November 30, 2009

Save the Date

Holiday Open House, Open Studio

Come join us for a holiday studio sale here in Los Angeles on December 13th, 2009

Mary Addison Hackett
Marla Johnson
Meg Madison
Rosalyn Myles

Holiday Open House, Open Studio
Painting, Photography, Jewelry, Mixed Media & Textile Art.

Sunday Dec 13th
11am to 5pm
461 N. Citrus Ave, Los Angeles
(Corner of Rosewood Ave, South of Melrose, West of Highland)

November 29, 2009

I'm almost giddy with the prospect of going to bed at 10pm tonight

Yes, the holidays were quite fun. I had the Human Snow Globe staying with me for a few days; I was invited to an incredible potluck with fantastic food and company; I saw, and paid attention to people performing on the promenade; I was invited to a dinner at a friend's and saw the most amazing view of the city I have ever seen; I rode my motorcycle to my meeting this morning and had lunch with a group of bikers who are like brothers to me; another artist offered to trade a painting with me and unless they change their mind, I feel like I won the lottery; and after noodling around on facebook trying to figure out why the open studio event I created did not publish as a calendar event, I am ready to dive into my cozy bed in 12 minutes flat.

What a fantastic weekend. There's more, but I'm at T-10, so gotta run.

More on the studio event tomorrow. I am dead serious about being in bed with lights out at 10pm tonight.

November 28, 2009

Non Groundbreaking News: six bank statements to reconcile

Seriously, how much post holiday fun can one have? I ate pumpkin pie for breakfast so theoretically I've already cashed in on my reward system.

November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving eve. Cooking √.

It's Thanksgiving eve. I have already prepped my dish for the potluck tomorrow. Pan-seared grits with braised red cabbage. Yum-yum.

I recently applied for a residency at the last minute, desperately hoping to take a break and work at the same time. I received my notice today. Anytime a letter starts off with, thank you for applying....I'm certain my eyes glaze over, and yet, I still love the mail. I was offered the residency, but did not receive a full fellowship, plus, the slot I applied for was full. I'm on the waiting list, with the possibility of some merit based grant money, but winter would have probably killed me anyway. I was encouraged to reapply for a full fellowship at the next DL, which I may do. I'm unable to do a residency without a full fellowship. That's a simple fact of life right now.

Which has got me rethinking where I'm at with the small paintings, the pool paintings, abstraction etc. My solo with KE gallery is not until next fall, I have a 4-person show in the spring, and another opportunity knocked but I'm not sure I can schedule that or talk about it right now. I'm suddenly feeling the need to paint larger again, and simultaneously, not sure if I want to, but feeling like I need to, in order to build up some gravitas. My never-ending battle of Id vs. Ego vs. Super-ego.

I am grateful and thankful tonight. As I heard this evening, "Figuring it out is not one of the slogans."

November 24, 2009

More Untitled

My goal is to actually use disposable palettes, but no, I just keep piling out paint on my glass palette, even as I am trying to scrape it clean.

These are four more oil paintings on canvas board that will find there way over to the smaller work blog soon. They're still wet. I am also trying to not work infinitely on one painting until there is no more room for a single brushstroke. You may also notice I have limited my palette to colors found in nature.

I was at a brunch meeting yesterday with a passel of artists (okay, maybe 20 artists.) We've been invited to participate in a curatorial project over in Italy. The first part of the exhibition was held this past summer. One of my smaller abstract paintings went over for that exhibition. It took place in the archaeological museum in Ameila, Italy. Roughly and in a nutshell, the premise of the exhibition is part cultural exchange, part contextual exchange. There are two more exhibitions within the framework of the project. Next year, a show here in L.A., and next summer, a response exhibition in Italy again.

Which is all to say that as I was talking to John, the curator of the exhibition, about my new empty pool paintings, he mentioned the landscape artists from 17th century Italy that depicted romanticized ruins. He later sent me several links for research. I have a minor in art history, so it registered in my image databank, but it's been awhile since I've looked in that direction.
Among the exponents of this »romantic« approach to the landscape were the artists of »Rovinismo«, in whose paintings images of grottoes and ruins played a significant role. These painters emphasised the gloomy, bizarre aspects of crumbling, overgrown architecture and grottoes, integrating them into richly suggestive scenes veiled in mystery. With their picturesque appeal, such images call to mind pagan mystery plays or the cult activities of forbidden secret sects.
Sounds perfect!

