Thursday, December 30, 2010

Anima*tion Imagination

As some of you may already know, I took my very first *Animation* class this semester. It was entirely hand-drawn, extremely time-consuming and just SO MUCH FUN! :) Above is a lil' video I put together of a bunch of my first exercises and camera tests, and at the bottom of this post is a link to the final 1-minute film I created. Every frame is an individual drawing or layering of drawings. To bring it to life, we shot our drawings frame-by-frame with an Oxberry 16mm camera at 24 frames per second. Our final film was supposed to be 1 minute in length, roughly 12 drawings per second, not including backgrounds and other layers. Like I said, very time consuming, but ultimately very rewarding!

When I was animating the final piece, I had a rough idea of what I wanted the story to be and what kind of things would *come to life* but I discovered that as I animated, wonderful new ideas would pop into my head and I'd end up drawing something that I never had imagined. I told this to my professor, Mr. Fred Burns, which is when he told me that he believes animation is a lot like dreaming. The very act of animating activates a certain part of your imagination that usual lies dormant . . . like dreaming during a deep sleep . . . . I suppose that's how it is with most acts of creation, but this reminder was a beautiful thought.

It's funny because I never thought I'd get into film-making and moving images, but here I am! Who knows where this will take me... ?

Me & the Oxberry~*
November 11, 2010: My date with the Oxberry to shoot my final film took exactly 6 hours .. whew! *

night & day // day & night
Cleaned-up scan of my animation slate that appears at the beginning of every exercise. Real-life version + Inverted version ;)

Watch the final film embedded below or watch it fullscreen here:


Thursday, December 9, 2010


This is a piece of artwork that absolutely must be shared. I can't describe the way I feel right now, beyond the fact that I feel as though it touched a place deep down inside my very being and took my breath away. Beauty sinking into my eyes, and nothing in this moment would make me happier than to share it with your eyes! (*Hello, beautiful people out there!*) Watch full*screen to let it really sink in.

I am beyond inspired.
* * *

*Thank you for sharing, Ezra!*

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A friend of the flowers~

. .. . . . float*~ .. . .

Today a flower
Came into my universe
White like the night

* * *

(11/21/2010 : Today adds up to 8!)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day of Birth*~

Thank you everyone for making my birthday such a beautiful day. I am a thankful being !

* * *

(read about the image!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Love the Earth Film!

I know it's been FOREVER since my last post. I bet if I were to map out my blog posting record, it'd make a star pattern : clusters of highly active periods and lots of black space in between. . . . . . ^_^ BUT NEVER MIND, I HAVE EXCITING NEWS!!!

I never shared this with very many people, but about a month ago I was notified that some footage I submitted in August had been short-listed for a music/film project that Imogen Heap has been working on called
Love the Earth.

Here's an excerpt from Imogen's letter to the world back when she was asking for footage:
Hello you!
I’m so excited about what I’m writing to you about, I can hardly type!
As some of you know already, I’m doing a big gig at the Royal Albert Hall this November 5th. When I was a kid I dreamed of premiering my first orchestral score there and this year I am going to make it happen.
The ‘opening act’ will be yours truly, conducting a piece I’ll have written with a dream team orchestra of friends and fans (will tell you about that later), accompanying a nature film projected on a screen, which hopefully you are going to inspire and bring to life!
The footage will all come from you and we will piece it all together into a magical film.
I want the audience to walk out during the interval literally bursting with a fresh love and empathy for our planet. The plan is then for our film to tour the globe virtually and physically. In cinemas and homes, on laptops and phones, for everyone to enjoy.

The Royal Albert Hall event will be streamed so everyone gets to see the film and hear the live orchestral score at the same time on the 5th November (THIS FRIDAY!).
This is the project that I have become a part of... how cool is that?!?!?

If you haven't already done so, watch the video up there (^^^) to get a feel for the grand scale of her ideas and *biiig* heart. To read more a
bout it, go to!

