Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Seven Boards of Cunning

These things are ruling my world today:

The art of Joan Brown.

Desserts made out of beans! I love the tiny graphic of the bicyclists, suggesting this is a 'sports' food.

Wild Sumatran music. Track One by Rabab Dangdut is a standout.. kind of puts you in a trance, perfect for working on tangrams (pictured above is the 'Listening Rabbit'). I was looking for a way to exercise the left side of my brain, which this wacko neuro-chiropractor once told me was quite deficient. Instead I started working on tangrams which, unfortunately, will just flex the right side of my noodle while the rest turns to mush.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Restless Virgo

I've been really restless since giving up my studio space downtown. I always feel like if I'm not painting every day, then I'm wasting my time.. total Virgo guilt. For instance, if you asked me what I did today I'd probably say 'Tried to go to the library, but it was closed. Bought some chard'. Upon further review though, I realized I did all this stuff:

First, I got up and made Valentine's cards for people that I love. Then, right when I was about to take this picture, some sort of crazy earthquake hit! Like one of those weird ones where it feels like a meteor crashed onto your roof, and then it's over. I got really nervous and took a shower, which I realized is something I often do to ease anxiety. Interesting.

Then I decided to go to one of my favorite places, the Brand Library, to return some books. The Brand is situated at the base of the Verdugo Hills right where Burbank meets Glendale, and there's all these cool hiking trails above.. this amazing statue is located at the base of the trail. I love it so much that I want to take it with us when we move.

I forgot that the library is closed on Mondays, so I decided to go on a nice hike instead (somewhere secretly wondering if I was going to be at the top of the hill looking down on the entire San Fernando Valley when The Biggest Earthquake in History hit). Unfortunately there was some vaguely creepy dude hanging out on the trail, wrapping and unwrapping this long piece of cloth around his wrist, so I skipped the hike as I was solo and without a dog. I went across the library grounds to this beautiful japanese garden and tea house, and imagined what it would be like to have my birthday party there. Except I won't live here anymore when it's my bday, so then I got all nostalgic in advance.

Next I ventured into Glendale, to go to Kinkos and run off a bunch more Guitar Basics zines. A super rad shop and website in the UK, 'Lady Luck Rules Ok', ordered a bunch-- hooray! I really want to make a Painting Basics one too, that's on the horizon in the Projects To Do pile. While I was looking for the machine with the best toner, I managed to create paper jams in 6 of the 7 copiers.. that's just my style.

And finally, thee awesome Mallory of featured my owls today on her site, thank you Mallory!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Found and Lost

I unearthed this poster today, under the behemoth laundry pile that lives next to my bed.. it's from an assignment I made up for the now-defunct Spirit Jam (ladies art club). It's a great parlor game! Everyone writes down various adjectives and nouns (colors, animals, objects, etc.) on scraps of paper and tosses them into a bowl. Each participant then blindly picks out a few.. this becomes your 'Band'. Then we all make up genres of music, and toss them back into the bowl.. this becomes your Band's 'Sound'. Next we all jot down adjectives and locations (like 'snazzy' or 'jail') and this time we draw from the bowl where our Band will be Performing. Then everyone has to make a flyer for their Band's next Show. This can go on and on, for song titles, promoter's name, etc.. just another twist on a Dadaist nonsense activity:

"Blueberry Hankercheif is a fabulous New Age meditational band. Currently on tour with Jamaican rap stars Tree-Sloth Technician. Have you heard their hit song, 'The Crumb'? Oh, and they're playing tonight at the new all-ages venue The Brilliant Space Between the Left and the Right Breast."

Side note: any time the words 'New Age' are muttered, I immediately think of the Southwest and the iconic Bandana-Wearing Coyote. And rainbows.

I made the poster at my studio. I love (or loved, as it is) my studio. Its like this amazing oasis of calm in the middle of messed-up downtown los angeles. I had to move out a few weeks ago, due to the impending migration north.

Sad. If you live in L.A. and need space to make stuff, or read, or take a nap, check out the Spring Arts Tower. Its really cheap, and in an old art deco office building near the Library and MOCA and the Smell. I shared my space with Joanne, who is a rad photographer and teaches here. She was also a member of the Spirit Jam, which is ripe for a comeback in 2007.

