Tag Archives: Art

The Highland Park Trailer Project

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I moved to Highland Park in North East Los Angeles (NELA) early 2014. I was steps away from Figueroa Street, a melting pot of history, culture, and the kind of diverse community one only dreams of. Day and night I heard the buzzing of cars traveling via the 110 Arroyo Seco Parkway.

Highland Park Silver Streak Trailer

I’d stroll by the Highland Theater ,with its giant, glimmering marquee lights, and quickly became a deeply involved member of the Milagro Allegro Community Garden . Shortly after, I joined the Arroyo Seco Arts Collective, the longest standing active arts collective in East LA.

I lived with two brilliant physicists (my soon to be best friends) pursuing and ultimately receiving doctorates in particle and theoretical physics at CalTech University. I found them on Craigslist. Together we explored HP and its various and equally interesting surrounding neighborhoods. I adopted my dog, a xoloitzcuintli named Tesla, from my next door neighbors whom tended the Tierra de La Culebra Art Park, a long-time beacon of communal arts in the area.

One evening in summer I relocated living spaces just across the street almost as if from no where. All my belongings made the trek across the street in just two trips. On the preserved acre of land would be my landlord and close friend, a world-renowned artist (look her up here–), tediously working away in her studio and pouring her heart and soul into her land and art. It would not be a conventional living arrangement. I had to run across the yard to use the restroom, shower, use power, etc., but those were petty details. I was living the dream I didn’t even know I had.

The 19′ long 1969 Vintage Silverstreak “Jet” that I’d passed by wondering about everyday for well over a year had suddenly become the space and canvas for a most great art piece. Aside from the main frame, it was rebuilt from the ground up. There was undeniably work to be done, but she had my heart from the start. The renovation my full time job and obsession for at least the next two ensuing months.


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In the 60s the trailer was used as a mobile office for the LA Department of Water and Power . Task #1—it had to be gutted. Whatever critters might have been calling it home would have to relocate elsewhere.

I installed three roof vent systems when I realized they were going to be the top priority in the stagnant and pounding heat. Until these, I slept on the breezy outdoor porch of the main house, or slept in my car with the trunk open (it was cooler in those spots than inside the 100+ year old, 100% American Craftsman home). We caulked, and sealed what needed to be done and decided privacy curtains would have to come later. I don’t need as much privacy as I ever thought!


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This is what it looked like after the initial gutting. Luckily there was a pre-existing deck (this plays a major part soon).


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After acquiring some beautiful lumber from my friend/owner (and one of the most up-and-coming contemporary  artists to watch of this time, Kyle Austin Dunn) of BayAreaCustomFurniture  , I began my own custom woodworking and accents. I used solid red wood floor panels replacing sheets of old, damp, plywood. The result gave a true breath of life to the space. Stark white walls were established after three layers of primer, three layers of paint, and two days of scrubbing and cleaning away years of grime and dust.


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Living a minimalist lifestyle has always been my chosen path. Each item in the trailer was of personal value. My goal was to create product of form and function working in concert—Pictures, curated salon wall, artwork of friends, antique furniture and accent pieces, the works. The vintage barber chair show is a stellar find from a local man of the neighborhood with an unparalleled skill collecting metal odds and ends selling them to local antique and vintage stores. We’d done business before, and he came to me first, knowing I’d be ecstatic. Um, yes please.


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Hanging on the wall to the left in the photo below is the original hand drawn design plan for the the community garden. These sort of pieces are priceless. My bed shown above is small and an irregular shape. A special foam pad needed to be cut to accommodate the curved front of the trailer.

Those nights ended up being some of the best rests I’ve ever had. In the summer, when it was scorching, I’d sleep with the door wide open, facing palm trees, while Chopper, our sweetest property dog, staked out on the deck keeping me safe. In the winter, it was a different story. I had a small yet effective space heater. Yet my mother sensed the probability of changing weather conditions and mailed an electric blanket well in advance during the early fall…(thanks, Mom).


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Power ran straight from the main house under a shallow ditch using a couple long, orange extension cords. Something tells me this isn’t to code. I’ll apologize later. Moving on!  It was thrifty clearly a project in which we had to be resourceful—not to mention, it worked perfectly. The hanging lanterns shown here proved my primary light sources. When it came to using the internet or talking on the phone I took that business out to the deck any hint of a signal.

