Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Art Blog: ONE MOMENT

I know this already. Yes. I know all this in my heart of hearts. However like so many of you, I ignored my own knowledge and went on my way. I have been a lost GIRL. I have allowed myself to lose my way. I have been like a little girl in the woods and I have lost track of where I was going or where my destination was supposed to be. Oh well. We live and learn.

The thing I KNOW for sure is that life is full of moments. We can pay attention or ignore. Despite our own actions, we are immersed in these illusive moments that can change our life (for the good or bad). I have had quite a few of these “moments” this year.

I have felt like I was in the middle of a whirlpool. I kept waiting for someone to throw me a life vest. However I now realize that was not in the plan. I realized today that waiting on help from someone else was not in the moment. I was tossed swirling round and round and I was supposed to figure out how to stop MYself from twirling.

THEN, something happened. FINALLY! It was not my doing. I contributed to the energy of change, but I had no idea if anything would happen. Well, today it did. In ONE MOMENT, I got news; then, my attitude and life changed. In ONE MOMENT something happened that knocked my whole present and future on it’s ass. In ONE MOMENT something happened that makes me feel like Sheree again.

Despite the feelings of glee, I am mad at myself in a strange way. Why did I allow life circumstances to throw me for such a grand loop? I am not joking here. I have been in the “dead zone” for months. Yes, I have maintained and continued to move, but it has been similar to the zombies in the “Night of the Living Dead”. I just kept moving slow and scary. Shame on me. Yet, I did the best I could do at the time.

Even though most of my life is online, I have lots of art that has never been shown anywhere. I made it, set it on a shelf, and that was the end of it. I guess it was supposed to be for me. “The GIRL I never was or will be” is one of those pieces. It sits in my house for me to pass by and admire. I think it might be so personal; I have never put it in a show. Who knows? It doesn’t matter anyway. One thing I know for sure in this ONE MOMENT “GIRL” reminds me of who I really am. I am that girl and I am the way I am supposed to be in this MOMENT.


Click pic for detail view

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Art Blog: Hand of the Artist

My mind has been swirling the past few days. I am in the “art zone”. I have been reviewing old work, nodding to current work, and thinking very deliberately about future work. I won’t go into the nitty gritty about the trials and tribulations of my art path. I just thought of writing about one of the motivations of my work right now.

I think it is interesting that artists allow public opinion to affect the progress of their work. I am guilty. Tell me an artist who hasn’t thought things like “What will sell?”, “Why didn’t this series get any kind of positive feedback?” “Is my work taken seriously?” The reason artists can get caught up in this whirlpool of spiraling thought is because we are so isolated as we work. We do the work and put it out there for the world to see. Then we wait for reaction.
This is a double edged sword. It can be gratifying or devastating. Everything depends on the artist’s own self esteem and intelligence. Who is judging you? Who is giving you advice or opinions? Who is trashing or supporting your work? Think about these things. It is important because if the people giving you feedback which may or may not change your creative path are not individuals with the experience and knowledge to give a valid opinion, why are you listening to them?

My current mantra for my work is “simplicity”. I want the work to be interesting but “quiet” in a certain way. It might make a momentary noise and then there is a silence. I would hope this is when the viewer is quiet too or decides to make a slight sound. However, I am not interested in making art right now that will make people roar with reaction. I am just not.

While thinking about future work, I thought about an unfinished series of graphite drawings called ”Modern Fairytales”. They are simple, narrative, graphite drawings. I did those years ago and when they got no public response, I tucked them away. Out of sight, Out of mind. I rediscovered them recently and thought of continuing on with this work. I put a few online this week and was told they are cool or interesting or whatever. However, the comment that struck me the most was referring to transforming the work digitally: “scan them in and play with them in Photoshop and make them so much more!”

I hated that suggestion, but I realized we are all about that train of thought in our society right now. Digital. Digital. Digital. I totally disagree. First, realize that I am a digital person. I am “digital” all day long. Practically my entire life is online. I even teach technology! However, there comes a time when digital is not the answer to everything. All things do not need to be digital to be better, worse, or (fill in the blank).

