Thursday, June 28, 2007

Stars all around

"Papa, you get a star for no pee in your pull up."

I had to stifle a laugh as 3 year old Ian, with a solemn voice, explained the compensation program to his grandfather.

These kids are a hoot. And they are all ours for the next 3 days as Mom & Dad play in Vegas, which they soooooo deserve. We don't have any big plans as they are easy to entertain. The creek ranks high up there, 1st in popularity and lucky for us since it's nearly right behind our house. Thankfully we have had some rain so there might even be a fair amount of water. Ian also told us he wants a root beer float and Aidan just wants to color. They are both going to daycare tomorrow so John and I can finish up our work week.

Then it's all play all the time. Woo hoo! Nothing like time with children to remind you what's *really* important.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Stories we Weave

(click to enlarge)

This is the painting I finished over the weekend. It is 24x24, on canvas. It was created to enter an upcoming show at Art Saint Louis, White Washed - Shades of White.

Here is what is says on the prospectus: For “White Washed—Shades of White,” Art Saint Louis seeks artworks that explore our culture’s fascination with concealing physical, psychological, social and/or emotional flaws in an age of pseudo-perfectionism; works that demonstrate cover-ups, variations or degrees of white.

I would complain about the convoluted description except I am on the Program Committee and was involved in selection of the topic. I must have zoned out during the discussion, imagine that, ha!

At any rate, here is my piece. It was quite a challenge to paint and create interest with the palette as I have never done this before. There were times when I didn't think it was working. There were also times when I wanted my friend Nancy (who often works in this palette) to simply finish it for me. But the size wigged her out as she's a small format kind of gal.

Anyway, in the final analysis, it was invigorating and y'all know how I love a challenge. I am pretty happy with how it turned out, especially all the embedded meaning, symbolism, etc. that is probably not going to be apparent even from the enlarged view. News stories mainly - Iraq, Scooter Libby, Paris Hilton and others. You can interpret for yourself. And let me know what you think of my first venture into the world of white....

Keep your fingers crossed that it gets picked.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Holy Moses

What an amazing thing to have a free weekend. After three shows in a row, John and I literally collapsed this weekend. We didn't really do anything thrilling. Unless you consider going through all our old magazines or catching up on Netflix and Tivo exciting. Cases in point:

PBS - Simon Schama's Power of Art

This is a series of 8 shows about masterpieces that changed the way the world looks at art. We watched the first one, on Picasso and Guernica. It was a powerful account of Picasso's life and his state of mind at the time he painted this impactful piece. This Simon Schama is kind of a drama queen at times, but I was trying not to hold that against him and just enjoy the history lesson. Next up is Van Gogh and Wheatfield with Crows. There is still time to catch the rest of the series, so set your Tivo now. Definitely worthwhile.

Inside the Actor's Studio - Elton John

Wowza, a 2 hour interview, an old one, from 2005, but we had never seen it. Elton was way more down to earth that I would have guessed. I especially loved his talk about fear and creativity. He was talking about working on Lion King and Aida, about how he had some fear around working so far out of his box. And how he strongly believes any artist needs to push them self through fear because to take risks is to grow as a creative. I love that concept. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Pan's Labyrinth

Well....I had heard a lot about this movie, how stunning it was from an artistic standpoint. And it was certainly well done. But just so violent and filled with evil I guess I had a hard time with that. Thank goodness we didn't see it in the theater.

And lest you think we just watched TV all weekend, we also slept in, took a walk, cooked some food, read books, cleaned out magazines and (drum roll please) talked about vacation plans. That would be a real vacation like where we take a trip that doesn't involve any one's family or business interests. Hmmmm, what a concept. We are still formulating plans, but Santa Fe and the surrounding area is our top choice at the moment.

And I even painted and finished a new work. Stay tuned for photos.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Works on paper

I'm getting ready to paint some abstracts and doing small studies as I play with new palette combinations. The texture is tissue paper that I hand dyed and painted. I am totally into green/blue/yellow at the moment. Can you tell?
I made these pieces before Chesterfield last week. The only work I got done really and several of them already sold. Which is a good thing since none of my Common Denominator works sold. First time that has happened. It could have been the fact it was so hot no one could summon up the energy to reach for their wallet. But on the upside - not selling means I don't have to kill myself trying to replenish inventory.
I am officially "off" now for a few weeks as my next show is Krasl on July 14 +15. Anybody in that part of Michigan? Hopefully it will be delightful summer weather meaning I won't be sweating so much it looks like I peed my pants.

