Thursday, September 6, 2012

Toilets

I've encountered some epic bathrooms as of late.



Historic bathrooms.


These days repurposing parking spaces is becoming all the rage.


It's soap! It's not possible for it to be dirty!


Spotted at a bar in Folsom. This "height chart" had all kinds of cute nicknames on it like Miss K, and Sweetie, oh and "Slutty Lady," perhaps the most endearing pet name of all. For the record SL was the tallest of the crew.

My one regret this week was not photographing a Smokey the Bear sign that said "Only YOU can prevent pit toilet odor. CLOSE THE LID." Sadly the haste which led me to said pit toilet caused me to forget my camera.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Super cool kid

A post about everything! 



Beginning with Ai Wei Wei.... Last Friday's screening was fantastic. Everyone who came out of the screening had glowing reviews. I haven't seen a documentary that good in a long time. If you have a chance, get down to the Crest and see it before it's gone Thursday!


Summer's almost over.... I'm gonna have to get a lot more of this in before it's gone... OMF and I took his surfboard to Sutter's Landing last week which was super fun minus the chaffing on my bare legs from surf wax and sand and the epic wedgie my Betty Grable swimsuit afforded.


The assault on Casa d' Foster-Moe continues. I'm finding hella stuff for the Verge rummage sale including a bunch of books. This is an image from "The Writer's Desk." Check out Terry Southern, enjoying a cocktail amidst one of the dirtiest, corniest, and most quasi-unreadable novels ever. He did write "The Magic Christian" though so I suppose all is forgiven.


In addition to Wei Wei the weekend brought a lovely party at Quinta Luz and a fond farewell for Renny. His absence in this region is a tremendous loss. At least Oakland isn't that far away.



Sunday I went to a dinner at Feeding Crane Farm. It was delish. So much so that I ate too much and drank to much, and felt like a very classy lady when indigestion woke me up multiple, multiple times throughout the night. My fault tho', definitely not the cuisine.


When we left we were invited to take home veggies. The above is a variation on a Jeff Smith zucchini pasta dish that I've made twice now since I saw this clip. This time out I added some chopped black krims and infused a bonkers hot mystery pepper I picked up at the farm in the olive oil. Tossed with homemade pasta it was thee bees knees.



I haven't watched the Frugal Gourmet since I was a kid, although I LOVED it back then. Microwave popcorn and an afternoon with PBS cooking shows was my jam around 9-11 years old, cuz you know, I was a super cool kid. During the opening sequence I always marveled at what a fancy gourmet he was in the way he really contemplated his glass of wine and took his time picking out produce. Looking back this is so 80s, it's pretty rad. Also, so far his recipes hold up pretty well.

Revisiting the shows led me to look up his sex scandals in the 90s. I had already stopped watching his show by that point so I don't think I really knew what caused it to go off the air. It's odd to watch his youtube clips and not think about the allegations against him.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Chimera?

I'M HAVING A SHOW!!!!!!!!! 

A two-person show with Elisabeth Higgins-O'Connor, in October at Bows and Arrows. Who'd a thunk it? Opening reception on Friday October 5th! YEA!!!


Getting back to work means lots of feathering my studio with fabulous things, like this afghan which boasts, quite possibly the worst color combo I've ever seen in a afghan and that's saying something. 


These coozies tell you everything you need to know about their previous owner.


The jury is still out on whether this is an ICP thing.


A shiny nickel to whoever can tell me what this stuff is. It's like fiber optic material of some sort. I thought it was a weave but I think it might be way too course. 

GIF animations generator gifup.com
GIF animations generator gifup.com

Chimera?



After working in my studio all day Saturday we opened for 2nd Saturday which was really nice. Here's Lisa Camhi explaining the registration process in print making to JE Paino! It was a sweltering night but we had a steady stream of visitors and I gave a lot of great tours. 

Finally, don't forget to mark your calendars for the movie this Friday. I am really, really excited about it and Verge artist Jiayi Young will be introducing it. It's really fantastic that the Crest supports us on these screenings and best of all a portion of the proceeds of the screening support Verge and things like the print lab you see above. 



Never Sorry a film about Ai Wei Wei, with an introduction by Jiayi Young
Friday, August 17, 7pm

See you soon!

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Bridge to Somewhere!!!

Verge will be open tomorrow for second Saturday! 


Come on out and I'll give you a tour across this awesome bridge to somewhere!!!! AND you can check out that print lab I posted pictures of early, AND you can catch Lisa Marasso's new drawings, AND get some tours around the studios. AND I'll see you Saturday from 6-10pm!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

This Old House

It's pretty unbelievable that last Friday night I was partying in Oakland with hoards of people.
And by Saturday morning I was back in Sac tearing apart our front room and converting it into an office. In order to spare myself the embarrassment I'm not posting the actual before pic and am instead starting with the total accumulation of the contents of the front room's book shelves stacked en masse. It's possible we may need more books.

