Sunday, December 28, 2008

drawings in progress

one segment joint of a larger drawing.

Good lighting is imperative for photos of drawings to come out well, so I won't disgust you with any more photos such as this. I did want to share that there are now 3.5 drawings for the CMYK series in progress. I'll have to post more photos as I take better ones with good light.

This work, read more on the CMYK blog entry in the month of November, is a practice in patient, accurate mark making. I find myself working for hours, amazed by my slow progress, then stunned by the good result. Furthermore, I've decided to develop compositions only based on the original color printer test prints that inspired the first work. I realize there was a quality to the first print and the first drawing that doesn't exist in all print outs from any and all printers. That should be a given... are color test prints an aesthetically purposeful layout of color and form? I'd like to know who decides the orientation, size and color of the marks. Is everything printed solely to orient and reset the printer cartridge?

In either case, I still want to see color test prints. A trip to FedEx Kinko's to inquire of their test prints (wasted paper) ended up with confused looks and finished with, "Sorry... I guess I can't help you." Really? I just want your trash... oh well. I did receive 3 beautiful prints from a friend of mine that struck my aesthetic bone similarly to the first print I found.

And so, I should sum this up to say that I realized the world of color theory and composition in terms of minimalism is continually complex. The journey to satisfaction is long and requires empirical research through practice.

Perfect. I appreciate the practice. This is a welcome addition to my work at large, which addresses the repetition of practice.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire

We went to see this movie last night and we were sad that it had to end. If you're a holiday movie watcher, this is your movie.
Otherwise, watch this movie anyway.
See what movie review website Rotten Tomatoes says :

Thursday, December 18, 2008

it's not about race

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the kiln opened this evening after the last firing phase for this project and let it be known that none of my ceramics blew up in the kiln!!! AND they look like these! (20 or so each) This is a very important, document-able moment where the artist is found swelling with tearful joy at the simple discovery of her own work. Also important is that this kind of success inspires new energy for continued work. Thank God.

"I love everybody." -Lyle Lovett

The title of this post refers to my distaste for discussions about Barack Obama's skin color.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Trying to stay on TOP here. Thinking about how I need to get a Walter Hopps in my life... Watch The Cool School and you'll know what I mean.

Friday, December 5, 2008

over 100

Today is the day that I made it over one-hundred! That is, posts on this very blog.
I'm still poking away at my needle felted birds... 40 down, 60 to go!
Here are birds from today, yesterday and the day before (not including the newest ceramic birds).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

ceramics of november

I'm working in ceramics for the first time in 6 years. I think we fire the first time today. These birds reference the harder side of my soft felt birds. Innocent rigidity... more fragile.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

chogyam trungpa

Who is Chogyam Trungpa? To me, he is the author of Dharma Art, one of my favorite books. There is far more to know about Chogyam Trungpa, and this post's title will link to his bio, but it is important to see this photograph that he took, which I love.
Click here to see the photo, I'm not allowed to copy it to my blog.

Monday, November 17, 2008

yesterday's siting

The birds are out in force here in Arizona. Or maybe I'm just that more tuned in because there are so many new species to see in a new environment. We live in a preserved habitat (excepting our own habitat infringement of course) so there are plenty of interesting visitors to our back yard. This morning, a Bell's Vireo (the grayest Arizona kind) and a gaggle of Gambel's Quail (adorable) in our little backyard plot. Yesterday late afternoon, this Western Great Plains Screech Owl peeked out of tree at the Botanic Garden here in Scottsdale.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


For those of you like me until 4 days ago, who never knew what the K stands for in CMYK, it stands for 'Key.' Good to know. Beyond that, the 'key line' was printed with the black plate of the four printing plates, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and the Key plates. The key line is used to register or align all of the plates in 4 color printing. So so interesting. Now, onto color theory... I wish.

What I'm really sharing with the blog-o-sphere today is my current drawings. Slideshow below...

