February 12, 2012

Cardboard Game - Rechercher le Fromage

Another young friend has had a birthday...and another reuse cardboard game was created. This time it's in French as my young friend has a hankering to learn the language.

The rules aren't exactly solidified - but the basic idea is you hide the cardboard pieces then you find them. After that there are points to be had and things to remembered and spelled. There are informative tidbits about the Revolution and the architecture on the backs of those cards. My hope is that with in a year it will be a no brainer for all those 6-13 year old kids who've played it that the Eiffel tower was made out of puddle iron and that Chartres Cathedral is High Gothic and  that Notra Dame is on the Ile de la Cite. Maybe I'll create an arrondissement board to go with it...

February 11, 2012

Another little painting

Underneath - dig dig dig.
You're somewhere under there, under that, under appreciated, misunderstood. Over evolved and over ripe. I think I love you. But...you...who are you? Pencil, paint, light and dark. You are time. You are kindness. You are grace.
Our archeology is architected with dollops and digs - to the sound of the singing springs. The robust prominence of your independence has been noted but your calcified ruffles and complexity of your absence upstages this lump. You are both and you are neither...friend of mine, lover, me.

February 10, 2012

Detour: drawing to painting and the unknown

These are like things I did when I was small, like things I did when I was in college, like things I did when I was out of college - but not what I do. Today I was in the studio working on the little board book paintings. They were getting dark and soft and ready for some sharp contrast and clarity in the foreground that would make them pop like the girl with the pearl earring's - earring or so i tell myself.

Next thing I know theres a restlessness in my foot - then my body gets all squirmy and I start this inner banter "be controlled" then "let go", "what would you gain from letting your restlessness dictate your painting habits?" " Something other than what I was expecting".

That's all it took. I'm such a sucker for the adventure. 

Two of the drawings  from my last post are under these paintings. You can see them a little if you look hard.

Then comes the question - what the hell are they? Maybe...they are the rainbow obsession i had before I was ten. They are cryptic maps to hidden treasure and fantasy ports. They are flotsam and jetsam festooning our inner tidal zone. Part control, part squishy satiation of things like whim and lust. Indulgence and obscurification. Adventure and denial. 

Maybe they have something to do with love.

February 8, 2012


Board books. They're such a big part of early childhood, and it's easy to buy a lot of them and then find ones self emotionally attached to a giant pile of cardboard not long after. The other day I decided to try cutting them up to use as canvases.

It turns out they wrinkle a bit with the gesso application. But - the rounded corners and funny reverse sides make them tempting to use anyways so I'm trying.

This series was initally inspired by the plastic sculpture I'm making, and now look quite different. I'm taking a break from painting to write now.

They have become dark and fleshy and I'm thoroughly enjoying blurring their lines.

I am literally blurring their lines and obscuring their details. I am also slowly erasing their connection to their initial concept.

I don't know what they'll become.

February 2, 2012

Cardboard Map

We, my daughter and I, are at the doctors office waiting to see our awesome doctor, to make sure she doesn't have appendicitis....that's what got me there anyhow. She doesn't know that so don't tell her.

So we're waiting outside so we don't catch anything else while we're there, for an HOUR AND A HALF, enough time for the nurse to remark later that she had a low temperature by the time we got in, that is, she was actually cold. Totally a side point.

She's in decent spirits just having eaten a piece of toast, the first food in 2 days, and wants to play games on my phone. "Mama - we can do the stack the states one! That's educational!" OK - I acquiesce (I'm a hard ass when it  comes to screen time...think theres too much of it) but this time maybe...ok. I need a distraction too or I'm going to get mad about waiting.

So we start playing. "Which of these states is Texas?" Bingo, gets it right out of 4 state shapes. "What's the capital of New Mexico" right, "which state is also known as the keystone state?" right, "Phoenix is the capital of which state? "Little rock is the capital of which state?""Which state shares a boarder with Tennessee?" right right right.

She's 7 and as far as I know has not paid any particular attention to maps of the world. We were both laughing. "I'm good at guessing mama...and I've played this a lot!"

So, when we get home we went to work making the above map. Enough said. It was fun.

ps. SHE put the A on Oregon "I don't know why I did that" she said. "Just circle it and it will make sense" I said. And so she did, and then put some foliage on it. Green Anarchists? Oregon? She is a good guesser I guess.

Making stuff out of cardboard

Remember I told you that my daughter was sick? Well This is another colaboration her evil mother MADE her do while staying home from school.

She did the drawing and I did most of the painting. Check out that gull...isn't it awesome? And the sand crabs with those great eyes? 