And in case you're interested, here's the clip that was selected (fullscreen view is the best) *** photographs of Snow like Stars in the Night. . . . . . . .

I am beyond excited!* :)
And I'm gonna try to blog more often again...!

Friday, August 13, 2010


I've been writing haiku lately . . . it quiets my mind & helps me organize my millions of thoughts/ideas/rambles/freedoms/squishes(~!*!) into concise "poems" . . . clear little droplets of water . . . Don't get me wrong - sometimes it's awesome to be all over the place and bring on the wild gestures and roaring waterfall (I should know..!), but sometimes it's nice to sit quietly on the river bank & dip a single toe in.

* * *

lighting tiny fires
we crouch inside our mind
rememb'ring everything

* * *


she leaned with the wind
heart beating, hands outstretched, and
tried to catch the moon

a silent breath

* * *


Monday, August 9, 2010

Suki Meets Frank

So, although I am no longer in Italy (*tiny tears*), I have decided to keep writing about things that happened there and things that continue to happen . . . Here is the first. I call it by a simple title...

Suki Meets Frank : Another Italian Love Story ^.^
Suki Meets Frank!!!
It was love at first sight. Her beauty struck him by surprise...Perhaps because it was his first time meeting another plant... or because these were his very first shy leaves... or maybe she really is just that stunning of a plant... Time froze and so did he.

Let's rewind a bit, shall we?
frank in blue
This is Frank. Frank is a nice basil plant, basilico to be exact. He was a gift to Emmy Shea,
fellow artist/photographer that I got to know by living with her this past month. The first thing she said when she introduced me to Frank (who was at the time nameless) was "What am I going to do with it??? THIS PLANT IS GONNA DIE." I couldn't help but laugh, given my new-found love for plants and keeping them alive, and calmly responded. "No, this plant is not going to die. We are going to name it and care for it and it will even grow new leaves." (Frank had only 4 or 5 leaves at the time...a real baby!). I told her to think about it and let me know what she decided to name it.

"I named the plant FRANK!"

This made me happy. This plant will live after all! ** If you say something is going to most likely will happen. Give a plant negative energy or ignore it completely, and it's bound to die. I think that's common sense. :)
Naturally at this point, I became a parent too and decided I be the father.
(Sidenote: Technically, shouldn't his name be Francesco? I guess you can tell his parents are American.)

the lovely suki + infinity loop!!
This is Suki. She lives at Le Tre Stanze in Florence, Italy currently... I bought her when I was studying abroad in the Fall. She's kind and delicate, yet strong and self-determined. I know because she made it through a long winter without a single flower or sign of green... Yet when I gave the news that I was coming back this summer, Spring was beginning and Suki poked another green finger out. And now look at her again!!! Bravissima fiorellina!!

As it turns out, Emmy and I only had a short time to spend with Frank and once the month was almost over, she contemplated burning him to spare him the pain of abandonment. I literally came home one day to find Emmy sitting on the couch, staring at him solemnly.

"Good thing you just came home; I was about to set Frank on fire!!"

Disaster! (Emmy loves this word ^.^) I suggested that instead of bringing his life to an abrupt end, he should join Suki living at Patrick's B&B. On the girls' last night in Florence (I also had 3 other lovely housemates), Patrick and I cooked a sumptuous dinner (read: so much pasta!) and we ate in the funny little parlor by candlelight. Emmy brought Frank and we introduced him to Suki. The way his pot was set down made us laugh because he was actually leaning away from her! I turned him toward her for the picture, but put him further away from her for the night so he wouldn't feel too uncomfortable. . . Plants need their space too!
an elegant evening :)
the initial meeting...only a tiny bit awkward
family portrait*
Happy Italian/American/Chinese/Swedish/Peruvian/German/Japanese/Chinese Family Portrait...phew!

