Thursday, July 22, 2010


Patterns and repetitions are everywhere in Edinburgh. In any city, but I'm used to Los Angeles, which is all knots and tangles and palm trees and street signs in many languages. Even with its wynds and closes and ups and downs, Edinburgh seems so visually organized in comparison.

The first curiosity I noticed upon moving to Edinburgh? All the little chimney flues lined up on the roofs. Is it that American flues are embedded internally, so we don't see them? Or does it mean a hearth in every room of the house? I don't actually know why there are so many. But I love them. I love how they define the city's horizon line, like little teeth, little cogs in a wheel pulled straight.

("Lang mey yer lum reek"!)


Here is the invitation to our degree exhibition scheduled to open August 20th from 6-8 @ Edinburgh College of Art. If you are in the area, I do hope to see you there. We have been working like madwomen up in our 5th floor walk-up studio.

After many dark, cold, slow months in the studio, I can't believe that the exhibition is now weeks around the corner. I've been working more productively and positively this summer than, maybe, all year.

In May, our group of MA/MFA students wrote a detailed letter of complaint to ECA. For many reasons, we were overwhelmingly disappointed in the course throughout the 2009-2010 academic year. I won't go into detail here, but rather dwell on the good news that, in response to our concern, our department has kicked into gear. A system of support, opacity and organization has been put into place this summer, in the form of structured group/individual tutorials and critiques, scheduled gallery tours and talks, regular email contact and a general sense that somebody is invested in our practice as graduate students.

This came as a big change from business as usual @ ECA during the past year. I can't help but believe that this greater sense of support from above has contributed to a more productive working period for me, maybe for all of us.

Here is a sneak preview of a new series of works in progress, done primarily in coloured pencil.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

sunday sessions

Sunday afternoons, with the studio closed, afford the opportunity to participate in any number of music sessions throughout Edinburgh.

Dalriada, in Portobello, is particularly nice...

...what with it's high ceilings, sea views, and seamless merge between audience and performer...

...all held together by a ringleader who encourages the somewhat stage-frightened to just go ahead and do a song.

(I sang two)

Monday, July 5, 2010

birthday present

art, music and coffee = happy lindsey

Thanks to my dear friend and fellow music-maker Mike, for this wonderful birthday present, an Ozark mandolin. In his words, "It's small and blond, just like you". I've really enjoyed learning and playing the mandolin this year, supported by the incredible folk music scene in Scotland. Equipped with such a lovely new instrument, I've been much more inclined to practice. The chords I know now extend beyond G, C & D, which opens things up a little!

coffee break @ eca campus

When I look down, I miss all the good stuff.

When I look up, I just trip over things.

- a. difranco

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Maybe it's obvious but cooking is very similar to making art whereas

ingredients + some magical unknown element = potential for a masterpiece.

That said, I find a bad day in the kitchen as frustrating as a bad day in the studio. On Sunday I failed trying to make jam for the first, maybe second time. Things started out ok.

Somewhere between lemon juice, boiling points, and flavored pectin substitutes my jam turned out as a tart mushy fruit paste. At least I had my mom on skype to make me feel better about things (thanks mom). Ask her, and she'll tell you that I am irrationally irritable about kitchen fails.

Thankfully, the day got better from there. I ventured to the lovely seaside village of Portobello.

new hat

Portobello Beach, 9 PM

Some musicians friends, and ringleaders of the Edinburgh folk music scene, Bill and Sue, had the "kids" over for chili and cornbread and a glass of wine. Now, Sue is the kind of person who probably never has disastrous days in the kitchen. Their home is down a narrow tree-lined street, and is full of homemade tea pots, art all over the walls, instruments all over the floor, delicious concoctions coming from the kitchen all the time, and a stone wall herb garden out back where sea winds blow in from the east.

wee street in Portobello

buddies mike & dave, with bikes and banjos

The chili was superb, and wine always tastes better surrounded by friends, out in backyard herb gardens as the sun sets. Nice evening! I left feeling full and blessed, and altogether better about the whole jam failure.