Small packages

I am short. OK. There. I said it.

Really short, probably no more than 5 foot tall although I boldly claim 5'1" on applications and such. I've been told I seem taller, most likely due to my mouth. But I try to carry myself large and during my whole life I have rarely felt short.

In fact, I like being short. There are lots of advantages. When I go to the City Museum with the grand kids, I can crawl through even the smallest cave sections with them. If I cannot reach something in our kitchen, I can jump up on the counter and simply get it down. This is such a normal occurrence for me that I have startled guests by my behavior and my brother even bought me a step stool after he found me standing on my kitchen counter one day.

Yesterday I was unpacking all the art since we don't have another show for nearly a month (woo hoo!!!). I decided to hang some different paintings around the house and create a gallery in the hallway off our foyer. I held the painting so the center of it was even with the top of my head. John eyeballed it to verify (this must have been a real struggle for Mr. Measure), glanced behind to mark where to put the nail and voila, we were done in a flash.

Clearly the best benefit of being 5' tall - the ease at which I can hang artwork 60" on center.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Art in the Park

Today and tomorrow. Come on out to Faust Park, on Olive Rd. in Chesterfield. There are a variety of events, music, food, drink and..........A-R-T! Great fun for all ages.
Here is the schedule of events. I'll be there the whole time.

June 15-16, 2007
Friday Evening - 6 to 10 pm
Saturday - 10 am to 9 pm

Friday, June 15, 2007
6 pm Festival Opens, Artist Village Opens
6 pm Artist Demonstrations Begin: Sandy Schulz, ceramics & Jerome Grimmer, painting
6 to 8 pm Caricature Artist
6:30 pm Ronald Radford Flamenco Guitarist
6:45 pm Artist Demonstration: D.C. Smith, wire sculpting (Artist Village)
7 pm Best in Show artist awarded (Main Stage)
7:15 pm Artist Demonstration: Maggie Ahern, jewelry-making (Artist Village)
8 pm Hudson and the Hoo Doo Cats (Main Stage)

Saturday, June 16, 2007
10 am Festival Opens, Artist Village Opens, Children’s Create-It Station Opens
10 am Artist Demonstrations Begin: Sandy Schulz, ceramics & Jerome Grimmer, painting
10 am to 2 pm Live Music and Crazy Competitions with The Smash Band (Main Stage)
12 to 4 pm Meet Champ, Champion of the Arts! (Create-It Station)
10:30 am Artist Demonstration: D.C. Smith, wire sculpting (Artist Village)
11 am Plein Air Painting demonstrations begin (Historic Village)
11 am Artist Demonstration: Maggie Ahern, jewelry-making (Artist Village)
2:30 pm Storytelling Through the Ages with COCA
3 pm Artist Demonstration: D.C. Smith, wire sculpting (Artist Village)
4 pm Pop/Rock Music with The Squares (Main Stage)
5 pm Winners of the 2nd Annual LEGO Design Competition announced
5:30 pm Dance Inc. performs (Main Stage)
6 pm Artist Demonstration: D.C. Smith, wire sculpting (Artist Village)
7 pm Artist Demonstration: Maggie Ahern, jewelry-making (Artist Village)
7 pm Motown/R&B with The All-Star Band

Chesterfield Arts Members
Don't miss the VIP Tent - special seating, refreshments and more!
Sponsored by Hochshild, Bloom & Co.
Not a member? Join at the festival!
See the entrance to the VIP booth for details.

Kids, get your LEGO designs ready!
The 2nd Annual LEGO Design Competition will take place at Art in the Park. For more information, call 636-519-1955.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I mailed the commission on Monday and the client received it today. I would love to show you a picture but ding dong forgot to take one. Yes, that would be me. Duh. I was so worried about getting it to my shipper on time I completely spaced. The client has promised to send me a jpg. She is pleased and was quite emotional (in a good way) when she called. It really made my week.