The next day, I turned his pot and he didn't put up a fight. In fact, it looks to me that they are either falling in love if not already in love!!
she was so curious about him..!!
So there it is. This story ends with Harmony & of course...AMORE !


Phew! Glad I got this all is out of my system...! If you liked it, leave a comment! And as always, there are more photos on my flickr!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Grow Till Tall"

I've been looking for a way to incorporate music & song into my creative endeavors, so this is my first go! (Seeing Jónsi LIVE TOMORROW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !! !)

A simple performance of one of my favorite songs "Grow Till Tall" by Jónsi ***

Because music has the power to connect us with each other and with the whole universe . . . I hope this video will be a small demonstration of that power!!

Filmed by Patrick John Steiner :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"covered in stars"

** with a little help from the green leaves

I've been pretty consistently painting myself with stars and walking around the streets "covered in stars." I don't think most people notice, but sometimes people give funny looks or ask "COSA?" The most interesting part is when I interact with people I know. Sometimes people say that it's absolutely BEAUTIFUL, and that makes me smile and feel like on some level, they just understand, because this isn't the most common reaction. It usually takes a few moments and suddenly I get the "WAIT WHAT?? Is something wrong with your skin?" And I smile all the same because I know the part where I get to explain is coming up & I love explaining what I'm doing. Each time, I could say something different, because there are hours and hours of conversation attached to the ideas that are swirling in my head. The grand theme being that I just start out tracing over freckles & moles! And already, we have these beautiful patterns that look JUST LIKE STARS !!! To me, I can't ignore this. Is it pure chance that we are freckled in the same way as the night sky? Or is there something there...something greater...some obvious thing which has been hidden beneath our noses............. the way I see it, we are all so connected to each other and nature and this thing we call the universe . . . and our true selves, what we just are as individual human beings is beautiful beyond measure !!! . . .


& I mean that!!! This includes EVERYONE. Not a single soul excluded. Think about that one, for me, please ............... :)

I think that if I flood you with my ideas and thoughts all at once, it might be overwhelming **** so! slowly slowly, pole pole, piano piano . . !

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jónsi !!!

Life can be so magical ... !!*
Let me tell you a story.
For the past 4 months, I've been obsessed with Jónsi. He's the lead singer of Sigur Rós, an Icelandic band that I absolutely ADORE. Possibly my favorite band of all time, if I had to choose. What I loved about Sigur Rós is that I could never understand the actual words (I've heard that half of it is a make-believe language anyway) but I felt like I could . . . I've always felt like I could FEEL it, like it was a language more eloquent than any *real* ones with concrete sentence structure and complex vocabulary. Recently, Jónsi released a solo album called "Go" *** it's a little more upbeat and incorporates actual English. At first, I wasn't so sure I would like it at all, but eventually I got hooked. I've listened to this album at least 40 times & one of the special things is that I've played it almost every single time I've painted anybody. It's like a sudden flood of positive energy, which I embrace so much!!!
In any case, the news is that I am going to see Jónsi LIVE!!!!!!! I found out he was coming to play two shows in Italy, one in Rome & one in Ferrara. I was in shock. I had to get tickets... I had to see him! Walked to the box office with Patrick and within 60 seconds, they were in my hands. It was that easy. . . Now this might not seem like a HUGE deal, but for me, at this moment in my life, loving music, having been singing Jónsi in my head and out loud at any given hour, feeling these waves of positive energy through just's just going to be so magical live and I am excited beyond belief. . . . Wouldn't that be amazing if he let me paint stars onto him? ? ? (*Giggles*)

This is one of my favorite songs by him. (I'm not allowed to embed it here, but please click the link to listen!!) It's called "GO DO" and it is alive with sounds and colors and bird noises and eeeee! It is so contagious!!! And now I have a new reason to love him, because I can understand some of the words and for the most part, I embrace them whole-heartedly... one of my favorites being :


