Saturday, June 16, 2007

Penland, last story....

Favorite tree, in front of Lily Loom....

Loved all the art and artifacts everywhere in the landscape....

The marks of artists were everywhere.

Farewell, Penland! Back to real life!

I was in my studio this morning, looking at my plan for
the rest of the year---some paperwork I'd organized before
I left for NC around mid May. Suddenly realized I have
about 30 artworks to get done in the next three months for
four big exhibits.

Enough nostalgia---get my ass in the studio and get to work!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Penland Stories #3: Places

The Craft House at night. One of the most beautiful
and thrilling things about being at Penland were the
warm, dark nights. I live 200 miles South of the Arctic
Circle, which means very long, dark, cold winters and
brief, intense summers with 2+ months of unremitting

Dark warm nights! What an exotic treat!

I would go for walks every evening---sometimes out into the
fields and roads around Penland, sometimes to the other
studios to visit friends and see what everyone else was
working on. My favorite nights were ended with a
nightcap on the deck of the Wood studio with Jacob and

The most magical night, I walked down along the
lower road, through the field. As I headed up the
paved entrance road back to campus in the dark,
I saw candlelight and heard laughter by the side
of the road. Approaching, I saw it was someone's
dinner party and I recognized a fellow student. Calling
out his name surprised him, I think, my voice coming
from out of the darkness. I joined the party, drank
wine and talked about life, art....drank a little
whiskey and talked more. We walked back to campus
together....a night like that, I wanted to just stay
up until dawn, enjoying every moment....

Night walks....
I loved them.

I won't see another dark night until late July....

Outside the Pines...Laura, Michelle and Jill.

The iron studio at night.

The Pines in the morning mist.

I'm at home right now, it's pissing down rain and barely +50F

What better reason to spend the rest of my day in the studio....

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A link....

My work desk in the books studio. I got to cut up a painting
or two to use as pages.....ooooohhhh, it felt good. It is now my
number one reason to keep failed paintings...

Here's a link to my bookmaking classmate Clara:

Asheville Bookgirl

who is posting about her experiences of Penland in
perfectly descriptive and accurate language!

I love the way she writes.

Tomorrow? Penland art? Scenery?

You can also check out ALL my Penland pictures at Flickr......

Penland Stories #2: People

Leeanna Laliberte on the loom in the weaving studio. Incredibly
talented designer and great to talk to. She is one of those artists
that in talking to them about their life and work, you know they
are going places and will to do great things. She has heart, talent,
drive and focus. Very inspiring.

Possibly my favorite experience of Penland was the people
I met and new friends I made....

Amber Straus and Ben. Both were taking the Iron
sculpture class. Ben is an ironworker/blacksmith for a living...
lucky bastard.
(I gotta find some kind of creative/art job or I am going to go crazy.....)

My very favorite picture of Paul Clements. A glass
blower/artist who does incredibly beautiful work!
At Penland he took the wood sculpture class and played
with chainsaws.....and did incredibly beautiful work.

Jillian Ludwig, whom I began to think of as my little sister.
(Hope you don't mind, J!) She and I had great talks
about art, life and boys.....
Getting her MFA in drawing, the description she gave of
her current work was fascinating. This picture documents
her LOVE of cocoa puffs....

And a word to my P'land friends reading this:
Get your art out on the web, damn it! I can't find any of you to link to!

Keep in touch, readers! Click on the 'comments' dohicky below and say hi.........

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Penland Stories: #1

I was at Penland in North Carolina for two weeks to take
Laura Wait's Artist's Bookmaking class. Unlike most books
classes, Laura approached the process from a content standpoint,
not structure. We did learn several types of bindings, but
first made a series of paintings that were cut up and further
embellished and decorated before making into book pages.

I fucking loved every minute of it.

I loved every minute of Penland.

It was kind of a fantasy come true for me: I have always
wanted to find a place where I could make things with other
creative aritsts and craftspeople---a place where the pretentious,
competitive bullshit of the general art world didn't intrude.

I've always wanted to find a place where I would be one of a
group of artists that were just happy to make neat stuff. It was

I knew I would cry my eyes out when I left...and I did.
I also cried on the plane from Alanta to Seattle and again when I
got home, and again yesterday.....
so, needless to say, I miss Penland.

Not that I wasn't warned---I've been told about Penland withdrawal...

Above is a photo of my books class. I'd set the camera on a delay timer
which beeps a lot and my classmates heard it....hence the waving.

Books made by my talented classmates---all of whom were
well-versed in the arts of bookbinding. Very inspiring.

I can't say enough about the great people I met! Here is
Elizabeth Belz, Pat Van Horn and Abby Gitlitz. In order:
Iron worker, Hat designer and Glass artist.

My dorm mate and friend Amber who was in the
Iron sculpture class. A talented artist, wickedly
funny, and a deep, kind soul as well. Every conversation
with her was a gold mine.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Penland Report Prequel: Getting Home

Two Elizabeths at the Asheville, NC airport for seven hours!!!

I had a fantastic time at Penland. I'm going to do a series of blog posts describing my two week session there. This post is a pre-quel, however, as the trip home was something of a torturous adventure.....

I had a very carefully planned itinerary to get home to AK from NC---three flights with short layovers, all very carefully planned and choreographed. Unfortunately, this plan was destroyed at the very outset by the continued delay and final cancellation of my very first flight. Elizabeth Belz and I were sent to a hotel with a $7.00 meal voucher...regardless of the fact that I was stuck there for dinner, breakfast and lunch. Eliz B. and I (matching Asolo boots and all) went to a Holiday Inn and fell asleep watching one of the newer Star Wars movies....such is the exciting night life of artists lost in transit...

I'm glad I got to hang out with her, airport limbo and all....she's an amazing woman.

Here's a shot I did ala Paul Clements----6am coffee by the pool at the Hotel. I felt jet lagged before even being able to get on a plane....

Finally made it to Seattle around 5pm on the 11th, 17 hours
after I was supposed to have arrived home. Had to wait for a plane whose
ETD was 9:20, but delayed until actual take-off until 10pm
because of a light that wouldn't go out on the dashboard---
according to the pilot......(not confidence-inspiring...)
It being NC time for my tired self, I was desperate to get some sleep,
feeling like it was around 3am.

Seattle airport....the interminable limbo of multiple
delayed, re-scheduled and cancelled flights.

To end the tale, it took me 36 hours to get home, and I
arrived exactly 25 hours later than I was supposed to.

Today? Sleeping! Drinking tea! And telling Fromage endless
tales about Penland and my great time there.

Next post: art, friends and life on Magic Mountain.