Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Daniel Smith 2008-2009 catalogue arrived the other day.  I reverently placed it aside, waiting for the perfect time to peruse its pages.  And so this morning, with cup of coffee in hand, feet propped on desk, I started to go through it page by page.  Like a child with the Christmas catalogue, I have already turned down corners and marked certain "must have" items along with some real "dream on" stuff.  
Ahhhh, what a perfect rainy day activity.....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

OK, since a number of you have written me about my crazy energy concoction.....
I get my yogurts at Whole Foods or at our local nutrition/health store.  I go to Cornerstone, which is out in Chesterfield Valley on Edison, right off of Long Road.  I prefer a low fat yogurt (rather than non fat), but that's just me.  Cornerstone stocks the Hemp Hearts too and truly I think they are the "guts" of this recipe - like if you only want to buy one thing.  For those of you out of town, I would suggest you call around to health food shops and I bet someone has them in your area.  

The Hemp Hearts are really tasty, at least I think so, but you may question my taste buds since I have admitted to enjoying pumpkin brownies.  They taste sort of like lightly ground walnuts.  Definitely a nutty flavor, good enough that you can grab a handful of them and eat them alone.  They have high calories, so I measure to make sure I don't max out and fix a 1000 calorie yogurt treat, ha!  

And finally, if you are at the nutrition store anyway, try CALM Plus Calcium.  I have been taking one dose of this stuff every night before bed (I buy the flavored one so I don't have to mix it with juice).  I swear it helps me "wind down" and have a good night's sleep.  I've been sleeping better that I have in years since using this stuff.  Now keep in mind it's not a sedative or sleeping pill - it just helps you chill.  Plus it's got good stuff in it like Magnesium (which is good if you have migraines) and Calcium, which we all need.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's been awhile since I've talked about any of my oddball eating habits.  Some of you may remember last summer when I ate yogurt with bee pollen every single day for lunch.  Naturally I can't give up my daily yogurt, but the ingredients have changed, plus I have switched from the Greek yogurt to artisan yogurts.   A couple I really like - Trader's Point Creamery and Seven Stars Farm are yummy.    
Anyhoo, here's my "recipe":
3/4 cup yogurt 
2 T. Hemp hearts
1 t. Chia seeds
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup Fiber One cereal
This is what I eat every single day for lunch.  Except for today when I had a partial lobotomy (apparently while I was having my hair cut) and drove through White Castle  on the way home.  One double cheeseburger, no onions thankyouverymuch.

The Hemp hearts rock though - they're a great source of protein, give you tons of energy and definitely curb your appetite.  I strongly recommend them!  The Chia seeds have a lot of Omega 3, are a good source of fiber, and are also believed to boost your immune system.  Though I will confess I have this vision I am growing little Chia plants in my belly, tee, hee.

Yesterday, in an effort to make a "healthy" chocolate dish, I baked this weird brownie/fudge concoction that I heard about.  You take a brownie mix and then add 2 cups of pumpkin.  Bake for 30 minutes, then refrigerate.  It is actually pretty good.  I often think box brownies are too sweet anyway, so this is a nice alternative.  The consistency is a bit odd, a tad rubbery.  But I like the flavor a lot. 

And I crossed off 2 more items from my To Do list, yippee!!! 

Monday, July 28, 2008

I've been trying to get ready for 3 back to back shows, all out of town.  It's going to be a crush and I know it's do-able, but I need to focus.  And have a lot of wildly productive days.  Today NOT being an example of that.  

Good grief, I was trying to do a layout for some new greeting cards in order to get them all printed.  I swear I had some sort of a brain fart and absolutely could not find any of my files, could not manage to use Photoshop like I normally do, etc, etc.  It was ridiculous.  After struggling along for hours on end, I eventually got the job done, but I ended up with a stiff neck and shoulders plus a headache.  And grumpy to boot.  It was only till about an hour ago that I realized I missed my second cup of coffee.  Well duh (smacks self in head) no wonder I was so befuddled!  

In addition to getting the cards under way, I also printed a bunch of the giclees (which I am going back to calling repros as people simply don't get it).  I matted them tonite while watching brainless TV.  Cross another item off the list, woo hoo!!!

