Monday, January 31, 2011

studio time

This weekend I spent most of my free time working on books and spending a lot of time in the studio. So much that I had that awkward "I've spent too much time alone" thing going on.

I stained about 18 or so books with 3 different stain colors

safety first! I wear a respirator doing a lot of my work - staining and sanding wood can be pretty harsh on the lungs. The lines this lovely couture mask leaves are sexy.. lemme tell you.

Book almost done - I like this size of this one,  it's a typical large sketch book style.
finished book -  size is slightly smaller than your typical CD case. These are some of the few natural wood books without stain. I like these books in the sense that stains appear on the wood and give it a worn out look naturally.

Working desk....


sleepy time desk.. desk cleaned up and at dusk.

I still have to start sanding about 20 more books and get the hinges on and ready to go. Not bad though for a weekends work.

In the studio w/ me:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

outside the box

Stopped in the Compound Gallery last night for their event "Outside the Box". The show featured the artists of the "Art in a Box" art subscription. The artists studio space was open to walk around as well.

Loved the Art In A Box headquarters.. it was cleverly decorated as you can see below. I kept thinking to that I could be comfortable doing work in this room.

Below is Crystal Morey's studio space. I should clarify that she shares space with Alissa Goss, you can see some of Alissa's work on the table in the background and wall.

One of the walls in Crystal's studio - You can't see the drawings very well but they are great. I really like her drawing style as well as her sculpture.
Look at that awesome press in the common area.

Part of the reason I really wanted to visit was to see my bud Ryan and his studio space.
Hi Ryan!

That's one big screen printing table. Ryan is going to teach me more about printing and help me with the printing of some chickens.

Here's some of Ryan's work in his studio.

And a painting he did in school which I thought was phenomenal. I don't know if you can tell but it's very large.

I've never been to Compound space before and Ryan showed me around. Here is the wood shop, pretty great for a studio space to have.

While Ryan and I were chatting in the wood shop some random guy wandered in thinking it was a public area. Woops! Once he left we hurried out of there and turned out the lights.

Below is Alison OK Frost's space, I was suspicious that it was too clean and no one could do work in such a tidy environment. Alison said she cleaned before the show.. I was relieved that she wasn't a robot or super human (maybe she is).

Some of the pieces in the gallery by Alison.

Below are some of Ryan's work in the gallery

It was a pretty good time and turn out.

Couldn't help but stop into the Professor Squirrel's little shop. If you know me you know I'm a self proclaimed squirrel whisperer. tee hee.

The shop had some pretty cool items to buy.

Neat stuff.

Way to go Compound and Art in a Box.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

happy new owner

The special calendar book that I posted about was made for a very close friend - Chris at zza's.

Here's the book all wrapped up and ready.
Ack!! A blurry picture... Chris looks like he likes the book enough to try and eat it. nom nom nom.

Yay for another happy owner.

Friday, January 28, 2011

a perfect lunch break

just another lovely Friday in Oakland
nummy Vietnamese food in Chinatown.. so good.

After lunch it was off to Modern Coffee for coffee tasting. Yes.. you read that right.

The people watching is so great from the front counter.

Check out that spread from Temple Coffee. The coffee was delish.. why can't every lunch be like this.

I'm pretty new to the whole Modern coffee scene but it is such a nice atmosphere and a good place for some afternoon work. Wish I could have a nap now.

wonderarium at ZZA's

last night Wonderarium was at Zza's.
oooh.. little terrariums waiting for new homes
It was a lot of fun and a decent turn out. Way to go Sarah! Can't wait to check out her other event at Modern Coffee... champagne Thursdays!

drawing wednesday

Drawing Wednesday was a blast this week! A lot of great artist were there along with a packed bar. Below is one of my drawings.. I like how it turned out but I would like the tree/phone poles to be longer but it's pretty good.

Happy artists drawing the night away... I got to sit by Marlene - we have the same drawing schedule which is good since Marlene is a besty.

Marlene challenged me to draw her.. so I did.

                                                                                  look at the drawing of me

art hanging up to view and buy

John Casey took some pretty great pictures for his blog as well. He took the picture below and I think it sums up what I'm like at live art Wednesdays
Live Art Wednesdays
Hair in my face not looking up much. Thanks Mr. Casey for the picture.

Can't wait till next month to draw again.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

suddenly.. I'm very nervous.

Artists create live art at Drawing Wednesdays

At a long table set with small lamps giving off an amber-hued glow, 15 people sit alongside each other, stooped over sketchpads, drawing. Behind them a live band plays a slow folky rock. Some people are working with pen and ink, others paint with watercolors, while some draw with charcoal or pencils. As people periodically finish their pieces of art, they affix their name and a price tag, and hang up their work.
Every person sitting at the table is a professional artist and was invited to Levende East, a downtown Oakland bar and restaurant, for a weekly event called “Drawing Wednesdays.” Every week a rotating group of artists is organized to come to the restaurant during happy hour and create art on the spot. Their work is then sold to diners and bar-goers for $10 to $50, depending on the piece. “Art is about triggering emotions,” says Dirk Kahl, the owner of Levende. “We are giving a different form of creating.”
Drawing Wednesdays started five months ago when Kahl, along with curator Obi Kaufmann and promoter August Varlack, decided to try out a live art event. “It isn’t a for-profit endeavor,” says Kahl. “It’s to expose Oakland for what Oakland has to offer.” The idea is two-fold: To get artists together to create art, network and have fun, as well as to expose their art to a larger audience and sell it to people for affordable prices. The pieces of art are pinned to a rope net that hangs at the front of the restaurant and buyers can walk up, peruse the art and buy anything they like.
“This isn’t anything new,” says Varlack. “In the 1920’s the surreal artists got together and created art in cafes. We are doing something that has always been done.”

