Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Art Blog: NEW YEAR Just keep moving

Another year? In some ways it boggles my mind. Yet, there is a part of me that holds back and says:
“STOP and look at the last 12 months. Just LOOK!"
OK, Ok! Don’t get bitchy! LOL Seriously, I put up a NY resolution list last January 1st.

I didn’t do so badly at all. I didn’t follow it to the letter. That is OK. In fact, I have accomplished a lot. I did MORE than I resolved to do!
1. I didn’t get 5 more “States” done, but I got a bunch of other art works done!
2. I did get my “Lost Souls” online.
3. I have made and sent CDs for gallery submission. Cool!
4. I only entered 9 shows, BUT I also applied for ten jobs. Touché!
5. I had planned on applying for grants but when I went to do the leg work, the grants I wanted to apply for were no longer offered. (Economic art world doom) Hmmmmmmmmmm

Overall, I have done very, very well this year. My day job hasn’t made me totally berserk. I am coping quite nicely. My art life is moving along. I am not going for want. I am very thankful and feel very lucky!
If you follow Jafabrit’s blog, you know she has spoken of a sketchbook project. I am doing the same project. Now before you think I am getting all heady and egomaniacal, just listen. Here is one of my (almost finished) sketchbook pages.

This is just one of thirty pages. I wanted to share this one with you because it relates to what is on my mind on this New Year’s Eve. I believe in Universal Principles. I see myself as a minute spec of light in this endless UNIVERSE. Yet, I know for sure I have put forth the energy to do a good job while my light burns. I truly believe I am doing right by all the powers that be. If someone is looking down, they see the little flicker of the “Sheree Star”.
Last week, Nancy spoke of this video on her blog.

“Earth Rise”

I sat there and watched it. Everything seemed to come together for me. At least, I realized my place in the Universe. I realized my significance. I realized I have FINALLY gotten a grip! I realized as long as I keep moving, everything will be OK! We all do our best. Things are the way they are meant to be. Hopefully, we will continue to strive to make worthy contributions to our lives and every other human being on this planet. I know I am doing the very best I can to have a rich, art life. I hope this effort radiates out and touches as many people as possible. My paramount wish is that we ALL see our worth.

2009 is going to be the best year ever. I can feel it.
Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Art Blog: Show Me the MONEY!

I have been selling stuff on EBAY for years. NOT ART! I sell junk I find at thrift stores and stuff around the house I don’t want anymore. Right now, I am trying to downsize a little bit. I am starting to look like one of those crazy hoarder ladies. It is times like this I log onto EBAY and put on my sellers hat. I start to unload all my excess STUFF. Show me the money, BABY!

I am in the wrong business! Being an artist is so much harder than being a stuff salesperson. At least, selling things other than ART is far easier. Let me tell you……….I put up some like new, SPINNING exercise workout DVDs on EBAY and they sold within hours. I was so shocked how quickly they flew off my Ebay page, I became flustered trying to figure out who paid and where to send which one. There is money out there. People are buying stuff on Ebay. However, the stuff has to be at bargain basement prices and about something as boring as exercising.

I know there are some artists who use Ebay to sell art. I would never do that. Besides just seeming tacky, it is such a gamble. I am not sure people realize that you have to pay just to list your stuff on Ebay even before you sell anything. Ebay buyers seem to want thrift store prices. The majority of buyers don’t seem to understand the handmade mentality. Sometimes I spit in the wind and I do put stuff like my wizzleworkz artsy stuff on Ebay. However, it usually just sits there. I never get any bids (so far anyway, knock on wood, knock on wood). I end up paying for nothing. It is all good though because I feel like I am at least trying to be positive and getting my gewgaws out there. Also, generally people would respond more to an Ebay ad, more than they would buy off my wizzleworkz webpage. Who knows? Someday I might get a sale off one of my artsy doodads! In the meantime, do you know anyone who wants a SPINNING DVD?

