Saturday, April 29, 2006

Fredrix Creative Edge canvasses have been my canvas of choice for many years. I just love the clean side and neat back. Yeah, I realize it doesn't matter what the back of the canvas looks like yet it gives me some perverse pleasure. I order these things in bulk and my heart palpitates when the boxes arrive on my doorstep. What can I say, I am a dork for art supplies.

Lately though I have had a problem with the 12x12 size. It seems like many of the canvasses have a little indentation, a dimple of sorts in the each corner. It is almost as if the stretcher bars are beveled or something and the front of the canvas appears slightly concave near the edge.

Needless to say, this bugs the shit out of me. First it was just every so often I would find one like this but the problem has definitely worsened to the point it is unacceptable. Since I needed to place a huge canvas order, I was very concerned about what type of quality would be furnished.

So I called my ever-faithful art supply source, Dick Blick the other day. Didn't talk to Dick (is there even a Dick!?!?) but spoke with another helpful customer service person who assured me there have been no widespread concerns about these canvasses. In other words, I am the only complainer. Of course. She did urge me to carefully inspect any shipment and then call them back if I found inferior products.

My shipment of 2 dozen 12x12's arrived on Thursday. I finally got around to unpacking them yesterday and started my inspection of the canvasses. It is something I can do with my eyes closed as I can feel instantly whether there is a defect.

Out of 24 canvasses, there were 2, yes, 2(!) that met my standards.


First I got concerned maybe I was being too picky and asked John to look at them. He agreed they were not right. Not horrible, but still not right.

Called Dick Blick again and spoke to another very helpful customer service rep, a guy who is also a painter. He totally understood my issues. And after a lengthy discussion he found a substitute canvas for me and put in an order for 2 dozen to be sent right out. He also said he would send me pre-paid return labels to ship the others back. Thank goodness for that.

But I am concerned about the integrity of Fredrix canvasses now. Honestly it seems to be a bigger issue with the 12x12 for some reason. I have a number of 20x20's and 30x4o's that are absolutely fine. The 6x6's are by another manufacturer and they are perfect. I do not want to stretch my own as this just adds another step to the process and I don't really have the luxury of time on my side. Hopefully the new ones will be fine but I wish Fredrix would get the problem fixed. I think I will contact them myself with my concerns.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry

John and I are NPR junkies, especially when we are in the car. We really enjoy the show, The Splendid Table with Lynn Rossetto Kasper. I also subscribe to her newsletter which frequently offers excellent recipes. Here's a link if you want to check it out and subscribe.

It's a pretty sweet deal for me because I get the email, decide whether or not the dish sounds good and then forward to John. And he cooks it up. Ok, sometimes I venture into the kitchen, but not this time. John did the cooking last night (he is Wok King of our household) and it was absolutely yummy. Wonderful blend of flavor; I love lemon especially at this time of year. Although calories aren't indicated, I would have to think this is pretty reasonable.

So, here's the recipe as shared by Lynne in her newsletter:

Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry
Recipe from
The One-Dish Chicken Cookbook by Mary Ellen Evans. Published in 2006 by Broadway Books, a division of Random House, Inc. © 2006 by Mary Ellen Evans.
Makes 4 servings

Lemon chicken most often appears as pieces of chicken battered, deep-fried and topped with a thick, lemony sauce. While tasty, it's tricky for the home cook to get just right, plus the dish is laden with calories.

By stir-frying strips of chicken and adding asparagus, then adding the lemon sauce toward the end of cooking, this recipe becomes a true one-pot—or one-wok—dish.

1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon plus 2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger, plus 2 teaspoons minced ginger
1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons canola oil
Three 6- to 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut in 1/4-inch strips
1/2 pound thin asparagus spears, trimmed and cut in 2-inch lengths
2 large carrots, peeled and cut in 2 x 1/4-inch strips
1 small red onion, halved lengthwise and cut in 1/4-inch slices

