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Obsess Over Everything

Posts tagged anatomy

It’s been ages since my last post.  But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on some things!  At the beginning of January, I came out to Oakland, CA so that I could start my time as an artist in residence at the Kala Institute in Berkeley!  The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council awarded me a grant that helped me to finally follow one of my passions that I sometimes forget: printmaking.

So, from January to February I will be doing a whole lot of etching (on copper plates) and maybe some screenprinting.  All my extra time will be devoted to prepping for an upcoming Solo Show at 707 Gallery in downtown Pittsburgh and exploring the Bay Area.

 

What have I made so far?  A few prints and many more tests and experiments with paper!  I’ve been printing on sheets of rice paper (not pictured) and different thicknesses and it’s going surprisingly well.  These images shown are my interpretations of my cutouts into two dimensional prints.  Next step is to incorporate papercutting!  There’s a little shop in Japantown in San Francisco that sells all kinds of rice papers and I think that’s where I’ll begin my papercutting experiments.  _DSC0318_DSC0328 _DSC0325_DSC0330 _DSC0331 _DSC0335 _DSC0337 _DSC0341 _DSC0344 _DSC0347 _DSC0348 _DSC0351 _DSC0353 Wood

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Things this month have been absolutely amazing and absolutely busy! I am proud to announce that I am the Grand Prize Winner of the 2014 VSA Young Emerging Artist Program with the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.! This year’s theme was “The Journey,” and prompted artists to submit their work that concerned their own personal journeys living with a disability. With this award, my piece is exhibited in the Smithsonian in Washington, it is also part of a nationally traveling exhibition, and I receive a cash prize of $20,000. I have been invited, along with the other 14 winners, to attend a Congressional Reception in January so I’m already starting to plan my outfit! I am extremely honored to be receiving this award and am so excited to see what this next year holds for me.1622843_10152345255192694_5115025851877106456_n

My winning papercut sculpture, Never Stopping, deals with my experiences as a heart transplant recipient, specifically the overwhelming feelings related to my physical issues as well as the desire for healing. The entire original sculpture is about 16 ft in height and is made entirely of handcut paper. I also added screenprinted cutouts of hands, legs, oranges, and bananas. These symbolize offerings and milagros, or physical representations of intentions. The idea behind it was for the viewer to become overwhelmed with the structure, in order to mimic my own feelings. For the Kennedy Center, I brought the piece down to a smaller scale, which you can see in the photo.me

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Never Stopping

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My transplant is a major part of my life, and I am open to any questions readers might have. I received my heart at the age of 14 months at New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. That transplant team became my family, and I am always going back every now and then to visit. They still follow up with me and my procedure results even though I have switched to the cardiology team at UPMC Children’s Hospital. Right now, I still have my original heart making my transplant one of the oldest single organ transplants in the country.

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This past week, I opened a show in Oakland, CA for First Fridays.  It was so much fun and my first exhibit on the West Coast!  I had a bit of help with some of the bigger installation, and for the first time went on scaffolding.  Since I’m a short little lady, I was terrified of being so high off the ground.  But I did it and everything turned out so perfect.  Really, I don’t think I’ve ever had an easier install and it’s all thanks to the awesome, generous people from the gallery.  There’s an espresso bar connected, so I suggest to anyone from the area to stop by!  The show is at Hat Rac Gallery up from June 6- July 25.

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Boys setting up the scaffolding.

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Gold and black cutouts going up on the wall.  Yes, they’re all handcut!

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Never Stopping

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Growth in the

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Is there an ending?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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These photos are from the week before my show in Oakalnd at Hat Rac Gallery.  There are always last minute things to get ready, and I was still making work up until the end.  Some pieces shown didn’t make it into the show, but instead just stayed home being beautiful.

 

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This little guy was an experiment in materials.  I use turmeric to get that yellow color.  I also mixed in cinnamon and cumin so that there’s a hint of scent in it.  The rest of the colors are watercolor, which I’m not sure how I feel about…  But then I added some leaves that I found to frame it in.  That mug is holding it down while it dries.  You’ve gotta get creative sometimes with your process…_DSC0699 _DSC0700_DSC0694

This is Biggie…. she passes out in my studio all day long._DSC0704

I’m still not sure how I feel about this piece.  It’s love hate…  I love the layers, the burning, the shadows created by the turmeric.  But I don’t know why I didn’t keep it as just a circle.  It was meant to look like it was breaking apart or breaking out… but this is just kind of funky.  I will most likely redo this and make one with just a circle…  _DSC0651 _DSC0652

