Wednesday, July 30, 2008


There are a few things that I couldn't live without in Alaska. Listed below are those essentials; not given in any particular order.
1. NPR Radio Station
2. the library (especially the inter-library loans - you do a great job Loussac!)
3. a companion (but highly questionable at times......)
4. lots and lots of exercise
5. travel (anywhere - and to any means to get there - I just try to go!)
6. high speed internet

Monday, July 28, 2008


What is home? What is place? At the moment, I live and reside in Anchorage; we have the house, the dog and a work place, our social activities, so I consider myself a resident of Alaska. But, I get peeved when people ask me if I am Alaskan. Actually, I don't like to be pegged as any one thing. Yes and no, I respond. My background involves lots of pieces that have made me into what I am today. Friday, I am leaving for the East Coast to see family and New York. I consider that my home too because I instantly immerse myself into a world that knows me; the girlfriend since eight grade, the boardwalk with a vast horizon of the Atlantic and it's aromas, a mother, a sister and brothers, the stoop, and a neighborhood with the same neighbor who lives across the street. I grew up there.

(Well, of course, of course, everyone comes from some place! And why make such a big deal out it all! Lighten up Katherine I keep reminding myself. And on the other hand, we are all good at keeping it together on the surface level. Many times I get tired of the regular protocol banter. La, la, la.)

Soon after college I left my home state and spent twenty years in Los Angeles where I found my career ambition and a community of like minded people; I grew up as an artist on the West Coast and that too is my home. I miss being there, I get sentimental and nostalgic for places and familiar haunts.

Place and home is a natural consciousness; absorbing and learning what is around you. I would like to think of my home as planetary and a universal venture in nature. At the moment, I am here in the physical but continue to expand collectively; I open myself up to multiple possibilities, so my theory of home does not become a fixed place but a evolutionary process of time and flight into the unknown. And, I find that exciting and worth talking about!

Friday, July 25, 2008

good work

Last night I reviewed Project II with my class. Students could choose between working with a Pollock inspired idea or work in a photography media. Above is Neil's shoes pollocked..... (Jackson Pollock was a 50's abstract expressionist painter who revolutionized the NY art world with his famous structured chaos action paintings. Ed Harris plays him in the film Pollock. Pollock was also a drunk and was known for his abusive behavior. He died young (and drunk) in a car crash.)
These projects are pretty loose because the class is not designed for artists, but I find that the students really enjoy the hands on projects exciting. AND, they come up with some really good stuff!

Pictured above is part of Joel's art piece. In fact, he brought in his entire bedroom door covered with all these fantastical images! It is a conceptually based work and I thought clever with all his thoughts and ideas written about each photograph. He is very interested in computer animation and design.

Also above is Kellie's photography project. Her husband took this picture of her. Kellie is blond and she confessed to the class that she likes wigs. (Go figure!)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

don't sweat the small stuff

We experienced heavy and dense rain during our visit last December to Malaysia and Borneo. In fact, we were suppose to go to the Eastern part of Malaysia to do some diving and snorkeling, but most of the resorts were closed because of the rains.

This picture was taken in Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo. A fisherman does some net fishing in a torrential downpour. It would rain tremendously hard for hours and then clear up in a flash. There were wonderful thunderstorms; great sounds that were deep and stirring. Malaysia is known for it's heavy monsoons this time of the year so it wasn't a surprise to us. We would sometimes sit on steps under our umbrellas and observe the racket. You could do that easily, keep warm and be sweating the next moment under a luminous clear sky and beating sun.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

gotta love him

A true iconoclast; Tom Waits has long been a favorite of mine........

Friday, July 18, 2008


Ken spent nine days on the Western interior area of Alaska on a aerial survey that is conducted every year. Along with another companion, they look at bug damage and forest changes. (Ken's specialty is bugs.....and most notably the spruce bark beetle.) Here are some fabulous shots that he took. (I might add that Ken has gotten really good with the camera! Am I bias or what or is he hanging out with the right people?)
They camp out on these remote places and Ken calls me from a satellite phone in the mornings. He has been conducting these surveys for over thirty years! They had a close call with a brown bear one evening who stood on his hind legs but quickly sped off.

This is one of my favorites.......Of course a mighty fine camera works miracles too.

This could be a Magritte painting.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

my girlfriend

Back from the studio, I thought I would do something relaxing and write about Blue, a wonderful friend and companion, who is pictured on the left. (And painting and doing art is more romantic in theory..... making a career out of it is another story!) So I felt compelled to add to my post and take a break from tediousness. Blue (her nickname is the Beast) is a massive dog - 120 pounds and high maintenance, but she has grown into a mature young female/(bitch?) - well mannered most of the time and lovable. It has taken me a long time to train her (more tediousness) and getting her to stay around the yard is questionable. I dislike tethers and we don't have a fenced in property. At the moment, she is completely laid out from a rigorous walk we had this morning over at Hilltop......not to mention the nice mound of dirt she leaves on the floor every time she gets up to move to another part of the house to sleep......

PS - Check out those paws!

Friday, July 11, 2008

around town

A group shot of performance artists/friends at Ray's Vietnamese Restaurant in Spenard (and a good place to try out......) We try to meet weekly for lunch to celebrate life.
This is a chalk drawing done on a sidewalk at a festival in Eagle River. The media is a watercolor chalk. Sponsors buy a square and volunteers do a design. I drew one of my masterpieces - (ha, ha) to help support the UAA booth. The last time I drew on a side walk was back in Jersey, playing hop scotch while I was in my single digits!

Joel is one of my summer class students. He is wearing a logo he designed as part of a class assignment. His design is called bolt action beaver - a name of his local band.

Our front yard Himalayan Poppies........

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


It is hard for me to float; to let ideas/concepts arrive to my creative process. Sometimes, it just doesn't happen. I fret that I am not doing anything constructive with my life and then I throw myself into a worse tizzy. Someone once told me, "you've got to keep moving." I think that applies with everything you do - the mental and physical; pushing the boundaries of the static. And maybe it is good to stand still, to think, to be patient, to absorb, to perceive, to meditate, to hear indiscriminate sounds, to appreciate or to just be in one place; to become immersed with simple living.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


I was happy to finish the biography A Dangerous Liaison - Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre by Carole Seymour-Jones. The read was dense and historical but what held it together was their amorous escapades, polygamist lifestyle, exploited lovers and gossips. As original thinkers though, Beauvoir and Sartre broke through the conventions of bourgeois society and created their own sexual revolution - making the most liberal of liberals seem ah so tame - oh la la! Sartre's ongoing passionate and committed quest to explain our existence led to me despairing at times. (I was long introduced to his works by a progressive high school French teacher.) Beauvoir, the feminist, has important things to say - most notably her work - The Second Sex would be worth reading and investigating at another time.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


The other day I was thinking how much I needed the sun, to feel it, to avoid it, to have it creep up on me and wrap me in it's warmth, to have it be there every time I looked up through the windows of my home opening to a dazzling sky and green trees. It is important for me to observe this light source and during a sunny day, I have little right to complain. The sun perks me up, lightens my perspective on life and being. It gets me going. There is no time for me to mope and everything sparkles. It represents an abundance of goodness and it is a day that I don't want to waste.