Sunday, September 30, 2012

hitch that?

it may actually be my special purpose! yup. I am pretty dang accurate on blindly lining up the ball and hitch! perhaps it is a sign of laziness as I don't want get out of truck and back in again, out and in just so.

today's problem wasn't trailering, it was stopping. gracefully I, my little four-cylinder Tacoma, sixteen foot trailer, tubularly loaded, in the rain, oh yes, and in need of new front tires, slide through a red light this afternoon. to my good fortune the light had just turned and everyone was still securely in their starting blocks. thank goodness.

garbed up and prepared (plus a handful of diamonds)

the dopty shAdow beast demands her walk. I garb up with must have paraphernalia for our rainy stroll. staying in the hermitage in spite of its open airy well lit space is not an option. it in fact is rather small for a big ole demanding energized pup with cabin fever. outside of the drizzle, the weather is fine so we stroll and I do must best imitation of wet dog!

though picture taking and blogging almost the whole way, I find a handfull of diamonds by the way side. I scoop them up to cash them in so I quit worrying about gainful employment. lovely.

despite my blogging habit, I note this mist accumulating on my cheeks, the matting and clinging of my fraying graying tendrils, I listen to the boughs sing sans human intervention, I register the drop and temp fluctuation on the compressing winds, the fluttering of my purple poncho dancing on the breeze, I hear the crows' plaintiff call, the cattle's munch and grind of grasses, watch the Dopt dare herself up to herding the hulking hamburger beasts, perhaps even I see the grasses grow.

the nearest black dot is the Dopt in route to do her imitation of herding beast. hope they comply.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

ummmm. maybe I should cut the grass! talk about reaping!

no lie, I am standing up at my full 5'9" plus some for my steel tips. good news is this is submerged gasline right of way and some magical fairy comes about once a quarter and cuts it. I actually think when the grass sprouts several feet above me while it stretches for the moon, it is sheer awesomeness. pushing through and being swallowed up by it in the early evening is kind of creep and wonderful.
and at a very fundamental level, I freaking bought my house for its microforest, minimeadow, and WINDOWS! just in case you wondered!


it is my second fall here in my microcosm, but my first with this red fruitition. perhaps the extensive drought of the past season left it dormant, but this early eve I arrived at the hermitage and pop, here it is. a lushness of vivid eye pleasing surprise and a reminder that we don't always reap what we sow. most often we reap from histories of a space and the heritage of others as they overlap with our lives. we reap from these histories both good and bad. with the unit, even prior to knotting, I had already begun to reap from his familial female relational ancestries. I was seen through an ancient family lens passed down from initial contact of our overlap, I reaped what I did not sow for a very long time. naturally there is a vice versa as it is never a one way reaping. so often we must be wary of the reaping and reaper as they may not be causal manifestations of our own actions but have trickled forward from long forgotten pasts. holding all gently, knowing though I may have worked for it, have talent for it I still stand on the reapings of what came before. in my family, the women acquired college educations at least 5 generations back. I reaped a cultural placement to succeed academically, yet I did not sow. I reaped a genetic phenotype, I did not sow. I reaped the breath that fills and drives my bodily systems, I did not sow. much of our reapings we like to claim or blame in great arrogance not grasping with knowing the complexities from which it came. I simple know I did not plant this land. I reap.

I have experienced most reapings as comminglings of present and direct sowing with that not our own.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

woman's work (art): stats for 2000-2005 omg I didn't know

I had a sense but not till I started reading numbers relevant to contemporary lead museums and galleries, auction houses, etc, did I get smacked between the eyes. OMG. really? still? I have to admit the stats I am reading only go up to 2005, focusing from 2000 to 2005. I am conscious that stats are slanted by the presenting entity and the narrative they wrap them within--as is human we see what we want to or we seem to see what it is we fear.

I do believe that from 2005 through today that there has been significant strides. This is an assumption based on gut impression based on a tad of sampling from my Houston experience.

But apparently the art market still bends its knee predominately to white (euro/American descent) and male. Nothing personal guys, just reading numbers. Though I do think there has been a huge shift since 2005 or at least in texts, journals and such. And frankly the occasional stat I've glanced at for the non-art world still parallels the same discrepancies.

This is what happens when I start reading.

But what of my work?

It as totally woman's work--sewing, vaginal iconography, domestic thresholds, personal and all touchy feely emotional girlie crap. YET, I would hate to be dropped into the feminist box, there is a part of me that rails against that container. Thus, the sewing is gnarly noncraft based (ha, not low art) and with industrial rust ridden wire; the scale is anything but dainty and feminine and can often weigh in excess of 400 lbs of soft pliable material; the materiality, that which is sewn, also industrial, dilapidated and harvested from our urban waste stream, as well as deconstructed domestic thresholds and beddings; the physical presence leans the work towards threatening and invasive. So their is a tension between the feminine and masculine playing out in the work. it is neither male nor female, but it is this woman's work.