I'm starting this new drawing project based on the color and/or black & white test prints that printers make when you put in a new ink cartridge. I have 2 so far that I've collected out of inspiration, and now I want as many as I can find. I'm looking at these, inspired beyond my initial appreciation for the print by Mr. Michael Desbarres, as a kind of modern mark-making. Mark-making has become important to me because it is repetitive and thereby meditative in process. Meditation often moves beyond the internal thought process of repeating thought upon one idea and becomes an action (running can be viewed as meditation) and even a product (woven blankets, sand paintings, etc.). To go back to my requested printer tests, I'm viewing these as modern artifacts of manufactured mark-making. Sure, the machine is not meditating, but the product of the printer evokes meditative process. I'm using these printouts for my own work by enlarging and drawing (mark-making) the lines, bars, squares, etc. onto artist's grade paper.
Because I know you all use printers pretty frequently at home or at your offices, I hope you will think of me when you do a test print or see one in the recycle bin. Mail it to me (fold it up, no problem) so that I can use it!

My current address is:
12621 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ 12621

I'll be here until the middle of December and I'll try to update my address as we move along the countryside.

Friday, November 7, 2008

feliz cumpleaƱos

Here, my birthday partner and I 21 years ago.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

newest neighbors

Some of my new neighbors who have been visiting with me in the backyard recently:

from left, the Western Mockingbird, Cactus Wren, and the House Finch.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Today's the most politically important day of my life so far.

Friday, October 31, 2008

livin' Sononoran style

I'm a little late in making this post, but moving is quite the distraction isn't it? We moved to Arizona almost 2 weeks ago and we're living at Taliesin in a lovely apartment in the Crescent. Here are some photos of the joint:

We're here because Christian is managing the Mod Fab house on site here. Begun last winter, the goal is to finish it before January. Collaborating with other students, namely Nick Mancusi, and Michael P. Johnson, architect, the project is slated to be a real beauty!

Meanwhile, I'm working on the felt birds, collaboration with Anila Rubiku, help for Saskia Jorda's next show (Nov. 7), and starting a new drawing series. More later...

I'm busy. gah!
It's a beautiful here too. There are many new birds to see and hear. The sky is blue every day! Back door view:

Albania Italy USA

Tuesdays, collaborating with Anila Rubiku.

Anila is visiting Arizona State University Art Museum as part of an exchange program between E. European and American Artists. Originally from Albania, she now lives in Milan, Italy. She's working on a quilt of sorts for which she needs many hands to help stitch drawings on to leather sections.
I went to a talk by Anila about a week ago shortly after arriving in Arizona. Anila produces work that regards our notions of home, privacy, the outward v/s inward look and experience of cities, neighborhoods, homes. She uses stitches to create drawings on paper, fabric, and 3D paper structures, literally stitching together private with public notions. My most favorite of her work, not readily documented yet, is a collection of stitched drawings of aerial views of cities with overlayed stitched drawings of couples in different sex positions. The reason for the city's existance and size: procreation, yet sex is behind closed doors, behind the buildings' facades. Here they are surfaced together, one because of the other because of the other.

So, she's working Tuesdays through Fridays through Oct. 17 and I'm going each Tuesday to put my sewing skills to work! Here's me and the crew last Tuesday (you can see the swatches of leather and thread ready to be stitched):
An example of Anila's previous work. You can see that she not only sews into the paper's surface, she also punctures designs into the paper and often lights from behind (or within, if a 3D form).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

partner participation

approach from path

Congratulations is in order for Mr. Michael Desbarres and Mr. Christian Butler for their outstanding design and building of a shelter, one of the first in Wisconsin, for the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture's shelter program.
Entry and view from right of entry

I was fortunate enough to help in the final phase of their work - painting! Apart from that, I'm fortunate enough to call them both my friends and colleagues and I look forward to our well designed future together. Opposite of Entry

