Saturday, December 31, 2005

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Have a stupendously fun and safe NYE. May 2006 be filled with many wondrous surprises.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Muse

Other lovers have inspired art of the highest feelings of love and longing. You, in the little time I have known you, have inspired the gray of ache, disillusionment, loss and longing. I want to paint the color between the no colors.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas Card

Anticipating that I would write a few sentences declaring happy feelings, I wrote "Merry Christmas _____!" in small writing at the very top. Later, feeling crestfallen and empty when my bubble had burst, I found myself in a conundrum. No words came to mind that were appropriate for that once eager space. What to do? If I had known where I'd be, I would have initially made that tiny sentence at the top fill the whole page. It was written in pen so I couldn't erase it.

And how should I sign it?? How about a simple heart? Ooooh, maybe that's too much. I called my friend...
Friend: "What? He's afraid of a heart? No! Just draw a heart! No big deal!"
Me: "I dunno, he might be afraid"
Friend: "Of a heart??? Then draw a flower."
Me: "That's lame"
Friend: "Then how about a heart and a flower together?"
Me: "That might help, it may lessen the impact of the heart. But it may look too silly....Oh, I'll just draw a heart!"

After much deliberation, I drew a giant heart that filled the entire space with a comma and signed my name underneath it.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bad "Carma"

So I've been having a huge string of bad luck lately. I don't like to vent much on my blog, but I gotta do it sometimes.

I think it all started when I got my speeding ticket in September. Actually, hours before I got my ticket, I had to call AAA to pull John's car off the side of the road. It was practically teetering on the edge of the road with a straight drop on the driver's side. I managed to convince him to give up trying to get the car back on the road because I could tell that it was about to slide down the edge or flip over. The drop wasn't even really that far down, but it was the way the car was situated that put it in a very-likely-to-flip position.

Anyways, we were lucky that all went well with getting the car back up where it belonged (even with the tow truck drivers who were quite reluctant to drive much further on the dirt road to get to the car). But my bad "CARma" soon started afterwards:

Speeding ticket. I was going 90 mph but got written up for 85.

A girl backed into me and scraped my bumper. She paid for it.

I rear ended someone coming off the freeway. I hit a giant SUV with a trailer hitch so no harm done on her end. I guess I was kinda lucky.

My dad straightens out my hood for me and later that very same day I crunch into a pole in a parking garage. Totally screwed up my front right side. My car had a crappy paint job, but now the body looks like crap too.

Someone breaks into my car the day after I crunch it. Busted the back passenger window and stole my stereo along with my book of beloved CDs. Music that most people won't even like. Half of them are burned and are mixes by obscure DJs.
Lesson here is don't EVER leave your faceplate in the car. Don't hide it in the glove box or under the seat. I was taking it in with me for months and I started slacking these last couple of months. Ack! I keep regretting my laziness! But too late for that. They would've stole the CDs anyways if they couldn't get the stereo. Grrr, and I was even telling myself then that I needed to take that book in!

So now my car looks like crap, I drive around in silence, and I miss my music collection terribly.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I Like My Body When It Is With Your

While procrastinating from my move into the studio next door, I came upon my favorite poem by EE Cummings (titled, i like my body when it is with your) It always makes me smile:

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite a new thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like,, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh . . . . And eyes big Love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you quite so new

Friday, November 18, 2005

Apartment Hunting

I've been absent because I've been looking for my own place. Who knew that looking for a home would turn out to be so difficult? I must have looked at at LEAST 20-30 places in the last 3 weeks! Maybe it's because I am so indecisive. Maybe it is because LA apartments suck. It used to be that I would have my eye on a place and would just move in. I truly WANTED it. Maybe I wasn't as picky as I am now. I want a balcony or patio, a clean, semi modern kitchen, lots of room so I can section off an art area, a gas stove, a parking spot, a peaceful neighborhood but not too isolated, a place that will accept a cat because I want cuddly company, a sense of peace when I look out of my window. Hardwood or faux hardwood floors would also be a plus but not necessary. (They are hard to find on the westside of LA.) Is that too much to ask?? Perhaps it is. Maybe I should have taken one of the places that wouldn't accept a pet but was alright besides that. GARSH!

