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i’m showing my drawings with lilly piri and fumi nakamura in the project room at thinkspace gallery in los angeles.  i’m very happy to be able to show with them.  we all use color pencils.  the opening is  tonight (7 – 11pm).  the show runs from september 11th to october 2nd.  if you’re around in LA, please drop by and check out the show!

thinkspace art gallery

4210 santa monica blvd,

los angeles, ca

thursday – sunday (1 – 6pm) or by appointment

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koi nobore

my drawing ‘koi nobore’ has been exhibited at palo alto art center foundation in palo alto, calfornia since january.

i just found out about it.  the show ends on april 26th.  luckily, i’ll be staying SF on the 26th on the way to japan!   i’ll try to visit the centre to check out the show.

tales from an imaginary menagerie

palo alto art center
1313 newell road, palo alto, CA

t 650.329.2366
f 650.326.6165

press release here (PDF)

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my work in the flatlanders group show at mendel art gallery this fall was mentioned in the review of the show in galleries west magazine.   they compare my work to salvador dali and frida kahlo, two artists who i look at all the time, because i have their magnetic finger puppets on my fridge door.  elijah used to carry around salvador dali and chew on his head when he was teething.

dali in his mouth

dali in his mouth 2

dali in his mouth 3
(10 months old, april 2008)

The show veers from the enigmatic to the comic with the addition of the amusing works of Yuka Yamaguchi. “Art is like being a farmer,” she says in her artist’s statement. “I’m farming my brain and my heart to grow something. After that, it’s up to other people to cook it in different recipes and digest it for themselves.” Yamaguchi’s brain is one whimsical playhouse, and she shares more in common with painter Salvador Dali than a local grain grower…

(read more on their website)

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maximum team power duck (decapitated version) and C-section bunnies are taking part of 4th annual handmade plush show at monkeyhouse in los angeles.  Maximum team power ducks are a special guest of my first book called “the boring life of spencer, the ennui dog‘ (2006).  click the link and you can read some of the pages.

if you’re around in los angeles tonight, please drop by.

 Wild Wild Kingdom – handmade plush of the animal kind
december 6 – 31

Opening reception :: December 6th Saturday, 4 – 8pm

Artists include: Heidi Kenney, Anna Chambers, 13:11, Sara Lanzillotta, Clara Boo of Curioddities, Aglaia Mortcheva, Toys from Saturn, I Heart Guts, Couch Tomato, Josh Taylor/ip2much, ichae ackso, Jenny Harada, Nancy of MinJae, Cimmi Mills, Nataka Moya Moya, Tsai-fi, Douglas Alvarez, Kathryn Keys, Renee Lawter, Beenznrice, Terri “Tooter” Berman, 9-Kei, Yuka Yamaguchi, Winona Regan, j. fuchs, 3 Sheets, Krystle Swaving, Vera Paras, Glenda Rolle, Lucy & Otis, Randy Kono, Jake Dino Miller, Natalie, Zola and more….

Monkeyhouse toys and art gallery

1618 1/2 Silver Lake Blvd.
Los Angeles

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this is one of the drawings for the group show ‘flatlanders’ at mendel art gallery here in saskatoon.

(september 2008 – january 2009)

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i can see better

another drawing from the group show ‘flatlanders’ at mendel art gallery (september 2008 – january 2009).

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this image will be one of the designs of the posters for the group show ‘flatlanders’ at mendel art gallery.

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thanks to everyone who came out to the opening reception for the group exhibition, “flatlanders” at mendel art gallery last friday night.  i really enjoyed talking to you all and meeting some of my blog readers.

many people said very nice things about my drawings.  i was very happy to hear that.

the gallery was totally packed with a flood of people.  there were so many people that we wanted to talk to.  elijah didn’t cry, he was very quiet and wanted to be held all night.  he seemed overwhemed by the number of excited people.  originally we’d planned to stay for just an hour or two, but elijah fell asleep in my arms so we were able to stay until the end.

elijah has been to the mendel art gallery before, 16 months ago — 3 days after he was born.  we were discharged from the hospital on the last day of the show i was in, ‘political :: personal’.  we grabbed all our new baby gear and drove to the gallery.  elijah was pretty good at first, sleeping quietly, but then he woke up and started to cry wildly.