I am really anxious to get going on some large pieces, I have prepped 2-30x40 canvasses and also 2-24x24 canvasses.  I have a local gallery that has taken some of my abstracts and they want more (hooray!) so it's time for some all nighters.  Can you say solo show.....stay tuned for more info on that, coming in 2009.  

In other news, my cherry addiction is costing us upwards of $10 per week I swear.  I just love those dark sweet cherries though.  They have become my morning (before exercise) treat.  

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I've been dog sitting the past few days.  It has been strangely relaxing.  There are so many times when I swear I prefer the company of animals.  Go figure.  
At any rate, I've been living at Claire's house and hanging out with the adorable and affable, Dudley, a large Labradoodle.  Unfortunately, we had a ton of rain during my stay and we didn't get to enjoy all the long hikes I had planned.  But I could tell he needed some exercise so on day two, I sucked it up and took him to the Dog Park in the rain.  I threw his ball so many times I lost count.  He ran like a beast retrieving his ball over and over, then wallowing in trenches of rain water.  I had to dry him off and comb him out once we got home.  And then he was utterly exhausted for the rest of the day.  Which undoubtedly explains his boredom with my Sound Bites, tee, hee.  
I am replenishing inventory for 3 (yes, that is THREE) shows in a row in August in case you are wondering.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Meet John Gutoskey

Assemblage artist extraordinaire.  Pronounce it the art speak way.....ahhh-sem-blahj....because this guy is the real deal.  

I met John at the Krasl Art Fair a few weeks ago.  It was his first art fair ever.  He was a wreck from nerves, hadn't slept a wink, practically delirious from worrying about every little detail of the show.  I was doing my usual speed walk of the show, just to see if there was anyone new, something I hadn't seen before, art that jumped out at me. 

And oh my, did it ever.  The color, the intricacy of detail, the repetition.....kitschy yet symbolic, whimsical yet deeply moving.  You could study this work for a long time trying to unravel what it meant for the artist and for you, the viewer.  And I knew that this guy was not just another wannabee assemblage artist. 

Lucky for St. Louis, he will be here in September at the St. Louis Art Fair.  So go and see him there.  He's a doll and you will love the art. Obviously, don't forget to come over to Schlafly and see me too, wink, wink.

You can see more work at John's here.   

Monday, July 21, 2008

Open Studios recap

It was beastly hot.  I never actually heard the final temperature, but let's say near 100?  The media kept talking about heat warnings, don't go out of the house, blahblahblah. 

But what did I do???

Well, I went to my Open Studio of course, in the alternative space provided by the Contemporary Art Museum (for those of us who have studios outside the city limits).  It was a very raw undeveloped space and I would love to have my real studio there......oh those perfect high ceilings....but alas, no air conditioning.  There were a couple large fans, luckily one was right near us.  

The first pic shows "my" corner and the second pic shows how the 3 of us(me, Heather, Greg) staged the entire space(that's Heather sitting at the table).  We, (Heather and I) gave Greg part of our walls because his space was in the middle and would have required him to bring walls, which would have been a total pain.  And we're just so nice we helped him out.  We even did all the drilling into those masonry walls for him because he had an opening over in KC and wasn't around during set up (which was a total horrendous pain in the rear, set up that is, not Greg's opening, but that's a story for another day).  Suffice to say I am not so swift with power tools.  Thank God for Heather.  
Anyhoo, Greg kept joking that we were "his bitches" doing his set up.  But he owes us big time now and Heather said it best, "he is our bitch now." 

Despite the heat, it was fun.  Yes, it really was.  We had beer.  We had margaritas for MB cause I'm not a beer drinker.  Pizza from Imo's.  Good tunes. And good friends.  We talked to folks, made connections with other artists, and just had fun.  Crazy I know. We tore down and had everything back in the vehicles in 37 minutes flat.  I nearly passed out in the back of the truck (under the camper shell) while trying to arrange stuff but nothing that some Gatoraid couldn't fix.  

