AEDM Challenge Day 14

Defining Space

©2012 Leah Virsik Defining Space found paper and acrylic painted rice paper on muslin 6 x 6 inches

So there is something interesting about just showing up and doing the work. I’m working on different things every day. It’s hard to just do one format as much as I would like. I get bored I think or I’m just not disciplined enough or there are too many things I want to do and I’m distracted. Anyway, this is a book cover I did this week. Last night I bound it. I’ll get some pics on flickr eventually. There was this discussion between my multiple selves about doing a collage or binding the book and binding the book won. I love the process of binding. Maybe it’s about following steps, figuring things out that is really different from creating collages… at least in my mind. I think with book binding you know when you’re done, it’s clear. There can also be a very clear realization when a collage is done but you don’t know how many steps it will take before you finish. Well, but if one planned out collages  then it might be more clear. Ahhh. What is interesting is that I’m posting no matter what. It ends up being less about creating work and more about posting or documenting. It’s something I don’t want to give up, I don’t want to miss a date. I want to push myself just that much further because this isn’t that hard. And then there’s something really satisfying about having posted…accoomplishment… perhaps very similar to binding a book.

AEDM Challege Day 13

Crushed Peanuts

©2012 Leah Virsik Crushed Peanuts acrylic painted rice paper, found paper, thread, acrylic and graphite 5 x 8 inches

I’ve been enjoying this wonderful Thai soup that Tom made for me. The text in the collage is from his recipe.

Tom’s Thai-Style Butternut Squash Soup

1 large butternut squash or 2 medium (total uncooked 4 lbs or 2 kg)
1 can coconut milk (~14 oz/400ml)
2 cups+ light 50% strength veggie stock (~800 ml to 1l)
1 Kaffir lime leaf (remove vein)
1 Tb Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
1 Tb Thai red curry paste
1 tsp Sriracha or other hot sauce
1 Tbs ginger, chopped
1–2 Tb lime juice (one or two limes)
Garnish: crushed peanuts, chopped cilantro leaves, lime zest
(per bowl 3-7 peanuts, 2-5 leaves, a pinch of zest)

Roast squash in 375˚F/190˚C oven 45–60 minutes until tender. [Cut in half, remove seeds, brush with oil and place on flat pan
or cookie sheet.] When cool, scoop out pulp. In large pot, heat on high 1/4-1/3 of coconut milk until foaming. Add chili paste and
ginger. Saute 1–2 minutes. Add squash pulp, stock and rest of coconut milk and all seasonings except lime juice. Cook 15 minutes
on simmer. Purée with immersible blender. Add stock if too thick (soup should be thick). Add lime juice and cook 1–2 minutes.
Correct seasoning (adding salt or lime juice). Serve with garnish in each bowl.

AEDM Challenge Day 9

©2012 Leah Virsik Layered Landscape found paper and acrylic painted rice paper 5 x 8 inches

I took a really enjoyable class at San Francisco Center for the Book with Julia Goodman (Julia is great!) on Tin Can Papermaking tonight based on the book by Arbold E. Grummer. I want to buy paper pulp and I already put a request out to Freecycle to see if the network has a blender. I’m really grateful for the Art Every Day Month Challenge today. It might have been easier to blow off this post if I didn’t feel so committed. But it’s interesting what I’m willing to give up when other things are more important. I’m looking forward to sleeping.

AEDM Challenge Day 7

©2012 Leah Virsik Layered Cross Structure found paper and acrylic painted rice paper 5 x 7 inches

I was thinking a bit about meaningful content today. Sunday I had a great mentoring session with Victoria May. As I struggled with the thought that my work doesn’t have a lot of narrative content she mentioned that content can come directly from the creative process. It really does for me. I end up with small pieces of paper scraps on the floor that seem so precious that I can’t bear to throw them away. The idea of scrap and value have become a larger container for my work. Victoria mentioned the incredible installation work of artist Leonardo Drew. She also passed along a great Radio Lab episode Help! that includes an inspiring talk by Elizabeth Gilbert about Tom Waits. She mentioned an inspiring Shards of Memory assignment from the book In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet’s Portable Workshop by Steve Kowit. I have to get that book now. I took an unforgettable collage class with Nick Bantock years ago and for one assignment we wrote about our first kiss for five minutes. We read it aloud and then we replaced certain words in our writing (maybe the verbs or nouns or something like that) from another paragraph from a random book and came up with a new story. My new story was actually much more interesting.

AEDM Challenge Day 6

Circles In the Sky

©2012 Leah Virsik Circles in the Sky found paper and acrylic painted rice paper 5 x 7 inches

I didn’t actually make any art today but I did a fair amount yesterday. This one is from yesterday. I did cook some yummy eggplant from the wonderful Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. Excellent cookbook! Thanks to Danielle for discovering it. I also made some Butternut Squash Bread from this yummy recipe with the addition of black pepper and ginger. Besides that I’m trying to figure out if I should buy a Canon or a Nikon and how much to spend. Ken Rockwell has some helpful opinions.