Saturday, June 30, 2007

MORE MORE MORE

More “Misbehaviorists” are done! I am keeping very busy!

Click to see NEW “Misbehaviorists”

Friday, June 29, 2007

Just keep moving!

Whether we want to admit it or not, every artist has times of doubt. There are moments when we know we are doing what we were born to do and need to do. We realize we are doing what is right. Yet it is difficult to keep going because living an artist’s life can be solitary and void of feedback. Actually, most artists really don’t want “feedback”. In reality (I am being honest here!), they wish for someone to say “Just keep doing what you do. You are on the right track! Good for you!” Often, those supporters are few and far between. That is why it is important for artists to be their own grateful audience. It is vital to contribute, develop, and celebrate a self-support system. You need to become accustomed to giving yourself a pat on your own back! This is one of those times for me. I know for sure the work I am working on now is significant. Maybe this revelation will only be important to me. Actually, I don't really care about that. Who cares? I care! That is all that is important at this moment. This work is worthwhile. I know it. I just have to keep moving. In the end, all I want is to be happy and confident that I was true to myself. I am very busy fulfilling that desire. I am thankful that I realize this now.


”Radiant”
Click to see detail

Monday, June 25, 2007

Rework

One thing I do sometimes is rework an older piece because it just doesn’t satisfy me. In this case, “Watching” was just never quite the way I wanted it. I finally have come to a resolution that suits me. I showed the beginnings of this rework a month or two ago. Here is the completed new version. I love it!


”Watching”
Click to see detail

Painting maniac

I have so much going on in my studio, my head is spinning. Here are a few sneak previews of new beginnings. I wonder where these fresh starts will lead?



This is the beginning of “CALM”


This is the beginning of “Foot Fly”


This is the beginning of who knows what! LOL LOL

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Our Babies

I have been thinking about kids the past 24 hours. Most of us have a kid or two. I guess that is a normal progression. I have to admit I am still a novice mom. Yes even after 23 years of motherhood, I am still grappling. However now that my daughter is an adult, I have new things to think about and realize. I have no control or say in the machinations of my daughter’s life now. This gives me the opportunity to see her at a distance. Likewise for the first time in her life, I am starting to see my effect and influence on her as a human being. I think that is a good thing.
Be it bad things or good things, the way our kids interact with the world is a reflection on ourselves whether we like it or not. I learn so much from her. Even though she isn’t a visual artist, I see her as a CREATIVE. I see her as driven. I see her as so intelligent and able. I see her as a woman that will get what she wants because she will work for it. I see her insecurities and smile. I understand that. So, I give her encouragement and tell her just to go for it.
My girl learned to walk on a studio floor laden with tools and sawdust. That was hard for her. I realize now her creative energy was tempered by the fact that mom was an artist. She always rejected drawing and painting. That was her form of rebellion since preschool. At first I thought she just wasn’t artistic. I was wrong. She is an artist in her own way and is now going through a passage in her life to find how her creativity fits in this world. I am so proud of that.
I think our kids mirror of our own life. Their accomplishments and take on the world are a manifestation of our own thoughts and dreams. I am so thankful I have the opportunity to see myself in my daughter. I have learned from her.

Me and Cris on a Roller Coaster
A metaphor for our lives!
Go get em girl!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

God’s Voice

Sometimes when I am sitting around the house and looking at all the art on the walls, I don’t recognize it. I know I am the one who made all this stuff, but there are times when the production of the work seems like a vague memory. I believe this is because when I am making it, I go into the art “zone”. I get to a place in art making that I lose awareness of the actual actions I am taking. I just let it flow. In fact, when I am struggling in the studio, I actually tell myself to let “Universal Energy” to run through me. In other words, I try not to force creativity. I let the powers that be take the reigns. Whether you call this God, the Source, or Universal Energy, I think this happens to people who believe in stuff like this.
One perfect example of Universal energy is the winner of the Britain’s Got Talent show. When Paul Potts came out on stage, the judge’s eyes rolled. It was as if they were thinking, “Oh brother, what’s this guy going to do?” He sure doesn't look like star material! Well, Paul opened his mouth and zapped them all! Even though I hate opera, when I heard this guy sing, the hair on my arms stood up and I actually got chills! This just has to be God’s voice.

