For your viewing pleasure: Artist at Work

I finally found my tripod.  So I decided to film a time-lapse video of me working in my studio.  I’m actually completely done with the collage portion of this GIGANTIC mixed media painting.  I can’t wait to work on the other parts of it.

This video is about half hour of work collapsed into about two and a half minutes.  I’m so glad I didn’t fall off the ladder.  At least you can see the scale of the work and actually how big the piece is.

The wall and chitta vritti

It’s been one of those weeks where I have been completely distracted in general.  I can’t seem to focus on one thing at a time.  I start doing something, and then my mind leads me elsewhere.  I guess that is one of the reasons I’ve been back at making script patterns again.  It’s like meditation.  I’m focused on my hand moving and making lines, they swoop they twirl, they split.  It’s a great practice for my brain that seems to want to hang on to the noise.  In yoga we call that the chitta vritti — or monkey mind.  Even so, I’ve made some progress on the wall, among other things.  But as promised, I do have a few pictures for you.

I’ve also spent a fair amount of time in my other jobs this week.  I also work part-time, teaching art at a local school, and I do some consulting work for NalandaWay (a Chennai- based arts non profit, where I was for the Fulbright).  It can be quite a hectic week.  So my studio can sometimes be the place where I do focus in, I do find a sense of calm, and I do get down to work.

This coming week will be much of the same– work on the wall, work on some secret art stuff at home, teach, and consult.  I have to say, though. I do like this cycle.  It’s like having the best of all worlds.

So in the meantime, check below for where I am on the wall this week.

 

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Progress so far. The collage is starting to go on top of the larger shapes.  Thinking of other things to do, as this progresses.
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A close up. All the map pieces come from one atlas. I think I’ll have to use only one atlas.
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To hinder the monkey mind, I also shut my door and made a make-shift curtain. Next week, I’ll be wide open.  I don’t like shutting out on-lookers and do love to chat with the patrons that come by.  Sorry to have missed you, if you came around!

The Wall part 2

It really has been interesting to see what people say about my wall these days.  New people coming through the studio building immediately ask: What? Why?  The regulars (mostly artists), come through and give moral support, like:  Go for it!  This is awesome! and I get it!

So what am I actually doing?  Why?  What is it?  And yes, I’m going for it.

This week I added on another layer.  I painted in shapes on top of the pattern, using a mixture of a blue and green paint.  You can see through the layers, but there are hard edges around the shapes to give them from.  These shapes are what formed when I drew out the paths of all the rivers I’ve lived near:  Potomac River, Rhine River, Carrasco Creek, Nile River, Adyar River, Rio Grande, and Clarion River.  Instead of drawing them as separate bodies of water, where they merged or overlapped, I let them connect to make one abstract body of water.  In turn there were spaces left that could mimic  “land spaces”.

So that’s what it is.  The why part is a little more difficult to explain. And I’m not sure I need to say why.  Is it a challenge?  Am I merging ideas of past and present? Is this some how a self portrait of a different kind?  We’ll find out.  There is an explanation somewhere, but I don’t think I need to share that at this point. I’d rather let the viewer decide for themselves and see where it takes them.  However, below, you ‘ll find some of the work I’ve done this past week.

The next step is collage.  I’ve already started at the bottom, and this week it will grow up and around.

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New ideas

I’ve been playing around with some new ideas, and I think I’m liking it.  One of the benefits of having this studio and time out in the community at P22 is that I get to practice art.  Right?  I mean if you want to be good at something, you have to keep practicing, exploring and experimenting.  It’s just like anything else.  If I wanted to be better at guitar, or volleyball or cooking– I would practice.  Art is something that takes practice too.  There is a misconception that people just wake up as artists one day and they go paint a portrait, or draw a landscape. Very few people could actually do that , most artists practice everyday.  Yes, there are some people who have more of a predisposition to make art, but there are people with a predisposition who like to study engineering or cells.  All of us can take time to find out what we’re good at, but to practice takes passion.  Passion allows you to reach for something else.  To push yourself to uncharted territory.  Not someone else’s territory, but your own.  It’s your own journey, your own way to find out what you want to practice.  Now I get to be on that journey, and you’re welcome to come with me.

Yesterday I was at Palette 22, and here is a little bit of what I worked on:

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Working on wood with thread.
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Drawing maps on paper vellum and folding them.
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Building up layers on new small topographic studies paintings.

Summer Schedule

So, it is summer! I know I’m a few days late, but I’ve finally been able to create a time when you can come see me in my studio!  I’m really excited about working there regularly throughout the season hope you’ll stop by.

