Saturday, January 31, 2009

Art Blog: Sequestered

Deadlines. I love deadlines most of the time. I am one of those people who will diddle daddle around and get nothing done UNLESS there is a deadline. If I have a set date or event for which I have to produce, that deadline sets a fire under my butt. Right now, the bonfire is raging! In fact, the thought has crossed my mind; I have bit off more than I can chew. We will see.

I have been sequestered. I went out yesterday and bought my rations. I have food and beverage to last the next few days. This is going to be a major art weekend. I am not leaving this building at all! I have two projects due in less than two weeks. Neither of them is half done. Burn baby burn! LOL

So, I got up this morning and ran into my studio. Holy Macaroni! Now I hate to even say this because I know all you northerners are freezing your tails off. However, this FLORIDA girl starts shivering at 70 degrees. Really. My Michigan blood has become thinner than water. I am cold all the time unless it is humid and sweaty hot. As I grabbed the paint and started stirring, my hands started aching. I looked at the thermometer and it was 44 degrees out there. After painting for twenty minutes, my hands were numb. Seriously!

I put on a few coats and ran into my computer room. I have heat in there. Luckily, one of my deadline projects is digital. Therefore, I will be able to run back and forth from heat to cold and back again. This will give me time for my hands to thaw out. I am waiting for paint to dry. I am working on my computer project now.

“The sun'll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There'll be sun!”

PLEASE SUN, come out. Sheree needs her hands warm to paint! :-)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Art Blog: FAMOUS Artist

There are all kinds of artists. There are all kinds of galleries. As artists, we make the choices and decisions on where we fit into the artistic world. I am the type of artist who prefers to show my work in less commercial galleries, nonprofit art spaces, cooperatives, or educational venues. Of course, I would love to show my work in a high profile gallery, but not necessarily high profile in regard to big, bucks commercial gallery. Well, there is a thin line on which I am walking. Ahhhh…I am struggling to explain this because I am trying not put my foot in my mouth or offend anyone. Hopefully, some of you will understand what I am getting at here.

OK. So this morning, I was brushing my hair and I heard the TV reporter saying “This is the SUPER BOWL ARTIST extraordinaire!” or something like that. He continued “He shows his work in a billion countries. He shows his work in a trillion galleries. He sells his work like hotcakes and makes a gazillion bucks doing it!” LOL LOL Obviously, I paraphrased a little bit. I dropped the brush in the sink and rolled my eyes as I ran out into the living room to check this guy and his art out. I was already preparing to boo and jeer. I even regretted not having any rotten tomatoes handy for the throwing.

As the reporter interviewed this guy, they panned the gallery full of his “3-D Pop Art” as he calls it(?) This artist’s primary imagery is derived from sporting events. He does serigraph prints. They are super colorful and imagery rich. I stood there looking at them on the TV screen and thought: “Oh. I kind of like these! Very clever!” LOL LOL LOL

My next thought was “Well Sheree………you could do something like this.” You could pick a popular culture topic like sports and make very busy, colorful paintings. Then you could turn them into prints, get an art agent, and make a gazillion dollars too! Yep. I bet all of us could do that. Couldn’t we? Then we would all be very rich and FAMOUS artists, right?
So why don’t we?

Please explain this to me.

Click the pic to see more of the work of “Fazzino”

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Art Blog: The Pendulum Swings

One day up; the next day down; one day up; the next day down.
So it goes.
I just got this email from Pen and Brush in New York, NY.

Your work has been selected for First Response,
an All Media Exhibition Curated by Jerelle Kraus.

The Opening Reception will take place on Thursday, February 12th, from 4:00pm - 7:00pm.
Ms. Kraus will be present at the reception to greet the artists and assist in the presentation of awards at 4:30pm.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Art Blog: Facing the FEELINGS

Ok. I feel it right now. This is how it starts. It is true an old dog can learn new tricks. At least, I can try. When I got up this morning, I was very droopy. I looked around at my projects and didn’t want to do any kind of work at all. I thought about upcoming deadlines and didn’t get a spark of energy. I just didn’t care.

Back when I went to a therapist, she would ask “What happened Sheree?” I don’t have a therapist now. So I asked myself the same question for FREE. “What happened Sheree?” I know what happened. I got rejected from that stupid show yesterday. Right now my emotional state is going through its tantrum. I am figuratively kicking the dirt and punching walls. Like I said yesterday, this REJECT email hit me doubly hard because I have been trying to get my work in that gallery for three years. Obviously, it ain’t happening.

