Posts Tagged ‘Mark’

Iceland: 1

Mark and I are in Iceland now!  We’ve been here a few days and love it so far.  I will try to post at least one photo per day from our amazing trip.

This is the graffiti wall at the end of our street.  To get to the downtown (about a five-minute walk) we hang a right at the wall and walk along the ocean.  This was on a crystal-clear day on our first day of exploring after we recovered from our phenomenal case of jet lag.  Today an ash cloud has descended over the city, so we can’t even see the horizon or the mountains, normally so clear from our studio window.  We’re having a fantastic time with a with a wonderful group of people from many different countries.  More to come…stay tuned!

ghost town

It’s been a busy couple of art months recently.  The latest is an installation called Ghost Town for the Annual Art Faculty Exhibition in the University Gallery at EMU.  What you don’t see is one of the best aspects of the piece: there’s a song.  Mark wrote the most amazing song recently that I dubbed Ghost Town and I knew it had to be part of this piece.  He rigged speakers in the rafters above the installation that plays the song subtly, so that you only really hear it when enveloped in the gold cut paper.


To get an interwebby version of the effect, listen to the mp3 while scrolling through the images.

I made the components of this piece at different times.  The gold paper cut-outs and small oil painted panels were all made for my solo exhibition Still at Paint Creek Center for the Arts in April 2009.  The skull pieces (gouache and gold leaf) were made in Budapest this last summer.  They are essentially portraits of the skulls in the artist/stylist/designers’ homes featured on The Selby.  I plan to make more of these and am excited to see where I can go with this piece in the future.

The opening is Tuesday night February 2 from 4 – 7 p.m. in the University Gallery in the Student Center at EMU.    There’s a lot of great work by all of my colleagues.  Come see the show!

new schtufz

Remember this post? Wherein I fawned over all things crystal and skull?  While I did not receive a Will Yackulic drawing in my stocking, I DID receive some lovelies of the crystal and skull variety from my favorite people (among scads of other wonderful giftses).  Here they be.

From my bro, a bottle of Crystal Head Vodka (the bottle is uber sweet!)

Crystal Head vodka

From ma mere, a sweet quartz crystal candle holder:


And from Mark, a ceramic skull with glazed teeth and a gold tooth!  I have been wanting this skull from Mudpuppy’s Etsy shop for a long time now.


Thanks to my amazing family for indulging my strange fascinations!

remember yourself

my nook

School has been very stressful lately.  S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L.  When all of my time seems dictated by meetings, appointments, grading, committee work, etc. I often forget to take care of myself.  Unless Mark puts a sandwich in front of me, I forget to eat.  I make my tea for the day in the morning and forget in on the shelf at home.  Yoga, studio, reading books, all of the things I love to do that define my happiness, fall to the wayside.  I am trying to remember, amidst all of the stress, to live with more intentionality, to summon the energy to do these things instead of functioning on autopilot.  Yesterday was great for that.  I got my grading done during the day, and thus was able to spend my afternoon and evening cleaning up the house from a week’s worth of neglect, and was able to draw and listen to music for the whole night.  Man, it rocked.  You know it’s a good studio experience you find yourself drawing in silence with headphones still in your ears, long after the music has stopped, and you didn’t even notice.  This morning, I jumped out of bed and ran straight into house studio to check on last night’s work.  I love that feeling!

unicorn girl drawing in progress

unicorn girl drawing in progress for The Beautiful Ones series

"the fates" drawing in progress for Afterlife series

"the fates" drawing in progress for Afterlife series

I’d love to hear the things you do to “remember yourself.”

because I can

If I’ve been remiss in blogging, it’s only because I’ve been blogging.  I’ve been helping Mark with Irreverent Vegan a lot lately.  There’s so much food-related stuff to do this time of year, what with putting the gardens to bed, buying up boatloads of tomatoes at the farmer’s market for canning, making pesto from end-of-season basil, etc.  Mark made swoon-worthy pesto and tomato pasta and baked green tomatoes last night.  Check out our action on that blog and let us know what you think.

So, some stuff has been happening on the art front as well.  Mark and I stretched this monster last week:

a big 'un

Though sadly it was a rainy day when we stretched it and the humidity affected it.  It was tight as a drum when I left the studio last Thursday.  When I returned to the studio, it was as wrinkly and saggy as all get-out.  Great sadness ensued.  For me.  Then after about ten minutes of moping, (and since I have a painting due for a show in December) I got my stuff together and started painting on a different canvas.  I altered my Photoshop mock-up to be suited for a vertical rather than a horizontal format and shazam! I’m back in business.  This painting involves big circles, for which I fashioned a very high-tech compass out of a brooch, some string and a sponge brush.  Macgyver,  eat your heart out.

I also co-curated an exhibition at EMU called Contemporary Painting, which I’m really happy with.  More on that later.

