Thursday, February 28, 2008

John and I play a little game with our Tivo. It's really easy. Wait till someone on TV is talking and their full face is shown. All you do is randomly pause the Tivo and see who can lock in the funniest expression on the person's face. It is a weird sort of amusement because then we try to imitate the face (yes, I know, we are misbehaving children. But we are living in our basement, so cut us some slack). I dearly love Brian Williams, but he apparently glances down while he's doing the news because we can almost always catch him with his eyes closed, or at least it looks that way. Oprah is another one because she shows a lot of drama on her face. As overly dramatic as I am, I can only imagine the crazed looks people could get if they could Tivo my face. You could also do this during political commercials, but hey, if you've got Tivo, you aren't watching them anyway, huh?

I am heading to Cincinnati today for Dad's surgery. Your good thoughts would be appreciated.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dream Fancies

I haven't been painting much lately unless you count all the work I've done on my kitchen cabinets. It's been insane around here, just full on craziness 24/7. Oh my goodness, I know people warned me about the disruption of a remodel, but I had no clue. Really.

It is all good though, looking beautiful and I am thrilled about that.

But, in the midst, life intervenes as my Dad has been diagnosed with a malignant lesion on one of his kidneys. He is scheduled for surgery later this week so naturally I am heading to Cincinnati to be with him and my Mom. I feel very positive about the situation because the lesion was found quite early, actually an accidental finding of sorts. So it is sort of a weird blessing if they can remove it without any further issues.

My planned Florida trip is up in the air once again. You may recall last year, at this exact time, I was nursing my s-i-l from surgery and had to cancel my trip. The beach beckons and all I want to do is bask in the sun and listen to the waves crash around me.

I know my relaxation time will come one day. I am not complaining.

Life is so full and so good. I feel blessed to have options and to be able to respond when my family needs me.

Monday, February 25, 2008

It's the time of year when I am knee deep in submissions. Yep, Art Fair submissions. Forms and slides and jpgs. I have talked(whined) about this before, the diversity in the applications, how it takes so darn much time to complete them and how it would be cool if there was an easier system that was consistent across the boards.

Of course Zapplication has done just that, at least for the shows that chose to subscribe to their service. It is way easy - Zapp gives each artist a file where they can upload and manage their images. When it's time to enter a show, you just clickclickclick and you are done. As you might guess, entries to Zapp shows are on the rise simply because it is so easy. Consequently, the competition for any show (not to mention the high end shows) is absolutely fierce with hundreds more artists entering any give show. The odds of most the good shows are around 10% or less that you will even get in.

So I was thrilled to learn that I was accepted into the 4 Bridges Arts Festival in Chattanooga. Woo hoo. Two years ago this was my "show of the year" which almost always means I never get in again because the Art Fair Gods have a very strange sense of humor. Imagine my delight when the director called me last week to say that a spot had opened up (I was on the wait list). Yippee!!! My positive mojo must have worked because I booked a hotel months ago in hopes I could go.

Chattanooga is one sweet lil town, offering all sorts of incentives to artists such as inexpensive industrial studio space, no interest loans to fund relocation, etc, etc. They really want to make the town an artist's haven. There are funky coffee shops, good eats, and a fair amount of culture, all set within a lovely mountainous environment. If family ties were not so important to me, I would consider moving there myself. Doing the show is surely the next best thing.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Make my Day

Sweet Deryn tagged me as an artist who makes her day. That was a lovely surprise cause I never get picked for this kind of stuff, geez, blushblush. So, welcome to any new readers who have stopped by because of Deryn's post. I thought it would be fun for me to ID some different blogs that I read. Maybe you know them, maybe not.

First up, Susan Tuttle.....I feel sure many of you already know her as she has been in tons of publications (and is kind of famous), but I just "met" her recently. We are working on a project together(I could tell you but I'd have to kill you) and low and behold we have tons of stuff in common, both coming from a background of music before we turned visual, tee, hee. Anyhoo, her blog is delightful, Ilkas's Attic.