Oakland artist John Casey regularly attends Drawing Wednesdays. Photo courtesy of John Casey.
There are other events similar to Drawing Wednesdays in the Bay Area. For example, 111 Minna Gallery in downtown San Francisco hosts a monthly live drawing event called “Sketch Tuesdays” and Southern Exposure, an arts organization in San Francisco, hosts an annual event called the “Monster Drawing Rally,” at which artists only have a certain number of supplies and one hour to create work.
Drawing Wednesdays, however, doesn’t have the pressure of the Monster Drawing Rally. Artist Marcos Lafarga has drawn five times at Drawing Wednesdays; his art is illustration-oriented and includes different types of typography such as block style lettering and swirling cursive. “It’s an excuse for me to get out,” he says as he carefully sketches an outline of his drawing in pencil. “It’s half social and half commerce.” As the artists sit at the long table, they sip on pints of beer and show each other their drawings, asking for advice and sometimes trading their art rather than putting it up for sale.
Artist Tina Dillman works on a black and white series of abstract drawings, penning on multiple layers of different types of lines and images. “In the realm of art, you can be really closed off from other people, especially if you have a studio practice,” she says. Last Wednesday was Dillman’s first time drawing at Levende, but now she plans to be in the regular rotation. She says she appreciates the community that is formed by all the artists sitting around the same table and working together. “Just meeting other artists and having dialogue is such a treat,” she says.
This is exactly what Kahl, Varlack and Kaufmann were hoping for when they created Drawing Wednesdays. “We want to take all that bubbling Art Murmur energy that is inclusive and fun and put Oakland artists first,” says Kaufmann. The hope is also to have a wide array of artwork for sale. The art, Kaufmann explains, covers every type of style that one could find in Oakland. “The art is contemporary urban. It’s equal parts classical and street art, from rendered illustrations to abstract stylistic work.”
One artist who can be regularly found at Drawing Wednesdays is John Casey, a well-known Oakland artist. His drawings are of oddball and distorted humans and creatures, like a man on a rope swing who has flowers blooming out of his nose. When Kaufmann asked him if he’d participate in Drawing Wednesdays, Casey said “ab-so-lute-ly.”  He says that unlike other live drawing events, the atmosphere at Levende is supportive rather than competitive. “Plus, it’s great to be able to sell an inexpensive drawing or two and make a little pocket money,” says Casey. “I like to sell my live drawings way below gallery cost because I like to reward folks for coming down and supporting the event.”
Drawing Wednesdays is free and open to the public. It’s held every Wednesday at Levende East from 5 pm to 8 pm; beers are sold at happy hour prices and art can be bought for $10 to $50. “I like to come by and hang out on Wednesdays when I am not scheduled to draw,” says Casey. “Where else can you pickup inexpensive art and drink $3 beers while hanging out with old friends and making new ones?”

ohhh myyy god.

PJ Harvey is coming to town!

April 14th!!!

woop woop!

so many good shows are coming.. yay!

one more down

Do you recall the challenging book I was talking about? The challenge is now finished and it really wasn't that bad.

A friend wanted a planner of sorts, so I racked my brain trying to come up with the best way to make that happen. At first I wanted to do different layers for each page of the week. Then I thought about other ways to  make it work finally I decided to use 3 pages to make up one week with a notes section. This was much easier and had a flow to it.

Each date is marked by hand, I even made a page marker. 

I like how it turned out but man.. was that a lot of work.

Drawing Wednesday is tonight! Come down and watch some very talented folk draw the night away..

keeping my books company:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

creepy strange men drawings

I suppose I have a talent for drawing creepy men.. anytime I try to draw a woman she ends up looking like a creepy drag queen or cartoony women from the 50's. So.. for now I'm embracing my creepy men...
People keep asking me who these creepy men are and I don't know. The picture above was drawn last night.. I was drawing this creepy dude,  looked up and realized that I drew the man sitting to the left of me.. but w/ no eyes and a bit darker.
I don't know who either of these other two are.. I wonder if I see people and then draw them much later.. or from some strange suppressed memory?

I've heard from several people that my drawings remind them of someone but no one can ever really place it.
I wonder if I have a sixth sense and draw people that already lived.. nah.. but wouldn't that be creepy cool.

I've also come to the understanding / acceptance that I'm okay with people calling my drawing style  illustrations... sure.. that works.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Finished a book..
I really like the size of this book.. it's perfect, not too big, not too small. Now I need to finish the other special already purchased book by this weekend.

Other than working on books - I tried my hand at making honey whole wheat bread. and a new soup. Aren't Sundays made for baking and putzing around the house.

Oh man the bread turned out so good.. and the soup. The soup is a sweet potato and black bean, oh my!

After all the cooking and cleaning I had a friend over for nachos and we watched My So Called Life. yep.. you read that right. My So Called Life - Angela Chase, Jordon Catalano, and all the rest.. even that sissy Ricky.

Look at that spread:
Not only was I surprised by the fact the show was only on for a year.. but that 90's fashion was truly that bad. I had flashbacks to high school when we wore way too much soft plaid and awful floral dresses with buttons (puke).  I remember the show being so good the first time but it was a bit painful on round two.

ah well..
Pretty nice break from all the work.