Sunday, April 29, 2007

My Studio On My Desk

I'm on On My Desk! Check it out here.

It's a great blog where artists show what's on their desks. You should submit something!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Scene Report

Is it Halloween?

Nope. Maybe Mardi Gras?

Uh-uh. Kite Day?

Wrong again.. it's Olympia's psychedelic animal parade, the Procession of the Species. As a cynical teenager I wrote off the annual festivity as 'too hippie', what with all the drumming and facepainting.. but now I realize it's so genius! It's like the whole town, including the children, took a giant hit of lsd and got in touch with their spirit guides. This year there was an entire marching band of polar bears! What's not to like?

Next year, I am taking the plunge and making something. A giant paper mache banana slug maybe?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Five Questions

I decided to start asking inspiring friends 5 random questions. They could, in turn, ask me 5 back. This experiment is inspired by Amra Brooks, she had us interview each other the first time we met.

Today's interviewee is Stefan Simikich: photographer, bike enthusiast, surfer, former Olympia resident now hanging on the mean streets of San Francisco. He is one of the founders of the epic photozine Hamburger Eyes. He also painted my parents' house.

1. Do you have a recurring dream or nightmare?
-This person talks to me, its weird, but I think they are right?

2. Describe a friend you had in fourth grade.
-Nicky Nicolulitz. He wore this navy blue windbreaker everyday. He never talked. He had a runny nose for years. He would wipe his snot from his nose using his jacket arm. The coat of dried snot on his jacket was thick and solid!

3. Do you have a favorite smell?
-First rain

4. Pretend you have written a memoir of your life story. what is the title?
-I'm not dead yet fuckers.

5. List 5 jobs you have had.
-"work is for people that don't know how to surf"

Questions for Sarah:

1.If you had to kill someone or die, who's going down?
-This is a terrible question. Every answer makes me feel like an awful person. Let's just say that I believe completely in non-violent conflict resolution, but am also unbelievably scrappy from being on the receiving end of my brother's misdirected anger for a number of years.

2.Would you rather time travel into the future? or the past?
-The idea of time travel in general gives me anxiety, but if I could blink my eyes and be anywhere instantaneously, as a fly on the wall, I would love to go back to pre-European North America and observe rituals of the Northern Coast people. The tribes that have the incredible animal masks.. Kwakiutl.

3.Have you ever slammed the hatchback on your mom's Honda Civic at a party at the Phoneix House, and had an amp in the back, and had one of the corners' sticking out too much and broke the whole rear window in one clean sweep?

4.An alien landed and is cool. He wants to do something fun. What fun would you show him?
-Snorkeling on the Big Island, punk show in Olympia basement, chili in Cincinnati, Valley Game Night, and dancing at La Cita.

5.What's on heavy rotation right now?
-Donny Hathaway's live version of 'Jealous Guy', homemade pizza, dogs, The Mona Reels 'Son, You've Fallen in Love', Puget Sound vistas, missing my friend Sam.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Rainbow Connection

I'm not sure what is contained within this fence, but it seems pretty obvious to me that I am meant to live here!:

It's as if whoever built it had a conversation with my 6-year-old, 1981 self and asked me to design my dream fence. I'd be like 'dream fence? ok' and then this rainbow-S-rainbow creation is what would have appeared. But with unicorns and penguins behind it.

On a random note, I read this excerpt from Miranda July's forthcoming book of short stories, 'No One Belongs Here More Than You', and it looks good. I like the website she made for it, too.

And, because it's Earth Day, a reminder about coffee cup pollution: 39 billion disposable paper and polystyrene coffee cups are thrown away in the U.S. each year. International Paper estimates that the 14.4 billion conventional paper coffee cups alone, put together end-to-end, would circle the earth 55 times.. what's your contribution? Check out this quick Coffee Waste Calculator.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Eagles vs. Seagulls

Otis loves sunbeams. He also smiles with his mouth closed, like a person. And he looks, sometimes, just like a giant baby seal.

