Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Gaylen's show

another favorite teacher of the year was Gaylen Gerber. he taught a class that was very conceptually based and is really the reason that i decided to finally go after my million project. he had a show in Milwaukee earlier this year and Shauna and i were able to borrow Brad and Cassia's car and drive up to see it. the space was small but really was utilized well, there were two panels one in an unlit room and one in a room lit by colored lights (you can get a sense of the color from the photos, but really it was much more potent in person.), the panels were silver leaf and some synthetic (might have been acrylic) so they were very reflective, there was a wall of windows that made the unlit space kind of interact with the outdoors. overall it was a very good show and i am thankful that we were able to see it.


some of my favorite music ever comes from a guy from Arkansas named Dan Smith. he is the primary musician behind "Listener" ( it isn't the music for everyone i realize, but Dan's writing skills are very good and his performance is very entertaining as well. earlier in the year he was in Chicago with his bandmate Chris Nelson and i was able to see them perform two nights in a row. the first night was a house show in someones livingroom which was very fun, not too many people, just really good music! these are pictures of that first night
on the way to the show
the guys setting up
Chris Nelson playing as "Fenix" (they also brought a sound guy with them, who was touring with them at the time, so he is playing banjo)
Listener, moving too fast in poor light to get a good picture
on my way home
the second night i was able to go with my friend Brad and my brother (in law) Chris, we had a great time... if you are interested in seeing Listener, go to the website i mentioned above and there is a list of all tour dates there.

Judith's show

one of my favorite teachers so far has been my drawing teacher Judith Geichman. i had a class with her my first semester and decided to take a second one (the same class) again my second semester. she is a very good teacher and skilled painter/drawer/artist. in her class there was lots of good discussion and critique which is very helpful in the process of making art. many of the works on paper that are recorded in earlier blogs are the result of being in her class. during the Spring semester she had a show open at one of the local galleries and i was able to visit it three times... these photos don't really do the work justice, but you can get a sense of her style. the paintings are mostly quite large (about 8 feet tall). enjoy:

Wisconsin (Racine) smoked meats

Racine is where Shauna's sister Dawn and her husband Chris live with Paul (just over a year old) and Sarah (about a month old). we are blessed to have them so close (it only takes about an hour and half or so on the train to get up nearby and be picked up in one of their cars) it makes it possible for us to visit rather often. we have tended to eat grilled sausages quite a bit when visiting this summer and so this post is about that. plus the fact that once when visiting a grocery store there that we don't usually go to i spotted this great sign at the back of the store:
i've never noticed such a sign before! an entire wall of the store is devoted to "Smoked Meats" it made me chuckle and i had to get a picture of it.
this is Chris getting the "Grilled Meats" ready for dinner
this is Dawn (before Sarah was born) walking down the driveway with Paul. so there you have it. not sure what that means but... okay, so we are going up to Racine tomorrow to visit and attend the Wisconsin State Fair (which we did last year right after we arrived here in Chicago). one of the big draws of last year was chocolate covered bacon on a stick (it was actually pretty good!) and of course fried cheese curds, and great cream puffs (i guess that the Wisconsin fair is known for the cream puffs (worth visiting for i think)) and it was all greasy and good! this year we are excited (and a little scared) to try a hamburger with two krispy kreme doughnuts for buns... should be interesting.

Phoenix, Denver, Milwaukee (boy am i spoiled)

so the day that i left Arizona, i had some fun taking pictures at the airport and from the airplane(s)... flew to Denver and waited, then flew to Milwaukee. i love the color of the sky and the wonderful light, as well as the lines on the ground.


Arizona (clay in the airport)

i am only familiar with one of the artists whose work i took pictures of, these were the clay things on display that i liked (the first picture is really crummy but it was a nice pot anyway)

these teabowls were pretty, i like the two colors of clay worked together.
Jun Kaneko pots. very important potter and a nice group of five to walk around/among/near. makes me want to get into the ceramics studio and throw some huge pots!