1. Stir the lemon juice and honey together in a small bowl to dissolve the honey; stir in the lemon zest. Mash the 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic with the salt using the back of the tines of a fork to form a paste; stir the paste into the lemon mixture along with the grated ginger. Stir the chicken broth and cornstarch together in a separate small bowl.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil in a wok over high heat; swirl to coat the sides. Add 1 teaspoon of the remaining garlic and 1 teaspoon of the minced ginger to the wok and stir quickly. Add the chicken; stir-fry until the chicken is no longer pink in the center when cut with a knife, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove.
3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil to the wok; swirl to coat the sides. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon garlic and the remaining 1 teaspoon minced ginger; stir quickly. Add the asparagus, carrots, and onion; stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the lemon mixture and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring often, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Add the reserved chicken. Stir the cornstarch mixture to blend; pour into the wok. Bring to a boil; boil until thickened and clear, about 1 minute.

Serve with rice to soak up the lemon sauce.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

More tales from the road

Yes Virginia, there really is an outlet store for tobacco products. I saw it with my own eyes in Paducah, Kentucky. Too bad I don’t smoke.

Not really.

And Burger King (don’t ask what we were even doing in a Burger King, my tummy later reminded me of why I don't normally eat there) has this new special item on their menu…….Chicken fries. Like fries don’t have enough fat grams, they are now breading them before frying. A la Chicken Fried Steak, which doesn’t involve chicken, neither do these fries.

We also stopped at Hancock’s of Paducah. Anyone who is a quilter knows this is kind of like Fabric Central or Mecca for quilting. I have always wanted to go there. Not that I quilt. Heck, I barely even operate my sewing machine for the most minor tasks. But I like fabric and sometimes use little pieces in my collages.

We were making excellent time on the return trip so I asked John if we could stop and he indulged me. I should have known something was going on when we pulled in and the parking lot was absolutely filled with cars. There was a huge sign on the front of the store that said NO Men’s restrooms inside store… were advised to use the Porta-Johns in the parking lot. To which my John rolled his eyes.

Anyway I ventured in to find throngs of women as if a tour bus had dropped them off. I soon found out that Hancock’s was having some kind of once in a lifetime event where they open their back warehouse to sell end bolt pieces for only $4.98 a yard. My first clue was the signage about where to form the line, the # of people admitted at a time due to Fire code, etc. Apparently the American Quilt Society show was due to open (in Paducah) and quilters from all over the country were in town a day early just for this sale, that's how big it is.

To say I was out of my league would be a serious
understatement. I mean folks simply grabbing fabric left and right, stacking their carts high with more fabric than you could imagine.

I can’t convey the huge selection offered between the store itself and the warehouse. It was overwhelming. Pile after pile after pile of these small end pieces. So little time. It would have taken forever to go through everything thoroughly. And I did want to get home and see my kitties. I quickly perused several aisles and was able to score some very kitschy prints. I have no idea what I am going to do with them. Perhaps collage parts from one or two.

But I reallyreallyreally would love to have a blouse out of this one. I am hopeful I can perhaps sew up something cute.

Best name tag I've ever been given.

I am going to wear mine in the studio so I can remember who I am; I had it clipped to my purse all day yesterday, looked like a dork standing in the food line at Burger King but I didn't care.

I love the font they used for my name. Anyone know what this is called?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The show is over, we've torn down, had dinner and are back here at the hotel. I can hear John in bed snoring already but I am a little wired. We will head home tomorrow morning, thank goodness. I miss my kitties.

This was a good show. I sold 30 pieces total. No big ones this time, but lots of mid-range. I need to get my fanny in gear once we are home to be ready for Brookside. We also have to figure out the repro gig because I believe Brookside allows repros and I want to be ready for that.

Once again I met some amazing artists. That is one of the very best things about this art show business, the camaraderie of the artists. We never fail to meet people we really like. The vast majority of the people are so nice, just the best people you would ever meet. For instance, this morning, I was craving some Starbucks coffee. There was none anywhere if you can believe, it's not like St. Louis where there's a Starbuck's every time you turn around. So I glanced across the aisle and saw my neighbor (who I hadn't even met) had some. I walked over to ask him where he got it and he GAVE me a cup. Said he bought a bunch of extra large cups for whoever might want it. I mean how sweet is that!??! Not to mention he had a cup of half and half too.

