Friday, October 31, 2008

News from SF Transfer Station
















Earlier this week I received an email from the SF transfer station. In August I applied for the four month art residency program for 2009. Looks like I'll be reapplying next year, because I didn't get it this time. The goal for next years application is to WOW! the Board with the amount and quality of art I will have created.

Thank you to everyone for cheering me on. That helped a lot in filling out the huge application.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Calvin and Hobbes

I've been Calvin and Hobbes (my heroes) and can across one that was very fitting. I completely relate with Susie!

Calvin: Susie, can I copy your answers?
Susie: Heck no!
Calvin: Why not?
Susie: Because you'd get a good grade without doing any work.
Calvin: So?
Susie: It's wrong to get rewards you haven't earned.
Calvin: I've never heard of anyone who couldn't live with that.

Monday, October 20, 2008

First Crash on Scooter in 2 years

Yesterday, I was in Daly City having just eaten tamales from my favorite store, when I crashed. I was riding my scooter (foot powered, not motorized) and Ian was riding his skate board. Recently I have been bolder in my skating, hopping down curbs and over little cracks and 2 inch inclines in the pavement (keep in mind the scooter has about a 2 inch clearance). When I crashed I was going to fast, plus I tried to go down a slopped curb and hop a bump in the road. BAM! I flew into the ground. Thankfully I rolled and just lay there. Instantly I was in pain, which I figured was a good thing, other wise it would mean I was seriously hurt and in shock.


















I lay there and waited for Ian to run over to me. My knee and hands hurt a lot. He helped me up and a pedestrian asked if I was ok. I bet they weren't expecting to see a scooter crash! Lucky for me, we were just a block from Ian's apartment. We were going to the San Francisco Open Studios. I guess we'll try again next weekend.

For the rest of the day, Ian took care of me, which was wonderful. Typically he is the one getting hurt: stitches in his knee, sprained or broken ankles... I tried his crutches but they are too tall, so I am riding my scooter. It hurts a lot less to stand and bend just the right knee then to walk.
















Ian cooked for me, and changed my bandages. He would bring me advil, water and arnica. I even iced it thanks to his prompting. We watched the new season of Red vs. Blue, played Mario Galaxy, and ate a ton of fresh shrimp! I adore seafood. Yummy!!! If being hurt means being waited on like this, hmmm, I could get use to this. Actually, I would get sick of being waited on, but I loved it today. Thank you Ian!

Last night Ian said that was the first day I have taken off since we went to Baja for Christmas in 2005. My first thought was, "that's ridiculous. How could I still be functioning? hmmm. I have felt frazzled, worn out and drained for a while now. Maybe he is right." He pointed out that many times I've said I'm taking a day off, but after a little bit, I'd start doing "more productive things". Even on my vacations to Colorado, the Northwest and to Rancho are filled with lots of things to accomplish. I enjoy my vacations, but now that I think of it, maybe those weren't really vacations.

I worry when I am relaxing, that I should be doing more productive things. I should be getting things done. But yesterday, I couldn't move every well, so I stayed put and it was wonderful. Mom thinks people get hurt or sick for a reason; like we need to learn something before moving on. I think I need to respect my body and sanity by taking time off during the week. Maybe not an entire day (that would stress me out), but I could see setting aside a morning for relaxing.

Right now my knee is numb from ice. I over did it today, being the first day walking around. It is hard not to bend my knee when I need to work and commute. Trying to get home tonight after class, I learned anther lesson, to baby the knee. I am back to arnica, pain killers, water, and icing. It is hard to sit still, so I trick myself by letting myself have an evening just for reading Calvin and Hobbes, playing with my digital camera, and blogging.

I did make dinner and it was relaxing to make and very delicious.
In the rice cooker I threw in raisins, pecans, sliced almonds, some cinnamon and all spice with 2 c. rice and 1/2 can of coconut milk. The result: primo!!! Next time I am going to try adding more coconut milk, just to be daring.


Then in the oven I had meatballs cooking. They had herbs from my garden: tarramon and chives with a bit of salt. Cooked them for 50 minutes at 350.