It's lame to leave them Untitled. I know that.
Titles are important to me and I have not been able to access the time and space needed for that just yet. I'm merely staving off the inevitable.

November 23, 2009

One more note about ARTRA.

I met with my Otis students yesterday and we talked about the ARTRA show. It was a fantastic discussion. Curatorial premise, cultural differences and expectations, commodification, what inspires people to make art, materials used, the space in which we look at art, what it all means etc. Most of my students are not fine art majors. It's a Sunday class, so I've got a good cross-section and they're smart. Most of them are interested in design of some sort. Yes, I know, it's funny since I tend to be the anti-christ of design, but anyhoo, the one thing that surprised me was to hear some of them talk about how difficult it is to SEE art here in L.A. Unlike NYC, where you amble by a gallery and stop in- here, you have to make a concerted effort to visit a gallery. Many of my students said they found the commercial setting of galleries intimidating since they don't plan on buying art. Therefore, they didn't feel like a gallery was a place to make a special trip just to look at art. Seeing as artists, we're ingrained from day one to look as a much art as we can, I don't think it occurred to me that galleries would be an intimidating place to look at art. Ironic, no?

It does require effort to look at art. I have to schedule it on my calendar. I'm not so great with openings. I go to openings to say hello to people and I am notoriously remiss at attending more than 2 or 3 openings in an evening. Sometimes I'm notoriously remiss at attending one opening in an evening.

I'll post some new work later on. The Furry One is demanding my attention right now.

November 22, 2009

Try Harder posted some pics of ARTRA

And this is the link where you can see my work.

While you're there, check out other works from the exhibit and other events going down in LALA. Nice camera work, too.

Day 3 of reminding you that I have works on paper and canvas board for sale over at smaller works.
Wish List: For Christmas, I'd like the gift of Time. Just in case you're wondering.

November 21, 2009

I feel like I'm undergoing a personality change. I think it's good though.

Enjoyable and Productive.

I am taking a break. Technically, most of the afternoon was a break, My friend Susan was in town so I picked her up from Union Station and we came back to Culver City so she could see my studio and we could catch up. Prior to that I had a productive morning in the studio working on some new small oil petches/skaintings to hawk over at my smaller works site. I love painting. Really. I just do. I love to paint. I still amaze myself at how captivating it is to slosh pigment around and have it make sense.

I RSVP'd to a friend's super tony opening and had every intent on stopping by on the way back from dropping Susan off at Union Station this evening, but the velvet roped line of people out front of Royal T deterred me. I had no idea I would have to stand in line or I would have dressed for the affair.  Instead, I was wearing vintage 501's and a Gap shirtdress that looks like a hospital gown. I was comfy, but not exactly high fashion. I felt bad. That's 2 out of 2 friends whose openings I  didn't make out of being totally exhausted or otherwise deterred by obstacles. If I ever get to the point where people have to stand in line to see my art,  I will totally forgive my friends who aren't into standing in lines. I promise. There are enough people in the world who like to stand in lines, so it should work out perfectly.

Thus I had more time to work on the smaller works site and upload a couple of new images from the iPhone prints before bedtime. I'm pretty excited that the iPhone prints may at one point become small lucid paintings. Have I mentioned I love to paint. Yes, I think I did.

Whew. That might not look like a full day, but after spending a couple of hours in traffic on the LA freeway system with a brief stop at the grocery store, it filled out quite nicely.

Okay then, from now until the first of the year, I plan on shamelessly self-promoting my smaller works blog as well as The Fine Art Department website.

November 18, 2009


Act II got lost.

First off, The folks behind Blogger are amazingly f'n dimwitted. The new updated post editor does not- get this, DOES NOT, have a spell checker! WTF? I mean, sure, I think we should spell things all proper and look words up in the dictionary. Builds character. But to NOT have a spellchecker in an UPDATED version is like mind-bogglingly mind-boggling. Okay. it's useless to rant about it. I went back to the old post editor.

