Yesterday there was a moment I thought I would die.
A very small piece of cracker went down wrong. My airway constricted and I could not breathe. Panic set in and breathing got more difficult. Foresta was there and I tired to get him to help me. But what could he do. There was nothing blocking my airway, the Heimlich would do nothing. I tried to calm myself, he got me water. I knew I had to calm myself; focus on breathing, slowly my breathing became easier.

It all happened so fast and at the same time seemed like a very long time.

It has happened one other time. It’s like I breath in a small piece of food and bang, airway constricts and I cannot breath. I think I need to pay attention when I am eating, eat slower, and chew, chew, chew before swallowing.

Asphyxiation, I felt like death was so close.

It is strange to think how easy it is to die.

Last night lying in bed I thought about death. I thought I could have let myself die, but I did not.

I wonder if I could ever let death come easily.

The other time this happened someone said I would have passed out, relaxed and started breathing again. I wonder.

Today we did a bike ride. It was grey and cold. I saw what I assumed where homeless children and adults. I have seen a lot of homeless recently.  I can see it is very difficult.

I am very grateful today to be alive and have a home.



I woke up with a pounding headache and upset stomach.

Maybe it was the food we ate last night.

I could not stay in bed, it was 5:30am and I had to get up.

With one hour to spare, I’m done, project 4, this semester’s final project.

Next week I play catch-up.


lucky me

Yesterday Michele Guieu’s installation “Lucy Darwin and Me” opened at Art Produce.

I had the good fortune to help Michele a little on the installation.
As thanks for the little work I did she let me choose a small piece, and I love it.

But, it is I who am grateful.

She was gracious enough to give me this opportunity to be part of the creative energy to help realize her vision.

It is a gift to have such an opportunity to work with an artist and I thank her for this.

The exhibit itself I find stimulating. All aspects from the writing on the window, the large mural painting, the small drawings & photos, the beautiful photos her parents took years ago and the video, I can enjoy individually and they work well contextually together. I am lucky that the exhibit is in my neighborhood because I will get to experience it more than once before it comes down.

Congratulations Michele!! And thank you.


nurture nutrient

We recently watched a William McDonough lecture which we recorded from the UC San Diego TV channel and it was a recording from UC Santa Barbara.

I have been familiar with the Cradle to Cradle book McDonough co-wrote but had not had time to find a copy and read it, so having the opportunity to see him lecture turned out to be extraordinary.

From the Publisher
"Reduce, reuse, recycle" urge environmentalists; in other words, do more with less in order to minimize damage. As William McDonough and Michael Braungart argue in their provocative, visionary book, however, this approach perpetuates a one-way, "cradle to grave" manufacturing model that dates to the Industrial Revolution and casts off as much as 90 percent of the materials it uses as waste, much of it toxic. Why not challenge the notion that human industry must inevitably damage the natural world, they ask.
In fact, why not take nature itself as our model? A tree produces thousands of blossoms in order to create another tree, yet we do not consider its abundance wasteful but safe, beautiful, and highly effective; hence, "waste equals food" is the first principle the book sets forth. Products might be designed so that, after their useful life, they provide nourishment for something new-either as "biological nutrients" that safely re-enter the environment or as "technical nutrients" that circulate within closed-loop industrial cycles, without being "downcycled" into low-grade uses (as most "recyclables" now are).
Elaborating their principles from experience (re)designing everything from carpeting to corporate campuses, the authors make an exciting and viable case for change.
He talked about how everything we produce should be thought of as a nutrient, how there are “natural” materials that are carcinogenic, how planned obsolescence of products, like cars, that are nutrients (not cradle to grave) will create jobs and be good for the us and the earth.
As we heard him talk about planned obsolescence we both intuitively thought this would not be good, but then I realized that things like cars, and computers would work with the model because as technology improves the newer product would be better and if the old one does not go into landfill and create toxic waste what’s the harm. Right then he explained it much better than I just thought it, but basically the same idea. And jobs would be created; technology would keep developing, and creatively would flourish.

To me this concept should become our model.

Now I must read the book.

Now I will have to see how I can apply this model to my art practice, art, nutrient ……..


where are they

I am re-watching Documenting the Face of America http://www.documentingamerica.org/Home.html 
As I re-watch repeating thoughts come to mind.

Why isn’t more being done now?
Why then were there people able to make a difference, to insight change?

Where are these kinds of people now?
Where is our Roy Stryker, our John Muir, and will we ever get another like Teddy Kennedy?

