Friday, May 29, 2009

hot pink & thrifty

its pink. hot pink - make that hot pink velvet. and it came with a sparkly broach. that's right, its a beret that only team dynasty could have dreamed up. and its all mine for the price of $5. i have two words for you: estate sale. this makes my heart go 'tra-la-la'... cue prince's "raspberry beret"

the whole she-bang: i swear to you everything i am wearing here (except glasses) was purchased second hand. two more words: recession proof.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

first video art project..ever.

here is my first video art project. this was done 6 years ago during my freshman year at colgate - i can't believe its been that long. anyway, i chose to play with self portraiture out of convenience - not because i like to act like a crazy person in front of a camera. for the voice-over i am reading a depressing sylvia plath poem: "mad girl's love song". i cringe a bit when i watch this, but overall i think its not too bad for a first attempt at video art. the quality is a tad 'janky' since its copied over from a dv tape, in any event, i have brought it back from the dead...

inside my head from Emily Cobb on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

urban inspiration

i can never get enough of egon scheile - although he is most recognized for his portraits and figures, i find his cityscapes equally impressive. what remains constant in his work are color choices, lines and his ability to convey texture. what fascinates me is that the organic quality found in his depiction of people turns geometric in urban scenes, yet you can still tell its his hand drawing those lines.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

to move is to schlep.

no matter how many times i've done it - moving is hard. physically and mentally. it is especially interesting when you don't have a home lined up upon arrival. however, in the end, all the strife is worth it. slowly but surely we are getting settled here. and i am happy to report that i still love portland even though i get horrendously lost and confused on her streets -particularly when driving. this page from my sketchbook depicts my feelings at the moment. the top part is a picture i cut from the ny times a while back, the bottom half is my sketch in pencil.

Friday, May 22, 2009

good to be home

an amber sun bathed the gorge in a blanket of light. the warmth felt like arriving home. i don't think i've ever felt such a sense of belonging in a place i had never been before. perhaps i felt entitled after a long journey. but, it was a powerful scene: with the light caressing every nubby fold of the trees, cascading over rocks, down waterfalls, and finally landing upon shimmering water of the columbia river. the setting was doubled in the river's reflection. driving in on i-84's home stretch with the setting sun was like existing inside a watercolor painting that included mirrors and light. it's rare to feel so overpowered by beauty.

my feelings of sheer elation where a product of two combining factors: approaching a long journey's end plus the majesty of oregon's scenery. yet what i felt was a mere drop compared to the well of relief and joy those raggid pioneers must have experienced upon reaching this very destination. i can only imagine their solace. i saw the terrain they traveled, trust me - it's brutal.

i don't think i ever made it to this point in that damn game - my party having been offed long before. undergoing a watered down version of the real thing was way better than any computer game. we didn't have to trade for supplies, fight off snakes, angry natives, or measles. however, seeing the whole of the country in 4 days puts things in perspective. after traveling the modern oregon trail i can say one thing resolutely: oregon, i'm home.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

howdy jackson!

living in a place, leaving it, then coming back after a couple years conjures some interesting feelings in a person. its like being in an all-consuming state of nostalgia; comforted by everything unchanged you are frolicking in a happy time warp. but then you see all that has been altered. suddenly the place feels surreal and strange. its as if aliens, or giant invisible people came and rearranged your world a little bit while you where sleeping. then it hits you: life carries on as usual without your presence. a fact that uncomfortably challenges our ego-centric view of the world: "oh, you mean all this exists without me here to watch?"

this might seem obvious to some, but while exploring one of my old haunts: jackson hole, wyoming, i was finally able to put my finger on why it feels so weird to return to places we once lived.

they didn't consult with me when they decided to shut down one of the best italian restaurants west of the mississippi, nor when they closed down the health food store with the best granola and salad bar in the world. obviously they needed 503 shops that sell crap to tourists instead of 501. anyway, jackson hole, its good to be back. glad things haven't changed too much, after all, you'll always have those tetons.

the infamous antler arch

the equally infamous "million dollar cowboy bar" - where the bar stools are saddles supported by posts, putting a whole new meaning to "saddling up at the bar."

....the only thing left to say: creepy. see what i mean by tourist crap?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

fueling the journey

gorp: the key to vegetarians' survival on a road trip. i made about 3 lbs of it by simply mixing a variety of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. the only other vegi friendly options on the road are french fries, potato chips,candy, and questionable looking cheese pizza. this is fun at first, but you feel gross after a day on that kind of diet. this gorp became a never ending lunch feast for us, which meant less time stopping, more time driving.

nebraska, who asked you? on crossing the vastness

the scope of geographical diversity our great nation is beholden to is something that makes me tingle when i really start thinking about it. rolling hills, mountains, coasts, deserts - we've got it all. things are entertaining, even inspiring, and then... you hit nebraska. like a forgotten middle child, home-schooled its whole life, looking for a friend, it won't leave your side now that it has you in it's realm. poor thing. so you sit with it for a while, but eventually succumb to sleepiness. you can't keep pretending to be interested with it's stories anymore... this is where i peacefully existed until suddenly i awoke to an ominous thud. my eyes open just in time to see the facial expression of a bird that has hit the windshield. in what seemed like slow motion, the carcass slid off only to second the thud as it ricocheted off our roof storage compartment. great. as if i didn't feel bad enough about my impact on nature and the environment. good thing we "offset" our road trip's carbon emissions by purchasing carbon neutral credits: the equivalent to a catholic's ability to by indulgences for inevitable sins. (we payed for our eco-sins via the carbon fund)

suddenly feeling wide awake and sufficiently icky, i return my gaze to the unchanging landscape and realize middle america is like a land before time: its dinosaurs are giant billboards that read: "porn kills - jesus saves! " "support our troops! " this gets one thinking: if porn kills, then what are the hell are the troops doing? i get annoyed. really nebraska, who asked you? but at least we aren't driving through missouri this time. those billboards of giant aborted alien-esqu fetuses really get to me.