And it's true. ANYTHING. We can do anything !!!!!!!!!!!! Put your mind to it, summon up positive energy, find the means to do it . . . it's not as hard as it seems. There are a million things we could be thinking about, half of them negative and depressing and upsetting. . . . it's all about what you choose to put your mind to. :)

* * *

In other news, I found this little guy on a shelf in my apartment here.
A little piece of home!! Abandoned... "orphaned!" I immediately put him next to my bed, so he could have a little attention and some love. Coincidentally, I just read that my friend Esther Jeohn (whom I spent last summer in Tanzania with!) has a new cactus friend too!! Mine has no name (yet?), right now he's just a pleasant little addition to my bedside table * making my room an even more happy place to live! :)
cactus orphan!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

because i'm from the U.S.A.

I know this is a little late in bein' posted, but I just wanted to show you the (DELICIOUS) brownies I made from scratch(!) for the 4th of July, celebrated at my new apartment. It's kind of a family tradition ** My mom makes 'em every year, but with cool whip instead of icing... mine were good but hers are better... just kind of a fun thing to do as an "ex-pat" ... ^.^

Sunday, July 4, 2010


suki, i missed you!!!
Remember her?!?!?!? Patrick kept her for safe for me at his B&B (Le Tre Stanze!) and she stayed alive!!! She was fading pretty quickly by the time I left in December... Her flowers were all dying and things didn't look too good. I told him that if she didn't survive, she should be taken to the sea and released into the ocean. (So maybe that's a tiny bit dramatic, but it is what I said! ^.^) But I had faith in her & she survived !!! Look at all her new little buds * * she is very much alive & I was SO happy to see her !!

Suki is Alive!!!

Believe it or not, I have never really been a "plant" person. Suki is the first one I bought for myself... And now I proudly "own" three (you can't really own any piece of the earth!) ** Suki in Italy, "Ishima" (a miniature rose plant), and "Rafiki Tzatziki" (A BONSAI MAPLE TREE!) ... I LOVE MINIATURE THINGGGGGS.

*alive & wigglin'

Do you know that I found out that Suki means "I LIKE" in Japanese.... What a perfect name :)
Sono contenta!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

morning light ** la luce della mattina :)

One of my favorite things about traveling and having lots o' jetlag. I love the waking up early part where the morning light is saying "hey! let me in!" ... or maybe it's just whisperin'. Those moments where you still feel asleep, like reality mingles with dreaming and soft slumber . . . like something magical is happening . . . like anything could happen.
luce della mattina * è magica, no?
There are so many beautiful shots of the morning light (la luce della mattina*) ~ I couldn't choose so if you like 'em, there are more on flickr.

All is well so far. The city is as beautiful and alive as ever... It's amazing being able to return to a foreign city and feel so well acquainted. I walked through the open air market yesterday and one of the old men remembered me and shouted out "Ciao!" ... I think I was beaming... it was just a nice experience. Eccolo! My favorite window is still here!!
my favorite window in all of italy!!!
*grow till tall, lil' plant!

Italy really is a magical place. . . I think these photos are pure evidence!! I didn't even have to do anything .. just look, breathe, capture.

A prestissimo,

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ritornerò in Italiaaaa !!

As some of you may or may not know, I am returning to Italy !!! Thanks to an extremely generous Benenson Art Award, I will be studying Advanced Darkroom Photography for 4 weeks and then going on to explore other countries as well. I guess you could call me a "globetrotter" at this point * * I love being on the move & look for almost any opportunity I can to explore!

So, in just a little more than 24 hours, I will be back to wandering alleyways and artist shops , photographing every beauty that makes my heart skip a beat , and seeing faces that I adore !!!

Oh, and of course I'll be looking at the stars often, for continued inspiration :)


Thursday, June 17, 2010

we are all made of stardust !! cosmic unveiling . . . ! * *

** * ~ We are all made of stardust ~ * * **
A project filled with lots of cosmic matter and twinklings of eyes **

We are like the sun.