Now I'm trying to paint at home, but it is incredibly difficult due to the volume of dust and dog hair in our little house, and the total lack of space. So I'm screenprinting a bit and anagramming my pets' names. Olive the Cat=Ethical Vote (weird, didn't realize she was political), Otis the Dog=Sighed Toot (he often sighs and toots when he's bored), Rosebud the Dog=Hoboes Trudged (she did wander the streets of South Central as a pup), and Ringo the Cat=Chair Gotten (he does like to usurp the computer chair). And my location, Sun Valley California=Saucy Flannel Ravioli, which is odd, because I expected something more like 'Smog Litter Doom'.

Off to buy paint!

Friday, January 26, 2007

What I Love To Do.. make things. anything. but especially things with color and pattern. I made these tonight with the aforementioned mailordered non-toxic mini-silkscreen kit.. fun!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Escape from L.A.

People are bizarrely obsessed with nature in Los Angeles.. or rather, the idea of nature. Whenever I mention I'm going on a hike, I get the 'what? where??' reaction. Because the city seems to sprawl into infinity in any given direction, it tends to make its citizens feel trapped; hiking/water/trees/solitude becomes a mysterious idea that can only exist for those who have some sort of secret knowledge or magic portal. Not so! I live in the middle of crumbling suburban gloom, and yet I can drive 15 minutes to this place:

That's the view you get when you climb to the top of Stough Canyon, a nature preserve above Burbank. It's always empty. You can have the hills to yourself.. if it rains, you get wildflowers. If its sunny, you get lizards and hawks and butterflies.

You can bring your dogs, and they will be happy:

If scrubby chapparal isn't your scene, the Angeles National Forest is only about 30 minutes farther.. land of secret swimming holes and wild tigerlillies! And again, very few people if you go on a weekday.

For some reason, it seems the Stough nature preserve wasn't 'wild' enough in itself, so some kind of public park set decorator brought this rock in.. it lives at the base of the trail:

I've walked by it so many times without much notice, until one day I decided to sit on it. It felt strange. I rapped my knuckles against it. Hollow! Plastic! I finally noticed this on the back:

Oh Los Angeles! Constantly entertaining.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Print Jams

Working on: Messing around with this silkscreening kit I mailordered.. you only need sunlight and water!
Listening to: Jimi Hendrix Experience live - Berkeley Community Theater 1970. I have just learned that Jimi will be marketing a new energy drink from beyond the grave.
About to: Take the dogs on a hike, up in the hills above Burbank.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Buried Treasure

Today Justin was digging through our horribly messy storage room and came across this little gem:

It's little tiny Justin and Brandt flipping off the White House, in 1991! From the very first Unwound tour, when Brandt was the drummer. I love how they look kind of nervous, like they could get busted any second by secret service agents. I wonder how many other photos there are out in the world of people giving the finger to the White House?? If you have one, send it my way..

Monday, January 22, 2007

Transcending the Mall

Last night I went to the mall in Hollywood. Inside the mall there is a giant theater, the Kodak theater, where they film the Oscars. I waited in line for my free ticket, and found a seat. The lights dimmed, and this man appeared:

David Lynch is on tour with Donovan. Yup. Donovan, the 'hurdy-gurdy' troubadour. They have come together to promote the awareness of, and discuss, transcendental meditation. David Lynch answered questions from the audience, fielded by Laura Dern and accompanied by an improvisational Polish pianist. He mostly talked about diving into the great unified field, the ocean of consciousness, as a ticket to meaningful creativity and bliss. The best part was when someone asked him about his childhood in the northwest; he became very happy and said this:


These are the strange, excellent things that happen when you live in the Weirdoland that is Los Angeles. I'll miss it a little when i move back north in a few months. To the land of pine-sawing.

Next up was Donovan. He was wearing a very agreeable looking ensemble of a paisely velvet loose-fitting shirt and matching 'comfy' pants. His guitar was green with a little sticker of a deer on it. These are the details I observed while watching the flat-screen jumbotron above the stage. It was kind of like I was watching a pbs special on tv, but sitting in a big fancy theater. Then a man announced that it was, indeed, a pbs special, and we were all being filmed! I finally made it onto pbs!

Donovan's voice was really good. He took us on a magical trip through the 60's and then time-traveled right up to his new record, which I'm not sure was a good idea. Although some amazing artwork appeared on the jumbotron with the title of his new album underneath: Ritual Groove. yes.

The most hilarious part of all of this was watching Anna, on my left, gleefully singing along to the hits and then turning to see Justin, on my right, with a semi-scowl of disapproval. I think I'm supposed to insert something witty about the unified field here, but I'll spare you.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Spotlight on: The Psychic Soviet

Oh, Spiv... your book is magic.