The stump pictured below is actually made of real California avocado wood, originating from a mature tree I knew during my time surfing for six months in Ventura, California  before making my post-graduation move to LA to pursue my burgeoning future as a writer and producer in Hollywood. The beautiful tree was tragically cut down, despite much protest from locals. Alas I collected the remnants I could. I created this stump and a live edge coffee table which I added hairpin legs to and use on a daily basis.


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This is the even more fun part.

Months later after the bulk of the work was in good standing, a close friend of mine, a Senior Producer at The Ellen Show, approached me about an upcoming segment of the Ellen Show show called Grand Design. A professional crew would come in, and renovate various spaces across the country in just two days per project for under $1,000.Within a month the job was done and exceeded any and all expectations. See for yourself!


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The revived shiny coat was achieved by using a finish that is used by airliners to maintain their appearance and upkeep. A turquoise stripe added just the right personal touch, matching the style of not only myself but also my eccentric property owner/artist whom generously allowed me to share her land.

The transformation was not only aesthetically transforming but also initiated a re-birth and revitalization in the mindsets and hearts of all that gave energy to this project.

Others seemed to agree!

Look at all the attention it received on social media!


Check out the articles here.

Want to see the episode? Click HERE!


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There were many of these lazy days I will always have a lifetime of gratitude, memories and pride in my work and the team of others that helped me with achieve my vision.


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She wishes she was that belt! (PS she made that belt, and Nyima Ward is wearing it). PSS I live with her.

I live with the BA artist that hand-crafted some of the beaded jewelry featured in this month’s issue of Numero Homme Magazine in Germany, and I’m pretty excited about it. 

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The October 2015 issue of Numero Homme magazine based out of Germany features model, Nyima Ward wearing (my badass roommate’s hand-made, artisanal, Native American, beaded goods) STORMIE ART (represented by Roseark). Photos are by renowned fashion photographer Alexei Hay, and styling is done by non-other than Bill Mullen ( This group of people…I’M TELLIN’ YA!)

model nyima ward in stormie art jewelry for numero homme magazine styled by bill mullen photo by alexei hay oct 2015

You get a sense of not only the kind of work Stormie does, but also the kind of person she is. Old School style meets psychedelic funk as it manifests itself through her tribal inspired, intricate bead-work.

model nyima ward in stormie art jewelry for numero homme magazine styled by bill mullen photo by alexei hay oct 2015

Stormie is a feminist’s feminist. A strong, independent woman who etched her way into the fashion scene long before digital and social media was ever thought of. She has worked with some of the most renowned stylists around the world, while her work has been worn by artists like Madonna, and Mick Jagger (just to name a couple).

model nyima ward in stormie art jewelry for numero homme magazine styled by bill mullen photo by alexei hay oct 2015

Stormie has her finger on the pulse of trending styles, as she has a most unique and creativity-inspiring living situation nestled in the burgeoning neighborhood of Highland Park in Los Angeles (where she’s been kicking ass for the last 20 years with her myriad of animals….including a pet pig, on a big piece of land in a SWEET 100-year-old house). But she never loses her sense of self, and stays true to her true passion and spiritual ties to Native American culture, a community she has been active in most of her life.

model nyima ward in stormie art jewelry for numero homme magazine styled by bill mullen photo by alexei hay oct 2015

Stormie’s work can be found painted around social media via her website, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and soon-to-be-launched blog! (She’s going to step out of her comfort zone and be less private, per my nagging request hehe)

model nyima ward in stormie art jewelry for numero homme magazine styled by bill mullen photo by alexei hay oct 2015

Not too shabby a morning for Stormie, huh!? PS She’s toying with the idea of going with a Nyima Ward inspired themed costume for Halloween (they have the same hair) and I completely support her in this endeavor.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The time has come! The Best of Craigslist LIVE! is having our “12 Days of Craigsmas” Holiday Performance…and it’s TONIGHT!

Do you live in Los Angeles? Do you like laughing? Do you find that you like laughing with people who aren’t annoying, or laughing because of the delirium that has set in after three hours of idling on the 405 during rush hour traffic? Then, boy, do I have something for you…

That’s right! It’s here! The Best of Craigslist Live! is have our holiday performance tonight in the MiMoDa Studio at the Paper or Plastik Cafe. Here are what the official details look like: 

Best of CL Live Official Event Info Screen Shot

And I wish I could give you a taste of what’s to come in the show tonight, but then I would have to label this post as Not Safe For Work, and that would do me no good! 

