At Home Depot

At Home Depot

Hardware stores are some of my favorite places to walk around in. All that testosterone. Especially at the big box stores like Home Depot. You can bathe in it. Because of the van build project, I’m spending a lot of time there recently.

Sometimes I look at metal pieces not for their intended function, but for their shapes, designs, their out of context ability to make me wonder what the heck?.

I like taking photographs of the hardware out of context, as a still life. Just place a piece on the floor and capture the image.

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Change Is Good, Right?

Change Is In The Making

Sitting out my Saturn transits – and lucky me had two weird ones in a row! – I wondered if I was ever going to be able to break out and be me again in this lifetime. My life had become a constant search for lunch money, job rejections, and trying to maintain my sanity. There was no travel. No art. My creativity existed mostly in my mind and at the very most, on my laptop and in a sketchbook that I carry around with me. I felt like the universe was stripping me down to the barest of human essentials. For better or worse, I have spent the last five or six years or so stripping myself down to become the purest form of me.

A year ago on my birthday, I proclaimed that I wanted to spend the next decade traveling. I spent the whole following year visualizing it and on my latest birthday I found the means to make those first steps happen.

I knew that a shift was on the horizon. Over the past six months or so, there was a feeling in the air that only I could feel. I would tell people that I felt the change, the shift, like static. Sometimes I felt like I was getting bumped into the future, even though the future wasn’t quite ready for me yet. No one believed me. I started telling my friends earlier in the year that I would be making some changes – getting a new van, traveling some more, making more of my own work – and they would shake their heads and play along.

I knew it was coming.

When the shift arrived, even though I was prepared for it, it was overwhelming. It still is, but I’m getting used to it.

Uranus moved into Taurus on May 15, where it will stay until my birthday in 2026. That may mean nothing to you. Uranus transits usually mean nothing to most people, especially to those who think that astrology is just a bunch of hooey. But I’ve been waiting my whole life for this one. This transit signifies a freeing up of sorts, it’s a change maker for folks like me.

Where I have been stuck, I am now free. At least somewhat.

The first thing that happened after May 15th was my purchase of a new van. I love my little blue Escape Pod, but she can no longer take me where I need to go. She needs more work and restoration than I can afford right now, and it was less expensive to just go ahead and purchase a new machine. So I did.

I’m currently outfitting the as of yet unnamed monster van into a living space. All the neighbors have been around to peer in on my progress. I’m becoming less overwhelmed with the project and feeling more creative with the possibilities of what the future might hold.

Experimenting With The iPhone X In Portrait Mode

Flowers in the garden.
Flowers in the garden.

I’ve started mucking about with the portrait mode settings on the iPhone X. I started with flowers in the garden. It’s still a little glitchy, but overall, I like the black fill in.

In general, I’m loving the iPhone X camera. Which is a good thing, because that is the only reason why I bought the phone.

I haven’t quite figured out how to take purposefully blurred images, which I love to make with grasses and other plants. My old iPhone 4 was very good at that.

Have you worked with it? Thoughts? Down in the comments, please!

TRUMP CARD: Enrique Chagoya, Patrick Martinez, Mac Mechem & Travis Somerville At Transmission Gallery

Mac Mechem, Who's the Fairest of US All?, 2017, mixed media/oil on canvas, 36" x 26
Mac Mechem, Who’s the Fairest of US All?, 2017, mixed media/oil on canvas, 36″ x 26

Who holds the cards? Who has the upper hand? Do we play the hand we’re dealt or can we step up and change the game?

The prints and paintings in this exhibition take on issues of politics, influence, racism and justice in an examination of the uses and abuses of power. From the national and international players to the role of everyday folks at home encountering daily prejudices and predicaments, there’s a lot to consider in these works. We invite you to take a look and weigh in with your perspective.

Do these pieces cut through the rhetoric and inflamed passions to deliver a meaningful message or do they further compound and confound the issues they address? Have they missed the mark or can we take them to heart?

TRUMP CARD: Enrique Chagoya, Patrick Martinez, Mac Mechem & Travis Somerville
Exhibition Dates: June 1 – July 21, 2018
First Friday Event: Friday, June 1st, 6pm – 9pm

Transmission Gallery
770 West Grand Avenue
Oakland, CA 94612

Mildred Howard at Anglim Gilbert Gallery

Mildred Howard, Incontro con Casanova: Il Potere dell'Altro VIII, 2018 Lithograph, chine collé on antique paper, 20 3/4 x 17 in.
Mildred Howard, Incontro con Casanova: Il Potere dell’Altro VIII, 2018
Lithograph, chine collé on antique paper, 20 3/4 x 17 in.

Drawing inspiration from an 18th-century set of Casanova’s journals, Mildred Howard’s new body of work appropriates and subverts history, comments on perpetual global movement and universal connections, and serves as a modern critique of masculinity. A suite of 27 prints created at renowned Shark’s Ink in Lyons, Colorado combine collage, found antique engravings, digital images, maps, various papers, lithography, and chine collé. Two cotton Jacquard tapestries (published by Magnolia Editions in Oakland, California) round out the exhibition.

Howard, who grew up in a family of antique dealers, has long been fascinated by the mysteries inherent in rare books and the historical narratives and figures within them. She reworked and transformed the images in Casanova’s journals through the addition of color and subtle alterations to subject matter. Rare antique books from Venice, London, and Paris became further inspiration, bolstering the content of these new narratives with lithographs, maps, and anatomical and botanical drawings.

As the collaged imagery came together, Howard was reminded of the indefinable nature of the Other. As Howard states, “[The Other] can’t be pinned down: it changes like language changes, all the time, almost imperceptibly, whether one moves from block to block or across an ocean.” Further, Howard’s research and process allowed her to realize that the seemingly fictitious, archetypal character of Casanova was, in fact, an historical figure, and, inadvertently, a caricature for the current social climate.

Mildred Howard: Casanova’s Assignations: The Power of the Other
Exhibition Dates: May 31 – June 30, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 4pm – 7pm

Anglim Gilbert Gallery
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, CA 94107