Finding that every minute of the day is precious because there just isn’t enough time. There is, but that doesn’t mean it comes with a clear head. I’ve been going on walks the past couple weeks with my camera. I decided that I should probably share some of these images. I also went through some old files for similar photo’s. Not all of these are recent but most of them are fairly new.

I’m still sewing. I’m working on one large piece right now. Estimating it will take at least 15-20 hours to finish. Once it’s done I will make more stuff.

Here’s a link to the page I started for photography on the blog or you can click on it above:

Sifting through the stuff.

So I started off this semester not really sure exactly where my work was headed. Last semester I knew that I wanted to make an installation piece, this semester I’m not really sure what the final product will be. The major thing for me was to experiment and grow. My mentor (Susan Li O’Connor) and I have been discussing some really interesting topics and it’s been extremely helpful in developing my studio practice as well as my work.

We’ve been discussing how to sift through the research and ideas to figure out priorities and what really matters. She suggested different approaches to this especially listing–which has been extremely helpful figuring out what is important. Just talking about how to develop that routine or “ritual” to kick start our time in the studio has been extremely helpful.

Commuting from an hour away has it’s advantages and disadvantages. I have two studios, one at CCAD & one at my home. Making the most of the situation is important. I’ve always worked out of my home so it’s something that I’m used to. The MFA studio is where I bring in what I’m working on and begin to analyze it. Also, when you are losing 6-8 hours a week in drive time—-Time management is a huge deal. It’s completely exhausting at times, but through this I feel like I have time to reflect and really value the time I do have.

Some thoughts I’m dealing with at the moment about my work:
I’m interested in process & contradiction. . . I’m interested in so many things how can my work be about one thing? It seems that it’s about nothing. Maybe that’s where I should be. Work about nothing is still about something. But what if it really is nothing? There is still order in Chaos. stuff.

Teaching Assistant Progress Post!

Catching up!

I haven’t posted about my progress as a teaching assistant so far just because I have been so busy! Which is good but I’ve been neglecting my blogging duties. The class that I’m working with is Julie Abajanac’s “Design: Contemporary Practice”. The class is a two part class and I’m in the second part of the class. This is somewhat a disadvantage because I would have preferred to be in the first part of the class however, it’s a foundation for all different area’s of study, the students are working on group projects, so it’s very related to how we work through our own projects. It’s a good refresher as well.

This teaching internship has been a valuable learning experience! I’m learning so much by observing how she teaches and her approach to engage students. The presence that she brings to a classroom is extremely important when being viewed as an authoritative figure, as well as establishing a successfully running class. Summing it all up with one sentence: I have learned a lot about teaching and how I see myself transitioning into an authoritative role.


is a good word.

Lots of stuff going on. Keeping this straight to the point as much as possible. Nothing extra –just the point:


verb |rēˈkap| (recaps, recapping, recapped) [ with obj. ]
state again as a summary; recapitulate: a way of recapping the story so far | [ no obj. ] : to recap, it’s been a year full of ups and downs.

noun |ˈrēˌkap|a summary of what has been said; a recapitulation: a quick recap of the idea and its main advantages.

A little background for those that don’t know. . .

I arrived in this program from a somewhat diverse educational background in graphic design, photography, fine art and Women and Gender Studies. One of my goals for grad school (all of us most likely) was to figure out my voice and what I wanted to pursue as an artist. Coming from different areas sometimes it’s easy to get lost. I could almost stop right now and label my work as being, “In a confused-infancy state” and end the blog post here. There is more to it than that I think; I’m working on the language which feels like the slowest process in the world!

What I’ve been doing, contemplating and thinking about:

Looking at a lot of artists. Drawing with a sewing machine. Trying to find my voice, figuring out how my background relates to who I am as an “artist”and being confident in that. Keeping a journal. Politics. Environmental Issues. Appalachia. Moral issues. Not sleeping. Thinking about ideas I had when I first came into the program here at CCAD; experimentation, layering and exploring mediums and materials.

It’s hard to talk about my work in terms of the solid content because it is not refined or finished yet. I need to make and then move through these hard questions one by one. I have been working with repetitive line, form and this act of mark making and creating. Organic forms. What feels right to me at this moment is to continue to work as much as possible and as I’m working taking the time to step back and ask myself those hard questions. I realize there are many disadvantages to working this way however, this is the only way that I can think clearly and figure out the answers at this point. Last semester I tried to push things along to fast and I ended up getting caught up and distracted. Thinking of how I usually do things, I usually end up making way more mistakes and taking unnecessary paths until I end up on the right one. It would have been nice to enter the first semester of grad school with more things figured out —The answer is found in the previous sentence, which means: I tend to do things backwards and make many mistakes.