Not done but it's time to go to class.

with app blown out colors the shadow beast and I set out on our daily deer flushing out

on occasion she pauses to let me catch up as I am more a stroller than walker.

ummm and I have rescued, and secured the shell dweller to an undisclosed anti-Dopt location. I believe based on her souvenir collection, she may be a shelled inhabitant serial killer.

Monday, September 24, 2012

to rail or not

I keep avoiding--perhaps a mild rail against an osha friendly rail. five to six foot drop, but to rail would obstruct my view. and on a weirder note: whose been sitting in my chairs! I left with them as digitally captured here; upon my return the two chairs were on one side of the bench, together. oh stalker bad movie weirdness!

Ends up my only stalker is a Dopty pup who got her dogtag caught in chair--dragging it about to get free as evidenced by the broken name charm by oddly placed chair. Good to know.

throw off the bowlines. dang it.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -- Mark Twain

a truth ringing in its simple content, but so hard to live out. easily said, rarely done. dang. i keep stitching up my sails, casting my eyes to the sea, but the bowlines remain tightly clenched in my fists, and wrapped to the posts. Oh lower levels of maslow's hiearchy of need, quit nagging at my mind. Fear go away. Please Kathy unknot the lines, throw them off before the harbor finishes its dissolving.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

she decided on Chinese take out

her excavation process has her halfway there for pick up. Dopt the dog in addition to being an affection-aholic, a slurper, a mom-adorer, and a bed hog, she is a serious digger! this is about ten minutes worth.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

positioned as placeholder

calling a spade a spade is actually the most unfortunate of gifts. always been a watcher, seen the patterns, watched things come, play out.

oh crap.

watching, seeing, understanding doesn't actually mean I have any clue as to how to right my own boat, move it into a harbor where I might belong, where I am asset. I listen to what I teach my students, know it to be true and am simply unable to implement it in the real space of life. quite frankly, I don't give a rats ass about teaching art (not totally true, but in principle). I facilitate, equip, a process of ongoing listening to life, to materials, to other, to culture, to language, etc., deconstructing, looking beyond, self reflecting, harvesting, collaborating, testing, adapting, doing, becoming. fundamentally all that seems important to me are the students' movement in finding their way. though it plays out in their art, it is not about their art. the art a mere byproduct of what i do, a microcosm of their trial, a residue of their process, the same as in my own life. I taught science for many years, faith for more, now art. I see no difference in what I am doing. at the core, the methods of science, faith and art are functionally the same. if the process of what I am doing in the classroom, the church, the studio assists the other to be a better friend, or worker, to be a better partner, to adapt to life in a way that is a little more open, in a manner that assists a smile to playout across their lips and tug at their hearts that they can then share, then I will have done what really matters. if their life is better (whatever that means) because I opened them to find their own healthier way, then I should not stop. is this why I allow myself to be used or am I just a coward too afraid to move? do i hover here because i am suppose to be here in this place, at this time, or is something all together different playing out within me? I simply find myself paralyzed in terms of moving for my own benefit. I don't understand and feel blind in this area. Maslow's hierarchy of needs clearly indicates I that I must move for my benefit to ensure the base levels are provided for. but I don't move. am not doing what I need to. future casting falls by the way side. I don't like being afraid.

little black dot down the lane

at the edge of view, there trots my black shadow beast.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

hmmm. objectification! by students none the less!

today I was signed and claimed as an art object! it's the problem with introducing art students to the thinking and works of artists like Marcel Duchamp and Piero Manzoni!

a love mauling

long day, ran late. would have called as once was my habit, but the Dopt simply won't be answering any phones or skypeing. I don't plan to add her to my cellular plan. bad kathy. so selfish.

needless to say I opened the truck door upon my home arrival expecting the now habitual slurpification and puppy pet fest, but instead, in her manic joy, she leaped into my lap as I was still pinned between steering wheel and seat and attempted the snoopy happy feet dance as my welcome--all 60 clawed pounds of her. it was a total love mauling.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

My pup loves my mom.

loading, loaded text, truck + trailer for transport

hmm a series of deleted, undisclosed thoughts.

i hadn't realized i had this many visual texts, remnants from 2009. i received my first two chalkboards from Dale Stewart in 2007. they were just process boards not meant as art. i had them leaned up against my studio wall at an artcrawl. oddly (to me) people were fascinated with them. for me, they are largely still just process boards and remain unerased, a trace of my thinking. i still have yet to realize how to bring my text and object, text and space together without it feeling contrived. i find the documentation of loading the texts for transport by far more provocative than the original installation. and the sheer physical act of loading texts seemed amazing right.

where i am going to store them and what becomes of them remains problematic. considering binding them as an 8'x3' book. will have to contemplate the how. probably have to be a pseudo spiral bind as perfect binding is out. will need to add boards to backs of pages as well. oh i think i just figured it (better go write down before i forget binding method).