Our house will be 100 years old next year and I plan to host a birthday party for it in June, the month we moved in. In past lives it was a farm house to the surrounding neighborhood - which was a former orchard, a rental, a so-called 'drug house,' a HUD house, and the victim of a bizarre and unfortunate remodel at the hands of the most recent owners before us. Over the past few years I've been trying really hard to love this house and my frustration with what it's not has led me to let it languish for the past 6 or so years we've owned it.

We bought the house about two months after we got married and Tim's mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer right around the week we signed the papers. Moving in was pretty crazy and disorganized and initially was just a process of getting it done. I ripped out all the carpet and threw it away and initially painted the floors red which is a design element I have since decided I am way, way over. It doesn't wear particularly well, nor does it cover well, and the longer I've lived with it the less I'm into it as a design feature.
In it's place is a nice harbor grey a la grad school studio. Good coverage, soothing neutral grey, wears well, easy to touch up, and now in my new office. Note the nasty skin-tag-colored ceiling is gone too. Yuck-ola!

The old man purging. This image is the highlight of my year!

Beyond painting the floors, removing the excessive rubber duck decor from the bathroom and tearing out the spiral staircase in the front room, the interior of the house has been pretty much the same as when we got it. In recent months, however, I've realized that learning to love this house will take some cosmetic touches. I think I've been dreaming this whole time of a kitchen remodel, etc and in the meantime figured I'd just let the place sit until then. I'm glad I'm getting over this wrong-headedness.


I've basically been busting ass since Saturday, working about 14 hours each day to accomplish as much as possible. I'm sorta looking forward to work today but then there's part of me that thinks I could take the rest of this week and still just barely scratch the surface. So far I've cleaned, cleared and begun painting the front office including the walls and ceiling, painted the counters in the kitchen, painted the cabinetry in bathroom, and begun the process of painting the vinyl flooring in the bathroom. Fixing this place up is also taking me deciding it's okay to paint the already heavily over-painted wood work throughout the house which is some places no longer closes because of years over painting. What are ya gonna do? I tell ya what I'm not gonna do... Strip that shit.

Various blogs are assuring me this is a good idea. We'll see if they're right. Regardless it'll be better and easier to keep clean than the dog's-ass, cheap-as-hell, vinyl that was in there before.

Onward!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It's really happening!!!!!!!!!!!


GIF animations generator gifup.com
GIF animations generator gifup.com

Last week I decided to forego all my usual commitments, of which there are usually too many, and mop the floor. The print lab floor... You know, that same print lab we've been talking about for the past TWO YEARS. Yea, that print lab. It's finally all really happening. 


It would appear that the only intern I ever photograph is Sebastian but here he is again helping me mop the print lab floor. As he and I cleaned I kept saying 'this is so crazy, I can't believe it.' I think Sebastian thought I was crazy. Something about mopping the floor and cleaning the space made it real to me. Just typing this brings back the giddiness of last week and is helping me to realize that Verge isn't just an exhausting dream I keep yammering about all over town. It's really happening.

I can't help but think about the months without getting paid, having no heat, insane responsibility, juggling financials, negotiating with the city, etc, etc. Thinking of where we came from to get here makes it all seem even more unreal.



Andrew cleaning to get us prepared for our first inspection back in March. Hello!!!!


Rich getting a plumbing bid. One of many... 


Super glamorous plumbing hole. I sort of enjoyed having a giant pit in the middle of building for a few months. It's now full of bathroom and print lab plumbing!

 

Ryan framing the classroom!

More studios!!!! In addition to the print lab we now have 3 new studios and 7 new artists in residence!!! Seriously, like I said! It's happening! Come to Verge the 2nd Saturday of this month and check it out! We'll be giving tours of all this new progress and you can see Lisa Marasso's new drawings.

Verge 2nd Saturday!
August 11, 2012
6-10pm

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Super Sad Cone Dog


Verge has been in Oakland for the past two days on a whirlwind install!


When I say Verge I'm referring to our entire staff of 2 plus an intern a day and the work of about 16 of our now 30+ resident artists. The show is at Classic Cars West, a vintage car showroom by day/art gallery and beer garden by night. The opening is this Friday, August 3, from 6-10pm and I'm really excited about it! There will be 2 receptions, first this Friday and then the first Friday in September. The show will be open every Saturday through both months from 2-dusk as well. 