I guess I'll be moving into the bigger art studio next door in the meantime. Could be cool. It costs more though. Okay, I gotta just tell mysself that nothing is perfect. I am feeling completely neurotic!!! Aaaah!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Delightful dreams

I love it when I dream in technicolor and the perspective is skewed. I am filled with some forgotten wonder and delight. Awed by an almost epic beauty conjured from memories and experiences.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Light

I sometimes felt that I didn't have enough to write about because my life was missing an element of poetic wistfulness. I didn't want to revisit my past yet the present seemed so...bland.

Now that a somberness has set in, I realize that what was really missing in my life was celebration. I forgot to look around.

Lately my nights have been filled with dreams of fireworks.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Katrina Artists Trust Fund

is set up to help artists affected by the recent disaster. It is organized by the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Go here if you'd like to donate.

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Agnes Martin

There are certain artists that I visit via books, the web, and magazines. One of them are Agnes Martin. Her work is simplistic and pure. She was categorized as a minimalist yet she didn't want to pegged as such. She was deeply poetic, in touch with nature, and considered art to be a spiritual quest. Martin lived a life of solitude and owned neither a television nor stereo. She gave up all of her possessions in the later part of her life to drive cross country and start a new existence in New Mexico. She died in December 2004 at the age of 92. Agnes is someone that I would have liked to have met.

Here is a quote that describes her work:

"My paintings are not about what is seen. They are about what is known forever in the mind."

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

San Francisco to LA to Chicago and Back

It was all a whirlwind of experiences. Full of dancing, hugging, and special moments with special people. I couldn't see or do as much as I wanted to and I missed out on some people in the process. I had a hard time trying to keep it all together especially since I was tired most of the time. I've done a lot of sleeping since I've been back.

Highlights:

Love Parade.

Wine tasting in Sonoma with with one of my bestest friends.

Running into the very cold ocean just so that I can take the perfect photograph. Then after the photos were taken, I stripped down to my bathing suit and dived under a wave. Brrr!

Seeing Bruce Nauman's One Hundred Fish Fountain at the Donald Young Gallery. The fish are all cast from actual lake fish.

Drinking orange flavored coffee in a cafe called Orange.

Having wine flights and cheese with S at Bin 36.

S and I walking around town with matching hats.

Meeting R in the most unlikely of places and exploring Old Town Chicago together. We had a wonderful time. Then poor R had to take care of me when I twisted my ankle.

Going to Second City without actually planning it and catching a special guest appearance of James Belushi at the free after-show improv.

Tossing a Frisbee with R in sunny Wicker Park. There were beautiful plants and bushes and there wasn't enough time.

I'm glad to be home but I miss my kindred spirits.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Here and There

I've been tying to be productive, but have only been half good at it. I think that I've been escaping more than anything.

Went to San Diego and caught up with an long-time friend whom I originally met in San Francisco. Visited her the following week to take photos of her in the pool.

Also saw Caro Es's work at the George Billis Gallery. Her work is even more wonderful up close and personal. I knew her a little bit from reading her blog and it was such a delight to finally meet her!

I am now going on vacation. Driving up to the Bay Area to catch up with my lovely friends and attend the Love Parade. I'll drive back Sunday, work Monday, fly to Chicago on Tuesday, fly back Saturday, and go back to work on Sunday. Whew! I'll need some more downtime from all of that! Tomorrow is going to require loads of caffeine since I am only going to have about 3 hours of sleep. Yikes!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Two Views of My Studio


This is my bedroom and office area.


This is my work area.

Sometimes I wish I got the bigger space. But this wishing will only lead to unhappiness since this is where I am now. I only hope that the air purifier works for the allergies that I have in this space. I normally do not have allergies and the slumlord refuses to fix the mold problem. There is someone else who is between the landlord and myself and I don't want to disrupt her living situation by making a stand. So I will have to move out in a few months for health reasons. Too bad.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Okay, I am back...

It was Elise's last comment that finally brought me back to the blogosphere. I realized that I've been gone for over a month now. By the way, thanks Elise for sending me the 10 Things That Make Me Happy card! It's been a while since you did that and I am still working on the new site. Anyone else who is interested, please email me. (I am too lazy to throw in links for my project and email right now. They can be found under the "About" section on this site)

I don't think that I am as sorted out as I'd like to be, although I finally finished my taxes and I have a fan. That was a big relief (the taxes, I mean. Well, the fan was a relief too now that I think about it.). I didn't get as much done as I aspired to and I'm still muddled about some things in my life. I'd like to someday redesign this site and get a few others off the ground. I need to spend more time on art and take more acting classes. I still just need to smog car!
The to-do list never ends.