It is wonderful that all the photographs have been saved.

I wonder if I can make a difference with my art. I will have to think about what kind of difference I would want to make.


Our Thursday in Hell

Foresta was taking Rachel and I on a road ride. The plan was to go out east past Alpine and climb Viejas Grade, a 4 mile dirt road climb.

We stopped for a bathroom break.

A little further on we came to Sloan Canyon Road which Foresta said would bypass Dehesa and get up to the top.

We looked and decide to attempt it. A sign said there was 4 miles of curves, so we assumed 4 miles of road.

12 miles later, 3 locked gates, Rachel having leg spasms and in pain, we got back to pavement.

Not sure those Paris-Roubaix riders have anything over what we just did.

We still have to get home and thanks goodness we found an open Starbucks. My Frappuccino gave me exactly what I needed to get back.

Total estimated miles, 65.

All the pictures from the day at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vklips/sets/72157622764083399

There were those deep sand areas where I would stopped breathing, look and decide I had to walk through it. Then there were the ones that surprised me where I stopped breathing, looked, powered through, took a deep breath, and thought WOW sometimes I can do things I think I cannot. There was even one time when I thought I cannot clip out again, so I rode right through.

Epic hikes and bike rides are fantastic. Always challenging and rewarding. Riding with Foresta is fun, too bad he’ll be back in training soon, but we’ll have the next off season.


worry not

Thanksgiving is in two days.

I have a lot to be thankful for but it is difficult not to worry.

About money.

I must remember all I have, my health, family, friends, shelter, and food. What more do I need.

But we have a lot and we could loose it all. The more you have the more you have to loose.

This is scary.

But, I must not worry. Even if we lost everything it would not be the end of the world and I know I would still be much better off than many others on this earth.

I will not worry.

About money.

I will be thankful.

And thank you to my family and friends; I am grateful you’re in my life.


routine change

Saturday AM bike ride, and I got home just before our company came. We went out for lunch at the Station http://stationtavern.com/

After lunch we walked around South Park, and then went over to La Jolla. We visited the two exhibitions I’d been to the night before.

Kelsey Brookes at Quint Contemporary http://quintgallery.com/

Stephen P Curry at La Jolla Athenaeum http://www.ljathenaeum.org/home.html

I like some of Kelsey’s work but am not sure I could live with them, or they would keep my interest for that long.
Stephen’s work on the other hand would be very easy to live with and I find I can daydream and get lost in them. 

We bought one!

We then went over to another gallery and saw some more art.

That night we tried to go to Extraordinary Deserts, but both locations had extraordinary lines out the door.

Sunday I took my cousins on a bike ride around the San Diego Bay, south on the east side, then back up the west side to Coronado, and on the ferry to cross back to San Diego. This is such a great ride to show off San Diego and the region. I rode my fixed gear which I need to ride more. I was really beginning to enjoy riding it. The kids enjoyed the ride, but it may have been a little too long. I’m sorry. Back in San Diego, and finally, Extraordinary Desert where we had lunch and ….oh some really good desert. When we got home we watched “Sunday in Hell” 1976 Pairs-Roubaix bike race.

Our company left and I went to the Garage to see the work of Greg Smith.

I knew he did trompe l’oeil work but for some reason I in my head I thought when I saw it live it would be trompe l’oeil and real elements, it was not. It was very nice work but I wanted it to be edgier and in my mind before seeing it, it was.

Great weekend, great art, now back to healthy eating and the regular routine.

It is so nice to have people come into your life and change up your routine. It made for a vacation for us too!


lost deal

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of the those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

F. D. Roosevelt


solid & fragile

I played again with the Grand Canyon trace drawings, completing 2 more.

After the 3rd drawing I thought about scanning them to have them as archival prints.

But I will not. I like that they are on this fragile flimsy paper.

These small little pieces represent the dichotomy of the solidness of the Grand Canyon and its fragility.

does it need to look like that

I had this idea to do trace drawings using my Grand Canyon source photos.

I’ve been playing around with one image, but the trace drawing does not look like the Grand Canyon.

Finally I am asking myself, does it need to look like the Grand Canyon.

And I remember thinking earlier today about my self doubt.

Were does it come from? And I know it comes from me.

Why does it come? And I think it comes from questioning.

It is late and I am tired. Sleep has not been easy. The dog fight in the alley woke me up. The hot flash kept me awake.

I will live with this trace drawing and see what happens.

