Friday, October 29, 2010

They're Here!

Four new art journals, which I'll have at Art Market 316 at The Soundry tomorrow morning! Each is a combination of tones and textures -- everything from manila folders, canvas, and dyed paper to transparencies, batik fabric, and small embellishments. Each features my original artwork, along with photos of NYC graffiti taken on my recent trip back home. Here's a sneak peak inside selected pages from each journal:

Journal 1

Journal 2

Journal 3

Journal 4

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Studio Update

It's starting to look pretty scary in my studio. Dyed papers strewn all over the floor. New dots of fabric spray paint on the rug. My desk, a sea of photo prints, paints, canvas scraps, markers, and empty bottles of Vitamin Water.

Yeah, it may be Halloween, but it's also time for the next Art Market 316 this Saturday at The Soundry in Vienna, VA. A former auto body shop, The Soundry was converted a few years back into a shared art studio/rehearsal space for members, and an art gallery and cafe for the public. I'll be hawking the usual suspects (Area 718 headbands, bottlecap and reversible pendant necklaces, graffiti notecards and magnets) AND something new... graffiti art journals! The scariest part of my week -- at least in the studio -- occurred tonight, when I had to bind the journals. This was uncharted territory for me. Honestly, just the thought of using the sewing machine is terrifying; I'm just not a mechanically-oriented person by any means. I'd swear the sewing machine hates me back, too, because all I need to do is simply look at it and the damn thing jams. Anyway, my husband got it all threaded, etc., and off I went as he said, "Push! Push!" So I did, praying the little thingamajig wouldn't jam (again), and soon, four brand spankin' new art journals were born!

If you're local and would like to see them in person, stop by my booth from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Art Market at The Soundry (316 Dominion Rd., Vienna, VA). As an Early Bird Special, I'll be giving out free graffiti magnets from 8:00 to 9:00.  Here are some of my booth photos from last month's market.

Last month, a reporter from the Vienna edition of ran a story on Art Market 316 and included a photo of my booth, along with a quote. Check out the article, Beyond the Farmers Market, A Market for Art

This will be the last morning market of the season. Starting in November, Art Market 316 will become an evening event, to be held the last Saturday of the month, from 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Building on The Soundry's indie vibe, each Art Market will also feature music, performance, poetry, and assorted "creative chaos."

Sounds good to me!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Homecoming ... Queens!

This past weekend found us back in the real Area 718, in all its potholed glory. I snapped these shots in the car from Brooklyn to Queens.

The Obey sticker campaign:

Loved this mural. I couldn't get it all in the photo, but the inscription on the red paint coming from the paintbrush reads, "We are not government issued." The inscription on the lower left reads, "Think for yourself."

I took the following photos while riding the LIRR through Queens into Manhattan. Graffiti against a combination of textures -- concrete, exposed brick, and (rusting) metal -- made for an urban distressed look that inspired me. I really liked how the paint colors interacted with the existing landscape.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

In the Studio

This was one of my homework assignments from the Discovering Y.O.U. Art Marketing Course I recently took from Traci Bautista, an inspiring mixed-media artist, author, product designer, and all-around awesome person. Check out her website,

I did the composition on manila file folder, using acrylics, oil pastels, and markers. I also collaged an actual to-do list, some old journal and scrapbook paper, and a photo of my kids from a ride at Chuck-e Cheese.

This assignment focused on our definition of success. So I wrote: "I am here to create. To start a revolution in my life, my soul. I want to dare. To be original. To teach others to let go and plug in to creative energy. To push my limits. To write. To inspire. To share. To connect. To balance. To envision."

While incorporating current challenges I'm facing, I also wrote, "Look beyond the now." (And yes, I'm trying to!)

Here's another homework assignment. The background of this is old magazine paper (sorry, Martha!) that I treated with CitraSolv to give it a weird, lunar landscape-like feeling. I then added oil pastels, a bit of acrylics, and markers. Love those Sakura gels! Dyed paper towels that the girls and I made last summer are on the bottom to add texture.

My signature pierced "graffiti fish" in the center is made from old scrapbook paper, which I painted over. The inscription on the tail is from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. It reads, "REAL isn't how you are made. It's a thing that happens to you. Once you are real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

So take THAT, art snobs!

On "Creative Marination"

Yep, I've been away for awhile. Ages, actually. It's amazing how life gets away from me sometimes. Imagine my surprise to return to this blog after all these months to discover comments on my previous posts -- and a follower, too! Wow!

Sometimes I feel the need to retreat, to cocoon myself. To find some solace in the moment where I can simply slow down and think. At this stage, my life -- like that of many women -- is a blur of to-do lists. Moments of crossing off one item while adding three more. Lost time spent in the car. One kid, then the other, off to school. Errands. Housework. Volunteering. Maybe an hour in the studio. Just enough time to wash (almost) all the paint off my hands before it's time to join the parade of silver minivans in the carline back at school.

But I don't own a minivan. And this isn't going to be just another "mom blog." Don't get me wrong. I am a mom. It's the hardest job I've ever done. Perhaps "mom" really stands for Master of Multitasking. Yet, that's only part of who I am. Sure, I recognize other moms' right to record everything their children say and do in the Public Annals of Cloying Cuteness. Nothing wrong with that.  However, for every mom who goes "Awww!" at those entries, I'll bet there are others who simply smile, then wonder when other moms will finally talk about how they are, instead of only answering how their kids are. Does anyone even care about that anymore? Or do they tire of waiting for an answer, and move on?

Waiting has been a recurring theme in my life. As a kid, I remember waiting against the walls in gym class, at the mercy of the popular kids, who seemingly always got to pick teams. When I got older, I waited for phone calls. Letters. Chances. Help. Opportunities. Acknowledgment. Decisions. After my mother was killed, I waited for an apology that would never come. After I became a mother, I waited for my chance to reclaim my time, my creativity. For my turn to be heard. For things to calm down. For the right time.

Then I realized that waiting was pointless.

Last week, I ran into a local art snob who scoffed at hearing that I never went to art school. In fact, she had the balls to tell me that if I hung out with housewives, I'd never be considered a "true artist."  So I asked her where Michelangelo went to art school. And inside, all I could think was, Why the fuck not, lady? It was an effort to keep from slapping her.

So I'm casting off the cocoon. And so, this is me. This is my art.