Although I said that I wanted to take a break from writing, I still couldn't help myself. I wrote unpublished blog entries that I am finally now posting. I uploaded them with their correct dates down below so it is like I never left. It's a little neurotic I know, but I just didn't want to place any pressure on myself. I wanted to write without commitment.

So here they are...

Monday, July 25, 2005

Norton Wisdom

Saturday night I went to an awesome underground party. I initially thought that I would leave by 2:30-3 am but I ended up staying until about 6 am. I guess it was a fun event!

The music was oh-so-danceable and there was a live action painter by the name of Norton Wisdom. The website doesn't do his work any justice because what is truly amazing is that he paints to the music on a large backlit screen. His paintings are continually dissolving and morphing into other images. He works quickly and it is as if he is channelling energy from the spirit world. The divine is what moves his hand through the viscous layers of light and dark.

Wisdom has performed with many bands (including some very well known ones) throughout the world, and has shown internationally in galleries and museums. You can see a whole different series of paintings that he has worked on through the years here at the Patricia Correia Gallery.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Linky

Here's a link that I would like to share.

Perfect

Sometimes I find myself envying the woman who has the studio next to me. She has a separate life complete with husband and two kids. She comes in Monday through Friday around 9 am and leaves around 5 to be home in time to take care of her children.

Her husband has come in several times, usually donning a suit and he has helped her move many heavy items into her studio. He recently put in an air conditioner for her.

I wish I had a fan to battle the heat in my studio.

I wonder if her life is a s perfect as it seems.

I suppose I wonder these things because my life has recently undergone some big changes from what was once a seemingly perfect life.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I'll Be Back...

I've been a bad blogger lately and I haven't been pleased with my posts. I am going to take a break. I know that I don't post very often, but this break is going to be official. I need to create some space in my mind for other things. Because even though I am an infrequent poster, I am always thinking about what to write here. (I think that my spotty internet connection has something to do with my delinquency.)

I promise to eventually post pictures of my studio, but not now. I need to rethink, uproot, and revamp my inner and outer environnment. I want my blog, life, and art to be more "together". I'll be back in a few weeks...maybe a month. In the meantime, I'll be visiting San Francisco, eating lots of good food, recharging, and regaining some creativity and productivity.

Thanks to the people who visit here (it's a small readership!), for your emails, and your comments (thanks, Dave!).

See you in a little while!

Sunday, July 3, 2005

Cooking for Mr. H

Today's menu:

Lunch:

Salad
Romaine and cucumber

Sandwich
Sloppy Joes- Santa Fe style

Dinner:

Salad
Frisee and fennel

Entrée
Liver and onions
With
Mashed yams and corn

"Ew, liver and onions!" You may say, but that is what I always make Mr. H on Sundays. I must make it for him once a week.


Yesterday's menu was a little more interesting:

Lunch:

Salad
Cottage cheese crunch

Small plate
Shrimp cocktail

Dinner:

Salad
Celery root with watercress dressing

Entrée
Mini meatloaf
With
Parsley mashed potatoes and balsamic red onions

The meatloaf was a hit and I will make it at home someday soon. Mmm!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A New Look

I got my hair cut last week and I LOVE it! My friends have also complimented the cut and the best part about it is that it only cost $13.99!!!! What a bargain!


The owner of the shop was a fellow student in my acting class and he kept hyping it up to everyone:
"It's the best deal in Beverly Hills."
"The people who work there really know how to cut hair. But you better come soon because ladies cuts are going up to twenty dollars."

I finally decided to try it out. I was actually a little scared because who ever heard of a great cut for $13.99? I have been going to expensive salons but only every 6 months because I can't afford to have it done more often. Who would've thought that this has been one of my best cuts in a while?

Anyways, if you live in the LA area, check out Xpert cuts in Beverly Hills.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Desert heat, dehydration, and the bedroom sactuary

I haven't been around because I've had no internet connection and now I do, but it isn't so great. I have a hard time connecting.

A few days ago I went to a full moon gathering out in the desert and it was HOT!!! I barely had any sleep and danced only a little bit in the morning. It just got hotter and hotter as the sun rose in the sky. I thought that I was drinking a lot of water, but obviously not since I experienced some nausea and chills. I was on the verge of heat exhaustion!!