This is the only one left! If you know anybody who SPINS, tell them about this DVD.
It is a steal at this price! Click pic to go to EBAY sales webpage! NEVER MIND!! It just SOLD!!! Yikes!!
P.S. I am not giving up exercise. I just have too many Spinning DVDs. I am going to get more into all this fitness stuff in an upcoming post on January 1st. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm…….I can’t wait to write that one (NOT)!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Art Blog: Just for FUN!

Zippety do DA!
I have been busy brushing up my “wizzleworkz” webpage. These are the first of my new “ART” signs. These simple little signs are just for FUN! Tee HEE

Click my logo to go to see my “wizzleworkz” page!

Art Blog: Walking Backwards

“Untitled”, Sheree Rensel

“Span”, Sheree Rensel
In a former life, I was a sculptor. LOL Well, actually I am primarily a painter, but sometimes media and genre lines get blurred. This is why I just say I am an artist. I did these pieces a long time ago. These are some of the few remaining pieces of that era. I sold most of them. They are long gone. I miss them.

In my early days, I was strictly a painter. Over time, I started creating little sculptures on the side. Eventually, 3-D work took over. Everything I created for the next five years would be sculpturesque. These small pieces were the earliest of that that group of work. Most were meant to hang on the wall. It is funny to see these again because I realize as the years progressed, the grey, earthy palette turned brighter and brighter. In fact, the last works of my sculpture period were polychrome in hues similar to what I use now. (In my case, I think my choice of palette has a lot to do with the time in my life. When I made these pieces, my life was pretty gloomy! LOL)

I have the sculpture bug again. One reason I stopped doing sculpture is because it takes up so much space. It is much easier to store flat work than to find places to stash 3-D works. However, this is a problem I will have to think about later. I want to revisit making three dimensional objects.

This has been on my mind of quite a while now. I have been collecting all kinds of “spare parts” and odd materials in boxes in my studio. I knew this urge was coming. Subconsciously, I have been preparing. In fact, I have already thought of a title for my new series of small, sculpture works. The series will be titled “ANCIENT ARTISTS”.

“Untitled”, Sheree Rensel

Stay Tuned!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Art Blog: Seventh ART Heaven

I had to go out today. I ran out of some supplies. I bought a new toy. It is a Black and Decker detail sander called a “Mouse”. I love it already. It is the perfect size for my little, mousy hand. Also, I had to go to Office Depot to buy lots of stuff. One of my projects relies heavily on techie stuff. I needed bunches of ink and paper, etc.

When I got back and unpacked, I returned to my work station. I just stood there looking. I can remember when I was in grad school, a professor asked some question like “Why did you decide to be an artist?” The very first student respondent raised her hand and said something like “I want to be an artist because I love making art!” Before she even got the last consonant out of her mouth, he snapped at her. Being the prick he was he said something like “Don’t ever say anything like that again! Of course, you love making art otherwise you wouldn’t be here. That is not the answer to this question!” She shrunk down in disgrace and despair. I did too. (Secretly, I was glad I didn’t raise my hand first!!! LOL LOL)

Screw him! As I gazed down at my table full of stuff in the making, I was in seventh ART heaven. This is what I want. I want to feel joy in my life. Making art brings that glorious feeling. All the crap that comes with an art career is the icing. However, making the art is the CAKE!

Thank you God for making me an ARTIST!

Art Blog: Loose Ends

I almost started a NEW painting yesterday. I stopped myself. I am determined to get all the loose ends done first. I have a bunch of half done stuff laying around my studio. It is time to finish them up! I finished two “Sight Bites” yesterday. I started both a long time ago. I just couldn’t find a way to resolve them. They needed something. Well, I found that something and they are now ready to hang. Hooray!!

Click pics to enlarge

Gotta go back to work!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Art Blog: Here She Goes AGAIN!

This is exactly why you will never hear me whining about getting old. I am growing into myself just like my mentors. I truly believe artists don’t get old, they just get better.

Click the pic to see atree3’s holiday creation.

Art Blog: Art Diversions

Today is “detail day”. These are the days when I get the tiny brushes out and paint itsy bitsy details on my paintings that nobody notices or cares about (except me). I have to be in the mood to do this fine work. It is very tedious. I put on layers and layers of glazes and a zillion fine lines. It takes a long time and lots of patience.

