Monday, March 30, 2009

Random Photo from the Past: Canyon de Chelly


Looking back through my images I found this one of Canyon de Chelly. I didn't realize what a profound impact this canyon had already made on my work. I do know I want to go back for a longer visit.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Orchids at Longwood Gardens





Yesterday we went to Longwood Gardens to see the orchid show. Fantastic. I had a hard time choosing which images to post because there were so many awesome ones. I was there a week or so ago after an interview out that way. I was amazed at how many things had changed in that time period. I saw several plants about to bloom this time that I must go back and see in another week. Of course by then I'll be working in my own garden plot! We are so excited about that.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


"Work's Killing Me" by Emily Araujo. She has a show coming up at Side Street Projects in May. I'll post more information when I get it. But if you're in sunny California plan to check it out.

Friday, March 27, 2009

When Painters take Pictures


I love to take pictures. Sometimes this love draws me to covet photo equipment. This is just as sinful a desire as coveting… What was it? Your neighbor’s wife. Right. You can tell it’s sinful, if you’ve had this desire, because of the senseless intensity, and by the cost of the photo equipment itself, oh AND by the way it leads you to temp others into a similar folly. I have a great digital camera. I have this great digital camera because my father upgraded to an even greater one. Whenever the opportunity presents itself I shamelessly encourage him to upgrade again.

But I don’t really need to upgrade. I have endless fun working with the camera I have. Limitations are key to creativity. As it is I eschew the basic photo equipment at my disposal like flashes and tripods for more entertaining ventures. For example, I am perfecting my ability to stand still and breathless in a dark church for the length of time it takes to capture my image. In aquariums I try to move my camera at the same speed as the fish to achieve something close to focus. This maneuver is really more fun than I can describe. Outside I apply the ‘just keep clicking’ technique that almost always results in something interesting. Back in the days of film my father-in-law asked me to take a photo of a goose visiting his pond. I shot 23 pictures. He, um, only wanted one.

But I don’t think painters take pictures for the same reasons as everyone else. We are always looking for a visual stimulus, but not necessarily photographic perfection.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Light Experiments


I've been doing some experimentation with light on my new pieces. Right now it's just part of the process documentation but possibly some day it will be an end in itself. The spiral for this particular piece was drawn free hand (no measuring) so it's more irregular than some of the others.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Random Photo from the Past: Ohio Studio


Since I've been sharing old studio shots, here's one of mine.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Edgar Allen Poe in Philadelphia


A few weeks ago I drove past Egdar Allen Poe's house in Philadelphia. It sits on Spring Garden Street, nestled in a housing project. A very curious experience. You must knock ONCE to enter. But then you are enthusiastically greeted by a ranger and ushered into the house next door to Poe's which is now connected. Poe's house is as you see above. Deliciously decrepit and creepy; or at least it would be if you visited at night with just a flashlight.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Random Photo from the Past: Thanksgiving in Ohio


This is one of my all time favorite Ohio Thanksgivings. I only wish I had a photo of my three year old nephew with mash potatoes all over his snow mittens. But here the kids are huddled around the lone heater in the barn. It was enough to keep us above freezing, but um, that's about it. Considering it was well below freezing outside that's not bad.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Double Spiral Complete!


Finally, either it's done or I'm done. But there's something I love about it so it's going to stay this way for a while. Below is a detail of the left center.


And then a couple process photos. The last thing I did to it was cut it to pieces and then sew it back together again. The very bottom photo gives you an idea of what it looked like just before I cut it apart and removed some of the excess canvas.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Random Photo from the Past: Toledo Zoo, Polar Bear


Another trip to the Toledo Zoo. This time it's 2007 and the three polar bears cubs are just on view. Or we're on view for the cubs. You decide.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Random Photo from the Past: Rachel Bomze & Arden Bendler Browning

I initially intended to go through my cds of photos and choose one image from each cd. When I encountered the studio photos I couldn’t help but post them all. It’s been inspiring for me to look back to 2005 and remember what everyone was making. Perhaps I’ll have to travel the country to update the studio views.