It was torture to just leave your shade structure to go pee. The sun just immediately wicked all of the moisture from the body. I carried a spray bottle full of water and just misted myself wherever I went. My friend said that she checked the temperature at 4 pm and found it to be 117 degrees. WOW! No wonder we were all wilting. We were stupefied and could barely even talk.

Last weekend was the Glastonbury Music Festival and it looked like the participants had a different kind of weather problem: flooding by the rains. No dehydration happening there!

Update on my studio: I am finally liking it (except for the mold situation). Four different friends came by on separate occasions and they all complimented my place. One even said, "Oooh, bedroom sanctuary. I miss that."

I have definitely made a nice space to live in. It is all mine with my energy. I hope to continue having a nice big space to work in when I move in with my significant other someday.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Disconnected! (Eyes are wide with fingertips in mouth)

I don't have any internet access at the moment so that is why I haven't been posting. I will write something as soon as I do which will probably be in another week. The first few days of no internet I felt like there was a big void in my life- I am so disconnected from the world! I am embarrassed to be so dependent on the world wide web. Anyways, aside from not being able to send a few emails, look up recipes, and things to do for a night out, it is a bit nice that I am going cold turkey from my browsing addiction. There is much more to do in this world!

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Duct Tape

When I first saw my studio space, I thought, "Wow, a giant room to work in and be among other artists in one building!" I was dazzled and even saw past the large water stains on the ceiling. After all, they were going to be painted over and even if the white didn't quite match the original, it was okay. I kept exclaiming to myself, "This is an art studio!"

It was only after I handed over the check did I notice all of the other pitfalls...I smelled a musty/earthy scent when I was taping the edge of the floors in preparation to paint the walls. This is a strong indicator of mold. MOLD!!! I am freaking out. I smell it all of the time now when I am in that corner. (This issue is being addressed and has been brought to the landlord's attention)

The master tenant had mentioned that I could take off the crumbling cottage cheese ceiling if I wish. I looked into it on the internet and found out that it very most likely contains asbestos. Supposedly it is okay as long as it is undisturbed, but my ceiling is peeling! I asked her to spray some paint over the cracks so that they will be a bit sealed. It has been done and I feel better about it.

I once sat alone in the middle of that big, semi-musty room when it was empty and I started to cry. I looked out my window that held a lovely view of the gas station and bus stop. My new neighborhood is full of noise, fumes, and plain old ugly urban desolation. What did I do? Did I do the right thing? I wanted my comfy home by the beach complete with cuddly boyfriend in cozy bed back. Although deep down, I knew I did the right thing. The path towards the truth is not always the easy one.

To top off this oh-so-sorry-for-myself portrait, I'd like to mention what I did today. I bought duct tape. What's so bad about duct tape, you may ask? Well, I don't like the gap that is between the wall and the floor. the gap is a deep and dirt gets in there. I also don't like how there are cracks in the floor where a stinky old building smell rises from them. There is actually a draft coming out of these cracks. I thought about caulk, but it would take 20+ tubes of caulk to do the job and I just don't see myself being that committed to the place to do such a job. So what's the next best alternative?? Duct tape! Not the gray stuff, but white duct tape. It matches the paint just a little better. Such genius! I thought to myself.

So today, I taped up a portion of my room especially where my bed and clothes are and stepped back to assess my job. My shoulders slumped down as I looked at my handiwork. Duct tape. Those two words landed with a thud on top of it all and they keep haunting me. This is where I live? In a duct taped room?? What happened? Well, whatever happened, it's all my doing.

I just keep telling myself that this is temporary. I'll just think of it as that little time in my life when I lived in a little run down art studio. I will make the best of it and create as much as possible while here.

Saturday, June 4, 2005

More Stuff

There was the truckload and now there has been several carloads. There are still loads of books, papers, and computer stuff.

This is a big change.

Thursday, June 2, 2005

Too Much!

