Friday, September 21, 2012

New Studio, New Paintings

{On Listening to Sun & Making Messes}







New East Village studio, new paintings.

I'm looking at a lot of woven textiles right now as source material, and for the past few months I've been working exclusively on Belgian linen, which I stretch and prime myself. And the laborious process of preparing the linen has become part of the ritual of the painting process, instead of just a means to arriving at a paintable surface. The surface dictates the painting now; I'm using a filbert brush and mimicking the warp and weft of the linen underneath the spring of the bristles.  I'm in new territory here in my work and I haven't felt the thrill of discovery like this in a long time.

Current reading material:
Guston in Time: Remembering Philip Guston, by Ross Feld
Tantra Song: Tantric Painting from Rajashtan, by André Padoux
The Dream of A Common Language: Poems 1974-1977, Adrienne Rich

Album on repeat:
Sun, Cat Power's excellent (albeit divisive) new album. Highlights: Manhattan, Ruin, Nuthin But Time.

With P. back in grad school in Boston and my own graduate work in full swing here in New York, I've been spending all my time in the studio. This is good for work, bad for my suppressed trajectory towards bag-ladyness. Case in point: back home in Brooklyn, I left my windows open during a mini-hurricane and, without going into too much detail, my apartment is now covered in potting soil and the strewn botanical viscera of what used to be my prized maidenhair fern. And it's stayed that way since Tuesday because I can't be pained to get the vacuum out at midnight when I get home from the studio.

This is the hideous domestic indolence I fully indulge in from time to time, and as long as the place sparkles when the huz comes down on weekends or when I have guests over, I can live with a little midweek messiness (ahem, see pictures, above). I have no illusions of domestic perfection, and sometimes I give F%ck Your Noguchi Coffee Table a little perusal to recalibrate my fiendishness. I highly recommend it.

While we're on the topic, you might as well read Holly Hilgenberg's article Better Homes & Bloggers. A good reality check for yours truly, and I'm sure some of you will get a self-aware chuckle/vehement nod of agreement out of it as well. In the mean time, it's probably best to close the windows in your place if the weather calls for 30 mph winds and driving rain.

Have a great weekend. Curious: any new albums you'd suggest? Spill it!

49 comments:

  1. Here We Go Magic - A Different Ship; the song Over the Ocean takes me someplace magical :)

    Happy Weekending!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THANK YOU! Just downloaded it. I remember hearing it on Morning Becomes Eclectic and thought, hmm, kinda sounds like Radiohead but WHO ARE THESE GUYS? Thanks for illuminating the mystery! Love it.

      Delete
  2. I'm currently smitten for Shovels & Rope - O' Be Joyful. Banjo-picking, foot stomping, whiskey sipping beauty.
    http://www.shovelsandrope.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jen Causey (check out her blog if you don't know it already- Simply Breakfast) tweeted about them when she was in Nashvegas. Grateful for anything that gives P. and me a lil' bit of that Joshua Tree/Pappy's soul in the middle of the city. Thanks Liz!

      Delete
    2. Ooh, beautiful - I've seen her Makers project, but not Simply Breakfast. Will now get sucked into archives, stat.

      Delete
  3. I just read Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel, which references Adrienne Rich a bunch, sooooo Imma check that book out. THANKS. Also, I heard a song by Lord Huron on All Songs Considered recently that made me wanna get their album... NEED to finally buy the Cat Power, like right now.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello, hi!

    My bubba & Mi, "Wild & You." Prepare to have your socks charmed off.

    I'm a longtime reader but infrequent commenter. Thank you for creating such a lovely space to visit. And for helping me realize I NEED to go to Iceland! I would really, really like to pack a certain coral scarf when I go. Will your & your sister's textiles be available for purchase someday?

    ReplyDelete
  5. love the glimpse into your studio & hearing you describe your 'thrill'- I'm in dire need of some of that in my own work at the moment.

    as for albums- check out grizzly bear's new albums shields (just came out this past week...and it's fabulous). oh! and hot chip's new album is great too- makes for good background/busy music.