Paul Potts
Click here to hear Paul sing!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fun Fun Fun

I LOVE days like today. I am a “list” type person. Most mornings, I make a daily goal list. That keeps me on task. Well, today I made my goal list and stuck to it precisely. I spent lots of time in my studio and got oodles done. I feel very good about all my messes today. This is what it’s all about. Accomplishing something you love is why we live. My “Misbehaviorist” series is cracking me up! I love these little devils (pun intended)! I can’t wait until I have 100 of them done!
Well, I have to go back to my goal list. I still have a couple of things to do yet today.

Almost done!


If it’s messy, it means I am working!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Candy Day

This is a very happy story. This is a very sad story. Today I decided I needed to get out of my art cave. I took a shower, got dressed, and ventured out. I had a wonderful time “filling the well”. For those unfamiliar with this expression, I will explain. Today I went out to view the world, replenish my creative spirit, and refill my inspiration inventory. It was such a great day! I went to the local Pier overlooking Tampa Bay. I listened to jazz while chugging a few beers. While I was there, something sparked a thought of my late niece. I guess this memory came to the surface because I was sitting there thinking about how lucky I am to have my art life and to live in such a beautiful place! I just can’t complain. Then, I realized how life isn't always fair. Why am I so lucky and others not? I ask WHY?
My sister’s daughter was born with a heart defect. When she was a baby, her prognosis was grim. They told my sister her daughter wouldn’t live to see her teens. She struggled and had heart surgeries repeatedly. Yet despite her challenges, she was one of the most tenacious, brilliant, happy, vivacious, and hopeful human beings I have ever met.
I remember one time when she was very young (maybe 4 or 5 years old); I went to visit my sister. My niece was dragging around a lunchbox from room to room. It was a Saturday and I didn’t understand why the lunchbox(?) I asked my sister about this and she said, “Oh, it is candy day!” She went on to explain that my niece was not allowed to eat candy except for one day a week. Therefore, Saturday was always her “candy day”. I called my niece over and asked to see inside her lunchbox. She smiled a big grin and opened it. A treasure trove of sugar spilled out. There was peanut butter cups, jolly ranchers, bubble gum, you name it. It was all there! She wouldn’t finish all of it on any given Saturday. In fact, she wouldn’t eat much at all. It was just the idea that it was there if she wanted it.
I learned from that. I learned that you don’t have to have it all. I learned that life is like that. You can be happy despite the limitations. Even if you have challenges and struggles, you can have a box of goodies (your choice) to cheer you up and get you through the week. I learned that life is worth living because you can always schedule a “candy day”.
My niece died unexpectedly when she was 20 years old. All of those 20 years were filled with happiness, joy, and the purest form of wisdom. They were also filled with "Candy Days". I learned so much from this young woman. I don't even feel worthy of the gifts she gave me. Despite feeling unworthy, I treasure her life. I miss you sweetie.

Life can be strange.
It is hard not to ask WHY?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Agnes Martin

In some ways, we have “come a long way baby”. I remember when I was in grad school, there were so few women artists mentioned it was sickening. I guess that is why so many female students walked around in plaid hunters shirts and construction boots. Our role models were the likes of Frank Stella, Rauschenberg, and Johns. I can remember walking into a painting studio back then and the professor was looking at a magazine article about Agnes Martin. Agnes who? I was young and dumb back then. I didn’t “get” her grids. Even though the professor raved, I just looked at all those lines and muted colors and wondered why her work was in Art in America.
Well, I am not young and as dumb anymore. I understand Agnes Martin better now. In fact, I think of her as a great role model! Not only is her work impeccable, she seemed to be such an intelligent, strong woman.
I was watching a video today: “Art City – Simplicity”. At the time it was made, Agnes was 86 years old. She spoke of her work and told of how she painted happiness, innocence, beauty, and tranquility. She confessed of not wanting to paint anything depressing. As I watched the video, I realized this woman had such integrity and conviction about her art. She had a matter of fact demeanor. It was if she was thinking, “Take me or leave me! I know who I am and what I am about!” Martin died in 2004 at the age of 92. Sorry it took me so long to see your beauty Agnes.