I have filled a Uhaul truck full of art and photo supplies to bring to my studio. Too much stuff. I don't like being weighed down by stuff. I'd have a lot less things to clutter my life if it wasn't for the art supplies. How do I pare down? How can I be light?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Lifestyle

Sometimes I wonder why do I continue pursuing the whole art thing. I conveyed this thought to a friend and he said, "Being an artist is choosing a lifestyle. It is like being in the circus; you live outside of normal society." Yes! That's it! I felt so much better when he put it that way. We agreed that this statement extends to everyone in the arts: visual, film, music, etc.
Art is a calling and one cannot ignore it.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Dream

I had a dream the other night that I standing on a long dirt road with a trail of dribbled water running up it. I was sobbing and calling out my friend's name. I was crying out, "___, I miss you! Where are you?"
I was very distressed and this dream disturbed me for a few days.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Moonlight Chronicles

Dan Price likes to draw. He was once a professional photojournalist and co-founder of SHOTS Magazine. Then he decided to simplify his life and since 1992 he' been drawing his Moonlight Chronicles and living life as simply as possible. He lives in a hobbit hole and pays $100 a year to rent the land that it is on. Simple Shoes once paid him a nice wage to have him bike around and draw his journals which would then be mailed out to customers. Read an interview with him here.

How cool. I am going buy one of his zines sometime this week.

Monday, May 9, 2005

Celebration

That ridiculous birthday crisis I had a while back ago has brought me into a quiet pool of reflection. There is something that I have always known but it became crystal clear when I had a little conversation with a friend a while ago. I told her that I had a not-so-great birthday and she said, "I could never have a terrible birthday. I have always loved my birthday and I would make sure that everyone knew about it. It is always a time to celebrate."

I remember her enthusiasm. Seven years ago, I was having a sad Valentine's Day because of my high expectations of a too-young boyfriend. I called her up and we celebrated her birthday by dancing night away at 1015 Folsom. She giggled with such delight as she said, "C'mon, we are having way more fun than he could ever have. You are out with your friends and it's my birthday, let's celebrate!!" And we did.

A birthday is ALWAYS a cause for celebration. It is another year spent being alive on this earth. Life is so precious and fleeting. I tend to look at what I don't have instead of what I do have. I may not end up having everything that I want or what society has pressured me to want, but I have so much already. Americans in general don't realize what they have. Perhaps humans in general just have it in their nature to always want MORE. We always want what we don't have.

I thank the stars for what I have and what I have experienced. It's a good life, even with its downs. This post is my little prayer of thanks to the universe for giving me this gift called life.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Books

Woo hoo! Today I received the Portraits book by Hellen Van Meene. You can also view some of her Tokyo portaits she did this year here. I can't wait to browse through her book tonight!

In addition to that book, I also got Day Trips With a Splash: The Swimming Holes of California. Not only did I buy this book for recreation, but I also got it for my underwater project. Ooohh, I am so excited! What a fun way to recruit friends to be my subjects!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

2 Cups of Tea to Start

I meant to have an earlier start today because I have so much to do. Besides having to mat my work, I didn't realize that I have to spot almost every single one of my photos. Spotting can take a very long time (hours...days!) and I am terrible with the whole mat thing. I mess up with my measurements and waste copious amounts of board. The gallery called me yesterday and I told them yup, I'll bring by my work later this week.

Meanwhile, I've been thinking of changing the name of my blog. Maybe just place Studio Amparo up at the top of the site so that it is just an extension of my other site? Or maybe just name it something more whimsical? I also want to change the look of my site. I am ALWAYS wanting to change something because I can't ever make up my mind and I like variety. It's like that with everything; I can't even make up my mind for a simple drink at a bar. I'm a bit of a commitmentphobe and I always have a million projects going on. When I was a little girl, I used to always order the variety sampler plate.

This desire to revamp my website is reminding me that I need to COMPETELY redo the Happy Project site, but all of that will have to wait since I have more pressing things that need attention right now. Next week. It'll start happening next week.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Orange-Radish Salad

Yesterday was another good day at work. Mr. H told me that I made a beautiful lunch and he clapped after dinner. I love doing something that brings joy to people. My job situations have not always felt so satisfying and I am cherishing every moment of this time.

Here is an orange and radish salad recipe that I will share. Like most recipes that I make, it originated somewhere else and I tweaked it to make it my own. I don't really measure things out so the recipe is very informal. It feeds about 2 people so just do some simple math to fulfill your needs.

4 medium oranges
8 medium radishes
about half a small red onion
red wine vinegar
walnut oil
white balsamic vinegar
2 squeezes of lime (about 2 teaspoons maybe)
about a 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup (you can substitute honey)
cinnamon
paprika
maybe some cayenne

-Slice the onion lengthwise into thin long strips and soak them in the red wine vinegar for 5-15 minutes. Just use enough vinegar to cover them.

