Saturday, September 29, 2007

Lesson of the day

I am in Cincinnati, facing my 29th reunion this evening; Class of 1978 from Greenhills High School. Yikes, nothing like a normally confident woman turned into a mass of quivering self consciousness. Thank goodness I am meeting up with several of my girlfriends so we can attend together. We were all the "smart and nerdy" girls during high school. The ones who rarely dated and were chosen last for sports teams. I like to think I have moved beyond those years but of course I still feel so vulnerable inside.

No matter what accomplishments I achieve, I always remember the high school days as awkward. My mom found my yearbook and I flipped through it with new eyes; it wasn't as painful as I feared. The pictures show an involved and active girl, just waiting to bud. Hmmm, perhaps my memories are too harsh?

So, with the armor of new duds and fabulous shoes; with the companionship of old friends; with the internal fortitude that has enable me to survive and thrive, I will simply Be Me tonight. This is a lesson I finally learned.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Who got tagged

Aaaccckk, Shari tagged me.....these things are a little like a chain letter. But I will be a good sport.

You have to post these rules before you give the facts. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had. When you are tagged you need to write your own blogpost containing your own middle name game facts. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and to read your blog.

Yes, my middle name is Beth, just like Shari's. Shari Beth. Mary Beth. Kind of gags you doesn't it? Like twin pole dancers or something. Actually I would love to be able to pole dance, but I digress. Back to my middle name.

My brother, the one with the recent finger surgery (he is doing well by the way, thanks to all who have inquired), was once asked about my middle name. He paused, wrinkled his brow and said, "I don't think she has one." Because I have gone by Mary Beth for so long, I presume he thought it was one word. Of course he also gave me a birthday card for "Sister" that had a nun on it. 'Nuff said about him.

B - Banter. I love nothing more than good banter. Tracy and Hepburn type, rife with underlying meaning, clever in construction. So much of the "courtship" (that's an old time word, isn't it?) with John was filled with banter as we lived 400 miles apart. He used to say, "you give good phone." Banter is made up of words and words play a big role in my art.

E - Energetic. I am kind of like the Energizer bunny in that I just keep going and going and going to the point of annoyance (my poor hubby). I have worked to harness this in a positive way and to learn to rest, meditate, recharge. Seriously, it has been a problem.

T - Twinkle. I love the stars and the moon; they are very personal to me, especially shooting stars. Which is why I have a shooting star tattoo on my right shoulder.

H - Harmony. In every aspect of my life, I seek harmony. Music, art, relationships, spirit. I think it is a higher level than happiness.

Ok Shari, I have forgiven you already. This little exercise took me on an interesting journey of thought.

And I will tag Beth, Denise, Deb Trotter, and Heidi.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I just heard that Wayne Newton is going to be on Dancing with the Stars.
This will be our chance to see if his face really moves.

God love him.....

And, in other news, I credit/curse Heather for introducing me to those insidious peanut butter M+M's. Now y'all know how I'm doing on reunion weight loss efforts.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Managing Manic Mondays

I am freaking because it's a 3 day work week. I hit the road Thursday for Cincinnati. My high school reunion is this weekend, 29 years - our class is celebrating in conjunction with a couple other classes, hence the "off" year. Yikes, how could I possibly have been out of high school nearly 30 years!?!?!? Insane.

Anyway, I have lots and lots to do before I leave including 2 appointments with new commission people and a demo for the St. Louis chapter of the Women's Caucus for Art. My first meeting is in a few minutes, so that is my priority at the moment. Then I need to get organized with the demo, which I have only planned to the extent it is in my head. And I know I want to provide a handout and also a promo brochure for studio classes I will offer this winter.

In between I am working on more abstracts for the upcoming show at Jacoby. And replenishing inventory for Kentuck. Plus developing a low end product for the Kentuck crowd - something I can also market through the holidays and here on the blog (stay tuned).

Not to mention personal stuff like seeing the grand kids; helping Claire find a dress for a wedding; obsessing about how much weight I can lose in the next few days; sketches of our remodeling project; etc, etc, etc.

Yes, manic Mondays indeed.

Friday, September 21, 2007

In all the hullabaloo of my brother's injury, I forgot to post pictures of my abstract show at Third Floor Gallery. My friend Bud Hirsch took this amazing shot the other night. Obviously, it's not a curved wall, but I love this artistic effect!
I am also happy to report brother Chris is doing well and was released from the hospital today. His re-attached finger has been healing better than expected, same with his thumb. He was fitted for a splint (which he will wear for 3 months) and Mom & Dad drove him back to Memphis. I headed home to St. Louis and took only one break (or is that brake) for an antique mall in Burnt Prairie, IL, where I got some cool stuff that will make its new home in collages.
And did you know that, in a pinch, mouthwash will cut through petrified bug debris on the windshield?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In the family way

No, not that way! Geez, I'm too old.