This is especially difficult for me because of my ADHD personality. I can become out of focus and off task at the drop of a thought. I will be working and remember I have to write an email or take out the trash. I am great at finding DIVERSIONS. Just a minute ago, the Jehovah Witness people came to the door. I was almost tempted to talk to them. I didn’t. I told them I was Catholic and they ran off the porch.

Sometimes I think about all the art diversions that seem to pop up. We all have diversions that get us sidetracked. Working on my Ph.D. was a diversion that took over a year of my art life away. It is a good thing I ran out of money. I would still have my head in a book. Sometimes writing this blog qualifies as a diversion. Every time I clean my studio, I feel like I am stalling. Why? Who knows! I will be painting and I will think of a plant that needs to be repotted or a bill that needs to be paid. Then, off I go running out of my studio. This is one of my new goals. It is time for me to realize it is just fine to think about other things while I make art. I just need to get a little notebook, jot down the thought, and use that as a reminder list of things to do later when I am not working.

This goal in mind, I found myself in the midst of a sticky wicket. I have been dabbling with the idea of taking some computer classes at the art center. I want to do this for a number of reasons. First, it would get me out into the world again. The second reason is because even though I am relatively tech savvy, I am self taught. Therefore, when I try to teach things like Photoshop, I don’t call things by their proper names. I say stuff like “Go click this thingy and then move this dohicky over to that whatchamacallit.” LOL LOL LOL I need to learn the lingo. Finally, these classes might lead to some kind of connections to the local art scene (?)

I have to think hard about all this because I don’t want these computer classes to act as a diversion to gobble up my painting money or precious art studio time. I will keep you posted on my ultimate decision.

No, this is not a diversion. This is a one component to a piece I am working on now. I will explain later when it is done. I just wanted to show this because I think it is hysterical. Tee HEE HEE

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Art Vlog: Quiet ?? Christmas

Well, I had planned on a nice quiet day alone. My mistake. I had a visitor. Click this pic and watch this vlog entry to find out who came by:

LOL!! Merry CREATIVE Christmas!!!
Tap, Tap, Tap!

Well, yesterday the stalker went away for a while. Yet, the very first thing I heard at 7 AM this morning when I went to my studio was TAP TAP TAP again. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I covered the window! I knew that roll of brown paper would come in handy one day! Now, he is sitting up in a tree a few feet from the window peeping. I feel kind of guilty for taking his purpose in life away.
Oh well……Ahhhhhhhhh, quiet!!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Art Blog: Thinking TOO Much

Here I go again. All day yesterday, I thought myself into frenzy. The frustration started to surface because I hate working on art that seeming is going nowhere. I know for sure if I just keep working, I will have some good work at the end. My experience has helped me learn this long ago. It is just this interim time that drives me nutty.

In some ways, I think not having a specific direction while working on my Treasure Maps is a good thing. It goes along with the meaning of the work. I am trying to find my way. In fact, this angst and confusion is part of the package. I am mapping my way out of my self-imposed psychological art forest. Also, these pieces are an attempt to just let go and work intuitively. Hmmmmmm. We will see.

As I went from piece to piece working, racing thoughts swirled in my mind. After taking a relook at the Grey work I spoke of in yesterday’s post, I started to mentally condemn what I do and how I do it. I started hating my own work. I kept thinking “I don’t want to paint like Sheree!” LOL LOL Trying to rid myself of these stupid doubts, I decided to think of new strategies for change. My work is not in style. I don’t think my work was ever in style! I do know for sure lately I have been noticing a lot of work that is topical and reflects current issues. Maybe this is an avenue of exploration for me(?) Besides the Grey “Obama”, I saw Shepard Fairy on TV yesterday talking about his plans to attend the inauguration. Good for him! I am not saying I want to start painting portraits of politicians. I just want my work to be more of an obvious reflection of 2009. How I will do that remains to be seen.