-Cut off the ends of the oranges and stand them on one end. Cut off the rind (including white pith) with a small knife. Now
you can cut into each segment with the knife. Hmm, how do I explain...cut into each side of a segment at a diagonal and then you can pull it out with the knife. Squeeze a little bit of the juice from a couple of the leftover membranes into a bowl.

-Cut the radishes in half and slice them.

-Mix the radishes, orange slice and onion together in the bowl with the orange juice. Throw out the red wine vinegar or save for another salad.

-Wisk together the walnut oil, white balsamic vinegar, and lime in a separate bowl. A typical ratio for oil and vinegar is 2/3 oil and 1/3 vinegar. I use a little more vinegar since I try to do things on the low fat side. So to follow that formula, use 9 tablespoons of oil with 3 tablespoons of vinegar to make a 1/2 cup of dressing. I just "eyeball" it.

-Shake in some cinnamon, add a little less paprika, and if you like a little spice, add a pinch of cayenne.

-Mix the dressing and salad together and serve on top of mild greens (i.e. butter lettuce) or by itself in a bowl. I seved it in a leafy-looking white bowl with a sprig of lamb's lettuce (mache) on top.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Blogs on Photography

There are two weblogs that I like to visit that comment and link to photography. They are Coincidences and Conscientious.
They have become my online photo magazines. There is always some new discovery.

I am sad to learn that Robert of Coincidences has stopped updating his blog. I loved seeing the images he posted along with his insightful commentary. I kept checking his site in the hopes that he would return, but it has been a while now. Please come back Robert! I miss my photo-browsing fix!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Darkrooms

The following is a rant on my darkroom situation. It may make you snooze. Please move on if this disinterests you...

Why can't I find a decent, perfect darkroom? The one I have a membership with has a 5 hour maximum time limit which includes the wash time. That's not enough for me. My prints have also been getting dark spots on the back and I can't figure out what is going on. It has never happened in all my years of printing and I have now become superstitious. I even brought a clove of garlic and a bowl of salt with me during my last 2 visits. Seemed to work. But then again, maybe it was because I brought my own tongs. I asked for a partial refund and I don't think I'll be getting it. The guy pointed to some fine print that said that they are not responsible for any damage on their premises. Yeah, but what if I am expecting a certain level of working equipment and chemicals in their darkroom?? I was even misinformed and hadn't been placing my prints in the hypoclear for a long enough time. Thank goodness I called the chemical company and got the correct info.

I only have 2 other darkroom options at this point and neither one is perfect. The almost perfect one is 40 minutes to an hour away (depending on traffic) and it also only has a 5 hour time limit (but there are possibilities of being able to go over it if no one takes the next time slot). The other darkroom is way closer to home but is a little grungier. The guy running the place started looking at me like I was slightly neurotic when I asked him all of my questions...especially when I brought my own board when I rented his drymount press. He pointed to some paper that I could place between the dirty board, but I prefer my 2 ply museum board which is acid free.

I guess I am neurotic. So what? I must have high standards if other people will be looking at my prints and possibly buying them.

I miss my $5 per visit community darkroom in San Francisco.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Movie Recommendation

I *LOVED* Napoleon Dynamite. It is completely silly indie movie about a very geeky hero. He draws ligers and has awesome dance moves.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Job Satisfaction

Mr. H's nurse: So was dinner good?

Mr. H: Real good.

Mr. H's nurse: So you really liked the the food, huh?

Mr. H: Yeah, Amparo is really turning it out!!

Mr. H says this last line with his eyes closed and he doesn't hear that I have walked into the room to say goodbye. (He's quite deaf and everyone has to speak very loudly to him.) When he opens his eyes, he is surprised to see me there. I'm smiling and he beams back at me.

Blogger Bug

I give up. The image that I posted on March 14 shows up on my Safari browser, but not on IE. I contacted Blogger and they can't find anything wrong. What the f*?

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Portland and Other Stuff

Wow, I have been MIA for a while. I wanted to stay away from the internet because once I am in front of the computer, I tend to stay there.

Photolucida was great. I met wonderful photographers and got good critical feedback. Just the act of showing my photos repeatedly clarified some things about my work. Why didn't I do this sooner in life?? I learned that both my Natoma Home and Beach series need some more development. I'm a little bummed about the Natoma series because I no longer live in San Francisco so I don't know if I will continue it. Hm, so much time and money went into that series, but maybe I just might let it go. If anything, I'll just place it on the back burner. Hell, maybe I'll just create a new series with my new knowledge.

