a journal of my creative efforts, past and present

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Location: Berkeley, California, United States

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Two new pieces for Burning Man 2016

With the encouragement of my friend and art colleague, Raven Ebner, I decided to create two pieces for the Black Rock Lighthouse Service Burning Man Project. The installation will be divided into three sections representing the three different stages of life: childhood, adulthood and old age. I wanted to do a piece about childhood, but ran out of time for the delivery date - which is today! I may go ahead and do one for myself in time for the event itself, perhaps conduct my own burning ritual with it here at home.

A few people have asked me if it was hard to create something that I knew would eventually go up in flames. I think it had a positive effect in that I was able to focus more on the general concept and feeling of the piece rather than getting caught up in the nit picky details. Also, I had to work fairly quickly, which is a good thing since I tend to make a big mess of my working space during the process!

The first piece (for the adulthood section) is based on a dream that I wrote down and posted in this blog back in 2007. Raven gave me a black square shaped shadow box to work with, approximately 8 inches on all sides with a depth of about 5 to 6 inches. Given the space constraints, I thought it would be interesting to combine 2D and 3D materials, placing them into one single scene that would represent the moment in which the girl, (presumably me), drops the fishbowl and spills the alarming contents all over the floor. I started out with the flat face/head. I gave her my characteristic Louise Brooks haircut. It's the same hairstyle I wore for many years. Along with the bob haircut, I gave her a red dress - another staple in creating a lookalike version of myself.

Next in line were the creatures themselves. This part of the process was a lot of fun, assisted by tea or alcohol, sweets and good music playing in the background. I am fueled by music every step of the way. It helps to take my mind off the fact that I am usually tired at the end of a work day and gets me into the alternative mindset of heightened emotion and imagination. Here is an early stage pic taken at the Elmwood Cafe in Berkeley:

and this is a view of my living room during one long midnight hour creative session. I think this photo was taken around 6 am after having been at it since 2:00 o'clock. Bella looks a bit crazed as usual, meowing at me to be let out - and in - and out again.

 and the final piece:

You can see more work in-progress pics and short videos in my relatively new instagram page.

I won't be able to attend the 2016 Burning Man event, but if you happen to see the work while you are there, feel free to send me links and pics. I'd love to see it how it all settles into the entire lighthouse space. You can write to me at or comment on this blog. Stay tuned for the next post containing pics of the second piece on old age/home.


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