a sense of success and self-doubt...

Don't those feelings always go together?  And aren't they equally as useful/useless when you get down to it in your work?  A couple of weeks ago, I really felt like I was killing it....work in multiple venues, got a check in the mail, even got to go on an art trip!  Then I get back home, and get in the thick of making these weird little pod things and worry about a looming deadline and all the crazy talk starts happening.  Half a day later I am down a rabbit hole of trying to figure out how I am going to make work that sells...how am I ever going to get this certain exhibition...why do I have to make such weird things...what is it all for anyway?  

The rabbit hole is exacerbated by the fact that I am not making much of an income now.  I have a one day a week gig with the greatest plumber ever answering their phones, but I am not teaching, which is what really helps to pay the bills.  I am lucky enough to have a supportive husband who knows how important it is for me to make work, but that is not paying off our credit card.  And then, what really is success?  Whenever you reach a certain milestone, you just see one farther off in the distance that looks shiny and nice.  

So I am trying to get out of my head and get this new work up in June.  I am going to have to consider an online marketplace and webpage update after that, and I think that will help me get more specific about my commercial goals.  Hopefully.  Maybe I need to get more clear about all of my goals.  I am sensing some worksheets in my future.  

Danish Artists Les Deux Garçon...

Make the most amazing work!  I first saw their work when I was in Miami for Superfine! two years ago and I snuck off to one of the other fairs.  There was so much great work, and so much to be inspired by...but you know when you come upon something and you lose your breath for a minute?  And then your hair stands up on end?  That was this work.  I bought the catalog before I even finished looking at what was on the wall.  

 Je-sais-bien-mais-je-mn-fou

Je-sais-bien-mais-je-mn-fou

 Vogel-vronwtje

Vogel-vronwtje

 Les-friandises

Les-friandises

 Le-saltimbanque-no-2

Le-saltimbanque-no-2

I love how whimsical they are, but yet I also sense some melancholy.  Have a look at their website...they work in many mediums beyond taxidermy...but these are my favorites!

Steadily making new work for my June exhibition....

June feels so far away, yet it is not.  I am working on these paper forms in my studio while the weather is still wintery, but hoping to get outside in another week or two to start cutting the styrofoam bases for these shapes.  We are supposed to get another snow this weekend and I am hoping it is the last!  I do enjoy being indoors and stitching on these, and just got caught up on Season 5 of The Americans while doing that, and I bought my pass for Season 6!  It is three episodes in and I am so nervous for what is going to happen to the Jennings family.  I am also very nervous for how all these parts are going to come together into a piece and once the sun starts shining regularly, I should know more.  

mixed media embroidery
mixed media embroidery paper forms

I so love the texture of the eyelets layered on one another.  I have backed off to a single stitch to attach them to save time, so they're a little loose.  I kind of like that movement they can make.  

Artist Angela Dieffenbach makes such cool objects.....

So in my weekly image google search of contemporary (fill in the blank); which has been embroidery, sculpture, fiber arts, etc.  But today was mixed media, I discovered the ceramicist Angela Dieffenbach, an artist in Chicago.  I love this work and you can see it here!  It is weirdly about the body, animal bodies, bodily functions and science.  

  Parasitic Cure: origins of an Icon

Parasitic Cure: origins of an Icon

  Detail

Detail

  Hirudo medicinalis; Redon

Hirudo medicinalis; Redon

  Donor body miracle mike

Donor body miracle mike

  Post Natural Vascular

Post Natural Vascular

More and more I am thinking I need to takes some ceramics classes.  It is speaking more to me as a medium the older I get.  

Look at this work by German Artist Annegret Soltau....

How have I not seen her work before?  It is unbelievable!  Visit her website!  I could have posted a pic from every single body of work on her website; there are many...she is my mothers age.  Beautiful, violent, dangerous, fleshy and so much more.  I'll be spending a day combing through her site.  

 Selbst #19

Selbst #19

 Chirurgische Operationen 23

Chirurgische Operationen 23

 Nase

Nase

 Vulva

Vulva

 SOHN doppelt - mit Tochter 58

SOHN doppelt - mit Tochter 58

I am speechless. 

I've been teaching middle school art club recently...

And one of the projects we have been doing was suggested by one of the best art teachers I know, a dear friend from my time in New Mexico.  She said to let them take a bunch of stuffed animals apart and then put them back together as a new species.  It has been brilliant!  Everyone has had so much fun.  And you just can't mess them up because there is no right or wrong way to make one.  I call them "Frankenstuffies" and it turns out they are my new favorite thing to make.  I have made one with every class and then made several on my own as gifts.  My son thinks they are super creepy.  I fall in love with every new one!

one-eyed rooster stuffed animal
Lion bear stuffed animal
sloth lion penguin stuffed animal
frankenstuffie
Fuzzy Dinosaur stuffed animal

I've got one half finished in my studio and two bags of stuffed animal parts in the basement.  It can be a little brutal.  

New work for a group exhibit at Rochester Community and Technical College...

I've had this idea for a large installation piece for quite some time now using the sewing pattern paper and hooks and eyes.  I've even got some grant money for it.  So I have been working on the paper forms.  I just got a couple of pics to use for a proposal and had a chance to problem solve with some artist friends about how to get it on the wall the way I want....but they had better ideas.  I wanted this cyst/breast like shapes to extend from the wall and be surrounded by a curtain of thick hook and eyes.  I was struggling with a way to have the hook and eyes on the wall without glueing them individually to the surface.  So an artist friend suggested I mount the paper shape to multiple, different irregularly shaped lightweight boards, that I could then slather with joint compound and embed the hooks and eyes in.  And then I could bevel the edge of the board and extend the joint compound and sewing hardware to the wall so it appears as if it is erupting out of the surface of the wall "LIKE A WART!"  That is so good.  I am thinking I will try using styrofoam sheets, but I am waiting until the weather gets warmer and I can work outside.  And I need to get some tools.  I did think it might be a piece that could be expanded for a recent exhibition proposal and played with a drawing to illustrate that.  

paper sculptures
stitched paper sculptures
drawing installation art

For my proposal, I wondered about changing the shape of the room, so it was rounder and more womb-like when you were in it and surrounded by these bulbous shapes.  So much to think about.