Thursday, December 27, 2007

You gotta WANT it

Still head trippin. This is nothing new. Shoot!! If thinking burned calories, I would have a skeletal figure! I have had the past six days off from my day job which gives me too much time to realize my own reality. I am in a blue funk. Like many, I am taking a tally of the year’s events and I don’t feel as successful as I want to feel. As far as art sales, I can’t GIVE my stuff away! Ironically, my horoscope yesterday told about the ebb and flow of life. I KNOW this. I have been successful, shown my art in more places than I will ever visit, and sold enough work for me to be clueless as who has it all. I guess I don’t like the “ebb” part of life. The FLOW suits me better.
There is a personal responsibility issue here. I have to be honest. I recently joined a fitness group to get my head wrapped around taking better care of myself. There are people in the group who want to improve their health, but sit around and bitch about how it isn’t working for them. Between each moan, they are chewing on a candy bar or sitting on their butts only moving their mouth. I keep thinking “They have to really WANT it if they desire change!”
Bingo!! Yeppers!! Who are you to talk??? I can switch this observation to fit my own art life dilemma.
I started asking myself “Do you really WANT art success?” I give good lip service, but am I doing what it takes? No. Not really. I have worked on a lot of art this year. In fact, I get into these manic fervors to the point of exhaustion. Then I get depressed when I put it out there and nothing happens. I get impatient. Another example is preparing for exhibitions. I have had a number of opportunities to show work this year and I let the deadlines pass by. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm………………..
A month or so ago, Art Calendar magazine contacted me. They wanted to use one of my pieces to be included as an illustration for an article.
"Coaching the Artists Within
Relationship Skills: Presenting Yourself"
By Eric Maisel, Ph.D.
What kind of artist do you want to be?

This article is included in the January issue. When I saw the name of the article, I thought how funny that is! Yeah, what kind of artist DO you want to be Sheree? I subscribe to this magazine. When this issue arrived I didn’t open it before I put the rest of the mail down. In fact, it is sitting on my coffee table unread. I didn’t even open it to look at the article. This psycho drama behavior is why I am reflecting. I have no idea why I am doing this. That doesn’t surprise me though. I have always been one of strange ways. This too shall pass.
So DO I WANT it? I thought I did.

Click to go to Art Calendar website
If you don’t subscribe already, you should!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

WISH Granted!

This happens to me so much lately, I wonder why I am surprised each time it occurs. Yesterday, I wrote a simple but sincere letter to SANTA. Something has been bothering me lately. I don’t want to get into the details because it is boring. However thoughts of this self created drama is affecting my art life. It is stupid in many ways. Yet, I need to address it because it is debilitating.
So I asked Santa for a jar of contentment. It was a tongue-in-cheek request. I was thinking about what I really want right now. The idea of peace of mind fit the bill. A few hours after writing the post, I “met” someone online. I am not going to tell you in detail about her. I am still so shocked and mesmerized; I want to keep this to myself. I can tell you she is a triple threat artist. She does multimedia work. She is so unbelievably awesome; I can’t understand why I have never heard of her before this. Regardless, I have found her now. I have been reading all about her. I have been amazed with every line of her resume. I have looked at her multimedia art projects with heart-felt and intense thought. She blows me away. I emailed her, she responded. I felt like I wanted to bow to the computer screen. I am not worthy, I thought. WAIT!!! Oh yes I am!! In fact, what I learned while reading into the wee hours of the night is that I am not alone. I am not so weird. I am part of a human community that is out there albeit eclectic and not of the popular media ilk. She isn’t either. So I will run with that truth. Popularity is NOT my goal. Unique, sincere, concrete, soul searching, emotional authenticity is. I want my art to express those same attributes.
So I want to thank Santa for pointing the way. I have no idea how I found this new mentor. It was a circuitous path indeed. All I know is I am HAPPY for the discovery!

Acrylic/Gallery Wrap Canvas
8” X 8”
What a deal!!
Click to Enlarge and see detail views

Monday, December 24, 2007

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,
I want to thank you for all the wonderful things you have given me over the years. I know I haven’t been perfect, but I have tried my best. :-)
This year, I do not want any more stuff. I have more than my share. Give any gifts with my name on them to others who need and deserve them more. I do have one request though. Would you please leave a little jar of CONTENTMENT on my front porch? I want the feeling of “go, go, go, gotta do better, gotta be better” to be a condition of the past. I want to sprinkle this potion over my head and be able to calmly say
“Things are good enough and I am happy with it!”

Finally, I could RELAX and ENJOY life as it is now!
Thank you Santa for doing all you do for all of us. Thank you for keeping my baby girl safe. Thank you for giving me good health.
Thank you for being SANTA. I love you!

Godspeed Santa! Be safe on your journey tonight.

Give Rudolph and all the reindeers a hug from me!

Give Ms. Claus a huge kiss tomorrow morning for putting up with all your “all nighters” over the years. LOL LOL LOL

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Artist of Note

When I started to watch YouTube videos regularly a month or so ago, the first thing I did was do zillions of searches using words like fine artist, artist studios, artist vlog, etc. As I found anything interesting, I would subscribe to the artist’s channel. Over a period of weeks, I would revisit those channels to view their recent video offerings. Slowly, my subscription list dwindled. I would unsubscribe from many. The reasons I would become disinterested are multifaceted. Some artists seemed too silly. Some were making videos more about creating YouTube popularity than art. Some of the videos (and art) was just boring. Some art work was just of an ilk that didn’t grab my soul.
Last night, I started doing a new round of searches. I came across the work of Nancy Worthington.
Her work has substance. She is a thinking artist. I like that. Much of her work is social commentary. I found it particularly interesting when she mentions her “George Dubya” series (which can be viewed at her website) has been shown around the world. Yet, it has not been shown in the U.S. without being censored. This doesn’t surprise me and that fact alone stands as a grand social comment.
She is an artist worth noticing

Here is her YouTube video,
“Conspiracy of Silence”
– Nancy Worthington

An interview film by Dan Villava

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ideas of Separation

It is so interesting the way this blog post idea came about. I ordered a gift for someone via I accidently ordered two copies of a particular CD. Therefore when the order came, I had two CDs for deep meditation. OK…… At first, I was bummed. I was disappointed I had made the mistake while ordering. Then, I was disappointed with the idea I had to return something. Yet, I thought for a moment. I decided to keep this CD. I believe things happen for a reason. I must need this CD. As I continued to think about this CD and meditation, I realized I hadn’t done Yoga in a long time. I decided to do a bit of research on both Yoga and meditation. This sequence of events made me laugh. It is just like the creative process. One thought leads to another and another.
This is where this topic came to the forefront. I was on a website and I read about “Ideas of Separation”. I had an “A-ha” moment. I am so guilty of this. I do it all the time. IDEAS OF SEPARATION are when you see yourself as separate from others. For example, “THEY are rich; I am poor.””I am not successful; THEY are.” “SHE got attention; I didn’t.” “SHE has a great art career; I don’t”. “HE is young; I am not.” “People like him.” Nobody likes me.” You get the idea. All this is such psycho B.S.!
I think this way a lot. Maybe I don’t express it out loud. However, I think it all the time. I have a lifelong habit of separating myself from others. I have glorified my isolation in my own mind. Maybe this isn’t such a healthy thing to do. Even when someone relates to one of my art works or even one of my blog posts, I feel shocked! What???? Someone relates??? Really??? I have to see the truth of this concept. I have ideas of separation all the time. I have to stop this nonsense. Not only is it a lie, it is nonproductive.

Acrylic/Canvas/Mixed Media
10” X 8”
Click to Enlarge

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Unconventional Creativity

I know I have very eclectic tastes and a love for those who have unexpected or unconventional artistic spirits. There are so many talented people in the world. We are all born with the creativity gene. We just use it (or don’t use it) to varying degrees. For example, we can all play piano. Some of us plunk “Chopsticks”, while others are master pianists who play concerts.
Likewise, anyone can throw paint on a canvas. However, there are those who make it their life work, learn, grow, and discover themselves through this endeavor. Regardless of the medium, I thoroughly enjoy finding artists who surprise me. The older I get, the harder it is to do. The more life you live, the more you have seen. Discovering something that makes you sit alert and be mesmerized is a true joy.
I was wearily wondering around the internet the other night trying to combat boredom. I came across a video of an indie rock musician Joanna Newsom I heard her voice on another artist’s webpage. At first, the sqeaky, pitchy squeals sounded like a child’s voice. However as the song continued, I was taken in by the melody and repetition. The sound was so unusual. The singer was not credited on the webpage. (Arggghhhhh!) So, I listened closely to the lyrics and Googled a phrase. Immediately, I got hits for Joanna. The song is Cosmia. She has a number of CDs out. She plays the harp and sings in such an unconventional manner. That is the wonderful thing about her. She has a unique style. I am sure her audience will be select. However, the content and richness of her performances are far superior to the pop tunes of this era.
She is a true artist.
There is a certain magic here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Healthy Artist

I promised I wouldn't talk about my "issues" with body image. Therefore, I will not get into any blah blah blah dialogue about this dreaded and boring subject. However, I will say we all have to take care of ourselves (mind, body, spirit, and emotion). If we don't, we are not doing our best for ourselves or others. Also, our art suffers. We must have energy, stamina, and a clear mind to produce work which is substantial. This is why this topic is important to me.
I started doing 5K runs in 2004. I stopped doing 5Ks in March of 2006. The reason I stopped is complicated and I don't want to bore you. However, I realized at the beginning of this month, I HAVE to continue with stuff like this. I just HAVE to. The reason for this decision is multi-fold. The most important reason is when Sheree finishes a 5K, she feels like Superwoman. Likewise, she feels like SuperArtist. Hey, this sounds GOOD to me!!
I decided to do my first 5K in 20 months, last night. I didn't do as bad as I thought. I was so proud! This feeling of pride will spill over into my work and my art life. How good is that? Take a look at last night's 5K. I WISH I could run this fast in real life!!! LOL LOL LOL Whoopeeeeeee!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

