paper-mache

Progress with residency

there's nothing quite so gratifying as seeing your work progress in the way you envisioned. i was a little nervous this week and last as i began work on my papier-mache birds. i had several conversations with Fernadina about the dancers' movements and with Stephen, our lighting guy, to think through all the various issues i need to take into consideration when putting the birds together. below is a video of me testing out the flock of birds yesterday:

and Adriane made a movie of the dancers rehearsing and (i hope) you can find the movie here. if you can put the two movies together in your mind, that's what you should expect to see at the performance. :)

stay tuned for more updates!

Taking Flight in VSCO's NY studio

first of all, thank you to all that came out to the South End over the weekend! it was lovely to see many of you. and welcome to those who are new here, who i met for the first time at Open Studios! i hope you will visit here often as this is where i primarily share about my work and process. for daily snippets though, i am mostly to be found on Instagram.

in process shot inside VSCO NY studio space

in process shot inside VSCO NY studio space

today, i want to share with you about a project that i did early last week in NYC. i was accepted by VSCO to one of their open studio sessions which meant that i could come into their beautiful NYC office and use their amazing studio space to take pictures of a personal project. i chose to take in my Taking Flight installation as i felt it was important to have really good photos of the installation to continue telling my story through that particular piece. here is one shot that came out of my time there:

Taking Flight

Taking Flight

you can now find the rest of my shots on my portfolio page.

i worried about the white background as my birds are mostly white, but having taken the shots, i can now say that the whiteness adds to the ethereal quality of the installation. and the birds really do look like they are taking off! :)

this installation began in a deep place of emotion and movement. i'm still figuring out why i am so obsessed with these birds. part of it is, no one bird looks the same because i've made each of them by hand, and the installation never looks the same. i've taken shots of these in my studio with a black background and they look very different from how they look here. and the shape of them as a whole changes depending on how i have hung them up. there is something i love about that.

thank you to VSCO for the amazing opportunity! i learned so much about lighting and photo taking - loved it!

i would love to hear your thoughts on these!

Miniature birds

friends, it has been way too long! but i was forced to "disappear" from life for a bit.  mid December, i was in a bike crash and suffered a moderate concussion. as a result, i was told by the doctor to stay away from computer screens, tv screens and books. the best thing for me was to stay in a darkened room with no stimulation to my brain. that didn't last long, i'm afraid, but i did take my injury seriously and stayed away from the screen as long as possible. the road to recovery has been slow and long. my eyes are still not back to where they were before the crash. they get tired easily and so i haven't been reading much at all. long periods of time on the computer also tires them, so i still have to take it easy. but, i have been back to the studio.

here are some images of my recent work, since my concussion:

"Hope" Is the Thing With Feathers

"Hope" Is the Thing With Feathers

Sons Are Like Birds Flying Always Over the Mountain

Sons Are Like Birds Flying Always Over the Mountain

this last image is a detail of one of the birds, just so you have an idea of how big these miniature birds are:

Installing "Taking Flight"

on the evening of November 6, the building my art studio is located in will be hosting a building-wide open studio.  i will post the details about it soon, but in the mean time, i wanted to share with you a short time-lapse movie i made as i was prepping my studio for the open studio. this is a small portion of my "Taking Flight" installation:

hope you can plan to join me on November 6th - there will be many many artists opening their studios that evening.  it should be a fun evening filled with art!

and as always, if you'd like to keep up with my goings on, please subscribe to this blog by clicking on the subscribe icon in the bottom left corner. thanks so much!