While stirring up drama and talking to myself about all these issues, I had a moment of synchronicity. I found this blog post with a really great picture gallery of some of the recent work in Miami. I scrolled down the page and found this gem of a piece by Louise Bourgeois. Wow, what a great painting! It exemplifies art that is up-to-date and a mirror of the moment.

“The Maternal Man” by Louise Bourgeois
Click the pic to go to and see the rest of the Miami wrap up.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Art Blog: Art Interpretations

Last week, I saw an Art Basil video featuring Alex Grey. I absolutely love his work. I have all kinds of Grey stuff. I could look at his books and calendars all day long. In fact, he is one of few artists who I totally envy. I wish I painted like he paints. I have never seen one of his works I disliked. While watching the video, I noticed a portrait of Barack Obama in the background. It was off in the distance and I could really get a good peek at it. So I looked it up online. I was curious because when I saw it in the video; I had this weird, creepy feeling. I could feel my jaw clench.

So when I found it online, I took a relook. Seeing it clearly makes me feel even more uncomfortable. Now this may seem strange. I just told you about my admiration for Grey’s work. If you are a reader of this blog, you know I am an Obamanic! However, my immediate interpretation (MY OPINION) of this Grey portrait is it suggests Obama’s charisma is saintly or messiah like. It reminds me of a portrait of a cult leader or dictatorial propaganda. It puts the president elect on a pedestal just too tall for my taste. Even though Obama is a great man and hopefully will be a great president, he is just a man. I have never been a fanatic about celebrities or authority figures. I think we all have God-like qualities and are spiritual beings. However, I think we are all human.

I realize all of Grey’s work deals with spirituality. This portrait is no different. Having said this, the painting still makes me grimace.

Click the portrait to go to Alex Grey’s wonderful website
and see his totally incredible art work.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Art Blog: Art ROLL!

Wowy Zowy! I woke up yesterday and hit the studio floor running. I am working on so many things at the same time, my head is literally spinning. Nothing looks all that great yet.
These are ALL works in progress.
New stuff for my Wizzleworkz store:

Making some signs!

A new “Love” series acrylic / mixed media

Started some gray pieces for my "Color Series".
Also, I am detailing a few "Sight Bites".

The birth of another “State of Being”. Gee, she sure is an ugly baby!! No matter. Once I clean her up, she will look just fine!

"Treasure Map" Series: “Not in Kansas”

"Treasure Map" Series: “Going Home”
Today I have to clean my kitchen so I can get back to working on my "Art Bubble" series. After I clean, I am actually taking a shower, going to the art store, and then taking myself to dinner at Applebee's. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Art Blog: Lone (Artist) Ranger

“Hi Ho Silver and AWAY!”
Do you remember the Lone Ranger? I do. Despite not liking TV that much when I was a child, I loved the Lone Ranger. He just seemed so cool. There was just something about him that I admired. He always galloped off all alone to fix the world.

I think of myself as being the Lone (ARTIST) Ranger. However, It is occurring to me that my solitude and misanthropy has been detrimental to my art career. I can be so withdrawn and introverted. I go to work and then come home and hide in my studio. The past few years, my agoraphobic behaviors have been in full bloom. Having only 20K miles on the odometer of an 8 year old car is starting to sound kind of sick to me. Everybody needs to unplug from the world at times. I think I disconnect too much. Lately it is getting worse.

I have wanted to reconnect with the local art scene here in St. Petersburg. For the past few months, each week I have jotted down art events and openings on my calendar. I make plans to attend. Then the day comes and I don’t go. I have no idea why I am not eager to push myself out there.

I found a call for artists for a local event next month. It sounds like fun. I read up on it. I printed the application. I walked around my studio thinking about the work I would submit. All of a sudden, my enthusiasm disappeared. I got this greedy, possessive feeling. This irrational thought came to my mind “I don’t want to sell any of this work. I WANT IT!

LOL LOL LOL This is so silly. In fact, it goes against everything for which I truly believe about life. That is, you have to let the universal energy flow to allow new energy to come forth. It is simply a matter of out with the old and in with the new.