And Chattanooga. Really a nice town. They are trying to be an artsy town, maybe like Asheville or Gatlinburg? I don't know for sure but several folks mentioned it to me. Apparently they are offering incentives to artists who relocate here. Like if you commit to staying for 4 years they will give you $15,000 to get set up, a forgivable mortgage of sorts. Cool deal. We are obviously locked in to St. Louis since our family is there but I could see doing this if you didn't have attachments. It is a great town in a marvelous natural setting. Mountains. River. Warehouse lofts. Lots of potential here.

Last night we went out to dinner and saw a bunch of high school kids dressed for a formal event. The girls were all in shades of Fuschia, Aqua, Red and Yellow. It was the strangest thing, as if someone had some master plan regarding the colors of the dresses. They were all even the same fabric. We saw perhaps 20 girls total, enough to get an overview. Since we dined at the same restaurant, of course I had to ask one of the girls what was up with the colors. And she said there was no plan. It just turned out that way. I couldn't believe it. At home, we always see kids dressed for formals and most of the girls are wearing black. We didn't see one girl in black, just this amazing array of Spring color. Must be a southern thing, huh?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I am exhausted. Unfortunately I woke up with a nasty headache (again!) this morning. I am getting tired (literally) of this and don't know what to do. It was 5 am. Needless to say I would rather have been sleeping but I suppose it was good I got up because it took me several hours to be medicated sufficiently to handle the show. And yeah, I was a little loopy all day today.

The show is going incredibly well though. I love Chattanooga; the people are marvelously supportive of the artists. It is very refreshing. I am also selling a lot of work which is good.

These are some booth shots. I did a little bit different display this time. I think I like it. Of course now I have a totally different idea that I will consider for next time.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Well, we made it to Chattanooga in record time. Got a very late start this morning due to my pesky headache; kind of a migraine/sinus combo. It took some extra time for me to be human. The drive, once we got going, was uneventful which is always good.

This is the Rest Stop bird, last stop in Illinois before you hit Kentucky. We were eating our lunch in a little shelter area (since it was raining)and I looked up and there she was. Very sweet, definitely the high point of my day.

Other things from the road:

In Metropolis, IL you can see the world's largest Superman statue should you so desire.

And Joe Bob's Flower Shop on Highway 24 in whoknowswhere, KY.

Chattanooga is cute and kind of quaint. It is set among hills/mountains/water (Lookout Mountain which I visited as a kid is here). The town has a small arts district which seemed nice and I am hoping I can check it out later. We are staying downtown near the festival. The show is in a Pavilion which means we have a roof over all the tents creating a little outdoor mall of sorts. Very good idea in the Spring when it could rain at any moment.

Out hotel is an extended stay spot filled with mainly artists based on the number of cargo vans. We got a terrific "artist" rate so we have a bedroom, living area and full kitchen. Huge bathroom. Since I knew we would have the kitchen I brought a cooler with Kefir (which I drink in the mornings) and Super Cee that I bought for John because it has like 5000% vitamin C. And nuts of course, but I always have them with me, raw unsalted ones, cashews and almonds. Basically I am happy as a little clam.

We will set up in the morning then have a break before the Preview party starts at 5pm. Very civilized.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Beauty Queens

This is one of the collages I delivered yesterday to my client, a doctor, who bought 3 6x6's.
Turns out he is a plastic surgeon which may come in handy should I go nuts and decide I want my eyes done or something.

Anyway, this particular piece pretty much exemplifies my odd sense of humor. I think it is hysterically funny to the point I almost didn't want to sell it. I was pleased the Dr. got it. And yeah, I realize not everyone does, like my husband for instance, frequently doesn't get my work.

So when I made the delivery his receptionist was checking out the art and she actually read the caption aloud, enunciating each word carefully. She then looked at me with a serious yet puzzled expression and said, "I'm sorry, but I don't get this....."

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

If I had known you were going to sleep with me I would have bathed

Sounds like one of my collage captions but I actually just said this to my husband.

He has been in the guest room again due to being sick. I am so happy he is feeling better. Which means he is back in our bed tonight. But wouldn't you know it, the day I completely forget to bathe. I got so caught up in a million different things it somehow escaped me. I honestly intended to work out this afternoon and shower afterwards but before I knew it the day had slipped away.

