photo by: statia grossman

photo by: statia grossman

Saturday, April 25, 2015

friday update de paraíso, 1 & 2

"friday update de paraíso" is a new weekly installment of writing (dreamy, flirty) that reflects upon my week's experiences in the world. i hope you will enjoy reading it. i started last week, and will carry it on!


k *

update #1 (last week) ~ 

got stung by jellyfish yesterday, wrote a new*moon*art*rap inspired by kali uchis, hope to get it together for sharing tomorrow, re-set my brain*heart @ the beach e'rrryday, swam in the warmth today, it was like honey, then a gecko zoomed across my oxum altar, and i thought, "what a nice combo of giggles and vulnerability all week long." #mivida #lesigh

update #2 (yesterday) ~ 

"it's that strange-awesome time when it's finally dark, and you're bathing in it, like a baby fox ~ ok, points of reference: little fires on the hill, big players in the field, an extra glass of vino tinto, sex kittenz under an old moon, bear with me, i swear it comes back around. kali uchis sings, 'we can do it our own way,' and to that a girl resoundingly nods, dives deeply, seeks, cries, clarifies unto the universe, into ears, into windows, into brisas, etc. it was heard, you know, so toss that gemini*jupiter*shit aside. if no one else is there, it is perfect for un momentito, yes, but come again la arena, el sol, the dollar$, and the bathing in it, porfa." 

from, "beachbunny diarie$," copyright ksw always.*

Thursday, April 23, 2015

artist's interview ~ ARHIA KOHLMOOS, round 2!!

this is my second artist's interview with arhia kohlmoos. in an effort to keep creative dialogue going amongst my group of darling sisters, i am doing some "round 2" interviews ~ checkin' in, you feel me? for arhia's professional bio, which is delicious, please click HERE. for my first interview with her, please click HERE

thank you to arhia for over ten years of creative encouragement, sisterhood, and best friendship. you know how very deeply i love you, boo-fawn.

may you enjoy this exchange as much as i do. 

xoxoxoxoooo de costa rica, 

k *

arhia kohlmoos, painter

1. kelly:: arhia, your recent painting, "Lady with a Langur," is your most magnificent work to date. anyway, your audience noticed this too, expressing through facebook comments that you indeed had delivered your most polished painting (skills.) how did it feel to complete this work? arhia:: Thank you for your compliments, dear friend. Indeed, it felt wonderful to complete this piece, although I have to say... there's always a bit of sadness involved in "finishing," too. It was highly gratifying to see the painting come into being in our physical world as it had already existed in my mind. I do believe my skills as a painter (both technically and conceptually) grew throughout the creation of this work, which is doubtless a goal of many artists. So, I was elated to complete the piece, but also rather depressed afterward because I'd lived in that world every day for some months... 

Lady with a Langur

2. kelly:: will you speak with us more about this painting? i am most curious about the zinnias in your hair and your red skin. eeeee, the red skin! anything else you wish to share with us about deeper meaning and symbolisms is also welcomed. i know some artists (myself often) prefer not to be blatant about these sorts of things, so go with this where you will, no expectations. arhia:: There are many things I could say about the imagery of this work. I could write a whole paper on it, for sure! As you mentioned in your question, speaking about art is not an easy feat. However, I do believe the ability to articulate one's ideas is important. In many ways, this painting speaks to the concept of "beauty." I feel that many of us (myself included) often submit to the general societal definition of beauty and are, in a way, trapped by that definition. We forget what we originally perceived as beautiful before we took in our society's opinions. This is inevitable to some extent, but I think it is vital that we also strive to remember our personal definitions. When I was a small child, I was obsessed with the color MAGENTA. I used to color all the most beautiful ladies in my drawings and coloring books with skin of this hue. My sister said, "Arhia, that's not realistic," but I didn't care. Realism was irrelevant to me when pitted against my perception of beauty. So here she is--- this princess I would have painted as a child... if I had possessed the skills. I was also fascinated by beets as a kid; I used to smear them on my hands just to walk around with magenta palms. Beets are very symbolic in nature, being the color they are, and often the size and general shape of a human heart. I like the way my "beautiful lady" seems to grow out of the earth in a root-ed manner, perhaps with a beet for a heart and beet-juice for blood. I like the way her coloring makes her appear almost "skinned," and thus very vulnerable... yet she faces us in a defiant way, sure and calm and still wild. She has risen like that from the beet-forest. The coloring of her skin alludes to the theme of "otherness," while not necessarily commenting on "black vs. white" in a literal way... what race is she? Is she human at all? The zinnias are another nod to one of my particular childhood preferences, as I used to adore this type of flower. Additionally, in the "language of flowers," zinnias symbolize thoughtfulness and friendship; possibly thoughts of a friend in that person's absence. In this case, it is remembering/befriending one's sincere childhood perceptions of beauty. Then there is the structure of the painting, which obviously recalls several pieces by Frida Kahlo. This is intentional, as I want to reference her as a woman of extreme originality and power in her vision of "beauty." There is definitely a current of feminism in "Beautiful Lady," though I think that is a result of other themes rather than an overt theme in itself. Lastly, the beetles... in part they are a bit of humor: beets and beetles, don't you know! But this gorgeous insect comes in many wildly varying shapes and colors, which strengthens the theme of "beauty in originality"... "beauty because I say so." Of course, beetles also carry symbolic significance in many cultures: the Scarab beetle, for instance, meant dawn, rebirth and regeneration to the ancient Egyptians... a powerful fertility symbol. SO, if you've read this far, your attention span is impressive and I won't test it any further!

Fashion Animals, Spring 2014 Collection: Vert Autruche

3. k:: what are you working on now? a:: Right now I am working on several projects, two of which are "for myself." The others are commissions. I have begun the painting of "Portrait of a Woman with a Bird at a Casement," which has existed as a drawing for a year or so but was always intended to have life as a painting as well. I am very excited about this one! At the same time, I am dreaming up a new concept... for which I've been reading books about Hildegard of Bingen, books about the roles of women in the Medieval, and books about witch trials during the 16th and 17th centuries. Also looking at many paintings of the Virgin and Child. 

Self-Portrait as a Beautiful Lady

4. k:: since our last interview, you've completed your graduate coursework in painting. how has this helped you forward in your creative life? has this degree and accompanying (grown, growing) skill-set helped you to make money as an artist? a:: I would say that the most important aspect of graduate school, for me, was the dedicated time it gave me to spend on painting. For three years, I spent seven hours a day painting. I developed a nasty case of tendinitis, but an awesome case of improved skills! I never could have found the space in which to concentrate so fully on my craft without going to grad school. As far as input from teachers... hm. I suppose that is more difficult to define. I don't know, really, how much that helped me. I was pushed almost daily to leave painting and go into things like video and performance art, since my school was heavy in those areas. I stuck to my intentions like a mule, and thus improved my skill, but I didn't have many "gurus" if you know what I mean. As for money, I do believe the degree as well as the added skills have helped me with that. An ever-developing saga, that.

Oikos Haima

5. k:: is making money as an artist a goal of yours? how is it going and how can it be better? a:: I'm sure making money is a goal of mine, as it must be of all artists. I am fortunate in that I don't have to support myself with what I earn from my practice. I suppose it could be better if I pushed myself to learn more about marketing, rather than spending that time making work. I'm not sure whether my choices in this regard are right or wrong; but I do know I'm lucky in being able to choose the studio.  

In the "studio", 11/2014.

6. k:: your society 6 page (HERE) and website (HERE) are so good. how have sales been going through society 6? i think it's such a cool forum. will you tell the folks about it? do you have bestselling items? a:: Thank you! My wonderful husband helped me so much with those "techie" aspects of my artistic presence. Society6 is the best place I've found through which to sell my prints. It's great because the quality is outstanding, and you can set your own prices. You just have to find the "sweet spot" between ripping yourself off... and charging so much that no one can afford your stuff. Society6 is pretty hip, and many folks on there are great at creating stuff that is "in." I use it in a slightly different way, so although I do sell things, I'm definitely not making $2,000/month, as I've heard some people do. I'd say "Lady with a Langur" and "Dear Heart" are my best-selling pieces to date. 

Dear Heart
7. k:: what are your days like, generally speaking? you and your hubby have a cool thing worked out where you are able to be home working on art, food, life, errands, and whatever else as your full-time gig. you digging it? a:: My days are pretty awesome, I can't lie. I love the morning, so I get up at 3am each day. I cook Myer's meals for his work day, and then I wake him up and walk with him to work. Then I usually go to the gym... and when I get home, if it's not a grocery shopping day, I paint for a couple hours before noon. Then I do some email garbage, and hopefully work on commissions in the afternoon, although many days either morning or afternoon are taken up with phone dates, seeing a friend, doing errands, cleaning, accounting, etc. Then I cook dinner and spend some time with Myer when he gets home. Yes, I'm totally digging it. I'm lucky and life is sweet. 