Rationally, I know the jury process is subjective and a matter of personal taste. I know for sure, my work is of a quality which qualifies to be in that gallery. When I have seen shows there, I have seen good work and I have seen art that truly sucks. So, I know it isn’t me. I just don’t like being told NO. I don’t like feeling I am not a part of their clique. I don’t like being an outsider.
It is about feeling UNWANTED.

If you have ever been rejected, you surely understand. It can be even more frustrating when your art is rejected because our art is an extension of ourselves. So it is like being hit in the face twice. So now I am taking the pulse. Instead of going into a month long tailspin, I am telling myself to just move on. Sometimes, this is hard to do, but I just have to do this. I don’t have any more time or tears to waste.

Screw that gallery.
Sorry. I had to get it out of me. LOL LOL LOL

Photo Credit: Baboon, Creative Commons

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Art Blog: No place like HOME

“There is no place like HOME.
There is no place like HOME!”

OMG! I am so glad I am back at my little, art house in St. Petersburg, Florida. I have never, ever been so appreciative of my little patch of home. Never! I rolled into St. Pete at 11 AM. I was so delighted to see street signs for which I am familiar. I realize I love, love, love this place so much.

Since Wednesday, I have been in Orlando. I hate that place. Word up! If you ever plan on going there, don’t bother with 1, 5, or 10 dollar bills. Get a huge roll of twenties and kiss them goodbye. EVERYTHING is overpriced there. I absolutely hated my hotel. I hated it so much; I started to document all the things that were awful. I took video clips. I took photos. I thought of writing letters. Then it occurred to me that I don’t even want any discounts on future visits or even an apology because I will NEVER stay there again. NEVER. That place was horrible!

I made my way back home and was greeted by this email:

Opps! I forgot to tell you. Another one of my resolutions is to “JUST BE NICE”. So I am censoring the email and my blog response to it. LOL I have to admit. This rejection hit me very hard. I have tried to get work in that gallery three times. I even made a conscious effort to pick appropriate work for the show and did a really great job submitting the entry. Still, no good.

The one thing that struck me as hilarious is the final sentence of the email:
“We hope to see you at the opening reception on Friday, February 13.”
Yeah, right. Kiss my ass! OPPS. Be nice Sheree!

There were a few GOOD things that happened this week. I will probably talk about them in future posts. I did get to see MY Philippe Cousteau Jr. speak. What a great guy with such a rich family history! Be sure to check out his website, Earth Echo which promotes earth conservation. Also, enjoy just looking at him. I sure did! LOL LOL

So I am home. I am shutting the doors feeling the pangs of rejection. I am closing the blinds. I just want to be left alone with my crappy, uncool, shitty art.
At least, I think it is substantial and worthwhile. AT LEAST.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Art Blog: LA DEE DA!

Well, la dee da, la DEE DA! I am off to go to a technology conference in Orlando. I am going to try to post from there in the next few days. This will depend on the wireless internet situation they have at the hotel. We will see.
When I go there, I usually stay at HoJo’s Hawaiian Village. Sounds classy, doesn’t it? LOL LOL LOL Well this time, I decided to spit in the wind and stay at a place with “PLAZA Resort and Spa” in the title. This sounds kind of intimidating to me. However, I want to see if you get better service if you pay much, much, much more money! LOL LOL Besides, I deserve this.
Talk to y’all later!

This place looks kind of scary to me. Tee hee hee
It sure looks different than HoJos!

Well LA DEE DA has turned to "LA DEE DUH!!!" I am in Orlando. It took me 2 hours to get checked into the "RITZ". Never again. NEVER. What a rip off! I will explain later. :-(

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Art Blog: Generations

I just heard a news story called the differences in “GENERATIONS” in regard to the reaction to the inauguration. OH! I know about this! I cried today watching the inauguration. I am not young and hip. I am not an up and coming. However, I can tell you with full confidence and appreciation, I love all my years on this earth today. I love my age and experience because I watched the inauguration today with a knowing eye. I watched his speech. I watched the crowds. I can tell you all this with a very confident ear and eye. I can tell you this with confidence because I have witnessed the last 55 years. I know. I saw it happen.
One thing that struck me as I watched the proceedings today is the crowd and the energy that was emitted. It has been decades since I witnessed this kind of zeitgeist. DECADES!