Next up, Dolan Geiman, his blog most likely written by Ali (I am guessing?) because Dolan is such a busy guy I htink he must work 24/7 producing tons of art. They are Art Fair buds of mine, wildly talented and inventive. Here's the link to Daily Dolan Geiman.

Amie King, she's Heather Haymart's cousin, is a doll! She makes funky and faboo jewelry; I am yet to own a piece but hopefully some day soon. Her blog is a reflection of her cute, bubbly personality, you can check out The Daily Fluff here.

Heather Bennett is a graphic designer and mixed media artist. I "met" her when she inquired about one of my workshops. Her blog is a mix of art and family, really sweet. I love her new Miss Hattie series. The blog, H is for Heather can be found here.

And last, but not least, Doña Bumgarner, a friend from my SF days. I saw her last year at Artfest and hopefully she'll be there again this year. She's crazy talented in many different areas, fine art, beading, knitting, photography. Plus she works full time at Apple. I don't know how she does it. And we are twins, ha! Always sort of thinking the same thing at the same time; I will sometimes read her blog and swear that she plucked that language out of my head. You can read Aubergine here.

Hope this post introduces you to someone new. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Charmed days

Yesterday I spent some time with my friend Pat Owoc. She is a fiber artist extraordinaire, I think I have talked about her work before. At any rate, I have never been to her house and was pleased to be able to see her studio - both the "clean" space where she sews and the dirty space where she dyes fabric. Very neat. It is all such a magical world to me as I know very little about fabric other than the fact I like it a lot.

Pat and I are collaborating on a piece for a Woman's Caucus show that will open early in April. We got together to discuss our ideas (neither of us had any, tee, hee) and it was fun just brainstorming together. We ended up with a kick butt idea that I will share later as I want to see how it all develops first.

Pat also shared some techniques with me, such as disperse dyeing using photos (b+w copies). Oh it just totally rocks and I am going to try some tomorrow then she is coming over on Friday to see my studio and we'll work on the piece some more.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I've been roaming (or stumbling) around on this Stumble site that my sometime friend Denise turned me on to......I call her a sometime friend because this is basically like crack and I don't know whether to thank her or not. Tee, hee, so now I share with others.

Anyhoo, click here to see some good lookin' bacon. Seriously. Nancy, this one is for you, I don't even know if you eat bacon, but you'll appreciate the pics for sure.

And this reminds me, it's almost time for Grape Arts, a fantabulous fundraiser for Art Saint Louis. You'll have heard me talk about it before. I donate art. I bid on art. And I eat the carmelized bacon. It's embarrassing how much of it I can eat.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

When I was young I remember thinking it was so weird that people (like my Dad) would wake up at exactly the same time every day. To the point they didn't even require an alarm.
Well, I am one of those people now. I wake up every single day at a couple minutes before 7am. This does not include my 3-4am awakening, but that's another subject.
Sometimes I am lucky enough to fall back to sleep, but most days I simply get up. Even if I have a specific appointment or somewhere to be, I find I don't need to set an alarm. This feels like some strange right of passage into another age zone.

And, in other thrilling news, I got an orbital sander over the weekend. Woo hoo, I have wanted one forever. I used 'painting the kitchen cabinets' as my excuse. And it is fantastic, sands just beautifully with virtually no effort. It has a handle on the side, so I can operate it several different ways, holding it by the handle or putting my hand over the top of it, or both. With it, I can easily replicate that distressed look on our cabinets - that same distressed look that costs a bundle of money at the kitchen stores, yippee!
Who would have thought I'd get so revved up over a power tool?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Remember how I have been on such a "recycle" binge lately? Well, you guessed it, my Valentine's Day cards are all recycled, having lived a previous life as Christmas cards.
I knew there was some reason I had been saving all these cards folks have given us. It was a lot of fun to paint and layer up scraps of paper to make new designs.
I used craft grade paints since they have decent coverage plus leave a nice "dry" chalky finish. I even used old calendar pages for envelopes. This was a lot of fun and I am excited about making some more of them some day.
Sorry for the mediocre scans; I just noticed I actually cropped off part of a couple of the cards but they have obviously already been mailed.