Here's what I did:
Early hair appt
Dropped off some art at a client's office
Quick trip into Whole Foods to pick up some Bee Pollen, Propolis & Royal Jelly which I am convinced is going to cure John and me of all that ails us (it did give me some energy today like I needed any more, ha!).
Lunch while in the car (don't ask)
Filled up with gas, can you say $2.89!!!! (see what my life has come to, me fueling up the car and I even mowed the grass the other day-I can't wait for John to be fully recovered so I can resume my Princess life).
Inventoried all work for 4 Bridges show
Sorted and re-packed show materials, put stickers on shopping bags
Scanned all the new 6x6's
Packed the collages
Completed the 30x40 that I have been working on off and on for the last few weeks (WOO HOO!!!!!!)
Successfully cleaned paint off my light gray Nubuck Merrill's
Got all the paint out from under my nails
Varnished 2 other pieces
Dinner with John-leftover Chicken Pot Pie(homemade that I fixed)
Caught up on some Tivo
Isolation coat on 30x40

I am too wiped out to bathe. Maybe some perfume will help.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Just lucky to be here

The Show season officially begins for me this weekend. I have a rather ambitious schedule to say the least and I still haven't even heard from the Fall shows. It is insane. Nuts. Crazy. Too much. Out of hand.

I find it exhilarating. Sure it's a lot. As I used to tell my employees when I was an insurance manager, "that's why they call it work." Nice boss, huh? Seriously, I feel so lucky to have been accepted into these shows. This is the best job I have ever had and I am pleased for the opportunities.

The problem with the Art Show market (from my observation) is a flooding of artists combined with fewer sales. At least this is what I am told. Every artist I encounter who has been doing this for years tells me this........"oh, you should have been here in the ol' days....." Implication being that people were spewing forth money toward art purchases. Today fewer people are buying art (so"they" say) plus a lot more artists are doing the shows. The competition for entry is fierce. Costs are higher. And since sales are lower, artists are entering more shows simply trying to keep pace and make enough money to live on. I know a lot of artists struggling this year with show rejections and I feel blessed. Truly I do.

April 21-23
4 Bridges Arts Festival
Chattanooga, TN

May 5, 6, 7
Brookside Art Annual
Prairie Village, KS

May 12, 13, 14
Art Fair at Laumeier
St. Louis, MO

May 20
Marion Arts Festival
Marion, IA

June 2, 3, 4
Cincinnati, OH

June 10, 11
12th Annual Central West End Art Fair and Taste
St. Louis, MO

June 17
Art in the Park
Faust Park, Chesterfield, MO

June 23,24,25
Des Moines Arts Festival
Des Moines, IA

July 22,23
Geneva Fine Arts Fair
Geneva, IL

July 8,9
Art Fair on the Square
Madison, WI

Aug 4,5,6
Metris Uptown Art Fair
Minneapolis, MN

Aug 26,27
Midwest Salute to the Arts
Fairview Heights, IL

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Whew, Venus Envy is over. It was wild, risque, over the top at times but mainly just fun. And despite my whining about the late hours, that I'm too old and not hip enough, I will probably apply again next year. I was happy to sell a decent amount of work, nine pieces to be exact. Only thing left to do is teardown which I believe is on Monday maybe? And then I deliver the pieces.

Oddly, an artist friend of mine (not in the show) could not believe I was going to deliver. She said, "you're the artist, tell them where they can pick it up." Well, you know what, that's not how I operate. These people bought the art at a show where it needed to hang till the end. It's not like it's a gallery where they can return to pick it up. So I do think it's my responsibility to arrange delivery and try to accommodate my customers. That's how I operate my business.

Now for some details and high points about the show. If you consider yourself prudish, or on the conservative side, or (God Forbid) if my Mom is reading, STOP RIGHT NOW.

1. Best dressed - this is a tie between 3 people......the blond guy (?) from Friday night wearing very snug black satin lingerie boy shorts with a matching bustier, red thigh highs and 10" platform shoes. Accessorized with a top hat and cut away jacket........or perhaps it was the very fit and athletic woman with hot pink spiked hair wearing all leather, a lace up vest and short skirt, fishnet hose, biker boots........or no, perhaps it was the heavily pierced guy with a shaved head who was wearing an authentic kilt (and no, I didn't peek) with his biker t-shirt glammed up with outrageous glitzy jewelry including a diamond encrusted spider brooch.

2. Best art - well, that would have to be Rhonda or Stephanie Kirkland. Too bad neither of them have websites and too bad dummy me didn't pull out my camera. They both sold some pieces too so we were three happy girls.

3. Best food , had to be Preview party night, sushi was a nice touch. The martinis were top notch too. I so want one of those martini dispensing frozen sculptures for my house.

4. Best entertainment - without question, the pole dancers. They were on our stage tonite, the final act. Two women, hard bodies, no fake parts. I was absolutely spellbound by their strength, their beauty and certainly their humor. Their first routine was a nun/schoolgirl act which was hilarious and yeah, sure it was sacrilegious, but still a riot. I mean when have you seen a nun pole dancing? I found their entire show amazing. And oh do I want a pole now(my birthday is coming up) as I am suddenly ready to exercise again.

Thanks so much to my friends who came.......John, Darryl, Jane, Heidi, Claire. I hope you all enjoyed the show and had a good time. It can be raucous but I trust none of you were too shocked. It's all good fun in the spirit of supporting diverse personal expression. And sorry some of you missed it, primarily my John, Bud, Marian. I wish you would all get over this illness you seem to be passing around. And don't give it to me, ok?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Venus Envy Preview Party

Well, here we are (me and Rhonda) at the party last night. I am wearing the same outfit I wore to Artfeast as it is comfy and I was feeling way too bloated to wear anything snug. Rhonda was casual as always (I don't think she even owns a dress) but some of the artists were really dolled up and gorgeous. It was 92 degrees outside yesterday or at least that's what the car said as I drove to the show. In April.

Rhonda's art is clay. People usually think it is wood. I love the earthy textures and color. John and I bought a piece from her last year which is in our foyer.

This is about half of my wall. The other half is another row of the 6x6's and then a grouping of 12x12's. I sold 3 pieces last night. Met some great folks, had a lot of fun and snagged some MAC lipstick from a leftover gift bag which made my evening.

There were twin ice sculptures of Ketel One bottles, with this luge type thing frozen into the center. You put your martini glass at the bottom and they poured into the top so you could watch your drink as it slalomed (yes, I know that's not a word) its way down to your glass. Very fun, a totally sophisticated beer bong.

There is also a performance piece.....I suppose that is what its called.......a woman who stands in this mirrored area, slightly concealed by curtained walls. She is totally naked and sleek, completely shaved with a pierced labia as her only ornamentation. "Nekkid" we were saying, like blushing little school girls. She is a beautiful large woman, comfortable in her skin (that is a phrase on one of my collages) and stands completely still as people walk around her. She won't talk but her eyes follow your movement. I wasn't watching her all night as she is in another room, but I assume she stood there the entire time and I honestly don't know how she did it. I could not have stood naked before a group of people for 1 minute let alone an entire evening. I feel like I need to learn something from this; if only I could glean a fraction of her strong sense of self and confidence in her body. This might take awhile though, yeesh, I'm 45 and still saying "nekkid."

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Time for me to put my overalls away

Each year I've been accepted to Venus Envy (this is my 3rd) I find myself in a momentary(all right, more than momentary) panic before the show. Not about my art mind you, but about what to wear.

There are 3 nights, the first which is a Preview Party, so that's a dressy one. The other two nights are a mixed bag and I have seen anything and everything in the extremely diverse crowd. I do love to costume up(that is what it feels like since I don't dress like this every day) and finding the perfect combination of funky, artsy, maybe a little sexy yet still comfortable and oh yes, it has to make me look skinny when I really have a few stray pounds.....well, it's a lot of work.

So shopping I have been. Trying to put together some inexpensive hip looking options using items on hand plus maybe a few new thing. And I require decent shoes that will give me some height yet are cushy enough so that I can also stand in them for several hours. Not an easy task.

I have collected a bunch of pieces and now it's time for me to work on the ensembles. Then let the voting begin as I model each contender. I am sure John will have ample opportunity to use his trademarked phrase, "that one doesn't make you look as thin as you really are."