It’s gong to be a great show with some even better material. The only things better than both of the betters that I have listed is the audience members, which always succeed in making The Best of CL Live! shows as amazing and absurd as they are. 

If you just want to walk in without knowing what to expect (my hat’s off to you), then see you later! For the rest of you that like to do a little research before hand ( no shame, no shame) then here’s a little more about The Best of Craigslist Live! : 

the best of craigslist live cover photo official Facebook cover image john pick

 

Website: http://www.thebestofcraigslistlive.com

AND, the venue itself is pretty stellar. Check out more about the MiMoDa studio here (since you are already delved into research this far).http://www.mimodastudio.com

I also have a lot of information available on my Linkedin Account, so feel free to add me and check it out for yourself!https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreakainumajackson

As posted before, it never falls short of a good time. Just look at this picture! 

the best of craigslist live performance Facebook original image performance art comedy show mimosa theater paper or plastic cafeThose people look bored to you? Nah, I don’t think so! So come one, come all! Experience the beautiful art form that is comedy, live performance, and a display of true human eccentricities and idiosyncrasies. For more information, contact me here or refer to the official Best of Craigslist Live! Facebook page by clicking here : https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Best-of-Craigslist/556564161036696

See you there! And if you aren’t there, then, you’re probably somewhere else. 

Love always,

The Whirling Girlish 

I made a thing! Handcrafted reclaimed avocado wood goodies!

Hello readers!

Just a full little side note of what I have been filling some of my free time with!

When we moved into our house, the yard behind it had the two biggest avocado trees that I have ever seen! The biggest a lot of people have ever seen. It made the biggest fruit. Seriously. It impressed people.

But the developer that owned the lot cut down the trees because he wants to build apartments (so horrible!). People protested, and they had the hardest time finding a company that would agree to cut them down….
But finally they did, and when they showed up, I ran into one of the guys hired for the job. Like everyone else…he was totally bummed! But the bills weren’t going to pay themselves. So I asked him if he could cut the tree in such a way that parts of it would be salvageable for woodworking projects!
They were really excited about that idea, and complied the best they could, trying to cut the slabs flat. After two days, the beautiful trees were gone, and in their places, just two large stumps and big piles of lumber.
So stump by stump, I started gathering pieces that I thought would make beautiful furniture, cutting boards etc. After about two days of rolling and lugging, we had a nice collection of genuine Ventura, California Avocado wood in our backyard!

There was one stump in particular that I knew would make the best side table! But the wood was really wet and still alive. I would have to wait a month at least for it to dry out. But in the meantime, I bought some chisels and hammered the bark off of the pieces I wanted to use! After a couple of weeks, the stump looked something like this…

And with some more chiseling and A LOT of sanding…it started looking like this…
and after it was sanded and smooth, I started added layers of boiled linseed oil to seal it from water and serve as a protective coating!
It is still unfinished (it still needs some coats), but so far this is what the top looks like…

And there was a slab section I knew I wanted to use as a coffee table. My favorite piece. It was cut from one of the main stumps. After a couple of months it warped a bit but I was able to saw it in half, and sand it down so that it was level! It was a lot of sanding. A lot.
But all worth it!
Today I applied the first coat of boiled linseed oil just this afternoon, and so far this is what it looks like…

And here is a side view. Right now it is just resting on another unfinished stump. Eventually I will add metal hairpin legs, and it will be a mid-century modern style avocado coffee table! Here’s a side view…There are definitely some knicks and nooks, but I kind of think it adds some character.

It still needs about a weeks’ worth more of varnish/oil, and then I need to attach the legs…but so far so good!
There are other stumps like the one below that have had no work done yet, and I plan on sectioning them off into cool cutting boards!