February 1, 2012

Sea Birds on Cardboard

My daughter has been home sick for 3 days now. At first it was awful, but as she got better, she got hungry again and she got tricky too.

"Mom - my tummy feels funny - I  think I need to watch a movie"

Day one and two I was truly happy for anything that would make her pathetic little wilted frame even a little bit happy, but day 3 and four my "mommy" got going and the task master stepped in.

"NO...absolutely not, lets: make a sandy sea shore diorama, create a map of the united states out of cardboard, draw sea birds, collaborate on projects, read books, do your homework, work in the studio, play chess and backgammon INSTEAD". So we did. (Side note - she beats me at backgammon all the time now). 

She drew the  birds and I watercoloured them in and I Love love love the result. I thought she did a fantastic job of capturing the initial details and unique features and I loved coloring in her outlines.

Fun. I LOVE painting on cardboard and the last batch of watercolours I found worked SO well. These are done in pencil and a children's watercolor set on a piece of cardboard from our recycling.  Yee haw!  

January 30, 2012

Beach Blooms - Beach Plastic Sculpture

When I walk on the beaches and collect the plastic that these are made out of, it feels like I'm somewhere between an easter egg hunt and having to clean a public bathroom.

When I'm in the studio refiguring this detritus - now lovingly scrubbed and tended to - it feels like holding someone's hand for the first time and having a huge martini while doing taxes. 

Soft. Foul. Cute. Toxic.

Day one - Plastic

January 27, 2012

Bas Couture - and the ruffle

Good Afternoon and welcome to Oulalie! The real time evolution of the little place, idea, feeling, product, collaboration, sound, thought, writing, artwork, THING...that could...or more to the point - had the audacity to.

To what? aaaaah! That's the million dollar question! 


Shop at Alpha Thrift for starters.
It's awesome, but even for that you need money.

My bank account says -$27 today. That's MINUS.

"Some where over the rainbow..." My office is MAGICAL

A word about taste and the hilarity of unfettered audacity.

When I was a little girl in London (as I was every other summer from birth) maybe I was in Junior High...I noticed the "New Romantic" thing happening. The feathered hair and ruffled skirts, puffy shirts and polkadots - and oh my gosh was I feeling so different than before when I got a little spotted, ruffly outfit. A line had been drawn between who I had been and who I would become.

Later, as a teen in London scouring the Kings Road for Damned posters, winkle pickers, Bauhaus bootlegs, and some sort of accessory that would set me apart from the rest of California, to which I was fated to return - something that said "f off- leave me alone - I belong somewhere else". Looking for signs of Vivian Westwood or some trace of that strike that gave birth to punk rock as so many of us know it. Then, then I swooned with disgust at the thought of my awful taste some years back...not thinking about how lame this skinny peg legged all in black but for that too small green velveteen jacket teen must seem, with almost a dozen holes in her ears and undoubtably a terrible hair and skin to boot - I was not thinking how bad that might look through that window of tomorrow.

But aaah, now I've got it. The over priced anthropology shirt with the new romantic thrift store ruffle number over a little house on the prarie print skirt below which my cut of striped sox assert themselves. It screams "everlasting style, not fashon! I walk outside your paralell bars and remove myself from your sphere of comparisons. I am truth and joy."


I have NO illusions (accepct for a few if I am going to be honest) that I look good, or cool, or that I will look back on this period with a fondness for my fashion lack of sense. Nope.  I am a pleasure monger who loves relationships, who adores exchanges, and wrap my self in these odd couplings daily because.

"Yab yab yab" says Laura Ingles to Peter Murphy, "blah blah blah" says the Abba chick to that dissatisfied overprivalaged housewife. "Anarchy" says John Lydon to the Lancome lady. And the girl in the middle of it all smiles and thinks about who else she wants to introduce.

January 24, 2012

Fantastic Plastic...

In these two months, we (that would be me wearing several different hats) are focusing on Plastic.  Specifically, plastic from the beach.

These little creatures were made for a mini exhibition at the Carsey Wolf Center at UCSB (check them out - they have great programming and they're super nice people) when they were showing the film Wasteland (also super super cool...check it out too!)

I've been so busy moving into my office and getting set up that I haven't had time to really get going in the studio. 
This series was inspired by the scientific illustrations of Ernst Haeckel and I plan to be making more, but more detailed...starting tomorrow.

I like the irony of the medium and the subject. It reminds me of loggers wives who painted pastoral scenes with deer grazing near tree stumps - on giant saw blades.

I'm aiming to do a series of plastic scrimshaw next.