To well finished projects: Cheers!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Breathing Room is an installation of 3 or more 6'x6' canvases. Here installed at Taliesin (Spring Green, WI) sewn end to end to make an 18' "scroll" script for breathing. This work originated from my own practice of tactile meditation. I started with simple mark-making on small squares of paper and also thinking of my work as part of my meditation practice. I have trained in breathing and walking meditation, but realized that the tactile quality of art process, usually repetitive for me, is naturally repairing and restive in my life. These posts from November are specifically about that beginning : Sound of Breathing and Assignment. I began to make the large, white gesso and graphite paintings by directly transcribing the letters and syllables of my breathing sound as literally as possible. I planned to make more than one, enough to represent each in a group of people, and to use them as an environmental place setting. Altogether, placed flat on the ground or floor, hung together as walls, or attached end to end as a sort of current or continuum, these paintings are to be installed to create and symbolize a space for rest and freedom from constraint. The idea of "breathing room" as spaciousness, simplicity, and brightness offered to the inhabitant of the space. As much as this work was meditative in process, it has become, in product, a script and a texture for meditation.
Here is a short slide show of the images in the upper room of the tower.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

indicative of invisible change


While speaking with a new friend, Emil Crystal pointed out something with this work that I had not yet interpreted. In desiring to represent a softness or gentleness in moments of transition, I also represent invisible change or invisible borders. Isn't the border between the United States and Mexico invisible? Isn't the border between my race and yours invisible? This work, a collection of felt birds passing through an invisible plane in space upon which the color of their bodies changes from one "side" to the next, expresses a softness and innocence, an inherent goodness that can be brought with us as we transition from one country to another, from one economic status to another, from one emotional state to another, from one community to another, etc., etc.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

anyone else in love with Tara Donovan?

"Tara Donovan makes installations that evoke topographies and natural forms using large quantities of single, simple materials--pencils, straight pins, drinking straws and plastic cups, mylar loops, etc." -Art in America Annual 2008-2009

Monday, September 8, 2008

pattern installation

Yesterday's hard work produced this new PATTERN INSTALLATION at Bradbury's Cafe on North Hamilton St. in Madison Wisconsin. This unique cafe is housed on the first floor of a multistory building and it's seating area is surrounded by tall glass walls and large concrete pillars and beams. There's not much space for art installation, so this idea, materialized while drinking a lovely latte, uses the concrete for what it can offer. The pattern is applied using a slightly darker shade of gray chalk pastel. The potato leaf vines are indicative of the cafe's logo and the flocks of birds are indicative of my own work. I hope you'll stop by the cafe soon to enjoy espresso, local fresh food (crepes - the specialty), and now a modified aesthetic! Thanks is in order for Jill and Josh Makoutz : owners and good people.

Here are some photos of the installation. Check out Flickr to see some of my other recent projects.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


+ 1.

I've been making a flock. There are more to come. See the archive, the month of March, for images and posts about other felted birds that are part of this collection.
This project, like so many of my projects, is as much about repetition as it is about the themes that emerge in process. In discussing this project, I realize that it has begun to express a point of transition (from one color to the next, crossing through an invisible plane in space). The birds' media (felted wool, alpaca, mohair, etc. fibers) indicates a certain softness within the not always gentle experience of change.

So, here we stand in the face of change... I'm grateful for these birds as symbolic vessels of protection, collected like the fibers of a security blanket.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Saskia Jorda

Everyone should know about this artist, my friend, Saskia Jorda. She is an invaluable communicant of our time as she illuminates the poignant issue of the Spanish speaking cultures infusing with the English speaking cultures. Her work addresses many social and political themes related to the transition between cultures, languages, and geographic locations. Currently, she is participating in a show in Cleveland, Ohio:
'Bi-Lingual,' at SPACES Gallery

[karto gra'fia], Saskia Jorda, 2008
Suspended installation. Canvas and felt.
This Show is curated by Angelica Pozo and runs from Sept. 5th - October 17, 2008.
Opening reception is Friday, Sept. 5th from 6 to 9pm.