myer and arhia, by: Ivette Salom

8. k:: it's been neat to witness your growth as a mindfulness practitioner. talk to me about the significance of thay in your life. perhaps let the people briefly know who he is, and how he's contributed to your growth in grace and compassion. a:: Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Zen master who is perhaps the most well-known figure in Buddhism after the Dalai Lama. I actually first learned his name from you, Kelly! I began listening to Dharma talks given by him about four years ago, and was struck by the intense yet gentle presence in his voice and words. I would not call myself a Buddhist... I am inspired by aspects of many religions... but Thay has given me a profound "spiritual tool box" with which to understand and navigate my inner emotional life and the world around me. The way he presents things in his talks is... utterly clear, to the point where I cannot fail to understand. Knowing him through his work has changed the way I relate to other people; it has helped me be more compassionate to them and to myself.  

Thay is the cutie in the hat. #boston #arhiawasthere! #thisisherfoto

9. k:: are you so excited for iceland? you and hubby are going this fall. what sorts of things will you do there in honor of your creativity? a:: Yes, I am out of my mind excited to see Iceland. Traveling in general is not easy for me, but the opportunity to see another country has always been among the most creatively stimulating of experiences in my life. Last time I went abroad was 2010, when I was in Amsterdam. I've not had the means to travel again until now, and it gives me such a feeling of freedom! It is extra special because Myer will be with me; the only other time we traveled internationally together was London in 2005. We plan to walk all over Reykjavik, visit museums and cultural sites of every sort, and hopefully take a driving trip around the island to see the natural wonders for which Iceland is famous. I love anticipation!  

10. k:: what are your creative goals for the next 2-3 years? a:: That is a difficult question for me. I suppose my goals on a yearly basis are basically equivalent to my goals on a daily basis: Paint. Paint. Paint.  

11. k:: and for fun, if you and i could share 3 separate (one per year for 3 years) vacations together, where would we meet?!!! you decide!!! a:: Oh my! Let me see! Well, I would love to visit you somewhere tropical... and since you already live in such a locale, let's skip across the world to make it exotic for you too and go to BALI! I've always wanted to see that beautiful place. Next... I think Japan. And thirdly, how about Turkey. I have a strong desire to see Istanbul. I can't wait! 

Portrait of Five Sisters

check out arhia's beautiful website HERE. there you can find links to her social media and society 6 accounts. she also has a wonderful blog HERE.

Deathmask: A Fox Dreams of The Hunt
... with a Félix González-Torres gold-bead curtain

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

up-coming events!!

photo by: arhia kohlmoos
besito, guapos!! 

i just wanted to share a list of up-coming events so as to organize my own mind and provide appropriate updates to my peepz. mark your calendars and gracias as always for supporting mi arte.


k *

* friday, april 24th = come see me at ciao bella costa rica from 7-8:30 p.m. i will be selling the remainder of my "beach babe" jewelry collection, and will be taking your custom orders for anklets, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and waist beads. miranda's store is beautiful, and i am grateful to be featured there. we will serve wine. read more about my future goals for jewelry-making here.

* sunday, april 26th = i will be giving a performance with two special collaborators on the beachfront in coco @ 5:15 p.m. it is recommended that you come on time or a bit early so as to see the full event, which will be ephemeral (short and sweet!!) ... i am pleased to announce my collaborators, miranda abbott and her daughter, aria. you are welcome to bring your friends, cameras, and good vibez. 

* MAY 2015 = my kickstarter campaign will launch!! i'd intended to have it to you all earlier, but got behind w/ re-filming. the good news is that i've had extra time to form and re-form incentives and budget, which are shaping up nicely!! your support in helping youngblood productions and i reach our goal is pretty much the raddest thing you can do, lol, in my book. read more about the campaign here.

* in a period of about 4 months, i intend to officially launch my business, which will include the sale of jewelry, select performance art prints, poetry zines, and wall hangings -- on my etsy page and in various stores here in costa rica, and hopefully, brooklyn. at this time, i will also be working with more vigor on the continued production of performance art all around costa rica; i am drawn to many different locals, which will keep things lively in my heart and for a growing audience. the other piece of this "biz launch" is that i will offer a few classes a month in yoga, meditation, and art to children. until this time, it's "pedal to the metal" insofar as development is concerned. ** i always seek collaboration. be in touch if you wanna play. i am especially interested in connecting with filmmakers and photographers. **

* on-going projects ::

~ new/mind/ritualz is a 56-movement performance art project that i will continue to grow until it is completed. engage here with the first movement.

~ i am working on an "art book" whose working title is babybutterflies. learn more about the project here. read an excerpt here.