    ReplyDelete
  6. so many new albums out lately like The Woods and Grizzly Bear that i've been checking out on spotify. and have you heard Grimes? and thank you for linking to that article - did you see the blog New Domesticity linked within? i put that right into my reader.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Lily, thanks for this post and glimpse into your new studio. It gave me a sweet pause in the midst of a shall we say 'challenging' day... you're the best :) p.s. WANT to pick up a copy of the Philip Guston book... and I LOVE your new work. Love seeing the progression since Homesteads, these brushstrokes & translucency of the paint, color palette... I can only imagine the linen texture coming through. Beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I always feel so inspired after getting glimpses of your incredible work spaces. It's amazing how another person's mess is like a still life painting to another. LOVE hearing about your process too, wow, the canvases! So cool!

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a lovely, lovely mess. You had best watch out though, because one of these days I'm going to fly cross country and steal those paintings to bring home with me. :) So in love! If you were to do prints I'd be all over that like...well, me on your art.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. [chiming in] hmmm. . . prints. maybe there is a printmaker with whom you could collaborate to come up with an edition or two (ORIGINALS ORIGINALS ORIGINALS!) i am also loving the simplicity of your work, it's something i am seeking in my own as well, thanks so much for sharing the links to books and blogs! i don't know how you feel about mixes downloaded off the internet, but when i was in new york, my sister sent me here: http://www.fuelfriendsblog.com/tag/heathers-mixes-of-awesomeness/
      and i felt like it saved my studio life. girl has good taste.
      i can also identify with the forgotten domesticity. i have barely seen my house in daylight lately. . . anyway. carry on! keep showing us your work! keep being honest!

      Delete
  10. BETTER HOMES & BLOGGERS. conundrums abound. vehement nod of approval meets blushing with shame and circles right back around to gleeful trills of "i can do whatever i want." sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm everything Gillian Welch right now; it kinda fits the long hot sticky days and moving at half-pace that's been going on around here, plus my absurd addiction to wearing GunneSax dresses around LA. Pretty sure her last album's at least a year old though (soooohooo behind the times, man).

    LOVING the bright colours.

    Ps. I have that mug. The lip is the most perfect thing in the world to drink milky coffee from.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have no music recommendations, I'm woefully unawares of what's happening in that arena...and I fully plan on poaching all of the suggestions from here.

    Your new paintings are so great, but hearing the story behind how they came to be is inspiring. I used to paint with oils and miss it terribly. I'm going to soak up your descriptions and images for now.

    Thanks, as always, for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  13. i'm too sleepy to read the comments, but here are my album suggestions! so many good ones out right now: the xx - coexist, st. vincent & david byrne - love this giant, kanye west - cruel summer, aimee mann - charmer

    happy weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I just don't back down from my love of your painting at all ever.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oy! I don't know how helpful I'll be in the music department, although I'm loving the other recommendations (OMG: Shovels & Rope!), but I did want to agree wholeheartedly with the obsession with Sun. I've had it on repeat since I read about it in the summer -- when only two songs were available -- and it has been incredibly inspirational. I credit the music with providing the atmospherics for the linked short fiction-novel thing that I'm writing like mad.
    I love your blog and your work is gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  16. not sure if you're looking for EPs, but 'chrome and the ice queen' are a band from toronto that are really REALLY good: http://chromeandtheicequeen.bandcamp.com/ i've also been listening to the new 'presets' album (not sure if they're your type of band though) and oodles of 'wild nothing'. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. if you would know how my kitchen looks right now. it's hard to ignore, but hey, there are paintings to paint and shows to plan. and the funny thing is, my studio having huge windows on street level, the more I think it looks chaotic the more people are knocking. being interested in the artwork. thank you all your comment writers for those marvelous recommendations! to feel easy and light, for me it is "radio music society" by esperanza spalding right now.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I always love a clean brush stroke- with a strong use of gesture. What I love about these paintings- is that they look the best with together and you can mix them up. So a collector has to have more than 1. :)

    New Albums- The new Minus the Bear or Helio Sequence or if you need an 80's flash back! Pet Shop Boys have a new album.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love your blog. So happy I found it!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I used to be a total freak about cleaning and order, but as I've gotten older (and busier) I have learned to live with a little bit of mess. It gives me slight sense of accomplishment too when I realize that I haven't been cleaning because I've been out doing other cool things, living life to the fullest, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh, albums! The bands Goat, Ormonde, and the new Jens Lekman record :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Lily, thanks for the link to Bitch Media, terrific reading material, as also your mention of Halldor Laxness. I'm going to order the book.

