Stuff That’s Around

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These photos are from a series I started on my Instagram I’m calling Stuff That’s Around. At first it was about integrating a bunch of disparate things, united by color as a common ground. But what I didn’t expect was that it’s having the effect of bridging disparate parts of myself too. How trying to find parallels in items and art that don’t naturally co-exist means doing the same in life. I mean, pawing around the forgotten narrows of one’s space is bound to unearth some rather dusty skeletons if you know what I mean (oh and I think you do).

Like how the aqua dipped knot by artist Tanya Aguiñiga has dutifully kept watch in my apartment home office + studio (or the Offio as I like to call it) for some years now. Or how the circles I paint are a physical meditation, a mesmerizing soothing experience that brings me a specific sort of quiet I relish. The blue bowl in the collection of rejected items below is similarly powerful. Beautiful and rather pointy-edged, I made it in the weeks preceding my dad’s death earlier this year. It’s was a collaboration, actually, with a team of potters who were among my dad’s closest friends. Kind, creative, generous people who have been close and important to my whole family since I was a kid. The bowl was due for the recycling bin, having gone wonky and misshapen on the wheel. Even the process of collecting the items brings memories like these to the surface regardless of whether or not they make the final composition.


Partially a way to help me process and channel the grief over losing my dad, sure, but I also didn’t want that to be the whole influence. So there’s plenty of play packed in there too. The silliness of a deflated floppy balloon, paint piped on paper with cake decorating tips, the meandering curves of string adding texture and motion, quite literally tying it together. Origami inspired folds and zingy little doodles. It’s been so gratifying making it all go.

And the color combos are endless, I can’t wait to see what else rises to the surface or who’s work I stumble upon or how this evolves. Or what ripple effect this creates for my design work. The creative process can often be so fraught with murkiness or anxiety that to be able to find a system for myself through that is freeing and gives me a confidence in my work that I didn’t have before. I feel so much gratitude for that, and that I have colors, textures, objects, and other artists’ work along for the ride.

I’ll be posting these once a week or so on my feed here if you’d like to follow along.


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