Have you read the Psychic Soviet? Its small and pink. Its intended for 'street use'. It is, in my opinion, a masterpiece; a collection of 18 essays which weave together art, music, culture, the cold war, vampirism, psychological geopolitics, beverages, seinfeld, swedish girls and brilliant humor. Ian Svenonius is a cultural critic who abhors the culture of criticism, a smartypants who stresses his book is not to be confused with so-called 'academia': 'Instead, it is a kind of free verse, outside of science or respectability and at liberty to flaunt its diabolical exhumations on its user'.

Personally, I've never understood why Ian has received so many jabs over the years during his role as dynamic frontguy for Nation of Ulysses, the MakeUp, Weird War, et al.. he's always struck me as a very down-to-earth, hilarious, and geniunely rad person. Also a snappy dresser.

You can order the Psychic Soviet for $12 ppd from

Friday, January 19, 2007

Pink Reading, Organic Librarian

This is exciting! just came out with a new version of my 'classic' Reading Is Sexy tee, on a super-rad pink melange shirt.. it has that quality of a well-worn gym shirt from junior high:

On a related subject.. do you dream of quitting your job so you can return to school and earn that Master's Degree in Library Science??
well, i have the perfect shirt for you:

I made it a few months ago as a baby onesie, but the demand from adults for a regular-sized version was overwhelming.. so here you go!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Quitting Time at the Owl Factory

Today I finished up the first part of my grand owl experiment. I have 9 hand-painted owl plaques ready to put up on have you heard about Etsy? Apparently it's all the rage for buying and selling handmade items online. Of course, my heart will always belong to when it comes to tshirts/bags/zines etc., but I thought I'd try selling small, affordable, original art in a more 'artish' setting. Check back later today here, and hopefully I'll have them all listed. If all goes well, I'll be adding some yellow and grey owl buddies to the mix later on..

In other exciting art news, my rad pal Amra (check out her 'Must See Art' reviews in the LA Weekly) pointed me in the direction of this superb new website, it's an online gallery that features a different artist each month, where they can disply up to 6 pieces of work, all of which are priced at or below $350. it's a really great way for people to purchase affordable, unique work in a setting that doesn't have all the intimidating/elitist/unavailabe factors of traditional city galleries. It looks like I'll be doing a show there this april or may, so stay tuned!

Monday, January 15, 2007


This past week has been busy.. to recap: went to san pedro, started to paint owls, went to the desert, had a boggle showdown, continued owl painting, played a 'punk' in a Germs biopic, continued owl painting, drove up to the top of the verdugo hills and watched the sun set over a chilly day.

While I work, my hands/pants/self generally look like this:

I have a very close relationship with masking tape. Seriously, I can now hold a conversation for at least 20 minutes about the finer points of a good 2" roll of Shurtape. Sad. But also kind of awesome.

I would also like to point out that my hands have been creased and crinkled, much like a discarded piece of tissue paper, since I was a little girl. If you know how to read palms, call me..

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Time machines/Smoke machines

Weird things happened today. My friend Jessica and I were extras in a movie about the Germs, called 'What We Do is Secret'. They were filming in a beautiful old Elks Lodge in the town of San Fernando, which is the oldest town in all of the San Fernando Valley.. it's super quaint. We put on these costumes:

You can't really see it here, but Jessica is wearing a beret.

I think maybe I look more like an extra from a Motley Crue documentary.

We joined up with these people:

...and this guy was there, too, for a touch of authenticity:

We did stuff like this:

...while the smoke machine went off and the camera dude did his thing. We were supposed to be at the old LA punk club, 'The Masque'. Jessica and I noticed that we were about 10 years older than everybody else. Everybody, that is, except these guys:

..the riot squad showed up to subdue the 'crazy' Masque audience. We pretended to watch the Germs and then had to turn around and battle the cops. The guy on the far left runs In The Red records. Cue more smoke.

Really, the coolest thing about the shoot was poking around in the lodge. There was an amazing old-man bar with caricatures of distinctive Elks lining the wall. The guy on the far right is my favorite:

Here he is again, down the hall!

These colors made my pupils freak out, in a good way:

Friday, January 12, 2007

High Tea at the Owl Factory

Working on: Ten little owl paintings
Listening to: Lee Perry 'Roast Fish Collie Weed and Cornbread'
Drinking: Kousmichoff Russian tea a.k.a. the BEST black tea in the world

Painting situation: Crowded, hairy