Monday, May 18, 2009

a modern oregon trail

its not quite 11 am on the 2nd day of travel as we glide across a bridge connecting two sides of a nation. looking down, the mississippi river appears calm and tranquil in its blue. the friendly green of plants hug its bank.

my mind flickers to an image of a blocky, pixelated conestoga capsizing. its contents spilling out. sad defeating music chirps. the names of fellow 4th grade classmates appear on a rock. clearly the fiord options was incorrect. especially after shooting down that bison. this game is over.

to say that those traveling the real oregon trail struggled is, at the very least, an understatement. yet we just zoomed right over this massive river, effortlessly leaving chicago and the east behind. this modern journey on the oregon trail will thankfully be less eventful than the game appeared. we will not need to restock ammunition in order to pursue shoot out with a squirrel. there is an abundance of subways. jared's gleaming face reluctantly awaits at every exit.

instead of dysentery or typhoid our biggest challenge is consciousness. for this, we ration several gallons of coffee, a staple of adderall, and a bushel of books on tape. i am now wondering what my pioneer ancestors would have thought about the ability to cross the nation in a matter of 3 and a half days. the idea as foreign and ridiculous as jetting your own spacecraft to one of jupiter's galilean moons for a weekend getaway. i hear the space golf and anti-gravitational facials are great there.

in the here and now our path intertwines with the historic trail. cruise control on, staring out the window, i settle down to view america: the middle part...

emily cobb. open road 3x5" pen on paper

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

first stop: chicago

made it to chi-town as a first time visitor not just on o'hare stop over. this city is really cool. who knew? the architecture was most impressive. they've really got the american gothic thing down and the bordering neighborhoods reminded me of sesame street. sadly i only had a day here. it was well spent riding bikes along the lake front, a walk through millennium park, and a visit to the museum of contemporary art to see the olafur eliasson exhibit. whew. time to hit the road for more action.

chicago seen through "the bean"

Friday, May 8, 2009

to portland or bust.

another adventure sits on the horizon. here we go. time to drive across the whole damn country. again. all 2,782 miles of it (translates to 45 hours of driving). our plan: stop 1: chicago; stop 2: somewhere near northern colorado/southern wyoming; stop 3: jackson hole, wy; last stop: portland. thats right we're busting it out. we'll take a day to chill in chi-town as well as jackson. i'm pumped to visit the j-hole since that's where bill and i began our post-collegiate journey into the "real world". i won't be able to make daily posts next week, but i will try to update when i can. until then, keep on keepin' on...

essential travel gear: old school suitcases (thrift finds obviously), cowboy boots, wide brimmed felt hat

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

everything but the kitchen sink...

since i'm skipping town for the summer the stuff that's accumulated in my kitchen needs to get used up. this is a totally random meal i pulled together the other day that turned out surprisingly well -completely recipe free. the gi-normous mound you see occupying space in the center of the plate is cous-cous i cooked in, get ready: orange juice, vanilla soy milk, tahini, dried apricots, raisins, pistachios, lemon zest, thyme and a dash of clove for good measure. then there is the red pear and persian cucumber simply diced and crowned with generous hunks of feta. the darkish pile hanging out on the side is baby eggplant and dandelion greens sautéed with shallots and a balsamic reduction. to finish, i topped everything with some chopped cilantro i had on hand. if i had mint it may have worked even better. i liked the freshness the herb added to this relatively sweet with a dash of savory meal - a middle eastern-ish feast if you will.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

artist v. muse dichotomy

this evening i will pose for a figure drawing workshop, thus inspiring todays post. it feels timely to share some work i've done on the other side of the easel. i'm not sure i would be comfortable modeling if it hadn't been for my experience as artist first. in an artist's mind, the figure before you is just that: a landscape, a composition, a starting point comprised of lines, shapes, contours, shade and light... it is not at all personal or sexual. in fact, from the model's perspective, the experience is intensely empowering: knowing that you are igniting creative expression in others. you hear a flurry of pencils and charcoal madly scratching upon paper as you are immortalized. i highly recommend trying it sometime, if not for the rush, than for the $30/hour pay.

these are all quick sketches (under 5 min. poses) made with pencil on paper.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

vermicomposting update

bill and i made this video a couple months ago. and yes, we still are composting. it really is a slow process: the worms are slowly multiplying yet we are still not able to compost all our green waste.
surprisingly it doesn't stink up our apartment. but we did have a slight incident with fly larvae (which we promptly abated). the next step: our worm friends will be making the trip out to portland with us. after all, they are kind of like pets, all 1 1/2 pounds of them.

Monday, May 4, 2009

vintage dishes are fun

for the syracuse salvation army, i can't sing enough praises. that is where i have purchased all my kitchen dishes... for cheap (anywhere between 50 cents to $3)! i love the fabulous gold leaf designs, the pastel vintage-y colors, and the fact that many are of states i have lived in. and in case you haven't noticed, no dish is the same. in fact nothing in my kitchen matches. its sort of a metaphor for life. i figure life doesn't match-up so why try and aim for perfection? things break, fall apart, etc. i like a little entropy, for its the only thing that's constant.

Friday, May 1, 2009

succulent inspiration

i like succulents. they were all over the place in santa barbara. seeing this polaroid and sketch from sb is inspiring me to plant a little succulent garden. this might work well since you don't have to water them with regularity- its called drought proof, or neglectful owner proof. my kind of plant.

emily cobb succulent sketch, colored pencil on paper 12x9"