Thursday, April 30, 2009

And the beat goes on

Now that I am back home I'm tackling the enormous list that I made while at the show. It is full of lots of show related things such as more boxes for greeting cards (duh, can you believe I ran out of boxes for my faboo new cards - I sold out instantly of course. Slaps self in forehead).

I also want to have some shelving put in the truck so I can transport my paintings in a more secure manner. In recent years I have painted in just a few sizes, so it was easy to "batch" the works and pack them in the truck. My new abstracts are a variety of sizes(including the mongo 40"x40") and organizing them for packing was just a disaster. I felt extremely un-organized (not a good feeling for me) and was a wreck during the entire drive worrying about possible damage.

Yesterday I got lucky at our local Jo-Ann Fabrics (which is going out of business so they can reopen at a new location about 500 yards away). I bought a roll of headliner material. I didn't even know what it was, but some women in the store told me it is used as headliners in cars? It is foamy on one side and sort of nylon on the other. Seems very sturdy yet soft (won't scratch the work) and the roll/bolt is 60" wide. I got nearly 10 yards of it for less than $30. I plan to make pocket envelope thingies for the largest paintings. Then I will buy pipe insulation which will wrap around the edges to protect the frames from dents.

Sounds weird, doesn't it? I think it's going to work though. Pics will be posted once I get it together.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I found this neat music site this's called Musicovery, just click the link to check it out for yourself. The music is organized either by Mood or by Dance tempo. Geez, could this be more perfect! I think I invented this in my head, tee, hee.

Typically I listen to Pandora while I'm in the studio, mainly because its so easy. But this is much more sophisticated. With Musicovery you can pick by mood or dance tempo. Then, within that category, you can put a decade range. You can label your faves; you can mark tunes you don't want to hear again; you can opt to hear only less popular "discovery" artists (which is a fun way to find new music), and (if you have a mac) you can link all this functionality up with your iTunes library. You can also look at the play list you've been listening to and link to purchase options. I'm about 10 minutes new to the site, but it seems just way way way cool, specially for a moody Cancer moon child like me. Did I mention its free?

Only downside is the sign up page is in French, but I muddled through, so I'm sure you can too.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cherokee Triangle

What a fun weekend I've been spending with my friend Marilyn and her husband. They are pampering me and I am simply not used to this during a show! It has been wonderful fun and I'm so grateful for their hospitality. Cause you see, I haven't really made that much money. So thank goodness my expenses are low. I think I will get calls on some other pieces now that the show is over. Keep your fingers crossed, ok? I am counting on it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

18 Years ago

Today I refer you to an old blog post which explains my sadness on this date. Yep, so many years later you would think I am better. And of course I am. But I allow myself a bit of wallowing this time each year. I wonder what it would be like to be mother of a 20 year old adult son - rather than memory keeper of my 18 month old baby boy. I will also pray that we don't lose Merlyn on this date although, with my sick sense of humor, I suggested to John perhaps it would be easier to just batch all tragic observances into one time frame.

Today I am driving to Louisville for the Cherokee Triangle show. If you're in the area, stop by and see me; I'd sure love to visit plus I am bringing cool stuff for you to see! I promise not to be sad. I'll be staying with my friend Marilyn which will be fun (yippee!) and so nice to be in a comfy setting rather than an impersonal hotel.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Art on the Spot Video

Several of you have asked about Art on the Spot and how it turned out. Thanks to Bud we now have a video, yippeee. He shows the "in process" pieces and the final result of each group of artists. It looks like I mainly drank and ate (imagine that, ha) but I really did work, tee, hee.

Studio shots

When the going gets tough the tough get cleaning.

With Merlyn's illness (and impending death - there, I've said it out loud) I don't seem to do much these days in the way of real art-making.

Many of my hours are spent enjoying his company because he is soooooo loving and insists on being with us each moment. Now he is curled up behind me (in my chair) so that my butt has barely enough room. He is losing interest in food so John and I are continually exploring foods for him to eat, ranging from tuna (straight from the can) to heavy cream to braunschweiger. I fear his days are numbered, possibly in single digits. He is still quite friendly though and spent yesterday hanging out with me and my friends in the studio.

And it was this visit of friends that prompted me to clean. I mean *really* clean. The studio was a disaster area, nothing like what you see in these magazines. Piles and piles of stuff on tables and the floor - projects in process; things I want to read; the box that I shipped home from Artfest; the art that came home from my show; on and on and on.

It took me several days and I got rid of lots plus I have a nice box to donate. I took little scraps of painted papers and used them as labels and think they are kind of perky, trying to cheer me up?

Monday, April 20, 2009


I had the Stumble toolbar on my old computer and had (mercifully) forgotten about it when I got my iMac. Something reminded me this morning - possibly my commitment to avoid work at all costs?
Anyhow, I've been "stumbling" around the internets (wink) and am lost in all the incredible stuff you can find. I already twittered about one site, where you can make a sketch and it will be transformed into a kaleidoscope. Crack. Pure crack.
Then I found this mosaic, I think I ran across this a long time ago, but had forgotten, click on the link and then keep enlarging it - Van Gogh, Starry Nights. I found a book at the library's used book sale that has photo mosaics in it and they are so appealing to me.

Ok, ahem.

