girl gone wild

I spent the better part of the past week in coldsville. I blame it on the Andrea Fraser lecture at the ICA last Wednesday, which I walked to from the Museum School, about 25 minutes in the icy cold wind. It warmed up here a couple of weeks ago and I mentally (and foolishly) put away my many layers of wool for the winter. And then it got cold again but I continued to wear my windbreaker-style jacket. Maybe that's an old wives tale...all I know is, I felt pretty awful the next day and I'm just now feeling nearly back to my old self.

Fortunately, it's spring break this week, which means I get to work just as hard as usual without the distraction of going to class. I took a break from the studio today, though, thinking I'd stay home and get ahead in my art history reading and writing. Instead, I spent several hours hanging curtains in my bedroom. Here's some of the leftover fabric...

...folded neatly next to the sewing kit that sees little action lately. Maybe I'll dust off the sewing machine and make some decorative pillows or something.

I've also been chipping away at my website. Most noticeable updates have occured in the portfolio section.

Anywho, Kara Walker's speaking at the MFA tomorrow night and Neal and I will be spending the weekend in NYC (primarily to see the Whitney Biennial and have breakfast at the Doughnut Plant, of course), so hopefully I'll have something a little more exciting (and a little less domestic) to blog about next week.


roadkill kitty

I'm catching up on, among other random things, my blog habit this evening, and particularly enjoyed reading about Chrissa's haircut experience, having recently re-visited Joe at Hair Adventure. I thought for sure my last cut would get me through the semester but impulsively booked a return appointment yesterday morning and sacrificed a good four inches to the salon floor by the end of the day. I guess I'm happy with it, but it's not exactly what I had in mind. This guy's apparently big on layers and the "texturized" cutting technique (that, apparently, was his translation of "can you just bring the bottom layer closer to the length of the shortest layer?") and very nearly gave me the sexy sideswept bang that quickly turns into the not so sexy lock of hair pulled over to the side and secured with a bobby pin. Change is good though, right?

Also somewhat inspired by fellow bloggers (specifically Jess's many knitted toys and other fantastic creatures) is this guy:

I didn't make him, Ikea did. He was the consolation gift following the cats' annual and typically traumatic trip to the vet. Neal and I have taken to calling him "roadkill kitty," which is a little creepy, don't you think? They're not laying on him in this image, but when they do, I'm pretty sure the irony is not lost on our real-live kitties.

Otherwise I'm pretty much just counting down the hours to spring break, which, for me, is next week, but I did very much enjoy a visit today by video curator Astria Suparak, who's worked a bit with Miranda July and is screening her current program, "Quantum Leaps," at MassArt tomorrow evening. Her talk was in large part about how to start up your very own film series, which I found incredibly generous of her. She then showed some clips from the current project, which thoroughly intrigued me and I'll have to seriously consider attending the screening, right after Andrea Fraser's lecture at the ICA. Typical - always many things going on in the same evening and this is just Boston. Can you imagine living in New York or L.A. and trying to make it to all this kind of stuff?


painters anonymous

A new season of ANTM starts in about twenty minutes so I'll keep this brief. Mondays through Wednesdays (my school-intensive days) are always a blur of getting up early and getting home late, consuming a steady stream of caffeinated beverages, trudging between the main and Mission Hill buildings, and, lately, defending any kind of art/image-making that's not either photography or moving in some way. I'm pretty much constantly surrounded by photographers and, while doing my best to remain open to their perspective on my work, I'm seeking out allies. I feel like I should start a support group..."My name is Becky...and I'm a painter." "Hi Becky"...

More about that later, perhaps. For now, I leave you with a peek in the corner of my studio, mid-semester and very much mid-process.


spending quality time with Frank

Breakthrough...breakdown. That's the way of grad school, especially art school, it seems. This week was a whole lot better than last but I think I blogged too soon. Not long after I started the drawings I was initially so excited about I quickly recalled how much I hate drawing, hate charcoal, hate portraiture. Who needs lines when you can use shapes and color? In other words, I want to destroy these drawings, which I guess is a good thing since that's what I'll proceed to do this week, documenting the whole process, of course. Anyway, I managed to crank out five of 'em, so we'll see how step two goes.

After three or four torturous hours in the studio I called it a day and headed home to spend the rest of the afternoon scanning stuff. God bless the flatbed scanner, you know? Now I have two contact sheets' worth of "new" material to investigate and, even after the first of six mid-semester critiques, I'm still feeling pretty good about it all.

Unfortunately, I can't write the same for my art history class. I'm still scrambling to catch up, which entailed driving to the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Waltham this afternoon to take a tour of the exhibition "Post and After." I have to write a paper comparing the solitary Cindy Sherman photo to Matthew Barney's five Cremaster series images. Something about self and identity and postmodernism and stuff. I'm not really looking forward to it, though I'd still rather write that paper than continue ever so slowly making my way through Baudrillard's Simulations. I just have a hard time making sense of phrases like, "It was against this hades of paradox that the ethnologists wanted to protect themselves by cordoning off the Tasaday with virgin forest." The what-a-day?? Anyway, I stopped reading yesterday just when he was starting to write about Disneyland, so I think it'll get better...

Also at the Rose right now are a bunch of paintings by Brooklyn-based Dana Schutz, one of the "hot young artists" to get her MFA from Columbia back in '02. Schutz is one of those artists who keeps creeping into my life. I first read about her in a W Magazine article a few years ago and most recently found myself enthralled by her "Frank from Observation" series. In this series she, the last painter on Earth, paints Frank, the last man on Earth. The show included some more recent work, including some political leaning stuff, which I wasn't as excited about, but still very much worth the trip.

In website news, if you visit the poorly maintained site anytime soon, you'll see a lot of construction going on. There's actually little to no construction going on in the café, gallery, and reading room, but there will be...just as soon as I have a little free time on my hands. I might tear down those virtual spaces altogether for a leaner, meaner, artist website kinda space, focusing a little more on my portfolio, maybe throwing in a couple of virtual gallery shows here and there. On the other hand, I could easily devote an entire page to coffee, so we'll see.