People really liked the Beach series. They understood the quiet feeling I was trying to convey. I saw that this series could go in a few directions. I don't mind developing it further because it is ongoing and I am near the ocean. Although I regret not running out to the beach when it was stormy and cloudy about a month ago. Damn! I procrastinate too much.

Porland itself was fun. I got to see 3 different friends that I haven't seen in a few years. They are all very different and I am blessed to know them. My heart was especially warmed when I hung out with Sonja, because I haven't seen or talked to her in 5 years. We fell into our easy chit chat and I missed her when I returned home. She also has an adorable baby that I fell in love with. That has never happened to me before!

I must mention the Doug Fir Lounge. It's like a space-age lodge. I had a boysenberry martini and a yummy salad with goat cheese, hazelnuts, butter lettuce and boysenberries.

Last but definitely not least, I have some good news...The George Billis Gallery will be taking my Beach series on consignment. Which means I won't have a show but they will show my work to collectors when they come by the gallery. Wow! A real gallery will be trying to sell my work!! I am oh so excited!

This means I must be even more serious about my work. I must photograph more!! (That is another conclusion I came to while a Photolucida.)

Monday, March 14, 2005

Gull and Tumbleweed



Here is a new addition to the Beach series. I want to convey a sense of quiet and spiritual isolation with this series. Not the bad kind of isolation but that feeling that you get when you are alone with nature. The isolation becomes a feeling of unity with the rest of the world. I suppose if you are a bit depressed then that nice unity feeling may not come around. The interpretation is up to each individual. I just want the quiet roar of the air and water to come through my photographs.

On a technical note, I've been struggling too much in the darkroom. I've lost my touch and haven't quite gotten it back in these 3 weeks of printing. I've printed this image on 2 different occasions and I am still not happy with it. The negative is not an easy one to work with. I'll either print it too light, too dark, or too contrasty to try to make up for the neg's flatness. So far, I like the way I cropped this image, but it is a bit too flat and dark. The whole roll is difficult. It's even grainier than my other film. Hm, I wonder why. Everything from this roll got printed to darkly. Damn it! I am so-o-o-o frustrated.

I head off to Photolucida tomorrow and I am not quite happy with the new work.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Consumed by Photo Review

I stayed up until 5am last night. I had to Fedex a bunch of negatives to my favorite/most trusted lab in San Francisco today. I ate about a half a day's calories in candy through the night too. Bad! Thank goodness I've been exercising! Now it's a big coffee day. Sometimes we have to push ourselves into uncomfortable places in order to go where we want to go.

I'll post some images when I have a chance.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Acting Class

Tonight I received compliments on my scene from my fellow classmates. *Happy Feelings!*

I've Been Out of the Dark for Too Long

Today I bought a darkroom membership of 30 days to be used within 3 months. I printed for the first time in a year and a half, and boy am I out of practice! I worked with the same negative for about 3 1/2 hours. I'll be lucky if a good print comes out of today's batch. I remember when was able to print an image on fiber paper in about an hour when I was printing all of the time. That seemed slow to me then but today was ridiculous. It will probably take me a few days to get my groove back. It becomes much more intuitive the more you do it. I just wish that I didn't have to go through so much paper. It gets quite expensive if you don't quite know what you are doing.

I finally signed up for darkroom use because I am going to Photolucida's photo review in a few weeks and I want to add a few more images to my portfolio. I have been doing photography for so long without a proper critique and I need some professional feedback. I'm quite excited and nervous. I'm afraid of hearing something that I don't want to hear, but I'll never grow to my full potential if I continue hiding.

While I'm in Portland for Photolucida, I also get to hang out with my wonderfully talented and artistic friend Olivia too! We are going to a "dance party" together. What fun!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Art Shows

Last night was fun. We went to the MOCA opening party for the Visual Music show. The highlight for me was seeing some Robert Rauschenberg combines from the permanent collection.

Afterwards we headed to the Create:Fixate show where I had some photos being exhibited. It was a pleasant surprise to see that I sold one of my photos. I ran into my friend JF who said that a friend of his was talking about some photos that he really liked. When JF went inside to see what his friend was talking about, he found out that they were mine. I was quite flattered and happy to hear that.

