Billowing Textiles

The textiles I have been working on started in India a few years ago. I used my same monotype process, but instead of adding paper to the plexi plate I added a sheer fabric called georgette. When I started this project in India I had this vision. I wanted the fabric to drape and dance along the wall. Well, I couldn’t pierce any holes into the wall so I had to hang them instead. Since then I have had the opportunity to continue to play with the textiles. I still needed to figure out how to make my installation to get some good pictures in order to propose to galleries and museums. 

Then one day I met Chelsea Suddes from Pearl Weddings. We were working on a styled shoot for a magazine together - The Perpetual You. Chelsea has got to be one of the most genuine kind hearted people I have ever met. She was putting together a moody/ethereal styled shoot and the color of my textiles were totally on par with the color scheme. I was a little apprehensive about going because I was afraid everyone was going to love love and just be too happy. Well they did love love but, each vendor brought together was so talented in their medium. Mike Suddes helped me install the fabric and the floral designer from Pine and Petal added the perfect touch of pink cherry blossoms to finish off the display. 

Vendors:

Venu: www.mylittleladiesfarmanddesign.com

Planning & Design Coordination: www.pearlweddingsandevents.com

Photographer: www.rowanberrylavender.com

Veil: www.aevamade.com

Textiles: www.meghanshah.com

Hair & Makeup: www.alluretravelingbeauty.com

Florals: www.pineandpetal.com

Catering: www.riverhousecatering.com

Videographer: www.newenglandcreative.net

Models: Johnathan and Falak

Decorations & Stylist: Heart of Gold Decor Design

Side note… Mike Suddes is a singer song writer and has the most stunning soothing voice. I have been fortunate enough to see him perform a few times and I see a collab in our future. His original songs are the exact type of folk music I like to listen to while I create. I had my students listen to Blind Pilot last year and most of them got into while they sketched in their sketchbooks. One boy drew a demon because he hated the music so much. But, they all reacted to the music and that was the exact point of the lesson. 

Next, I decided to make a warm series of textiles. This just happened to be in the color scheme of an elopement styled shoot Chelsea was helping coordinate. Shaina Lee had this vision and Chelsea brought it to life. So, there we were the day after a hurricane at Yale University’s Harkness Tower about to bring magic to life. I’ll just let these pictures speak for themselves. This shoot had a few features including British Vogue and Let’s Bee Together!

 

Vendors:

Photographer: Shaina Diaz Photography

Planner & Designer: Pearl Weddings & Events

Bridal Gowns: Gypsy Bride

Hair & Make up: Belle Noelle Beauty

Flowers: Fizz and Fluers

Signage: This Delightful Design

Cake : Cake Lore Co

Artist: Studio Strata

Furniture: Gather & Lounge

Models: Leesha & Andrew Wheeler

 

 

Flaquites, Vegan Tacos, and Homemade Bread

My relationship with Texas has been very specific. I have visited a few times over the years since my uncle and aunt lived there, but never really explored any of the cities as an adult. So, with given a February break from teaching a road trip was waiting for me in the shape of a triangle. The stops included Houston, Austin, and Dallas. 

Houston is indebted with a rich museum scene. I loved every second of it. The Menil collection is a really beautiful long space with an interesting collection. Right around the corner from there is the Rothko Chapel. Upon entering this non denominational chapel, you instantly feel at peace. Something about the floor to ceiling black and violet paintings giving way to a little light which enthralls you in quiet introspection. Rothko paintings always leave me with lingering thoughts, but the chapel itself I still have not been able to shake the feeling from the space. 

All the museums are concentrated in a little museum district area. It has a completely different feel from the suburbs of Houston. I could spend hours admiring the varying architecture going from street to street. The contemporary art museum had an exhibit I didn’t want to miss. It looks like this sliver of a aluminum corrugated slice. Downstairs was a series of photographs documenting the lgbtq scene in Dehli. When we got down there Nihar joked this exactly my Netflix account right now. But, I mean who isn’t watching Queer Eye!? No, I think he meant more the documentary How Gay is Pakistan? It’s a must watch and very eye opening. 

Somehow we seem to always end up at a sculpture garden and Houston was no exception. It was set in the middle of a downtown area so very industrial opposed to being set in grass or amongst the trees. 

The road trip continued onto Austin! 

We got stuck with rather cold and dreary weather in Austin, but that has always meant more time for indoor art. The Blanton Museum had this extensive Ellsworth Kelly exhibit going on inside as well as a new structure that had just opened outside called “Austin”. It was one of those odd shapes with a few color spectrums. I’m still not sure exactly how I feel about it, but it was interesting even with gray rainy light pouring through. 

Last couple days ended in Dallas.

We visited this amazing sculpture garden called The Nasher. Everything about it was just what you need from sculpture garden. I used some of the images for a lesson back at school. The kids were especially inspired by some of the Picasso's and Richard Sera's. 

 

 

A Love Letter to Asheville

You had me within half hour of landing. I’m not sure if was the sun we were greeted by with the backdrop of scenic mountains. Or the delicious vegan lunch we had with coffee in a handmade ceramic mug. Or the amazing bathroom with local soap. Or the absolute cutest airbnb. 