Obama is not a messiah. He is a human. However, I truly believe with all my heart, he is a good human. Things are going to get better. I believe him. I believe we are finally on the upswing. Thank God!

Photo Credit: I don’t know. If you know, let me know. I will give credit!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Art Blog: It MADE it!

A week or so ago, I very timidly got on the USPS post office website to see if something was delivered. The confirmation said:
“Label/Receipt Number: 0404 9420 9410 1309 2569
Status: Delivered
Your item was delivered at 7:04 AM on January 5, 2009 in SWAINSBORO, GA 30401”

HOORAY! It made it! I have been wanting to talk about this for weeks. However, I wanted to make sure it would really happen. I saw a call for entries for a show titled “The Art of Communication”. The piece artists submit to the show had to be sent sans any packaging. In other words, it had to be the MAIL. I have shown snippets of what I made, but never explained. Well, here is the explanation!

Click this pic to see the art vlog movie!

Click this pic to go to the direct link for the “ART OF COMMUNICATION” at GALLERY RFD slide show!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Art Blog: King of Psychedelia

Have you ever gone somewhere or done something for the simple reason you just wanted to say you did it? I do that all the time. Tonight was a perfect example. I got this postcard in the mail.

On the back it said:

I am of his era. In fact, I probably had a few Peter Max posters in my psychedelic bedroom as a teenager. I admired his work, but I was never ga-ga over it. I never wanted to paint like or be Peter Max. I respect his work. That is about it.

As I have mentioned many times before, I am not into the concept of celebrity. As far as I am concerned, we are all human. We all go to the bathroom. We are all going to die. Cut the crap about who is better than whom. Anyway, I decided to go to the reception tonight. I did it just to say “Oh yeah. I saw Peter Max!” LOL LOL

So I get to the gallery. It was jam packed. I was greeted by a huge sign “NO PHOTOGRAPHY”. Hmmm. That bummed me out because I wanted to take a pic for this blog post. So be it. I walk in and wandered through the elbows. You see, I am 4’8” tall. The entire world is a redwood forest to me. Actually, I am thankful for my slight stature. I can get through crowds as easily as a mouse running between furniture in the living room. After making my way to a clearing, I started to walk the perimeter of the gallery. I looked at the work. Yeah. OK. I looked at more work. A-huh. There were football helmets with Max squiggles. There were baseball bats with Max splashes. There were lots of hot colors on paper, canvas, and any other kind of substrate imaginable. Yep. Yep. Yeppers.

I wandered from room to room. Where is he? I made a turn into a new gallery space and looked up. I thought “No they didn’t!” I saw a bunch of poles connected by plastic chain. You know the kind. Have you ever been at the mall when Santa is in town? They cordon off Santa’s thrown and people stand in line to speak with him. As my eyes moved along the linear crowd, I noticed the faces on the people in line resembled those at an amusement. It looked like they were passing time waiting to go on the roller coaster. The only difference is the gallery didn’t have one of those time signs. “If you are here, you will be on the roller coaster in 20 minutes.” LOL LOL LOL

Actually there were two lines. The one in which you had to wait a long time. Then the guard would allow ten or so join the closer line as it shortened. I stood there next to the short line. I was about 5 feet away from Mr. Max. I stood there smiling at all the people stupid enough to stand and wait (for what? To shake his hand? To bow? To kiss his ring?) So what, is he the King of Psychedelia or something? LOL LOL LOL
I am sorry. I can’t help myself. I guess I just don’t belong in this world. I just don’t get it. Shoot, at least at the amusement park you get to go on the roller coaster after waiting!

So I don’t have a current picture of Peter Max to end this post. However, I remembered there is a picture of him on that postcard I showed you. Yes, here it is:

I am so sad they didn’t allow photos. This will have to do. Yes. This is Peter Max. You just have to add 40 years and lots of wrinkles, subtract hair, and thin the mustache considerably. Yep. Use your imagination. That’s him!
Oh. I can now say I have seen PETER MAX.
Big whoop!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Art Blog: RIP

“Painter Andrew Wyeth Dies at 91”

For me this is so sad. Wyeth’s death is strange to me at this moment. In the past two days, I have been thinking about writing a post about very early influences. You would never know it by looking at my work, but Wyeth (Andrew) was one of my very first, favorite artists when I was a young girl. I loved his work. Originally in my young mind, I wanted to paint like him! Years later as I progressed and was inundated by late 70’s art dogma, I wasn’t all that interested anymore. However, I did get to see the “Helga” show at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Even then, I was in awe.

