New Book (& adventure pictures)

Well hello there!

I just finished my first book in a long time. It’s pretty small, and called ‘dirt’.

I learned how to bind books in my PSU undergraduate times, and did a few here and there but lost track of that in favor of sculpture and larger paintings. That was a long time ago. Until now!

I worked on the painted pages for a little bit too long, ink and paint and dirt and tea and glitter. It was lovely and I loved it. I think it turned out great!

I fixed up a poem I’d written back in my farm days (that’s where the books title comes from) and typewrote it on the pages before painting on them some more. Ahhh sweet pagination.

I’m very out of practice so it’s not the best book I’ve ever made, but it’s surprisingly good, considering. I’m so happy that I haven’t lost the bookbinding!

Here are a few pictures of the book, it’s got a lot of pages so I’m just including a couple. Yay!

And heres a picture of a beach I just went to on the long island sound near Commack. And a picture of a relief off Audubon’s memorial in Trinity Cemetery, up here in Harlem… I just went there today, it was so awesome! If you go don’t forget to go to both sections, and to cross the street and go to the Hispanic Society museum to see the gorgeous Sorolla room (among many other masterpieces)!

Well yeah, anyhow, I’m going to make another book soon! Not sure what about yet… But I’m working on a zine about grad school, so I’ll finish that up first. I’ll post more about that soon.

Happy summer times to you, sweet person out in the internet!







Kokedama sorta update…

Hello friendly people!
Also hello grouchies!

Look I’m making sort of kokedama type stuff and trying to work out how to make sculpture out of it! I had some soil trouble and had to go all over town to find what I wanted, (oh new york and your gorgeous fickle floral district) but it seems to be working. I’ll update again soon when things change/grow!

I’m writing this from my phone… so maybe it looks weird (this is my 1st phone posted blog ever)! That’s where the pictures of this project are, the phone. So I made some regular hanging (and one sitting) kokedama and a couple of “pots” to sprout food plants in. And worked on making other shapes, mostly just the phallic one below (I took it apart after I took a picture, wasn’t solid enough). And thought about armature – which I worked on some too. Hence the pvc and copper pipe (thanks to my old studio mate who left some good supplies).

Here are the little guys so far. I really hope I can keep them healthy. It feels weird to wrap the roots in moss, I feel like I’m squishing the poor things, but that’s how it works in all of the instructions I’ve seen. Fingers crossed.

You will notice that these plants are not edibles. I’m coming to terms with my lack of light, and working on solutions, but for now I chose some indoor growers and think this might work better for this kind of project. I am in love with ferns, so started there (and with something claiming to be an angel plant – since I need some spiritual guidance anyhow). But I will update soon with more progress…

Thanks! Ttys!









plants i am growing and will grow

well hello there!

since i moved to new york city i have been itchy for gardening, particularly because of my garden based background. and because i love nature and i really truly can’t get enough of it. and i really like the idea of food justice. people need to eat (and have access to food that’s not just fast, like veggies) and be empowered to take growing and making food into their own hands. especially in dumb old usa… we have so much space in this country, we could just grow food. ok, some of us do. i actually do not right now.

i’ve been growing small things, basil, chives, lettuce (though i really should have more light to do that)… inside in the brightest spots i have. i’ll post some pictures when these stop looking so sad and wilty. i had hoped to be able to eat some of them soon – but i am just happy they’re alive at this point. they need sun and i do not have that, as i am at the bottom of my building, in the back.

if you check out my movie ( you’ll see my interest in plants is various. food plants, of course. and i am growing more, against glass, for another film. you’ll see! ooooo speaking of – i’m going to go put some sprouts on (aka put seeds in water for a little while then put them in the little janky sprouter i have)… be right back.

ok, so have you heard about kodekama? string gardens?

oh my gods! they are so awesome! plants suspended from strings, it’s totally the right kind of art/plant/stuff for me! i am not quite sure what i will do with this yet, but there is a lot of sculptural potential, and i am going to at least try it out. so i’m headed down to the most likely garden store (come on now new york, i know you’re old school but this is crazy! if i had the funds i’d totally open up a garden store here – there is so much need for that kind of thing, but i am in school and in the negative amounts of money, so i cannot).

anyhow, here is more information about kokedama: (the care sheet is great!)

i will update you about what i make when i make something worth updating you about.

take good care!!!


