Saturday, July 21, 2007

Where did I put that Thinking Cap?

Karin's Twinkie the Kid from the past show "Shelf Life: 30yrs"

Ah - A lovely July morning in Oregon. Gray skies with a tease of "hey maybe there will be a blue sky this afternoon" and a little bit of warmth in the air that smells like fresh rain. The Farmer's Market is calling today! Or is that the baby crow outside who is discovering his lungs over and over again?

I am doing my usual Saturday morning routine here. Friends from Seattle are up stairs in the guest room a sleep (although I hear giggling now and then), I've made a nice pot of Stumptown n the french press, and I'm paging through the latest Saveur magazine, greatly admiring the simplicity of the cover photo: a perfect half of an avocado. It's a green to fall in love with.

Then it's on to the computer to check email. Got a very sweet note today from Linda at Little Flower Designs (I love her ceramics so much!). She has honored me with a "thinking blogger's award". Thanks Linda! Glad to know this blog that has "Dork" in the title is entertaining someone other than myself.

So, now I get to pick my Fave Five Thinker Bloggers... and here I go:

1) design*sponge - I'd be a fool not to mention Grace Bonney's "always an A+" report card on the latest and greatest in art and design. This darling, smart gal has her future laid out in hand-crafted gold before her. In her online kindness, she has launched the careers of so many grateful artisans that have graced her blog entries, and has revealed to her readers that those that are already famous thrive at an earthly level that we can all relate too, which gives those trying to get to the point where they are comfortably at seem that much more achievable. Encouraging, discerningly kind and tireless in her hunt to bring us the world we all love, she's a regular Magellan of the internet, and I owe her free paintings for life.

2) Wexford Girl - Annie Galvin is a dear friend of mine, who is simply brilliant in her words and her art. Today's entry made me laugh and spit a little stream of coffee onto my keyboard. It's dry now - I'll keep writing... The studio that she and her hubby (#3 below) have has inspired me to get my own. She is one of the most clever and witty women I know. And she an excellent travel companion!

3) The Lonely Robot - Eric Rewitzer has been one of my best friends since I've moved out west to Portland. He relocated to San Francisco years back to follow his dreams. And he always, always, achieves them. He is my main inspiration for just taking the risk and seeing what happens. And his thoughtful and loving blog of his exudes his love of life, of his friends, and all he is thankful for in this world. He is a wonderful artist with an amazing knack for printmaking. In fact, he'll be pulling my edition of 25 prints for the We-Are-Familia show coming up in Brooklyn.

4) Stumpytown - I love how artists post their daily works on their blogs. I must take note... I have two pieces of art from Seattle artist Karin Yamagiwa Madan - one a print, the other a painting. But I purchased two more prints of hers from her Etsy shop just now, depicting her take on one of my FAVORITE cartoons from when I was little. It featured Marc Antony and Pussyfoot, where the big rough bulldog befriended the little kitten that drove him crazy in the beginning, after he thought she was accidentally turned into a cookie. Karin has a dropdead hilarious and beautiful style to her work. I will be collecting it as long as she keeps making them. Be sure to check out her sketch diaries - they are insanely good!!

5) Drawn! - The Illustration Blog. No explanation required. It gets me going every single morning...

Well, my guests are up and groggily drinking the dregs of the coffee I made hours ago. Time to play!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

New Aviary

My friends Eric and Annie have this amazing studio space in San Francisco. The first time I stepped into it, I was floored. It was amazing. The room, the creative energy in the building, the light - all of it. I was secretly jealous. Okay, maybe not so secretly. And then when Lisa Congdon was in town for a spell, she mentioned she had just gotten a new studio space as well. Near Eric and Annie, in fact.

This got me thinking. I love working at home but I work in a room that's half underground. In a room that we should be using for storage. And my computer is in the bar area of the room next door. Not to mention all the distractions of working from home. The cat (what do you want NOW, Camper?!), the "it's nice outside I should go in the garden" or "go shopping" bug...

I got to thinking about who I could share a space with. Trish Grantham would be a great studiomate, but she already has an amazing studio off her home. And then I thought of my dear friend Evan Harris, but was afraid to ask him. So I put it in the back of my mind. Then during a sort of art opening for my decks at the Chesterfield, Evan asked me if I wanted to get a studio space together. Yes please! I have been excited ever since, and today - we found our space! 1200 sqft of creative bliss, all bare and just waiting for us to make it ours.

The space is in the Ford Building. They actually made Model T Fords in this building back in the early 1900's. Then it was a number of things, but lastly it housed the OLCC and Multnomah County Services Offices. Hence the lovely 'mural' of trees on the wall in our space. I think it's from the 60s. I'll almost feel bad painting over it. I already saw Evan's wheels turning about putting a new collaborative mural there. Anyway, we just have to sign some things and we're in, and at less than $1 a square foot! Insane. There are plans for a cafe/restaurant to go in on the bottom floor, which is all spaced out for retail. And my favorite breakfast place in town, Genie's, is kitty corner from us. Couldn't be more perfect!! I'm just a short scooter ride away from home.

HUGE skylight, 20 ft ceilings

SE facing windows will be cut-in in a few weeks

Evan "scale factor" Harris ponders where to put the sofa