Agnes Martin
Click to learn more

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Stupid Art World Stuff

I was reading art blogs yesterday and I read one post that made my head hurt. It spoke about local art aficionados making lists of the “BEST ARTISTS” in that regional area. That label, “Best Artist” makes every cell in my body want to revolt. It sets off all my neurotic tendencies. It makes me want to scream. It makes me want to puke! I know there are those who will think “What’s wrong with that?” There has to be a BEST, right? WRONG!!!
I don’t see art making as a competition. I see art as an expression of the artist’s self. This “best artist” concept seems so pretentious and misguided. All kinds of questions come to my mind: The BEST at what? What criteria are used for selection? Why is there a need to compare one human being to another? Who gets to decide who is the best / worst? What is the motivation of the judge to call one artist better than another? This entire line of thinking makes me crazy!! I suppose that is why I steer clear of the “art world” at large. I make my work, send it out, and keep a low profile. This is for the sake of my sanity.
My good friend, artist Gilda Snowden sent me an article about Sigmar Polke. The headline was “The reclusive Sigmar Polke applies his signature technique and intuition to prepare for the Venice Biennale.” The article told of how he shuns publicity and stays to himself most of the time. Of course, he is lucky because his “name” and history draws attention to his work without the need to immerse himself in art world B.S.
I don’t have a big name, but I still refuse to buy into all the stupid, moronic, and infuriating machinations of the art world. It might cost me money, but my peace of mind is priceless!

”You Bug Me”
5” X 7”
”Sight Bite Series”
Click to see more!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Ending Procrastination

I have been putting off updating my website for over a year. The original web page was created in 1997. Slowly, I have added and added to the site. Every so often I would fix up this or that. However, it has gotten so big, I had a hard time finding things! Also, I hated the dark colors. I wanted to lighten things up a bit. So I spent ALL day, writing code, rearranging pics, writing more code, and on and on and on. When I am doing web pages, I am like a woman possessed. I even feel bad for my dog. He just sits and looks at me with this look of “Are you ever going to get done with this?” Well, I didn’t get completely done, but I got a lot accomplished. I am happy I was so productive.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Instruments of Torture - It is a good thing!

When my daughter left home, I turned her room into my exercise room. This was a great idea. I filled it with things like a treadmill, weights, jump ropes, ab thingies, etc. The only problem was that I scrunched my face every time I would pass the door of this room. Oh, I have it fixed up all nice and healthy! In fact, I realize now, this is the most important room of my house. That is saying a lot considering I have a studio attached to my house.
I got a new toy today to add to my TORTURE room! I bought a SPINNER. I wanted one of those because I realized when I had a gym membership, all the “Spinner” people had the skinniest asses I had ever seen!!!! LOL LOL However, I didn’t want to join the class because I feared bizarre attention. I am less than 4’ 9” tall. I knew for sure if I ventured into the “Spinner” room, there would be drama. I didn’t want that attention or embarrassement. So, I gave up the idea of being a “Spinner”.
Well a few weeks ago I saw an infomercial. They were advertising a “Spinner” for home use. I thought about it again and again. Then, I finally went online and bought it. I wanted it BAD!
It came today. I put it together in less than an hour. I inserted the beginner video in the DVD player and found this instrument of torture is a really, really good thing! I loved doing it, but it was so hard! It will make a big difference in my physical reality! I love it!! Sheree is a SPINNER now!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I love days like today. I was so busy in my studio. Even though I felt a bit depressed because things seemed useless yesterday, I went in there like a trooper. I have been working on lots of stuff. However, there are times when I feel like I am spinning my wheels. Well, this isn’t true. Finally, things started to come together. Some of the pieces started to come to fruition. I needed that!!!


All lined up ready for varnish!



"Misbehaviorists 1", Acrylic on Canvas, 8" X 10"



"Misbehaviorists 2", Acrylic on Canvas, 8" X 10"



"Misbehaviorists 3", Acrylic on Canvas, 8" X 10", These are the start of my "Misbehaviorist Series" LOVE EM!!



This is "Radiant". It isn't even close to being finished. However, I am so happy with the beginnings!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A Resolution

Finally! I resurrected my “Lonely” painting. I was worried for a while there. I had it done. Like I do often, I brought it in the house so I could look at it for a while. Whenever, I do a new piece, I have to get to know it in its final state. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. In this case, it was an awful thing. I almost killed it! Something kept bothering me, so after a day, I took it back into the studio and started to “fix it”. I thought I ruined it. However after lots more hours of work, I got it to this point of resolution. I am very satisfied!