I want to visit abandoned things in New York please


New york is old right. Really old. Well the world is old, but New York was settled by people of european descent so long ago it makes the west coast seem young. Heck, the last city I lived in was founded 5 years before the school I currently attend. What I mean by founded is that it wasn’t incorporated as a eurodriven, oregon trail traveling, “granny in a bustle sitting in the bucketseat shooting people out the window” kind of way until 3 years later, in 1851. My home town was founded earlier (as a mission settlement, yeah California was like that, the crusades or whatever) but still 1791 is quite a bit later than New York’s 1624. So, that crazy starved stinky murderous euro-trek across the continent took a while. And some people lived in cabins and tents and sod homes instead of solid gothic architecture, like for example, The College of the City of New York.

I have always love ruined things, since my childhood visiting lyme kilns on the  UCSC campus, or even visiting the ‘mosquito cave’ and abandoned house on my growing-up street. But on the west coast we (yes, it’s  still we) don’t have as many old abandoned structures that have held up. There were wooden gold rush towns in dry places that stuck around, but most are non-tourist spots that are deteriorating, and there are not as many steel and stone things. Not as many as in New York.

So now that I’ve finished my last class of the school year I’m researching places to visit. I need to get out of the city this summer (not that I don’t like it here, well, it’s actually kicking my butt, but I will prevail!). And I have so many options, even for a woman with no car.

I’ve found a lot of internet information about the abandoned, so I’ve listed and described a little of it here – in case you are a nerd of the broken, like I am.

This an awesome overall view of some ruins (and mapping) in the Hudson Valley, by a man who put out a gorgeous photo book about this topic:, and through the clickable map on this site I found a Landmarks list of buildings in the city (though these are in-city buildings which are landmarked, and are harder to get in to, and mostly more intact). There are examples listed from all over the city (even my area), but not things like this abandoned school in my neighborhood:  Landmark status is an interesting challenge for some building owners, there are restrictions, old school laws, and someone has to file which I believe costs something… so in the end many old buildings become controversial or confusing to their communities. I was recently outside this school with an old friend – looking through the fence, and a man walked by and told us he’d gone to the school 40 years previous! And about 2 minutes later some young women walked by and asked us about it (we were still looking at it, it’s gorgeous). We all wanted to go in, all of us, but it was the middle of the day and it’s a little sketchy, with a tall wonky chained up fence, many plastic bags caught in the trees that grow from it’s windows, and pried up plywood on the ground floor windows and doors that aren’t bricked up. Of course some good photographers have already gone inside: It’s just gorgeous!

This is a really cool one, The New York Farm Colony, it’s looks huge! This website is full of gorgeous photographs of broken buildings and ruined built up areas also, so poke around.

This is great! The location in this post, and others on the site! There are so many gorgeous photos here. I would love to visit this old manor. And there are some amazing historical photos in the post. It’s wonderful to read about the history of the place, and the history of it’s deterioration.

There is other good stuff about history on this website too. I particularly liked the video about the high bridge. It’s so cool that some of these disused structures are being revamped. Probably in part inspired New York City’s gorgeous Highline Park, the high bridge is slated to reopen in 2013, as a walkway across the Harlem River, from Manhattan to the Bronx, and a couple of much needed riverfront park areas. I love learning about projects that will improve the lives of those of us who live uptown!!!

This is pretty good, but it’s by a shoe company so there are a lot of shots of the host’s shoes (but I have some really good boots from this co.)…

And, of course, here is a description of the ruined smallpox hospital on Roosevelt Island, it’s gorgeous, and there are some pictures of it from a visit I made in 2009 or so on this blog. And here is some of the history of the place.,

Forgotten New York has a great collection of historical information. Actually it is completely vast, but this is post really struck me. Gorgeous ruins: And they do tours! I want to go on one! I’m excited to “keep checking back” on the page that lists the tour dates/times, to see when they post one. A tour would really help me, since I’m new here and haven’t much time to explore.

Well, darlings, that’s what I found in my first couple hours of un-art-related brainstorm about what I want to do now that I’m out of school for a couple of months. Well, that and make so much good art I explode, and also find a good temp art related job.

