Friday, February 27, 2009

the streets run like the lines on my palm

another map, maybe a better one. but it looks more like a map than I wanted. I wanted it to be more abstract. though the streets aren't right-- because memories of where things are always shift and when you try to draw them you see it put down muddled and out of order. but I kind of like the lack of precision that memory has.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Guy in a Cafe

Guy in a Cafe
Originally uploaded by Bekka Teerlink
Just a quick sketch for the day. I'm off to the city for lunch and a job interview. Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Eight Years in LA, a portrait.

This is a departure. I was going to post another entery in my steady flow of people sketches of late. But my mood has skewed to the other end of the spectrum this week. Instead of looking outward I am looking inward I guess. It is a rather large jolt to suddenly be 3000 miles away from my home for the last eight years. I forgot how to live anywhere else. I'm still comparing everything to LA as I find stores, things to do, concerts, art galleries, museums, the cafe that will have my new favorite tea.

Tonight I'm in a particularly reflective mood. I go to many concerts. Many. 1-3 a week, depending on my usualy flux of commitments and projects. And always local musicians because I enjoy small venues and lending support to musicians I like. Since I've been in the Boston area (4 months now?) I've gone to just two concerts. It's sad. Because I only know Los Angeles music I found myself at a concert tonight of an old favorite from LA, Ferraby Lionheart.

But what I thought would be a night of getting inspired or getting lost in music became a night of being homesick for Los Angeles. It was also sad because I know that many of the most important things I loved in LA have since left or ceased to exist. Jobs. Friends. Music venues. Radio stations. Art galleries. It was time for me to leave as well.

However I miss having eight years of memories around me-- of places I went, things I did, people I met. When you stay in one place for so long the city becomes layered with personal experiences.

So this week I wanted to find a way to draw those experiences-- like a web of places and paths and emotions all over the city. I decided to draw a map of Los Angeles, but not a street map-- a map of everything I did in eight years there.

This is not meant to look like Los Angeles really, or be accurate with streets. This is out of my head and it may not make sense to anyone else. But here you go....

Woman Reading

Woman Reading
Originally uploaded by Bekka Teerlink
When I observed this, the light was coming very softly from the window behind the woman and nearly backlit her-- but just enough light was skimming the side of her cheek. She was wearing multicolored scarf, jacket & shirt which was very cool. I drew this in pen first. I watercolored it later from memory-- I think I came close. I also wanted to capture part of the big bulky guy sitting next to her. He made her look small. I cropped him off to make the frame feel crowded and cramped.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Portrait of my mom

Portrait of my mom
Originally uploaded by Bekka Teerlink
Just a quick sketch of my mom after dinner while we wer all waiting for the Oscars to start. The red carpet pre-show was on and the comentators where saying vapid things which was causing my dad to yell at the TV. My mom was tuning this all out somehow.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Family at Home

Family at Home
Originally uploaded by Bekka Teerlink
I quickly sketched this one afternoon as we were all lounging around being lazy. This is why I'm glad to be on this side of the country. It's comfortable. Even without having a job or my own apartment yet.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Portrait with a Laptop

How many hours do we stare at our computers each day? Too much. We should be looking at people, trees, clouds. I'm going to make an effort to spend less time with my computer and more time doing things... like drawing people looking at computers.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Laundromat

Originally uploaded by Bekka Teerlink
I draw while I do my laundry. This man had the most serene face yet he was rather large and burly with dreadlocks. He was folding a load of laundry and I had to draw him. I think I caught his face pretty well even though this was done very quickly before he finished.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cafe Sketch for the Day.

Man with hat
Originally uploaded by Bekka Teerlink
I saw him in a cafe waiting for someone and I had to sketch him. Luckily he waited a while so I had some time to try to draw him. He almost looked sad though he was probably just bored. I thought he was terribly interesting looking with his hat, hair and the tooth hanging around his neck. I tried to capture it all as I saw it but when I looked at the sketch later I realized I hadn't.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I totally redid my website from the ground up. I am still working out the kinks in it and I will surely update the content down the road-- but I wanted to get something more functional posted. It is much easier to navigate to and through the paintings. That was the most important part. Also they are laid out much better sequentially.

