For the third year in a row, one of my artworks was included in the Bemis Center’s annual benefit auction. It’s always a pleasure to see my work in its new home – and what a lovely setting this one ended up in, with a lively green houseplant to keep it company!
This drawing is one of a series of my meditation drawings made about a year ago, in the first autumn of the pandemic – back home to New York, numbers rising again, the uncertainties of winter lying ahead. After time away from my studio, and away from the normal routines of life, I returned with a sense of urgency to these drawings – some in ink, some (like this one) in colored pencil. Looking at them now reminds me of feeling a bit desperate to get marks onto paper. The layered lines remind me of the warp and weft of the weaving made by my grandmother that hangs on the wall of our apartment, and of the way you can obscure a line of text best by writing something else right on top of it.
You can view more of the drawings in this series here, and bring one to your own home – here.
“Layers of Time” opens today at Upstream Gallery, and will remain on view through July 25. Three of my pieces are part of the show, including the drawing pictured here. The exhibition title feels particularly apt, not just to my work, but to the way we’ve been moving through the past year and a half… (What is time?!)
Hastings-on-Hudson is a quick train ride or drive out of the city if you’re in New York and looking for an excursion up the Hudson Valley. I took advantage of my drive up to drop off the artwork by hiking at Blauvelt State Park that afternoon as well; it was refreshing to be surrounded by so much green! Upstream Gallery is an artist-run space; I met a couple of the members and they were very friendly and welcoming.
PaperWorks 2021: Layers of Time July 1–25, 2021 Hours: Thursdays–Sundays, 12:30-5:30pm Upstream Gallery 8 Main Street, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706
The stereotype of bookish people being homebodies always seemed true, except that after a year with nearly 10 months worth of home-bodying what really strikes me when typing this list are the visceral memories I have of the places (not at home) that I read the first seven or so books of 2020: Now, Now, Louison at The Commons Chelsea – drinking a latte from a mug, indoors in a tiny cafe around the corner from work on a break. How Should a Person Be? in a mostly-empty afternoon pub on a day I got off early after working an event late early in the week, where I stopped for lunch on the way to my studio. The food was bad but the bartender was nice. Say Nothing sitting or standing in the subway, drawing me in so much that I hardly noticed packed and noisy train cars on my commute.
Little Woman was a book I read (and loved) multiple times in elementary school but hadn’t read since. Like many others, I re-visited it in advance of Greta Gerwig’s film retelling which I then went to see/cry through by myself in a movie theater at a matinee showing, which was the last time I was in a movie theater at this point. (Little Women bonus content: this podcast episode, and this one built around theseessays)
In the peak of early spring anxiety and non-stop sirens outside, I turned to poetry when my attention span couldn’t handle more than a line at a time – Mary Oliver, paying attention as liturgy – and novels or memoirs written staccato-like with short chapters or shorter paragraphs that kept things moving briskly along (Dept. of Speculation, Ongoingness). Scriptorium was my favorite poetry collection I read this year.
I was a little nervous about recording my studio tour for Bushwick Open Studios a couple weeks ago, but ended up really enjoying myself! Keeping the camera facing the artwork allowed me to simply focus on discussing what I was seeing, as if I was walking a friend through the studio. (In fact, I sort of was – friends and family were able to tune in virtually who do not live in NYC and wouldn’t have been able to attend an in-person event.)
This studio tour touches upon several key elements of my creative practice for the past year or so: intuitive composition, focus on repeated and overlapping patterns, and daily writing practice. This conversational way of moving through the studio felt helpful because it allowed me to point out connections between different processes as they arose: similar composition processes for paintings and drawings even though they look very different, looping line drawings which mirror cursive handwriting, etc.
The video tour, saved below, runs about eight minutes in length. I hope you enjoy!