Friday, June 28, 2019

Bread and Water: Life's simple provisions

Again I focus on water and our symbiotic relationship with our natural surroundings - how this affects our health and the condition of our planet.

I can't help but meditate on the onslaught of horrors I read in the news this week regarding the hardships of migrants worldwide. Water is a fundamental ingredient. A father and daughter drowned in the Rio Grande trying to cross the border. Insufficient amounts of water allocated to refugee camps is rampant. The discharge of raw sewage into the bodies of water near these camps are causing migrants to relocate. It is a vicious cycle. 

As I sit comfortably in my countryside studio next to the River Seine it could be easy for one to ignore the rest of the world. I feel at peace listening to the birds chirping all day and the frogs singing me to sleep at night. But the reality of this is that at some point all this could change. Or go away. Pesticides used in agriculture and intensification of land use are linked to the decline in birds throughout rural France. Nine kilometers away from my studio is a cute village called Saint-Aubin, where the drinking water is currently rated BAD due to agricultural pollutants. 

When comparing this to the conditions migrants are facing globally, it comes down to apples and oranges. However, in the big picture - humans who are in a safe place at the moment can do something to promote change. We just need to put on our thinking caps and do a bit of homework. Help is needed everywhere and every bit counts. I believe there is power in numbers.













































































Bread and Water, 2019
Charcoal, Sand, Bread Crumbs, Gold Paint, Graphite, Glue on Paper
70 cm x 100 cm
Bread print made from Pain Sans Frontieres - Bread Without Borders 


Friday, April 19, 2019

Boats in Britanny

This past fall was my first trip to Brittany, where the rocky shores of the Atlantic coast were dramatically beautiful and reminded me a bit of the Pacific Northwest. The dichotomy between the aggressively dangerous power of the ocean and its ability to heal mesmerizes me. In ancient times, the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians understood the therapeutic properties of seawater. Hippocrates, Galen, Plato and Aristotle recommended the use of hot baths to not only clean wounds but also for preventative purposes. Research states that seawater strengthens the body against viruses, low defenses, bacteria and pathogens.
Seawater in particular assists in strengthening the cellular immunity is known to play a key role in the elimination of many tumors. There are multiple benefits of being by the sea – the sound of the crashing sea waves has a healing effect on our mind and body as it induces deep states of relaxation.
That being said, the treacherous strength of the ocean fits the true meaning of Immanuel Kant's definition of the sublime. It demands our respect. About 70% of the earth's surface is covered with water of which 96% is stored in the oceans. Even human bodies are made up of about 55-70% water. Indeed, we do belong to the ocean.

This has spawned me to begin a series of paintings about man's relationship with the ocean. I am sharing my first piece here with you based on a boat cemetery I visited off the coast of Brittany, near Quiberon.



Oil on Canvas, 36" x 60"

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Horns

This winter was spent in my Los Angeles studio where, amongst other pieces, I created a sculpture that will also be used as a maquette for a 12 foot future commission. Using bass wood (which is very soft) enables the hand carving to be entirely doable. (This is a bonus, as there are no power tools allowed in my building.)
It will be interesting to work with the fabrication company and learn how the process of interaction between the artist and fabricator develops. Below are a few photos of my own process during the carving stage.





                                               








Saturday, June 16, 2018

Testing the Water of Lake Bolsena

In keeping with the research in my previous post, this spring I tested the water from Lago di Bolsena, Italy. Although this testing was conducted on fifteen samples of water rather than twenty (as previously tested in Marnay Sur Seine), both studies were examined for the same amount of time - fifteen days.  Previously, five out of the twenty samples of water studied resulted in specific changes related to their surroundings. The research at Lago di Bolsena resulted in four out of the fifteen samples studied being influenced by their particular environments. Both outcomes are consistent in having approximately a one to four ratio in samples mimicking the shapes of the found objects by which they were influenced.
Below are documented visuals of the Lago di Bolsena study. Photos of the objects which were found near the lake are shown underneath the outcome of each water molecule - frozen under a microscope after fifteen days of exposure to that exact object.















Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Water Crystal Results

In 1979, Japanese researcher Masaru Emoto claimed that the human consciousness has an affect on the molecular structure of water. His experiments consisted of exposing water in glasses to different words, thoughts or music, and then freezing and examining the aesthetic properties of the resulting crystals with microscopic photography. Emoto made the claim that water exposed to positive speech and thoughts result in visually "pleasing" crystals being formed, and that negative intention yields "ugly" crystal formations.

The installation seen in the previous post (October 2017) takes Emoto’s research further by exposing water from the River Seine to various colors and patterns painted on found objects from Marnay Sur Seine, France. After fifteen days of exposure, the water crystals were examined to see if certain colors influenced the structures, negatively or positively. Five out of twenty samples of water resulted in specific changes related to their surroundings. None were negative or positive - instead, their molecular structures began to mimic the shapes of the found objects by which they were influenced.

These outcomes question Emoto’s preconceived ideas on the definition of “pleasing” and “ugly.” We live in a fragile world today where the importance of emphasis on how we interact with each other and our environment far outweigh traditional sterotypes of perfection and symmetry. These results support Emoto’s theory that water does have memory and makes an imprint of outside influences, inciting a dialogue discussing the possibilities of how our thoughts and actions directly
affect nature.

