amazing and the places that they take you in nature are almost unreal. It is on, on Sunday night at 8p.m. If you can't watch it then the DVD series releases on April 24
th, you can reserve it early on netflix. There will also be a movie out this summer, and a book in the fall... In case it is not apparent yet I am so excited about this!!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Art lecture

This morning I got to go to an artist lecture at VCU. The artist is Lia Cook, her work is really interesting and somewhat mind blowing at the same time. She weaves images that look like photos, but have a very distinct woven structure at the same time, to show that they are indeed woven not painted.

This past weekend my friend
Meri came to visit, our only goal was to pull out some materials and 'play'. I started out just stamping some shapes and not really make much of anything and soon one thing lead to another and i had a row of androgynous dolls, and birds.(the are shown below) I ended up making some things that I am happy with. Recently, I have been making things that are inspired by my daily life and things going on 'right now'. So far this has worked for me. This box was inspired by the movie Marie Antoinette, the colors, visuals, and use of fabric in that movie made me crave color and making.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A clean slate

Hello there! As I sit here I am feeling a little overwhelmed by this 'blog' world. I have been avoiding this first post because as we all know first impressions are ever lasting. I suppose that I should introduce myself to those of you that do not know me. I am an artist, currently living in Richmond, Virginia. I graduated in 2005 with a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, my major was crafts with an emphasis in textiles. During college my work was primarily based in textiles, there were times that I played with other mediums but I was seduced by fibers, and the loom was my muse. Since college I have been working what some would call 'day jobs' and then working on art outside of the work place. I have become very interested in working with different mediums and making whatever my heart desires at the moment for the past two years. I admit there has been some horrible little creations in this time, but there have also been some wonderful discoveries that have come from the freedom to make what I feel. Working a full-time job aside from making, makes it hard sometimes to find the time to produce work, but it is a balancing act that I am becoming skilled in. One of my goals for this year was to put my artwork out into the world a little more and get some feedback. That is one of the things I miss the most about art school, the constant feedback and art community. That is one of the reason's that I decided to start this blog.
I will not bore you to much longer with this post, but I will be updating frequently and I am very open to commentary, good and bad.