Archive for July, 2010

"How fine you look when dressed in rage. Your enemies are fortunate your condition is not permanent. You're lucky, too. Red eyes suit so few. " Cheshire Cat 2.1. Ink on tracing paper. June 30, 2010

From Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (1951).

Cheshire Cat: Oh, by the way, if you’d really like to know, he went that way. 

Alice: Who did? 

Cheshire Cat: The White  Rabbit. 

Alice: He did?

Cheshire Cat: He did what? 

Alice: Went that way. 

 Cheshire Cat: Who did? 

 Alice: The White Rabbit. 

 Cheshire Cat: What rabbit? 

 Alice: But didn’t you just say – I mean – Oh, dear. 

Cheshire Cat: Can you stand on your head? 

 Alice: Oh! 



It must be Halloween in July (seriously, wasn’t it Christmas?).   

I have material for three new posts and some serious  retroactive editing to do; have been drawing, reading short fiction, poetry, and fascinating stories about forensic art curating- all of which I will share with related art.  But let me start with saying that at times intense reading  (input) for the ambitious –or obsession-prone– designer/visual artist can be considered a passive-aggressive behavior, when so much needs to be in output mode, expressed, exorcised. Indeed, Julia Cameron in her Artist’s Way asks us to refrain from reading for one week, as we need to temporarily pause others’ voices and opinions to recognize  and strengthen our own.   

Lately my work, alas,  has been hindered: I had to hunt (and was haunted[1] by) a ghost with sixty-four  teeth. The wheels of karma turned and I , who once called someone-undeservedly- a ghost, have had to suffer one.     

Hello,  setbacks.    

So for today’s art, folks, this page is my canvas and my collage. This is where the work is done.  

Let me tell you about the Cheshire cat. He appears to di-sappear only to re-appear!    

All this to say (and yes, Art is process, it is a filter, it exorcises…it is a strainer, a sieve.  She is a savior):   

Ink on Paper and digital collage. June 29, 2010

I have been walking under a black cloud for three months   

Holding my breath   

Only it was not a cloud   

-though it hung like a pale, hungry moon-   

It was the Cheshire smile of a ghost   

Useless, hideous ghost that would not go away   

Spoke maddening riddles, multiplied hydra-like,   

Says I…. I….I….   


That single grin is fading again   


And I, tethered, am starting to exhale.   


Thank you. How about how good it feels to finally forget forgive you.


 [1] Definitions from  The Free Dictionary:  

haunt // (hônt, hnt)   

v. haunt·ed, haunt·ing, haunts   

v.tr. 1. To inhabit, visit, or appear to in the form of a ghost or other supernatural being.   

2. To visit often; frequent: haunted the movie theaters.3. To come to the mind of continually; obsess: a riddle that haunted me all morning.4. To be continually present in; pervade: the melancholy that haunts the composer’s music.   

v.intr. To recur or visit often, especially as a ghost.   


vb 1. (Myth & Legend / European Myth & Legend) to visit (a person or place) in the form of a ghost   

2. (tr) to intrude upon or recur to (the memory, thoughts, etc.) he was haunted by the fear of insanity3. to visit (a place) frequently4. to associate with (someone) frequently   

n 1. (often plural) a place visited frequently an old haunt of hers.   



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I found these architectural lamps at Ikea today. Reminiscent of origami and folding facades, these inspired me to explore layering simple forms and materials into complex compositions. I heart Ikea…and here’s to democratic design!

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Love Beyond the Seen. Amina Alkandari. Ink on Paper. July 2010

Posting from the road, The Gipsy Cafe’ in Los Angeles. The surrealist drawing is by Amina Alkandari, part of her series ‘Love behind the Seen’. This bohemian cafe’ is located within the alternative Anti Mall in Costa Mesa.. a place uniting local businesses, local artists and designers and clever public space. Love at first sight- and more on this soon.

Here are some shots.  I could go back everyday.

Lastly, drawing my students drawing.

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Yosemite. Charcoal on paper. July 2010 (date is in Italian)

Hello Hello!

Two weeks zipped by since my last  from San Francisco and I have been reveling in summer outdoor activities, traveling,  and getting ready for the new summer quarter.  California blooms in this season, and the living is easy.

Days with art-dates, writing, and regularly producing and  posting new work, though, always make me feel on purpose and less as if I am swimming in that Great-Gasbyesque ennui and stasis that permeates Southern California. Manana Syndrome.

In that famous ‘graduation speech’, not Kurt Vonnegut, but Mary Schmich wrote:

” Live in California once, but leave before it makes you soft”

The more I live here, the more I find myself contemplating the gravity of this advice, its sweet cruelty. It is easy to lose oneself in perfection. We must continue to fight those windmills, rage against the dying of the light…

I have kept my eyes and mind open and have been compiling my findings and urban adventures…in other words…I am back.  But I don’t think I will be up for trying the one-post-a-day Nablopomo contest just yet, it is the sea-beach-sun-plenair-art  season after all…

This summer is all about Drawing, as I am teaching Freehand Drawing and Rendering and Delineation, along with the Summer Architecture Studio, which this year is dedicated to Visual Communication. Let the shading begin.

During the break I was fortunate enough to steal few days in Yosemite, and I wanted to share what I saw. I sneaked in a charcoal sketch [above] and few shots -but next time I intend to bring easel and watercolor and devote more time to drawing and painting. The novelty of being in a tent, hiking and roughing it (I tend to enjoy the great indoors) was delightful but left little energy and time for art. That said, the hike to May Lake and the sights I saw (a field filled with butterflies, tall grass dancing gently in the wind ) will forever sing of a time and of innocence  not lost as long as Yosemite is there.

Here is the first batch of photos I processed. Check back soon.

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Not to make excuses, but I have also been held captive by a delicious seventies’ paperback,  which involved an architect and a cursed house ( I know, architecture seems to follow everywhere I go).  This was a perfect summer read, extremely well written, and an un-put-downable book. I highly recommend it. It goes well with another mystery novel featuring an architect, Death By Design.

A Real Chill! The House Next Door, 1974

For all the architecture aficionados and aspiring literati, though, the sublime Fountainhead is a prerequisite, as the Architect’s story par excellence and the foundation of all literary and social myth about what an architect is, does, and thinks.  Is it still mandatory reading for all architecture students? I hope so.

Curling up with ‘The House Next Door’ brought back the pure joy of reading, and had a calming effect. I vowed to read more this summer and spend less time on the computer. Unfortunately, during  the three days it took me to finish ‘The House Next Door’, the deadline for  an (online) contest I meant to participate eluded me by few hours. [More of that later]. But isn’t what a good book is supposed to do, steal you away from the world? No regrets, then.

There is always next summer.

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