Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sand Games

I've been working on these sand games. It's driving me mad. I've also been putting huge efforts into my website. It's not quite up to snuff but hopefully soon. So much going on in my life, not a lot of time for blogging.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mary-Kate and Ashley and the ripping off of cool

I recognize that the Olsen twins have some sort of genius considering how much money they've made for themselves, but after paging through their book, "Influence", I don't think it's a genius composed of originality but of mass marketing. The book looks like it it was put together by someone who was pretending to be Andy Warhol but didn't really have the talent to pull it off. They pose with stars, they pose in polaroids with stars, they discuss what's so cool about each influential person they are posing with. It's the rape of cool....really.

Plus they remind me of troll dolls. I just had to get that off my chest.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The art of making art

Haven't Blogged in a while but have been working a bit at least. Hired Tatiana to edit the photo's of my board game series. I think that's the smartest move I've made in a while. I was so stressed out about photoshop and being perfect that I wasn't doing any artwork. She's doing an awesome job and I can't wait to get my website launched. Just a few more games, maybe 3 or 4 and I can move on to the next project. Also trying to keep producing constructions (I think I'm dropping the word Assemblage from my vocabulary for a while due to the images of other artists that pop up and that I'm trying to move toward making my own parts and pieces as opposed to merely collecting and assembling found objects). I've been building my own frames from vintage wood and trying to use use glass from salvage yards. It's more challenging to think of the piece in terms of the size and shape of the glass. Plus there are some amazing pieces of glass out there as well as old wood with beautiful crusty finishes. Hopefully after the game series, Tat will have time to edit the images of the constructions and the website will be up. Then I can really concentrate on the work.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Little Whacky

Kind of been fooling around with old cardboard boxes. You won't find what you expect inside.

Grey Goods

I attended an event last Wednesday at Grey Gallery in Seattle. I had no idea what the event was about since the boyfriend of the performer had described it as "girls standing around with outfits." This was not a bad description because there was an element of girls standing around with outfits but in actuality it was the third and final year Amy-Ellen Flatchestedmama Trefsger will be doing her Monochromatic May performance. The audience or "color court" as we were called, voted on which clothing was acceptably grey and Trefsger will exclusively wear the clothing for the month of May. She will then photograph herself each day and posts the images on her website:

I had a great time and found myself getting concerned about the differences between silver, grey and green. Of course, I wanted the audience to have more power to control the outcome, like what if we left her with only tops and no bottoms? Judging by her previous works, I think she would have found a way to make it work. I suppose she could have pulled a "Little Edie" and created skirts and pants from tops. Anyway, it was a fun filled evening.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Game for Sam

It's taking me a while to put up posts or to get anything finished for that matter. I sent this game to Sam for his Birthday. I think my relationship with the board game may be coming to a head. I have a few more pieces to complete but I'm working on a new idea in my head that doesn't seem to be going away so I better get working on it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Bruce Bickford Experience

I went to see a documentary about Bruce Bickford at the Frye last weekend. His claim to fame is Frank Zappa's "Baby Snakes." The film was great and Bickford was there afterward to answer questions and hock his wares which were tiny clay figures used in the films which he had incased in some kind of foamcore with cut pieces of found plasitc for windows. I waited around after the show to get a look that the figures and even wanted to buy one. He said make him an offer but he was unable to give anyone a price for any of them. It was all a hassle so I purchased a DVD. The trailor for the documentary, "Monster Road," can be seen here:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Two Shows in SF

While visiting SF I went to 2 incredible shows. The first at the MOMA was a retropective of William Kentridge. Kentridge is a South African artist that makes stop motion animation with shadow puppets.When you see behind the scenes you realize his work is put together with simple materials. He works mostly with black and white drawings and cut outs. I said he was a genious while we were at the museum so it must be true.

The second at the Deyoung was looking at Andy Warhol's work from the perspective of his involvement in Music and Dance. Each room represented a period of time in Warhols life. There were many artifacts including a record contract signed by the Velvet Underground and a silver trunk from the factory. I was very happy to see an original polaroid of Candy Darling. Ah, it's the little things in life.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I'm enjoying a Safeway chicken. Any thoughts Brian?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Another one completed

This game was sent to Nell for her birthday. Reworked it about 400 times...I think I had it with me too long. Best to get them on the road so I don't fiddle too much. Nothing is ever perfect and that needs to be OK with me if I want to produce more than one thing a year.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

James Castle Retrospective

I won't be able to see the James Castle retrospective because it's not coming anywhere near Seattle. It was bumming me out so I purchased the book from the show. You know if you don't buy these books when you see them you can never find them again. Anyway, I was trying to figure out when the documentary about his life was going to be released and low and behold, the DVD came with the book. Oh happy day, I am such a nerd.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Trip to Vancouver, BC

Purchased this box of paint at the Vancouver flea market. Being that I am a treasure hunter, any small obsession of mine becomes part of the hunt. I was very excited that this paint box contained only the color gray.