Take care! And don’t forget to watch where you step, it may be rusted through.


the movie

hey there folks!

so, i am just finishing my finals, and so i am halfway done with grad school! ahhh! just 2 papers and 2 presentations left, then i will be a half-master.

here is a link to the video i recently made. it’s based on b-scifi-silent films, in format and somewhat in content. i made the sculptures and paintings in the video, and learned how to do all of it (film, video, lighting, editing, stop motion, etc.). I’d never made a movie before!

there it is!!!!! under this post!!!!

let me know what you think! i want to know!

love! k

ps thank you dirty three for letting me use this gorgeous song.

short spring


so, here i am, after not being very bloggy for a while. sorry about that friends. it’s been pretty nice out here, warm already, sunny, humid and dry (that’s an oxymoron, what i mean is it hasn’t rained much). so i’ve been trying to get out and see this new york thing as much as i can.
mostly though, i’ve been woking on a lot of stuff in school. school school school school school school.

i just got out of a fun and busy spring break, with some wonderful house guests, my parents visiting, and a couple of friends coming through new york (well more than that but 2 that i got to see). and making stuff and writing papers.

ahh, the papers. they’re kind of long. i am looking forward to being done with those. so i can research other things and work on the labor and time intensive art that i like to make. i love school, but it’s a lot of talk, and that is great, but i miss being in the studio all day. class is fun but very distracting from studio or other things.

speaking of that, i’ve been in the studio growing plants and working on how to combine this with my art! very exciting! i wish i had time to go see the art of people who are also doing this, because it is out there right now. i want to kick myself in the face because i mostly just do school work. but i’m doing everything i can do every day, so i will reserve the injuring myself for the art making process. thank you very much.

so, i’m still working on that stop motion animation that has completely taken over my life. i’ve had some completely awesome studio visits lately, from professors, visiting artists and other folks in my program. i am looking forward to taking 10000 more pictures, editing and finishing that thing (should refer to it as ‘the monster’). i’m getting there. slowly. and i need to start working on the soundtrack! anyone want to contribute? it’s a monster movie so i need anticipatory violins.

i’m thinking about noise, but structured music will creep in too. i’ve never used sound in art before. but i’d never made movies just 2 months ago, so here we are. well, actually i made a few as a teenager. hmmm. well, i don’t know if that applies to this project but it will probably apply to the next one. i am really enjoying using technologies i employed as a young person. like sewing. but hell i’d hardly used sewing in art before 9 months ago. so that’s a whole other ball of wax there, right. new new new.

other than that i am still working with plants. i got really excited to do some gardening in the city, and tried to figure out how to do that within my school or nearby, but have been having trouble getting in touch with the right people, or active people, or people who are working in this way already, or people who know what i’m talking about. gardening. like food plants. the days pass, and we get further into garden season… so i’m not sure that will fully happen this year. but hopefully i can just help a few people who are already doing it. also there’s the part about new york’s humidity and heat. so i’m not sure how practical my desire to work hard out in the wet heat is. so i am looking for some part time work indoors actually.

there are lots of people with little urban farms, in abandoned lots, and on rooftops, and there is a huge network of community gardens all over the city. i’m sure i’ll find something. so much already exists so i don’t have to worry as much as i do about soil toxins or revolution. i just want to help. in a broad and also specific way. new york was farmland once, like all of the other cities, and it is interesting to try to find a balance within modern and traditional food growing ideas. here are some awesome links, if you are interested in this too:, (i have a lot more links, so let me know if you want them, then i will post more about this thing more).

i wish i had a video to show you, but i will soon. i will get some good stuff to you soon though, give me a few weeks. i’m approaching finals now and getting ready for some excitement, like an open studio that i will post more about soon (i think it’s on may 11th and 12th, friday evening and saturday in the day). and i am looking forward to summer, camping, work, as will many long hours of quiet studio time, all of which i need. hopefully i will get a residency too. fingers crossed, but i haven’t heard back from one yet, and the other i didn’t get. got to keep on keeping on!

hey, you know that photo of rats above, well a bigger and differently arranged version of my rat pack will be in the ccny sculpture show that is opening next thursday. come to the compton goethals gallery to see the pack all next week,  the opening is thursday evening, the 27th!

cool, i’m going to go work on my papers now.

love, katie

ps i will post about the upcoming open studio more soon!

growing things

Hey friends,

Sooo, I have started working on the salad the farm again! I’m excited. It’s really fun. I love being out in the country and taking care of those plants. I’ve got the growing things itch now too. So I started a small garden in the teeny space of my apartment stoop.