Brasilian Artist Lise Forell: WWII Jewish refugee, renowned artist, woman of brilliance, innovation, and courage

by Andrea Jackson

**A re-post of an original piece written by me in October 2013. Lise Forell has been a mentor and mother-figure to my own mom for over 40 years. Her work has been admired by millions around the world, and has a message and story unique to the incredible life journey she has led. I thought it would be a nice taste of the multi-cultural make-up of Brasil during this exciting time while Brasil hosts the FIFA World Cup in Rio de Janeiro. As always, thanks for the love and support, Whirling Girlishers!  **

The story of a remarkable woman’s journey through history and her love affair with art     

In a few weeks, artist Lise Forell will be ninety years old. People from around the world will flock to her home of Sao Paulo Brazil to celebrate her life and to attend her annual holiday bizarre. Audiences stand entranced in the presence of her enormous art collections. Regular attendees meticulously analyze each piece, partaking in a ritualistic decision making process to determine the next addition to their Lise Forell collections. Among the pieces are murals portraits, landscapes, abstracts and more. One room remains unvisited by eager collectors, however. Referred to by Lise as the “forbidden room”, this untouched space houses some of Lise’s most precious works, some displaying graphic and controversial images. Some of these works might not be revealed to the public in her lifetime, because the public might not be ready, says Lise. Her signature style incorporates bold colors, a vast range of cultural situations, and even images of her dreams. It is the display of a broad range of inspiration derived from a culmination of life experiences.

“Lovingly sheltered by Nature, I can, with neither hurtful nor revolting feelings, dive into reminiscence and care for my memories. As much as the bad, as good.” – Lise Forell

Lise Forell Painting

Lise’s epic journey begins in city of Brno, the capital of Moravia. Born to Kaiser Army decorated Jewish Lieutenant Otto Forell and her mother Grete, Lise began her infant life in war torn Europe. A strict and unusual upbringing only cultivated Lise’s rebellion from the ideals of the masses, and her preferences towards humanism, pacific idealism, and awakening.

Her school years also found themselves tangled in conflict. Lise would inevitably find herself soaked in a mix of diverse cultures for the duration of her academic career. It began when the German schools converted to the Check language, and by that time, it had become too difficult for young Jewish children to be accepted into the system. It was typical for the Jewish youth to flee to countries such as Palestine to continue their educations and attempt to live in peace. Unwilling to send Lise away alone, her parents sent her to live in Belgium with her paternal grandparents. Her vast array of language would include German, Yiddish (a combination of Hebrew, Medieval German and Russian) and some Latin, among others.

Despite her young age, of about 15 or 16, Lise attended classes at the Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp. Her family displayed some sporadic hesitancy because of the liberal associations of the art world, however Lise pressed forward.

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Her time as an art student was interrupted around her final year when she was stricken ill with the Scarlet Fever. During this time, Scarlet Fever claimed the lives of thousands across Europe. Fearing for their daughter’s life, her parents were able to ruse their way into Belgium to tend to their ailing daughter. Little did they know, once they left their homeland, they would never return again.

Lise recovered from her fever, only to enter the time of the initial Nazi Invasion of 1939. This was no time for a Jew, let alone a Jewish woman. Her family vowed to stick together, and they packed what little belongings they had into a single car, and headed from the border of Spain and France. During this trek Lise and her family endured air raids, malnourishment and the piercing cold. Upon reaching their destination, they were redirected to Marseilles, finding that Jews were not permitted to cross the border.

Relentlessly, her father ,Otto, sought a way to flee Europe. The cheapest visa for purchase was to Brazil. So, Brazil it was. Although time was of the essence, it would take months for the visa to arrive. Meanwhile, Lise was able to acquire a job through an acquaintance, hand-painting cinema signs. She was a skilled worker, and in charge of painting the faces of the actors and actresses advertised in the movies. Here she endured the ridicule and harshness of her French co-workers. Alas, in the December of 1940, her family’s visa arrived. They boarded the small crowded liner named Alsina only to be held prisoner on the ship for the next seven months. Ship workers claimed the delay was a result of mechanical malfunctions on the ship, but the passengers knew otherwise.

A pit stop on Casablanca, and a brief relationship with an officer, introduced Lise to her acquiring a new method of escape. In time, her father was able to work up enough money to purchase new tickets to Brazil, despite having paid full price for the same tickets months before. This was finally their chance. By September 25 of the following year, her family touched foot in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Rapt in her new culture, Lise quickly learned the native tongue of Portuguese and observed the many layers of society in which she now called “home”. In time, her father gained a position as an accountant at a magazine, and her mother was able to earn work as a caterer. Though their living conditions were far less affluent than in their homeland, they worked hard to achieve success and networking in their new surroundings.