By the way Brian, I hope you went down to the basement. I didn't exactly steal anything this time but I did have my way with your things.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This morning

I realized at about 6AM that everything was all wrong. Needs a big can of gray paint - that will fit it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The drummer keeps drumming

I purchased a website...what have I gotten myself into? At least I was able to borrow an EZ Cube from work so I can get some better shots of my work. With the prospect of kids looming I feel the pressure to get something out into the world before I really have no time of my own.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Photoshop Hell

Computers make me want to through them out of the window. Thankfully Davora showed me how to get the background off of my images. I just wanted isolate the objects - how hard can that be. I was so close to getting it myself but I didn't realize that there were three different eraser tools. I feel lame because I learned on an older version and now I'm lost in the world of CS. I've also realized that some of the photos I took of games that I've mailed away will not work the way I need them to. I'll have to cross that bridge wehn I come to it.

I might buy a website today.....another bridge to cross.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Thrilled with myself

I am very excited about the game I'm making for Jennifer. It's better than I expected. Hopefully she will like it and feel that our trade was worth it. There are a few challenges left to overcome...something about a teeny, tiny metal cap but it's coming right along.

Have not been able to complete the game I was working on previously because the board keeps splitting apart but I'm very close. Should be able to post a few finished pieces soon.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Holy Grail

I have been wanting this book for a while now but could not find one for under $300. Found this slightly damaged copy for $75 so I went for it. Normally I wouldn't spend that much on a book but this one sort of had me obsessed. Why does it cost so much? Is it really the holy grail of books about assemblage art? It arrived today and I am excited to get it home.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Off White

I am obsessed with off-white paint. Bone white, navajo white, antique white, some people call it apartment white. I just can't get off of it. Everything I do has to start with that color and work its way to wherever it's going. Maybe I rented apartments for too long.

Monday, February 23, 2009

First Dada Moment

When I was in kindergarten I was babysat by a woman who lived across the street from us. One day I found some dry looking corn kernels on the sidewalk and I planted them in the dirt in the woman's front yard. In the spring the kernels grew into enormous stalks and produced several ears of corn. There were many discussions about the miracle corn and where it may have come from. I kept quiet.

Head Hurts

Back from Portland. Head hurts. Too much thinking. Had intense conversation with Jerry. Know what needs to be done. Lots of work ahead. Photos posted here are crap, need lots of work. Must brush up on photoshop and start editing but also must keep working on games. Lots to do. Wish I could take another day off work just for me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The RetroFuturistic Universe of NSK Seattle USA 2005

I haven't seen anything good for a while so I'm going to write a little about this NSK show I went to back in 2005. I can honestly say it was one of the best art exhibits I've ever seen. If you know nothing about the NSK movement look it up on-line. The NSK has many factions; the band Laibach, IRWIN (painting), Noordung (theater), among others. They draw inspriration from totalitaian or exteme nationalism. They created thier own country with an embassy, which I think was in an apartment and issued thier own passports. They always credit thier works collectivley futhering thier vision of a society without individualism.

I wish the Frye still had images on-line. The above image was my favorite painting, hard to see in this tiny image but it was the only one I could find.

Monday, February 16, 2009

PVA bookbinders glue

Saves the day once again.

OK, I may be slow but I realized that making a game board is a lot like making a book cover. So I used my fabulous bookbinding skills I learned at the SF center for the book to cover the board I was working on.

That was a great class taught by a woman named Victoria. She was super talented and and used to be a restoration binder for the library before opening her own binding business. She was the only instructor I've ever seen ask someone to never take another one of her classes because he annoyed everyone. He was very annoying.

I learned a great deal in that class including that if you work on computers too much you lose the ability to use your hands to make art.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I have too much in my head that needs to be created and no time...blah.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Selling Art

I tried for years to go the route of selling my work. I took classes, I learned craft after craft, I tried to sell at craft fairs. It took me this long to realize that I don't craft well. I can respect people who do but I don't make pretty things. And that's great with me now, I'm having more fun with art than I've ever had. I feel so free. I think that's what it's all about (for me anyway). I should mention that I played in 2 rock bands and tried starting an improvisation group during the last 15 years as well. I've also taken poetry classes and tried my hand at writing short stories...I always wanted to be a writer but really I'm a visual artist and that's becoming more clear to me. Even if I don't get a show down the road or never do anything more than this blog, I am truly happy with what I'm doing. And already have several other concepts lined up after this game phase passes.
Picture here is a pile of unsold left-overs from a crafts fair. You can see why I didn't make much money.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


It's been very slow moving but I finished another piece. Not sure I love this one but I like that it's small and I used some images from an old 1940's fingerprint magazine that I've had lying around for some time. The box is an old slide box like the kind you got from the drug store when you picked up your slides. I also like the idea of using a French title since I speak no French at all and can't possibly know if I am translating it correctly.

