A couple of weekends ago, my family and I went to the Cape Cod Lavender Farm in Harwich, MA. Unfortunately we were a bit early to see everything in bloom, but the fragrance was so strong it was still pleasant to walk around and enjoy. I had seen the CCLF on instagram and been following them for awhile, so it was nice to finally check them out and see local Cape Cod farmers! Below are some pics from that excursion.
People are buying! I’m so excited. Tuesday and Wednesday have been the best days. I think Thursday is going to be a harder day to sell, so far it’s been pretty slow. I’m hoping this weekend will make up for it. There’s been a lot of interest and I’ve been handing out my rack cards and have gotten a few online orders. One person asked for my online shop. So that’s great. One person was really interested in buying Pine Needles #2 and he may come back later. He happened to work in Wellesley! I’m happy with how this week is going so far. Trying different things with my products and see where it goes. It’s just lovely sitting here by the water on the harbor. And I get internet access! So I can get caught up on all my marketing and internet work.
I went into Florence last Saturday to do some research and shopping. My host told me about the Orto Botanical which is a botanical garden. This place was interesting in that they labeled everything in the gardens so I was able to put a name to face on some of the plants I have been working with here.
For shopping, I wanted to bring some things back that I hadn’t brought back when I was younger… and couldn’t afford… I did some research about gold before hand as my parents gave me some spending money for the trip and wanted to take a look and see if there was something I could afford. I read of a place called Oro Due “Firenze” that had decent prices and selections and it was near the bridge. But it ended up being too far for me since I stopped at a couple of places along the way, had lunch in San Macro Piazza and I ended up stopping by some stores along the way.
It started to pour while I was heading towards the other botanical garden my host recommended and decided to just hit the stores. I darted in and around the merchants trying to sell you umbrellas or ponchos (didn’t need one more thing to carry thank you very much and welcomed the cool rain) and darted into a store unknowingly that it was one I wanted to go to – Sigma … best known for the leather books and journals. I picked up and felt the journals available…. they were decent prices and some even discounted. When shopping I am cautious about the space in my luggage since I don’t have much left. Instead of a larger journal I had been fondling I took home a quill with the florentine fleur di lis on it in the turquoise color that is my home office color… and darted back out. On the way I had already stopped by Il Papiro a store of marbled paper made in Italy. I bought some clippings, a pencil holder and stickers with my initial on it.
On the way to Sigma, I passed a few gold shops and decided to poke my head in. A few were busy especially the ones that have been in existence for awhile. I spoke with a salesperson and he gave me some knowledge about buying gold in Italy. Unfortunately some of the styles that were available I didn’t particularly care for, as they didn’t look like you dropped 150 euros on it if you know what I mean… I appreciated the design but it was definitely a tourist trap as it had a reproduction of the florino (the coin of the florence empire) on it… a thin band for 150 euros!! No thanks. I found a design I liked in another shop, but it was a bit more than what I was willing to pay for and not to mention that rings have a higher potential to be lost…
I went on a walk today. Not too far away, just in the general area. One of the other artists here told me about an abandoned church that was not too far down the road. Having a vague interest in abandoned buildings I was intrigued. Since I didn’t have anything planned today, today was a good day to do some walking.
I ended up almost missing the church because the original path was overgrown with grass and pine needles and dirt. I started my way back up the road until I spotted a overgrown stone stair case and thought that was peculiar, but also thought it was kind of religious looking. I walked up the stairs and down a path that had grapes growing on either side of the pathway. I followed the pathway all the way up into a wooded area and a small towering church came into view. I had found it!
There was two stone benches attached to the church outside and I decided to take a break and cool off a bit. It was very peaceful as it sat back from the road a bit and you could barely hear the traffic that drove by. I got up and walked over to the front of the church. Unfortunately the doors were bolted shut so I couldn’t go in but I noticed some roses growing out of the masonry work of the church and snapped a few photos.
While I was sitting down, I thought about recently how people were leaving the Catholic faith in droves and here is an abandoned church. I thought about my own spirituality and concluded that they weren’t necessarily leaving religion altogether, but perhaps leaving organized religion and focusing on a more personal journey.
The above image was taken just before I walked down the pathway. My artwork is hugely centered around place/the environment as well as loss. At the beginning of this residency, I ran across an article from Orion Magazine by British author Robert MacFarlane and fell in love with the way he spoke about landscape. How his interest in landscape came from something called “landspeak”… describing one’s surroundings using singular words and sometimes phrases. He also mentioned the botanist, Oliver Rackham and wrote this passage about Rackham’s book, In the History of the Countryside.