    ReplyDelete
  23. sweet lil,

    you're freakin' awesome.

    aside from that, the cat power album is killing me. i did a big hike while listening to nothin but time on repeat and i laughed/cried.

    not a new album, but have you listened to the drums last release, portamento? that was the last album that i listened to on repeat so i feel it's worth mentioning. and while you're at it, download their self-titled album as well. just did that myself and I'M HAPPY.

    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks for the F%ck Your Noguchi Coffee Table link - so so funny (the comments!)!

    ReplyDelete
  25. check out the new thee oh sees album..i was never to fond of their old stuff but the new album isn't half bad!!!
    also, what is that plant you have sitting in a vase? it's so cool!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thank you for the better homes and bloggers article. Refreshing to read a critique of the perfection that can be perceived.

    ReplyDelete
  27. what a relief. It was just yesterday I felt a build up of let downs that the blogging world has made me feel about my own life. I am such a culprit of comparing myself to others so it was refreshing to read that article and to know that I am not alone :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. music i'm loving
    Grimes
    Civil Wars
    Alabama shakes
    Mumford and Sons
    The XX
    Two door cinema club
    just for starters.......;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I second The Xx. Just started listening to them.

      Delete
  29. I went to the ol' pottery studio in the south valley on Saturday and Louis the Potter put on Agentine folk music by Mercedes Sosa. It was right. So right. Soulful and large.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I second anonymous's recommendations and add anything by Ryan Bingham (he played Pappy's this weekend).

    ReplyDelete
  31. Your studio gets the best light. Love it. I have zero album recommendations but I'm jotting every one else's down right now :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Your studio looks wonderful - especially the corner with your paint speckled desk! I haven't really been listening to any music lately... mostly just podcasts. My two favorites: This is Your Life, and Tranquility du Jour.

    ReplyDelete
  33. WHOA YOU GUYZZZZ, amazing music recs. Can't reply to every single excellent comment but THANK YOU. Such an amazing resource! BRILLIANT!

    And thanks for the supportive words about the paintings:)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Purity Ring's Shrine is amazing. Polica put our their first album in February. That's not exactly new, but maybe you haven't heard it. It's interesting and not for everyone, because it's extremely heavy on the autotune (but not like a crappy pop song), but I think it's great.

    ReplyDelete
  35. so excited about all this new work, my visit to your studio next week (please see monday's calendar with the unicorn stickers) and helping to clean up the ferny soil (it's so much easier with two!) whilst listening to annie. love this post! love you! happy fall!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I love hearing about your work, lady.

    Sooooo not new, but you know I'm still not over Gil's latest, right? It's like an embarrassing teenage infatuation at this point. Just playing it on repeat.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hmmm, let's see if you might like some South African music? Look for Yoav or The Kongos (who all live in America now) or aKing, who are still here.

    On a downer note, as someone who loves pretty much every image on that F#@kyournoguchicoffeetable site, and as someone who blogs and is inescapably white, female and straight, those links, while really interesting, especially "Better homes and bloggers" had me contemplating self-immolation last night. Not pleasant, really.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Gorgeous, please let me know where I can buy your work x

    ReplyDelete
  39. I'm pouring over textiles / books right now for inspiration for my next collection (and also for the art work I'm working on, on the side)! Trying to get back to my roots, and hope I can find a way mesh my two loves. AND I was definitely going to send you a link to that blogger article because it so reminded me of you and I knew you'd love it! Especially this lady who hails from my state and is hilarious / point on! >> http://newdomesticity.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. Also I forgot! please let me know if you have any textile / inspiration book recommendations for me! Especially related to cotton, denim, woven, boro, pieced, (you know, fabrics of the south)

    ReplyDelete
  41. I have The Tallest Man on Earth's "There's No Leaving Now" on eternal repeat it seems.

    ReplyDelete
  42. This blog is just wonderful, every day. It has now moved to first place in my blog heart.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Beautiful!!! Love how you went with the leopard pumps!cheap prom dresses

    ReplyDelete
  44. Please tell me what kind of flower/pant that is in the vase! I really wanna know. Thank-you.

    ReplyDelete

Your turn: