Friday, February 27, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Crested Butte is one of Colorado's best kept secrets. It's steep, the snow is always good and there are no lift lines. Whatever it is you are thinking, don't. It isn't an Aspen or a Deer Valley. You won't find fancy cars with tinted windows or Prada. You won't be seen by anyone and you likely won't see anyone, unless you count Heidi and Spencer. Not you either? It's just not what this mountain is all about. It does however boast the most lift serviced extreme terrain on this continent. Such intense terrain calls for a very laid back lifestyle. It's a place to get away from it all and that's what I love most.
I make the 4 hour drive about once a year. When I do get there I have a short itinerary. They all involve snowboarding, eating and drinking and sometimes all of the above. Remember, shopping is not what this town is about unless you are into souvenirs and trinkets. And in this economy, that's the last place I'm going to spend my money.
camp 4 coffee - off elk avenue
For breakfast before getting on the mountain I don't miss Camp 4 Coffee. They now have a few locations; one in town, one at the base of the mountain and another at the top of painter boy lift. They just recently started taking credit card and offer drip coffee but I always go for an Americano and Biscuit with sausage, egg and cheese. Being a Southerner, I'll take any opportunity I can get to eat a biscuit.
And last but not least is Django's, a small plates wine bar at the base of Mount Crested Butte. It's new to town as of this summer and named after Django Reinhardt, a prominent European jazz musician. The owners, Chris and Kate Ladoulis, came to Crested Butte via NYC. She's the executive chef and French trained. He runs the front of the house. The restaurant interiors were designed by yours truly with my current design gig and feature a modern, simple take on the dining experience with the focus on the food, wine and the people.
The menu changes seasonally. Sometimes more often if Kate is getting bored and wants to mix things up a bit. Look for items like crispy duck confit with pear mustardo, rosemary salt and greens for $10 and baby wild arugula with dried white turkish fig, parmigiano reggiano and white balsamic dressing for $7. The wine bar offers a well rounded wine list and quartinos, 1/3 a bottle option, instead of wine by the glass. Because one glass is really never enough.
Monday, February 16, 2009
About this time last year I started searching for a piece of art. I'm talking a bonafide piece. Something that would begin a collection, something that told a story. Since this was my first official purchase, if you don't count music posters and anything under $25, I wanted it to be just right. Did I mention it was a gift for my husband on our first anniversary?
In my research I came across Audra Knutson. She showed about two years ago at one of my favorite galleries in Denver. I missed the show but Space Gallery happened to have a few of her pieces left and was willing to let me peruse. In her series, Audra created linocuts at a very large scale. Just so you know I have this thing for line work. I don't know if it's the influence of design school, the years of working for architects or the fact that I love detail. Either way, she had exactly what I love. When I saw her work in person, it was that much more perfect. So, when I decided to incorporate artist interviews, it seemed fitting that my first official art purchase would become my first official interview with an artist.
1 Where are you living these days? I lived in Brooklyn after college and then moved to Chicago for a short stint. While in Chicago, I visited San Francisco and fell in love with the city. So I moved back to Denver to save money and plan a way to get to San Francisco.
2 Why linocuts? My dad is a carpenter by trade. So the tools he used always intrigued me. I like the tactile process and the work involved in creating a linocut. When living in NY and working at a record store a friend game me tiny lino blocks. She just handed them to me and said, I think you'll like this. Later my roommate, who is a painter and sculpture, gave me a book on printmaking. It evolved from there. I went from doing 2"x2" blocks to 4"x4" blocks. Because space in the city is at a minimum and I wanted to work less and create more I decided to move back to Denver to be creative and save money. While there I went from tiny 2"x2" linocuts to 36"x36".
3 Where do you begin when you start a new piece? Is it the name, an idea, concept? I start with a photograph or an image in my head. Then I start drawing. While living in Denver I would ride my bike past Washington Park and see these perfectly manicured flowers that were so vibrant. One day I decided to photograph them and they were eventually integrated into one of my prints. I would just take weird aspects of obscure ideas and with linoleum those loose ideas would translate based on patterns due to the tools or even through little mistakes while carving. When carved, the piece takes on this whole other thing from the original concept.
4 The piece of yours that I have is 16 of 17 in a series. Is there anything behind the number 17? I like 7's, I like things to be a little off and the set to be more quirky rather than a typical series of 5 or 10.
5 Are you currently working on anything now? When I first moved to San Francisco, I did a few linocuts because I had access to printing facilities. Most recently I've been working on large scale drawings, which is a whole new thing. With linocuts the drawing is a preparatory step; it's something to get me started before I carve and print. Unlike the prints from my linocuts these drawings are a one of a kind piece. They are large scale, 22x30, with French shellac based ink and gouache. I'm also working with washes, 2-3 colors at first and now on to monochromatics with shades of blue. It's the same level of detail as seen in my linocuts but the figure has fallen out. Lately I'm drawing lots of structures, boat frames, buildings, crumbling temples. There are a few figures but they are more obscure. Right now it's more about abstracted buildings and fields of environments with the same sort of emptiness as before.
6 Are you currently showing your work? My work is showing at 18 Reasons in San Francisco until March 1st.
7 Who inspires you? In Denver, there are two painters who inspire me very much with the dedication to their craft and their beautiful imagery: Andrew Warner and Jean Warner. They are siblings and are showing work at the Hinterland Gallery. The show opened in Denver on February 6th. I also find Paul Wackers paintings to be oddly beautiful and intriguing. And in Barcelona, Spain, a dear friend, Gloria Vilches Fernandez, who I knew when we both lived in Chicago, makes stunning collages.