But then my desire to move just kept amplifying.

The Biltmore was up next. I mean I have been to some of the mansions in Newport and Hearst Castle in California. But, something about the Biltmore dressed up for Christmas was pure magic. I decided when we left if I am bahumbug for holiday season after experiencing that, there is truly no hope left. 

Everything was just so tastefully done. And the art collection was beyond amazing! 

Next day started with biscuits and fried green tomatoes. 

We were off to explore the deep art scene. I had a meeting with Sunny Side Trading Co. and everything was totally going according to plan. I left feeling inspired and wanted to see more studios. 

The day included meeting up with some childhood friends and continuing to explore. The art, well curated beer/wine lists, love for local handmade, coffee shops, vegan food, and of course company left me feeling content. 

aSheville Museum was totally worth checking out. It’s this feminist museum with pictures, writings, and some interactive exhibits as well. There was one picture with writing set in the foreground about the feeling when one cuts off their hair that especially resonated with me. 

And just like that our weekend escape to Asheville was over. My take away from the trip were some new textile ideas and a new collaboration with Meet Jivi (more on that later). 

 

 

Getting Caught in the Monsoon

So, you’re a teacher and the only time it makes sense to go to India is during the summer which is during monsoon season there - you grab a crew of five people and say YES to vacation. But since it is the monsoon, you pick places that are worth visiting during that season. Places that are even more lush and just hope not to fall sick. 

After our first time getting caught in the monsoon at Sanjay Ghandi National Park, we learned that our shoe wear was no good. We headed into Bata and left with power sandals. Now we were sufficiently ready to take on the rest of the trip and with of course my snack bag. 

This was the route: JFK - Bombay - Kholapur - Amboli - Goa - Munnar - Alleppy - Kochin - Bombay - JFK

An overnight train is a must during a trip to India so there we were, music playing, cards being delt, and AC flowing. Until the rest of the train car came and we all had to disperse into the top bunk. We woke up in Kholapur. I hadn’t visited since I was a kid, but I have always loved this little city. We spent the day visiting a fort called Panhala. Visited some shoe shops and ended the day with the most amazing homemade Misal. I crave spicy soupy things in the rainy cold weather. Dishes like chili or ramen. Well, in India you get Misal its soupy, oily, and spicy.

The next day we were en route to arguable one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. Amboli. The mist and fog came in and out and left us in complete awe. Once again we got caught in the monsoon, but I made sure we got chai and bhajia (fried potatoes and onions in chickpea batter) right after in a little shak. 

Next up was Goa which is known for its beaches, party scene, and Portuguese influence.

An early flight took us down to lush and clean Kerela. We started off in Munnar which is a hill station nestled in tea plantations. As we continued to climb the steep mountain the views just became more and more breathtaking. 

We got oil massages, ate the most amazing bbq at Club Mahendra (twice!), went off roading in a jeep to visit the highest tea plantations, and saw a kathakali show. 

I can still taste the tea up high in that plantation and the smell those leaves.

Next we got a day to just slow down. We drove all the way down the mountain and to Alleppy where there was a house boat waiting for us. This was probably one of my favorite parts of the trip. We just hung out and played cards for hours on end while indulging in the most fresh and tasty food. 

Off to Kochin for a night to end our trip within a trip in Kerela. 

Nihar has some family history in the south and still has a few family friends who live there in the spice industry. So, we had a very knowledgable tour guide show us around Kochin for a day. The sights included, feeding pigeons at the Jain temple, Jew Town, Chinese fishing nets, the pepper factory, a traditional banana leaf lunch, and my least favorite - the hyper mart. 

And just like that we were back in Bombay for the last days. Some last minute shopping and dividing time between family and we had to say bye to India. 

The inspiration that resulted from this trip was definitely from all the lush green we encountered. I’ve noticed some of the landscapes creep into my prints and definitely some of that green color. It has also brought some Indian inspired lessons to life back at school and led me to start the school year with a theme - a year of culture.

 

The Bay and Vancouver

After a recent sculpture presentation I put together for my students, one asked me - do you take all your little cousins to museums to visit art? And I had to think about it for a second, but I realized how true it has actually been. 

Gotta start ‘em young, right?

After what seemed like forever, I was finally able to visit the SF MOMA when it reopened. It completely blew me away! 

The second half of the trip was to visit Vancouver. 

I had a couple art agendas as well. There was a silkscreen duo KTandPaul whose work I wanted to see and also support. Luckily that weekend they had a booth set up at the Granville Island Market and I got to meet the lovely KT in person. That area is also home to Malaspina Printmakers which has a residency program with studio workspace. I had been following along for a little while and loved getting to visit. Maybe my future will hold a residency there! 

To use very few words, Vancouver is very picturesque. Just about everywhere you turn some hidden light is peaking through or you see snow capped mountains or there is some water. We lucked out with good weather which just heighten our experience. The sea to sky highway was absolutely breathtaking. Good eats non stop with the best company and we can’t wait to return during summer months!

My take away and inspiration from this trip included new horizons to depict, some art world networking, and this particular painting with ribbons from the SFMOMA that much later made its way into some greeting cards with my own work. 

 

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