“[…], the great botanist Oliver Rackham describes four ways in which “landscape is lost”: through the loss of beauty, the loss of freedom, the loss of wildlife and vegetation, and the loss of meaning. I admire the way that aesthetics, human experience, ecology, and semantics are given parity in his list. Of these losses the last is hardest to measure.”
It was interesting to me that this botanist saw that landscape is lost and he describes this loss through beauty, freedom, wildlife and vegetation and meaning. It made me think of my own healing journey from the loss of my job, a close friendship and relationship and more all in the span of two years. It was as if I was loosing myself and regenerating a new self from going through this pain and healing. I am certainly a different person than I was two years ago. I love the above image as it captures the sense of loss I think that MacFarlane was speaking about. Things change and move around and things get lost in the process. I have felt that this residency was the pinnacle of a turning point in my life. I had nothing but work and sleep for 6-9 months and I made enough money to take a month off and live in Italy to work on my artwork. I definitely sense change is coming and something new will come out of this loss. I had been thinking a lot about this close friendship whom I lost this past year and I definitely caught myself missing him.
Monday and Tuesday of this week I worked with the film crew in Florenza. Tuesday I made an appearance in the movie… Monday I worked behind the scenes and most of my free time earlier this week was taken up by them. It was awesome working on a movie in a different culture and the story is interesting as well. Click the above image to see more photos on the K Glyphics facebook page.
I open the double glass doors to a building that was built in the 900s AD that now housed an artist studio. The interior was decorated with low oblong brick arches and cobble stone floors. The camera oscura was situated just across the double glass doors and darkened with two very thick red velvet curtains. The feeling you got in this space was as if you were a 15th century alchemist studying notes from their book in the dim light. The camera oscura was lined with shelving to the ceiling full of esoteric and miscellaneous photographic equipment left by it’s previous users. To my left a shelf was stocked with brown chemical bottles and miscellaneous equipment to mix photographic chemicals. To my right was a wood board that was created as a makeshift table to do your developing in. To the far right of that was an enlarger for photographic prints. The table space was just enough for my device as well as the photo chemicals trays. I almost felt like a time traveler – bringing a device and a photographic process that was relatively futuristic into a space that was there since the 900s AD.
Finally I am able to blog! Things have been crazy with traveling and work in between. But I traveled through London and arrived in Italy OK. Everything in Italy is a lot more organized than I anticipated it to be – which is reassuring.
Tomorrow, I will be doing my first exposures in the studio here and to test out the device. I’ve found some really awesome flowers today on my first walk around the property.
The other Americana artist here is really nice. He’s acting in a film and asked to film my process which I think would be really cool.
I haven’t worked in the studio yet, I had some graphic design work to do today and intend on doing some exposures tomorrow hopefully. I’ve been working on my artist journal and finding inspirations.
Yesterday, was a really crazy day. I woke up at 4:45 am and left for the airport in London to fly to Florence. I met up with my driver/caretaker who drove me to Greve. This area is absolutely amazing and I’m excited to be here and make art. I definitely feel at home here. I unpacked, went into Greve to pick up food and came back, got dressed and went into Florence for an art opening of one of the caretaker’s friends. Came back, had a bottle of wine and worked on some more graphic design stuff and skyped quickly with my client whose based in Dubai then went to bed around 2:30 am.
With a move on the horizon (whether back to California or Boston….) I decided I’d take the time to take good photos of my bedroom. I think it beat the bohemian look I strove for in my studio. I love the look of this bedroom. For me, if I’m going to be spending a lot of time in a particular room it’s gotta be comfortable and appealing to the eyes. That’s particularly why I dressed up my cubical at Minuteman… stark white walls, or tables, or anything similar bothers the heck out of me… and I think that’s why I’m a graphic designer because a blank document reminds me of white walls… anyway, Mercury Retrograde is coming and they recommend that during it’s shadow you do some cleaning. So I figured that it was the perfect time to clean my room. After doing a deep meditation the night before, I felt really refreshed and even woke up early today! I’ve been in a bit of a funk all month, so I’m happy to have my energy back.
Now, you won’t BELIEVE how amazing all the pieces of my studio came together in this bedroom/studio. It was as if it was made for it! The walls of the bedroom color were already there, and I think I may have missed the shade of pink for my studio. I think I should’ve gone for the darker shade and not the pastle/pepto-bismol pink. Oh well, I never really worked with pink before, so I got lucky on the second try! If I move to Santa Barbara… I may have to ditch my Bohemian decor as it may not go well with the pastel colors of the beach.
