This weekend was sort of exhausting, but fun. Road tripped to Brooklyn with one of my best friends and visited two of my favorite people. FINALLY bought a new Monroe piercing that fit properly, and took the Olive Garden Never-Ending Pasta Challenge with Missy. Also ordered a bottle of wine at the table of the Olive Garden, because, why not?
Traffic back to Baltimore was awful, especially around the Delaware/MD border. A trip that should have taken 3.5 hours took 5. Needless to say, I was ready to decompress, but not before finishing this:
Conceptually, I like the stuff outside the “cave” I’ve put this character in, but I think I don’t like that stuff outside as much. It’s growing on me, I think. What do YOU think?
Not dead, but extremely busy. Between working full time, training for a triathlon part-time and hangin’ out in my spare time, I don’t get a lot of sleep.
So… highlights? For brevity’s sake, three updates and a picture.
1. Brown Paper Bag is doing well, and the response is better than I expected. Blogging is hard work! I’m constantly trying to keep it fresh and think of new stuff. Connecting with people across the world is cool too.
2. One of my best buddies, Laura, came to visit me in Baltimore last week. We spent four days hanging out and on Saturday night saw Hot Chip. One of the best concert’s I’d seen in a while. This starts a crazy amount of shows I’m seeing in May/June. In order (after Hot Chip): Yeasayer, Beach House, Wye Oak, The National, The New Pornographers/the Dodos.
3. I got accepted to an artist residency in Vermont. In September, I’m going to spend a couple of weeks in rural Vermont and make some art, listen to artists and writers and generally do arty stuff. Yoga studio on campus. Very exciting. A little concerned about getting all my stuff on a plane, but I’ll figure it out.
And finally, the photograph. What I’m working on. Due May 10. A race against time.
A quick scan of what I’ve sorta been working on.
I was in NY last weekend and obviously didn’t get much work done. I did see a great paper show at the Museum of Art and Design, met up with Jen Collins (whom I met through Brown Paper Bag!) and hung around Red Hook in my friend’s wonderful new apartment.
This is a hard piece to scan, so I did a really shoddy job of it since I was just throwin’ it up on Marshmellow Kisses.
I have been struggling with parts of this piece, namely her dress. Finally got it to a place where I like it. I am hoping to have some time with it this week, since Sat-Sun I will be out of town. I’m going to NYC to visit some friends and take in some gallery shows. I am also going to hit up Baked, a place that isn’t far from my friends apartment and whose cookbook I love so dearly.
A Love Letter for You. I believe that I have seen an image of this project before, but it still amazes me. It is a project by Stephen Powers with the City of Philadelphia (where it’s located), and is parts of love-letters painted on the walls, viewable from Market elevated train. It includes both American and international artists.
I love the murals that have been produced from this project. It revives the art of hand-drawn signage, which is a dying art (and extremely hard to do).
They are such a welcome, vibrant part of the urban architecture. The project also has classes where people can learn about the art of sign-making and even work with the project.
I don’t live too far from Philly… perhaps this is the perfect occasion to buy a cheese steak and ride the train! That, or maybe Baltimore could figure out a cool project like this to implement around the city. Probably better off with the former choice.
All images via A Love Letter for You.
After looking at this, I definitely need to make a trip to NYC before April:
Slash is a show at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City until April 4th. If you’re in the area, it seems pretty neat and highly recommended.
Here’s a blurb from the website:
Slash: Paper Under the Knife takes the pulse of the international art world’s renewed interest in paper as a creative medium and source of artistic inspiration, examining the remarkably diverse use of paper in a range of art forms. Slash is the third exhibition in MAD’s Materials and Process series, which examines the renaissance of traditional handcraft materials and techniques in contemporary art and design. The exhibition surveys unusual paper treatments, including works that are burned, torn, cut by lasers, and shredded. A section of the exhibition will focus on artists who modify books to transform them into sculpture, while another will highlight the use of cut paper for film and video animations.