I will notice self doubt and see what happens


love hate

The importance of a 3D model is not lost on me.

As I look at the model it gives me information on what works, what does not, relationships, light & shadow, proportion.

It stimulates ideas and creativity.

I enjoy this part of the process, but I still have difficulty with the process of making the model.


project break

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to be able to take 2 breaks from the school project.

I went to hear 3 artists speak about their work and immigrating to the US and how that has informed their work.
Michele Guieu
Shadab Zeest Hashmi
Marisol Redon

They all spoke so well about their work, experiences, and influences, and they were all very inspiring.

I took a little time before leaving the museum to check out the Calder Jewelry show.

And found even more inspiration.

That evening I went to Art Produce

Where I revisited the installation United & Severed by Kristine Diekman, Karen Schaffman, Richard Keely and Anna O’Cain.

I had not watched the video in its entirety. I have a difficult time with video art. But there was a special video screening and I watched. To my surprise I had no trouble watching the entire thing and found it artistic and informative.


I very much like this installation and am thankful that it brought be to be able to take the time to watch the video.

I am grateful to have so much inspiration in my life.


Leon Krier

Tuesday night I went and heard Leon Krier, architect and urban planner speak.

He spoke about architecture, the urban landscape, and our western society, with firm beliefs and convictions.

I particularly like his terms skyscraping and landscraping for urban sprawl horizontally and vertically.

He has so many theories and ideas and I look forward to reading his writings.

Hearing Mr. Krier speak has brought me back to why I want to study architecture.


local art

Today I got up to the California Center for the Arts in Escondido and saw the exhibit Quint: Three Decades of Contemporary Art.

I had almost forgotten that the show as still up and that I had not seen it. Luckily a friend said she was going and it was a free day, and off we went.

One can easily see that Mark Quint has a really good eye for contemporary art.

I’m sure his education at the San Francisco Art Institute helped.

And lucky for those of us that have ended up in San Diego the same was his fate and he decided he liked looking at art more than making it.

It was very inspiring to recollect about the wonderful work he has shown and brought to this community.

And as an artist who often feels like San Diego is a cultural desert it is even more inspiring to see how many fantastic artists live/work right here.

Maybe this show will inspire others who enjoy looking at art to help support and create more venues and we will all benefit.

Before leaving Escondido I told my friends about Peterson’s.

We had lunch there and on the way back we did the ‘sugar crash’.


war of the cold

I felt that tickle in the throat. I felt it right when it happened and I knew.

I knew it was starting.

The onset of a cold.

On the way home I stopped to add to my arsenal of Echinacea, and oregano oil. For the fight I added Zicam, zinc, vitamin c, decongestants, and throat lozenges.

I had no time to be taken down with being sick. This time I would not succumb.

Then BAM, just as I thought I’d beaten it, WAM, down I went.

Yesterday I did not get out of my pajamas and was in bed more than out.

Today my noise is red, soar, and runny, although not as bad as yesterday.

Tomorrow I have a history exam which I have yet to study for, but the congestion in my head throbs and I cannot imagine studying.

Was waging full on war against this cold the best plan of action?

Would it have been better to let my cold run its course?

Maybe it is running its course, and whether or not I fought tooth and nail with all the drugs and supplements, it just runs its course. Once on the path the cold continues until its end.

Maybe I did not need to spend money on my war with the cold.

Maybe I’ll go take a nap and let my cold run its course.


Chuck Close

I finally finished watching the Chuck Close documentary by Marion Cajori.

I remember years ago, mid 70”s when I first saw his work in NYC. I was with a group of fellow students and there was a comment about this work not really being art because it was based on a photo and was “just” photo realism, and this made his work unclear to me.

Since then I have seen a lot of his work and I am very grateful for these opportunities because each time I learn and understand, not only his work, but art, perception, process, and my work.

This documentary brings even more insight.

It is informative and inspiring.

I wish I owned a copy.


it is true, it works

I was stuck, where do I go with the rejection letters?

They sporadically arrive in the mail box and the file of ones I like grows.

I needed to see “Self Portrait ‘06” live, or so I thought.

Opportunity struck and I decided to install it at the Vacancy Show.

As I worked on the installation of this piece for this show, (the only other time it was installed was as one large piece to be photographed), I discovered.

This is why it is important for me that work to get out of the studio.

I can learn so much.

I wonder what I’ll learn as I install “Self Portrait ‘06”, and as I live with it for the one day it’s up and out of storage.