I still don't consider this anywhere near, like our universe, will be constantly expanding, changing, growing, breathing, loving, . . . this is only the beginning of something HUGE.

I'd love for this project to meet as many eyes as possible. . . To share beauty & spark ideas like wildfire !
So please, if you like it,
share it with others to see !

** GO EXPLORE !! **

and as always,
** ENJOY ! **

* ** * * * i am made of stars & so  are you.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

simple words & memories

Do you ever look back at things you've done in the past? A half-finished drawing, a sketch of words across a page, a miniature backpack made out of felt, a wrinkled photograph... sight sparks our memory, but the memories themselves are foggy because it's almost too easy. An image will do most of the work for you, because it's just there in front of you eyes. Smell is a different animal. It's like finding an old hatbox, gently blowing off the dust and opening it . .. . an invisible trail rises up through your nostrils and suddenly you're transported somewhere else, months or years ago, ... for a moment you feel exactly like you did 10, 20, 30 years ago ... you hear the music, laughter, dance, *spark*spark*spark -- then it's gone. Smell is a time machine. Crisp and clear, memories so distilled that it can be alarming.

I like the subtlety that old words bring about. Soft pulses . . . quiet heartbeats rather than loud and vivid sparks. Sometimes my memory isn't in the mood to remember the obvious, huge gestures...the milestone events. Sometimes it's the tiniest most insignificant thing that makes me really stop and smile. Go someplace quiet in myself , sit , and remember .
little leaves
Warm green tea on the first day of spring ~~

unlight tumbling through the window .

. The moment when you see a smile before it happens,
that tiny lifting of a corner and deepening of the eyes...

A hummingbird - stopped for an ounce of a second - right before your eyes

. . What seemed like an eternity . . .

. . .


i found the following poem i wrote 2 years ago & immediately, little corners started lifting up
somewhere deep inside me ... somewhere deep inside me, something smiled.

* * *

July 1, 2008 ~ *

"one & all"

i once knew a man with a song in his heart
his words would shake the trees and twinkles lived in the shadows of his azure eyes

i once knew a girl with a heart like the sea
she wore the moon in her hair and the wind would wrap itself around her shoulders

he was beautiful.
she was beautiful.

they were one & all at the same time.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Purkinje Cells, Brains, & ...TREES !

I still can't help thinking about the millions of connections between the human body and nature...Our brains and our veins especially. . . Maybe it's because I stopped taking "science" classes a long time ago, but all I see when I flip through an Atlas of the Human Body is TREES and RIVERS everywhere. And occasionally if I love what I see tremendously, I reproduce it in my sketchbook, like this little foot * !


These are Purkinje cells : one of the coolest discoveries of my semester. Every single one of us has these inside our heads... ! They are some of the largest cells in the brain and they are many in number AND THEY LOOK EXACTLY LIKE LITTLE TREES!! So essentially we have a forest, all of us, inside our heads. A forest with millions (billions?trillions?) of connections, just sitting there talking to each other !

Sometimes I wonder if people who are studying science start taking for granted the beauty of veins and brain cells and lymph vessels... but that's silly of me, isn't it? Art and science shouldn't be separated !! The artist and the scientist are one and the same. :)

one last thought:
If our brains cells are like trees... then maybe trees are also like brain cells. The brain cells of the earth perhaps? What goes on between the branches of neighboring trees? I've always loved the idea that the trees could communicate with each other and that if you listened carefully, you just might be able to understand them. . . * **

I feel happy when I think about the trees in this way.


Brains & Veins

P.S. That first image of the rivers came from this AWESOME website:
Check it out & be amazed !

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

this will make your jaw drop *

I honestly don't know what to say, but that my jaw literally dropped from the beauty captured within this video. There are so many beautiful people out there showing us how much there is to love about life & I thank them! I am thankful for POSITIVE INFLUENCES, good vibrations, ENERGY, waves . . . I AM THANKFUL FOR THE STARS!!!