Thank you Mr. Wyeth. RIP

Steve Liss, Time Life Pictures / Getty Images
Click pic to read article

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Art Blog: PLEASURE Seeker

My mind is in overdrive right now. I have been thinking again. Oh GOD! I spent part of the afternoon gallery sitting (FUN FUN FUN, NOT!) I had brought bunches of stuff to do to keep me busy. One thing I did was to endure my monthly reading of ARTnews magazine. It is so sad, but true. I have come to the realization these art magazines reading sessions have become my own version of walking on hot coals or a glittering bed of broken glass. It is like self inflicted torture. Yet, it isn’t painful in a way I want to stop doing it. Actually, I think it is akin to the pleasurable pain a sadomasochist might feel during a whipping. So I endure, scream OUCH OUCH OUCH, and then fall into a heap of bizarre exhaustion.

You might understand what I mean. Each session is filled with a plethora of emotions that run the gamut. I feel delighted, envious, shocked, jealous, pissed, curious, etc. etc. etc. This month was excitingly brutal. There is their frequent article about “Artists to Watch”. Oh boy, oh boy!

(I had planned on writing a few paragraphs about all these featured, fresh faces. Obviously, I decided against this.
LOL LOL LOL Stop it Sheree!)

As I shuffled the pages forward, I had a scary thought. I realized how my reaction to art has changed over the years. I remember when I would walk into an exhibition or read a magazine and I would “OOOoooooo and AAAhhhhhhhhh!”. I don’t do that much anymore. I just keep shuffling trying to find something, anything that makes me want to feel any kind of “WOW!!!!” That is a rare and elusive reaction these days. However, I am so excited to report I had a spurt of art adrenaline today. I got to the very last page of ARTnews and read the “Critics Choice” article about Alison Elizabeth Taylor.
I am not a fan of marquetry. I don’t care about woodworking. Basically, my knowledge of wood doesn’t extend beyond plywood and Masonite! LOL However, Alison’s image grabbed me in an unusual way. I looked at the photo of her work and realized there was something very different and special about it. I read on. Then my mouth dropped; my eyes squinted closer, and I said aloud “Oh My God!” She created the image using 60 different types of wood. This is a wood inlay “painting”. Huh! This one image made buying ARTnews worth the price. Unbelievable!

Alison Elizabeth Taylor shows her work at James Cohan Gallery. Go look at her work. It is totally amazing in so many ways.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Art Blog: Art DRAMA

This is hysterical. Sometimes I am a silly artist. I don’t know why but I truly feel this is going to be a great year for me and my art. I have no clue how I came to this conclusion. There is just something I feel intuitively. Like I have mentioned in previous posts I currently have pieces out at Salt Creek Artworks here in St. Pete and RFD Gallery in Georgia. Maybe I haven’t mentioned RFD because I wanted to wait until they get the show pics online so I can document the work there.

So today, I got home from work and picked up the mail from my box. I see a letter from Caladan Gallery. I had applied to be in a show titled “CREATING SYNTHESIS: EXPLORING ART AND TECHNOLOGY”. I looked at the letter and thought “This is weird. Why would they send me a snail mail letter when this show is about technology? Strange.” No sooner did that pass through my mind I thought “Oh crap. This is a rejection letter!” I threw it down on the table. I just didn’t want to deal with it at that moment. Then I stopped, stood and looked down at the envelope for a few moments. I almost threw it in the trash. I didn’t. I just stood there staring at it. I remembered my planned “good year”. I was already pissed that this envelope was going to wreck my prediction! LOL LOL LOL LOL

I picked the envelope up and tore it in a nasty, snotty way. I was taking my PRE-revenge before I even knew what the letter said. I opened it up just enough to take a peek. Here is what I saw:

I thought “What the hell?” LOL LOL I burst out laughing. See what I do to myself. I am my own worst enemy sometimes. I ripped open the envelope and read the letter. Sure enough, my work will be in the show. This is very cool. What isn’t so cool is my negative mindset. I have to work on this. Tee HEE HEE

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Art Blog: Saturation

Oh my goodness. I have to say with pride, I am making such grand progress on my art life journey. It seems every day, I have been having new revelations.