What I’ve been working on this semester so far:

My original project has taken some turns. Surprise. I wanted to push the use of technology in my work however, I have been really caught up (no pun intended) with sewing. Which is technology, really. Pushing machines to do things they are not really intended for is interesting. I have been fighting with my machine for the first part of the semester. The results are kind of funny to me. Poking fun at myself and calling it “Domestic Frustration” at first but I started to enjoy the therapeutic nature of sewing a line. Which kinda makes sense thinking of how the line drawings I’ve previously made are very much a form of therapy. With that said I am working on a piece where I will be using the laser cutter–eventually.

Sewing relates to so many things. . . it also goes back to my appalachian roots. Just not quite making a beautiful quilt like my grandmother would have— but a crazy-frantic “thing” that somehow relates.

Instead of working within a contained fine line I have been making these crazy, absurd line gestures on any material I can find such as vellum, bristol, photo paper, scrap fabric, etc. . . Most of the fabric I have been using was given to me by my mother in law. With the exception of one large piece that I am working on. I bought a nice piece of cotton fabric and it really does make a difference with how the quality of the line work appears. However, it is all interesting to me. I have been learning how the machine works, how I can push it and what I can do with it. I took Carmen’s advice and bought a free-form foot for my machine and it made all the difference! (thank you!) I have spent so many hours fighting with this thing that I started to feel how some of the line work looks—crazy.  Now, I have a decent handle over how to move material through the machine and controlling it or not controlling it, stitch settings and everything else. It is to be noted that I can thread my machine in seconds and fix problems like jumbled bobbin thread quickly! Woo-hoo!

More images of the process soon. . .


1st Semester Project: Inspiration for the next.

The completed installation (more images on the 1st Semester Project page):


I am really happy with how this project turned out. I dealt with issues on a scale that I have never worked on before and I feel as if I accomplished my goals of working in a 3 dimensional space using 2 dimensional drawings, site specific installation and all of the technical issues that come along with that. There was a lot to learn from this experience and I’m very happy to say that it was very helpful when looking forward to future work and projects. The lessons I learned during this process were invaluable.

I like the organic and ephemeral quality to my work however, I want to leave room for interpretation. The problem I encountered last semester was that I became caught up in the description of the work I was making. This semester I want to have a different mindset about how to deal with descriptions and meaning. I want to embrace the imprecise and rough qualities of the work as well. I hope that in a way this starts to become a part of the description. These are ideas that I have been thinking about over break.

Another element of my work that I want to push farther is the use of technology.  I want to push what I did last semester in a somewhat different way. Last semester I scanned 4 drawings, printed, cut, and then reorganized to create a different affect. I realized this is where I find the most interest in my work and is also what others respond to as well.

Wade Guyton’s interest in using technology to paint and embracing the limitations of technology.

Scan, print, scan again, photograph and then print again,—this is an idea that has stuck with me from my studio visit with Cheryl Donegan. One thing she said that I responded to was, “pushing these boundaries to create an affect.” We talked about what I had been doing in my work, (such as laser cutting a digital drawing that was made from a scanned drawing) and using this technology as a form of painting to create, “an affect”. She found some of the rough edges of my scanned pieces interesting—something that I also find interesting and fun.

Scanned Drawings.
Scanned Drawings.

When I made these pieces I realized they were very wacky and went against traditional forms. They are literally fun pieces that I put on a scanner to create something else. This conversation reminded me of how much fun I had making them and that I wanted to get back to that for my next project. Using the boundaries of technology to make work is really interesting. I want to push these boundaries and deal with the issues that present themselves in this process.

The two videos in this post are two artists that I have been looking at that explore some of the ideas that I am interested in.

Christopher Wool’s interest in parallel mediums.

Drawing Installation Progress GIF.

My installation drawing has been an interesting process this semester. I started with a simple line drawing and with the help of technology and my mentor Julie Abijanac, I started to think of drawing differently. After talking with my mentor about different ways I could display these drawings and how to go about it, she proceeded to cut them up! This might sound scary but when she started cutting them it was really exciting! It was exactly the direction I wanted to move forward in. After struggling with the printer, limited resources and materials I started working digitally until I got more supplies until last week. (I have also been working on an artist statement. . . which is kind of hard. Kind of? No. It is really difficult!)

So, the past week I have been printing and cutting these things like crazy.

The journey is not over yet but I made a .GIF of the process so far. I have been taking snapshots with my phone because I have rearranged these many times and that part of the process isn’t really noticeable. The only regret I have is that I wish I had taken more photo’s of those rearrangements and the process.  (Note to self and others. . . Take more photo’s of your process! It’s interesting to see the progression and there is a lot to learn from looking back!)

CLICK the link below to open the GIF in a new window.


Experiment: Altering Drawings in Photoshop

This is one of many that I made experimenting with layers in Photoshop, I shared it because I kind of liked where it was going. I wanted to see how I can use the layers in Photoshop like I would use layers of vellum. (I’m out of 8×10 Vellum!!! I am so sad. Hopefully it will be here by late next week.)

The Beginning.
The Beginning.
And this happened. A lot of color. So much purple-y pink. I was trying to stay away from color for the semester but it started to creep back in.
They tend to take over. The drawings are kind of arrogant in that way.