Monday, April 10, 2006

At long last.......the big commission.....6 foot x 4 foot.

Delivered and hung yesterday. The client was delighted, thank goodness. Six generations of family are documented in this painting. As I look back on the experience, I believe I have rendered myself speechless.

Word of the day

From Merriam-Webster online Dictionary

Main Entry: ir·re·gard·less

Pronunciation: "ir-i-'gärd-l&s
Function: adverb
Etymology: probably blend of irrespective and regardless
Usage: Irregardless originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that "there is no such word." There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead.

Wow, I learned something new. I didn't think it was a real word.
Still makes me cringe.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Of mice and men

What a day - Venus Envy install.

I think I might have mentioned my sketches, John's calculations, how prepared we usually are for this stuff. People make fun of us we are so prepared.

Just fugettaboutit already. Best laid plans.

Flashback to this morning: we had the truck loaded. Not knowing the specifics of the lighting, we had light poles, clip lights, plug in halogens and strips, chains and extension cords for all of these. A ladder. Toolbox. Flat tire. Wait, that wasn't on the list.

John couldn't get the spare loose from under the truck so we headed off to the tire place to see if they would put our spare on for us then keep the damaged tire and hopefully fix it while we were hanging the show. It was ten minutes before noon when we entered the tire place. We were due to start hanging at noon. Did I mention we live in the "burbs." Translation NOWHERE NEAR downtown which is where the show is taking place. I called Rhonda, my buddy and best art partner, who I was supposed to be meeting. Told her what was going on. She was already there (naturally) and ready to start. Ugh.

We finally arrived about 1:30 just as Rhonda was finishing up. This show is typically held in an semi-abandoned or at least "un-used" space, this year it's a downtown MALL that is slated for redevelopment into condos. The stores are mainly out of business so we are hanging art in a variety of locations including storefronts and other settings. We had no idea what to expect; some of the spots we saw the other day were rough. There are 50 artists total. And somehow, Rhonda and I were among a select group given the honor of hanging in an actual gallery setting. An art gallery. Like with real lights that worked. Oh my gosh did that eliminate a lot of problems.

Or not. My proposal was based on 10 linear feet of wall. The space I was given was 16 linear feet. Which meant I had to juggle every single piece (19 of them!) to better fill the space so it didn't look stupid. Actually a good thing since John and I were both so mentally derailed by the flat tire that we had walked out of the house without our diagram and precious measurements!

So, as with many things, it all turned out exactly the way it was supposed to be. I quickly made a new plan. John quickly did some math and figured it out. We hung the work. Or rather he hung the work and I hung out. And it looks terrific. There are some touch ups needed, probably a little leveling before the Preview party on Thursday night plus I have not been furnished with my labels yet. Photos will be forthcoming because, yeah, you guessed it - I forgot my camera.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Eyeball Inventory

I prepped a new batch of canvasses the other day. By "prepped" I mean I prepared backgrounds, selected papers, did layouts, glued, glued, glued. I have this compulsion to completely cover the canvas with paper. Which I did. Once they are dry I sand all of them then gesso bits here and there - usually with a white gesso, but sometimes with Daniel Smith Venetian Red.

I knew what I needed because my "eyeball inventory" told me so:


Before 4 Bridges.

This is a new system for me. At my request, John made a display gallery in the room off my studio. It is a complete visual of what I hang in my booth (plus replenish stock). So, at a glance I can tell whether or not I have enough inventory. If all the nails are occupied I have enough work for 2 back to back shows. If not, I need to count up my nails and see how much I need of each size. Easy and brainless. It also allows me to see color schemes, compositions and other details of my completed pieces such as whether they hang together as a group. I have found this incredibly useful and look at it several times a day.

When I am staging a show (like Venus Envy, which hangs tomorrow) I use a floor layout. First I see how much linear wall space I am allotted. The I put a tape measure on the floor, extended to the length of my allotted space. I lay paintings on the floor to see what will fit. Then sketch it out. If I have more than one wall, like that bookstore show I did in December, I will photograph the site, measure the linear space, then sketch it out. My lovely assistant (and Rock of Gibraltar) John will then use my sketch to determine the "real" measurements required to hang it all 60" on center. Thank goodness I don't actually have to do that math.