I only have a minute to write because I am sitting in the Hampton Inn computer room. I'm here in Louisville, KY camped just 2 blocks from a world class hand center/Jewish Hospital. I am so sad to say my middle brother suffered a horrible accident with a table saw this past weekend. After no appropriate treatment was located in Memphis (where he lives) he was airlifted to Louisville where he had surgery on a severed middle finger (successful re-attachment) and an extremely damaged thumb. Other fingers were also injured but not so seriously.

At any rate, I found out on Sunday and my gut just flipped upside down. This is one of the worst things about living far away from family. I just wanted to be with him and to be with my Mom and Dad; I knew I had to come. So, my scheduled being flexible and all, I am staying here for a few days to be his "advocate" in medical matters. My parents will replace me on Thurs. and then hopefully drive him back down to Memphis on Friday, assuming he is released then.

He is healing well thus far but it is just way too early to know what kind of functionality he will have. I would appreciate any positive healing thoughts you can offer.

Normal programming will return sometime soon.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Today was a nice day. John and I started by going out for breakfast which was a treat. And I spent time in the studio working on new paintings. I received the go ahead regarding another commission I had quoted so that was nice.
And then late today, Jacoby Arts Center called to advise that my work was accepted for their upcoming abstract show. I sent a CD with about a dozen images 6 weeks ago and have been stalking my mailbox for the last week or so, anxious to hear.
Apparently they are still putting the show together so I don't know how many other artists will be included. I do know they liked my work and requested "more rather than less" since the space is large. Lucky for me that's exactly what I have been working on. That show will open on November 16, stay tuned for details.
But right here and right now, if you happen to be in St. Louis.......I am in a show at Third Floor Gallery and they are participating in the First Friday Gallery Walk tomorrow from 6-10PM. It will be a great night to be out on the town - the weather is divine and there are lots of openings downtown and on Delmar, many associated with Innovations in Textiles 7. You will be able to find me at Art Saint Louis and Third Floor plus possibly RAC and Craft Allliance, depending on how much I can convince our group to jam into one night, tee, hee, hee.
Here are details on the Third Floor Gallery show:
Reality and Soul in Abstract Works

Michael Bolton
Nathan Marshall
Betty Brielmaier
Mary Beth Shaw

Sept 7-Oct 26
Third Floor Gallery on Washington
1214 Washington Avenue (in the Loft District)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Hometown Crowd

My California art pals thought I was a bit nuts when I moved to the Midwest 4 years ago. But I guess its time to admit - St. Louis is my adopted hometown. This is, after all, the second time I have lived here and I think we are in for the duration, mainly due to Beth and her family, but also because this is a pretty easy place to be comfy. And lucky for us, we've made tons of terrific friends plus my art career has soared, a bonus I wouldn't have imagined. Which brings me to the St. Louis Art Fair. I know you'll are waiting for an update.

I have tried to think of one word to summarize this past weekend, but it's just not that easy. You would think a show with monsoon-like rains for a day and a half would have been a bummer. Sure, it did seem perilously like camping at times, huddled in a tent hour after hour in such rainy, humid conditions. And sure, it was uber-frustrating when the police closed the show at 8pm Friday night (rain had stopped, but lightning continued) - leaving an energized crowd art-less and many artists (myself included) feeling like we missed major sales opportunities. And yeah, it was a total bummer not being able to display art on the outside walls of my hee-yuge corner spot (due to direction of the rain) for the vast majority of the show.

But, that all being said, I was quite pleased with the outcome. If you add up sales made at the show plus commissions received during and since, I officially made "career best." And it's not even over as people continue to call me to book more commissions.

I can not say enough about the quality of the show from a volunteer/artist amenity/"class act" standpoint. Oh my goodness, it was lovely, in a way that made me feel spoiled. And you know how MB loves being spoiled, tee, hee, hee.

And the people? For me it's always about the people - supportive friends; collectors who come visit; all the new folks I meet; and fellow artists. This was a particularly sweet crowd, maybe that is the hometown thing at play? Anyway, there are more stories to come, but they will have to wait as my head is still a little discombobulated and I remain tired, exhausted to the bone really....yet energized in a manic sort of way. Cause I can't wait to get back in to the studio. That is, after I do the laundry, find the bottom of my desk, read the mail that has piled get the drift.

Friday, September 07, 2007

St. Louis Art Fair

Ok, this is it.......after months of preparation and sleepless nights, the show finally opens today at 5PM. It is currently pouring down rain here and I have been up since 4:30AM for a live TV appearance, so I am tired before I start, ha! My perfect hubby is going to set up the tent for me so I can nap a bit in order to be my usual perky self. I will hang the art this afternoon. I'm no weather person, but the clouds are moving fast and the rain will be gone shortly. We can only hope.