The "after party" was a Bar-b-q at the museum.  And that was also a surprisingly good time which I only say because my butt was soooo dragging, I felt like I was wearing wet clothing (hmmm, probably because I was) and all I really wanted was a nice shower.  But I digress.  I "freshened up" in the ladies room, where I practically bathed in the sink and snuck my undies into my purse, tee, hee.  Ok, yeah, tmi, but I instantly felt better.  So I enjoyed catching up with lots of my artist friends and even meeting some collectors who attended the show.  We stayed a lot longer than I would have guessed, but then Heather & I left, flew home, I dropped her off, I finally made it into the shower and I swear I was sound asleep by 9:30pm.  

See that green painting of mine, 2nd from the left. leaning on the wall?  It's gone.  Sold to the most lovely couple, it now has the perfect home.   

And oh yeah, someone tried to buy my rug.

Friday, July 18, 2008

At first it was really cute when Merlyn started kissing me on the lips.  He would press his little cat mouth up against mine and it was absolutely the sweetest thing in the world.  Since we've returned from vacation he has been more than needy and morning kisses now involve his very wet nose along with a simultaneous head/face butt action.  Over and over.      
Ugh, nothing like being slimed into consciousness each morning.  
I wonder if it's possible to teach a cat to air kiss.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

This is my space for the Open Studio event on Sunday.  We are doing the set up tomorrow.  I have no idea how it's going to work as of yet.  Geez, I barely know how to handle a drill let alone this type of wall.  I mean what's up with that bracket thingie???
I do have the right drill bit and supplies though.  And you gotta love the windows!!  I am working with my friends Heather and Greg and we will actually combine our 3 assigned spaces into one group presentation.   All because we bought a keg of beer to share with our guests and we thought it would be easier to stage one "party."  Imagine that!?!  
So, come on by Sunday from 10-4 and see how we have transformed this space.  There will be a bunch of artists and I'm going to do demos and will have art supplies to play with.  Should be a lot of fun.  
Contemporary Open Studio - Alternative Space
Sunday, July 20 from 10-4
750 S. 4th Street
St. Louis, MO

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Contemporary Preview party

Last night was the Preview party.  Here I am standing next to my piece - I love the way it looks like I am holding the name tag in my hand (thanks Darryl for taking the shot!). Yes, I stood right there in the museum and allowed myself to be photographed next to my piece. Cause who knows when I will next be in a museum show and I'm not too proud to be proud, tee, hee.  
This piece is 8" tall by 24" wide, titled Haven Knows - it was part of my show at Jacoby earlier this year.  It is so oddly reminiscent of my Stick a Fork in it Already piece of a couple years ago(click here if you would like to see a picture of it) and this landscape/body shape comes up over and over in my work.  I have come to accept it as a personal symbol.  Stick a fork in it piece hangs in my studio these days.  It is such a highly personal painting as it has a lot of journaling (right on the face of the art) about my struggle with weight, my stomach specifically, and how I really want to learn to accept and love my body.  Haven Knows is an abstracted continuation of those thoughts.  It comes from a more peaceful and grounded place.  
So here I was, at this party, thinking about all this stuff, like I do - brain of mine that I simply cannot manage to turn off for one moment, yee gads.  
We walked out of the museum and what do I find on the ground but one of Jennifer's wish pennies.  Click here to read more about her very interesting project.  The penny I found was about wishing to be thin without being anorexic.  That lil penny has provided a lot of food (yes I'm food obsessed, what can I say-smacks self in head) for thought and how synchronistic I found it just then.  
I have waaaayyyy digressed into other areas here, we can just call this the post that went astray, ha!   
Suffice to say the party was fun.  I caught up with several of my collectors, talked to other artists, just generally had a good time.  And my headband/grey root disguise worked marvelously.  

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summertime/Open Studio this weekend

Thought I would share one of my vacation photos today.  Isn't this a lovely little spot of paradise?
I am relaxed, energized and full of new ideas.  The show at Krasl was good - there is something kind of cool about going on vacation and ending it with a show so you come home with money in your pocket.  The sweet life indeed.  