In a frying pan I chopped up fresh tomatoes, green bell peppers, mushrooms, and pineapple. I sauteed them with a little bit of olive oil and sliced almonds.

Everything smelt so good and I was so hungry (it was 8pm and I normally
eat around 6), I snacked on cold hot dogs. It seemed like a perfect juxtaposition, thus making my dinner even better. I had a cup of yerba matte tea with my dinner. Some how I fit dessert, which was a pine apple and banana smoothie.

I was going to have spaghetti, but it evolved into something so much better. I love cooking and eating.

my Hero: Bill Waterson

BEFORE
(note distortion from camera angle and page not being level)





AFTER
(note the use of a distort filter in Photoshop)

Today in class we went over the basics on how to shoot 2D and 3D artwork. The three major problems with photographing flat art, like prints, drawings or paintings: 1) flash bouncing off of the surface (like the glass or varnish) making lots of distracting highlights, 2) uneven light source creating light and dark spots all over the art and 3)artwork and camera not being level and square to each other. If they're not directly facing each other, at the same height and angle, then the painting won't look square. It will be a trapezoid like the top Calvin and Hobbes image.

Someone in class mentioned a way to fix the distortion using Photoshop. I've fought with this before, so I had to go home and try it myself. To correct the trapezoid and make it square, open the image in Photoshop and apply a distort filter called Lens Correction. A window pops up with slide bars that you get to move around to see what they do! If the edges of your paintings are too dark, you can fix that here. You can also change the angle and vertical and horizontal relation. That is what I did to make the comic more square. Then I recropped it to make it look cleaner. It is still not perfect, but it is getting there.

To avoid having to fix the trapezoid image, use a tripod with a level. If you are photographing something that is hanging, use a level on that too. Then make sure the camera lens lines up with the middle of the artwork. If you shoot down on it or from below, this will also cause distortion. Good luck!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

ArtSpan

Going on right now for the next several weekends is San Francisco Open Studio. That's where artists open up their studios to the public (and fellow artists) to go where the art is created and see the tools and such. Tomorrow I am going and I am very excited!!! Every weekend a different area of San Francisco is doing open studios. Check out the maps on artspan. Or pick up a free magazine with short artist's descriptions, image of art and map at local bookstores. I am going to pick mine up at Alexander's Books on Mission at 2nd street. I'd love to hear about your studio visits!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Headlands

Back in June or so, I applied to the Headlands Center for the Arts. It's an artist in residence program up in Marin, California. Today via email I found out that I wasn't selected. It was encouraging to hear most of us were rejected. Only 10 were selected of the 342 applicants. I'll have to reapply next year to show them how much I have grown as an artist and how serious I am about wanting a residency there.















Congrats to the winners!! I hope that you all make lots of art.

2009 California Artists in Residence
Kara Davis Dance/Choreography
Fallen Fruit Interdisciplinary
Desiree Holman Visual
Genine Lentine Writing
Chris Sollars Film/Video/New Media
Lysley Tenorio Writing
Camille Utterback Film/Video/New Media
Flora Wiegmann Dance/Choreography
Theresa Wong Music/Sound
Aaron Ximm Music/Sound
Alternate: Karen Steen Writing





Jill-of-all-trades

"Human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dieing, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly, specialization is for insects."

- Lazarus Long, one of Robert A. Heinlein main Chars. Quote from "Time Enough for Love"


I like this way of thinking. It encourages my quizzical side to keep delving into the random things, juggling, vlogging and tipis. It makes for an interesting story.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

wordpress vs. microsoft word

It's a battle every time I update my resume or add a statement on my other website: elizabethsymington.com. Wordpress won't let me paste a Word file. I don't want to retype it, because that takes up a lot of time and I'd have to reformat the layout. I even tried the "paste from Word" button. No luck. What I figured out, if is I cut and paste the Word file and email it to myself, I can then cut and paste it into Wordpress.

Is anyone else having this problem? How are you solving the issue?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

PrassienDesignStudio

Beautifully produced video and jewelry with a message. I love it. To watch more videos about artists go to http://www.etsy.com/storque/video/

Adrian Wall, Artist Profile

Theo Jansen - Kinetic Sculptor

One of my heros. Next time I am in Washington state, I need to go visit his studio.

