studioNOTES: support for artists/ideas and information

Number 28

February - April 2000

Patricia Tavenner
Photoshop laser print
9 x 12 in.

Patricia Tavenner, Ascending PATRICIA TAVENNER is getting ready to present her work to galleries in Los Angeles and elsewhere, and to apply for a few artists residencies. Towards that end, she is preparing about 50 packets to send out in March. A long-time astrologer, she says that's a "prime time" for her to make contact.

Each packet consists of a black linen-finish folder about 9x12" that opens to reveal two pockets. In the left one she puts a color reproduction of an article from Camcorder & Computer Video that highlights her work, a four-paragraph artist's statement, and a one-page résumé (just the highlights; her full résumé is nine pages). In other pocket she puts slides of recent works, a one-page color reproduction of four paintings done in PhotoShop, a reproduction of an article she wrote for Leonardo about her Artistamps, four 4x6" B&W photos of other PhotoShop pieces, and a 20-page booklet that includes color prints of stills from her video Through a Rose and the transcript of a PBS interview with her. Her goal, she says, is: "To introduce myself and what I do, if they are new people, and, if not, to keep them posted as to what I am up to now. People usually don't know if you don't inform them."

The contents of the packet represent the wide range of her work. Her most recent project is a series of 7x8" abstracted images on paper; she's done about 25 so far. She usually starts one of these by picking a flower from her garden and scanning it into her computer, which, she says "is a marvelous new tool. The colors are wonderful and I just get pulled in." Using PhotoShop, just "plays" with the image, drawing with the mouse and adding colors and transparencies until the image looks right. Then she prints it out on a color laser printer and signs, dates and puts "a/p" (artist's proof) on it.

Recently, she completed a series called The Bird Books, "3-D collages of bird houses with a small book/story attached." One will be shown at the King St. Stephens Museum in Budapest this spring. "I need to do more books of my own work," she says. "With self-publishing on the computer you can make a beautiful book. Sometimes they can function as a catalog, but they function as a book, too." She continues to do artist's stamps, as well, the most current ones by "just grabbing a picture" from one of the videos she has made, printing it out, and then perforating the sheet at The Center for Book Arts in SF.

Tavenner is developing a video installation, too. The foam core maquette shows two large walls meeting at a corner. Each has a projection of the video, and the images would be "as big as possible" so that the viewer, sitting on a bench facing the corner, would be immersed in the video and its sound track of music. Mail art continues to be part of her life, too: she's still receiving stacks of it in response to her long-time participation in the genre (she is also known as "Mail Queen"), but isn't producing any right now. She does plan to get back into it, though, including using the internet to send and receive images.

Patricia Tavenner's work can be seen at such places as Ubu Gallery in New York (212-794-4444) Art Works/Book Works in LA, and Davidson Gallery in Seattle (206-624-6700). It is also in such places as the permanent collections of the SF Museum of Modern Art, Oakland Museum, J. Paul Getty Museum, Museum of Modern Art in NY, and the French Postal Museum, Paris, France, and in Collage Techniques, by G. Brommer (Watson-Guptil. N.Y), it can also be seen on her new web site,

Oakland CA 01.03.2000


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