I threw these photos in for fun.  These are my little triangle cutouts burned, dyed, and covered in wax.  So much process…. I also picked these pieces of sage and wheat-looking guys and covered them in wax, too.  So awesome…_DSC0653 _DSC0657 _DSC0660 _DSC0662 copy _DSC0663 _DSC0666I figured there aren’t many photos of me working.  Just of my work working itself.  So here it is… I was particularly proud of this skater-ish outfit I was sporting last night.  I’ve never been more comfortable.  Here I’m pondering what in the world I’m doing with my life…

 

 

_DSC0646_DSC0649_DSC0647_DSC0648_DSC0654_DSC0656What an awful title for this post… sorry but that’s all I’ve got for you right now.  It’s late here and titles aren’t going to be produced from this mind anytime soon.  The point is, here’s the finished piece.  Surprisingly, this took me much longer to make than I expected.  Here was the process:

– Take a sheet of Rives BFK and handpaint the turmeric ink on it.  With this one, I wanted to put only a slight amount of water.  So I used a squirt bottle and sprayed light amounts of water in certain spots.  I use the word “handpaint” because I literally put gloves on and painted it on with my fingers.  There was a certain airy look I wanted and I knew I’d only get it this way.  Plus, I felt a little distanced from my pieces with a brush.  Don’t know what that change is about, but that’s what’s going on.

– Make the drawing.  I drew the little shapes in pencil and was careful to not smear the turmeric anymore.  It isn’t set on there, and there are still pretty big chunks of the spice…

– Make the cutouts…  BFK is awful to cut through.  I don’t know why I do this to myself. I had to take two trips to the hot springs out here to get the pain out of my arm….

– Make the drawings on a second sheet of rice paper that align with the BFK cutouts.  Then cut those little guys out…

-Add the final layer of BFK on the back.

 

This post is a little random, I’m aware of it so that makes it ok.  I guess…  Anyways these are some photos of my inspirations for the day and what I have going on in my studio._DSC0625

This little orange patch doesn’t leave my mind.  I found it on a rock right outside my studio while I was taking a walk.  First off, the color.  I can’t even handle it.  Second off, I love seeing how it forms.  A lot of my work deals with swarms and natural growth.  It’s nice to see some ideas on how to make my pieces seem more real…._DSC0628

Here you have turmeric dissolving in Linseed Oil.  Yeah, I know it looks just like that previous photo.  I need to figure out a way to capture this…  Ideas are brewing. _DSC0631

More turmeric pigment.  This one is mixed with water.  I’m going back to my obsession with circles.  It was only right that I made one piece with a circular shape._DSC0634 _DSC0635

These guys don’t leave my side.  That’s nice because sometimes at night it gets creepy.  But they pass out all day and all night in my studio.  I guess they like that I keep a tropical climate in here.  Plus I give them treats…_DSC0636 _DSC0637

Some more cutouts. This one is a largescale installation in progress… I was inspired when I first saw Keira Knightley wearing a hat with mesh in some movie that I really hated… anyways she had a similar pattern on the mesh and I instantly knew I had to make something with it.  It also is supposed to resemble rainforest plants/sea coral.  Really, all of my images are jumbles of representations that are only meant to seem familiar.  You know it’s some sort of organism, but not what kind exactly.  _DSC0638

My fanny pack has become my new best friend.  I take it everywhere and it’s so easy to carry.  I’ve had it for a while now, but I recently studded it.  Gold studs of course…. and this is my little hook of clothing goodies.  The dogs know it’s time to leave whenever I walk over to this hook and grab something off it.  _DSC0640

Bones out drying.  They’re all washed but the next step is to grind them down and then wash again.  _DSC0641Little branches.  So beautiful, I don’t know what to do with them first! Do I put them in a piece?  Copy the shape and the growth pattern?  I don’t know!

 

 

 

I’ve had this idea brewing in my head for some time and it just had to get out.  I definitely want to make two of these pieces, one that’s 10 x 10 and another that’s 20 x 20.  But they’re little cutout guys that resemble vaginas or those things that grow on trees in the rainforest.  Either way, it resembles something organic.  I’ve been trying to work on a smaller scale as compared to my larger installation work.  It’s far more time consuming since I want to get every single cut just right and not have frayed edges.  _DSC0602 _DSC0605

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I started using turmeric as pigment.  It’s really the only color I’ve introduced so far to my pieces that I aim to show.  I may grind up some wheat or cinnamon, but turmeric has a special meaning for me.  I drink it in milk or eat it in paste form to bring down inflammation on my foot when it flares up.  I do notice a difference, and try to eat it as often as I can for health reasons.  Because of that, I wanted to introduce it into my work.  It gives an amazing golden color and a hint of scent if you get close.  _DSC0609 _DSC0614 _DSC0615

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All of these little baby cutouts were used too.  It’s a lot of detail, but they make everything come together.  _DSC0619 _DSC0621 _DSC0622 _DSC0612