It's eyeball all the way for me.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I haven't talked about my big commission lately. It is done and waiting for my traveling client to return home - standing patiently in the dining room it is. I will deliver on Tuesday after which time I will share some photos. It simply doesn't seem appropriate to put up photos when the client hasn't seen it yet.

Part of my agreement was to furnish high quality reproductions which is why I took the piece over to my photographer. He photographed it and is now making the repros. Yesterday I went over to preview and hopefully approve the quality and color.

Like me, Greg has his studio in the basement of his house. It is a mixed-use space with his camera equipment, framing stuff, kid's toys, computer parts and workout machines all co-mingling. He is totally out of table space and improvises like I do. We walked to the "bed" display surface and I saw the repro. It was gorgeous, very crisp in appearance with highly saturated color. In a word, amazing.

As we were admiring the print I sensed movement out of the corner of my eye. Greg and I both responded a second too late as his exuberant puppy ran into the room and leaped onto the bed. She landed in the middle of the print. We both stood silent, paralyzed with shock. Incredibly, the dog only dented the side, but it is still ruined.

Luckily it can be re-printed. Which has been done and they are now ready for pick up. Whew.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Wear it like you mean it

Another 6x6.
This vintage wall paper is to die for, possibly literally as it sort of explodes into dust particles at the slightest touch.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Studio Music

Nothing inspires me as much as music. I am often asked what I am listening to(other than the voices in my head, ha!).

In the studio I prefer no recognizable lyrics and an ambient yet lively mood. I think you call it chill/dance/trance. I find it in different categories depending on where I am shopping. These are my top 3 all time favorite Make Art CDs. Actually more than three since two of these are multi-disc sets.

Enigma - Love Sensuality Devotion

Buddha Bar V

Ibiza Euphoria

This music has a rhythm that gets in my soul. It also makes me
M-O-V-E which is good. I am an active painter anyway, often flinging paint, always standing, never sitting (suffice to say I don't use an easel). Sometimes I have to take a dance break I get so excited. I just love this stuff.

Monday, April 03, 2006

With success inevitably comes failure or disappointment. Or so I tell myself.
I have been rejected from another show. Oh yeah, I know it sounds better to say "not accepted." I even looked at the dictionary to see if I could play a semantics game and come up with something better.
Throw back. Rebuff, repel, repulse. Spew out.
The Thesaurus wasn't much better:
2 something separated from a group or lot for not being as good as the others. CULL.
Oh, that makes me feel better.......
It was the Foundry Painting show. I sooooo wanted to get in this show. The juror was Victor Wang, who I don't know but I saw a show of his paintings last year. I nearly fell on my knees in awe of his lush and passionate work.
So I put together my favorite group of abstracts. My most passionate and heartfelt work; work I practically bled on. But, know........"not selected." I am not sure what I think about this. I am being accepted by some of the best and most prestigious fine art fairs in the country. I've been recognized in many positive ways. Yet I long for more. I don't think I am greedy, perhaps ambitious is a better word.
b : having a desire to achieve a particular goal : ASPIRING.
Yeah, that must be it.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

It's all over but the varnish

Actually the varnish is done too but I want it to dry down a bit more. So, Venus Envy is hereby complete. Which is good since I have to deliver tomorrow at 6:30 pm. I got a fair number of new works done and also will show some older peices. Overall I am very happy with the presentation.

The pics I have posted through last week have been 6x6's.

This is one of the 20x20's. The title of this piece (and caption):

Polly wants more than a cracker

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Compliments of my friend Karyl, I share this link about Earthshine. This is when the Earth's light is reflected by the moon, so along with the tiny sliver of crescent moon you can also see the rest of the darkened moon at the same time.

It's going on right now and is incredibly beautiful. One of the wonderful things about living where we do (the outer limit of the burbs) is we can see the stars so clearly. I am such a celestial girl anyway, always staring at the moon. And that's what happened last night. We walked out of the fish fry, I looked up, saw the moon and exclaimed as to how stunning it was. Karyl, ever the scientist, had an immediate explanation.

So check it out.