Thursday, September 06, 2012

she is literally loosing it as they fell the trees

the Dopt stands on the subfloors (the eternal self renovation in process with the floors to be last) and literally demands to be let out. no telepathy involved; she is quite vocal in her demands. whem stymied, she then reverts to soulful eyes and her telepathic powers which fail her in this case. to bad my Dopt, I am not letting you out while the electric company lays down 60 and 70 foot drought deadened pine trees. out would equal one very FLAT, very dead, Dopt the dog. I can't help but laugh at her pleas though a tad shrill. sorry sweet pea!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

afternoon napping slug of a pup!

hmmmm. not a bad idea. I think I am going to give my hands a slug nap for the rest of the week and then start on my work for the art league. my hands definitely need a puppy slug break. what a great dog. don't know what I'd do without her. she makes me smile and reminds me of what is important and what is not! :)

Monday, September 03, 2012

triple sweetness.

Mayuko Gray of College of the Mainland art gallery provided me with Javier, a young painter who intuitively understands working in real space. He was perfect for the install this weekend. It made my life so much easier and significantly reduced my stress. He was also highly flexible so as I adapted the work to the space differently than my original game plan, he played right along. Thank you. Thank you.
i dissolve my fabricated seatings
reception + artist talk
Sept 12, 2-3 pm
College of the Mainland Art Gallery
1200 Amburn Rd, Texas City, TX 77591
Exhibition is on view from  Sept 4-27, 2012
I kind of got an unsolicited pre-review for the exhibition at COM by Robert Boyd and I personally found flattering. Well, it just made me feel good and that was just the first line.
Kathryn Kelley is one of the most interesting artists in Houston...
Integrative Teaching International showcased me based on the projects and methodologies I have been developing for art foundations.
Integrative Teaching International (ITI) promotes wide sweeping discussion about the state of teaching and learning in the 21st century. Through our annual ThinkTank event, our journal “Future Forward,” and other sponsored programs, ITI seeks to foster intellectual skills necessary for exemplary instruction by master teachers, administrators and emerging educators. Each year at ThinkTank, we bring master and emerging educators together to collaborate through hands-on workshops, presentations, and discussions. We facilitate small groups to openly exchange—and sometimes challenge—ideas about the state of pedagogy. We seek to showcase best practices, heighten understanding of curriculum design, and explore innovative assessment strategies. One goal of a ThinkTank event is to share knowledge and supportive mentoring with emerging educators at the beginning of their teaching career. Teacher by teacher, we form a national network that seeks to change ossified conceptual frameworks for the professional development of educators and open new possibilities for the exchange of information in and outside of a classroom. Furthermore, we recognize that the value of our model of exchange may be beneficial to educators from many fields of study. Pedagogy and scholarship across the curriculum requires habits of mind and forms of inquiry that are general skills for the 21st century workplace. ITI values discussion about the nature of play, research, technology, and co-curricular activities in the field of teaching...
Anthony Fontana President, Integrative Teaching International

Sunday, September 02, 2012

for the briefest of moments i felt like my old self, and i find that incredibly refreshing.

Ha. i just love how this post on Robert Boyd's art blog began, "...Kathryn Kelley is one of the most interesting artists in Houston, and is about to have an opening at College of the Mainland, which is unfortunate..."

it was like kiss and spank, thank goodness the spank was for someone else. as a kid, i always preferred being grounded to spanked; though i debated it because the spank got it all over so quickly. hmmm. ok well i don't like either, but now as an adult, but perpetually a child a heart, i prefer the spank cause then life goes on. adult grounding just sucks beyond compare.

from a writing perspective the spank was set up perfectly cause it sucked me right into his article to get the details of the spank. now of course i would have read it anyway because it's titled with my name. yup! and i didn't really expect a bad spanking cause frankly it may be my best install yet. but even for the non kathy kelley, i still think it was perfect setup since we are all peaked with curiosity about spankings and what did "they" do to "deserve it." details please!

mostly i just loved that the article made me smile and laugh good naturedly. and the title, "Kathryn Kelley's Anxiety," is so hilariously hitting the mark that for the briefest of moments i felt like my old self, and i find that incredibly refreshing. thank you Robert. the plug's great, but making me laugh is the real gift.

