Thursday, October 21, 2010


Wow I've been busy. Midterms just ended, and I spent one of the best weekends of my life back home in New Orleans a few days ago. I haven't posted for a long time. Sorry about that. Anyway, here is my latest painting, also for the Self Image and Metaphor class:


The assignment was to go to the zoo and meld yourself with an animal to say something metaphorically. Can you guess which animal I am?

....................................................................................................................................An orangutan! 

After the zoo, I couldn't decide between an orangutan or a gorilla, and after researching the symbolism of both animals, I found out that they mean almost the complete opposite of each other.

So I am the orangutan, the "other human" who did not want to work for a living, so he moved to the forest to live in the trees (according to Indonesian myth). I am fitting my hand into a gorilla hand print, the mark of an ape who, when appearing in dreams, symbolizes that it is time to earn what you want and to stop waiting for things to just fall into your lap.

This is an appropriate result for someone who is absolutely self-critical all the time and is always trying to be better, braver, stronger, more productive, despite an innate laziness and fearful hesitance to just jump into things. I need to be and want to be more like a gorilla. Mark is totally a gorilla. I don't know how he does it. Being an orangutan just comes easier.


Here is a side-by-side comparison of the drawing and the painting, switched to black and white for easier read of the differences and similarities. I think the painting turned out more orangutan-like, no?


Here is a painting I did in high school, as a senior. The wonderful Sally Perry bought it when it was hanging in the senior show, and it is hanging in her office! This is the picture she sent me of it:

I can't remember the title.

I think it looks great all framed and hanging on a wall. Mark considers this my "break through" piece as a painter.

Monday, September 13, 2010


This is Project -1 for my Self Image and Metaphor painting class. The project is called "Self Portrait with Object of Ambiguity from Observation."

My Mother and Mark

The object I chose is a silk pashmina that Marmar bought for me in San Francisco and gave to me on a visit a few weekends ago. Pure silk, pure love. My mother has a large collection of pashminas to chose from to wear to work everyday. So this fabric is like a little piece of both of them, the two people I trust and love most in the whole world.  Pure comfort. (This is also the first oil painting I've done in a loooooong time, so at least I had comfortable subject matter to offset any anxiety I had about working the materials.)

And with the explanation, there goes the ambiguity. 

Here is a detail:

Just look at the contentment!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Post ten. The first painting of Fall 2010. 
Ah, what a day. I walked ALL OVER Midtown yesterday, lost in my own head and sweat.


Monday, July 12, 2010


So, I had my first show outside of school on Friday at the P&H. "Exudation," it was called. I thought I would publish my statement along with the here it goes:


"Exudation" is in reaction to the Gulf Oil Disaster that is affecting my hometown in Southern Louisiana and the surrounding states.  The word "exudation" is used to reference equally the oil steadily and continually spilling into the Gulf and the strong outpouring of emotion from the citizens of that region, myself included. It is a reaction of frustration and of grief.

My two pieces of the show are titled Pipeline and Crown.  Little framed images of people, animals, and landscape are placed on a rusty metal, industrial background in Pipeline. A black substance is seeping, exuding, from the top of the picture plain, running down, sometimes obscuring the sentimental collection of images. Yet, the oily lines create a web, connecting all the different pictures together. The disaster affects everything. In the portrait Crown, the figure is shaking her head, trying to rid herself of the substance, but it is too integrated into her hair. I am not sure if the black specs are flying off of or rushing to meet her.  I am also reminded of a crown of thorns and a sort of half-halo. The figure looks almost saintly. She is frustrated yet almost at peace, like she is tiring of her struggle and is resigning to it.

I come from New Orleans, Louisiana, which is currently surrounded on three sides by oil. I came to Memphis to become an artist the good-old-fashioned college way. Primarily, I am interested in  painting representationally and realistically, and am slowly becoming more interested in and bold enough to try my hand in more abstract ways of story telling.  To me, art is story-telling, whether the story be a novel, headline, or a single word.

And thank you so much to all those who came out to see it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Hey. Sorry about not posting in a while. Something came up.

I had to shoot down to New Orleans, very last minute, to teach Printmaking at the New Orleans Center for Creative Art (NOCCA/Riverfront). It lasted two weeks and went by very quickly. The kids were either about to enter or were already in high school. With very few exceptions, they were great students and really took to the techniques they learned for making monotypes.

Here are a few of their prints:

These are the prints of (from top to bottom): Johnston Burkhardt, Gabby Daigle, Khaiga Zuniga, Katie Caldwell, Tyler Conde

Thursday, May 6, 2010


^ Hey lucky number right there.

