Monday, August 31, 2009

in the snow

here's a nice photo i found on flickr of the bridge from a different angle in the snow:

the red white and grey are fantastic! makes me want to do a snow painting.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


ever since i switched over to my brasi blog, readers without blogs of their own have had trouble leaving comments that aren't anonymous. i changed the settings so that now you can leave a comment with your name as long as you have a google account. angela - let me know if you have any difficulty with that. anonymous comments are disabled because i can't figure out a way to leave it open ended.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

more of my art

since i finished my painting of the thomas mill bridge, i thought i would post some other art i've done over the years.

here are some drawings of lauren's various parts that i called "fragments":

this painting won me an award at my high school! it's still hanging there:

this was a fun installation i put together in college, inspired by my interest in serial killers and women's studies. lauren was kind enough to let me plaster-cast her:

here are some of my favorite portraits i've done. the first is of luca:

this one is my dad. no one in my family likes it because he looks really angry:

this one i did from a photograph of my mom when she was pregnant with me. i called it "expecting":

this is buffy and angel from when i was living in brooklyn. i never seemed to be able to make enough money to pay my rent, so i got this idea to make pop culture paintings and sell them on ebay. this is the only one i did and i never even sold it because my mom took a liking to it so i wound up giving it to her for mother's day:

this one's lisa t.:

and galen, who i used to babysit for:

this was a series of three drawings that i did over a number of years. they are all connected to me. the first came out of a need for separation from my mother and acceptance of who i was at 17. i called it "it's time" and it's still one of my favorite things i've ever drawn:

this one was my depression in college:

this is my red girl, voluptuous and in love:

girl on a bridge

panic attack

it's pretty much a given that my anxiety is going to be sky-high until the damn "family weekend" is over tomorrow at 3, so i was planning to spend the day painting and then maybe drink myself into a stupor. however, there is a very good chance it's going to rain and the last thing i need is to be stuck in the wissahickon trying to cover my canvas with an imaginary tarp. i thought about just finishing the painting at home from photos but my photos suck, so i have arrived at an alternate plan. i head out with my sketch book and pastels, do detailed sketches of the foliage, bring them home and then paint what i drew. but now i have anxiety about where to put my pastels when i'm drawing and what if the drawings don't translate well and it might start raining anyway so what's the point of going out at all? did i mention that i HATE family weekend?

does anyone want to meet me at the red covered bridge and tell me repeatedly that "it's going to be ok" while i draw? please?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

public service announcement from the u.k.

holy CRAP! i am NEVER going to text while driving again...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

what's on the tele

samara will be impressed with my phantom heath ledger, no?

not so sure about pattinson... he looks kind of grungy.

now i just need to finish the obama's faces, add prince and king kong and then our tele painting will be complete! this will look great in her room next to her uberhip adbusters flag:

Monday, August 24, 2009

the serial attitude

speaking of sol lewitt, co-founder of conceptual art, you can watch timelapses of how the wall drawings were created at the mass moca website. i really need to look into paint applications. apparently lewitt endorsed the use of lascaux acrylics, applied in washes to create the jewel-hued colors of his later works. i was also curious about how the lovely pink walls on the cover of country interiors were done - turns out they're a combination of volcanic earth, plaster and crushed shells. (!) the living green for dummies book stresses the importance of using paints that don't contain voc's. deep breath, zoe, you can do this. you can learn wall painting techniques and design a really neat fireplace with art nouveau tiles. you can take inspiration from dario argento films and anthropologie catalogues and make a really nice home.

i feel so disorganized today. and i have the mother of all blisters on my right thumb and it's making me not want to go to work tomorrow.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

venetian red

spent another morning painting on forbidden drive. finally finished the structure of the bridge and added the little stone walls on each side, the path with splashes of naples yellow, laid out a nice contrast where the light meets the shadow of the interior, filled in the windows of green through the rafters, the grassy patch by the left stone wall and the beginnings of the foliage in the background. as i was driving back through bells mills road the colors were popping like crazy. everything seem infused with oil paint. tree trunks were burnt umber, shadows were prussian blue and so many shades of green i felt like my heart was going to explode. i love my painting so far. i love painting stone. every day i feel anxiety - i want to work on it, to finish it, and yet there is a certain fear of being in that space. once i start, the fear subsides and i am an artist. for passersby, i am the artist archetype. they stop to look, they offer compliments, they crack jokes and pose in front of the bridge - "how's my hair?" - children approach and their parents tell them not to touch, not realizing that their children know this intuitively. a mother tells me that her daughter thinks that the girl in my painting is her...

in the afternoon, luca and i tore through home decor magazines and art nouveau books in borders to get ideas for our new house. yes yes, the brasi's have found their home in mt. airy and it is perfect. mary h*pper said it looks like a gingerbread house. she always says the right thing. i'm going to do my very own sol lewitt wall drawing in one of the rooms.

i don't want to go to work tomorrow. i just want to paint paint paint paint paint.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

mortality, identity, alienation

good thing luca left his copy of trouble with strangers in the bathroom, cause it led me to this incredible artist named evelyn williams. her painting "double portrait: #2" is on the cover:

i was immediately drawn in by the classic mottled texture of the skin, the strange beauty of the eyes and the sharp division between the two faces, which appear to be two versions of the same face. when you look at each one, the other becomes a residual image, lurking and ever-present.

i was thoroughly blown away by the work i found on her site:

i wish there was a show of her work at pafa, instead of the crap sidney goodman exhibit currently on display.