Tracy took action and prompted everyone on The Fine Art Department website to update their info, upload new works, etc etc. Part of the etc etc was asking everyone for their facebook fanpage. Ugh. The dreaded fanpage. Sure, Fang can have his own fanpage cuz he's a dogstar, (The real deal, not Keanu Reeves' band.) but moi? I tried to have followers on this blog and after only 4 people were following me, I removed it. I am self-conscious, even in cyberspace.

So, in case you weren't listening on facebook and missed my opening this weekend, here's a decent pic of Mike Vegas and I in our space. We had never met before, so it was fun to meet someone new. That's Mike in front of his photograph. I will take liberty here and assume it's titled, Super. That's me in front of SOSSOL. I love that painting. It will find a good home one day.

November 16, 2009

Act I

I tend to fuss and fidget when I have a million things to do. I also tend to exaggerate. I don’t have a million things to do. Maybe ten, but they're time-consuming.

The house and studio were hit by a hurricane last week. Not literally of course, but I like the analogy. I now have to clean and straighten, and put like with like.

The ARTRA exhibit was fun. I met some artists I hadn’t met before and of course, The Public. The Public was nice too, though some people in the public were a little too attached to their public persona. I noticed. With my Quiet Observational Skills. She said.

Now that it’s after the fact I will confess a couple of things. My mailing list is in need of updating and streamlining. I was unable to email everyone on my ML about the exhibit this past weekend. I had to prioritize tasks and the ML merge did not get accomplished. Instead, random invites were sent. If your first name started with an A, B, C, D, E, or F, I think you got an invite. I also sent the mass FB invite, which is the social networking equivalent of leaving flyers on parked cars. Today I began the delete phase of my ML- cutting places no longer in business and people whose emails bounce back or who I can no longer recollect how I got their name. Phase two is adding all the names and emails I have collected over the past couple of years, but have not entered. Phase three will be uploading the emails to a ML subscriber service like MailChimp.

My other confession is that I did not feel compelled to rent a truck and bring any of the big paintings. The unit was a 1BR loft, and after working in a cramped 2-car studio garage, it was nice to see some wall space around the pieces. I showed some of the smaller works and they got a good response. I was appreciative at the end of the second day when a painter whose work I like, but who I had not previously met, complimented the small paintings and commented how small paintings were difficult. I like when people notice that I work hard and that my hard work is successful. I am partial to the small paintings for a myriad of reasons, which I will address more in depth after the intermission.

All the hipster artdogs were out with their hipster artdog owners. I considered bringing Fang on the second day. I entertained that thought for about 30 seconds. Then I entertained the thought of someone dropping a pretzel on the floor and trying to pick it up before Fang got to it.


November 15, 2009

DAY 2: ARTRA "HERE AND NOW" 12-5 Loft #332.

Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday, and in advance, to those who plan on making it out today.

Yesterday's event was pleasant. I forgot a sweater. Nine years in LA and I still imagine California to be a tropical climate. Foot traffic was good. The automated espresso machine in the courtyard was a lifesaver.

November 14, 2009


Super quick post before I load up last minute necessities and lumber out the door.

bar stools √
pretzels √
water √
cherry coke zero √
Tota lights for when it gets dark √
new paintings to show special people, and aren't all people special? √
laptop √
cords √
camera √
PictureMate and paper
ego √
thick skin √
quiet observational skills √

Okay, Team MAH, let's lock and load.

November 12, 2009

Real Painters Use Paint.

#35 Get off the Couch

Yes, so I'm in the real studio today cleaning my real painting table off and have another painter coming over to take a look at the pool paintings-the real ones that smell like oil paint.

I'm stymied by my lack of interest in making abstract work on the iPhone. It just doesn't hold my interest right now. I think it has to do with it being virtually impossible to make an honest abstract mark on the iPhone. It LOOKS like a painterly blob, but it's not created the same way as a painterly blob. The abstract painting on the iPhone is simply a image of what an abstract painting would look like, not what it actually is. That, and I'm really into the the banal images representing my life right now.

Wait a second....

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November 11, 2009

I'm so hooked on this.

I just discovered digital printmaking Nirvana. They're gorgeous-absolutely stellar, drop-dead lovely.

I dusted off my PictureMate, cleaned the head about 20 times, and have printed out two test prints on matte photo paper. It's like the digital art equivalent of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

#25 Clock Radio

iPhone sketch #25

November 09, 2009

ARTRA at T-Lofts this weekend: 332

If you're in Los Angeles, stop by. We're in Loft 332*
ARTRA at T-Lofts
Nov 14th, Nov 15th, 12-5pm
11500 Tennessee Avenue
Los Angeles, 90064

Catalog available

*I'm pretty sure it's 332, but if not, it's a variation of that number such as 322 or 329. Based on my memory and the floorplan, I'm going with 332.

I'm back from installing paintings. It looks good. I'm showing with Mike Vegas, an artist who I had not previously met, but we have mutual friends.

It's an event-food, drinks, music, DJ's somewhere. I'm tempted to set up a print corner and pass the time by making sketches of my paintings using Brushes and then print them out as 4" x 6" prints.

Speaking of which...
I think this is obvious-but in case you need to buy a vowel, those are German Shepherd ears silhouetted against the bedroom window.

Clock Radio coming up. I'm being prolific again.

November 06, 2009

Collated and Mailed.

I want a prize.

The grant was deceptively simple, yet unnecessarily complex. TWENTY-SIX pages to wade through. For real. And— AND, there was conflicting information about what to include and how to include it. I mean, if it was a 1-page grant app, sure, I can think outside the box and wing it, but I'm thinking with 26 pages and explicit directions, perhaps a little proofreading might have been a good idea.

The good news is that I'm set to whip it out in no time at all next year. I'm also really pleased about my project proposal and how it ties back in to some work I did about 15 years ago. Unfortunately it's not exactly big happy art-it deals with my mom's memory loss and um, you know, that inevitable thing other than taxes, but I'm hoping my wicked sense of inappropriate humor will lighten it up.

My next scheduled administrative task MUST be completed this weekend and then I swear I'm going to do nothing but paint.
Oooooh, but wait! I've printed out a hi-rez image of my Brushes iphone sketch, #25 clock radio. OMG, I'm in love with my iPhone. Okay, paint, and make iphone sketches- that's all I'm going to do.

Stay tuned for affordable prints!

November 03, 2009

Dharma Zen Center Silent Auction Nov. 7th

Curated and organized by David McDonald. Online preview and bidding available through November 7th.

Please come to our live auction/sale to benefit the Dharma Zen Center this Saturday the 7th from 6-9 p.m. To view all the items to be auctioned go to and click on the auction link. Over a 100 items are available with over 50 works of original art included. Items being auctioned include guitar lessons, reiki treatments, trips, gift certificates, jewelry, and art lessons.

The artworks on view will be sold for $108 except for works by Steve Roden, Lecia Dole-Recio, Joanne Greenbaum, and Laura Owens which will be auctioned with bids starting at $108 and increasing in increments of $50.

Artists: Kim Abeles, Lisa Adams, Maura Bendett, Cherie Benner Davis, Leonardo Bravo, Lynne Berman, Dove Bradshaw, Annie Buckley, Jamison Carter, Cole Case, Katy Crowe, David D’Andrade, Caryl Davis, Steve DeGroodt, Lecia Dole-Recio, Sam Erenberg, Nancy Evans, Joanne Greenbaum, Phyllis Green, Margaret Griffith, Mary Addison Hackett, Ruth Hardinger, Sarah Hinckley, Mary Jones, Dion Johnson, Virginia Katz, Barbara Kerwin, Mara Lonner, David McDonald, Robin Mitchell, Timothy Nolan, Laura Owens, Carolie Parker, Jeanne Patterson, Joan Perlman, Katie Phillips, Michael Pierzynski, Pam Posey, Max Presneill, Jessica Rath, Lucas Reiner, Rebecca Ripple, Steve Roden, Kate Savage, Fran Siegel, Carol Silverstein, Kathryn Spence, Maggie Tennesen, Devon Tsuno, Cheryl Walker, Alexandra Wisenfield, Megan Williams, and Andre Yi

I need new business cards, too.

Tuesday Morning's Brushes Sketch.

I am drifting into a parallel universe where things look like words from the dictionary.

November 02, 2009

Take care of the work.. The work should take care of you.

"To take care of my work as best I know, really put everything into my work, and the work would return that to me..."

-excerpt from interview with Julie Mehretu, page 135, Inside the Painter's Studio, by Joe Fig