I've been trying to take it easy. I felt half sickly on Monday, almost like I was coming down with something. I slammed a bunch of vitamin C and took a nap. Tuesday I felt better and got the laundry done, organized some things around the house, did a boatload of paperwork and cleaned up part of the studio. Stupidly, I drank coffee late in the day and was still buzzing at midnite. I just could not settle down and slept poorly.

I have been cooking this week. Finally. My darling hubby bears the brunt of my insane schedule - he not only handles his own job during the day, but helps me on the weekends and also cooks for us. Since I pretty much work day and night, I think he realizes his best shot at actually getting a meal is to cook it himself. How sad is that? So now that my schedule has eased, I am running errands and cooking. It feels good to be taking care of him for a change. I love it that we can trade roles with such ease. We are lucky that way.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


How to make a tired artist:
Take two shows back to back. Add one large commission. Throw in a dash of paperwork (entries) and tear down of another show. Simmer with familial and social obligations. Stir with 3rd show 5 days from now.

Seriously, all is good here. I finished the commission in time for the Father's Day mailing deadline. It is great if I do say so myself. When the light is better I will snap a picture.

The show was fine. Not fabulous as past years at CWE, just fine. I did talk to lots of people about commissions, so there could be additional sales down the road. We had a brief period of rain today but luckily got the tent dried out before we had to pack up.

I was invited to participate in an upscale holiday boutique here in the St. Louis area. I'll furnish more specific details later, but I was thrilled for the opportunity.

And.......drum roll please......I am officially accepted into the St. Louis Art Fair. Woo hoo, how cool is that!! Apparently someone cancelled, so I am IN! Which is way cool as now I know well in advance rather than having to wait until the last minute. Very very nice indeed.

Friday, June 08, 2007

I am often asked whether I use transfers in my art. And my answer is the same.....ummm, no, I don't. Not that I don't want to, but I can never get them to work right. And after investing so much time in a painting, I sure hate to screw it up with a failed transfer. Yeah, I know, there are no failures, just opportunities, but the whole transfer thing frustrates me.

So imagine my surprise when I accidentally transferred something!! Yep, classic MB technique. Trying to do something else and I get a transfer. Good grief.

It started with a Martha Stewart product I bought at Michael's, looks like tissue (my obsession continues) so I had to get some. It is a small tube with a variety of pastel colors in diminutive prints, very cute; intended for a food gift, to line the box (remember, we are talking Martha Stewart here). Anyway, I didn't care what it was intended for, I just liked the look and figured I could use it in collage.

I was working on a piece and slathered some gel medium down on my canvas. I put the tissue on top and it immediately wrinkled, almost like it was a light weight vellum or something. Ugh, I didn't care for how it looked, so I hurriedly pulled it up and voila, that is when I realized the design had transferred.

Wow, what a thrill. It even worked when I tried a second time on purpose. Of course I have no idea how stable the color will be. It does look pretty cool though.

Monday, June 04, 2007

A new week

I am a delinquent blogger lately. It is so bad that I couldn't remember my logon information, yikes, how pitiful is that.

We just got back from my worst show ever. In Cincinnati, my home town. Where no one apparently likes my art bwah ha ha ha ha. Just joking. There were perhaps 2 or 3 people who did. John, my mom, my dad. Maybe a couple others.

But seriously folks, just goes to show you, I come off that fantastic Belleville show into this. The artfair Gods giveth and the artfair Gods taketh away. Consequently, I take nothing for granted. Not one single thing. Zip Nil Nada. This is one crazy ass business.

My husband and my Mom couldn't believe how well I handled the lack of sales and both said they were proud of me for motoring through. I did take a NAP during the show (a first for me), behind the booth although I guess I could have done it in the booth, with my head right on my desk, it was that slow. Honestly though, what's the point of getting grumpy, upset, angry? I mean that's certainly not going to inspire sales now is it? And I can't stand using my energy that way.

So, onward and upward. Central West End is this weekend. I will have lots and lots of new fun pieces, originals and repros. If you live around the St. Louis area, come on out!