Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Why DO I do this?

This morning I read a great blog post at The Intrepid Art Collector. The post “A Wife Sentence” speaks on the topic of sexism, ageism, and other fun stuff as it relates to the arts. After responding to the post and writing a few emails to friends. I sat here for a minute and thought “Why DO I keep doing this?” I guess the previous hour of thinking brought on doubt and concern. Oh, I have thoughts like this every so often. I will be lying on the couch looking around my living room with all the art hanging salon style. As my eyes move from canvas to canvas, there have been moments when I ask, “What is the point? Why do I keep painting and making and doing?” Why, Why, Why? Luckily, those thoughts come infrequently and usually end with a resounding “SHUT UP SHEREE!” I guess I tend to move fast so reality can’t catch my spirit!! Yet, this morning the feeling of desolation seemed to take the form of oozy goo causing me to be stuck in place. I got up and looked into my studio. I sprang back to the computer chair to pull off the sticky residue enveloping my mind.
I just have to STOP this. My head just doesn’t need to go there. It is great to evaluate your life choices. It is important to be reflective. It is vital to take inventory of life events. However to let negative conclusions hinder future progression is not good at all.
Is trying to stay positive futile? In my mind’s eye at this moment, I have an image of me strangling POLLYANNA. The angel on my right shoulder just jumped in there to save her. I don’t regret being an artist at all. I have had wonderful art life experiences. Yes, I always want more. So why DO I keep painting? I guess the answer is I can’t imagine living without making art and all that comes with that life choice. Even though I don't like it, I realize this choice has to include the cherries AND the pits.

"Misbehaviorists" series
Acrylic on Canvas
8” X 10”
Click to enlarge

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Send me a sign

“The best way to go into an unknown territory is to go in ignorant, ignorant as possible, with your mind wide open, as wide open as possible and not having to meet anyone else's requirement but your own.”
Dorothea Lange

I have laughed often when I have heard young stars explain their good fortune. Repeatedly, they mouth words like “I have worked so hard, I deserve this!” or “If someone has a dream, passion, and works very hard like me, great things will happen!” A-huh…. I believe this to a degree. I totally believe in the work ethic. I believe in having passion and dreams. The part that is a bit hard for me to swallow is a 24 year old telling all of us about their life struggles and hard work. Also, they seem to forget and omit mentioning the LUCK FACTOR. Don’t take this the wrong way. I understand what they mean. I am quibbling because I feel their naive statements don’t express the whole truth. Yes, if you work hard things will happen. Yes, sometimes your dreams come true. However, sometimes you work hard and your dreams don’t come true (at least the way you imagined them.)
Whenever I am trudging along on something with my work ethic on high, I always wonder what will come of it. I know from life experience, things happen for reasons. Also, I believe those reasons come together to form an end result. It is like lining up all your life lessons. Some events in your life don’t make sense. Some are irritating. Sometimes things that happen seem downright stupid. With time, the progression of life lessons act as a puzzle coming together one piece at a time.
Despite the uncertainly, we keep moving. We keep working hard. We hold on to our passions and dreams. As Dorothea Lange stated our minds are “as wide open as possible”. This is so important. With our minds open, full of anticipation, and optimism, we create the opportunity for the Universe to manifest the best outcomes possible. However in times of uncertainty or wandering in unknown territory, it sure would be nice if the Universe would just send us a sign.

