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A heinous plague invaded my house over the holidays and I spent the end of 2017 binge watching shows on Netflix, which might be the only silver lining of catching the flu.
Two movies really impressed me, in fact I had to watch both a couple of times. Amy, the 2015 documentary about Amy Winehouse, is my favorite. I've always been obsessed with her – that raw, uncensored voice, with so much authenticity it can never be duplicated.
My other favorite is the Eva Hesse biography. One of the most prominent artists in the 1960s, Eva started as a painter, but she is most known for her sculptures. Made from unconventional materials, such as rubber, fiberglass, and latex, much of her work is not archival and is deteriorating. Was that intentional? One scene in the biography mentions that she was more driven by the artistic process than the end results, almost making the final piece incidental.
Both artists are inspiring in much different ways, but I was most impressed that both biographies were about strong, driven women who created brilliant, influential work. Check them out...I think you'll agree.
How often does a garage sale totally rock your world? Hmmm, pretty much never. But when a Bay Area artist I admire announced a moving sale I knew I had to drag my butt to Berkeley.
Michael Cutlip, a popular collage artist, combines paint and paper to create bold, colorful work that often includes unexpected elements that make his work unique. His email said he was moving to Hawaii so the sale promised to be a major purge of studio goodies.
I was not disappointed. Immediately, I was drawn to the far corner of the garage where jumbo plastic baggies were packed with paper scraps, random ephemera, vintage dress patterns, blueprints, and even huge sheets of paper printed with bingo cards. Score! I couldn't wait to get back to the studio.
Hours later, lost in a pile of scraps, I had glued and painted my way to a whole new creative direction; a new color palette and a style that embraces more open space. Once again, I am reminded that inspiration can happen at any moment.
Seriously, Havana made my head explode. The colors, the textures, the music and of course the warm, friendly people make Cuba my new favorite destination.
I couldn't possibly design a movie set better than the streets of Old Havana. And for adventurous travelers, the Centro neighborhood offers a more gritty version of the city. Free of tourists, I got a genuine sense of Cuban life, punctuated with odd moments like a whole chicken (minus its head) thrown into the street and watching a restaurant patron toss unwanted tomatoes from his sandwich out a window and unto the sidewalk.
Without a doubt Cuba has already seeped into my work. Sensory overload of visual elements and sound are central themes of work I've created since my return. I want to combine textures, colors and shapes in ways that seem unlikely and surprise the viewer with its spontaneity. More to come. In the meantime check out what I've doing lately.