LA Fever

Andy and I took a crazy weekend trip to LA for the Stitch Fetish 5 opening night. Weirdly enough, we both had insane fevers and the flu... suffering from what I call the Super Bug.

 Opening night at the  Hive Gallery,  Los Angeles.

Opening night at the Hive Gallery, Los Angeles.

So, my experience of the show is tempered by what is, for me, a rare burst of sickness. What I remember is walking through the gallery, talking with artists that I deeply admire, including Aubrey Longley-Cook and Rebecca Levi. I saw curator Ellen Schinderman, of that I'm sure. I don't have a specific memory of it, however.

 Reposted from  Rebecca Lev i my work (top left) along with  Kathryn Shinko ,  Michelle Kingdom  and Abbey Aichinger.  Illustrious company!!

Reposted from Rebecca Levi my work (top left) along with Kathryn Shinko, Michelle Kingdom and Abbey Aichinger. Illustrious company!!

What I do remember is Andy (and my) insanely cool friends, Frank and Jody, putting up with violently ill guests. I remember having an amazing LA dinner with them at a high rise downtown. I remember sharing secrets of our lives.

 An artist gathering from the show, in front of the Hollywood sign. Becca Hammond-Cahill, Alexander Cain, Matthew Monthei, Annette Huelly, Michelle Kingdom, Rebecca Levi, Me.

An artist gathering from the show, in front of the Hollywood sign. Becca Hammond-Cahill, Alexander Cain, Matthew Monthei, Annette Huelly, Michelle Kingdom, Rebecca Levi, Me.

But one of my favorite memories was of a artists' gathering that Matthew Monthei arranged on Saturday, before the show. I got to meet up with several artists I have known for a while and a few new ones.

Michelle Kindgom told Rebecca Levi, Annette Huelly and me a little about her artistic process. I was particularly inspired by her explanation about how she uses sketches on tissue paper. There is something so transitory about tissue paper sketches.

 My random, muddy sketch on tissue paper of two 19th Century Polish boys smoking and hanging with their ram. 

My random, muddy sketch on tissue paper of two 19th Century Polish boys smoking and hanging with their ram. 

Michelle says she collects the sketches on paper. And then later, as she designs her beautiful artwork, layers and cuts pieces from various sketches to design the deeply psychological, mysterious and dreamlike art she produces.

For me, sketching and drawing are wildly playful, freeing. What a wonderful lesson to get from this amazing artist. I'm so excited about the process and the possibilities.

Finally, I interviewed (for Mr X Stitch) a group of artists in the show about their imagery, process and their thoughts about the value of showing in galleries at all. I'm proud of this conversation. Because for me, making art is something you do alone. For no one else. No one cares if you do it or not.

But all of these generous artists also feel compelled. In the face of yawns, they keep pushing themselves. 

And that's my story. You're yawning, but I'm still going, still making. Even with a fever.