I’m almost finished with my double spiral piece…I think. It’s been a long difficult road and I forgot to bring my camera to the studio this morning so you’ll have to wait for a visual update. In the mean time, here’s the last of my studio photos from 2005. Back then Arden Bendler Browning and Rachel Bomze were sharing a space at the Crane Arts Building in Philadelphia.


Rachel in red with a glimpse of her painting behind her. Below two of Arden's pieces in progress.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Random Photo from the Past: Walden Pond


One winter day over Christmas vacation we stumbled upon Walden Pond in Massachusetts. I would have loved to walk around the whole pond but as you see we arrived too late. The sunset was beautiful and lent an appropriate sense of wonder to Henry David Thoreau's stomping grounds.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Drawing


Olivia made this drawing yesterday. It's a great portrait of both of our dogs. I also love the small crystal vases in the background.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Random Photo from the Past: New England Aquarium


I guess I could almost call this series Random Aquarium Photos from the Past. Taking photos in aquariums is one of my favorite hobbies. The New England Aquarium in Boston is very nice. They had a fantastic exhibit of jellyfish when I was there.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Random Photo from the Past: North Carolina Aquarium


The North Carolina Aquarium near Emerald Isle, NC is a great little place. They have a fantastic boardwalk through wetlands. The mosquitoes really love it too. I believe that I had been abandoned to take pictures alone by this point. Matt and Olivia fled with great speed back to the aquarium building!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Random Photo from the Past: Paint Jobs

I rarely paint from old photos because it's too easy to become nostalgic. I'm having the same issues with my Random Photo series but I'm going to persevere and see if I can get past the nostalgic pitfalls. This image cracks me up. That wall stayed that way for at least a year, maybe two. And by "that way" I mean with red paint unevenly applied three quarters of the way up. (That was as far as I could reach on the ladder.) I think we finally painted it a solid color when we were trying to sell it but I can't remember what color it ended up. The paintings were done in Denmark in 2004 when we went to stay at a friend's house for a month. We drove all around Sweden, Norway, Germany and Denmark on that trip. I was hugely influenced by the amazing textures and colors, especially on the island of Mon, Denmark, where we stayed.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Paint Battles

It's been cold and sunny. The birds are out (see below) and it might actually be warm this weekend. In the studio I decided to wage war. I'm still working on the double spiral and I decided it was time to escalate actions against it. I have an idea that the surface (spiral shaped canvas) and paint are battling each other. Actually, my initial idea was to try to get the gestural paint to work in harmony with the incrementally created canvas. But this piece is really about forced relationships so why be subtle. I started cutting and sewing over the painted canvas and promptly broke my machine needle. So if this is a battle between myself and my canvas the canvas is up one.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Our Beautiful March Snow

Random Photo from the Past: My Garden


I really miss my garden. And I miss my house. I guess you always know when you lose something that you are going to miss it. I’m hoping to get a community garden space this summer. Zinnias and tree house gourds will be on the top of my planting list. Tomatoes too and tomatillos if I can find some. Too bad I can’t grow avocados here!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Random Photo from the Past: Whale


This is something I really want to do again soon. Seeing these huge mammals rise from the ocean depths totally amazes me. We saw several mom and baby pairs. Although the babies were at least as big as the moms! They were very curious and several times swam towards and then under our boat to check us out.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Random Photo from the Past: Toledo Zoo


I've been taking digital photos for about 8 years now. I have hundreds of disks full of saved images. They are all stacked on those holders the cds are on when you buy them. Stacked, I might add, in no particular order. At the moment I have an "old ones are silver, newer ones are blue" divide. But that's really the extent of my cd organization. I repeatedly spend HOURS looking for the image I want on some cd somewhere. Fun times I tell you. So for these days of March when I have nothing exciting to show you I'm going to choose a disk, pick a photo and tell you a story.

I love the Toledo Zoo. I miss it terribly when, as now, I am not living in Ohio. Every time I return to the area I think, "Oh good. I can go to the zoo again." It's a great zoo. This photo happens to be from the aquarium. It's a fine place to draw in the winter, nice and warm and cozy.