”Is Everybody Happy?”
Acrylic / Mixed Media on Canvas
16” X 20”
Click to enlarge

Friday, July 27, 2007

Creative Fatigue

This is so typical. One thing I have never learned how to do is to stay on an even keel. I remember one of my mentors told me long ago; I needed to learn how to stay on a consistent emotional level no matter what happens. As she spoke, she slowly moved her hand horizontally leaving a cool, calm imaginary line in front of me. Well, I am still working on that. In the meantime, I am experiencing something akin to creative fatigue. I love the way it feels, but I know I have to slow down a bit. Just like other manic times in my life, I love waking up and having a million ideas pop into my head before my feet hit the floor. However, I know the ramifications of this kind of state. If I don’t slow down, I am going to crash and burn. So MAYBE, I will mow the lawn or something tomorrow just to let it go for a few hours.
Anybody who experiences racing thoughts might understand my addiction to hyperactivity. My mind is going wild with ideas. It is a time in which I have to carry around a pen and paper because the ideas are coming so fast, I have to write them down quickly or they will be gone in a second. The mind fascinates me. One of the bizarre things I am experiencing are visions and little snippets of images flashing in my mind. Often these are reoccurring images. I always wonder why artists latch on to certain imagery. One of my odd attractions is birds and feathers. I don’t have a fondness of birds. In fact, they freak me out. However, they pop up in my art all the time. I had one bizarre thing that happened to me this morning. I went over to visit the paintings I am working on right now. One is a new “States of Feeling” piece. The center has feathers standing straight up. I walked away from it to go check my email. As I read, I heard a creak. I turned and looked over into a dark corner of my computer room. There on the wall was a drawing I hadn’t looked at in years. “Bird’s Eye View” is an odd duck when it comes to my entire body of work. I never showed it because at the time I did this piece, I was doing abstract sculpture. It didn’t fit my “M.O.”. In fact, after doing a series of these drawings, I showed them to an artist friend and she scrunched her nose. I guess they weren’t “cool” enough or something. I stopped doing them. Back then I wanted to be cool! LOL LOL Anyway, when I saw this image, I was just floored. The feathers are almost identical to the piece I am working on right now. I think it is interesting how our mind holds these images to repeat and transform. Now that IS cool!

”Bird’s Eye View”
Graphite on Arches
9” X 12”
Click to enlarge

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Something to THINK about....

(Then multiply by a zillion to account for the loss of LIFE!)
Cost of the War in Iraq
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”Human Factor”
Mixed Media on Arches
18” X 24”

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lucky Girl

I am one lucky girl. Oh, I am just like everybody else! I bitch and moan about all the stuff that bothers me. When we complain, it is truly about how things or people aren’t doing what we really want them to do. I realize this. I have a “THANKFUL” journal. The stuff I write is simplistic, yet real. I write about how I am thankful I have a home and a studio. I love being an artist. I appreciate living in an absolutely beautiful area of the country. I have a paycheck coming every two weeks. I have five grocery stores within 3 miles of my house. I have health insurance. I have four televisions in a house occupied by one person. I love all my electronic gadgets. I treasure my classic bicycle. I am healthy. I have an “OK” body. Well……….I mean if I lined up all the people my age in order of perfection, I wouldn’t be the first or last in the line! LOL I have a “don’t quit” spirit. I have been very well educated. My bills are paid. I appreciate I have accomplished all this by myself via hard work and tenacity. I’ve lived an artistic life even though there were many naysayers. I have friends. My doggie, Gizmo is my loyal pal. Healthy food is in the frig. Exercise equipment is waiting for me in the other room. I care about other people and how I can help them. I am sensitive. I pay attention to life with a sincere hope I can do something to help make things better. I raised a wonderful daughter who is a valuable, productive citizen. I have been loved. I have always had my art. My art has made my life worth living. Hopefully, others have looked at a piece or two, which I have made and it has inspired them in some way. I could go on and on. I have so much for which to be thankful and I am happy I realize this!
This might sound like a puzzling discourse. I do have a point. This post is about appreciating your life as is. I am not the kind of artist who kicks the rocks and says, “Whoa is me”. Nothing in our lives is perfect. I am never going to make a perfect painting. There will never be a perfect day job. There will never be a perfect art life. There will never be a perfect artist. There will never be perfect anything!
While painting this week, I had similar thoughts. Per usual, the paint slopped here and there. The way I work is not pristine or antiseptic. I will never be able to paint perfect. I do the best I can. My lines, edges, and surface are HUMAN. They all have bumps, bruises, and general shit scattered within. I can’t help that. I am not perfect. Neither is my art, but I am thankful for it anyway!

Do NOT click to see details
There is nothing there.
There is no such thing as a PERFECT PAINTING.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Fun stuff!