Another thing that would be a positive aspect of being a part of this event is I would meet new people. YIKES! Just thinking about this makes me shiver. However, just like not wanting to let go of my art, I have to let go of this self imposed isolation. It is time to move on to new things and experiences. It is time for me to realize that it is just fine to make friends.
Shoot! Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto!

Do artists really need a Tonto?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Art Blog: WHY?

No matter how old I get or how wise I think I am, there are certain things in life that I will never be able to comprehend. I have been following the Caylee Anthony drama. It is a local story. Little Caylee has been missing for months. She was nearly 3 years old. Authorities have arrested her mother. The solid evidence, if any, is still secretive. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence. Her mother didn’t report her missing. Her mother went out and partied despite the absence of her daughter. Her mother seems like a loony. Yet, there was always that glimmer of hope. Despite my tendency to think the worst, I have held out hope for Caylee.

Looking at her sweet face, I was unable to imagine wrong doing.
You would think I would be able to realize there was something more to this story. You would think I could connect the dots. I have worked with the mentally ill for nearly 20 years now. Even so, there was a little part of me that kept thinking Caylee will be OK. I was proven wrong today. They found her body this week. The DNA confirmation came today. Her body was found less than ¼ mile from her grandparent’s home. Her remains were discovered in a wooded area near Orlando. She was in a bag with duct tape around her tiny skull. I can’t assimilate that information. I just can’t. All I can ask is “WHY?”

Oh sweet thing. You are an angel now.
God loves you. I do too.
Click pic to read the news story.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Art Blog: Letter to SANTA

Since there are eight days until Christmas, I thought I would write my letter to Santa. Here it is:

Dear Santa,
Hey Santa! How are you doing? I hope everything is going well for you and Ms. Claus. I hope all the elves are in good spirits and keeping very busy. I know the economy is tight right now. However, I know you will do the best you can. I am going to ask you for a few things that won’t cost a penny, but are worth a million dollars to me. If you can see it in your heart to provide any one, a few, or all of these wishes, I would be eternally grateful!
Here is my list:

1. A huge box of Patience
2. A bottle of Faith
3. A can of Hope
4. A carton of Confidence
5. A basket of Energy
6. A jar of Good health
7. A stocking full of Self Respect
8. A big bag of Contentment

Patience: I know everything happens in its own time. My life experience has proven this. Lately I have realized I have been very anxious and frustrated because things aren’t happening fast enough. That is OK. I will use the gift of patience wisely.

Faith: It would be so nice to feel the calm of faith again. To trust in the ebb and flow of the world helps me to believe in life. I can use a dose of this right now.

Hope: Santa, you know I am struggling to visualize my future. There are actually moments I close my eyes and can’t even get a picture of the next moment. You know this is very unusual for me. Your gift of hope would be a like seeing a familiar friend.

Confidence: I have always been confident about life. In fact, I have always relied on myself and have known with certainty that I will accomplish what I want to achieve and who I want to be. For some strange reason, my confidence has become a faint shadow in the mist. I can hardly see it as it drifts in and out of the fog. This gift from you would help me see it clearly again.

Energy: This is one thing I REALLY need! This past year, I have felt myself literally wilting. My energy level is slowly eroding. My enthusiasm is at an all time low. I want to zoom, zoom, zoom again.
Health: My leg is still bothering me. I am still limping. This makes me realize all too well, I need my health. Nothing matters more.

Self Respect: I know I have compassion for others. So why do I disrespect myself so much? I need a little compassion for myself. I am so mean to Sheree. I am not sympathetic to her needs. In fact, at times I can be brutal. My apathy towards everything has caused me so much harm. Lack of respect is related to my diminished energy, waning vitality, and just about everything else on this list. It is all interrelated.

Contentment: I know Santa, I know! I have this nasty habit of noticing the negative and pushing the positives aside. I am still working to change this. I ask you for the gift of contentment because this is the all encompassing gift. If I am content, all will be well in my world.

Oh and Santa, thank you for giving me my new front teeth this year!!! HO HO HO!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Art Blog: Inside (ART) Jokes

First of all, I am not meaning to criticize or judge anybody. I am just asking questions here. If anybody has answers, please speak up!