This is my life

We are on Day 3 of the Remodel. I sure don't want my lil ol' blog to turn into Remodel Central but it is kind of monopolizing my life right now. To say the least, geez.

We have temporarily located the cats downstairs in my studio and they are not (I repeat NOT) happy campers. Demolition is loud for one thing and it scares them. Plus we don't allow them to explore each night as there is just too much scary stuff, vents they could fall into, etc. You know how nosy cats are, I think it's driving them crazy not knowing what is going on. Cats hate change. I am also convinced they miss sleeping with us.

One might assume Merlyn would be fearless because he is so large, but that is simply not the case. He is the biggest baby of them all and hides in the most unbelievable spots, usually in some previously invisible corner, somehow wedging his furry body into the tiniest and most secluded spot he can find. He ignores my attempts to offer him a blanket or afghan, instead prefers to sleep among a mass of electrical cords or a folded plastic tarp. Yesterday I had to belly crawl under two tables to find him.
The contractor and his crew are good workers. Respectful, intelligent, very diligent. They assure me they site will be secure enough so we can let the cats out this weekend. Because it is all about the cats. When it's not about me of course.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Our house is a complete wreck. All of the furniture from our family room and kitchen is piled up in the living and dining room. Every single item from the kitchen cabinets and pantries has been boxed up, the art is stored away. Tomorrow AM (bright and early) our remodel will start and 6-8 weeks from now we will hopefully have wood floors along with a newly open floor plan, rehabbed kitchen and relocated powder room.
Like the house, I too am a wreck as I re-think this grandiose scheme of mine. Yikes, I have never done anything like this before and I continue to wonder if we are doing the right thing. I mean what if it doesn't look good once we tear the walls down; what if the floors are the wrong color, what if I mess up distressing our cabinets, what if we hate it all, what if, what if, what if?????Perhaps John will sneak a sedative into my coffee tomorrow so I don't flip out when the contractor and his crew arrive.
That big lump of quilts is actually my piano. Hopefully it is sufficiently protected from damage and dust. The cats have never been up on it before (duh). They are thrilled with the current layout of the living room; it's like one big cat playroom - they can walk up, over, across, under all of our stuff. And you can tell they think they are hot shit sleeping on top of the piano.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Who on earth was the advertising genius with the idea to animate mucus? I mean seriously......Like we're actually going to relate to the idea of our phlegm as chubby green people?!?!?
Enough already.

In more interesting news, click on this link to see a terrific Improv Everywhere gig. It is very very interesting and way way cool. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Free Rice

My wildly talented Art Pub Studios buddy Sarah Fishburn turned me on to a cool site. If you like word games, just click on the Free Rice link to play. For every word you get right, a donation of 20 grains of rice will be made to help end World Hunger. It adds up quickly especially if you are word obsessed like me.
So, give it a try. It's fun and it's a good cause.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

February Background Paper

It is February already which is darn hard to believe because time is absolutely flying.

I posted a new background paper over at Artpub Studios. Just click the link to read my post and download the paper. You will also want to check out the home page to enter our contest. And click around to read the interesting posts and claim freebies from many of our members. There's a lot going on!


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Studio Claybord Class

Last week I held my 1st Studio Claybord class; a group of 4 people, here in my studio. It was a dream come true teaching in my own space where I have all my materials at hand. I know I am one very lucky artist to have adequate square footage for such an endeavor. In fact, space is sooooo incredibly important to me that I limited attendance to 4 people just so each person could have their own 6 foot long table. Mainly because that is the way I would want it (as a student). There is nothing worse than being cramped.
The pictures pretty much tell the story and you can see what terrific pieces these ladies made. I do believe I turned them on to the magic that is Claybord because they had great energy and excitement over the process. Wowza, what wonderful work!

And was Merlyn cute or what???
I am looking forward to my upcoming classes. If you're in the St. Louis area, feel free to contact me about your interests. I am teaching several different process oriented/technique classes in my studio. You will find the information on my web page. I am also willing to travel for teaching gigs. If you have a location and a group of interested people, just let me know and we'll figure out if it's do-able.