Monday, May 23, 2011

Slatted Fence

fence progress
fence progress, a photo by nicciwashere on Flickr.

The fence progresses, as you can see from the photo. We're doing an inside-outside alternating slat pattern thing. Mostly.

There are a couple of sections that are wonky. I think the late-in-the-day drilling got to a couple of the guys who helped out on this thing.

Here's hoping it survives its first thunderstorm (now), and the high wind we had a few minutes ago. Fingers crossed!

We put up our drills for the day when the tornado warning sirens sounded. (That's always a good time to take a little break.)

Green Eyebrows

lucy in process
lucy in process, a photo by nicciwashere on Flickr.

Back in the studio today prepping some ATC bases for art. Ang West is hosting a Broken Hearted swap over on iATCs. Deadline date is June 15, 2011. I smell some watercolor and layering of text/handwriting coming on.

Gotta get over to the art supply store and pick up some Golden acrylic medium for some transfers. I'm a little worried about walking into that store, because there's so much cool stuff to browse. At least the selection is relatively small... it could be a huge DB store and then I'd be in trouble.

In the mean time, editing chapters of a novel written at odd hours during the night is an experience. The mass of text seems to get out of hand pretty fast, like a squid wriggling around intent on escape. The only thing we agree on today is that shrimp are delicious.

Some mail is headed out to the PO ASAP: Toy Camera Zine to Heather in Scotland, FAV 2011 to: Jenn in Iowa, Lucy in Florida, Maralena in Michigan, Carla in California, Pat in Nebraska, and Clara in Missouri.

Summer Adventure

Dandelion, a photo by nicciwashere on Flickr.

When I was a kid, my favorite thing about the beginning of Summer was always the dandelion explosion all over the street. Though I was never into princesses and wedding fantasies, I did dig on making wishes on shooting stars and clouds of fluffy seeds.

I walked out of the house one day last month and noticed this little guy glowing in a shaft of light that split through the boughs of a pine in the front yard. I picked it after the photo was taken, and you bet your ass I made a wish.

The most important thing, that I think it's too easy to lose as we grow older, is a sense of wonder and play. With that in mind, I signed up for a workshop next month with Radha Chandrashekaran, a (currently) local printmaker (from Southern India) who uses various methods to make beautifully colorful, layered prints. She uses things like relief printing on fabric, medium transfers, silk screen, painting over, hand altering, and basically the "whatever it takes" or "whatever works" approach to art making. It seems very intuitive, which is how I love to work, and the results are lovely.

If you're local, and you'd like to take the workshop, message me and I'll give you the details. I think there are still a few spots open, and the price is good for a good block of hours of studio time. June 25.

It's lovely to hear her speak about her process and ideas, and she seems to collect techniques with as much abandon as I do. You'd enjoy the workshop, I'm sure! I can't wait to see how my more exacting and disciplined printmaker friends take to the very loose processes. (Particularly the etchers...)

Check out her work:

In other news, the fence is progressing, albeit slowly. We may actually have a fenced in yard, after years of talking about it, and room for the puppies to frolic and play. Not to mention a small above ground pool. And a grill. Can you say work hard, play hard?

Maybe I'll institute a "float in the pool for an hour" after each chapter revised or finished in the novel...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Momo's Usual Expression

Momo's Usual Expression
Momo's Usual Expression, a photo by nicciwashere on Flickr.

The pups aren't amused by all the activity in the back yard, and the strangers walking around with concrete and shovels and chainsaws and wood bits. The fence is in progress, and a day will soon come when we're all out there with cordless drills setting planks. Momo, in particular, wants to know what the eff is going on, yo. He'll be pleasantly surprised by the result, and all the free running around time he'll have in the fenced yard. He is going to love it to bits.

In other news, the Fine Art Valentines 2011 are about to go into the mail. There were the usual delays. Something about the mail art community today seems to be running on laid back time, where people sign up but don't send, or send, but not for weeks after the deadline. Luckily, this time, I was too busy to have to bounce back packages unopened. My grad classes took my entire attention span, but it worked out ok. I have a few pieces fit for publication, and I'm still rockin' the 4.0. Now if only I knew what I wanted to do after the MA. MFA or PhD?

In terms of art, I've been playing with some spray paint and stencils. I carved a few stencils for a 2D class in high school, and I find it at once meditative and trying, depending on the intricacy of the lines. It's certainly not the kind of thing I'd be into for any extended period of time, because I'm more of a broad strokes person. Sometimes I just want to paint a big canvas. Luckily, I have one of those waiting for me in the studio right now.

Today is a day for grilling out, and going to visit a friend in the hospital. T is doing a lot better, thanks to her care, and strength of will. Jess and T are still my favorite couple, and seeing them go through this has only strengthened their position as awesome women.

Momo says stay off my lawn, and he loves you. xox

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

To Fence or Not to Fence

Back Yard in Spring
Back Yard in Spring
Originally uploaded by nicciwashere

The back yard is looking pretty lush after the month of rains and a little trimming up of old, dead trees. It could use a bit of a mow, like the neighbor's yards. Our hill is very steep compared to their lots. It's a pain in the booty to push a mower up and down. Not so bad if you go side to side...

We hope to put in a fence for the puppies this summer, so they can run around without having to worry about leashes or leads. Paco bounds around like a 55 pound bunny, and Momo streaks around at a gallop. They're pretty hilarious when they chase each other.

Now to gather friends who have fence building experience...

Monday, May 09, 2011

Toy Camera minizine

toy camera minizine - revamp
toy camera minizine - revamp
Originally uploaded by nicciwashere

Toy Camera is a 1/4 size (minizine) dedicated to the toy camera, specifically the Holga. Toy cameras are gloriously imperfect things. I own several kinds, but the Holga is by far my favorite. (Plus, it's medium format!)

This little zine is photocopied on cardstock (multiple color covers), and white linen text weight paper. Each copy is hand sewn with varying thread colors.

Inside are 30 pages of information on the Holga, color cast, film types, focus, aperture, keeping a photo sketchbook, various Holga modifications, and 24 photo prompts and projects to keep photographers inspired and making images.

The zine is available for $6 on etsy (, and makes a great gift for a photographer, particularly when paired with a Holga (can be found online for about $20 from various websites). All of the photo projects will work for non-Holga cameras as well. <3

Before a Storm

front yard before the storm
front yard before the storm
Originally uploaded by nicciwashere

April was a giant string of storms and rain here in Southern Ohio. I'm not sure if we hit a record number of inches of rain fall (ever, including Aprils past), but I wouldn't be surprised. I don't remember it raining for that many days in a row... not even when I lived in Savannah.

The edges of this photo are a little extra dark, thanks to the pinhole setting of the camera, but the sky really looked like that, and the light was much dimmer than usual at 4:15(ish) on a Spring weekday.

The yard is beautiful, and though the lilacs have bloomed and gone already, they were fragrant and lovely for a couple of weeks. The tigerlily in the back yard is about to blossom, and the the dogwoods have been going strong for weeks.

I look forward to this every year.