If anyone would like to see the show, it will be open next Tuesday through Thursday (2/15-2/17) from 5-9. A closing reception will be held on Thurday. Check out the site for more details.

Monday, February 7, 2005

Framing

I am in a framing frenzy for an upcoming show this weekend. I'll be back!

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Friends

A lovely scarf that my good friend Jessie sent to me in the mail:





It's handmade by her friend Sarah.



I remember how I had friends in San Francisco who would pester me to hang out with them. I was always busy trying to push my art career forward and would get frustrated from the pressure that they would put on me. It was only when I was in LA did I truly realize how lucky I was. Friends like that don't come around too often.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

News

I have some exciting news but I don't want to reveal it for fear of jinxing myself. I will wait until it solidifies a little more. I have a good feeling...

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Yummy Food

One of my passions that I never speak of here is food. I LOVE food. I used to read cookbooks while eating my meals. I'm lucky enough to work as a personal chef at the present moment and subscribe to 4 cooking magazines.

I still miss living 2 blocks from Rainbow Grocery, a food coop that had the biggest bulk (over 800 products!) section that I have ever seen. You could find exotic bulk ingredients like pink Peruvian sea salt, umeboshi paste, and unfiltered olive oil. The great thing about bulk is that you could buy as little or as much of a product as you wanted. You could find any spice or herb there and just buy a spoonful instead of a big, expensive jar that you might never touch again.

I want to share a couple of food related sites that I like to visit. There is The Scent of Green Bananas, which is a food blog. The writer is from Guam and she posts wonderful recipes and musings about food along with great photos. My other favorite is Yasuko-san's Home Cooking. The site is chock full of Yasuko-san's recipes which have been transcribed by her daughter, the writer. The recipes were also handed down from Kimi-san, Yasuko-san's mother. You get a feel for what some real home-cooked Japanese meals are like which you never find in restaurants.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Extra

Today I registered at an extras casting agency. They do the background casting for Six Feet Under. I love that show and I hope to get on it. What fun it would be!!

Monday, January 24, 2005

PhotoL.A.

I went to PhotoL.A. this weekend and I wasn't too wowed by much. Maybe it's because I am always looking at photography so not much is new to me. But it was nice to see the prints in person instead of on the internet or in a magazine. The first time I went to one of these was in San Franciso which was called PhotoS.F. (Do you see a pattern here?) I was amazed to see so much photography under one roof.

There were over 80 exhibitors at PhotoL.A. which included galleries, publishers, and consultants. I was exhausted and had a low blood sugar moment at a gallery booth. A photographer wanted to talk about his work and kept baiting me and all I could think about was food. I was beginning to shake. I can be too nice sometimes and instead of excusing myself, I reluctantly bit his hook. He started talking away about how none of his photography is digitized and I just thought, "Oh no! I'll never get out of here! I won't be able to eat and I won't be able to see the rest of the exhibitors!" The reason why I even held off from eating was that I felt like I didn't have enough time to see everything and now this guy was talking to me and I didn't want to talk to him to begin with and if I had to choose between food and him, it would be a mustard covered pretzel!! (That was a run-on sentence on purpose. It illustrates my panic that was rising in me.)

When he asked me, "Are you a photographer as well?" I said, "Yes, and I am having a low blood sugar moment. I only had a bowl of cereal and a Power Bar and I need to eat."
And I was out of there.

My highlights at PhotoL.A. are meeting Horoshi Watanabe and seeing Marie Navarre's work at the Lisa Sette Gallery. I love Hiroshi's quiet, classically beautiful, black and white photoraphy so it was an honor to meet him. Unfortunately, I couldn't talk very much because my low blood sugar moment had stunned me for the rest of the afternoon. Marie Navarre's work is very zen and she incorporates thread, paper, and film into her work. Her art stirs something inside of me.

I was also happy to run into the various people from L.A., San Francisco, and New York who I know from having been involved in the photo world for so long. The most surprising encounter was seeing someone who I first got to know when I interned at SF Camerawork and then ran into him every once in a while in SF. It had been about 4-5 years since I last saw him. He is doing well and is in the process of having a book published.

Next week...ArtL.A.!!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Nurture

I'm happy to say that some of my work is shown in Nurture Art's registry. They are a great organization for serious emerging artists. Check them out.
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