Hello My Dearest Bloggers,
Some of you might have been wondering, “Hey, what happened to Zoe? Was she swallowed up by Philadelphia never to return?” In summary, no. I am back in lovely North Carolina, only after having one of the most eventful summers of my young life.
I am in the process of catching up, picking up the pieces, catching my breath– Whatever you want to call it. Sometimes it’s hard for me to remain afloat when everything around me seems to move so quickly. Even the process of getting to the computer can feel like a hike, when all I want to do is rest.
I won’t give you all the details, but I will give you the delicious highlights from this summer. After my time at the Summer Painting/ Sculpture Intensives ended on August 1 with a big bang, I packed everything from my subleased apartment, drove my car to Massachusetts to visit my family for a few days, proceeded to drive to Brooklyn to see my friend Chris in his incredible brownstone co-op, and then continued my journey to Viriginia (stopping at a Hostel in Quakertown, PA along the way).
In Virginia, I saw my friends Justin and Eileen in Charlottesville, and then drove to one of my favorite places in the world, Nelson County, VA, to spend time with my friend Mary Pearl and her beautiful family. It’s hard to put into words exactly how moved I am my the scenery of Nelson County, by those alluring Blue Ridge Mountains, and by the stately poplars and oaks, covering Mary Pearl’s hand-built stone home. Chickens cluck in their vegetable garden, dogs run happily, and the house cat climbs the giant trees, only to get stuck at the top.
Not too much unlike the house cat, I was on the move, and after a short and sweet road trip, I returned triumphantly to Durham, NC to move into a new house. In these last few weeks, I have unpacked (most of…) my house, Craigslist hunted for furniture, packed a small bag, and traveled again. This time, I flew all the way to Seattle, shuttled my way to a ferry, and finally found my way to my boyfriend, Tom, who had been sailing on Orcas Island for three months. For my last summer hurrah, I stayed in a yurt with Tom on Otter Cover, and explored the too-beautiful-for-it’s-own-good island, hitch-hiking along the way.
Not the worst place to hitchhike, right?
Anyway, let’s back up a little bit. I will not glaze over the entire last couple of weeks of my Philadelphia adventure (definitely the most eventful portion). Let’s go back in time to almost 2 months ago… Was it really 2 months ago?
After my first two weeks at Tyler School of Art, my mind had expanded tremendously. Bruce Pearson, who led the program this summer, was my prominent mentor. He taught me how to be a better painter. He influenced me to experiment more than I ever had with materials, encouraging me to try painting on mylar, wood, and other plastics. Bruce, along with many others in the program, also encouraged me to play with acrylic paints, introducing me to the world of pigment dispersions and the heavenly Guerra Paint in NYC. Oh, all of the new materials I acquired! I let go a little bit… It was as if I had been on a diet for years, and this summer, I allowed myself to indulge in the sweetest pastries I could get my hands on. As they say…When in Rome! Errm, right?
During the second half of the program (or more honestly, the last quarter), I finally concentrated on my emerging body of work to prepare for the final exhibition at the Icebox at Crane Arts. After numerous critiques, and several long days in the studio, a faculty member and fabulous artist, Erica Prince, sat down with me and suggested that I experiment less and GET DOWN TO BUSINESS. She was totally right. It was then that I buckled down and created 9 mylar paintings. And yes, I was painting DOWN TO THE WIRE.
Those last 2 weeks flew by, as I painted late in the studio, took breaks to roughhouse with my friend, Jia, ate some delicious Philadelphia food, and learned a fucking ton. By the time the exhibition came around (which we titled Hot Box at the Icebox), everyone in the program was mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted. Below are my creations on mylar–Some are just taken in my studio, and some are professionally taken. This is a glimpse of what I’d like to continue to do in my body of work…
This one gave me a lot of trouble!
I experimented painting and drawing on both sides of the mylar, which was pretty intriguing.
And here were are at the Icebox, during our very long installation day…
Here are they babies, hung up on wooden dowels, which were drilled into the concrete wall. (I’m so relieved that it worked out!)
Here they are exhibited next to the fabulous Ben Durst’s painting.
Hey! It’s me!
And here is what is professionally documented so far. Titles and dimensions will be coming soon! I hope you all enjoy. Please feel free to leave comments and/or suggestions, or anything you’d like!
Sorry for the long wait! There is more to come…. I will post Part II in the next few days!