Using Your Creative Powers

"Artists are first and foremost creative people, and creativity applied in any arena transcends whatever apparent limitations there are. Creativity, by definition, changes everything."
-Cay Lang, author of Taking the Leap: Building a Career as a Visual Artist


Whenever I start to worry, (which is often,) I remind myself that I am a creative. There is a solution. Even though I prefer to use my creative powers to make art, they can be used in other places. How about figuring out how to make a living as a sculptor? Or writing my artist's resume? Or organizing my studio?

It's good to get into the habit of asking yourself, "How can I do this?" instead of "Can I do this?"

When constructing a ten-foot tipi I hadn't considered failure. How could I mess it up? It's just canvas, rope and wood. I had read a kids' book on the construction and watched utube videos on how to stand up the poles. A friend and I pitched the tipi several times before making it stable. We figured out how to do it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Philip Krohn





* Reception for "Under Construction #2 (Transit)"
Sculpture installation by Philip Krohn
Mon 13 Oct, 6:30-7:30pm, BCNM Commons.
http://bcnm.berkeley.edu/commons/moffitt


For the past year I have been assisting an amazingly dedicated and creative artist, Philip Krohn. His focus is on recycled materials that are lightweight and nontoxic. I've helped him for weeks and weeks cutting cardboard to create giant toblerone-like towers, that he called "Split Rail". He has ingeniously hit up bicycle shops and recycled the flat inner tubes into a giant installation called "Cat's Cradle." He cut up the tubes and stretched them from floor to ceiling and every which way. To see photos, check out http://www.philipkrohn.com/.

Most recently he created an installation of tree branches, oak balls, fly fishing line and chunks of plastic. This Monday (the 13th), is the short and low-key reception from 6:30-7:30pm. It's at the UC Berkeley Campus. The piece was commissioned to inaugurate the
Berkeley Center for New Media Commons which is next door to the Free Speech Café and the entrance to Moffitt Library (right in the middle of campus--see map) <http://berkeley.edu/map/maps/large_map.html>

Thursday, October 9, 2008

mini tipis















Some of the fruits of the night: miniature paper tipis.

Decorated with:
markers: color changing and scented
thin black pen
crayons
googly eyes (I still have 100s left over)
taped together with masking tape
















Things learned:
I realized that I made the smoke flaps upside down for every tipi
That the doors are way too tiny

Can you tell that I am tired of making white sculptures?
Time for a scale change too.
I am loving tipis!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

HSM


The wonderful guy that I am dating, just finished up working on the HSM3 video game. Here is one of the best reviews so far:

"I won't EVER BUY THE GAME OE WATCH THE MOVIE OR GO TO THE PLAYS! Unless the girl i love(cannot reveal name) wants me to go with her to see the movie or watch the plays with her. I hope it doesn't happen."

artists using their caricature skills in nontraditional setting


How about custom business cards that have original artwork of you at work? The artists at Show Off Cards have taken the typical caricature artist who works in touristy areas like Fisherman's' Wharf, and changed the target market to include people looking to spend more money. Smart. Plus they work from any where, instead of dealing with weather and tourist (sorry tourists). Thank you Mom for sending me this.

what does that say?



Let's lighten things up a bit. My cousin emailed this to me. Thank you!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

comparison of McCain and Obama

For me charts simplify the situation and push me to take action. I hope this helps you too. I got it in an email forward.

-Elizabeth


2008 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE COMPARISON TALKING POINTS

ISSUE

JOHN McCAIN

BARAK OBAMA

Favors new drilling offshore US

Yes

No

Will appoint judges who interpret the law not make it

Yes

No


Served in the US Armed Forces

Yes

No

Amount of time served in the US Senate

22 YEARS

173 DAYS

Will institute a socialized national health care plan

No

Yes

Supports abortion throughout the pregnancy

No

Yes

Would pull troops out of Iraq immediately

No

Yes

Supports gun ownership rights

Yes

No

Supports homosexual marriage

No

Yes

Proposed programs will mean a huge tax increase

No

Yes

Voted against making English the official language

No

Yes

Voted to give Social Security benefits to illegals

No

Yes

CAPITAL GAINS TAX

MCCAIN

0% on home sales up to $500,000 per home (couples). McCain does not propose any change in existing home sales income tax.