I have been very busy CREATING the past few days. I feel like the plate spinning guy who used to be on Ed Sullivan! (Yes, I know… I am THAT old!!! LOL LOL) I have little work stations all over my house. My big paintings are in my studio. I have tiny paintings on my living room table. I have tote bags all over my kitchen and computer room! So much for keeping it all in one place! I have been working on my newest “States of Feeling” titled “FREE”. In the back of my mind’s eye, I am working on “Relaxed” and “Creative” too. (Not enough room to start those yet.) Also, I am branching out and opening up a little gift shop on my website. This page will offer creative stuff for those who would prefer wearables or small items by this “wizzle”. In fact, the name of my shop is

I will let you know when I cut the grand opening ribbon.
Another fun thing I did was to start making CDs of my new paintings. Even though I balked in another post about hating doing documentation and other art business related work, I love making art cds. It is creative enough to keep my attention, enthusiasm, and feelings of being organized. For all the Type A, perfectionists out there, I am sure you will relate to this!

This is the cover for my "Misbehaviorists" CD

Friday, July 20, 2007

How do YOU work?

After posting yesterday, I finished another one! “Amazed” is an additional painting which is part of the “States of Feeling” series. I had started “Calm” and “Amazed” at the same time. I love it when things just magically come together and I complete work. That brought me to think of how I work. It is interesting how ideas come and go. Also, I am seeing such a pattern of work habits. One thing that is interesting to me is how sometimes I visualize the painting before it is done. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. One positive of seeing the painting is that you have a definite direction and things can progress quickly. The negative of having premonitions is if your skills or circumstances encountered during the process sometimes don’t fit the vision.
Another method of creating is just starting a painting and seeing what happens. I do that quite often. I started a new painting last night. The vision was foggy. I started working and just let the paint flow, literally. This morning I rushed out into the studio and smiled. I know the direction this piece is going now. Yet, I am not sure of the way it will look at the end. This is a fun and facinating thing. The down side of just letting go and letting the paint take you places is the possibility of hitting a dead-end or losing interest. I have a bunch of canvases like that hanging around!
So how do you work and find creative direction?
Here’s my newest, “Amazed”!

Acrylic on Canvas
24” X 24”
Click to see Detail

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Another baby is born!

I am so excited. I have finished another painting for my “States of Feeling” series. The reason I am so happy is because I can finally see some continuity! The concept of related ideas or serial artworks has never been my thing. In fact, when you look at my website, it is obvious that I have always presented a gallimaufry of ideas. I did this on purpose. In part, this lack of focus has to do with my hyperactive mind. I am sure I qualify as being ADHD. It has always been so difficult for me to set my mind on one thing or idea for as long as it takes to paint the first one of a series, let alone the entire series. Consequently, I have ended up with a hodgepodge of pieces. If you scan my website, it is easy to notice some of the works don’t even look like the same person did them!
I spoke last month about my “Summer of Me”. I made a list of goals I wanted to accomplish this summer. One of the points on the list was to start thinking in series. I am doing a great job! I already have more than a dozen “Misbehaviorists”. Now I have three, soon to be four “States of Feeling”. I have ideas for two more series too. However, I am holding myself back! I need to concentrate on these two progressions first.
So I introduce you to my new baby.
Her name is “CALM”.
She is part of the “States of Feeling” family.

Acrylic on Canvas
24” X 24”
Click to see Detail

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What is your INTENT?

While working feverishly on a number of new works, my mind drifted to the topics I have written on or read in the past few days. In one email written to another artist, I mentioned I am not sure I would even want to be in the art world “upper echelon”. Those who have risen to art stardom get the privileges and goodies many artists will never experience. However, standing on that narrow pedestal brings other scary and daunting expectations and responsibilities. If those requirements aren’t met, the possibility of falling back to the realm of anonymity is very likely.
Thinking about being a successful artist makes me think about the saying “Money can’t buy happiness”. I do not equate art success with art celebrity or finances. However, I believe much of our society does. I surprised myself a couple of years ago while at an art opening watching James Rosenquist shake hands and share small talk with gallery patrons. I made my way up to him, listened to his banter and watched him chat. I introduced myself, spoke to him for a few minutes, and walked away. As I moved on, I was thinking “He seems so grumpy and bitter!” I guess in the back of my mind, I was naively thinking “He is a famous artist. He has it ALL! He should be so happy!” Well, he didn’t seem very joyous or satisfied. He seemed like an old grouch.
So lately I am asking myself “What is your intent?” Why do I keep spending all this time, money, and energy on making art? It sure isn’t for the fame and fortune. Those factors have eluded me so far. I guess I do it because I have had the gut feeling all my life that this is what I am suppose to do. It gives my life meaning. It gives me a reason to get up each morning. I have faith that this is my purpose. Another very important reason came to me yesterday while I was working. I had been sitting there painting for so many hours I was stiff. I kept thinking “You need to get up and walk around to stretch out!” Yet, I didn’t want to stop. I kept nudging myself away from the canvas to take a break, only to pick up a bit more paint to touch up this or that. After playing a mental tug of war, I stood up and back. I looked at the painting and thought “God! I love this feeling of being so focused and driven. I just love doing this!” I really do have faith I am suppose to do this work. So it may not be so glamourous, deep, or intellectual, but that is my intent.