I think I am finally growing up! (It is about time!)

Growing up is a good thing as long as you bring the good, childhood baggage with you. Oh geesh! I am hauling big, bright, designer suitcases full of that stuff! It is all good because I realize this is such a wonderful thing if you do it in the right way. My past has made me what I am today.

So I have been talking about my resolutions and my desire to reach for goals that are meaningful to me. The paramount goal of my life is for Sheree to feel happy, content, and proud of me. I am getting so close to that goal, I can taste it. I am so entrenched in art and my art life. I am loving it. Today I was wearing my sweatshirt that says “The person wearing this sweatshirt is an ARTIST”. All day long people kept asking me about my art. It was so cool. Also, I felt so good to be identified as an ARTIST.
I love it.

However, I have to chill out a little bit. Already I am feeling an over saturation of social contact! I am going great guns with all my goals, aspirations, and deadlines. I can hear my psyche scream “STOP STOP STOP”. I am changing things around too fast. I went out on my glorious, reflective, bike riding afternoon on Sunday. Then today, I had to gallery sit. That was an experience! I will write about that in another post. Yesterday, I started taking a Beginning Photoshop class at the art center. Yes, I took the plunge. However, this afternoon I thought “OK, this is enough for this week. No more people please!” LOL LOL

I have been working with Photoshop for about ten years now. However, I wanted to take the beginners course because I am self taught. I do things the Sheree way. Also, I have a very specific skill set when it comes to this program. I want to learn about all the things I never discovered or figured out. Already, I don’t regret taking this class for a minute. Yes, the instructor spoke of things I know already. However, there were a few tips and explanations that made me wide eyed and bushy tailed. I was so excited as I left the class; I felt the class has already paid for itself.
I am a happy techie!

Do NOT do this if you are using Photoshop! My instructor told us even though over saturated pics seem to be the trend, please don’t do this to your photos!
It is just plain LAME! LOL

Monday, January 12, 2009

Art Blog: Eye on the Prize

Flashback to THEN:

The fifteen-year-old Sheree is lying on the floor of her bedroom. There are paint tubes strewn all around her. While Jimi Hendrix music bounces off the walls of her room, she paints some lame ass picture of a cat’s eye. She makes the eye melt by pouring turpentine all over the painting and letting it run down the surface of the canvas. Ohhhhh. Psychedelic! She thinks that is so cool.
She is in art heaven.

Flashback to NOW:

Since I am in the constant pursuit of a better me, I started making fitness videos again. Little Sheree is alive and well on You Tube. I had to revive her. I love her so much. Also, she represents a type of alter ego that makes me smile. When I watch her videos, I am reminded of my good attributes.

So yesterday I made a video about getting back into the habit of exercise. After hurting my leg two months ago, it is almost back to normal. There is no excuse not to get back into my fitness routine. I went bike riding for an hour yesterday afternoon. I had a blast. It gives me time to think. Also during these bike hikes, I actually feel joy. I feel this extreme, intense happiness and fulfillment. I love that feeling. I want it all the time.

The feeling I get after a good workout is the same feeling I would get when I created paintings back in high school. I would feel so proud of myself. I would be so focused while painting, the world could collapse and I wouldn’t have known it. I was in the art zone. Now, I get the same feeling when I exercise. However, I don’t get this feeling while making art anymore.

While riding yesterday, I thought long and hard about this. Why are my feelings about art so different now? The answer is simple. Back then, I painted for the sheer love of painting. I was so na├»ve. There were no exhibition deadlines. There were no juries or curators. There was no fear of judgment. Competition or critics didn’t exist. There was nobody’s ass to kiss. I just wanted to paint pictures.
So I did just that.

Then I asked myself "How can I get that mindset back?" It would be difficult because my mind is so polluted and jaded. However I truly believe if I just put all the art B.S. out of my mind, I might be able to capture some of this feeling of joy again.

I have to keep my eye on the prize.

In my case, the prize isn’t a big show or art accolades from some critic who I don’t really respect anyway. My trophy is doing what I love and finding a very rare, pure happiness. For me, that would be the art prize of happiness.