We drove over 6 hours to get home last night.  Yeah, it's a little crazy, but I've got to get ready for the Open Studio event at The Contemporary.  While we were gone, I got an email that the alternative exhibition building (which is where I am showing my work and I've never seen the space) will be available for viewing today (Monday) from 11-1.  Well  duh, I obviously want to see it, measure my linear feet, check on what type of lighting I need, etc.  So, John and I boogied home as quickly as possible and I'm headed down there shortly.  Thank goodness for laptops and being connected.  It's absolutely vital when you are in biz for yourself, I swear.
I'm also going to check out spaces for my buddies Greg & Heather, who are also exhibiting on Sunday, but can't go today.  Greg has a photo shoot - imagine, he has a day job, tee, hee.  And Heather's van broke down coming home from her Chicago show.  Thank goodness Amie's with her, but their big adventure has gotten a lot bigger as they are now stuck in the middle of Illinois, camping until the van can be fixed.  I feel horrible as we apparently drove right by them last night.  Ugh, we talked on the phone later and nothing could have been done since our truck was packed to the gills and we couldn't have wedged them in if we had wanted.  Plus they more or less need to stay there to bring the van home.  But darn it anyway, wish we could have helped.......the least I can do is let Heather know what to expect from her space, so I will email her photos later today.  And keep my fingers crossed that her van can be fixed for a minimal cost and she and Amie get home soon, safe and sound.

SO....If you're here in St. Louis, definitely mark your calendar for this SUNDAY, July 20th from 10-4 when I will exhibit at Chouteau's Landing, 750 South 4th Street from 10am-4pm.  The building will be jammed with all us "alternative space" artists so it's a great opportunity to see a bunch of art under one roof.  I'm bringing a variety of new works plus I'll do demos and serve snacks and drinks (yes, some of us went crazy and bought a keg!).  Expect an art party.

And, while you're at it, come on down to The Contemporary on Tuesday night for the Preview Party.  It should be a blast; it was last year - 5:30-9:30 at the museum.  I'll be one of the many artists spazzin' out about seeing their work on a museum wall.  

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Doors open and close

We are heading out on vacation, woo hoo, yippe, ki- yay, and all that stuff.  A few days in Saugutuck, MI and I should be back to normal whatever that might be.  Then I'm in the Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff.  You can click on the link over there in the sidebar for more information.

I have packed a tote bag of books like you can't believe, most from the library, but a few art books that I own and want to study at length.  I have trained myself to read while John is driving, so I hope to move through a few of them at least.  Plus my journal for writing and my journal for art.  Plus my knitting.  Plus CD's, etc, etc.  You might think I was going to be in the car for weeks the way I have packed.  And I suppose I could also do these things on the beach too, but I know what will happen......I will hear the lull of the surf.....and immediately fall to sleep.

Click on over to Artsmith's to read about a show that I recently attended.  If you're in St. Louis, check it out.  If you're in MI, come see me at Krasl.  And I'll see you all back here in a week or so.  

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Happy!!!!

Click here for more information on this incredible quilt.  Sure wish I knew how to make one.   And yes, those are my adorable grandchildren and their parents at the neighborhood parade this morning.  How sweet is that!?!?!?
(ps........this is a part of my self taught Photoshop training.  I know it looks rudimentary, but I am happy with how it turned out)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

You might wonder where I've been.  I'm still here, just fiercely busy getting ready for my next show, trying to get ready for vacation(I am sooooo ready!) and also juggling to make work for the Contemporary Art Museum's Open Studio event.  Plus my parents were here.  Plus I have pieces in 2 shows.  Plus new works wanted by galleries.  Plus I have a commission pending. Blah.Blah.Blah. It's all good.

I do have news though!!  I am thrilled to announce I will be teaching 2 classes at Artfest in 2009. Yippee!!  Watch my blog for more detail; the Artfest website, with the entire class list will be posted on August 1st.  I am teaching the same Claybord class from last year, plus a new claybord class that will have even more techniques.  They are stand alone classes, or you can do both of them.  Details coming soon...

And in other news, I painted with Kool-aid tonite.  Yep, I really did.  It was a project my step daughter heard about.  So easy - basically you take 2 tablespoons of water and mix with a package of Kool-aid.  We made up 5 colors.  After they are dry, all the painted spots become scratch and sniff!?!?!?  Isn't that cool?  Seriously, it was way fun.  Too bad I can't find a way to work that it into my usual repertoire.