Tamara Becerra Valdez
In july i harvested burdock root and stinging nettles for the first time with two friends / fellow resident artists at ACRE. The smell of burdock (or gobo) after a harvest is heavenly.
02 Object (old)
I've reacquainted myself with a collection of old porcelain roses that belonged to my great-grandmother. There is little of what is left of hers since her passing. Each flower is handpainted and attached with a wire stem. They were handmade in mexico in the early 1920s. My grandmother and I wrapped each flower in plastic bags for temporary safe keeping.
03 Object (new)
One of my closest friends gave me a Minolta film camera that had belonged to his parents for many years. I called him to say goodbye before heading out on a trip since I couldn't make it back to the city for a personal farewell. I was trying to find a way to return the camera to him but he insisted that i should keep it. I think I began to tear up while I was sitting in my truck talking to him. at that time, I had been feeling very displaced and nearing my emotional / mental threshold. after, I drove to my grandfather’s house and took his portrait with the Minolta.
I was so surprised to find an old case of mixtapes that I had made when I was a teenager. I don't have a tape player anymore so I haven't had a chance to listen. The titles on a few of the tapes are puzzling: OOOLDDD / SUAVECITO / MAY 12 1995
The encounters I had with the residents and staff at ACRE [artist's residency] were valuable, revealing and powerful. The dynamic of the group still rebounds in my mind.
06 Night Out
Recently, Ii had some of the best nights with a friend in Nashville, Tennessee. his name is Pickle and he can two-step, crack jokes, and keep a crowd happy all night long. I was reminded how important it is to not stop laughing and living, despite how horrible the times might feel.
07 Day Out
I spent a day walking in my old neighborhood and making a map of some “landmarks” in the area. I have a small map of locations noted by concrete writings, street corners, yard art, and family homes from my house to my great-grandmothers former restaurant. We were less than half a mile from each other.
08 Time Alone
I took a solo drive from Texas to Wisconsin. The drive was quiet, fun, surprising, frightening, exciting, fulfilling, and tiresome — but all worthwhile. Time alone on the road releases and cracks you in ways that force you to be self aware and conscious. I'm still sorting through the cracks.
09 Time With A Friend
I spent time with a friend helping her prepare mesquite beans to use as a flour substitute in a cookie recipe. We prepared the beans from beginning til end for an entire afternoon. While she took a break and played the piano, her boyfriend told me how they had met and fell for each other. The cookies were delicious!
010 Movie / TV / Book
My computer is lifted on two large books: the history of art and prehistoric life.
On the desk:
Roadside Geology of Texas
Book of Roses
This accurately depicts my wide ranging thoughts right now. Although, the reading list on my computer is a whole other story.
011 Creative Act
I tend to draw a single stem rose when I'm passing around ideas in my head or trying to find a solution. It's a quick gesture for me. Recently, I found a drawing of a single stem rose on a brick under the Selena memorial statue in Corpus Christi, Texas. I added this photo of the drawing to a growing collection of images and scans of found single stem roses. The project will be archived online with images and text for each rose. If you are interested in contributing to the collection, please send me an email (email@example.com).