Focus Sheree!
If you do this, you will get your grand prize!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Art Blog: Perspectival Response

Sometimes life can be very confusing and frustrating. Gee, I bet this is a shock to all of you!!! LOL LOL I have spent decades reading self help books and tomes of wise life philosophy in hopes of understanding how to cope with life in general. All this self improvement education has helped immensely. However, I still suffer from what some might call “oversensitivity” to the daily grind. I am hurt easily. I wear idealism like a hair shirt. I am not over sensitive. I am passionately sensitive. I react when I see things that make me feel. Like I have said before, I like to rattle the bars. I grip the cold steel and start shaking like mad. I wear myself out trying to escape from my self-imposed cage. It never does anything but make me angrier and more tired.

This life pattern has had a negative impact on my art life. When things don’t go well, I tend to pull back and mull. I have been sidetracked numerous times because something happened to bring me down and then I stew about it for a couple of months.
This is not good.

This morning I took a step in a new direction. Oh I am still going to be passionate and sensitive. I am just changing the way these attributes are expressed. With me there is no grey area. I am either depressed or deliriously happy. I have been trying to find that middle ground my entire life. I think I am coming closer to getting there. Finally!
I have experienced a few disappointments in the past few days. I have felt the ire surging upwards from my toes like a heat wave of emotion. The tsunami is coming. However, this morning I rationally told myself to just STOP! I built a mental dam to prevent myself from drowning in my own frustrations. I am forcing myself to have a new, reactionary perspective. This is good.

We are on the heels of the new year. I stated my art resolutions in a previous post. I am quickly making progress on those. I am already in two shows and I have actually ventured out to an art opening! Great job Sheree! So now it is time to add another resolution. My intuition tells me 2009 is going to be a great year for me art wise. I can feel it down to my soul. Therefore, I am going to resolve to see things with new, less emotional eyes. My response to disappointments is going to be more linear. Rather than taking myself on an emotional roller coaster ride when I hit a snag, I am going to move on to the next adventure without looking back. I have learned everything that happens in your life serves a purpose. Even failures or setbacks serve as learning tools. I realize this moment that if I hadn’t felt crappy about a few things this week, I wouldn’t have been able to reach for this new change in attitude today. This is EXCELLENT!

“Perspectival Response” by Sheree Rensel

Friday, January 9, 2009

Art Blog: All that GLITTERS

I went to my opening. I had planned on doing a video for YouTube about the show. I have decided not to do that. I would explain why, but I think it is best if I just leave it at that. Maybe I will pontificate at a later date.

On the way home, I stopped and got a few groceries. I have a couple of approaching deadlines and I have to put a fire under my butt. I am going to hunker down, lock myself in my studio and paint all weekend. In the meantime, I will leave you with one of my pieces in the show. I think it is a perfect choice to end this post.
Talk to y’all tomorrow.

“All that glitters is not gold” by Sheree Rensel
Click picture for detail view.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Art Blog: Being a Witness

Words from the UNIVERSE email:

“Next time you make a wish, Wizzle, wish for what is, because really and truly, things don't get much better than this. There is a purpose, a plan, and a reason for all things. What doesn't make sense, will make sense. You are exactly where you should be; your challenges are what they should be; your rewards are what they should be; and the best is yet to come. Time has served you well. Love is in the air. And you're looking mighty good in the light that now surrounds you. A toast to life... to you... to us... The Universe”

SHUT UP! So does this mean I am not going to get a new job?

When I was a teenager, I was in a group of kids who would hang out at this park outside of Detroit. There was a place called “Beer Hill”. We would all meet there after school. This was during the post hippie days. We were all chillin and just having fun. This was during the “Kent State” days. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. This post will be more understandable. Anyway, one early evening I sat right on the top of Beer Hill with hundreds of other kids. All of a sudden police cars screeched to a halt at the bottom of the hill. Simultaneously, policemen in riot gear came running over the back of the hill. They carried weapons and wore full armor. They proceeded to push, hit, aim, and beat kids all the way down the hill. I didn’t move. I just sat there.