What I am still working on (other than learning enough Java to get it to load faster) is the non-painting content. I want to have an artist statement (which I have to rewrite still) and work in more of a resume & press section somewhere on the site. For now, since the content is still limited, it's integrated in other categories.

I also set up a fan page on Facebook. So if you Facebook, check that out.

That's all. I'm off to the MFA now. Will buy wood panels on the way home for a new project that doesn't involve web coding thank god!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Today's thoughts

This week I wish I was a video or installation artist. But all my ideas require

a) significant money
b) significant planning
c) permits, insurance
d) a reputation as an known installation art to help grease the wheels on all the above.

(I have a brilliant video art idea that requires filming inside an art museum and putting a camera near a priceless painting. I'm keeping the details to myself in case I ever pull it off. But, having a film background, it would be impossible without some special permissions. There are major insurance issues....)

But in some ways my paintings are 2D installation or experiences. I had a photography teacher who once compared what I was doing at the time to Andy Goldsworthy-- only in 2D. The more I think about it-- it might be kind of true, and maybe I'm thinking of my paintings scenes as installation.

Only I have control of the angle, and the viewer cannot walk inside to experience it. I think the figures are there to represent the viewer and give them eyes to see through.

Though if it was an installation I don't know how I'd get a tidal pool indoors, so it would have to be outside. And if it was outside I don't know how it would be clear that he oil derricks were art, not oil. Though it is true that when I see fields of oil derricks (ah, Los Angeles) I just scream inside and want to show everyone how absurd it is.

But I can make them look absurd in a painting and then viewers get the point. I'm more of a painter anyway.

Some days I just want to shake things up and experiment with non-painting based art ideas. Bleh, my brain hurts.

Tomorrow I am going to the MFA. But I kind of wish I was going to the ICA. Maybe I'll do that this weekend.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

While in Limbo

My entire life is packed in boxes and not at all functional. I can't unpack (let alone paint comfortably) until I get and apartment. I can't get an apartment until I get a day job. And that is not looking at all promising in this economic climate. I'm currently living in my parents guestroom and paying my essential bills with unemployment checks. Basically I am in limbo indefinitely.

So, in order to try and be productive in a way that benefits my art, I think I am going to spend my time rebuilding my art website. Which will allow me to review where I am with my work and get perspective. And it will also allow me to learn Dreamweaver (somewhat) in the process. Which may benefit my getting a better day-job.

My current art website is simple, but I want to make it more navigation-friendly. And I've spotted some errors on it these days that I thought I eliminated. So I want to rebuild the site so that I can organize my work into "series." As I've reviewed my paintings from over the last 6 years, I've started to organize them into categories. I seem to always have several themes or ideas I'm working on-- usually simultaneously.

In my head all my paintings go together. But after the fact I look back and realize they are more schizophrenic than I planned. So I need to edit. For a while I avoided editing because I wanted to show off all the work I did and wanted a big number of total paintings so I can show how hard I work.

I still remember being horribly insulted when a gallery owner asked me if "I was still painting," as if I would just paint a few things I was happy with and then walk away. I'm not like that. I'll stop painting when I die. I don't paint for buyers or shows or galleries. I paint because it's what I want to do everyday.

But I must edit the work I put on my website so that it flows smoothly and has good presentation (in case there are buyers and shows and galleries looking.)

I'll post the other paintings, experiments, and works-in-progress here on my blog and Flickr where things can be less formal.

So a brand new website is in the works. In the meantime I'll post some paintings (done last fall) that I haven't shown to anyone yet since my life took such an abrupt turn and everything I was working on got interrupted.