Naturalist John Muir stated, “The rivers flow not past us, but through us.” If humans are made up of sixty to seventy percent water, then water is at the very core of our being. Consequently, it is pertinent to consider what our bodies are absorbing from our current surroundings and how this contributes to our overall wellbeing in a future unknown.




Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Camac Artist Residency, France

Today marks 1.5 months I have been residing in the countryside of France, in a beautiful small village called Marnay sur Seine. With about 250 residents, this town hugs the Seine river with agriculture and farming as it's main business. (Of course the Champagne vineyards are very closeby as well :)
This residency is allowing my studies on water, and the Seine river specifically, to open up new doors on the importance of water, the history of the Seine, and the various terrains this large river flows through on it's way to the ocean where it joins the Atlantic on the coast of Normandy.  The residency grounds are old and rustically wonderful - dating back to the 10th century where it once was a monastery - then in the 1960's a thriving radio station in France. (Thus the many cool record albums still stashed in the basement.) Here are a few photos of the buildings, where the messenger pigeons' ancestors once flew regularly off the rooftops long ago...




I am currently in the middle of my water research, testing the water from the Seine river to see if colors and patterns can affect the molecular structure of the crystals. Exposing the water in jars to found elements from the neighborhood which I added color and patterns to, I then use dry ice to freeze each drop of water after various amounts of time to see if there are any differences in each drop's crystal structures. Here are some photos of the water while being exposed, and I will post more once the test is concluded - at the end of this month.  I hope to see interesting results! Stay tuned.....





















Saturday, September 2, 2017

Residency at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, Venice, Italy

The year has zipped by so far and it’s already September! This summer proved super busy. I had the fortunate opportunity to attend a printmaking residency at the Scuola International di Grafica in Venice, Italy for two weeks. The timing of this worked perfectly, as I could visit the Biennale and soak in the massive art from so many countries. I will share a bit of both: the monoprints I created while at the residency, as well as art from the Arsenale and various pavilions at the Biennale. 

Here are some photos from the Biennale:


Phyllida Barlow, British Pavilion


Russian Pavilion


Cinthia Marcelle, Pavilion of Brazil




Erwin Wurm, Austrian Pavilion


Photos taken from the fantastic printmaking facilities at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica:









These monoprints below were created while attending the residency and are from a body of work that I am creating based on the importance of water. Scientists back in 1976 made the hypothesis that water has memory: that it makes an imprint of any outside influence, remembering everything that occurs in the space surrounding it. Collecting water from countries all over the world, I am examining their structures to try to make connections between the art and science of this life necessity.









Sunday, January 8, 2017

Fall/Winter 2016

Happy 2017! Time flies, so I wanted to update this blog a bit with some events that happened toward the end of last year and share with you some fun and interesting artwork by talented artists I saw along the way.

The end of October into early November was very busy. I was fortunate to be asked by Serbian artist and professor Dejan Atanackovic to give an artist's talk at SACI in Florence, as part of his lecture series titled, "An Idea of Home." It was an honor to be a contributing artist alongside Patrick Hogan from NASA, Rodolfo Lacquaniti, artist and architect, and Francesca Bigoni, anthropologist. 

I then made a quick pit stop in Paris to catch the ending of the incredible exhibition by Olafur Eliasson, who staged spatial installations throughout the Palace of Versailles, all on the theme of "Water." It was fantastic. Here are a couple of photos from my day there:





The exhibition titled "Plantarium," curated by Manuela Enna and Daniel Buso was hosted at the House of Carraresi Museum in Treviso, Italy. It opened on October 22nd, and actually ends today. I was one of twenty one participating artists, who all contributed in creating an interactive journey to discover nature through contemporary art. The exhibition focused on the world of plants and environmental protection needs, where art and science intersected to build a sense of exposure to this. Here are a few photos of the symposium on opening night -  the curators were discussing each artist's practice and you can see my photograph of the Arctic on the monitors above the guests's heads.


Entrance to the Museum of Casa Dei Carraresi, Treviso.

"Aequilibrium" by Eros Emmanuil Papadakis.

"Speranza" by Giovanni Canova.

"Little Boy" by Saverio Bonelli.

"In Vitro" by Andrea San3ni and Francesca Toich.


Lastly, to end the year, there was a fantastic exhibition at the Museum of History/State Darwin Museum in Moscow, Russia. It was titled, "Now and After," and the theme was Ecology Without Borders. It was curated by artist Marina Fomenko, and I was one of 
twenty eight artists who each contributed a video focusing on this topic. Below are a few photos of opening night, where I met many of the artists who arrived from all over the world. It was a great experience and I hope to keep in touch with them to see where their art takes them next :)


Front of the museum


With curator Marina Fomenko and Russian artist Konstantin Krylovskjy


Chatting with Dutch artist Pim Zwier



Celebrating with Russian artist Anna Butenko and many others :)






Bread and Water: Life's simple provisions

Again I focus on water and our symbiotic relationship with our natural surroundings - how this affects our health and the condition of our p...