Workhouse Arts Center, Building 6:

July 6 – July 22:  Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

August 3 -August 19: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

I will be there other times, as well, but you can always message me! I’ll be taking a summer holiday at the end of July, but then will return in August.  I will be there on some weekends, but those are yet to be determined.

Also, catch me on Tuesday, July 5,  from 12:00 – 4:00 pm at Palette 22, in Shirlington.  Watch me do some live painting and get yourself a cool drink!  I’ll also be there Sunday, July 10, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm for brunch.

 

Making art in public

For so long I’ve been used to making art in the comfort of my own home. This year I’ve been offered the opportunity to take my art public.  It can be a bit daunting.  I’ve always thought it’s been important to make are for oneself, but I never really considered art for the masses.  Even in college, the studio setting was a little stressful. It can seem like you’re always on.

I don’t have the feeling this time.  I thought that making art in public would have been a stressful task.  However, these past few weeks as an “art performer” has been a great lesson for me.  I enjoy connecting with the crowd.  The energy that runs through the restaurant is fueling my work right now.  I can feel the pace change through the evening, bustling servers, the diners wading in and out, the variety of music blasting through the speakers.  It’s a vibrant place.

This week I decided to work on preparations of my paintings.  I took out some miniature blocks and worked on a smaller painting.  I’m actually pleased with what I accomplished in the four hours I spent.

So– if you missed me on Tuesday, I’ll be back this Sunday at Palette 22 for Brunch, 11-3 pm.  Hope to see you there! Who knows where the energy will take me that day?

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My set up for the evening.
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I’m really feeling the red washes.
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New “little guys” prep.
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There’s one up there on the left!

On view

I’ve been shifting around some art at the Workhouse today.  I didn’t have much time to work on things, but I have been given some space to showcase some work that I had done previously.  If you stop by you can see a few pieces right when you walk in to Block 6.  I also have a few more pieces down the hall!

In other news, I’m working on some applications for some residencies and fellowships.  Also, if you’re in the area tomorrow, I’ll be at Palette 22 tomorrow working on some things.  Stop by if you can, 5-9 pm.

Happy Monday!

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Saturday Studio session

This weekend I spent the early part of my afternoon at Palette 22.  I had a really nice time working on some new paintings.  I started using my newspapers I brought back from India, and I’m making a few small guys while I’m an artist in residence at the restaurant.  It was fun meeting and talking with the people that stopped by and checked in to see what I was doing.  A few just wanted to see what I was up to, while others complimented me.  I really enjoyed the two elementary school students who came by to ask me what I was doing.  They had no idea what collage was, but seemed really interested.  Then I asked them what they thought I was working on, and one said,” An elephant?”.  I said, ” I can see how you would guess that.” I showed them that the collage was part of a map and that I liked to mix different techniques together.  I said,”  Do you think you would ever try that?”  One said,” I didn’t know you were allowed.”

That is why I teach, folks.

It’s been a great chance to mingle with the community, unexpected conversations from all people today.

Here’s a peak at what I was working on:

 

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Netted Tributaries.  Above a woman dining.
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Newspaper, not maps, this time.
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More newspaper clipping from India.
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Two little guys directly across from me.

I’m in

This week has been so busy, but in a good way.  I made it to the studio a few times this week and also started a new “job”.  It’s not really a full time job, more like an artist gig to get out into the community.  I’m now working as an Artist in Residency with Palette 22.  Palette 22 is a restaurant in Shirlington, VIrginia (right outside of Washington, DC) that specializes in art on the plate and art on the walls.  It’s a vibrant place, and really interesting.  I was just there painting and making this past Wednesday, and I’ll be there again next Saturday June 4th from 12:00 – 4:00.

I’m hoping to get a regular schedule going there throughout the summer, so if you’re around and near by, come on in!

Here are a few pictures of what’s been going on this week:

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This week’s set up at Palette 22.
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Work in progress at Palette 22.
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Up and ready to be sold!
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My new studio at Workhouse Art Center in Lorton, Virginia. 

As soon as the school year is over, I’ll have a regular schedule at both places.  I can’t wait to interact with the community and share what I’m doing.  Already I’ve been inspired to create some new pieces that are a little bit of departure from where I am.  I can’t wait to use both spaces as tools to see what where I can go.

New Studio

Hi all! I finally have my space.  I’m still putting it all together,but I hope to have it almost there by the end of the week.  Can’t wait to welcome you all there.  Look for me at the Workhouse Art Center in Lorton, Virginia – Block 6!

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I know, it still looks a little prison-y right now.