Anyway, come see me! I'm in booth #211, on the east side of Meremac near Maryland. Here's a link to the show for more information.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I am getting ready to hit the bed since I have an early morning TV appearance, (hahahahah, I have always wanted to say that). Anyway, this is the first night I've gotten to bed in the same day I awakened in I don't know how long. I have been painting like an absolute possessed woman. Tonight I finished this 30x40 that has plagued me for I don't even know how long. It was in the shower over the weekend, it's been that frustrating to me.

And just so you can get an idea of how crazed I am, here are a few examples:

- I have not bathed. Ok, I know that's tmi, but it's true.

- I believe I might have worn the same underwear today? I know I wore the same clothes. Lavender baby powder totally rocks because I feel and smell so much nicer after I toss a little of it around.

- And there was a time today when I was wearing one pair of reading glasses on my face and another pair on top of my head.

The upside to all of this - I have a TON of new work done and I am very very pleased about that. Blessings and LOVE to my terrific husband who makes sure that I eat occasionally.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Happy Labor Day!

The boys and me - what a lovely day swimming in our friend's pool and watching the air show. Perhaps I am a little biased, but do I not have the cutest grandchildren ever?!?!?
It's been a terrific weekend. I am playing a little bit and also making art in between. Today I made ugly art but this too shall pass.
Have a great Labor Day all!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Late Summer News & Events from MB's world

(below is a copy of a newsletter that I just sent to folks on my mailing list-thought my blogging buddies might also appreciate seeing this - sorry the events are here in St. Louis, but the commission offer applies if you are interested)

What an exhilarating couple of weeks (or I guess months, geez how time flies) since I last updated. I am apparently living in some alternate universe as good stuff is raining down upon me to the point I am pinching myself. I am honored and pleased to share my news.

Media(good Lord, who’d have thunk it):
First, an article in the Suburban Journal, here is the link if you missed it.

Then a filming for the Emmy award winning Austin PBS program, In Context. Wowza, was this ever cool. You can check out past featured artists (Catherine Lee is amazing!) at this link.
I am hoping that St. Louis will pick up syndication so we can view the show here, if not, keep reading my blog and watching my website as I will have a link once it is available. I can’t say enough about the terrific Producer/Editor/Director, Dutch Rall. What a neat and talented guy, I feel sooooo incredibly lucky he chose me!

And next week I will be on Show Me St. Louis. Set your Tivo for KSDK, channel 5 at 3PM on Friday, September 7th.

Upcoming Shows:
As many of you know, I will be at the St. Louis Art Fair this year, my first time ever; I am still doing the happy dance. I’m working like mad and have lots of new collage paintings that I simply cannot wait to share. So stop by and see me at booth #211 (on Meramec near Maryland). Click the link for specific times.

Simultaneous to the first day of the St. Louis Art Fair, I open in a show at Third Floor Gallery on Washington. Reality and Soul in Abstract Works features me, Michael Bolton, Nathan Marshall and Betty Brielmaier. The opening reception is September 7th from 6-10pm and unfortunately I can’t be there. The second opening is October 5th and I will be at that one. My work in this show is all abstract, done on claybord; they are a real departure from my Common Denominator series. You can see a few of them on my website if you are interested.

You may also wish to mark your calendar for the John Burroughs Unique Boutique on Nov 17-18. This is a lovely and classy holiday event that is open from 10-4 at John Burroughs School, 755 Price Road. Admission is $5 and it is well worth it – I bought a ton of gifts there last year! I will fill my booth with lots of whimsical pieces including special “holiday only” products. Hope to see you there.

I received Best of 2D Mixed Media at the Krasl Art Fair in St. Joseph, MI. I was also delighted to learn that my piece Blurring the Lines (see it at the St. Louis Art Fair) was chosen for the MO 50 competition this year and it was awarded an Honorable Mention, yippee!

And finally, if you have been thinking about a commission, this is your chance…….for the holiday season I am waiving my minimum order for all of my collectors/friendly stalkers/mailing list folks. So if you are receiving this email that means you! And it means I will make you something as small as one 6x6 if you want. But I doubt you’ll be able to stop at just one (tee, hee, hee) cause I give nice discounts on quantity and you will want to give them to all your friends and family. I start filling my calendar on September 10th, so get your ideas and photos together and give me a call or drop me an email to guarantee a spot in my schedule. I would love to work with you to create the perfect piece of art! (small print - catch me soon as I reserve the right to end this offer when John slaps me-not really- and tells me I have scheduled more work than I can possibly make before the holidays, ha!)