~ i am working on a new collection of poetry called "beachbunny diarie$," which will come up for $ale upon its completion.

~ okay ... this one is top secret (giggle) but i'd also really love to make an EP that is professionally produced. the subsequent release of music vidz that double as performance art expressions would be dope. #intheworks #superdreamy #collaborationnation

"uphill invisible swimming," ksw copyright always.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

r. stevie moore, cuz, love.

r. stevie moore has been a neat influence on my experiments w/ making sounds, with recording. i was living in an old farmhouse in maine for a stint, and we began skyping; i was smitten. he encouraged me to record. i began documenting stream of consciousness ramblings that were primarily about my dreams. before all this, i'd seen r. perform a few months earlier in brooklyn. i subsequently dedicated myself to learning about him. i saw him several more times when i returned to brooklyn, which was dope. it has admittedly been awhile since we've connected (r. + k) ... and i miss him. for whatever reasons, i felt like paying homage to him on my blog today.

dude's a rockstar, first of all. he's been coined the godfather of "DIY" and "lo-fi" música. see him on wikipedia: click here

"In addition to having numerous albums released on labels around the world, Moore has self-released over 400 cassette, CD-R and digitally online albums since 1968, as well as dozens of home videos, mostly through the R. Stevie Moore Cassette Club, his home-based label. His eclectic work incorporates a variety of musical styles, both popular and experimental." 

r.'s website ::

a favorite old skool vid of mine :: i like to stay home

and in case you feel like geekin', 
here's an interview :: bomb magazine

here are a few collaborations + picture-proof that we bee. that is all, xo *


for fun,
a track from my maine-days :: here
a track from my brooklyn-days :: here
rsm by ksw @ knitting factory, brooklyn
rsm by ksw @ knitting factory, brooklyn
rsm by ksw @ knitting factory, brooklyn
rsm by ksw @ knitting factory, brooklyn
post-rehearsal w/ r. in bushwick
rehearsal in bushwick
a quick "hello + hug" whilst passing through thee BK

Monday, April 13, 2015

jewelry venture$

dear foxy $trawberrie$ ~

thank u so much for supporting my jewelry-making. my skill-set and audience grows, which is lovely. i am coming into a phase wherein i'd really like to make nicer things. my "beach babe" collection (simple and unique necklaces, earrings, and anklets) will always remain alive ~ it does well and is very affordable, with items ranging between $4-11. **but** making collections that are more artful and sleek is on my radar quite loudly. plz stay tuned.

also :: thank you to my friends and passersby who have purchased goods over the years. thanks also for the challenges you have presented me with in developing your custom requests. i'd like to be more prompt in honoring these requests, but please keep in mind that my business has not yet officially launched ...

i'm working on my biz name, logo, and plan, and in approximately 2-4ish months will have my official launch on etsy and in thee world, like, for real ~ when this happens, i will have enough merchandise to branch out. for now, i have the supplies that i have, and am doing the best that i can in this phase of "starting up."

below are some images that inspire me a lot ~ i've been collecting them on pinterest and am developing my own twist on things so as to remain original. i am lastly really stoked to develop a line of malas that are both for fashion and prayer ~ they're gonna rock ... and so are the gorgeous necklaces i am designing with driftwood. #hinthint

:: fun facts = my favorite supplies/staples =
crystals, swarovski, feathers, glitter, recycled relics
*and* i will also be selling handmade poetry zines and 
performance art prints in the near future ... #beyondjewelz

i still have BLOWOUT price$ available on my current (moving fast!) collection ~ everything must go! learn more here

~ let us remain connected ~


k *

Monday, March 30, 2015

kickstarter statement

kickstarter, in my own words, is a well-known campaign forum used primarily by artists and business-people to move their projects to the next level. the creator of an individual campaign establishes a fundraising goal, and then rallies for a period of time (usually about a month) in high hopes of being supported. 

the interesting thing about kickstarter is that it's an "all or nothing" forum. so, if you do not reach your goal, you are not funded. it gets real, doesn't it? for awhile, i felt nervous about putting myself out there through kickstarter. what if we fall short? …

… there are other forums that allow one to keep any amount raised, even if the ultimate goal is not reached. we chose kickstarter, however, for its legitimacy and "balls to wall" energy, pardon my reference.

kickstarter's social media following is HUGE, which potentially allows us the chance to be seen by many many many sets of eyes. and here's a fun fact in support of kickstarter's legitimacy: some of my very favorite artists have used it to fund their tours, albums, and various collaborations. (r. stevie moore, TLC, cocorosie & friends, and "the what's underneath project," to name a few.)