"Found Faith"
Click to see detail

Monday, July 16, 2007

Get a Marketable Art PERSONALITY

CBS Sunday Morning ran a segment on artist Michael Kalish. Actually, I think his art is very interesting and admirable. The story bothered me though. I don’t want to get into a bitter argument about the ugly machinations of the art world. I don’t have the energy or desire to get in a mouth-frothing tizzy about sexism, art world B.S., and media mania. I guess I am just writing about this to say I noticed all this while watching the show.
The first time my ears perked was when the reporter said “He is ONLY 34!” Wowy Zowy! Actually, this is probably why this story was covered by Sunday Morning. If he were 25, it would have been reported on the prime time news. Then it got better. Read the quote below taken from the print version of the story. I see he displays his work at a gallery with all male artists. Yeah. OK. No surprise. The gallery owner said he was the “chosen one” despite ten years of other artists begging for attention (my words). Then it gets really good:
”Kalish was chosen not just for his art, but also for his marketable personality.”
I am laughing as I type this. The truth? Huh? You mean artists aren’t chosen for their artistic genius? Hell NO! I guess you really can’t blame the art world. It is just a microcosm of the world at-large. After all, Anna, Paris, and now, POSH are not notable due to their intellectual or outstanding creative contributions to our society. They are marketable personalities. They satisfy our voyeuristic tendencies, which want a glimpse at lives more glamorous and interesting than our own. Although, I have to give Mr. Kalish credit. At least, he has created a solid body of artwork. So I guess we all need to be mesmerized by this new art star. We can live vicariously through his grand art life. This color-blind, license plate collector, ex-baseball player scouted by the Yankees and Braves has been inducted into the high-powered art hall of fame. He sells to celebrities and has his work shown in fancy, smancy galleries. I don’t begrudge him his success. Oh no! My only wish for him is that he really understands what is happening. The article states a personal quote:
"It's passion about something. It's not clicking in and out of life. It's not waiting in line. That's my motto: Get out of line.” Michael Kalish
Well, I hope he realizes there are thousands of artists out here that have the passion. They haven’t clicked out. They got out of line a long time ago. Yet that “hand” didn’t come down and pick them out. So I say more power to him! He has won the art LOTTO! Good for him!! I wish him big bucks and lots of luck. Oh wait; he is already a Lucky Boy!! He has a marketable art personality!
Excerpt from CBS Sunday Morning story:
“He certainly is not waiting in line and currently has work displayed at the Artworks Gallery, along with Chuck Close, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Picasso and Miro and Chagall.
"Michael is really the only coming artist that we represent," said Christopher Forney, the co-owner of the Artworks Gallery. "And while we've been asked for — every week for 10 years to do so — he's the only one we ever chose."
Kalish was chosen not just for his art, but also for his marketable personality.
"In today's age of media, it's an important element for an artist to also be a personality and in somebody who's actually portraying other personalities," Forney said. "It's interesting and important that he is."