I know new art is supposed to push the envelope, think out of the box, and carve out new territory, but sometimes I don’t get it or believe in it. Sometimes I look at it, feel my brow raise, and realize my wrinkles are standing at attention. If there was a thought bubble over my head it would read “What the hell???”

I have been perusing all the Art Basel videos I can find. I have watched so many, I feel like I have seen much of what was at the fair. Some of the work kicks butt. I have my favorites. However, other work exhibited makes me wonder with a grand curiosity. I would love to be a bug on the wall next to the label of these pieces. I would love to hear viewer’s responses. I would not be so interested in hearing the artist’s statement. I am sure it is a well thought out defensive discourse on why these pieces were created. I have heard that kind of yadda, yadda, yadda before and it comes off as a tongue-in-cheek diatribe.

As I have taken in the Art Basel vids and other exhibitions including Avant-garde works, it reminds me of sitting at a table among friends. Suddenly, there are whispers between two people across the table. They snicker. You ask "What?". They try to explain away the humor. Of course they leave out the juicy details so you still don’t understand why they are laughing. It is a case of “you had to be there” or it is an inside joke. That is the way I feel about some new art I see. It leaves you feeling you are missing something. You become self conscious, question whether you are part of the joke, and wonder why they don’t just share the whole truth.

I could go on and on and on and on…………And the point is?????
Am I the only person on earth who wants to yell “SAY WHAT?”
No names were mentioned to protect the innovators.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Art Blog: Awesome Art

I began the day today catching up on reading blogs and watching art videos. Today must be my day to be blown away by absolutely breathtaking work. First I found this painting by Howard Hodgkin on the Heart as Arena blog.

I had never heard of Hodgkin before. I spent some time looking at bunches of his work. This particular painting just grabs me. Between the color and brushstrokes, it made me gasp for breath.

On my merry internet travels, I also came across a James Kalm video documenting Marlene Dumas’ exhibition “Measuring Your Own Grave” at the MoMA. OMG! What a show! Previously, I have seen quite a few of her works. However to see so many all together in such a wonderful space is so unbelievably awesome.

After watching this video and then doing more research on her life, some other things came to mind. I have been being hit with a lot of the same thoughts this past week. I can’t speak about what I am thinking. There is especially a lot of deep emotion going on after seeing the work in this show. I feel too raw. I am not in the correct mood to spill my guts. I will tell all later. In the meantime, take in the Dumas exhibition. It is grand.

Click the pic to see the Kalm video about the show.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Art Blog: How did WE get here?

Speaking of my art house, I realized something today. When I have to have something fixed at my house, I know immediately if the workman/woman responds to creativity. I know if they have had art in their life. As soon as you walk up to my house, things are strange. Who has a mailbox like this?

They knock on the door and enter another world. My house is an art cave. You can’t help but notice things aren’t quite the same as our real world. They either enter open mouthed or they just ignore and go about their business. This causes me to think about the current zeitgeist regarding the visual arts in America.

This is such a complicated issue. I have taught students for a long time and realize art is not very important to many students (people in general?). Most often it is not honored as a curricular subject. It is still seen as silly. It is not something many want to do. There seems to be no purpose for it. In fact, many of my students feel it is a waste of time. They are too busy working on their career preparations for the NFL or trying to be the next “Lil Wayne” rap star.

Back in August, I made a video to show my students about art. It was called “Art is DUMB!” It is a cool, little video. I spliced together all the things in their lives that relate to visual art. I had video clips, fashions, cribs, etc. They didn’t get it.

Our society has a history of not “getting it”. This in part has to do with European culture. When our forefathers came here, they wanted to cut ties with the past. Since their former heritage had a lot to do with creativity, that was nixed to a degree. Consequently, our society has promoted new and different avenues of life. Art is not in the top ten of that list. This is such a shame and tragedy. We are all creative beings. We have generations of people who have never developed that part of their life.