"The daily confrontation with a pure white surface of endless possibilities... It cannot be improved upon, so why do artists have this relentless compulsion to mark it and why spend a lifetime trying to...?" ~evelyn williams

Sunday, August 16, 2009

why i was not at the tower theater on saturday night

because i prefer nostalgia to necrophilia

Saturday, August 8, 2009

georgia o'keeffe and arthur dove

the o'keeffe/dove exhibit at the clark museum was pretty disappointing. it was interesting in that it introduced me to the work of dove, an early influence for o'keeffe and lifelong friend, showing thematic connections between their art over time, but the museum just didn't seem to have enough material to make the exhibit feel substantive.

i was fascinated to learn that dove and o'keeffe were considered in certain circles to be the male and female principles of modern art. both of them were deeply connected to nature, and used its forms to riff on, creating abstract color compositions that rarely lost sight of their referents. dove's paintings are scratchier, thicker, grainier, less polished, even dirtier looking than his so-called counterpart. sometimes he incorporated cubist elements too, showing a scene from different vantage points simultaneously.

in certain paintings, he used an incredible shade of blue.

o'keeffe's paintings generally have cleaner edges and often bolder colors. her compositions tended to be rather womb-like, hence assertions about the "femaleness" of her art. i liked these two a lot:

i also admired her ability to make pastels look like paint:

here is a bonus picture of o'keeffe by her husband alfred stieglitz:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

plodding and plodding and plodding along

"hey zoe, what did you do on your vacation?"
"oh, i watched a number of difficult films."

more soon, but i just want to take this moment to announce that i have now watched satantango, thereby elevating my level of film buffery to at least a 6, if john waters and susan sontag are 10's and people who "like indie films" but can't reference a single director by name are 1's. satantango is one of those rare films where every single frame is a work of art.

off to the sol lewitt exhibit!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

vacay backlog


went out painting with lori in the wissahickon for the 3rd time. she started a new canvas that reflected her murky mood. rather different from this spray of color and light from the previous week. i will wait to post pictures of mine till it's done. (think end of summer...)

in the meantime, luca was picking up our anniversary cake from vedika in east falls. hallelujah! sumptuously moist banana chai cake with coconut icing... oh my.


happy anniversary luca!

a walk around appleford, a drive to new york city - mj all the way, dinner at candle 79, where we enjoyed the best nachos i have ever had, then back to my parents' house for the night.


a walk around flushing with the wise one who never locks her door. within the assaultive, chaotic landscape of north central queens, she was an oasis. she showed us the quiet places - a friends meeting house, a church where women dance and drink tea, 150 year old weeping beech trees, the architecture of the local police station, little children eating graham crackers outside the ymca. had to see her room before we left, just to breathe it in.

now we are in the berkshires. plan on reading, watching lots of movies, going to see the georgia o'keeffe and sol lewitt exhibits and hiking around the pleasant valley wildlife sanctuary. made our first visit there today. hiked around pike's pond:

Monday, August 3, 2009


while browsing new foreign releases at tla the other night, luca remarked to me that i no longer seem to have a stomach for horror movies. while admittedly i do find them rather scarier than i used to, in a visceral sort of way, i reject this notion that i have gone soft. to prove him wrong, i picked out martyrs, described on the box as "one of the most ferocious horror films ever made." internet users have made the following comments about this film:

"Martyrs truly is a monster. It's a ground breaking, brave, stunning, brutal & moving piece of work..."

"French horror has been pushing the boundaries for some time now. First there was Haute Tension, then A l'Intérieur and newest in line is Martyrs, hyped up to take it all a little further. And it did, it definitely did. It's just that it doesn't belong in the same list as the films mentioned before. Martyrs goes way beyond."

"It's difficult to know what to say about this movie really; like a birth or a death, you really have to experience it yourself and draw your own conclusions. What I will say is that as a committed horror freak, rare is the occasion when I tense up and watch a film contorted, somehow trying to protect myself from what I'm putting myself through."

"Brilliantly executed in ways better described only as experimental, Pascal Laugier takes us to the end of the tunnel, the last stop, to a place where there is no longer any separation between humans and animals, predators or prey, it' a place so dark, you will no longer have to imagine for now it has been recorded on celluloid."

getting ready to watch it now. i plan on blogging a lot this week, so if you don't see any posts in the next few days, assume that i have taken to bed or gone into cardiac arrest.

ok, zoe: deep breath. here i go.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

more highlights

~lenya's dream of the green cartoon wave of love that gives knowledge of how to fix any machine, sexual confidence at the highest level and powers of medical healing

~zoe's dream of lenya keeping her housemates' penises in the refrigerator and wearing them sometimes

Saturday, August 1, 2009