ONE more day

You would think I would lie about my Dad. I suppose I should say he was so perfect. He was not. He was a mess in many ways. However, I LOVED him more than I can say. Today’s Oprah show was about Mitch Albom’s new book “For One More Day”. The book asks what you would want to do with a loved one who has died if you had ONE more day with him or her. For me this was an easy vision. My dad died more than ten years ago, yet it still hurts just as much and as hard as if it were today. I miss him in a way that is indescribable. Even though he was not an ideal person and had many flaws, I related to him more than anyone on earth.
If I had ONE more day with him, I know what we would do together. I would go visit his house in East Detroit. I would drive past 8 Mile Road via Gratiot Ave. I would make a U-Turn after passing the huge sculpture (advertising oddity) of the steer on the meat market. I would walk into his house and he would be sitting there sipping his second, third, fourth? beer. He would laugh and tell me to go get my own beer out of the frig. I would do so. I would then sit at the vintage linoleum print stainless steel dining table and ask “So what’s up?” As soon as he started talking, I would start laughing. He was SO FUNNY!! He would fill me with stories about work or show me one of his recent “projects”. He was SO CREATIVE!! He was not well educated. He didn’t know about ART. He just made things. His art was very simple and without taste. Things like plastic violins mounted on black velvet thrilled him. His van immersed in red plastic upholstery with rivets was his nirvana. He would always boast and be so proud of his newest creation. I loved that part of him. I realized I got my creativity from his genes. He didn’t understand my art. He didn’t even graduate from high school. Yet, he KNEW. Each time I would visit him, he would always have some found objects, stacks of paper, or some box of materials he had saved for me to use in my art. Even though my art was so foreign to him, with his simple intellect, he had the primal knowledge of creativity and knew I needed stuff to create.
Gosh, I love you so much Daddy. I miss you.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


One of the things I am grappling with right now is the issue of showing vs. selling. I have been trying to create bodies of work. This year, I have hesitated to enter juried shows because I am planning to create proposals for shows that show a complete body of work in 2008. I just don’t want to chop up the series. In other words, I want to keep painting and not feel obligated to show until I get a cohesive, consistent body of work. I want to show the series together. This isn’t possible (or feasible) some times. Some of you know what I mean. It is hard to “wait it out”. I am a very SLOW painter. I just can’t crank them out. Therefore, it might take years for me to make a new body of work. This is very frustrating sometimes. I want to keep an active exhibition record. Yet, I am very happy I am FREE to do what I want to do. This is not a do or die decision. However, this is still perplexing. The “bottom line” is what should I do.? Show em or sell em? What do you think?

Click to Enlarge

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Pity Party

Today is a Boo Hoo day. You know the kind. We all have them. Maybe I am just too tired. Maybe I haven’t been taking good care of myself. Maybe, maybe, maybe, whatever! Anyway, WELCOME! Grab a beer out of the frig and sit down. We can be depressed together! LOL LOL
I have always been an overachiever. I zoom, zoom, zoom and then the blast of energy deflates. I have to land somewhere. Usually, I end up with a day or two like today. I don’t want to do anything; yet I feel totally guilty for not accomplishing anything. And so it goes….on and on and on. Sometimes I get into these creative tangents that rival out of body experiences. Case in point: I got a Google alert with my name on it. I didn’t recognize the website, so I went to take a look. There on the page was a “Teaching Philosophy” written by me. Apparently, this blogger was collecting examples for teachers. I read the writing and actually thought “Wow, this person really has it together!” For a second, I forgot I had written this blah, blah, blah. To be honest, I don’t remember writing it. In retrospect, I do know I wrote it to get a college teaching job. It worked. I was hired. The classes didn’t run. So much for being articulate.
See what I mean. I hate when I have this attitude. I hate it. I watched too many art videos today. I went to too many art websites. It is fine to go visit other artists once in a while. However for me, I have to do it in “moderation”. Otherwise, I start feeling like I do right now. I start feeling like what is the point? There are too many artists. I am not “good” enough. I have to do more, more, more, more, more, MORE!

Today, I am going to do NOTHING.
That is just fine.

Click to enlarge
POST AFTER THOUGHT: This is why pity parties really don’t make sense.
I went to go get the URL for this picture.
On my way there, I had to go through my webpages.
I was thinking, “Gee, this site looks really nice!
I sure have done a lot of work lately.
OPTIMISM!! Huh??? Crap!!
I can’t even be depressed properly!