It all starts in school. The type of education we have says it all. For those who have been well educated see the value and necessity to have art in our life and culture. However our society has a history of exposing the arts through little tidbits of information. To graduate high school, you might need one credit. It is not a big deal at all. I have a collection of old art education books. These have helped me to realize the continuum. Here are photos of an art education textbook from 1908. One hundred years ago! It is one of the most boring books I own. Most of the information has to do with very technical aspects of art. There is a lot about figure and animal anatomy. There are a number of chapters on design as it relates to utilitarian applications. Also, there is bunches written about perspective and technical drawing.


My question to you is how did you get HERE?
Why did you become an artist? Why do you care about art? WHY are you so different from the average American? Why do you think art is important?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Art Blog: Art Reality Show

Sometimes, we don’t see our own reality. Sometimes, we are so mixed up and looking for answers, we don’t see what is right in front of us. It is as big as life. It is glaring at us. Yet we don’t SEE it.

We look. We go on with our daily routine. We move. We work. We function. Yet, we are not really cognizant of what is really going on or what is really there. My Gilda friend attended Art Basel this past week. She posted her experiences via YouTube. I watched all of her videos. They were about her trip. Watching her meander in Miami Beach made me perk up. I noticed how so much of her footage reminded me of my own home here in St. Pete. I am not in Miami. I have never been in Miami. However, the shots she took reminded me of my Florida. So much of what she shot reminded me of my own home, St. Petersburg. After watching her tourist videos, I realized I live here. This is my reality every day.
I just don’t SEE it.

Today one of my friends was asking me about mosaic. She wants to learn it, but doesn’t know how to start. I told her my kitchen had a Pique assiette backsplash. I told her how I did it and what she needed to do her own. I went on to say, I will show you mine. I will get pictures together.

I came home today and started an overdue project. I have a webpage that shows some of my house. I have been meaning to add to this series of web pages. I want to have my art house online. I started to get more photos together to show her my mosaic backsplash. I figured I would do other rooms too. I wanted to add my computer room to that same page. I was editing pics of that room and got to this one. I stood there and looked at my computer room table. I looked at it on the screen with a bizarre distance. Now mind you, I look at this every day. I just don’t SEE it.
This made me realize that I am in some kind of blinding funk. I am not SEEing my own reality. Just like Gilda’s Art Basel videos, my simple photos of my own house are making me realize my every day art reality is kind of very cool. I realized today I am a lucky artist.
Wake up, Sheree. Wake up!

How in the world can I not SEE or notice this?
It is because I am not focused. I am not seeing my art reality. Just like watching Gilda walk on a Florida beach, I am in some kind of weird, frazzled, configuration of life.
I am not seeing my own, wonderful reality.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Some of you might have realized by now, I came from a (a-hum, cough, cough) dysfunctional family. I have absolutely no regrets about this. I am the product and result of this experience. Since I think I am a pretty cool, together person and a survivor, I also believe my past had its perks. I rarely speak of my mother. The issues are still too sensitive. However there is one thing that I will always remember about her. For some reason when I think of my childhood, I think of Peggy Lee singing the Leiber and Stoller classic “Is that all there is?” I guess my mother liked this song. Maybe it was her anthem. I never understood it back then. It seemed like such a sad song. Now I think differently. I didn’t understand it years ago. Now I realize you have to live some life to get it. There is a lot of room for interpretation.
I do understand it now.

Before you all think this is a very depressing entry, I have to give you a caveat. Realizing life is what it is isn’t such a bad thing. In fact once you realize this, a feeling of freedom emerges. For those of you who are younger, you might not understand fully. You will eventually. Once you get it, there is a kind of “a-HA” moment. You want your life to be more and mean more. It pushes you to make the very best of the time you have here on earth.

I can remember seeing Peggy Lee singing this song on TV. Back then, I would look at her and wonder “What the HELL is she talking about?” Well it took a decade or two or three, but I get it now. I get it so well, I find myself mouthing the lyrics sometimes. This is not depressing. It means I have grown up and have a deep understanding of my life. That is a very cool thing.
Click pic to watch!