It all started when Renee gave me some culinary herbs in pots for my birthday. That was so nice! I’ve been nibbling them for a couple of weeks now. Deliciousness! Last year I grew tiny basil and chives on my stoop, but being given established herbs started me thinking about growing more! I seeded some basil (it hasn’t started yet… it’s working on it – I hope it hurries, I want to get it in some more soil.)

And I started a tiny succulent garden in a pretty white glass dish I got at a rummage sale. I’ve been walking around the neighborhood a lot lately and I pinched one or two succulents from overgrown medians and sidewalk cracks and such. I did this with some pretty moss too, a gift for someone (top secret).

And today I got strawberry plants, on sale, at a grocery store. I hope they grow!

I hope they all grow! I’m anxious for the basil to sprout. It’s not new seed, so it might not work. It’s been a week, so it should be doing it any time now.

That’s my news. I’m getting over a cold, but haven’t been called in to sub this week anyhow, so it’s cool. I’ve been laying low. And tomorrow I have a small surgery to get an almost-cancer on my arm removed. I’m kind of nervous. And I won’t be able to move my arm enough for a couple of weeks (stitches above my deltoid), which makes me even more nervous. I am sure I’ll be fine. But I like to do things, it’ll be hard for me to sit still.

Yes, updates! For you!

I’m doing a commission, which I will work on in my time off. Heck, I’ll have the use of one arm at least. And I will post photos of my progress on here. I’ve got the surface built and prepped, so I’ll get to do the fun part soon! Painting! Well, I guess I like all of the parts. But I truly like the painting part most.

Ok, I’m going to go eat some strawberries and do some laundry. And in case you wanted to see: here are some photos of my little garden.

snow salad (aka farming in the snow)

Hello there.

Some people have asked me to blog about farming more. I will! It’s fun for me in many ways.

It is a really cool thing, being part of an organic farm (we’re certified naturally grown, a grassroots alternative to certified organic). It warms my heart.

Yes, we get to eat some of the amazing food that we grow. Like I am going to make a soup from a jumbo pink banana squash soon. We grew it! It’s huge and pink, but the inside is bright yellow. I am so excited!

But farming is hard too.

Like today, I harvested greens in the snow. It was really cold. And my fingers didn’t fall off, but they were kind of tingly. It was ok, everyone involved is ok. I thought about the request for farm related blogs, and I had to write about this.

It was beautiful. The snow was wet and came down in those clumpy balls, downy, heavy. I guess it was snow showers. Off and on. Out in Warren. It was maybe 36 degrees, and I had so many layers on! Shirts, pants, gloves (fingerless – ya have to feel the greens to pick them right), a hat, a scarf… So I was ok. But cold! We picked chicories, lovely greens that are alright in the cold. And I realized that I might be suited for the tropics. Except that pesky bright sun part.

People have been farming in the snow forever. We have to farm in whatever weather is happening. I don’t think this is written about too often. People still need food, whatever the weather is like.

Farm work is hard. No one ever said it wasn’t, but I think it gets abstracted sometimes. No, we are not sitting and playing in the dirt. We are working hard for long hours.

I think it is really fun! And I love the hard parts, like rototilling by hand, wheelhoeing paths between beds fast until your head is spinning and then quick quick pitchforking up chunks of rooty sod leftover from wheelhoeing. I love kneeling and hacking at weeds with this nice japanese knife hoe thing, and swearing about whatever issue is bugging me. I love pulling plants that have bolted or bloomed, then throwing them in a wheelbarrow and into a compost pile. It’s kind of like dancing, and also like backwards situps while standing up. I love seeding and planting starts, watching things grow. Magical exercises.

But it is hard, physically. Don’t forget. Farmers get dirt in their eyes and blisters and frostbite and, yes, excellent muscle tone.

I just wanted to say this so, if you have romantic notions about farming, you will know. You’d better like to exercise and you’d better have good work ethic.

I am glad to have put in some good work today, even though it was snowing.

Thanks for supporting farmers by eating!