Hopefully everyone had a nice Christmas (if that’s your thing), and holiday weekend! It’s always nice to have a three-day weekend, no?
This past weekend I was flying to Kansas City, which had a terrible snow storm. The snow started on the day of my travel. I flew from Baltimore to Chicago, then was supposed to have a lay-over in Chicago and fly to KC from there. By the time I made it to Chicago, however, my flight to KC was CANCELED due to bad weather. Groggy and frustrated, I flew BACK to Baltimore that same night and then the next morning proceeded to fly back to Kansas City from Baltimore. This time it actually happened!
One of the things I received this Christmas was a new digital camera. It’s a Sony Cybershot with a wide-angle lens and a whole mess of other manual settings for me to play around with.
Some things the weekend included:
Hanging out with my parent’s dogs, Maddie and Lola.
Trapesing around in snow. SO MUCH SNOW. It effectivly ruined many my plans.
I am also excited about this book. I need to look through it carefully. I’ll write more about this tomorrow.
It was nice to land in Baltimore last night and see NO SNOW on the ground. Snow and I are done professionally.
Okay, so Baltimore isn’t New York (which sometimes I’m really glad about), but I only live a 4 hour bus ride away. One of my best friends (who is obsessed with the New Yorker) alerted me that Neko Case was to be appearing at the New Yorker Festival on October 17, so that coupled with my dear friend’s arrival in New York City was enough for me to go.
I really like Neko Case. More than just a casual fan and listener, her music really speaks to me. Her whole attitude and the way she handles herself and her art are something I look up to and aspire to be.
The talk started out a bit shakey for me, as Neko and Sasha Frere Jones (the interviewer and host) sort of figured out what to talk about. The beginning of it was a bit specific- talking about a concert in New York that I hadn’t attended, and some show that she played with Elvis Costello that I hadn’t seen. Eventually, they got the meat and potatoes of the whole thing, and it was pretty interesting. I didn’t realize that although booked as a solo act, Neko Case has as much as a band as anyone else – they just don’t want to be in the spotlight. The members are very much a pack that write together and help to shape the songs. Neko said that she liked that whole group dynamic – when someone isn’t feeling themselves one day, the others can pick up the slack. It’s nice to work with people you believe in that much.
Another topic that was heavily discussed was the idea of filming and the role that social media and YouTube take on in music today. For example, minutes after a concert, videos can be uploaded to YouTube, you can tweet about the concert and share your experience. Her point was that it makes the concert less special when you do that and share with the world. Being a fan of social media, I relish the fact that others can share concerts and what they are doing but that doesn’t mean it’s without consequences. Her point is well taken, especially with the idea that something like filming is more focused on getting the shot rather than the feeling of the music at that time.
She and her band ended up playing 5 songs – Maybe Sparrow, People Got Alotta Nerve, Middle Cyclone, Margaret and Pauline and Vengeance is Sleeping. (Not in that order.) Middle Cyclone is an all-time favorite, so I was pleased with that selection.
Overall, I really enjoyed the talk. I wish that the meaning behind the songs (which I suppose is secondary in a lot of ways), or the inspiration to write certain songs. I guess it’s because I have such a reverence for her lyrics that I wanted the inside scoop on them. I could have asked her a question about it in the Q&A, but I couldn’t form a question that didn’t sound too loaded or too long winded. I was hoping to see her after she finished the talk, but she didn’t linger. Saddness.
Alas, I have already failed myself and have not posted an entry every weekday as I promised to myself. Yesterday was a very busy day at work and then I was not by my computer’s side all Friday evening. So, I’ve tried to make myself feel better and have downloaded the wordpress app for my iPhone, and am now blogging on my way to New York City. Tonight I am attending an event at the New Yorker festival. Neko Case will be having a conversation (with music!) with the New Yorker’s Sasha Frere-Jones. I’ll write about that on Monday.
In the meantime, I woke up to an email from Steph, my collaborater with the Dodos poster. I am excited for how it’s looking so far, so I’ll show it off:
It has been a week since I’ve been back from CA, and I figured I would post some pictures and write a little bit about my trip.
