This past Friday I had the distinct pleasure of taking over the @UpriseArtNYC Instagram, inundating their fine followers with pictures from a day in the life of me! It was super great to get to share my process through pictures and just in case you don't follow @UpriseArtNYC (and you should!), I am posting them up here for you to take a peek at. This winter will have be hunkered down close to my studio's space heater while I prepare for a show this coming January and adding new inventory to both Uprise and LEIF. Enjoy these pics and stay warm wherever you are!
I am over-the-moon excited to share my little corner of the world with you and to give you a peek into my studio practice here in the heart of Texas. This is where the magic happens! I’ve been in this little garage space for the past 9 years and its secluded location along a tree-lined street in East Austin suits my process perfectly.
Taking a quick spin around the place, you’ll notice my surplus of old books and magazines stacked and stored in every nook. These forgotten anthologies are usually scooped up at thrift stores and estate sales, but one or two are gifts from my sweet friends who can easily bet that I will use the heck out of them, giving their out of date pages new life through my collaged paintings.
As I snip photographic surfaces and over-saturated illustrations found inside their pages, I can’t help but clip out the silly little images that make me laugh along the way. This one was taken out of a 1967 Time Life book titled TIME and describes a very serious study on snails and magnetism.
Focusing on painting during my time as a student, I’ve always been drawn to the viscosity and material nature of paint. Pushing the pigment around and watching it react to the pressure of my hand or the texture of a certain kind of paper, never ceases to amaze me. It’s a ritual I gladly perform and include in each of my artworks.
Sandwiched between swaths of paint and found images, you’ll find pieces of brightly colored paper sourced from different corners of the world. Over the last 10 years, I’ve voraciously collected sheets and samples of all kinds, attracted mostly to those in unusual colors, ones with rough and irregular surfaces and have recently begun to start my own collection of hand-dyed papers from traditions I learned during my Arquetopia residency last year in Oaxaca.Looking over maps of memory is a current favorite of mine that I created especially for Uprise’s inventory at the most recent Affordable Art Fair NYC. For me, the repeated act of layering is a meditation on shape and form. What spurs me to keep repeating these assemblages of material are that each construction is a puzzle where color, form and texture are constantly in rotation with different results. I am particularly satisfied with how the sharp cuts of pink and nude paper transition to the more gestural application of acid green paint.
Inspiration for color and shape come from having wide-open eyes as I move throughout my daily routine. I’m can honestly say I am equally fascinated by the organic contour lines of my own hand, as I am by the bright and gleaming colors of this painted mural I pass everyday on the way to work. You never know where the vision for the next composition is going to come from! Speaking of work, most of the time the creative balance between studio time and office feels very natural and rhythmic. Making artwork, creating programming at the University of Texas’s Visual Arts Center or collaborating with my peers in our collectively run art space MASS Gallery are very similar practices. I absolutely love being a leader in the visual arts and my experience as an arts administrator gives me access to the back end of making creative projects happen through imaginative problem solving. Plus, with these guys at MASS it’s hard to not have a good time!
Being exposed to so many artists regularly, I find it impossible to not want to support them in other ways and have a burgeoning collection of paintings and objects from makers that grows each year. Here is a sweet painting by my friend Sam Sanford, a little stone and wood totem by Chantal Wnuk, a bright neon Chiaozza sculpture I picked up on my recent trip to NYC, and a lovely clay figurine by Irma García Blanco from my travels to Sta. Maria Atzompa. Collecting art is not only a joy for me, but knowing that I help sustain an artist’s practice makes it so much more awesome.
Well, there you have it! A little window into my life in Austin, TX! Thank you for all your enthusiasm and kind words, I am so happy to be a part of the Uprise Art family and look forward to all the ways I will grow with their support and encouragement. If you are ever in the Lone Star State, please come say hi! Huge THANK YOU to the incredibly talented Courtney Chavanell for her photo assist on some of these, a real gem that girl!