at the reception for ‘flatlanders’, a few people told me that they liked the ‘political :: personal‘ exhibit more than this show.  they missed seeing animals in my new drawings for the current show.

the drawings i showed in ‘political :: personal’ were my favorite picks from the last two years.  for the ‘flatlanders’ show, i only had a couple of months to prepare, and during that time i had the fringe festival, so i did all the drawings in the course of about five weeks.  the curator told me they wanted all new work, and i’d already promised most of my recent work to other galleries, so i had to start from scratch.  i wanted to do a series of drawings in a common style.  even though i did some other, different work during this time, i edited down to 7 drawings that are similar to each other.  i finished the last drawing on a saturday, did the framing sunday, and delivered them to the mendel on monday for installation.

the 7 drawings all have the same style: girls’ heads with no body and the hair made of wood (you can see the wood grain).   different things happen to the heads in different drawings.  one drawing is bigger and more complicated, with three heads joined together.

‘tricolore’ (click image to enlarge)

it’s a different style than i’ve drawn before. my interest changes all the time and so my style changes with it.  i can’t make myself draw the same thing twice.  if you look back at my drawings over the last 4 years, you can see the changes.  i guess some people want me to keep drawing schoolgirls with fish or elephants, again and again.  it’s hard to enjoy the unpredictability.  but i can’t repeat myself, even if i wanted to, so please bear with me. :)

now i think about it, i ended up drawing only heads during the five weeks because i was wondering if my head was going to explode.   i was staying up late every night drawing and waking up to take elijah to the park during the day.  eventually my head did explode and you can see the bits and pieces of my heads on the wall at the mendel art gallery.  better for my exploded head to end up in a gallery than in the hospital.

the next day was a panel discussion with most of the 18 saskatchewan artists exchanging their opinions on:

  • the impact(s) of isolation and community on your work / how the changing Saskatchewan economy may be impacting your work / the role of Saskatchewan geography/history/culture in your work, etc. / the social role of artist in our province
  • Spirit and Matter: i.e. is the art world like a “religion” unto itself? / how spirituality may or may not factor into your work / the importance of craftsmanship / responsibilities of an artist
  • Technology and Ecology: i.e. ecological sustainability in art / impact of digital technology and communications on your work

many topics to cover in just over an hour.  it was interesting to hear other artists talking about their work.  i don’t spend much time hanging around with artists lately.  it reminded me of the ‘pause talk’ session i took part in this january at cafe pause in tokyo, without the cigarettes and the wine and the darkness.

i only spoke up a couple of times in the group discussion.  the conversation was mostly people explaining why they do what they do and analyzing the meaning of it.  i don’t spend much time thinking about what i do, i just do it.

some people were talking about how they like to work ‘slow’, avoiding technology like digital cameras and using old-fashioned techniques.  i said we should imagine the world a hundred years from now, where today’s digital cameras will seem very old-fashioned and slow.  not that i care, by then i’ll be dead — everyone laughed when i said that.  someone else pointed out that even a pencil is a kind of technology.  i agree, that’s why i like to use the latest in superslow modern technology, my colour pencils.

paul took care of elijah during the panel discussion.  they got a seat near the front so elijah could see me.  but maybe it wasn’t a good idea — he’s been very mama-obsessed recently so he couldn’t leave me alone.  right from the beginning, elijah started calling out to me saying, ‘oppai~, oppai~’ in his most adorable gentle voice.  it’s good no one understood what the hell oppai means (“breast” in japanese).  so paul had to take him out and walk around the rest of the gallery, trying to distract him.  every time i spoke into the microphone, i could hear elijah in the distance, calling ‘mama~, mama~’.

i wish i could split my body into two to cuddle him.

after the panel discussion, elijah and i sat together on the gallery stairs and he asked me “so, you’re an artist?!’

i said, ‘am i?’…

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i’m showing this drawing at a group show, ‘flatlanders’ at mendel art gallery in saskatoon. (september 19 – january 2009)

i made new postcards of these wooden head drawings.  they will be available soon from my online shop.

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this is one of the drawings from the group show, ‘flatlanders’ at mendel art gallery. (september 19 – january 2009)

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