It was almost like a surrealistic dream. I didn’t move. All the commotion happened around me. I didn’t feel the need to run because I was “holding” nothing and I wasn’t messed up enough for them to prove anything. So I sat and watched. After the sting and as the dust floated to the ground, I made my way down to the parking lot. I saw friends in the back of patrol cars looking at me like caged animals. There was such sadness in their eyes. I went home that night with an aching sadness in my heart.

I tell this story because it relates to the way I feel right at this moment. I got a message a friend lost his job today. It is all about the economy. He was cut. Also, I got a message from a wonderful person who noticed my accomplishments. She praised me to the point of making me realize I am not as crazy as I thought I was.

Yes, I have done a lot. Thank GOD somebody finally noticed!

I feel exactly like I felt that night on Beer Hill. I feel like things are just happening around me. I am a witness. I feel lucky I have my job. I feel lucky I have my life. I feel luckier by the minute. All this economic turmoil makes me realize that I am still sitting on that hill with horror happening around me. I am not sure how to deal with it other than to just keep moving just like I did back then.

“Imprisoned” (Detail) by Sheree Rensel
Click pic to see full painting

So what in the hell? Is it my day or something? Check this out. I just got an email from one of my high school students. Oh yeah. I want to leave this place and then I get this? Oh pleeeeeeeeeeeeeze. STOP IT UNIVERSE!!!! LOL
The email:

Your da best mz rensil....LOL

OK. OK. He sent me another one with a kitty picture. I will not add that photo. The puppy was enough to send me over the edge. I have to think about this. Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Art Blog: Brain Dead Wednesday

Oh geesh. I wish I could videotape my spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical state at the moment. I wish there was some way to show how wasted I feel. Unfortunately, I can’t because there is no digital camera that can reach into the soul of a person (yet).

I went back to work on Monday. Actually, it has been a pretty good week except for a few vulgar comments directed at me. I can take a few. Overall, things have gone well and we are cranking out creativity. That is a good thing. However, when you come back from a break, there is always a few days of play “catch up”. I am just not into the grind yet.

The problem is transitioning from being an artist 24/7, to going back to being an educator/artist 24/7. It is a shock to my system. I feel like the blood is draining out of my body. I don’t have low energy. I have no energy. This sucks. However, I know I will perk up as the weeks fly. I am already looking forward to the next few weeks. I have a four day week next week. Then, I have to go to work only two days the following week because I am going to a technology conference in Orlando. That should be fun because I will check out the techie sessions, but I am also going to snoop around the art venues there too.

I have to perk up by Friday. I have my opening that night. The show is titled “Cirque Du Surreal”. It is at Salt Creek Artworks in St. Petersburg. The opening is Friday, January 9 from 6pm-10pm. I will videotape during the opening. I am not sure what kind of footage I will get. I am new to this group of artists. We will see. Here is the show announcement. It looks like fun!

Click pic to see a larger view.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Tee HEE HEE! See how fast I recover!! LOL LOL
Hey! I made a “commercial” for my little, silly art signs!
The vid makes me giggle!
Check it out!

Such a silly girl!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Art Blog: (ART) Anxiety Attack

This all started this morning. I got up and looked at one of my walls and it was different. I had taken some stuff down last night to take to a gallery today. The empty space started to make me freak out.

I rushed out into my studio and got four pieces to put up there. I couldn’t stand seeing the empty space. I couldn’t put them up fast enough!

Ahh……..much better! Things are all good, right? NO!

I started to pack up the car to head down to the gallery. No sooner did I get it loaded and sat down in the car, I started to have an anxiety attack. I have no idea where this came from but I nearly had an emotional meltdown. Luckily, I know what to do when this happens. It is still no fun. This anxiety is of no interest to me. However, I am very curious as to what is in the back of my mind that is causing my body to react in such a strange way. Watch this. On the way to the gallery, I capture the fight between my rational and emotional side. (I don’t need anybody around; I bicker with myself!)

Art Vlog #3 Video

Breath Sheree Breath!!!

Art Blog: Social Networking

I am not a fan of social networking sites at all. In fact, I made a MySpace page years ago and that lasted for a few months. It was so boring and I just didn’t want to give it my precious time. Also, I just don’t get this internet FRIENDS thing. To me, it is kind of fake. It becomes obvious rather quickly people don’t want be your friend. They just want to say they have a lot of friends! I see that same phenomenon on YouTube. People want bunches of subscribers, but they never give anything back to you. There aren’t any comments or emails from them. Once you subscribe to them, it becomes about them. I don’t like the insincerity of it all.