Click to go to enlarge

Monday, June 4, 2007

Artistic OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

I am in such a weird place right now. I am in one of my OCD phases. Everything has to have order. Of course, I realize this is a control issue. I want to control my environment and in my case this trait expresses itself through bizarre rituals of organization and cleanliness. It is hereditary. My mother wasn’t around all that often, yet the few memories I have of her are filled with a very scary obsession to clean. She used a vacuum like a weapon! I can remember her going back and forth, back and forth, stroking the carpet with this wild-eyed look. I knew from experience not to speak to her during those moments and to go hide in my bedroom when that happened. In one place we lived, my sisters and I weren’t allowed in the living room. God forbid if we got footprints on the carpet or butt marks in the couch. Looking back, I am actually shocked there weren’t plastic covers on all the furniture with a velvet rope blocking the entrance!
My current wave of OCD all started last week when I ordered new shelves for my studio. I installed those. Then, I went on a rearranging rampage. There have been times when I thought I was going absolutely, certifiably nuts. I had to have a place for everything without “visual distractions”. Only people who have this kind of malady would understand. The shelves have to look right. I have to have a place for everything and it has to look orderly.
I decided to get tubs for my paint. I made labels for those: RED, YELLOW, BLUE, etc., all my hardware drawers and boxes. I got jars for all my little mosaic glass, beads, and odd trinkets. Experiencing the thrill of an addict, I filled those jars with bits of stuff with a sigh of relief. The sad thing is that I have been putting off making art until I feel organized. Things have to have order. They just do.
P.S. If any of you need plastic jars, go to www.usplastic.com
They are a great company with excellent service!









Sunday, June 3, 2007

Cultural Virus BIG TIME

When are we all going to wake up? Waz up wit dis? What does it take for us to realize what we are doing here in America? Just look. I want to scream, yell, flap my wings, whatever. The most depressing part of all this is I don’t think it would matter what anybody says or does. Apathy? Helplessness? Maybe things are just too big? We have come to this. It is sickening and sad. I know some of you will think...oh that is Hollywood! I disagree. I think this is a reflection of our society as a whole. There are different degrees of malfunction, but it results in the same outcome. So what are we going to do now? You better think fast. This is not a good projection of our future. Ya think? So what can we do to make our American future better? I fear I ask this question too late!

My response. I REPEAT:

Click to go to enlarge

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Success (?)

I have been in a self-imposed vortex of thought since yesterday morning. For those of you who are obsessive types and think too much, you know what I mean. Something will trigger a particular line of thought and away we go. The topic of yesterday’s mental harassment included art marketing, the kind of art I do, and my art life in general. I have been thinking a lot about all this stuff for the past year. Months ago, I decided I need to “raise the bar” in this art journey.
Back in the early 90’s, I moved to Florida. Before I left my home, I had a “Help me get out of Michigan” art sale. It was quite successful. I sold about 2/3 of the art I had made in my adult life. The proceeds of the sale paid for my moving costs, set me up in a place to live here in Florida, and kept the debt wolves away for a while. However looking back, I realize now it was quite traumatic for me. I miss so many of the pieces I sold. This is why I haven’t marketed my art in so long. I haven’t wanted to sell anything!
I am over that now. Well, I am trying to get over it. Consequently, I have spent hours, days, and months researching art marketing practices and thinking of art as a business.
This is what caused the mental turmoil yesterday. I was reading an article about an artist. The article glorified this artist and her successful business. After reading this tribute, I checked out the artist’s blog. It was just full of moneymaking strategies. The art is “cute” and appealing to the general population. This artist does podcasts, has entries in craft books, she creates how-to DVD’s. Yep! She seemed successful!
However after thinking for hours about this, I realized I don’t want any of that! My definition of success is not about being included in a TV craft show or being given the stamp of approval by Martha. YIKES! I don’t want to make cute, saleable items. I don’t want to do personalized commission work. I have absolutely no desire to make DVD’s or be included in how-to books or podcasts either.
So I summed up my fit of psychological torture with the realization that I have been very lucky in my life thus far. I have been doing what I wanted to do. I am doing just fine. I have had many, many valuable art career experiences and moments of such pride in my work as an artist. I might not be rolling in money but that has been my choice. I am the only one who can determine the definition of my past, present, or future SUCCESS and what that looks like to me. In conclusion, be TRUE to yourself!


"True"
Acrylic on Wood
Click to go to enlarge