Michael Kalish makes all of his pieces, like the portrait of Superman shown here, out of license plates. (michaelkalish.com)
Click photo to read CBS story

Sunday, July 15, 2007

View from THIS Studio Door

As I mentioned yesterday, I have become an avid reader of art blogs. However, I have to admit one of my deep prejudices is assuming the artist blogger is some wide eyed bushy tailed 23 year old typing with one hand and holding a faux sheepskin X.F.A. diploma in the other. I guess that is why I find Nancy Baker’s take on the world so refreshing. She has been around the block a few times as I have. Lately, I have thought a lot about ageism and discussed this topic often with my artist friend, Gilda Snowden. I never thought about age as it relates to the artist. Naiveté and being young makes this a non-issue, I suppose. However now that I am not young anymore, I notice things like an exhibition prospectus stating stuff like “artists under 30”, “young, emerging artists”, or “recent university graduates”. I just saw a news story about a trend to designate certain beach property as an “Adults Only Beach”. That gave me an idea for “Adults Only Art Shows”. LOL LOL LOL How about a television show called “The Last Artist Standing”? The criteria would include proving artistic longevity despite the obstacles. Of course, these ideas are tongue-in-cheek. I just have to see the humor in all this.
I am just now finishing the book The View From the Studio Door: How Artists Find Their Way In an Uncertain World. by Ted Orland. This is a great book for beginning artists. I could have used these pages of advice decades ago. However, I have really enjoyed reading it now. Certain pages make me laugh!! I am amused because many of the insights are so true.

“So while art may be recognized as a noble profession, it rarely gets mistaken for a useful occupation. “Help Wanted – Fine Artist” is not a large column in the classifieds.”

That quote made me laugh hysterically. Of course, I know this is a true statement. Yet in my heart of hearts I have to confess, there have been lean times when I opened up the classifieds and wished it said “Short, blond, young and naive artist with a M.F.A. needed immediately!!” In some weird way, I felt really sad when I didn’t see that ad there.
I heard that same desperation and shock as I read a recent post on an art message board. The poster was a young woman recently liberated from art school. She had set up her studio and started to battle the world sans professors and constant artistic feedback. Her post was a long rant about how hard her art life was and how nobody wanted to buy her creations, and why didn’t anyone tell her this would happen and yadda yadda yadda. I didn’t respond to the post because the only thing I could think of writing was “What did you expect?” I wasn’t thinking this in bitchy way. I was being matter of fact. I can’t blame her for expressing her angst. I understand it. I sold my first oil painting (two swans on a lake) for $50 to a local businessman when I was 15 years old. I remember thinking, "Oh! This artist stuff will be a $$$$$piece of cake$$$$$$!!!" Well La Dee Da!
I realize now, getting older isn’t such a bad thing.
At least reality doesn’t shock you as much.

”View From the Studio Door: How Artists Find Their Way In An Uncertain World”
Click for more info

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Art World Podcast

I have been thinking about writing this post for a week. My new hobby is reading bunches of blogs. Nancy Baker’s name kept coming up during my reading sprees. I LOVE her work. One of my discoveries was a “The Art World” podcast interview she did with Eva Lake at Voice America Women. (click icon at bottom of this post to go to the podcast site). This website has a growing content library. You can pick and choose from a list of diverse, art related interviews.
I chose to listen to Nancy Baker’s interview first. After listening to her interview, I realized I respect her as an outspoken woman as much as I respect her as a phenomenal artist. Her interview speaks on so many topics related to MY interests and thoughts; it would be futile to try to list them. Go listen to the interview. You will be enlightened.
One thing that I must say in response to a lot of what she said (and I agree with) is that I had a revelation while listening. She speaks about age, women artists, networking, and publicity. I totally understand all that. She also spoke about women artists and their life paths. I really understand that too. In fact, I had the realization that I was further ahead in many ways 23 years ago, than I am now. It isn’t because my art sucks more or that I haven’t paid my dues. It is because I let myself get “out of the loop”. Like many artists, I have been isolated due to the push and pull of survival and life. Going to art openings, doing the “art world dance” could not be my priority. So now, I guess I am paying for that. Was the cost worth it?

I was farther ahead in my art career 23 years ago.
Is this all my fault?
I take that question back.
It is nobody’s FAULT. It is just life.

Click to go to Voice America Women
Listen to some of Eva Lake’s wonderful art interviews.