SPACES Gallery
2220 Superior Viaduct
Cleveland, OH 44113

Monday, September 1, 2008

Progress Report : deconstruction

The Progress Report installation at Taliesin (see post here) was only temporary and so was deconstructed last week. The installation itself reflected upon aesthetics of mold or lichen growth and visually suggested continuous growth under the right conditions. Those conditions, in this case, were recycled paper accumulation, collection, and weaving all initiated by the artist as catalyst. The project culminated in 4 days of work and was left only for display. I like to think that the deconstruction of this project, simple as the paper had become brittle with exposure, reflects the natural decomposition or drying up of lichen (and the like) when left without good growing conditions. These photos, well worth taking, looked to me like the confetti of dry lichen after scraping it from a rock.

Each art project offers opportunity for the artist to put into reality concepts originating only in her or his mind. It is important to experience that fruition of ideas and then to let it stand for the artist and others to observe, experience and analyze. The finishing of an art piece can be somewhat deflating or anticlimactic, and admittedly I sometimes feel used by the experience. I realize with Progress Report's necessary deconstruction that the cycle of living is completed and thereby fulfilling in a different way. There is no need to preserve the work for all time. There is no need to defend it as time erodes the work's meaning or relevance. The work is simply remembered and serves as inspiration for more projects.

Monday, August 25, 2008

moving, grooving, shaking

Moving is hard work and we all deserve a little unwinding even if our work isn't yet done. Tonight's unwinding: Lee "Scratch" Perry live at the Majestic Theater in Madison, WI. Accompanied by my girl friend extraordinare, Jamie Zander, I plan to get down and gig out to some masterful dub and smooth stylings.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

F L A G S : a walk of good intention

More photos can be viewed on Flickr here.

F L A G S, a project of quiet intention offering goodwill and care to others as we pass, was initiated last Saturday 8.16.08 with a team of prayerflag wearing walkers. Twenty-seven volunteers, myself and my partner, Christian Butler, walked from Georgia O'keefe Middle school on Madison, WI's near East side to the Capitol to continue around the Capitol square and nearby areas of note, State St. and Monona Terrace. This walk symbolized an offering of goodwill and care for the city of Madison and everyone in our midst. F L A G S moves a step beyond the Tibetan prayer-flags, a strand of flags, 5 colors with the Lungta/Windhorse graphic affixed over a doorway or through a garden, in that it is mobile versus fixed and can be offered publicly versus privately.
A slightly larger version of this slideshow can be viewed via YouTube here.

The BLINK Temporary Public Art program organized by Madison's Art Commission, is an opportunity for experimental, ad-hoc, temporary works of art to sprout up throughout the community and vanish leaving residents and visitors eager to see what is next. Madison neighborhoods and urban areas are open canvases. The possibilities for creations on open spaces, construction sites, and public parks will provide a glimpse of how the world looks through an artist’s eyes.

This program was appropriate for F L A G S as the project reflects Madison's institutions, communities, programs, initiatives and aesthetics I see as offering similar blessings - goodwill, care, and other welcoming intentions. I have been very lucky to move to this city and find myself in a community full of support. This project also spoke directly to BLINK's aim for glimpses of art through the city. Furthermore, this project involved volunteers from the community and was injected directly into Madison's crowded Saturday Farmers Market around the capitol building. Henceforth, F L A G S sought to honor all those who produce and buy food locally, honor the festival-like celebration of community that blooms every summer weekend, and honor the capitol itself and its legal and municipal proceedings.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


hi folks,
this is what I look like when I'm hard at work.
208 Merry studio disassembles August 30th for moving...
relocated studio: location TBA.

Friday, August 15, 2008

8.16.2008 : F L A G S

Dear friends and visitors,
Please come and see us, a mobilized chain of prayer flags, tomorrow as we walk the center of Madison, Wisconsin. This is a project of quiet intention, a mobile symbol of goodwill, care and peace offered throughout the places where we walk. Volunteers will be wearing the shirts you see in this post's images and walking with me. We hope you will see us if you are at the Farmer's Market or just around the capitol mid day on Saturday. Please consider yourself invited to attend the informal reception and picnic at James Madison Park where we'll be finishing our walk at 2pm.

