Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Art Blog: Artist's Delight

Among other reoccurring images and objects in my work are chairs. I have no idea why. They just pop up here, there, and everywhere.

Today I was going through my book shelf looking for a book. I found another book I hadn’t picked up in years. The book was “A Life in the Arts” by Eric Maisel. I had read this book long ago. I decided to flip through it again. One thing that perked my interest is the topic of why artists choose the medium they choose.

I am a painter and this hit home with me in a timely way. Just yesterday, I was sitting on my living room floor and my eyes became fixed on a little painted chair I have on the side of the room. I wasn’t really looking at the whole chair. My eyes were transfixed on a few paint strokes along the side. I just sat there and looked at these small, drippy, colorful stokes. I was amazed just by the vision. It occurred to me then that just the mere sight of paint which reveals the hand of an artist gives me pure delight.

As artists we tend to use more than one media. At least, I do. I will digitally create one minute and then work on a mixed media assemblage the next. However, there is just something about painting that always draws me in. It is where I live. It makes me feel alive. It is part of me.
This is why I chose to be a painter.

Paint makes me feel happy.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Art Blog: Cha-Cha Changes

OK. I won’t be a cry baby! I am functioning. I am faking it until I am making it. I am a pro at that. However, things are not right and I don’t like the wrongness of things now.

I don’t have to tell anybody, this is a very hard time. It is really hard. Besides being uncomfortable in my own art skin, I am continually bombarded with reminders things are not well in the world. Never in my life have I felt things so strong and deep.

I have been on teaching hiatus for the past few weeks. I needed this. Normally, I accelerate and get right into making mega art. Ordinarily, I pull out all the stops. Not only do I work in my studio as usual, but I add all kinds of new projects. I make art videos; I send out art applications; I enter shows; I make art CDs; I do, I do, I do. This summer is different. I am very introspective and physically frozen.

It is kind of scary for me. I tend to stare into space a lot. The only ambition I have is to sit and think. I find myself feeling ”comfortably numb” as Pink Floyd said. I dream and think and try to figure out what the hell is going on in my mind and life. I haven’t gotten any specific answers yet. However, things are hopeful.

Last night in one of my self induced, meditative stupors, I watched the show “INTERVENTION” on TV. I love this show because I come for a long ancestral line of ……………, well, you get the idea. Anyway, during the actual intervention scene, one of the interventionists, Jeff VanVonderen, listened as one of the participants spoke. The guy was full of yadda yadda yadda. Jeff cut him off and said “Yeah well, whatcha gonna do about it??” For the first time in weeks, I actually perked up. Just watching his mouth say those words made me ask myself “Yeah SHEREE, so whatcha gonna DO about it?”

I went to sleep and woke up this morning with an entirely new plan. I have no idea how this will all pan out. I have no idea what will happen in my future. All I know is I am DOING something about it!
Jeff would be proud!

Things are going to be a CHANGING. I think this is a red letter day. I really do.

Click pic for detail view

Monday, July 12, 2010

Call for Artists / Call for Entries


Call for entries, Call for artists!
“All in the Face – Interpretations of Beauty”
exhibition will be featured at the
Git Outta My Face online gallery
August – September 2010.
Enter your work now!
Deadline July 25, 2010
No entry fee or cost to artists.


Saturday, July 10, 2010


I know things are so hard right now for many people. The economy has left many devastated. Everyone is feeling the $$$ pinch. However, I got a reality check this week. As I told you in the last post, I have been working on an ancestry project. I have been snooping around the web, getting photos from relatives, and listening to stories I have never heard before about my lineage.

I finally got a chance to ask questions about very early memories of my life. I can remember things as far back as the age of two. One of those memories involved being at a church. It just had to be a Pentecostal church, because I remember the sounds. Every time I see a Pentecostal service on TV, I am reminded of this memory. I can remember the “Jesus” fans waving and the noise was so outrageous, I tuned it out. I just watched those fans swaying back and forth, back and forth. (In fact, I now think this is going to be the premise for a new art project. I want to make a series of church fans.)

Anyway, I related this memory to my aunt and she confirmed it. This confirmation made me so happy because sometimes I think my memories are fictitious. I feared I was rewriting history via my imagination. When we spoke of the scenario of this memory, she mentioned details. One detail was going to my Great Grandma Bowling’s out house. OUT HOUSE?? Say what? For some reason, that statement just shook me to the core. Of course they had out houses back then.
Why are you so shocked Sheree?

Simultaneous to this conversation, I was receiving photos of my relatives. Some of them are in very bad shape. I wanted to fix them up and make them new again. I worked on this one.

Grandma Nancy holding Uncle Darwin circa 1927

After I was done, I just sat here and looked at the photo. Look at the environment and setting. This was only two generations ago. My mind wandered and I realized how far we have come. This is not only about me and my relatives. WE as American people have worked so hard for decades and decades to improve our lives. The economic difficulties we are experiencing today are nothing compared to what our past relatives had to endure.
Flash forward to my own meager, but bright and shiny little bungalow. I live here in full color. I even have a bathroom!!

We need to check our own realities. We all have to realize life can be so hard and has the potential to be extremely difficult (especially for our ancestors). We need to thank them for bringing us to this point in our lives and history.

Each time I go into my “Flamingo Room” bathroom, I am going to think about Grandma Bowling’s outhouse.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Art Blog: Are you FAMOUS yet?

The thesis of this blog post started with the photo of Myrtle.

Great Grandma Myrtle Sandusky Webb 1882-1968

You see all of a sudden, I have started to piece together my lineage. This is a strange task. My family is very disjointed. Thankfully, my aunt (sister of my dad) contacted me on Father’s Day and sent me some family pictures. This started the conversation. For the past week, she has filled in a lot of gaps with stories and photos. I have taken it from there.

One of the most fascinating thoughts I have had is how our society today is SO DIFFERENT from decades before. Let’s take Myrtle. When I got this picture, the first thing I thought was she looked so unhappy and depressed. When I told my aunt of my observation she told me: Myrtle never had a job (except to raise children) and she never could drive a car. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. This made me think.

I started imagining living during another era. Let’s take early 1900’s. Obviously, there was no technology or internet. There was no television. There wasn’t much of anything except living in a house, taking care of kids, and going to church on Sunday. That is it. I started to compare this with my life and all our lives now.
We clamor for our 15 minutes of fame. We chant “Pick Me, Pick ME” via internet websites, Facebook, and/or Twitter posts. We want recognition.

We want FAME. Yet, I have to step back and think of Myrtle. She had a quiet, ordinary life. Among her many life achievements, she helped to make ME. I think that is outstanding!!! LOL

Regarding Myrtle’s lack of choices, I started thinking about how lucky I really am. I remember being 16 years old. I just wanted freedom. I worked at a dry cleaners and my coworker told me her father was throwing away their family car. My eyes got big and I asked if he would sell it to me. He did for $50. Being the artist I am, I went to the store and bought bunches of yellow-orange and red-orange spray paint. I painted that car and it became my ticket to freedom.

Life couldn’t get better at that point. I had a job; I had a car; I was a budding artist; I was FREE!

Maybe FAME isn’t the issue. Maybe we just want to be loved and feel the love of life. We all want attention. NOWADAYS, we want fame and to be recognized by someone, anyone!
Well, I am paying attention to your life now Grandma. I think you are famous because you lived your life the best you could.
I am one of the products.
You did good!