Wednesday, February 21, 2007

In with the old and new

I realize I haven't written for quite awhile. I've been in the midst of an office remodel/paint project that was just a mess. Things were out of place, hidden under tarps etc.

But now the painting is done and I am officially back in order. Today I even got lucky at Home Goods and found the sweetest little chair I have ever seen. It is oh so comfy and just perfect for me to use when I am not at the computer. I have this vision of me all curled up reading a book.....more likely it will become a cat bed.

The paint turned out great. I am completely digging this color scheme as it makes me so happy. Only 8 different "audition" colors from Lowe's before I found something I liked, ha! I did the wave pattern free hand with a paint roller. I thought I wanted to sketch it out but that felt way too contrived, so I erased all my marks, took a deep breath and started to paint.

This is the first time I have ever decorated a room all by myself just picking exactly the colors I want with no regard for anyone else. John and I are pretty compatible on most decorating matters and we are certainly civilized with our compromises. But this was all about me. I mean who's kidding who, John would never select these colors for his office nor would he pick a distressed and painted old table as a desk.
Which made it so special when he came in with cocktails to toast my "new digs." Next up is his office.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The cool thing about all this snow (we have 4 inches or so) is the marks where people and critters have walked. Yesterday I saw two sets of deer tracks leading right up to our family room window. I wish I would have seen that; two deer, nose to glass, peering into our house.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

And speaking of drawing....

The Living Camera. Click on the link and go watch this video. The guy is amazing.
Thanks Karyl, for giving me the heads up on this. It is absolutely fascinating.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Just draw already

Seems like a lot of my artist friends are exploring drawing right now, either taking classes - Shari just started one and Deb did one last summer - or simply working at home on a daily drawing practice. It is funny, this whole issue of D-R-A-W-I-N-G. Very terrifying to many of us it is.

I remember when I took my first drawing class back in 2001 I think? The night before class I happened to be talking to my nephew Curtis. It was also the night before his school started, either kindergarten or 1st grade, I can't recall. Anyway, I told him I was going back to school the next day too. He asked me why? I told him I was going to learn to draw. And out of the mouths of babes, he replied, "Oh, I already know how to draw, I'm going to learn how to write."
Such a perfect line that I have quoted him often.

I knew how to draw when I was a kid. Lots of evidence of that. I can't remember exactly when I lost my way with drawing. Maybe it was in the 8th grade when I suffered harsh criticism from my witch(or was that bitch) of an art teacher, Ms. Seimer. She bluntly told me I would never make it as an artist. I was quite tender hearted and foolish enough to believe her and for many years just stopped. Somewhere though I found my way again, realizing my tender heart is exactly the reason I do my art.

Once again I am taking a drawing class. The wildly talented Leslie Reuther is my teacher. She is a doll and is helping me refresh some old skills as she also introduces some new ones. I am slowly losing my fear. My eyes are starting to see again. The world of negative space delights me.

Last night in class we played with ink. Black Higgens ink. As much as I love charcoal's forgiving nature, the permanency of the ink thrills me. It is daring, my version of sky diving perhaps. Here is one of my studies made in class. A quick little piece, done right at the end of our time. I'm going to have to call it "floating pepper" since I didn't have time to finish, ha!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Just take that red dot and........

Filling out art show apps is so utterly time consuming. Admittedly, part of my problem is a lack of organization with my slides. Imagine a B-I-G hanging file with 5+ years worth of slides all dumped in a very piggly manner. Some in partial sleeves, some in full sheet sleeves, some just loose. I hope my photographer doesn't read this or he will come over here and smack me with a 2x4. I keep saying I am going to organize it one of these days but "one of these days" never arrives.

The other problem with apps and show entries is inconsistent requirements; nothing is standard in this biz and you have to carefully read the app to figure out what is needed. Hold the slide the way you would view it. Put your name on the top of the front. Full name or last name only or last name followed by first name or maybe last name and first initial. Centered or to the left. Mark an arrow to indicate the top of the slide. Oh no, make that a red dot and put it in the lower left hand corner. Oops, sorry, the dot goes in the upper right this time. Or hold the slide the way it would go in the projector, which is upside down. Then label so your name can be read. Submit an artist statement, no resume. Resume, no artist statement. 20 word statement, 21 word statement, 25 word statement outlining your process only.

You get the drift. Mind numbing details.

This is why Zapplication is so great. You load all your images onto their site, enter your information once and it is stored for your future use. A few click click clicks, the application is pre-filled with your data and presto it is done. Last year I got into nearly all the shows I entered off of Zapp. This year my success rate is zero. Which means I have spent nearly $250 on entry fees but have yet to be accepted into a Zapp show. Hmmm, what is wrong with this picture? Luckily I have a lot of other stuff going on, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating.
And in the misery loves company school, none of my friends are getting in the Zapp shows either. We are all scrambling to identify some alternate shows to enter. Which is what I was doing today of course.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

One of my greatest pleasures as an artist is being able to donate my art to raise money for worthy causes. I hear some of you snorting with disbelief, and I fear that by admitting this the number of solicitations I receive will surely double. But I am serious. It gives me terrific pleasure to pick and choose causes I want to support. I know I donate more through my art than I could ever afford in cash donations.

Right now I have a couple charitable requests on my desk, both local events, one for The American Cancer Society and the other for a group called Therapeutic Horsemanship. I gave a piece to the Cancer Society last year and will give them one this year. My grandfather and John's Mom both died of Cancer and I have seen it (that being the C-word) touch families of probably everyone I know.

Therapeutic Horsemanship is a new group for me in that I have never heard of them. I am intrigued by their mission though: to provide equine assisted therapy programs for individuals with disabilities in order to develop their maximum physical and psychological potential. I mean how cool is that? I love the idea of children and adults having an opportunity to work with horses. I need to see if I have anything that seems appropriate or possibly I will make a special piece.

So what do I get for these donations anyway? One thing I don't get is a reasonable tax write-off. Due to some idiotic law, artists are only allowed to deduct the cost of materials, not the retail value of the piece. But I digress. I do get exposure because the art is generally on display in a silent auction and everyone who attends the event will see my piece. Typically, all donating artists are also named in the program.

But better than any of that is the reward of knowing my art can help others, even in a modest way. And I really really love that part.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Our household

You know you've perhaps been married too long when your Saturday night entertainment consists of giving the kitties catnip and watching them play.

Actually, I am the one known as "the pusher." John is the one in the kitchen cooking lamb shanks for the humans in the house, that being me and him.

Merlyn is the one rolling on the living room floor fully enjoying the catnip to the point he has some on his head and he is clearly in some drug induced state. Izzy is the one pawing the carpet like a cat possessed. And Gilligan is the one trying to act above it all, curmudgeon that he is. I did see him licking the floor though.