And, because our cats have been so dang photogenic lately, a bunch of cat photos.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

a handsome man


kitty unity

cat in a bag

complements please

i done got tagged

photo credit: Susan Tusa, Detroit Free Press

photo credit: Susan Tusa, Detroit Free Press

I am waiting for plaster to dry on some islands, so it’s as good a time to blog as any.  Lauren of Dear Golden tagged me with a “ten things” request.  Now my job is to post ten things about myself you don’t already know.  I think I will try to keep these art-related as that’s the nature of the blog.

1. I have attended four artists residencies: in Illinois, Newfoundland, Southern France and Budapest, Hungary

2. It must say something about me that I have twice been offered dead birds and have twice accepted.  In my freezer are a dead hummingbird and a dead cardinal.  They were that way when my friends found them, I assure you.  What will I do with them?  I’ll let you know when I find out.

3. I have been in academia since kindergarten with only summers off.  I went straight from high school to college, from college to grad school, from grad school to teaching adjunct and from teaching adjunct to assistant professor.  (Does kindergarten count as “academia”?)

4. I have taught three summers at Interlochen Arts Camp in northern Michigan near Traverse City (03-05)–painting and life drawing.

5. I have taught three classes that I never actually took when I was in school.  What are they?  Hmm… it’s a mystery.

6. My top three four favorite art shows I have ever seen are (in no particular order): William Kentridge retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (2004), Mapping the Studio: Artists from the François Pinault Collection in Venice (2009), Drawing Now: Eight Propositions at Museum of Modern Art (Queens) in New York (2002), damn, I remembered another one (thus the strikethrough): Peter Doig at the Tate Britain (2008).

7. I am working on a video, and a sculpture (of sorts) right now and am pretty inexperienced in the particular media I am using.  I am googling a lot and relying on my friends for help.  Thanks guys and gals!

8. Despite the above statement, I generally don’t work collaboratively.  I tend to prefer working alone in the studio, usually listening to audio books, NPR or music.  I am currently listening to The Plot Against America by Philip Roth and The Terror by Dan Simmons.

9. I am starting four large scale paintings, and am a bit scared of them at this early point.

10. I have a REALLY hard time balancing  a regular work-out routine and an art practice.  I tend to be sporadic with both and can rarely sustain the two simultaneously, though they’re both so important to me.

So that’s it- my ten things.  Okay, I am going to pass the tagging love around to:

Mark from Irreverent Vegan

Val and/or Ryan from i’m just doing this thing

Vegan Brunch

Sunday we hosted a vegan brunch at our house.  Our friends Ryan and Val brought tons of good eats too.  Mark has already posted about it over at Irreverent Vegan.  Ryan and Val did a great write-up on it (from which I nabbed this photo) on their blog i’m just doing this thing.  Their about page is pretty funny, so check that out too!

brunching it up!  for photos of food- visit those other two blogs pronto!

brunching it up! for photos of food- visit those other two blogs pronto!

summer eats

Summer is giving Mark and I time to enjoy cooking together and though we both love it, he especially excels.  He just started a vegan blog as the Irreverent Vegan.  He composes the pithy recipes and I help out with the cooking, ideas, photography and…man, is it hard but someone has to do it…the eating!  We’re hosting a vegan brunch at our house this Sunday morning following the wonderful Ypsilanti-based Shadow Art Fair at the Corner Brewery.

I am fortunate that a typical meal at our house looks like this:

Chick Patties and Smashed Potatoes

chick(pea) patties and smashed potatoes

chick(pea) patties and smashed potatoes with mushroom gravy

The lettuce on the burgers and the green beans on the potatoes come from our garden.  Deck and lanterns compliments of our friend Blue at Blue Sky Carpentry.

back to life, back to reality

Within hours I went from hanging out in wonderful, wacky Budapest in clubs like Szimpla Kert:3394269



(…this is where Michael and I spent our last night in Budapest and had to say goodbye to some fantastic new friends, who we’re sure to meet again.  There’s a Halloween trip to NYC afoot!…)

…to my peaceful, breezy life in Michigan.  Here are some scenes from my domestic eden:


gladiolas from my welcome back party hosted by Mark

Juni asleep

Juni asleep. Chandelier pillow compliments of Mary Elise Bolam.

laundry time

laundry time

the beast! (aka Wobbly Bob)

the beast! (aka Wobbly Bob)

the kitchen window box

the kitchen window box

And since too much peace in my life is unsettling, I decided that my home studio isn’t arranged quite right, so now I am grappling with this mess:



But thanks to my amazing fellow, there’s a fridge stocked full of my favorite things to fuel me.  I also made sun tea.  Thankfully right now, wherever I am, there is glorious summer!

Happy Anniversary!


…to me and Mark!  We’ve been married three years today.  There is a crazy beautiful rainstorm here right now and somehow it seems fitting that it’s pouring since I can’t be with him.  It’s okay, because this trip has been like one giant anniversary celebration/honeymoon.