Friday, February 27, 2009

welcome to heartbreak

I'm posting this video although, to me, it's the epitome of what this blog is not. Flashy celebs, fancy effects, big names, no thanks. It seems that In every rule made there is always an exception. And this my friends, is an exception. Because something inside wouldn't let me say let's just follow the rules.

Kayne has his hand in just about everything these days. He has a blog, a much talked about fashion line, pastelle, that's been about to drop since 2006. He kicks it front row at the 3.1 Philip Lim, one of my favs, and let's not forget 808 and heartbreak.

photo: kanye west, getty images.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

words of wisdom

"Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome."

photo: aurthur ashe, tony triolo.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

i ♥ crested butte

I don't know about you but I don't like sharing all my secrets. Especially those that include my favorite snowboarding spots. There is something about being on the mountain with a sea of people that just doesn't cut it for me. Or even worse, going to my favorite run only to find others beat me to it. I've known about Crested Butte for a while and have been riding there annually for at least five years. If memory serves me, I first heard about the town when I was in high school. It was one of those lazy days and I was scanning the television for lack of better things to do and came across a documentary featuring Crested Butte. Who knows, it could have been E and they could have been showing the wild and crazy apres ski scene that goes on at the end of the season. But for now, let's think of it as an informational documentary. Only because it could be an underlying reason as to why I moved to Colorado. And I don't want you to think of me as a lush. One that note, I think it's time to divulge. At least a little. 

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. 

First up is the Secret Stash. It's a pizza joint but not just any pizza joint. It offers some of the most creative pizzas I've ever tasted. It's tucked away at the end of Elk Avenue in a cozy two story rustic Victorian. The interiors are eclectic to say the least. The inspiration is pulled from the owner's travels throughout Asia. You'll see photos from Vietnam and sculptures of Ganesh. Tibetan prayer flags are draped across the ceiling and cozy seats on the floor with lots pillow. As for the food, I recommend the Notorious F.I.G and the Havasu Pie. The F.I.G is a proscuttio, fig, and a blend of mozzarella, asiago and blue cheese pizza drizzled with truffle oil. Yes, truffle oil. The Havasu Pie is red sauce based and covered with black beans, corn, roasted potatoes, red peppers, jalapenos, cheddar cheese and fresh cilantro. Plan to wait for a table during peak season as well as wait for you pie. There's no sense of urgency here. 

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.

photos: crested butte, tom stillo. the secret stash, django's, tom stillo. 

Monday, February 16, 2009

7 questions - interview with audra knutson

marid, 12x36

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.

the loss

of fear

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.

Monday, February 9, 2009

impromptu sunday fun day

Every now and then my good friend and neighbor, Cody, hosts an impromptu Sunday fun day. The event usually involves food, anyone who happens to be around on a moments notice and always a few drinks. Yesterday, late afternoon my husband and I talked to Cody. When we found out he was cooking up a huge pot of green chili the thought of making our own dinner had lost all appeal.

A little history on Cody. He's from Dallas, went to college in San Antonio, and has spent a decent amount of time in Santa Fe, New Mexico. So if it isn't obvious to you yet, let me tell you, this guy knows green chili. Before yesterday he had never made this recipe but was willing to test it out on a dozen of his friends. And we were all so happy he did. Be forewarned though, this amount of chili is intended to feed a crew. So if you aren't feeding 15, cut the recipe down accordingly. I also got the recipe last night after a few drinks. Forgive me if it isn't laden with detail. The intent is that is once the chiles are roasted everything else goes in one pot.

Cody's Green Chili
4 lbs pork loin - 1/2" - 3/4" cube
1 cup white flour
3 TBSP butter
1 can beef broth
6 C chicken broth
1 can rotel tomatoes - original
1 white onion - chopped
4 cloves garlic - minced
5 tomatoes - diced
20 Anaheim hatch green chiles - chopped
1 red bell pepper - chopped
1lb red potatoes - 1/2" cubes
1 TBSP cumin
3 TBSP green chili powder
fresh cilantro
cheddar cheese

roast green chiles:
on a gas flame blacken green chiles and red bell pepper. once charred, pull off blackened skins and deseed.

make the stew:
Coat the pork cubes with flour. In a large stock pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the pork to the pot and cook until browned. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer for at least an hour. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle with cilantro and cheddar cheese and serve with warm tortillas. As with most stews, this one will be just as good the following day.

serves 15-20 as a main course.