Here is a schedule and our expected locations:

10:45a - shift 1 volunteers meet and organize at Georgia O'keefe Middle School.
11a - shift 1 begins walking up Williamson St. toward the Capitol square via King St. We should arrive at the top of King St. by approximately 11:30 and will continue to loop the capitol square until the end of the hour.
12p - shift 2 meets, organizes and begins walking the capitol square with branches to Monona Terrace and down State Street.
1p - shift 3 meets, organizes and begins walking the capitol square with branches down State Street and to James Madison Park for the finish.
2p - All participants, friends, guests, citizens of Madison and interested onlookers are invited to attend the informal reception and picnic at James Madison Park. This is a time to meet the artist and participants, gain perspective or information into the themes of F L A G S and to celebrate this peaceful offering.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

art for food

Christian and I just had an unexpected cullinary experience... worth your checking out if you're on I-80 just west of Des Moines. Exit 117, heading North, takes you to L.T. Organic Farm, CSA and Restaurant. Dr. Bhramdat and Mrs. Bhramdat are retired medical professionals (Cardio-Pulmonary Dr. and RN) who refocused on organic farming, now VERY successful in my opinion, because they realized the real need to eat and live according to the rules of the earth, according to the natural need our bodies have for natural foods. All philosophies and opinions aside, you should know this was a beautiful place in the middle of Iowa where we ate the most delicious, enchanting Indian food we've ever had. All the vegetables, meat, and fruit were from their gorgeous garden. More can be said about this place and our time spent there, but I'll leave it at this.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

going on

F L A G S, my second large project for the summer, is approaching faster than I can blink.... speaking of BLINK, this is a Madison Arts Commission's BLINK Temporary Art Project, sponsored in part by the city of Madison. The T-shirts for this project are all ready to rock thanks to Mr. C. Cal my good friend and good supporter. I had so much fun screen printing the 60 Ts that I blew out my abs and strained my triceps. Actually, it was a lot more fun than that. Craig Grabhorn and Nina Bednarski, the arts duo of Madison are lovely to be around and all of us were found in various parts of the house on Saturday, making art. All this despite the driveway being ripped up beside the house by a kamikaze dozer. Nothing can stop us now.

Other news of note: I just finished making this dress to wear to my friends, Amanda and Brady's wedding. It's styled after my favorite dress of the year bought last spring in Chicago. Perfect dresses don't last forever, so it's always good to have a second one handy.

Finally: this year produced the best garden ever.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

action shots - Progress Report

Progress Report in progress.

See more photos from the show on hol sum's flickr set for Progress Report.

Thanks to Nick Mancusi and Christian Butler, the above time-lapse photo stream is a nice Quicktime movie for your viewing pleasure! I think this work in action lends understanding for the work as a potentially growing form constantly fed by the creative endeavors of students and faculty in Taliesin's Hillside Studio. This project was a great success! I am very grateful to everyone at Taliesin Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture for participation, support, and enthusiasm. I'm especially thankful for the work and support of Saskia Jorda, friend and artist, who organizes TARP, the Taliesin Artist in Residence Program. Thank you again to Nick Mancusi for his photography and to Eric Baillies for his photography. This was a well documented show.

Progress Reported.

Ian and Noah check out the show with Dad, Floyd Hamlin.

Monday, July 21, 2008

art journal

Today starts class at the Monroe Street Fine Arts Center: Artist's Journal.
It's not a diary, it's not a scrapbook (God help us), it's not a photo album, but...
It's real deal collection of and practice in the art of design and use of our daily ideas and visual experiences.
Work it! Some of today's input for my journal:

Welcome to fun-for-work, work-for-fun: Alex (12), Isabella (11), Bianca (10, and Sarah (14).

Friday, July 18, 2008


HOL SUM : Becky Peebles : on site and installing the Progress Report here at Hillside Studio, Taliesin. I hope those of you who can come will come to the reception this evening at 7p. Some photos of the work in it's current state:

It's been a fun experience working with the students and faculty here and there is positive reception of the wall's new texture reflecting everyone in the studio. I've been taking photos every 30 seconds while working and will have a photo stream of the work in progress. This way, the residue of creative process is visible in it's growth over a few days. I'll probably post that here on the blog tomorrow or Sunday. Stay tuned...