Overall, the trip was go, go, go. I flew into Oakland on Thursday around 1pm west coast time (after leaving Baltimore at 9am eastern time). I was promptly picked up by Steph, had lunch, and we set out on our drive:
(note the tattoo on her arm. So beautiful. Garfield?)
It took us approximately 9 hours to reach LA, bringing us in at 11pm that night. This was a drive down the 101 and a few stops. One of them was to eat dinner at Pismo Beach.
Once in LA, we spent all of Friday and part of Saturday there. Thursday night I collapsed upon our arrival since it was nearly 2am my time. I don’t usually stay up that late!
Steph and I went to Giant Robot and ate at gr/eatswhich is apart of Giant Robot. I wish I was hungrier when I was there. I just had the spring rolls and fries because Jess (our hostess in LA) made us a wonderfully big breakfast that morning. We also made it to GR2, which is the gallery space for Giant Robot. I love those places. I will always have a very soft spot in my heart for vinyl toys. I picked up a book at GR – the Moomins! If you are not familiar with the Moomins, I suggest you be. To describe them simply, they are the Finnish version of the Peanuts (based on their popularity and reverence for the characters), but have this wonderful world that’s full of quiet moments.
We also saw, later that night, Le monde du silenceat the Silent Movie Theatre in LA. The 1956 documentary detailed Jacques Cousteau and his crew’s adventures on the deep seas. The film was experience was interesting. On one hand, I viewed it as ridiculous. The way the members of the ship treated the ocean (ransacking coral, using dynamite to blow up fish, etc.) was appalling. Had this been filmed in present day, it would have been a mockumentary, since given what we know about the inhabitants of the ocean and our society’s attitude on preservation. On the other hand, it was a really interesting look into the 1950′s and 1960′s and to think that the documentary was probably groundbreaking at the time (it won an academy award for best documentary). It was also a big inspiration for Wes Anderson’s Life Aquatic, and you could see where he drew some elements of his movie from this film.
Saturday was spent getting brunch in Echo Park and looking around LA’s Chinatown before Steph and I hit the road.
Jess, our gracious hostess (who made some really great food) and me with my child-sized dress (notice how the top button is unbuttoned because it won’t fit).
Chinatown had some neat little galleries. We went in to one that I really enjoyed. The artist (who also works for the MTA in LA) made a collection of buildings shaped from dominoes, legos, marbles and any other materials. Some were ornate and some were simple. The buildings sat on the wall and the viewer was invited to take the small pieces (chess piece size) off the wall and place them on a large 3d map of Chinatown. The pieces could be placed anywhere, so it was re-imagining Chinatown. While this was all going on, a time-lapse video was being made to show the process of rebuilding part of the city.
At Giant Robot, Steph picked up Treeson, who became a mascot for the rest of the trip. Here he is, insuring our safe return back to NorCal. Driving back, we ended up taking the 101 again! (much to Jeremy Leung’s dismay) and stopped in Solvang, CA. This small town is near Santa Barabra and (we thought) right off the 101, so it would be an easy pit stop. The GPS ended up routing us through a national forest/senic byway, which, while nice, added approximately 45 minutes on to our trip.
Solvang was weird. It was a mix of Pleasantville, Gilmore Girl’s Stars Hollow, and a Thomas Kinkade painting (I actually think he paints pictures of this town). Solvang models its architecture and culture off the Danish, but it didn’t come across as all that Danish to me and left me with a weird feeling. There were no chain stores (not that I was complaining), but it just seemed to be in its own secluded world. Everything was so clean and neatly-kept that there must be some dark secret of that town!
Ended up getting to Oakland around midnight on Saturday/Sunday. I left at 12:20pm (barely making it on the first flight!) But, before I left, I got to see a mural Steph is working on.
Overall, a good trip. A lot of driving, a lot of time spent in traffic (and reaffirms that I could never live in LA), but it was nice to get out of Baltimore for a long weekend!