Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Clatsup County Arts Summit/ Pop Up Exhibition in Gearhart, OR

Hey it is already November! Crazy.

This fall was spent in the french countryside at my studio, converting my old barn into a woodworking shop, which I am quite excited about. I left France at the beginning of the month and headed to the Oregon coast where I took part in speaking at the very first Clatsop County Arts Summit at the Seaside Convention Center. It is a newly renovated state-of-the-art facility and the summit was wonderful to be a part of: artists speaking to artists about the business of art. I met a lot of new friends whom I look forward to collaborating with in the future. My hope is that this summit will continue to grow each year as I feel it covers some essential marketing and business components and brings up pertinent questions that many artists have during the span of their careers.

Here is a link to the related article:

I have a special connection to the Pacific Northwest, which I'm sure has to do with the fact that I grew up there. The people I come into contact with upon returning as an adult seem to have certain things in common: they tend to respect nature, and take note of the significance our natural environment plays in our existence. Maybe it's because they not only are surrounded by so much nature, but also they see how nature has a mind of its own. The strong rain and winds can kick our butts as can a herd of elk crossing the street if one steps too close.

I was fortunate to have a pop up exhibition at the Sweet Shop in Gearhart, Oregon the same week as speaking at the Arts Summit. The location right at the beach was perfect to share my body of work on water. Thanks to PR master Traci Williams, the show was a success and I was able to reunite with friends I had not seen in years. Here are a few pieces included in the exhibition. Now, back in Los Angeles, I miss Oregon already and can't wait to return!

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 series, 2019

Charcoal, Oil Paint, Stamped Slices of Bread, Graphite, Sand on Paper

Marnay sur Seine, France

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


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.

Clatsup County Arts Summit/ Pop Up Exhibition in Gearhart, OR

Hey it is already November! Crazy. This fall was spent in the french countryside at my studio, converting my old barn into a woodworking s...