Lise’s passion still remained in art. Her paintings often were sold using the barter system rather than money. It was around this time she used her skills as an artist to give lessons. This would be her profession for the rest of her life.

By the time the Nazi Empire collapsed, and the end of the Second World War left the world in disarray, Lise’s family learned that many of their family had not survived concentration camps and the terror that came with them. Her life after this time would include her husbands and children, unaware of the personal struggles and experiences that have constituted Lise’s life until their existence. Her independent nature caused much of her support to reside in her lifelong friendships and community.

A short-lived marriage with her first husband, Herbert, gifted Lise her son, Gregori. A longer marriage to Leonardo Bevilcqua produced her children, Gessica, Yorick, Diego, Debora, Raffael, and an adopted son, Roberto. After separating from her second husband, Leonardo, Lise and her grown children decided to start fresh, without the presence of their distracted father. This new chapter of life would take them to the bustling city of Sao Paulo, Brazil. A fresh mindset left Lise ready to conquer anything that cam her way, and with the confidence to move forward without a man. It was here that Lise’s art classes boomed, and her artwork began to sell. Often against her will, Lise sold paintings in various exhibitions, quickly attracting attention from collectors and critics from all around.

Eventually, she was given the opportunity to venture to Israel for a show. Unaware of the affect this trip would have on her paintings, Lise agreed. This was just the beginning of several trips she would take to Israel in her lifetime. The impact of her travels to Israel in a post Holocaust world would influence not only her artwork, but even some of her children. Her daughter, Debora, would eventually immigrate to Israel permanently to be closer to her religious roots.

To this day, Lise is recognized globally by renowned organizations, publications, critics and esteemed artists. She still maintains her ever rebellious attitude on life and paints what she pleases, categorizing her works to avoid being labeled any kind of “ist”— A trait perhaps resembling that of an actual first Avant Garde.

Her artwork evokes a sense of youthful play while engaging the audience in a quest for answers. This historical effect of her paintings leaves viewers asking questions about each piece and its origins. Elaborate floral murals capture the essence of each season, while portraits of families just as equally capture struggle, devotion, and love. Such an extensive and inclusive body of work provides aesthetically and emotionally appealing works for almost any human, despite background or beliefs. It is this that makes not only Lise’s work, but her actual self unique. Her open-mindedness and liberal ideals encompass respect and love for all, opening doors not only for her art, but soul.

She continues to draw inspiration from friends, family, students (which often refer to herself as family), and her country retreat. Like a true artist, Lise finds refuge in her country home which she calls SCHALOM, to escape the masses recharge her senses, and re-establish her relationship with nature. She returns from her sporadic retreats, with ample motivations to lay down her paintbrush to canvas and create her next masterpiece. Lise Forell shows no signs of slowing down, with scheduled classes every day, and multiple projects posted on easels around her studio at once. Her plants are always maintained and lively, while her many cats purr by her ankles.

It is powerhouse women such as Lise Forell which exemplify the notion that following your passion in life can defeat almost any obstacle despite the ideas of others. She is an example for young women and all artists alike to work hard and diligently towards a cause, despite outlying factors and naysayers. Not only does each piece of art Lise Forell creates embrace the past, but it also charges forward fearlessly into the future.

More information on Lise Forell can be found in her published book “Contrasts”.

An award winning film has been created by European filmmakers, following the incredible story of Lise. Trailer Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdJzizXxBz8 

In the off chance that you have not visited Google today…

Behold. Take that, Vladimir! Go Olympics! Go civil liberties! 

Google Pride

The fine print says the following: “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” –The Olympic Charter

Behold—the power of self confidence: Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches campaign video series

Do yourself a favor and check out Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches campaign available by clicking the link below! This series of artistically masterful short videos are a powerful depiction of how most women see themselves versus how others see them. The result? A beautiful and moving collection of videos capturing the essence of beauty—self confidence. Each film ends with the final message, and it’s a simple one: “You are more beautiful than you think you are”. Go Dove!

Check out Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches campaign here: http://realbeautysketches.dove.us/

Dove real beauty sketches campaign video series screenshot