… i've seen two projects that i recently backed go so far as to receive "stretch funding," which means they made more than they were asking for! so … in summary: great things happen through kickstarter!

finally, from a standpoint of energetics, we're willing to be seen, to put it all out there, to have our ideas heard, to aim high, and to gracefully accept what comes when all is said and done ~ this is the space my head+heart occupy as we move into the launch.

another cool thing to consider is that the "kickstarter model" works w/ incentives. once the campaign launches, you will be able to read what the incentives are for each donation level. you give a donation to the artist, and the artist returns incentives to you. 

and very briefly, our kickstarter campaign has 3 tiers. i organized the campaign in this way, because it covers all my "start-up angles," if you will. i want to get my small business up and running, which is the idea behind the 1st tier. 

having creative-based income from this business venture will allow me to keep moving forward with my other various projects, which requires both time and money. (sidenote: these "other various projects" include an on-going/long-term performance art project, the writing of my first (art) book, and a professionally-produced EP of experimental music.)

the 2nd tier proposes that a dear film-maker friend of mine (and long-time collaborator) come down here to costa rica to create a short film with me. this film would be a part of the on-going performance art project that i referenced in the above paragraph.

and the 3rd tier proposes that we debut the finished film at my first solo art show, wherein performance art stills, video loops of past works, and a new live performance would be given to my community here is costa rica.

... of course, it comes back to "balls to wall," giggle! we're really going for it. why not, you know? it's simply time to move everything to the next level one way or another. keep in mind that each and every share of our kickstarter video, each and every shout*out, each and every donation, large or small, means the freaking world, and truly helps us forward.

lastly, here is a concise statement of intent

our kickstarter funds will be used to fulfill our goals within tiers 1-3. ultimately, i care to emerge as a full-time working artist; a successfully funded campaign will allow me to build upon this goal. i will create and grow my business, pursue my creative work, and give art to my communities, whilst looking to the future :: i envision the manifestation of a home/studio that serves as a hub for creative collaboration and project production; it will also be a site for teaching art and yoga to children. 
thank you for reading. 
xxoox, k * 

* once the campaign video has launched, our budget, list of incentives, and other related documents will be shared. the video itself expands more thoroughly on the project's 3 tiers.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

mi historia de costa rica

in 2001, i came to costa rica for the first time. 
it was kinda nuts and amazing. 
there was lots of fútbol-watching w/ these peepz ...

it would take me 10 years to get back down here! ... my b/f/f from childhood was studying in heredia, and i joined her for x-mas in 2011. we met in guanacaste. 
(also kinda nuts and amazing.)

photo by: harmony

shortly after returning to brooklyn, i fell into a wicked depression. i wanted nothing more than to be in costa rica all the time. within two months of my return to nyc, i sold all my stuff, had an incredible farewell party ... 

and found myself back in guanacaste. i'd stay for 3 months at a time, visit nyc, and then come back down for another stretch of weeks or months ~ it was a bit haphazard at first. it was a very quiet time, though. i was writing a lot, 
keeping to myself ...

this grouping of 3 fotos are by: carlos ramirez

a few highlights from this period included spending some alone-time en el caribe, hostessing jenn on a visit, and just last year, earning my yoga teacher's certification ~ there, i met some lovely ladies who will 
forever be a part of my life.


kelly y sivey, yogini sisters

i was away all of last year working and playing in the states, but every day, costa rica was what i spoke of.

i am very very very blessed to know this home-base (full-time) now.

i received a letter a few days ago from one my dearest friends who is in her 70's. patsy writes, "Of course this is from afar, but I feel like you've grown so much, becoming more comfortable in your own skin as time goes on. You are lucky that at an early age, you questioned the voices in your head and from parents or friends who thought of advice 'best' for you. But you've continued to listen to what you have a passion for, what gives LIFE to your life, and what is a keen awareness for the here and now. ... Mary Oliver, poet, has a line that so fits you, something about staying where you are happy ..." 

and that's just it. in my 20's, i sought a sense of "home." i was kinda obsessed, even, with finding "my place." some folks talk about home being in your heart or in your body, and i get that, but "place" was hugely important to me, and i found it here in costa rica. i am home here. 

i am safe and healed.

... and, i am very happy.  

photo by: statia grossman @ hot springs

statia's recent visit was beyond wonderful.

photo by: statia grossman

bonding, by: statia grossman

... and this beautiful reminder, hand-written by elena brower, is the perfect ending to this article ... and a perfect gesture symbolic of "sweet beginnings" 
here in costa rica ... 

pura vida,



k *