From February 2015

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Airstream Dreams And Oh Yeah….Modernism Week

This week is “Modernism Week” in Palm Springs and among the events and home tours we are attending, my most favorite so far is the Vintage Trailer show.

It’s a secret dream of mine to own an Airstream trailer.  I was never an RV kind of gal, but this is more an “art studio on wheels” kind of dream.

Rolling through the U.S., visiting other artists, seeing their studios and video taping interviews . . . yep.  That’s the BIG dream.  BIG!

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Included in the show were dozens of Airstreams – big and small, stripped down with furniture set in them or completely decked out with built in everything.  I love ’em all.

Clearly, the trend is to do a retro inspired interiors – but my most favorite was the one above – very feminine and French.

Mine would be a tribal or safari inspired interior – just saying’.

Here’s a few other trailer shots.

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As for other Modernism Week events we attended, cocktails at Liberace’s was very cool!

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The home has been completely remodeled since Liberace lived there, but I love how they incorporated many of his things into their decor.

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(Tragic sandals below are NOT mine!)

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We also attended a walking home tour of one of the older neighborhoods.  Famous mid-century architecture is a kick!  Many of the homes were completely original with decor to match.  Sunken living rooms, huge brass sliding doors, 30 foot long wet bars and pools – always pools!  Very Mad Men.  Others were updated and swank.

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But always always, the way way to cool off in the Desert is with a pink drink…..

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Nearly Ripe

Playing Fast and Loose

This morning, I resumed work on a painting I started a couple of weeks ago.  Within minutes, I was getting  “perfectionistic”, but stubbornly, I kept at it.

I was holding the brush much too tightly and far down on the handle.  I was standing too close to the easel and focusing on small areas.  My breathing had grown shallow and frankly, there was no joy.

I know better than this.  Time to stop OR quickly find some pleasure in the process!  I decided to set aside the perfect crazy making painting.  I chose a blank canvas – a big one – 30″ x 40″ I think.

On my pin board, I’d recently hung a photo of pomegranates I’d seen in a catalog.  Aren’t pomegranates the coolest fruit ever?  So exotic, so symbolic, so ancient….and are part of one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read!

I quickly sketched them onto my fresh surface with a charcoal pencil.  I hardly EVER sketch or plan my paintings, but doing anything different is good at times like these.  I picked a few juicy paint colors and a BIG FAT brush – I wanted loose!

Below you’ll see the progress.  It was done in about 40 minutes. It was literally a painting aerobics session!

A fast, free, joy-making dance!

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There are so many areas I want to fix…but that isn’t the point is it?  So I’ll call it done – I think.

No!

It’s.  Done.

Really.

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Nearly Ripe

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The Practice of Keeping Studio “Field Notes”

DSC_0202Admittedly, I’m a sketchbook and journal junkie.  My studio cabinet is FULL of them!!  At any one time, I have several sketchbooks in the works.  I obviously need a place for pattern play, sketches, doodles, images, resonating words, ideas and ramblings.

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But with so many places to play, I have scattered information that’s truly relevant to my evolution as an artist – things like ideas, project notes, class to do’s, creative goals, successes and yes, even “failures”!

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Yeah, I don’t know why it took me so long to realize the importance of keeping all my creative chatter in one place – and in chronological order.  Duh.

Many moons ago, when I was a student of archaeology and geology, we were graded on keeping “field notes”.  Our professors required we keep our notebooks with us at all times. They would periodically collect them for reviewing, sharing good and bad practices with the class – and of course, marking up with their comments in bold red.  Our books typically counted upwards of 25% of our final class grade!

Working in my field journal was my favorite thing to do.  I actually enjoyed documenting my findings, making little sketches and notes of project details.  I’m a born researcher and information “collector” – I do so love to learn!  I seriously can’t believe I haven’t applied this technique to my art making/studio time before now.

When I had the inspiration to begin keeping formal studio field notes, I pulled out the typical black bound artist sketchbook.  However, I was quickly turned off by the size.  I craved intimate and portable – more like the notebooks I kept back in school.

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Oh oh!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE my leather notebook cover from Zenok Leather!  I pulled it from my stash.  The cover allows me to carry up to 4 Moleskine Cahiers. Perfect!  (I prefer the cahiers with gridded paper – reminds me of my science days.)

Should I need even greater portability, I can remove and carry the one notebook I’m working in – say to a museum for sketch day or to a workshop or class.  Cool, huh?

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(FYI:  my leather cover was originally a light beige – I had a shoe repair shop dye the outside black when I tired of the color – so the inside is different than it probably would be from Zenok.)

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 Do you have a similar practice?

Am I the last artist on Earth to do this??  Do tell.