Then, I had a EUREKA moment. One reason I want to make art that is just "simple" art is because I want to maintain some kind of semblance of the “hand of the artist”. I see so much stuff now that is derivative, pop oriented, or so obviously DIGITAL, it bores me. I can see a day when fine art sans technology will be seen as a foreign, but nostalgic commodity. Maybe this is why I reacted with such distain to the comment.

Digital is wonderful. I LOVE technology. However, we have to understand that “new” is not necessarily better. It is like comparing apples and oranges. We can have both and it is OK. We all have to remember that “all that glitters is not gold”. New is not necessarily better than old.
It is just different and that is fine.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Art Blog: Art Life CHOICES



“Perspectival Response”
Graphite on Paper

This drawing is about looking at things in a new way. It is about taking a new perspective. It is about contemplation. It is about searching for the light bulb moments in your life.

This past year has been like no other. Every one of us has to experience life and all the ebbs and flows that go with it. I wasn’t ready for this shift in the tide. However, I am starting to put it all together with a lot of self reflection and deliberation. All I know is I need to make a DECISION.

So what is the problem? I have never had any problem at all with decisions. Ordinarily, I think of the issue, have a thought, and then act on it. So what is the big deal? The real problem is I have been so blindsided by the events of the past year, I have been rendered stunned. I couldn’t make a decision because I didn’t really know what was happening!
Today I had to go out and do dreaded yard work. I hate yard work, but it is a necessary evil.




As I worked and got dirty, I kept thinking and thinking and thinking. One thought lead to another and POOF! I made a decision. I kept thinking about my so called “art life” and laughed. This is not the kind of art life I want or have ever wanted. I decided to do a bit of accounting. What are the good things now?



My daughter is all grown up, happy, and thriving. CHECK!



I have had the experience of teaching for many years and I have had much great success. CHECK!




I have finally got the house I always wanted and love dearly. CHECK!

My ART life should be better, but I am doing new art stuff that makes me happy. My new online ”Git Outta My Face Gallery is one of those things that makes me smile. CHECK!

So while I was on my knees pulling weeds and planting new flowers, I was haunted by this photo of my old studio.


Despite the mess and chaos, my daughter learned to walk in this room. She struggled to take steps as she walked over found objects and hammers. She did it though. I struggled too during this era. I had to deal with a precarious financial status, but things always seemed to work out. Go figure.

As I dug my bare hands into the soil working on my new flower bed, I realized it always works out for me. I feel stupid for having doubts. I want this old art life back. I want to learn to walk again surrounded by wonderful, creative energy. I want that for myself now. I just need to make it work.

I have made a decision.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Art Blog: Art BIZNESS

The dominoes are starting to fall. The dots are starting to connect. It is so funny how things happen as life plays out; you see how it starts to make some kind of bizarre sense. Weeks before Father’s day, I was working on a video and had a flash back of sitting with my dad while he showed me how to edit Super 8 film. I was around 13 years old and I loved learning about how to cut film and tape it back together. Even though that is such an old school memory, I can relate it to my life and times now. I suppose this is why I had the flashback. If my dad were alive today, he would be in awe. He could sit and watch me edit without a reel to reel editor. He would be so amazed. He would be a top gun YouTube kinda guy. Too bad he didn’t live to see what is happening now.

Another connect the dots moment came a few days ago while I was working on my new computer tutor business. I realized that thinking “everything happens for a reason” has some truth. I didn’t seek out the opportunity to teach art. It found me and just happened. However, I realized that if it weren’t for teaching, I would never have had the opportunity to learn all I know about technology.
Dominoes fall. Connect another bunch of dots.

I have launched my “Wizzle Workz” company. I am taking it slow and easy. Considering I have worked on all kinds of stuff: starting a business plan, organizing advertisements, promoting, etc. etc. for the past three days, I can say I see something promising. It just makes so much sense. I have tutored before and my favorite clients were artists. I loved showing them how to do techno things. I loved it. However, I saw this endeavor as a passing hobby. Well now, I see it as a viable business concept and a good one at that. Also, it is time for Sheree to make money to survive. I tend to be overly generous. I tend to give it all away. I can’t do that anymore. I need to have a means to support myself. This business endeavor might help to solve this problem.