Back in the real world, Merlyn is hanging in there. He is persistent, but certainly no more than me. I am feeding him from a spoon now and also slipping tuna and tuna "juice" into his food to entice him. He is so friggin' hungry. Still purrs like a maniac. The drool is over the top though. Oh my goodness. He can levitate me from a dead sleep with his drooly kisses.

As far as me.......well....true creative energy is hard right now. I am organizing and cleaning the house and the studio. It feels good to purge stuff - piles and piles for recycle, donation, garbage. I am spending a lot of time just hanging out with Merlyn. He inspires me in different ways and I've written some poetry that I am not ready to share just yet.

The sun is shining. The lilac is in bloom. My li'l baby has eaten and is fast asleep. I will cherish this day and each one that follows because I love and am loved. Life is good.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Art on the Spot

What spot, you might say? Hmmm, I know very little. Other than the fact I will be at Chesterfield Arts tonight from 5-9 working in partnership (with an un-named assigned partner person, who oh who will it be?) using unknown materials furnished for me. I will not be allowed to bring ANY of my own stuff. None of my paints or cherished collage stuffies. No hair dryer, no spray bottle. No magic wand. Not that those things are magic, but they are my usual tools.

There will be 12 of us working. The pieces will be up for auction.

I hope this involves some sort of adult beverage.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Things go Better with Coke

I love collecting art from artists I admire. At a recent auction/fundraiser for Art Saint Louis, I was beyond thrilled to win a piece by Brian Smith.
It was slightly embarrassing to stalk the bidding form like I did, but I think you will agree it was worth it. The piece is back from the framers and I just adore the way it looks in our living room. It's an oil on paper in case you are interested, rich in color and texture. The way it plays off my Coke machine is terrific. The glass is by another friend of mine, Tony Cray.

This room is now filled with some of my favorite things. The Coke machine came from my grandfather's gas station and it is a treasure. The piano was my split from a divorce (I mean really, who wants practical stuff - I gave him all that just so I could keep my piano).

And you think I need furniture? Ah,that's over-rated too, ha! The other half of this room houses my big round puzzle table. And believe me, we spend more hours there than we would on any stinkin' living room furniture :-)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Peep peep

We all love Peeps, don't we? What's not to love? Pure sugar brings back childhood memories, ha. I actually prefer my peeps stale and immediately take them out of the box to facilitate the process, which I then inflict this on my grandsons as I perch peeps (unboxed) in their Easter baskets.

For the last few years, The Washington Post has done a Peep show contest and this year's winner made a diorama study on the famous Edward Hopper piece, Night Hawks. This is just the best ever master's study!

You can watch a brief talk from the peep artist here and learn more about her process - artistically and mentally - as she worked on the winning entry. It is quite interesting.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Show Schedule updates

I've updated the sidebar with my Art Fair schedule. There are a couple more shows I am hoping for (Kansas City Plaza and Memphis to be specific) but I will have to let you know about those.

I'm going solo this year, meaning the princess will schlep her own tent to the shows. It's the only realistic way we can accommodate Merlyn's illness because someone needs to be with him all the time. He is doing pretty well by the way and I am so very grateful for all your well wishes and prayers. It means a lot to me.

But back to the's going to be a whole new ball game because John has always done the driving and the grunt work. I think I am up for the task though and will arm myself with amusing Podcasts for the driving. Now the grunt work is another story......geez, I can do it myself, but am somewhat limited by my height. Let's just say it's not pretty. Sometimes, after set up, I have pieces left over and that always troubles me. My main goal is to get the tent into its standing position without hitting any of my neighbors. Ahem.

I am hoping for a nice sunny day so I can refresh my memory before the Cherokee show and I also need to wash my mesh panels which are waaaayyyy yucky from last year's season.

Onward and upward.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Real Life Intervenes

It has taken me forever to write this post.
Somehow I can't find the right words.
Perhaps because I am blinded by tears rolling down my face.

This is a picture of my baby cat Merlyn. I say "baby cat" because he is our youngest. He is 13 years old. He is a lover. Completely unconditional with his hugs, kisses, purrs and kneads; he rubs my back when I can't sleep. Gives so much affection he is unlike any cat I have ever known. He has helped John and me through some horrifically tragic times in life.

And he now has cancer.
It is an ugly and aggressive cancer growing from his chin up into his mouth. It makes it tough for him to eat. Surgery is not possible due to the location of the cancer and chemo or radiation would be purely selfish on our part. There is no chance of survival.

So these days I am spending time with him. Coaxing him to eat. Providing a warm spot for him to sleep. Brushing his belly, grooming his face, just being with him.

I can not bear to think about it much. It's been many years since I have felt this much pain.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Artfest Recap

I am back from Artfest and it was glorious, oh so glorious. I taught 2 classes, both on Claybord. My students were genius I swear; I was simply blown away by the amazing work they created. It is incredible when I see someone resonate with new techniques and it is magical when I witness them utilizing these techniques within their own artistic voice. What a rewarding time for me as a teacher.

The me as a student got to take a class with Lisa Engelbrecht. She started out with black letter calligraphy then moved to some more informal alphabets ranging from the Sailor Jerry tattoo to a "scribble" alphabet of our own design. It was terrific fun and I can't wait to try to integrate this mark making into my own work.

If you missed Artfest, you can catch my Claybord classes at Valley
and Squam, both held later this year. I will be doing a 2-day "everything I know" kind of claybord class at Valley Ridge. I am looking forward to sharing all my tricks. The classes at Squam are one day each, just like these at Artfest.