Up on the Third Floor

I just moved into a new studio, a room on the third floor at Studio Place Arts (SPA). I’ve spent the past ten months at SPA as the resident artist, occupying a small studio on the second floor gratis. I decided, when my residency ended, that I wasn’t ready to leave SPA nor the opportunity of working in a studio separated from my house. Through snow, wind, rain, and sun, I have found that I love walking to and from the studio and home. We live midway up a hill here in Barre, so the walk is not insignificant, in terms of exercise for the legs and lungs. But I do enjoy the trip each time. So, I moved into an available space on the third floor, where I’ll share two-thirds of a large, airy room with fellow artist Athena Petra Tasiopoulos. There’s finally space for my rocking chair and stacks of art books that I can now sit down and read while drinking ginger tea. #whatcouldbebetter

 My studio.

My studio.

Artist to Watch

It's all things February right now: confusing weather (snowstorm followed by rainstorm, followed by 60˚F days, followed by flooding), dreams of seed starting and growing the garden, and studio work. I'm working hard to finish collage paintings for my upcoming show (opens March 27) at Studio Place Arts in my home city of Barre, Vt., where I currently have a studio space as an artist-in-residence

 My studio, looking out...the fishbowl!

My studio, looking out...the fishbowl!

In other news, Vermont Art Guide just published their latest issue--#6--and included me as one of their "artists to watch." I'm honored to be featured alongside the likes of Janet Van Fleet and other favorite Vermont artists. I'll also have work included in one of the two exhibitions at the Vermont Arts Council later this spring, showcasing the artists featured in the artist-to-watch series.

Back to the drawing board, now.

May your spirits stay high--despite of or because of the rain--and may you see some good art!

 A work in progress in my studio - I start with a collage base of vintage images and paint over them.

A work in progress in my studio - I start with a collage base of vintage images and paint over them.

Before and After

My questions for the month are: what is political? What is personal? This month’s election (well, and the campaign leading up to it ) blurred everything. Political because personal and vice versa. And now everything is piled up in a big junk heap, awaiting for that lit match tossed in nonchalantly. I am still reeling. But I’m not static which leads to the questions burning holes in my mental pockets: how can I channel energy outward? How can I used my words and pictures to say something that matters? Make big head masks and get out into the streets? 

I didn't realize it at the time but this installation, Communal Fire, is a tribute to the idea of descent, of moving from higher to lower ground, and ultimately, to meeting up in a place where it's all about sharing. So it's a fitting statement for how I feel, post-election, and perhaps for how things have to move in order to get better.

 Pre-installation/election heater

Pre-installation/election heater

 Post-installation/election heater

Post-installation/election heater

Birds' Eye

Birds-eye-view, aerial, and panoramic views…why do I love it so? I’m working on a picture of Montpelier, VT, currently my hometown, and in doing so, I’m seeing what the wide world of Google has to offer me for references. So much overhead view! Is landscape a character? If attachment to a landscape supersedes other things like job opportunities, cost of living, diversity, are you crazy to remain attached? I find myself in that boat, tied up to a particular harbor. In my case, the boat is a canoe, and the harbor is a green bank on a Vermont lake. It’s frightening, committing to a place. My limitless view of the world (”I could go ANYWHERE…except maybe Afghanistan”) has tightened, the aperture dialed down, and gone is a periphery. Through my pinhole view, I gaze at the details. All of this is by choice - or is it? Is there a thread that keeps us tethered to a place, because the landscape matches up with our own shape? Like a giant hand moving puzzle pieces, slotting me in to this one little open space. 

Bird's eye vintage view, Montpelier, Vermont