Arizona (another kind of art)

this is just a few pictures of the kind of art my Uncle Alan does. he makes cars. while i was there i got to have some good conversations with him about his work and the thought and pride he has in it. there are many aesthetic decisions that he has to make when making one of his cars, from choosing which parts to combine to considerations of how to modify parts to get the right shape. the second and third pictures are of a car he was working on, he had chopped the roof and the bed many times to get the proportions just how he wanted them, it is a really cool process.

obviously this project is not complete yet, but it is fun to see at this stage... maybe i can get a picture of it when it is finished and post that later.

Arizona (tasty divey food)

sometimes the best food comes from places like this
Freddy's Steakburgers. very thin burgers made from steak, they come with pickles, onions, mustard i think, i had a triple with cheese when i was treated (by Uncle Tim) to this great meal. the fries are super thin, sort of like shoestring potatoes and very very good!!! i'm feeling hungry just thinking about it. so if you are in Arizona (Phoenix) i recommend stopping in at Freddy's for a real greasy tasty meal!
now this next place is something of a different animal all together... RITOS Burritos (or burros as they are called)
this is the sign inside the store. the food is extraordinary, i have been eating these burros since i was about 10 i would guess. really the choices have always been "red" "green" or "bean"... the red chili is a pork chili filling the burro with shredded pork and amazing red chili flavor (a little more bitter than a green chili would be.) the green chili is chunks of pork in a great green chili sauce (i know i don't really have to describe these, but mmmmmmm they are so good!).
this is a picture of the bean burro that i split with my sister Laura, the beans are excellent, very runny but the flavor is just about perfect (obviously made with a good amount of lard)! i have to stop writing about it or i might start drooling just thinking about it. anyway, you can clearly see the address in the picture of the price board so if you need to find it, that is the most advice i can give you. thanks to Aunt Kay and Uncle Alan for taking us to get our burro fix! it was great!

Arizona (fancy foodie food)

following the theme of food... my sisters and i were staying the night with Aunt Kay and Uncle Alan and they wanted to take us out to dinner and our cousin Christopher and his wife Zoe joined us. FANCY DINNER. i can't recall what all the food was, but i do know it was really good! we had a couple of bottles of wine (a Malbec and something else) each person ordered an appetizer and a main course AND we split two desserts! what a tasty night... i'm going to let the food tell the tale:

this was the general sentiment about the food... (clean plates all around)

it was a great night with good conversations and great family and good food.

Arizona (beans and cornbread)

my reason for going to Arizona wasn't really happy in the traditional sense... my Grandma (Bonita Hunter) had ended her stay here on the earth and is in Heaven with her Savior Jesus. so it was bittersweet, bitter because she was gone but sweet because i know where she is now. she was a wonderful woman (a model for many other women to look at and follow after) and the type of Grandma anyone would be blessed to have. when i arrived at the airport, my Dad was there and we were picked up by his brother my Uncle Tim. we arrived at Uncle Tim's house to the smell of freshly cooking beans and cornbread which was being prepared for services that were going to take place later that day. i got to take a small bowl of beans with me in the car when we left the house:
beans and cornbread was always one of the most important meals at Grandma and Grandpa's house. really it is comfort food and the most easily related to Grandma, the beans flavored by a nice piece of salt pork, and plenty of butter and honey for the cornbread! mmm. i am blessed to have known my Grandma and thankful that i can carry the beans and cornbread tradition on with my own family.

Arizona (some things i saw)

upon arriving in AZ the first thing i photographed was the classic (at least to me) look of Arizona, plus there was some kind of mark on the car window that i was shooting through so it looks like a plume of dirt in the sky.
a moldy beautiful cactus paddle. i love the color of it.
a longer exposure of some native plant against the sky
a strawberry milkshake spilled outside a burger joint (this picture is special because i was thinking of my Uncle Willie when i took it, because he had told me the day before that he likes the photos that i post here on my blog that are of stains... so this one is for you Uncle Willie)
pretty birds on a wall
love the color of the sky in Arizona in the evening
tree, cactus, and moon
great geometry... plus the boxy lamp and lamp post is pretty great
it was very green (i guess that there had been much more rain this year than years past)
a plane from the car
this is what Arizona is to me. i love the color of the sky against the hills, it reminds me of when i was a child and visiting almost every year.