A few weeks ago, I wanted to send an artist a message. I couldn’t find any website or anything for her. However, I did find out that she had a Facebook page. So I logged onto Facebook, updated my profile and sent her the message. That was that. I didn’t go out trolling for friends or anything. Like I said, that isn’t my deal.

Well, something happened yesterday that made me change my mind! I got an email from Linkedin. It said “Harrod Blank” sent me an invitation to connect. I thought “Who the HELL is Harrod Blank“? Yet, that name looked familiar. So I went and looked. I nearly jumped out of my chair! Harrod Blank is the guy who wrote the ART CAR books and creates the ART CAR videos! Oh MY GOSH! I am a total Harrod Blank groupie! Little did he know I have used his book and video in my classes for YEARS! My rascals, I mean students, need to be engaged in strange ways. They are special ed kids and need special lessons. Harrod’s work fits the bill!

I quickly replied to him and told him I was such a fan. We emailed back and forth quite a few times. I was so excited. WOW. That was cool!

Harrod’s ART CAR book is just a fun book to have!

I have shown this picture before. I just didn't mention Harrod Blank. This is how much I love Harrod and his art car documentation. I even let the students paint my truck multiple times over the years.
Hooray for ART CARS and Harrod Blank!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Art Blog: To my LURKERS

First, I just have to thank everyone AGAIN. I love this little blog so much. I get so much enjoyment out of writing it. Also, I get totally jazzed when I get comments. I appreciate those who comment regularly more than you will ever know.

This post is for all the “others”. I know there are more of you out there. I can see all of you little lurkers peeking in on my daily ramblings. I want you to know I appreciate you too! I have to tell you that it is fine and dandy to just come and visit me. However, it would be super duper terrific if you would chime in and just say hello! If you have an art blog, give me the URL. I would love to read it! You can tell me what you are working on now. You can tell me something about anything! You are welcome to express yourself via comments! Speak up (please?)

Gotta go back to work!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Art Blog: Necessary EVILS

Are you ever busy working and feel anxious because you feel like you need to get something done? In other words, you are getting things done, but you feel like you are wasting time. Am I making sense here? Probably not. Anyway, that happens to me all the time. I will be in full blown work mode and think; I have got to get busy doing what I am supposed to be doing. Then I realize I AM WORKING! Duh. Never mind. You have to be here (in my mind).

I feel like I am all a buzz today with required, but unstimulating activities. I feel like I am dawdling. I am not really. I am getting some boring detail work done. I have to take some work down to a gallery on Sunday. Believe it or not, I actually joined a local artist group. (2009 Goals, you know?) They are having a show in the next few weeks. So I am prepping the work for the show. I made some gallery statements and now I am getting the paintings ready to go. Somehow I feel like this is mindless ado.

This is the part of being an artist I hate. I don’t like the busy work. I remember when I used to stretch my own canvases. OMG! I dreaded that. Then I realized it was worth the extra money to buy prestretched canvas! Now if those canvases only came with hook eyes and wire on the back, I would be delighted. That is what I am doing right now. I don’t like doing this kind of stuff, but it is a necessary evil.
Back to work Sheree………!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Art Blog: Back on the WAGON!


Yep! Back on the wagon! WHO-HAAA!!!
New year, New goals, let’s keep it movin!

Okey dokey! The only reason I make goals for myself is so I can maintain some kind of focus. Otherwise, I would daydream my life away! This is very apparent when I look at my life at this moment. I am going great guns with my art life. My physical life is going down the dumper! This is because I have put my fitness concerns on the back burner to concentrate on other things. Now, my body is starting to resemble a marshmallow version of the Pillsbury dough(girl). This is partially due to the fact I hurt my leg back in September. For whatever reason, it just doesn’t want to heal. It is getting better very slowly. I have been trying to nurse it back to health by taking it easy. However, the junk food I have been woofing down has had no positive medicinal effect whatsoever. In fact, it has made things worse. My body can’t take even a small amount of extra weight. Therefore, we gotta get back to the daily workouts. That isn’t a goal, it is a necessity.
Now to the fun stuff! Here are my new art goals for 2009. Like I said, I make them just so I continue to pay attention and keep alert!
Go Sheree Go!