This is the first view as you walk into the door.
The bookshelves are on the right and the closet is on the left as you face the room from the doorway.
All my photos have been processed.
I decided to take this one without the flash.
So that’s why it’s a bit blurrier and darker.
If you got up from the bed and went directly to the desk this is what you’d see.
Elephants and music… and electronics, unfinished design projects and tarot scatter the desk. ^_^
Close up of the mouse area. I often do impromptu tarot readings with my friends online and like to keep a deck near by.
This is my latest deck that I got while in Santa Barbara. Goes perfectly with the decor.
I bought the mouse pad to go with my table cloth that I dressed up my cubical with but my boss didn’t like the way the mouse moved on the hard material…. so he made me switch back.
But I still love it and it works fine with a wireless mouse.
If you’re sitting at the computer typing up a blog or finishing a long overdue design project, to your right sits my altar table.
Working my spirituality helps with creative blocks and keeping my mind focused; it helps me to stay balanced and centered. I’m an elementalist and work primarily with spiritual light – so that includes ‘white’ and ‘black’ light. The checkered table cloth represents the ‘matrix’ of this ‘white’ and ‘black’ light that I see/work with. The white & black taper candles represents “above” and the large white & black pillar candles represents “below” – as in the “As above and so below” mantra.
Above pictured: is my mini-cauldron for working with the fire element. Whenever I need to release energy, or if I need to call to action I work with fire.
Meh, just noticed the mess on the altar. Sorry about that, been working with it lately, anyway I think a messy altar is more interesting.
Peering from the side of the fire element you see the center of the altar… the rainbow structure at the other end of the picture is a pyramid box to cleanse my crystals and other small items.
Above the altar are my purple curtains from college and a stained glass piece that my former harp teacher gave me.
It goes perfectly with the decor!
If you look left while sitting at the computer, a shallow dish contains crystals to help with the surrounding energy.
The statue behind it is of ksitigarbha – a Buddhist figure that destroys negative and harmful thoughts (like worrying!) .
In front of him, is a piece of selenite which is also a worrying stone for me.
In the way back is my photo of shaking Joe Kennedy’s hand at the Capitol Hill reception last September.
To the right of the crystal garden, my photo lens pencil holder, and my coffee mug from this morning.
To the left of the crystal garden you see my piano keyboard.
Well There you have it! That’s the tour of my bedroom. I hope this has given you some inspiration for your bedroom and/or studio.
Apparently there’s a fad/hobby out there where people convert old school buses into RV homes. They call them “Skoolies”. I’ve talked about converting an american trolley into a vardo like wagon in the past. And that’s one of the main projects I’m going to work on once I graduate and finally get a job. I’ve been looking for a quiet place to place a studio but they are all too expensive for my use, especially if I don’t use them all the time. If I converted something into a useable mobile studio I wouldn’t have to bother with leases and I’ll be able to take it anywhere in the world with me.
A typical artist’s studio isn’t suited for my needs either. Typically there’s no internet and sometimes no electricity both crucial for my field.
I’ve seen trolley’s being priced from anywhere between $20k-$30k that’s much more affordable than say a $150k+ studio that I may only use 1/3 of the year. Plus the customization. I can customize accordingly to what I NEED rather than make do with what is given to me. This is my work place, and if you can’t tell what kind of personality I have already, what I do is a big part of my life because I enjoy it. I don’t consider it work.
I also plan on using recycled materials, which will cut the cost down. I’ve done woodworking before so I’m pretty comfortable sprucing up some used wood (IE wood from palettes).
We’ll see what happens, but I really do want to start this project within 5 years after graduation.
So I thought it would be fun to do a round up on the things I’ve found that I would probably have in my Trolley Vardo if I had one now.
So at some point in the distant future, I’m going to gut an American Trolley and turn it into a mobile “gypsy” home.
I wanted a vardo that included the driver like in the olden days. Usually modern vardos are pulled by cars with a hitch, but mine I want to have the driver included as well. Plus it already looks like a modern vardo. They are usually around $30,000 which is as much as a new car. The cost of fuel adds up to cheap rent if I rented an apartment in a cheap area. If gas was $4.00 and it was 90 gallons, then the fuel would be $360. Plus whatever it costs to park at a trailer park…
In the end I may spend up to $100,000 making it self sufficient. I want it to be solar powered and have a grey water system.
A painting technique I’ll probably do: