Friday, August 22, 2014


This post is about my wonderful studio, which I've had for almost two years.

 A couple of weeks ago I had a photo shoot with Eric Swanson, a photographer here who has a blog of artists in their studios. He's been taking photos like this since he was nineteen and he is good at it. I posted this photo of my studio on my Facebook page and people think I work in a space the size of an airplane hangar. Actually it's about 600 square feet, which is roomy but not overwhelmingly large, as it looks in the photo. All photos are copyright Eric Swanson.

Here's a photo of my keepsake wall. Some of these cards and photos I've had for a long time- a yellowed newspaper photo of a charred venetian blind from the World Trade Center, for instance, and a postcard a friend made from her own photo of the towers. I added a few cards recently.

Doilies from Chinatown in San Francisco, a white ink drawing on vellum from topographical map, a piece of intentionally crumpled paper.

Here I am about to squeegee. This was just for show, though.  Last year I started experimenting with using squeegee and mica filled acrylic paint over photographs that were transferred to Japanese paper, then folded and cut. I often use the processes of printmaking in my work- this is from silkscreening, and causes a smear of paint that is hard to control, which I like. I'll do a few and pick the one I like best. The paper doesn't always like it- some fibers come along with the paint. But I like that too. There's a subtle sheen to the paper and a not so subtle metallic look to the paint.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


I've lived in Santa Fe for over four years now and yet this morning, browsing Facebook, I saw a post that reminded me that in many ways I'm still an outsider here.

My past lives were spent in cities, where people naturally expect newcomers and accept that they bring something new to the conversation. Santa Fe is different- small town values in a way, and also people come and go here, so sometimes there is hesitation to connect with new people, because they may not stay. I've posted about this before, that one person told me to never tell anyone I've been here for less than two years or they won't bother getting to know me.

As artists, we spend many many hours alone. Probably most of our days, if we're serious. That's something I'm fully comfortable with. But then there are the moments that I feel separate and not in a good way. I have ways to overcome sadness- taking a walk along the river, feeling surrounded by beauty in the sky and the mountains, or just taking stock of what I'm grateful for is usually enough to lift my mood. But I'm lucky to not be battling depression all the time.

We've all been reminded of the danger of depression and addiction this week with the suicide of Robin Williams. Once again, as when Philip Seymour Hoffman died, everyone weighs in with their opinion, their emotional responses. Social media make it possible for us to all be pundits. We're first shocked- then we say, you know, you could see that in his performances. He seemed to be clinging to a lifeboat all the time. One thing it teaches us all- no matter how someone seems to have it all, we have no idea what their demons are. Be kind, because you just don't know when someone is suffering.

For me, the most poignant and well-written piece is this one by Russell Brand in the Guardian. Here is a quote:

What platitudes then can we fling along with the listless, insufficient wreaths at the stillness that was once so animated and wired, the silence where the laughter was? That fame and accolades are no defence against mental illness and addiction? That we live in a world that has become so negligent of human values that our brightest lights are extinguishing themselves? That we must be more vigilant, more aware, more grateful, more mindful? That we can’t tarnish this tiny slice of awareness that we share on this sphere amidst the infinite blackness with conflict and hate?
That we must reach inward and outward to the light that is inside all of us? That all around us people are suffering behind masks less interesting than the one Robin Williams wore? Do you have time to tune in to Fox News, to cement your angry views to calcify the certain misery?