Snap, an original gesture...or not; I see dead people

I explore, experiment, follow my own process, listen to my inner voice, wrestle in obedience to my materials, install the residue, only to discover I speak the same language as those that came before. BUT, another one of my BIG BUTS, I have to choose to do nothing as I am stymied by the need to be original or I can just keep making the work that I am compelled to make and continue to try to push it a new directions. So I get my exhibition installed and SNAP, I see dead people (well not quite dead but those who have been working 50 years or so longer than I). Darn. Didn't fully see it as I worked, but slap it on a white wall and there it is!
This work keeps me revisiting similar thoughts from the era of my mfa completion

The disconnected connects

I have fallen into a void where there is no individuality, no unique private world, no authorship or originality. I find myself not in utopia but dystopia. There is no space; there is no silence. All inventions have been invented and recombination replaces creation. I fight the void. I become incapable of representing my current experience except through things that already exist. I dredge the archives seeking new meaning through new combinations. A rapid rhythm of change accelerates as I move through the limited number of combinations. Empty space is filled up. I consume all. Signifiers fail to link into coherent wholes. I pile up the appropriated fragments ceaselessly and empty them of their significance. The promise of new meaning evades me. The narrative stands still. Reality becomes that which is defined by media. Life is subordinate to the laws of the market. High and low culture merge. I sense loss and I drink Diet Coke like a dog gets excited about going for a walk ON A LEASH.

Resistance is futile.

As I am assimilated, I assimilate. I find myself in the present where a strange sense of continuity yet materializes. What appears disconnected connects. Information and experiences are absorbed. I bring them into myself. Distill them. Discard what does not fit. They become my own. This bioaccumulation of all that I have ingested, both toxic and nontoxic, has formed my current state of being. The last three years of accretion have snapped into clarity this being. The bulk of this assimilated data and change results from my immersion in 20th century art, research and collaborative analysis of design, experiments in painting and sculpture, and acceptance.

My initial studies in 20th century design and art were purely academic, the laying of a foundation. Impressionism. Futurism. Dada. Surrealism. As my studies progressed to the more contemporary, I found myself unable to simply respond to those works intellectually. I was compelled to make, and make is what I did. My first bastardization, a Pollock-de Kooning in under 5 minutes. Bad painting, combines, first generation feminism. Fast, freely. Pink—discovered spontaneously. House paint flying everywhere. Ruined pants. Ruined shirts. Ruined shoes. The sacredness of art demystified. It was OK to make bad art. I didn’t have to make something beautiful or meaningful. I just had to make. And I did. Making good. Making bad. Making. Concerned design professors averted their eyes from the accumulating pile of paintings in my small studio space. The frenzy was great. Occasionally I would look up to see that my studio mates had joined me in pushing paint.

The internal changing, the tide that I was unable or unwilling to divert, culminated with my exposure to abstract expressionism and the movements which followed immediately on its heels. The works resonated with me. A gnawing to move into the third dimension began. The questions about self, life, and culture could be explored in these visual languages I was discovering.

What is black? What is white? How is it that my own goodness gets lost in my shadow? Robert Rauschenberg’s black and white painting series and his combines embedded with everyday objects brought out my own inclination toward darkness and light. Eva Hesse’s explorations in abstracted expression and minimal form via industrial materials created an urgency within me to work with similar materials in a tactile manner. Louise Bourgeois showed me how to use abstracted forms as expressions of self with undercurrents of cultural communal beliefs and emotions where self and society could be interchangeable. Physicality compounded by weight and size of Richard Serra’s monumental sculptures spoke to the significance of mass and space.

Concurrent with these artists, Mother Teresa was working with the poorest of the poor dying on the streets of Calcutta. She bestowed dignity on the discarded, ruined, and social outcast collected from the street. In a feeble gesture of redemption, I found myself collecting discarded objects, cherishing them, and embedding them in my work.

Elements of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Post-Minimalism, Bad Painting, First Generation Feminism had been absorbed. Greenburg, Rauschenberg, Bourgeois, Serra and EVA HESSE assimilated. Ideas of the serial, field painting, experimentation with industrial materials, found objects, and a black and white painting series had been planted within me. But more importantly I found passion. And I liked it.


