Category Archives: family

Hunting the Unseen

A few days ago we had a low, low tide- the kind of low tide that only comes once in a blue moon (literally, this time…), and so we all bundled up and headed for Maverick’s beach by the harbor. The sky was dark, the clouds low and threatening. It was windy. But I was so glad we went out.

There is so much beauty in these gray and blustery days, and this particular day, we had the pleasure of seeing what is usually hidden by the sea. We walked on rocks usually submerged. We could see the kelp anchored to the rocks, starfish clinging, and crabs backed into the deep cracks, staring out at us, as if we had crashed their party, and they were utterly annoyed. The beach becomes unfamiliar, foreign, and all the more beautiful for it.

It occurred to me that this is often the work of the artist- hunting the unseen; making it seen. Finding unnoticed beauty, and bringing it to the light. And sometimes a low tide is just what we need…

Here’s to 2010, a new year, and a new decade. May it bring you all light, love, and prosperity!

One Year

allieport

This post is to celebrate my daughter’s work. This past weekend, we drove down to Valencia, near L.A., and dropped her off at Cal Arts for a month long intensive art program (one of the more terrifying and exciting things I’ve done as the mother of a 15 year old). These are self-portraits she drew- exactly one year apart. The one on the left was finished last week, the one on the right last summer. I just think it’s such a testament to our capacity for growth. That truly, we are hardwired for growth. And hard work. It is rare that Alexandra is not either drawing or carrying one of her sketchbooks around. She lives for graphite. She would probably eat it if she could. If there were more hours in the day, she’d spend them drawing. I bought her three sketchbooks to last her the month she’ll be gone. She fills them so fast, I can hardly keep up. 

She inspires me.

Work In Progress #5: Encaustic

A peek into my studio, and a look at what’s been coming out of it…

Getting ready for a show here in Half Moon Bay at Enso

Some work, newly finished…

And now, I’m off to play some hookey with my friend, Chandra… camping with the kids for a few nights. Looking forward to some campfires, grilled pizza, swimming, and SUN! Bye-bye fog! (for a few days, anyway)

Another new work update soon!

Summer Love

Summer is a rollin’, and my poor blog has been neglected! Sorry about the scarcity of posts. There has not, however, been a scarcity of things going on around here. Just quickly, because, well, I have to run off again, a rundown of things I’ve been doing and enjoying…

The Translucent show in San Francisco. So much good work.  If you are anywhere near, you must go. Nice gallery, a lot of variety in the encaustic work. Here’s the link

Strawberries. Lots and lots of strawberies.

The beach.  I finally, after 3 years of talk but no action, bought myself a wetsuit. A 40th birthday present to myself, and where we live, an absolute necessity if you want to go in the water. 

Warm days in the studio.  I love it when the days warm up, because it seems like my wax flows so much smoother.  I’ll be back soon with a new work post. No photos right now… but some good stuff happening in the studio!

Thrifting with my teenage daughter and her friends. Oh, and bubble tea. Mmmmmm.

Dusk bunny-spotting bike rides along our coastal trail on my cruiser.

My CSA box, brimming with dark green and crunchy goodness. Veggies and herbs so fresh you can smell them. I look forward to my CSA boxes like a little kid going to the candy store. 

New work by Emily Clawson, who I met at the Translucent opening. Hoping to do a little studio visit swap soon. Her work is hanging next to mine in the SF show, and absolutely glows. I think we share a love of natural history and nature, and I’m looking forward to talking to her more about her process.

Seeing family. Spending some time with my nephews and sister and brother in law, who I hardly ever see, and my parents, who are in the process of moving (too far) away to their retirement home in Northern California. So bittersweet to see them moving their things, bit by bit, and fixing up my childhood home to sell, eventually. I’m happy for them, and a little sad.

Summer reading. Right now, it’s Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” , which is fabulous- a perfect blend of informative non-fiction and funny, touching storytelling. Perhaps my favorite kind of book.  I’m so inspired- maybe a local only diet challenge in my future? Hmmm…

Here’s to summer. I’ll be back soon with some pictures, I promise.

Family: Creative Endeavours

Okay, so It’s not all beeswax and canvas and painting around here.  My kids and some friends went to an anime convention this weekend in San Jose, and we spent some quality time sculpting with- hairspray!  They dressed up as characters from a favorite video game, in all of their dramatic, weird glory….. we had a lot of fun.  