The outside of the box depicts and policeman and the word "Authority", while the inside is all criminals. The game seems to be one-sided in a way since the outside of the box can't really be used to effect the game. Maybe you try to match the fingerprint cards with the image of the criminal; an impossible task. The guns are there to represent game pieces but since there is no board, they can't really be used that way. The cards are all individually painted on the back and then laminated.

13 Most Beautiful....Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests

I attended this show last night at the Sam here in Seattle. It was lovely. I especially was in awe of the segment with Ann Buchanan, she's staring and then you notice she's not blinking, then her eyes well up and tears stream down her face. It's quite mesmerizing.

Davora took this photo at the show because she is naughty.

Not sure how long the show will be traveling but they are putting out a DVD soon. I think seeing at home won't do it justice though because part of the wonderment was how large the images were.

you can view the trailer here:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

and now for something a little different...

When I was growing up it was common knowledge that Yoko Ono broke up the band and blah, blah, blah. It wasn't until I attended a retrospective of her work at the SF MOMA back in 2002 that it really clicked with me that all that is just simply racism and sexism. The fact is that she is and has always been a brilliant and fascinating person and I can see why John Lennon loved her.
She is an amazing and thought provoking artist. When I was in New york last year I made a pilgrimage to Printed Matter specifically because she sells her work there. I ended up purchasing her peace button set because that is all they had at the time. I did not appreciate them until I wore them to a "revolution" themed party.
I also have her book Grapefruit which I wanted for a long time but held out for until I found it used (I am cheap). There were several pieces on exhibit that were interpreted from Grapefruit at the MOMA show. Very cool stuff.
I really wanted to post something about her because she inspires me not only as an artist but a peace activist. It is importanat to stay inspired and not get bogged down. You have to keep moving forward like a shark or you will drown in the water.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

work in progress

I have several pieces in progress but don't seem to be getting anywhere with them today. My cat keep pacing across my table and yowling at me to go out but won't go out when I open the door. Several of my friends are in crisis which is heavy on my mind. Facebook is very distracting and has now crossed over into some unpleasantness because someone accepted my friendship but apparently did not know who I was and are now saying stupid things. I should have known better, I do know better. On top of it I have to go babysit in a short while. All this is not helping the creative flow. Maybe this weekend is a wash. Camilla will be home around 4 so realistically if I can pull myself away from the stupid computer I could get something done. But now I have a headache.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Work is incredible slow right now and I suppose I should be thankful I still have a job but what a frickin' waste of time. I could be at home working on my own project. It's so stupid the way the working world is set up. Why am I here?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wax is nice

I really like working with wax but it's pretty much disposable.

The best art gift I was ever given consisted of insect exoskeletons on wax. Even when it disintegrated it was beautiful.

The best thing I've found about wax is that it soaks into porous materials like leather or paper.

Pictured here is a large chunk of craft wax, bees wax for book binding, various candles and two types of old-fashioned household waxes.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Da Da Da Da

Dada: Zurich, Berlin, Hannover, Cologne, New York, Paris

I Finally purchased this book. Published in 2005, it's probably one of the best books about DaDaism. Can't wait to go home tonight and thumb through.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Another One Completed

Now that I'm making these for myself I can use little parts and pieces that I would otherwise have a hard time parting with. This one is sort of outdoorsy.

Cats and Art

Always a winning combination!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I think this is the complete Calder circus. I searched everywhere for the DVD and realized I should have purchased it when I saw the retrospective of his work in SF years ago. I'm not specifically obsessed with him (as Brian is with me) but I love that circus. The film is from 1961.

Part 1

Part 2

Monday, January 12, 2009

More Fun-N-Games

I'm going to continue down this path of making board games for a while and hopefully by the end of the year I will have enough for a show. Dika thinks I can get a show in Lincoln Nebraska. Seattle seems pretty tough except for the ever popular cafe venue. I don't think these games would work in a cafe because they are not wall mountable. I also like the thought of Kansas City because Mott had his gallery there and I've always wanted to go there and see what the lifestyle is like. Maybe there is somewhere in Austin TX...I'm only thinking of places I'd like to visit.....After all, art is a self-centered activity.

I will post more photos as the games are completed. I have one finished but it's a gift and I'm keeping it a secret- plus it needs to be re-worked. This is all going to put a cramp in the other stuff I'm working on but I haven't felt that inspired by any of it anyway. I was up half the night going through different concepts in my head so time to do some work.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Last Christmas Gifts

These are the last of the Christmas gifts I made for 2008. Camilla requested a bird feed but I couldn't quite figure out how to make the kind I wanted. We have so many squirrels here in Seattle I felt concerned about the food getting taken if the feeder wasn't the right kind. I ended up taking off the bottom plate of a feeder I purchased and replacing it with a plate I made from an old decorative copper plate and some tin ceiling tiles. I also made her garden markers for her herb garden from pieces of copper and wire hangers. I pounded out the names of the herbs with a letter set I purchased when I was taking a jewelry making class.