Meanwhile, over at headquarters, my new Poketo wallets had a very glamorous photoshoot!

Buyolympia is the reason I am able to paint all day. They sell my shirts, zines, wallets, bags, stickers, buttons, and cards. Buyolympia is Aaron and Pat, they also design shipping software and run the Iron Maiden online store. And they use their frequent flyer miles to go to Reno just to eat burritos..

I have to interrupt myself to report an amazing Puget Sound moment! I just saw two seagulls angrily chasing a bald eagle outside of my window!! Take that, Sun Valley.

So, as I was saying, Buyolympia basically rules and Aaron never fails to amaze and astound. For example, his fancy computer was running really slow, and then he showed me how many things he was working on:

Insanity! I still don't really even know how to use my cell phone.. like the call waiting, why do I always hang up on people?? I am technologically challenged, which might be a good thing. It frees me up to investigate things like this:

..and find things like this:

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Allure of the Handmade

My grandfather was a newspaper man: he set type at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer throughout the 50's and 60's. He was sort of a jack-of-all-trades graphic designer, back when it involved cut and paste technology, french curves, and those translucent green visors that somehow went out of fashion.

Being in the letterpress room at Community Print reminds me of him. It's amazing. There's drawers and drawers of old type.. lots of different fonts and sizes, and beautiful engraved picture plates. And anyone can use it! I'm going to take their Intro to Letterpress workshop soon.

Things are looking like they should upstairs in my studio. My desk is already a mess, littered with candles, pens, tape, z-bar wrappers, brushes, a painting of Rosebud.. I'm feeling settled and ready to work.

I love this stage, at the very beginning when everything's just eyeballs with no eyes, and tissue paper drawings. Before I go overboard and fill up every space. I can't seem to help myself; I've never been able to be a minimalist, though i always wish I could. It seems to go against the very essence of my being.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Refract and Disperse

Yesterday I drew the Death/Rebirth card from Joanne's Magical Tarot Deck, which she gifted to me upon my L.A. departure. It signifies letting go of the old and embracing the new:

My new studio is coming together! I am embracing it. I am letting go of my old, beautiful sanctuary in downtown Los Angeles.

I am adopting new cultural oppportunities. For example, the Shelton Fiddle Festival. I mean, seriously, check out the lady with the acoustic guitar! Pretty cute.

And just last night I finished this book, which I think may be one of my favorite things I have ever read:

As I was near the final page, I looked up to see this in my window:

The rainbow ends, and begins, right in front of my new home. Pretty magical, I have to say.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Good Friday

It was another glorious Northwest day. This is the view from my new front porch:

Crazy, huh?! My cat keeps waking me up at 5 a.m. to go outside and prowl around, but i can't even complain because the sunrises have been so beautiful. Reds, pinks, blues, all lifting off of a fog-covered sleepy Puget Sound.

This is what mini-marts look like out here. Fresh crab and smoked salmon, yum..

I found a new studio space! It's a weird one, but I'm into it. Once upon a time, there was a giant pawn shop in downtown Olympia. You could get guns, nunchucks, raingear, cds and fishing poles. I remember buying a little knife there when I was a teenager, a gift for my friend Karla-- it looked like a tube of lipstick. Pretty tough.

These days it's a one-stop shopping center for art/music/fashion punks. There's Dumpster Values, the vintage clothing store, Phantom City Records, the music emporium, and Community Print, an unbelievable co-op letterpress studio. There's also some sort of renegade bike-cooperative-garage. This is the view from up in my 'studio', which I guess used to be the office where the Pawn brokers crunched numbers and rolled around on piles of cash, and cast a wary eye down upon their minions. This is what it looks like now:

My studio is also dangerously close to The Best Pizza In The World, a.k.a. the Oldschool Pizzeria. Many years ago, long before our paramour status, Justin and I both worked there.. he prepped the garlic, I worked the register. We never really talked.

Back in Kamilche, we stopped behind this pickup truck. If you look closely, you can see the awesome bumper sticker:

Classic Shelton style!