If you've never been to Oakland's Art Murmur I highly recommend it. It's like Sacramento's Saturday but in a bumpier neighborhood, with WAY more attendees, street food, bars, late night film projections, bands, and all of the other sorts of things you'd expect to make an event vital. I'm pretty inspired both by the transformation it's provided to the area it's in and also to the city for supporting it and letting it develop. Hint, hint, hint, Sacramento. 


The above wall was a real turning point yesterday. One of the hardest to install and once it was done it was all downhill from there. You can't totally tell from the photo but the wall has a curve at the bottom for photography so finding the center line was a challenge. Fortunately, Rebecca Kerlin, the space's curator gave us a great technique for overcoming the wall's challenges.


Sue placing.


Sebastian measuring. The more shows I hang out of town the more I realize I'm not an enormous fan of hanging shows. It's like moving (which naturally sucks) coupled with a lot of tedious measurements and math. Fortunately I had good helpers!


The area around the gallery is a culinary wonderland. This is MUA, where we had dinner the first night. It was FANTASTIC, great drink menu, super yummy inexpensive food, a decent art book library for thumbing through while waiting for your food - which might of a been a bit gimicky but I don't give a crap, they had a few books that I've been too cheap to buy so it was a win, win - and a great interior, if this place was in Sac I'd be there all the time, etc. etc.


My buddies Lynn and Johnny put us up in style!!! As I write this I realize what an odd choice this image is but if you saw their outstanding array of well quake-waxed knick-knacks you'd understand. Maybe I was thinking JB and LP go together like opium and pure nicotine.... 


We got back to Verge last night to this!!!! More progress!!!!! Another 4 studios are being framed in the east mezzanine! All this recent activity seems unreal! I suppose I only waited 2+ years for it.


Then I got home to this... Super sad cone dog.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Stockton: Sad Jewel of the Central Valley


OMF and I decided to do something we've been discussing for years but I've never been tremendously enthusiastic about. Visit the Haggin Museum. Why I've been uninterested I couldn't say. Part of me always thought it was an auto-museum which was probably part of why it held limited appeal. Beyond that it's anyone's guess.

Check him out here. Lovin' Stockton!

I'm glad we went. It's a lovely museum with a surprisingly solid collection which includes some nice works by Rosa Bonheur, Renoir, and Gauguin, along with a stunning selection of objets d'art. Actually I was maybe more taken by Mrs. Haggin's vanity case than some of the paintings I saw. Well that and this crazy quilt.



During WWII Stockton highschoolers embarked on an effort to raise enough money to provide a Jeep a week to the war effort. In the end they raised $250,000, the equivalent of a few million today. Once the Jeeps were dispatched the students asked that they be sent updates on how the Jeeps were doing. I love that this soldier sent his missive on some racy, racy paper. VA VA VA VOOM!



The Leyendecker show is great. Perhaps as great is getting to look at his original canvases complete with pencil lines. Sometimes I think artists who are essentially illustrators but try to pretend that they aren't do themselves a disservice by not accepting what they're drawn to and refining it. Illustration gets a bad rap these days and when it's done well it can be really amazing. Not everything has to be fine art.


The Haggin's hall of fire power.


Rad copper printing block, reminding me that Verge's printmaking facility is working out its kinks as I type this!



The precursor to USA Against Racism. This sampler was done by a woman in a mental institution in Stockton at the later end of the 19th century. It's pretty killer. 



And now for the Stockton-y part of Stockton. It's a bummer folks. A big old fat bummer. Right across the street from the museum facing Victory Park is this huge mansion just sitting derelict. Lawn dead, fountain cracked and falling over in the front yard, looking sad. This would be like walking around McKinley or Land Parks and seeing one of those grand houses looking abandoned and shitty. It would be really weird and this was really weird. 

Typically I buzz in and out of Stockton. Manny's California Fresh, maybe the Salvation Army on Pershing and we're out. This time we really painted the town red with multiple thrift stores in different neighborhoods all totally depressing. Stockton is far more desolate than I thought. Parts of it reminded me of Gallup, NM where no matter what part of town you're in there are sad faced people laying on the street looking shattered. As we moved into the late afternoon I started getting pretty bummed out.



By the end of the day it was come home or find something cheerful about Stockton in order to end our trip on a high note. I'm glad we chose the latter and headed to the Waterloo Club, 8 miles outside of Stockton featuring outstanding Bloody Marys, and homemade pesto. Super, super, good! 

Two Bloody Marys mean this crappy photo I downloaded off Tripadvisor is the best thing I have to work with. You get the idea. Check it out. It's good!



So there ya have it, solid museum, excellent food, hit or miss thrifting and the overbearing fog of desperation one would expect from a city that just declared bankruptcy. Me n' OMF... We know how to party!