Photos of new work

how is your summer?  i hope it is filled with sunshine, family and friends, time spent on decks eating grilled food, ice cream and sipping cool drinks. perhaps some time at a beach or exploring new places.

our summer break began with a visit to Madison, WI.  it was lovely to be back in our old home and to visit with good friends, to eat cheese curds, and to visit our old favourite places.  but the odd thing is, i felt torn between there and here, being back at home but feeling the tug of our new home.  life is funny that way, isn't it?  my girls and i watched the movie Inside Out after we returned to Brookline and we all cried because we so felt all those emotions.  and at the end of the movie, (spoiler alert! well, sort of...) when Joy and Sadness create a memory together so that the memory is tinged with both emotions, well, we all just gave up trying to contain the tears. 

as promised, i wanted to share some photos of new work i've been busy working on this past year as i have adapted to living life in Brookline.  the first set of photos are of a large scale installation titled, "Taking Flight".  i wrote an earlier blog piece about the inspiration behind this project and you can find that here.  if you are following me on Instagram, you will find all my work in progress photos under the hashtag: #400birdsproject .  why 400 birds you ask? because i'm crazy.  these birds take crazy long to make and i'm not sure why i'm doing this. in the photos below, taken in my new studio space, there are around 120 birds:

on a much smaller scale, i've been making these miniature works using the rolls leftover from duct tape.  my daughter makes duct tape wallets and she has accumulated quite a stash of these duct tape rolls.  i felt inspired to use them to create these small pieces - you can find them soon on my Etsy shop.

Happy Thanksgiving and some thoughts for the holiday season

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!! i'm sure many of you are travelling to visit families or getting your homes ready for visiting families.  we are staying put this year and getting together with some friends.  i won't be cooking the turkey!! mixed feelings there, since i enjoy eating turkey and sort of like the leftovers, but it's also a treat to eat someone else's cooking. :)

there have been so many changes and transitions, i feel like i've been running to keep up.  i'm looking forward to this long weekend to relax and enjoy some time with my family.  i am thankful for our new life here in MA.  i am thankful for all my new friends here and my friends who keep up with me here on the blog and facebook.

i want to share with you a snapshot of a big project i've been busy working on.  i'm not sure when it will be completed, but i have a feeling it will be a long term project:

and here is the poem that inspired it:

 

"Hope" is the thing with feathers -

That perches in the soul -

And sings the tune without the words -

And never stops - at all -

 

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -

And sore must be the storm -

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm -

 

I've heard it in the chillest land -

And on the strangest Sea -

Yet, never, in Extremity,

It asked a crumb - of Me.

 

Emily Dickinson

 

i've quoted this poem in a previous post, but it has been meaningful to me again lately.  the installation i am working on is partly inspired by it, along with this mixed media piece:

 

i've been thinking a lot about hope, especially as we head into the holiday season.  as we celebrate thanksgiving in the US, we are naturally encouraged to think about what we are thankful for and that always leads me to "hope."  i associate being thankful with looking back on the past and seeing all the goodness we have to be thankful for.  "hope" is that same thankful attitude, except we are looking forward into the future, into the unknown, the things that haven't happened yet.  it is the song the bird sings even in the storm.

i tend to be rather pessimistic about my future, but lately, i've been hearing that bird's song even "on the strangest Sea."

with that, i'd like to share that i've opened up a sort of holiday shop through Etsy where i will be offering some miniature original art (sized 6 x 4 inches) and some holiday garlands.  you can find the shop here.  you will also find an "etsy" tab at the top of my website which will send you directly to my shop MadeBySLK.  i would really really appreciate it if you would spread the word about my holiday shop.  the miniature artworks will make great gifts for art lovers and the star garlands will appeal to those with minimalist tastes for their holiday decor. thanks so much!!

here are some photos of the works in progress and the finished products:

 

have a wonderful rest of the week and weekend, friends. 

Colours

Fall in Boston has truly been a glorious feast of colours.  here are some shots from my Instagram feed of what's been catching my eyes lately.  

But winter is coming... the days darken early and we have had some warnings of snow, but no snow yet to stick.  our days are filled with busyness.  i have started work on a new installation.  i hope to find a space for it soon, but in the mean time, i am busy tearing paper and putting them together with flour and water.  here are some shots of my works in progress:

have a wonderful week, friends!