Enjoy this . . . The beauty has literally flooded my soul, and I hope it does the same for you.

Watch in HD on Vimeo...even more powerful!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


mizu * underwater

I showed a friend some of my *we are all made of stardust*
beings yesterday and he remarked on the similarity between the hair and solar flares. One thing led to another and by some coincidence of the universe, we discovered that the Astronomy Picture of the Day yesterday was exactly that… !!!

"In recent months, our Sun is becoming increasingly active, following a few years of an unusually dormant solar minimum. Over the next few years our Sun is expected to reach solar maximum and exhibit a dramatic increase in sunspots and all types of solar explosions."

(from APOD 5/10/10)

Look at how connected we are to everything !! ! ! ! ! ! !


* * *

Saturday, May 8, 2010

for your eyes, your beautiful eyes

These photographs I've taken are visions from my world. They are for your eyes, because those precious eyes of yours deserve to be flooded with beauty and color and light! * * *

where the sidewalk doesn't end / "oh hi, little guy!"
rainbow light

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Blink* a short film by Marissa Katarina Bergmann on Vimeo.

* * *

Blink* (La Neve) began as an irregularly paced series of photographs of falling snow that evolved into a contemplation of the stars. The snow in its simplicity contains a pure and powerful beauty. This video is magic because here, the snow looks incredibly similar to a star-splattered sky. I hope it mesmerizes the eyes and touches the heart.

The quote at the beginning is Italian, and it means:

" and they loved one another suspended on a thread of snow "

To watch in HD (which is really the best way to view it) follow this link to watch it on Vimeo:

I hope you enjoy it.

* * *

Monday, April 12, 2010

Star-like *

Did you know that the earth makes a light pattern like stars? … *!*
(Click to see this image at it's full size & be fully rewarded !!) * * * ** *

* * *

I have a little treasure I'd like to share with you all:

It's called the Astronomy Picture of the Day. Every day there's a new cosmic/astronomical photo and small description and every day it's BEAUTIFUL !!
Depending on when you see this, you might see a different image! There are also archives to browse through...loads of beautiful information at our fingertips!

Enjoy the beauty that is part of this world we belong to. This world we are part of. This world that we are.

(Photos thanks to APOD. !)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

We are all made of stardust **

She sleeps.
This is my new art. I've come to think of the body as a canvas... the most precious and beautiful of all canvases because it is ALIVE ! I love the impermanence of spontaneous body art. . . its fleeting nature as a work of art. . . which is why - as much as I enjoy drawing on my body - I have never seriously considered a tattoo for myself. The body is a beautiful canvas in that it is constantly changing, constantly growing new cells as others are shed, healing, moving, beating, pumping... it is ALIVE !!


As of last fall and this semester, I have been increasingly fascinated with star patterns. I grew up seeing these patterns in my hometown sky where the amount of human light pollution is minimal, where I could sit on my driveway and stare at a dark canvas full of white dust/snow/faraway fireflies/stars . . . Stars are everywhere!!

I create the beings I am about to show you by first painting directly onto the human body, photographing, and manipulating via computer.
I begin each body by painting stars on top of a person's freckles and then adding to the spaces between. . . I like to think that I'm merely exposing what's already there.

The face represents the peace & serenity that comes with being of one mind with the universe~
The shoulders represent the unity of body with the universe~
The image of a being looking out across space represents the spirit & an active experience with the universe~


Whoever separated "man" and "nature" must have been half-asleep. We are so connected to the earth, the trees, the water, the sky, the stars...! We have the same veins that carry blood to every part of our body, just like trees do. We need water and room to grow, space to breathe. Our bodies are made up of almost the exact same percentage of water as Earth itself. Our eyes are perfect spheres, like small scale models of stars. . . .


The more I think about it, the more I am confident that the world really is just one big organism. I am just a small scale model of a larger whole.


( we are all made of stardust ** )