Experiential to theoretical. Plodding through dense texts of 20th century literary, cultural, art and design theory, I find rereading required. Dissection. Backtracking. Vast amounts of time consumed. Circular and convoluted logic slides through my clenching fists. Slow torturous grasping. An inkling of understanding finally emerges with visions of theory overlaying culture. Theory and culture weave together. Sheer fascination. Gathering with studio mates, we push and pull this woven theory/culture image into something coherent—attempting to make it reproducible within two dimensions. Fiery conversations pursued. Culture. Truth. Value. The instant. The wanting. The flatness of a world made small by speed. Mixed ideologies crash. Peaceful co-existence abides. RAYification. EDIfication. Finally Kathified. An original thought acquired. DAMN. Original thought collectively discarded as NOT original. AGAIN.

Design professors encourage, REQUIRE, DEMAND, FORCE, me off the computer. Command Z no longer an option. Unexpected paths filled with delight. Thanks Fiona McGettigan. Delight becomes overshadowed by analysis. Analysis consumes all [studio time]. Image making occurs in the periphery. The intellect elevated above all. Struggle to appear smart. Provocative. Hard work. Tired. Incredible stress. Unmerciful pressure. Self induced? Probably. Do it right. Make it right. Design. Redesign. Meaning altered. Backtrack. Move forward. Print. Scratch. Start over. Crap. You sunk my battleship.

Expanded vocabulary.

Amazingly, I walk away with a sense of wonder and pleasure in research based work and collaboration. I will not be able to discard these acts of research or the intellectual sharpening that comes with collective critical analysis. I have come to hunger for it. And I see that extruded through these theories and scrutiny, my work improves. The work has become dominated with interpretations of consumptive patterns and critique of the socially constructed self. This, I actually do like.

Ummm. The tactile.

Becoming bête comme un peintre six straight hours every Wednesday for three months. Naked model. My arm seeks across the page. Brain tires. Arm sags. I prop it up with the other. Finally the deadening weight is too great. Grease pencil shifted to recessive hand. Brain shuts off. Only sense of sight and touch remain intact. Searching lines find form. Tactile pleasure. Naked form appeals.

Direction unsure. Design questioned. Luis Jimenez strokes ego.

I spend a month in San Miguel Allende studying the form alongside artists Margaritte Dawit and Nacho, her husband. Returning, I continue my figure studies. Artery. Art League. Direction remains unresolved. Ego stroking no longer required.

Line to mass. Clay working between my fingers, additive and subtractive processes of sculpture experienced. Three-dimensional form making. Innate? Possibly. Materials explored. Tremendous sensual pleasure derived. Paul Kittelson, in passing, suggests jumping ship from design to sculpture. Figure studies, design research, and sculptural processes begin informing one another. Eva Hesse inspires. Direction unknown. Hunger.


I cut classes and go to Europe. For three weeks, I am alone with myself drifting through the city [Roma, Firenza, Paris]. Wandering. The spectacle of the pope’s carcass avoided during the week of his funeral. Ten hours a day of meandering back passages. Slipping in and out of all contemporary art exhibits and museums that I stumble upon. Munch. Emilio Greco. Rodin. Picasso. Hesse and her contemporaries. I climb through the habitrail of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. Explore the vaulted caverns of the Picasso museum. Am astounded by the sculptures. I experience first hand the works I had only viewed and mimicked from afar. More drifting.

Do I draw what I see? No. Do I paint my response? No. Design? No. For the most part I speak to no one. I devour Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle over arugala salad, a croissant and hot tea.6 Aimless I continue drifting. Like Walter Benjamin, I lose myself in the city. I smell the air, dry, dusty and old. Feel the sun full on my cheeks and the chill drafting through my jacket. Evening descends, I return to the four walls of my hotel room. It takes three days of this to become comfortable in each space. Yet still I do not draw, design, or paint what I see.

Absorption. Assimilation.

Illuminated by a single lamp in the darkened room, I sit alone at the little desk in front of the hotel mirror thinking and writing. What comes out is not about these spaces. It is me. It is the past three years. Distillation occurs against this alternate backdrop. I am designer. I AM ARTIST. Sigh of relief. Acceptance.

What appears disconnected connects.

I dissolve my fabricated seatings exhibition @ College of the Mainland

Artist talk and reception
Wednesday, September 12 @ 2 pm
College of the Mainland Art Gallery 1200 Amburn Road
Texas City, Texas 77591
Incessant thinking and incessant thinking (again)  Remnant inner tubes. ~4.5' x 3' x 3' each.
I dissolve these fabricated seatings (triptych) 
8' x 33" each unit. Masonite and chalk.
barren plains of back turned could have beens (monsters in the attic) (triptych) 
Deconstructed domestic thresholds and remnant tubes. 12' x 6' x 6'.

i dissolve these fabricated mind musings
Deconstructed domestic thresholds(doors) plus four deck posts. ~ 11' x 20" x 24" each chair.
Before I had my way with the space.