Check it out! The SHOP is OPEN with FREE shipping.

  • The Courage to Dis-brand

    On: February 2, 2017
    In: Art Biz, Artmaking, Creativity, Studio Journal
    Views: 552
     Like
    Truth Courage Justice Apothecary Cans

     

    An allegory: On one especially memorable family vacation when I was a pre-teen we drove from CA to WI (and back, but that’s another story) camping each night along the way.  Donner Memorial State Park in CA.  A last-minute offroad spot outside of Salt Lake City (with cows and a babbling brook.) Somewhere high in the Snowy Range in Wyoming, where we got altitude sickness. And then there was Nebraska, which was flat and took all day to cross.  US80  (now I-80, but also known as the Lincoln Highway, Oregon Trail and California Trail) is an old road and in Nebraska there are 72 miles of the most absolute straightness in all of the Interstate Highway System, not varying by more than a few yards. Back in the day it was still a field-flanked two-lane clogged with slow-moving farm equipment and a town with reduced speed limits every ten miles. I stared out the back window of our 1956 Ford Country Sedan Station Wagon at the endlessness of the landscape and at the huge wall of black clouds that followed behind us in the west the whole inching way. We kept just ahead of the thunderstorm until we stopped and set up camp for the night at some tidy midwestern roadside wayfarer court where every car there was from California. Then came the deluge. It wasn’t like you couldn’t see it coming!

    (more…)

    share this post:
    Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
    Read More
  • Glaze Transparency: Clear As Mud

    On: January 26, 2017
    In: Artmaking, Creativity, Studio Journal
    Views: 423
     1
    Ceramic test tile glaze palette

     

    I have a passion for ceramic test tiles: looking at them, using them for reference and making them. It comes from being a lifelong collector of paint chips, a lover of color theory books and classes, and a plyer of other media before I came to ceramics. I’ve played with paints, watercolors, colored pencils, even with translucent or transparent papers. And while there are color interaction similarities among media, I’m here to testify that the understanding of ceramic surface decorating materials, especially glazes, is in another universe altogether. As usual, I have a few thoughts about that.

    (more…)

    share this post:
    Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
    Read More
  • “Take Your Broken Heart….

    On: January 12, 2017
    In: Community, Creativity, Studio Journal
    Views: 922
     1

     

    broken heart iron on patch

    Broken Heart Iron-on Patch by lizmiera

    … make it into art.”

    (Carrie Fisher via Meryl Streep, January, 2017.)

    There is so much just plain wrong in my world right now. The bulk of it is not within my power to change in the slightest. It all just weighs and weighs and keeps weighing. My sole choice is to let my heart break wide open and keep on. How, oh how?

    (more…)

    share this post:
    Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
    Read More
  • A Year Like No Other: Highlights, Hard Knocks and Epiphanies

    On: December 8, 2016
    In: Art Biz, Artmaking, Community, Creativity, Studio Journal
    Views: 477
     Like
    Studio Dedication Altar Items and planning pages

     

    Each December I take a moment to reflect on the past year and try to peer into the next. It’s an agenda-less non-ritual with a few symbolic visuals, good smells, candles, flowers, and cowbells. This year I carried objects of continuing fascination to my (slab-roller) altar. I also brought my lists: 2016’s Successes and Suckages and 2017’s Future Games. This writing is intended to be my last post for this year, so I will dwell on 2016’s Gumbo of the Sublime and see you back here bright and early in 2017 to discuss what else I can see on the creative horizon and how you and I can meet there.

    (more…)

    share this post:
    Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
    Read More
  • The Pretty Poopy Jar: Aesthetics in Action

    On: December 1, 2016
    In: Artmaking, Community, Creativity, Studio Journal
    Views: 495
     Like
    Ugly Brown Lidded Ceramic Jar

     

    We’ve been reading Kant’s Analytic of the Beautiful in my Beastly Beauty Philosophy Class. Not gonna lie, it’s tricky stuff and I’m glad I got this far in life before attempting it, because I have the fortitude of undaunted age to hang it on. The best part of getting through Kant is that he delivers: there’s a big fat nougatty nugget of truth as a reward for swimming in that 18th century wordalicious deep end and here it is:

    Beauty is SUBJECTIVE!!!!!

    The hell you say, because you, in your Kant-free state, already knew it: Eye of the Beholder and all that. And, sometimes bad is bad too. But how do you tell? And why should you care to? Can you change your mind? What if it’s just as vital to say what’s NOT beautiful? Is that a truer root of taste and discernment? Does any other opinion besides your own really count? Let’s discuss with a visual.

    (more…)

    share this post:
    Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
    Read More
  • Choo Choo Interlude

    On: November 3, 2016
    In: Community, Creativity, Studio Journal
    Views: 566
     Like
    Amtrak Train in Station

     

    Sometimes an artist just needs to go wandering. It’s good for refreshment, perspective, inspiration. Good for body, mind, spirit. In college I took the train back to school in Santa Barbara a couple of times. It was better by far than a rideshare car, the Greyhound or a small plane. For one thing, the train is smooth and level, and for another, one can walk around. Plus that particular section of Amtrak’s Coast Starlight – San Jose to Santa Barbara – passes by always-interesting and at times spectacular, world-class countryside. So, while I have been away from the studio and exhibits this week, I have not been without a fascinating and poignant trip to stir up the juices. Here are some highlights from the journey South.

    (more…)

    share this post:
    Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
    Read More
  • Defectology and PTCS

    On: October 28, 2016
    In: Art Biz, Artmaking, Community, Creativity, Studio Journal
    Views: 559
     1

     

    Nina's Adventures Cartoon Panel

    Nina’s Adventures by Nina Paley 7-1-92

    For this discussion, PTCS means “Post Traumatic Critique Syndrome” and Defectology, means focusing on lack and limitation.

     

    A Story

    I can still see my Beginning Painting instructor’s bushy 70s walrus mustache motating as he critiqued – no, outright criticized – my certainly awful attempt at the current assignment: paint a self-portrait as a famous person. On a 3’x4′ canvas I had modeled a full-bodied gesture of Greek-robed, barefooted Isadora Duncan in mid-bound and was having trouble putting my features onto it at all convincingly. I particularly remember the mustache’s emphatic contract/expand curl as he sneered the word “dumpy” in slow motion. “IS-a-dora DUN-can WAS NOT DUM-PEE! ” he intoned as he was actually looking down his nose at me.

    Thing is, this guy worked hard in his critiques at tearing apart the whole line-up of our work. I was not singled out here, but by the time he got to me I was seething. At the sight of that slo-mo sneering ‘stache, I blinked. Out of hot shame and powerlessness, I sputtered back with all I had: my born fightin’ Ulster-Scot sense of justice and fairplay. “We already know our work is bad!!!!!” I yelped,  “Why don’t you help us see what’s good about it???? Or at least suggest what we could try to make it better????”

    I wish I could tell you what happened afterwards, or even the rest of the semester, but soon after that episode I had an emergency appendectomy and took an Incomplete. Within the year allowed to remedy the INC, I returned to his office with several other paintings I had done without the torment of his criticism. I got a B. Not sure it’s a direct consequence, but I have never taken another painting class.

    (more…)

    share this post:
    Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
    Read More