Monday, November 30, 2009

November HITS

Welcome back for the monthly update on my life as a visual artist. Before jumping into November, I'd love to share a highlight from October 31st which wasn't in last months HITS since I posted a day early.

After some prodding from a friend asking if I'd seen any art lately, I finally checked out the Sacramento art scene. My cousin S helped me navigate to galleries all over downtown, where we saw lots of paintings of coy fish and abstract ceramics. I was on the hunt for inspiration, networking with other artists, and scoping out venues that would be a good fit for my art.

Reviewing the paperwork for one of the galleries it said what Bay Area galleries state, that they book 12 months in advance, which is not something as a Gemini that interests me. What I am making now is not what I'll be working on in a year from now- I'd have progressed further. Starting in the new year, I'll look into other ways to bring in money as an artist, but for now, I'm working on several other projects due in December, besides making Christmas presents.

While visiting the galleries and studios I was talking with a fellow Gemini artist, who made me feel much better about exploring multiple mediums at once. It keeps up the momentum of making art and it's more exciting to always be learning something new.

This is the first HITS that I had a hard time recalling what I accomplished this month. So much has been going on, that looking through my photos and calendar, it made me feel better about this month. I do plan/wish that December will be more focused, but yah right, that probably not happening.

I'm starting to embrace Sac Town as my town of residence, and actually buy art supplies here, instead of buying them in the Bay Area. I found a ceramic supply store, that offers classes for adults and studio time. Just being in there made me miss ceramics even more!!!

The highlight for this month was having two friends from college spend the day with me and make art. It was really encouraging taking with them and it was so much fun spending time with fellow artists. I am looking forward to the next time!

Extended Learning
Even though I am done with college I can't help myself and research art related topics. This is what I picked up this month:

PBS Art:21
20 minute long video segments about contemporary artists!
I've rented these from the library and it wasn't until this month until I got with the times and streamed it online and like watching any series, was sucked in and watched all of the videos!

Where the wild things are
After seeing the IMAX movie last month and really wanting to work with those production companies making puppets and miniature mountain scenes, that a friend told me about this art show in San Francisco. It's of the artist/writer Maurice Sendak, which will be at the Jewish Museum until January 19, 2010 (so I have time to make it there!)

first annual art awards at the Guggenheim
It's like winning a Tony or Oscar, except for artists!!


  • Made a gluten/dairy free chessboard cake and avocado ice cream (click for the post and recipe)

  • On this blog I created a widget (aka picture link to a table of contents) for both the HITS and the Liberating trip from BART. It took way longer to get that in place then intended, but I really like how it simplified the navigation on this site.

  • I hired a web designer to revamp my art portfolio site ( I tried doing it myself and ended up with a blank website. Oops. The site should be up by next months HITS! I can hardly wait!
  • Took a test on being an enumerator for next year, where I will help collect information for the US census.
  • Who would of ever guessed but I am learning to use Maya (a 3D program used at video game companies), a tablet and improving my photoshop skills. I have weekly lessons via the telephone and homework assignments (which I love getting!) from Mr. Photoshop (thanks Ian!)
  • I traded bikes with my bike dealer, and now I have a smaller, super cute, yellow bike! Her name is Aura because I am always at her center and she exudes beyond me, plus she is an optimistic and fun color.
  • Thanks to visiting galleries on Halloween, I got excited about joining a group show. I started brainstorming for a show I'm going to try to be apart of in January. The theme is coloring books. The deadline is Dec. 25th, so I need to get hopping!

I have studio space!

Last week I rented a garage for my studio space, hence the mess. I'd already outgrown the tiny desk in my bedroom and desperately needed space to make the commission that's going to be a tactile tent over Andrew's bed.

Since Saturday I now have a new found respect for the garage door. I tried to make it in one trip from the garage to the apartment, so with full hands I managed to pinch 2 of my fingers in the door. They are healing nicely. I was super lucky they didn't break. I also dropped what I was holding, breaking the shadowbox frame.

On a happier note, I figured out that if you don't have a miniature screwdriver, some nails have cross hairs at the point, which work great for a substitute.

Egg/Straw/Milk Crate Sculptures

Still playing around with emptying out duck and quail eggs, dying them, cutting them up with a dremel and arranging them on colorful straws. There may or may not be lights inside of the eggs. We'll see. I don't know where this sculpture is heading, the scale, or what it is supposed to say. All that I know is that I still have lots more avenues to explore and that I really enjoy cutting up the eggs!

Halloween Cactus Lights

I realize Halloween and Thanksgiving have both past, but my supplier for the LED bulbs for the cactus lights decided to stop carrying them and it was a HUGE hunt to find more of them. I bought out another store, but they don't plan on reordering, so it may be a while before I make more cactus lights.

Christmas Presents
I wish I could share photos of the Christmas presents I am working on, but then, it wouldn't be a surprise. What I can share is that I've made a shadowbox of the original gameboy, complete with games for a friend who is a video game artist. You're just going to have to come back on January 1st, to see what I made. :-)

Framing (my other love)
I am now a certified bronze picture framer, and already working on becoming a silver level. I asked what it takes to be gold, but much to my surprise, there is no such thing. So instead I researched online and found that the Professional Picture Framers Association has a test to become a CPF (Certified Picture Framer). Unfortunately I need 12 months of experience before taking the 3.5 hr. long test of multiple choice questions, but I've downloaded the study guide and hunting down the recommended books. Then in 5 years I can take the test to be a Master CPF!!

At work to pick up a few extra hours and to learn a new skill I am training to be the backup bookkeeper when the main bookkeeper is on vacation.

I learned that there are DIY frame shops, where the staff cuts the molding and mats and then you assemble the art into the frame. I would be really fun to teach how to frame. It's also a cheaper alternative to custom framing.

I also discovered several Green frame shops, mostly in Colorado, the Bay Area and Portland. There is so much waste in a frame shop, I think it's the shop's responsibility to recycle.

Photos for this months HITS (Happenings in the Studio) are here.

HITS Table of Contents


  1. Downtown sac has some amazing artists! I love it when they have the annual wine and art walk. If you haven't been to it you are missing seeing Downtown at it's finest! ;-)

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