Friday, July 13, 2007

"Mrs. Stone's Rosetta"

A Short Story By Sheree Rensel

Mrs. Stone sat on her window seat sipping her morning tea. She peered out at the ubiquitous specks of color littering her porch like suspended flecks of confetti. She smiled at the array. These were her children. Her family started years ago. Agoraphobic by nature, she lived vicariously through her friends. One friend gave her a travel souvenir. It was a beautiful Black Orchid from Belize. That delicate, purple bloom was her first born. She finally had a reason to get up each morning. As the years progressed, her family grew. Friends brought more offerings. Ms. Stone would scour online auctions to add to her diverse clan of orchids. She set up her porch like a gated play yard for her brood. They all thrived!
The clink of the teacup to saucer sounded the beginning of her daily ritual. She poured and measured the plant food elixir. She gathered her tools and gloves. She donned her beekeepers outfit. Melissophobia was just one of her many fears. The suit not only protected her from these pesky critters, but also acted as armor protecting her from the world. She shuffled out to visit her babies. She fed, primped, and groomed each flower. As she pampered her precious Cattleya, she quickly recoiled and jumped back. Behind the decorative pot, she saw the gray web of a brown recluse spider. Standing at a distance, she watched the creature move and spin like a yo-yo out of control. She found humor in this erratic dance. She became mesmerized.
The next morning her routine was hastened. Of course, Mrs. Stone was anxious to see her orchids, but thoughts of the spider gave her an extra shot of energy. Once outside, she peeked around the pot. It was still there and had been busy! The sticky, irregular web had grown. Reminiscent of indecipherable scrawls containing universal secrets, she was amazed at the marvel of the airy strokes. From that observation, she decided to name her new friend Rosetta.
Mrs. Stone's routine was never perfunctory. Therefore, it was necessary for her to add Rosetta's needs to her list of chores with detail and care. Each day, she would wander the house to find dead bugs to put in the spider's web. She fed her orchids and Rosetta needed to eat too! It was almost as if the little spider could sense her interest. As Mrs. Stone would draw nearer, Rosetta would step closer toward her. Albeit quixotic Mrs. Stone cultivated this friendship with careful visits each day. For all intents and purposes, their relationship became a quid pro quo. Both seemed to thrive on each other's company. Rosetta would scamper out at the creak of the screen door waiting for the daily meal. Mrs. Stone still loved her orchids, but Rosetta provided a curious personality easy to like and appreciate.
The storm clouds came out of nowhere. Mrs. Stone scrambled to bring her orchids indoors. The winds rushed wild as Mrs. Stone waddled in and out. The weight of the beekeeper's suit weighed her down causing moments of panic and exhaustion. Finally, her floral family was safely out of harms way. Mrs. Stone went outside for one last check. There stood Rosetta willfully straddling the threads of her home. She glanced away and went to take cover. The rain was furious, but brief. As the porch began to dry, Mrs. Stone peered out her window to check on Rosetta. The humid steam hindered her view. Forgetting her fears, Mrs. Stone ran outside. Maybe the web was still there. Maybe Rosetta was hiding in a crevice. Maybe…? After surveying the porch, Mrs. Stone realized her friend had moved on. Mrs. Stone went back into the house to ponder. Rosetta had been a simple pleasure. Sad only for the loss of friendship, Mrs. Stone knew Rosetta had ventured out into the world to find new sights, a new home, and a new life. Realizing Rosetta's many lessons and embracing the idea of new possibilities, Mrs. Stone walked to the front door of her house. She opened the door to the outside world. Rosetta's final gift was to show Mrs. Stone how to abrogate her many fears. She now realized the world could fascinate the senses. With a timid, but courageous step, Mrs. Stone ventured out. Looking up the long street, she decided to walk to the garden shop to buy a new, spider orchid.

"Mrs. Stone's Rosetta"
Acrylic on Canvas
8" X 10"
Click to Enlarge Illustration and Text