Monday, December 8, 2008

Art Blog: Juried Art Exhibitions

I love entering juried shows. I really do. However, lately I have been noticing some things that bother me. The first and most obvious is the entry fees are getting out of hand. It can be very costly. It is like playing the lottery. You never know if you will get something for the money you lay down. There is a show here in St. Petersburg in which the entry fee is $50. OK. Whatever. There are many shows like that. However, the show is only going to be up for a week! Hmmmmmmmmmmm. The thing that irks me is that I LOVE this gallery. I have wanted to show there since it opened. So what is a girl to do? I figure it is just fine to enter even at that price. My reasoning is that it is local. If it were in another state, I would have to ship work at a $$$. Therefore, this fee is acceptable(?)

The second thing that freaks me out about juried exhibitions are those THEMES. Themes piss me off sometimes. I understand why the gallerists develops the idea and requests work that fits under this one thematic umbrella. The thing that bothers me most is by the time you hear about the show, download the prospectus, and think about entering, either you don’t have work that really fits the theme OR you don’t have time to make new work to fit the theme.

The irony is I like the idea of themes. I like reading a prospectus and looking at the theme as a challenge. It gives me an assignment. You know what I mean. It is like when you were in school and the English teacher says “OK class, I want everyone to write a story about the relative you hate the most.” Just the request to do the task makes your mind wander. The same thing happens to me when I read a juried show prospectus. After reading, my mind drifts into unknown territory. Some ideas fall flat. Some rise to the occasion. Some generate ideas for work for years to come.

Recently, I got involved in the ART HOUSE projects. This isn’t really a juried show. Well, they are going to pick the best 1000 entries to put into a book, but the exhibition is for those who just want to join in the fun. This coop sets up projects for artists to become involved. There is a small, reasonable fee to participate. I love these project ideas because they make my mind run in overdrive. It reminds me of the true reason we become artists. It is as if there is someone in the background yelling “Be Creative! Try to create something about this!” If you haven’t already, you should go to the link for Art House Coop (linked photo is below). It is really cool. I am working on “The 10,000” project right now. I love what I am doing with it. Check this place out!

Click the pic to go to Art House and see some of their current projects.

What is your take on juried shows? Tell me!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Art Blog: For ART’s Sake

“Don’t use the kitchen spoons to stir your paint!!!!”
X Boyfriend

I can remember some guy I lived with yelling at me about this bad habit years ago. I suppose this is one of the reasons I have been single most of my life. I can’t help it. I get into these creative modes and I lose all common sense. If I have the creative fever and I am in a hurry, I grab whatever is at hand to get the job done. I got tired of the complaining and art won out. Thus, I am alone.

I am in one of those modes right now. Even though I have a studio, the creative surge has spread like a virus through my house. Just about every room has become an art command center of some kind. For the past couple of days, I have worked mainly in the kitchen. I started a project there just because it had empty table space. Ironically, the piece is called “Art Bubble”.

This perfectly describes my state of consciousness when I become obsessed with getting art pieces done. I go into a zone. However being stationed in the kitchen is not a good thing for me to do. In the last 12 hours, I have used a number of dinner plates to hold painted objects, metal shish kabob skewers have been used to nudge objects into place, my vintage salad bowl has glue smeared all over it, dried paint is dripping from my kitchen counter, and yes, there are quite a few “used” spoons that need to be washed.

At the time I am doing all this, I don’t care. I just go about my business and worry about the ramifications later. Since I use acrylic paint, most of it comes out in the wash, so to speak. Yet sometimes, I do things that are harder to fix. For example, while working on this piece I needed some of my own hair. I just grabbed the kitchen scissors and proceeded to cut tuffs of my hair off like a crazed mental patient. It seemed like a good idea at the moment. However, I just started wondering how it will look when I wash my hair later today. Oh well.
It is all in the name of ART! LOL

This is the beginning of “Art Bubble”. I can’t show the entire thing yet. I will document it as I go along. The photos are a bit blurry because the words are in a “bubble”.
Back to work…
Now where is that tablespoon??….LOL LOL