Friday, May 16, 2014

Recent creations

Check out my Island blog (a temporary venture for this year on Dominica) for some new creations!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


The movement in this old video is incredible. From an article in Hyperallergic about NY Public Library's new archives of major historical dance videos.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Maker's Struggles

"The Studio" Update: Re-rooting and Patience  (from my island blog: The Study and The Studio)

Something interesting is happening. I wasn't quite sure what it was until recently. After a few weeks, a few long walks up steep hills, and a few conversations with wise people, I think I'm getting a glimpse. 

I've been quietly frustrated with my seeming abundance of time and corresponding lack of production, inspiration, and energy when it comes to making things. "So much time and space and new resources: What is wrong with me?"... is the mantra subtly threading through my everyday. It is a mantra that can creep in for all of us in different ways. We have certain expectations of ourselves and of situations. Then, in the situation, we wait to see those expectations filled rather than what the actual experience brings. We build a social construct in our mind that becomes a faux-Truth even before the experience can produce the actual reality. 

Beginning in December of last year, I was uprooted and replanted. I graduated from a Masters program, welcomed my fiancĂ© back from 4 months apart, got married, turned 30, and moved to an island. When I got here 2 months ago, it was as though I put my hands on my hips and stood there watching, waiting, expecting to see fruit bloom as soon as my feet hit the ground. Well, where was the fruit?! I'm adventurous, creative, and now I've got time. What is wrong with me? Stupid tree. It doesn't work anymore. Great, now I'm on an island with so much time and I'm worthless. Am I drowning or acclimating? Acclimating, obviously, right? RIGHT? Get on with it!

My lack of patience astounds me. My wise sister said maybe I should recognize mini-wins each day (like the day I figured out how to change the propane tank on our stove and carried the 50lb. thing all the way home just to prove something to myself). Maybe I shouldn't try to be producing creativity in the midst of figuring out the basics of living, of surviving (like how not to get run over while crossing the street or crossing in front of an angry donkey). The daily hardships of this place are real but hardly seem so to outsiders since my pictures mainly exude the beauty of this Nature Island. How do I explain things? How do I communicate (an act of expressing something inside of me) through my artwork that which I haven't yet ingested? 

Like any adjustment (losing a loved one, moving, getting married, new job, new kid...), patience is key and expectations can kill the possible joys in your new reality. I am grateful for a partner who shows me this patience and one who can see my fears and emotions I try to hide oh so well. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

February: Island Canvas'

February's drawing theme is Flora and Fauna. Welcome, February!

Alternative surfaces. They are everywhere. My stone, seed pod, stick habit is raging now that I live on a tropical volcanic island. You should see the stones, sticks, and seeds! Ahhhh!! I can't get enough.

Anyhow, once I get over my astonishment at the object, sometimes I'll paint it.

Here are some of the bits of the flora and fauna I've painted... or painted on so far.

A coconut end nub.
My craft paints ... I finally found some at a grocery store in Roseau. 

Coconut nub. 

Coconut nub.

Coconut nub.

Seeds I found on the beach. 

Priming the canvas... 

Left: A sprouted coconut.
Right: The scene up our hill. 

Left: Cocoa seed pod on the tree.
Middle: The view of Cabrits/Fort Shirley
Right: Bird's eye map of Dominica. 

Beach rock (volcanic)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Morning Structure

I recently posted on my "island blog" about our morning structure. See that here. But to keep things clean and simple and drawing focused here I will just include the structure of my pack each morning:

You can zoom in on the money if you have a Mac... Thats really what it looks like! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Abandoned Resort

From our unfinished cement roof, I can see an odd large brown and white structure with a red roof just a little ways off. The odd thing is that it looks beautiful but eerily empty... because it is.

It was never finished. There are no walls on the staircases that ascend to the many floors, there are vacant holes where there should be windows and doors, and some balconies lack railings. Andy and I went exploring and climbed through the space. It is solid concrete and looks like the apocalypse suddenly whisked the workers from their work; tools left rusting, nut and washers piled and stuck together with rust and moss, shutters, chairs, and window frames leaning against walls. I found out that they just ran out of money and there it sits. And its huge.

Here is a quick sketch of the bottom floor. The staircase opens to the grass and sky above and those doors opened to an office full of tools, oven racks, metal shelving, and other random items, stacked, rusty, and deteriorating. But the concrete is solid and as good as new. It would've been such a cool resort. This downstairs area in the drawing was leading to a dining hall on the right with a large front porch. There are small huts around a man made lake that probably would've cost an extra something for a night. But it stands empty.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Shipping Containers For Everyone!

This old rusty freight container sits in front of some beautiful homes down one of the streets in our neighborhood. But when you really start noticing, there are shipping containers everywhere! They are used or just left and they are all over. I think I need one. I could work a studio in there... 

Monday, January 13, 2014

2014 on Dominica: Year of Drawing

Hello from the little Nature Island of Dominica!

I've been on the island for a week now and am getting acclimated to my tiny section of the island. I'll be ready to explore more of the place soon, I'm sure, but I've got plenty right here for now. The island is wild. There are sunny rain storms, rogue cows, and colorful fun-house looking homes all over the hillsides. The clouds move faster and life moves slower. The locals smile easily if you make an effort to be polite. Housetops are mostly unfinished so that home owners don't have to pay taxes on them. The roofs are flat cement with lose cinderblocks and rebar sticking up out of the cement. Andy and I often climb the stairs (with no banister or anything to protect you from the edge) to the roof and sit on cinderblocks. The view is unreal. And I want to draw!

The view up the hill...
I've decided to make this year a year of drawing. I will hopefully have more time to draw and the slower pace of life seems conducive to time sitting and drawing.

Rather than drawing randomly I will have a theme each month and draw within that theme during the month. I might switch them around but here are my ideas so far. Any ideas for the last two months?

January: Island Structures
February: Flora and Fauna 
March: Sky and Sea
April: Food
May: People
June: Medical School
July: Vessels 
August: Travel
September: Creativity
October: Everyday
November: ............
December: ..................

Here is my first one for January:

My neighbors.

See more of island living here: 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ice Drumming

I've made it to the island of Dominica where I will be living for the next year! 2014: The year of wetness and heat! Maybe the heat has gotten to me already (I hope not - its winter and apparently cooler than usual) but I found these awesome ice drummers through an artist friend in New Zealand.

The longer they go, the cooler it gets. I love creative people!!