OBAMA

28% on profit from ALL home sales. (How does this affect you? If you sell your home and make a profit, you will pay 28% of your gain on taxes. If you are heading toward retirement and would like to down-size your home or move into a retirement community, 28% of the money you make from your home will go to taxes. This proposal will adversely affect the elderly who are counting on the income from their homes as part of their retirement income.)

DIVIDEND TAX

MCCAIN

15% (no change)

OBAMA

39.6% - (How will this affect you? If you have any money invested in stock market, IRA, mutual funds, college funds, life insurance, retirement accounts, or anything that pays or reinvests dividends, you will now be paying nearly 40% of the money earned on taxes if Obama becomes president. The experts predict that 'Higher tax rates on dividends and capital gains would crash the stock market, yet do absolutely nothing to cut the deficit.')

INCOME TAX

MCCAIN

(no changes)

Single making 30K - tax $4,500
Single making 50K - tax $12,500
Single making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Married making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 125K - tax $31,250

OBAMA (reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts)

Single making 30K - tax $8,400
Single making 50K - tax $14,000
Single making 75K - tax $23,250
Married making 60K - tax $16,800
Married making 75K - tax $21,000
Married making 125K - tax $38,750
Under Obama, your taxes could almost double!

INHERITANCE TAX

MCCAIN

- 0% (No change, Bush repealed this tax)

OBAMA

Restore the inheritance tax

Many families have lost businesses, farms, ranches, and homes that have been in their families for generations because they could not afford the inheritance tax. Those willing their assets to loved ones will only lose them to these taxes.

NEW TAXES PROPOSED BY OBAMA

New government taxes proposed on homes that are more than 2400 square feet. New gasoline taxes (as if gas weren't high enough already) New taxes on natural resources consumption (heating gas, water, electricity) New taxes on retirement accounts, and last but not least....New taxes to pay for socialized medicine so we can receive the same level of medical care as other third-world countries!!!


You can verify the above at the following web sites:


http://money.cnn.com/news/specials/election/2008/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/issues/issues.taxes.html

http://elections.foxnews.com/?s=proposed+taxes

http://bulletin.aarp.org/yourworld/politics/articles/mccain_obama_offer_different_visions_on_taxes.html

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/candidates/barack_obama/

daily looking at my dreams


My yoga studio void of paperwork and other things that need to get done.



World map shower curtain that reminds me of my dream/plan to travel often.




Tamales are a staple for me and coconut water is comfort food. I swear by mangoes and the happiness that they bring me. I guess that means it's time to travel Central and South America. More than anything I want to explore the Galapagos islands and hang out with the blue footed boobies.

Having acquired a large bathroom, with few toiletries to fill it, I decided to make it the yoga room. I shut the door making it totally dark and quiet and light some candles. Being secluded in here, makes me focus on relaxing, which I am in much need. It feels so good to stretch and not worry about anything.

Every time I take a shower, I read the country names and capitals on my shower curtain. Dreaming up adventures in places I've only read about. My driving passion is to find a way to travel for extended periods of time without student loans holding me back.

I will find a way to make it happen.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

MacArthur Award





Tara Donovan, Untitled, 2003
Styrofoam Cups, Hot Glue
6'(H) x 20'(W) x 19' 2"(D)
Ace Gallery New York


Just a couple of weeks ago, this years winners of the MacArthur Award, aka Genius Award, was announced. The MacArthur Foundation named 25 new MacArthur Fellows and gave them each $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years. "The award is based on extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. There are three criteria for selection of Fellows: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work," (description borrowed from The MacArthur Foundation's website).

Tara Donovan, a sculptor, is one of the winners. I am in complete "ah" and I need to see her work in person. Instantly, I became a fan, after seeing her images. For more on Donovan, check this out.

To read about more inspiring people who were awarded, check out the MacArthur's link.