Today in my cultural anthropology class, a Lakota man named what translates to English as "Backwards Elk" gave a lecture about ritual. He then invited the class to go outside and smoke a peace pipe with him. We stood in a circle, each taking four puffs of a special and delicious blend of tobacco as we thought silent prayers and wishes, sending them towards the heavens in our smoke. I wished for better luck. Up drifted my breath, and away it disappeared. We all shook hands, said thank you, and went home.

I got out of the car in my driveway a few minutes later. The yard is covered, every inch, in clover.  In the first spot I looked down at was this:

My Celtic ancestors gave me a sign that they were listening.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Okay Okay! I have a my first show on July 9th. It will be at the P&H here in Memphis. Now I just need to figure out what to put in it. Ah well, I'll worry about that after finals.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I found out recently that Ted Rust, the director emeritus of the Memphis College of Art, has one of my paintings. It is this one:

Brothers (2009)

Jeff Nesin, the president of the college, bought it at the Holiday Bazaar for him. Apparently, he buys all kinds of things having to do with cardinals for Ted. Awe Friends! I'm very happy about this. I mean, the whole college is currently located in one building: Rust Hall. As in Ted Rust. Very nice surprise to hear that one.


Oh gosh. Sorry about that glare.

Catalyst (2010)

Here is the latest painting. The explosion represents a catalyst. Any one will do. Any reason you can think of that would start the decay of a neighborhood. My professor thought it reminded her of when they had to blow up the levees to save New Orleans in the early 1900s. I think thats when it happened. The top painting is actually two paintings superimposed atop one another. I painted houses that one would find in New Orleans or in Memphis. The landscape has replaced these ghost houses for one reason or another. Here I am in front of it, which sort of gives you a better look at the part obsured by the glare in the first picture:

Oh and by the way, this blog has not in fact saved my hair from me. I cut it yesterday. I didn't want to. I couldn't help it. I kept thinking about the amount of school work I had and my presently fruitless job search and bills and I just couldn't help it. Off went a couple inches.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Here are some of my paintings: (By the way I am willing to sell any of them.)

Still-life (2010)

Here is the kitchen sink. A "still-life." That is in quotations because this is not something alive being still. These things are always still. Figure painting is more a still life because a human is living, just still in the painting. When doing this sink painting, I was really stuck on that term. So I thought that, if I were to do a still-life, it should be like a snapshot of my life. Nothing purposefully composed. Haphazard evidence of a living thing. So dirty dishes yet to be washed at the end of the day seemed appropriate. Apparently I really had nothing but coffee and water that day. That is unusually clean for my sink.
Imperfect Barrier 1 (2010)

I was looking at Janet Fish for this one. Look her up if you need to. Even if you don't need to. Especially the ones of all the glasses layered up. Beautiful. Anyway, this is obviously having to do with hurricanes and hurricane preparedness. I'm originally from the greater New Orleans Area, and the only time we had bottles of water was if a hurricane was a-coming. These things that we do to prepare ourselves do not actually help. That was proven during Katrina. All the waterbottles and sandbags in the world won't make a magical shield of protection from danger. As for the color palette: you know how the sky almost turns green right before a bad storm? Beautiful.

More of my paintings to come.


I am terrified.

I was like an animal in a zoo, people kept coming to take a good look. Voyeurs without shame, faces in half shadow, expecting a show. And I was simultaneously doing the exact same thing.
This was the one and only time I will ever experience Chatroulette. I couldn't be on screen, I avoided it while my friend pretended to beat up people by punching in the direction of the camera. I saw a few people manipulating themselves.

I don't like this phenomenon.
My mind just cannot wrap itself around it. I can barely deal with the people in one town, let alone the whole world. That website is not for this agoraphobic. Now people can just look right into the places I feel safe from other people. Insanity.
Also, most of these people were alone and in the dark. Maybe just curious, but probably lonely. What are they doing? I'm halfway around the world. Find some friends were you live.

P.S. This is a fun thing about real friends: I was just called a "tiny pipsqueak, a squalking pipfreak, pippy longstalking baby mosquito bug lady." I hate that guy. I love that guy.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Alright. I suppose I needed one of these. This blog may keep me from shearing all my hair off when I feel especially neurotic. Always happens, trying to change it.

I'm living in Memphis, Tennessee because of the art school here. Twice today the same father and son came to the door, begging to let them cut the lawn in exchange for $6. Times are tough. No one in our house had $6 to give them, even if we had pooled the money. Times are tough all over.