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Art BUSYness

Document Document Document! I hate the business side of art. Many artists see this side of art as a drag. It is like going to the dentist. You know you have to do it, but you put it off until your teeth ache. I wanted to enter a show. I needed some good pics, so I set up to take some shots. Even though it is so, so easy now in this digital age compared to the days of hot lights, ektachrome film, and lab fees, it still sucks! I got the shots, Photoshoped for an hour, and then diddled all day trying to get this online entry form to work. After a dozen emails to the gallery director, we finally solved the problem. Then, I rushed to work on this silly little painting I am working on as an illustration for a story I wrote. This was a self-imposed “assignment”. I saw a posting for a writing contest and thought it would be fun just to try. I wrote a saccharine story (which I love) and decided to make a little illustration. I will post it soon. It was a great creative exercise.
One good thing that came of yesterday’s frantic busy work was I got a shot of one of my “Sight Bites” that I love. I painted this and hung it up without even thinking of getting a photograph. The piece is meaningful to me. I have always had long, straggly hair. I have been thinking about cutting it all off because it is finally getting on my nerves. I mentioned this to a male friend and he said “OH NO! Don’t do that!” Geesh!!!! What is it with men who like women to have long hair? I just don’t get it. I guess that is why I have been single 99% of my life. Oh well. Gotta go paint!!!

"Big Hair"
Acrylic / Mixed Media on Canvas
Click to enlarge

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I have been giggling all weekend. As I have said before, I am working hard to change the way I do my art “business”. I am reading all about art marketing, talking to other artists, and googling for art biz advice. Well the reason I was laughing at myself is because I decided to create another visual blog. It is a hoot (at least to me)! Check it out! Tee HEE HEE


Sunday, July 8, 2007

Live? Earth (aka: Hype for a Cause)

I took a blog break. I hadn’t planned on posting until tomorrow. However, the topics are piling up in my mind. After this weekend of self-analysis and working, I am in no condition to post some brilliant, inspiring, boring tale of my current art escapades. Yet, I just had to say something, so I decided to give my very brief take on “Live Earth”, the concert of the weekend.
Yeah…I watched it. Since I don’t have cable in my studio, I set up a temporary painting table in my living room and waited through hip hop yap yap, Alicia Keys screaming “Gimme Shelter” like a greased pig looking for a place to give birth to a piglet, and Madonna still wishing she looked 30. I didn’t care about any of them. I just wanted to see Dave Matthews Band. Actually, it was all moderately enjoyable in one way or another. I switched off a couple of times. For example, at one point I couldn’t understand a word of some Anglo guy talking with such a thick accent, a Scottish pub owner should have been there to translate and another time when the commentators made my nauseous. It even made me cringe when they interviewed Dave Mathews. I found his save the earth pitch ironic and I just kept thinking about all those people who were drenched with human crap when his tour bus dumped 800 pounds of waste from its septic tank onto a sightseeing boat on the Chicago River. I know it wasn't Dave's fault (bus driver stupidity), but still even fans like me remember that environmental fiasco! Likewise, I kept thinking of the hypocrisy surrounding this event. Don’t get me wrong. It is a GREAT cause. I just have questions. Am I the only one to realize within the grand stadium settings full of exuberant fans, there was a huge, pink elephant standing amongst the partiers? Most of these celebrities don’t live GREEN. I suppose you could say many live lavish, excessive, RED lives (The opposite on the color wheel except in this case it isn’t complimentary!) I am glad they raised money and conscientiousness. Even so, it raised my eyebrows. I just couldn’t help but wonder if when the concert was over, all the participants got together to pick up the trash and recycle it into some grand, artistic monument commemorating the event. Huh? You don’t think so?

”Universal Dump”
This mixed media work hangs in front of my treadmill.
As I sweat, I look at it and think about how life is so fragile.
Yet, most of us just don’t get it.
”Dump” shows how we explore new horizons before cleaning our own house. We fill space up with junk because it is getting crowded down here!
Click thumbnail for detail of "Dump"

Sunday, July 1, 2007

America the Beautiful: Taking it for granted

Watching the TV show “Sunday Morning”, I was unexpectedly brought to tears. The end of the show featured a huge room of immigrants being sworn in to become American citizens. They interviewed some of the candidates. Their stories were touching and their gratitude was obvious. Some were tearful even speaking of the honor of becoming citizens of our wonderful country.
I tend not to be a flag waver. Of course, I love my country. I am mash potato, Midwest girl! However, I realized this morning, how we natural born citizens take our home for granted too often. Maybe it is human nature to complain. Perhaps we feel entitled. All I know is we are the luckiest bunch of people on earth. We should appreciate this. I do!
Happy 4th of July!!

Click here to see more art from this AMERICAN artist!”