    

      

 

My daughter, Allie, is devoted to her own drawing, so it was great to visit the “artist’s alley” at the convention, and see artists sketching, and look through the sketchbooks that they often had out on the tables.  I was extremely impressed with some of the work I saw there.  So much talent.  

Ian and I also went to the San Jose Museum of Art and saw the “Robots” show, which I wasn’t expecting to enjoy nearly as much as I did.  I especially enjoyed the work of Thomas Zummer, Michael Mew, and Jeff Soto.  

So, after much over stimulation, we are settling in for an evening of watching Juno in our PJs and eating decompression food- aka ice cream.  mmmmmm……….

 

Things to love today

My sweetie back from Thailand and China…I love the tiny Buddah he brought back.

Finishing a sweater for my son…finally.  I haven’t been knitting much, so this has only taken me…uh….8 or 9 months.  Incredibly patient, that’s what Ian is.

Banana bread….

And my new encaustic panels.  I just made two new ones- 28″x28″- out of a hollow core door.  They seem expansive after all of my little 8 inch squares I’ve been doing.  It has been quite a project, just preparing these.  I am trying to work out how to attach a hanging wire to the back .  Since they are made from hollow doors, they are incredibly light and smooth.  I can’t wait to get going on these.

Painting for the kids

It’s that time of year again!

I’m afraid that painting in the studio will have to take a back seat to this…….

and this….

and this…..

Set painting for the Young Actors play here on the coast.  My son is in the group- it’s an improvisational acting group for kids, and every year they all brainstorm a wacky play and all the parents pitch in to help make it happen.  They are led by an amazing and inspiring teacher, Auri Naggar, and they somehow pull together these plays that are so silly and magical that only children, in all of their uninhibited enthusiasm, could make them possible. When people ask me about it, I always describe it as like one of those plays that your kids and their friends think up on a rainy afternoon of raiding the dress-up box and reading too many books, and want to perform in the living room for the grown ups…and they end up embellishing as they go along….only this time, they are given months to work on it, a big stage to perform it on, with lights and a sound system, and live music!  What a dream.  And there is cake afterwards.  What is there not to love??

It’s a privilege to be a part of it, really.  If you are in the area, the play is the weekend of May 16 – 18, at the high school here in Half Moon Bay. 

 

creative potential

One of the things I’ve been trying to do is look at creativity in a more global way….to try to be more aware of  the creativity that is woven into my life and of the way that feeds into more creativity.  As my awareness grows, so does my tendency to plant little seeds of creative potential as I go, and then watch as they build upon one another- sometimes in unexpected ways. The most obvious way is this:

cutwood.jpg

blankpanels.jpg,

The first is a stack of cut plywood, waiting for sanding, and the second is same plywood, covered with paper, and waiting for the first coat of beeswax.  A lot of the time I don’t feel like doing the prep work, like this. It’s tedious, or boring. Not nearly as exciting as painting.  But if I don’t take breaks from painting to do work like this, I run out of painting supports, and it breaks my painting momentum.But it isn’t always so obvious.

messytble.jpg 

Here is a table in our family room…..in all of it’s glorious, messy, chaos. Talk about creative potential! A lot goes on at this table- worlds are created, characters come into being, objects are built…..and having the space set aside for this creates the potential for that. It’s an important part of our home life.  And my creative life.  It’s viral, creativity. It’s essential. And, honestly, does it get any better than this? 

messyboys.jpg  

Busy

ianwindow.jpgYou can’t do anything around here without tripping over someone being creative.  Here, my son is turning our bedroom window into his canvas, practicing some Japanese characters (instead of doing his math!).   I’ve been busy myself today….finishing up some embroidery on new paintings.sewing1.jpg                                         I’ll have new work posted soon on my website. I will be disappearing  for a few days while I take a long awaited trip to New York City to see a dear friend’s show,  soak up some attitude, eat too much good food, stay up way too late, subsequently drink way too much coffee, widow shop, and see lots and lots of art. And all this with one seriously fabulous friend! I am feeling deliciously spoiled.  My only regret is leaving my new studio for five whole days.  Ah, well, what do they say?  Absence makes the heart grow fonder….. and I’m sure I’ll come home with a head full of ideas and inspiration.