The one thing I have to remember is to just keep plugging away. I tend to go off on these elusive, creative, light bulb moments and within days, I am distracted and move on to other things. I want to see “Wizzle Workz” through even if it takes years. This is the perfect time for me to set up my computer art sideline job.
It is a perfect time for ME to knock over some dominoes
and connect a whole lot of dots!!




I really want to work with artists. However, I would love to work with anyone who needs help with computer skills. I know of many people who want to learn, but it seems overwhelming. That is why there are computer tutors like me. I can teach them!

I can teach anybody!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Art Blog: Come Back Angels!

“If you chase away the demons. the angels will fly away too."



“Dad and Sheree”

Happy Father’s Day!
For me, this is the hardest holiday. I love my dad so much. He died years ago. We are so alike. Sometimes, when I laugh, tell a story, or look down at my hands, I pause. I remind myself of my own father. Even my "creative" genes come from him. Every Father’s Day, I do a kind of denial dance. I want to remember, but I don’t. It is just all too weird and painful. I think I act like I don’t remember for the sake of my own survival.

This morning when I woke up, it hit me. Father’s Day! I told myself then to just keep busy and don’t think about it. I refused to get upset. Chasing away the demons is my specialty. However today, my aunt sent me some pictures of my dad, I have never seen before. Then, I got another unexpected email from a mystery relative. That is when I crashed.

I am fine now and busy licking my wounds, but it is so interesting to me. I find it amazing that our pasts drive our lives no matter how old we get. Every time I think I have it together, something happens that proves I am not as strong as I think I am. Like I have said before, our lives are full of lessons. I guess this is one I still have to learn. I will keep trying until I get it right. In the meantime, I want to wish a happy holiday to all of the dads out there. I want you to realize your children will remember everything you do and say for decades to come.
It will affect their lives.




Happy Father’s Day!
Grandpa, Daddy (left boy), and Uncle (right boy)
I have to teach myself to remember and appreciate the GOOD parts of my past so the angels will stay around.

P.S. It is so funny I got to see that top photo today. Look at the expression on my face. I wasn't a happy camper in that photo. In fact, the expression on my face then seems to be the same one I have today!!!
Oh geesh!!!! LOL LOL LOL LOL

Friday, June 18, 2010

Art Blog: Positive ENERGY!



It is so funny how things happen. During good times or bad times, things just proceed. We take each moment as it comes. For some of us, we analyze those moments and feel the vibes. Things are really crappy for me right now. YES. I said it! These times are……………(you can insert any negative words you want here). I am on damage control and trying to zone out. This past week, I did just that as I mindlessly trolled Facebook.

An artist I know Mary Loziniak put up a link for a newly, finished necklace. I am NOT a jewelry person. I do wear a lot of beads, but that is the hippie in me. I don’t do lots of babbles. I never have because it gets in the way when I work. That being said, I saw Mary’s “Mad Hatter’s Necklace”. It is related to Alice in Wonderland. Well, I am Sheree in Wonderland right now. I have fallen down the hole and I am trying to make sense of the world. When I saw this necklace, I had to have it. It represented so many things to me; it signifies my life and my times right now. The necklace arrived and I love it even more than I thought I would. It stands as a symbol of who I am and where I am going.
It is all good.

THEN, there is Facebook’s Freida Kahlo.
Again. Another Facebook friend. I watch her posts and love every one of them. She lives in the vicinity of all my old haunts when I lived in Michigan. I love reading her posts, but most importantly, I love her spirit. She is always so effervescent, alive, and hopeful. She resembles all the things I am not right now. I saw one of her posts this week that excitedly announced a teaching job interview she attended. She was so full of spirit and wanted the job so much. I admire that energy and desire. I really do. I remember when I was that way. I really hope Jeanette (aka: Freida) gets the job of her dreams!

I want to feel that way again. I want to be alive with hope and have a fervor for life. I really do. So maybe I am gleaning that energy from my online friends. Maybe we should all do that. We need to help each other. We need to support each other. We need to understand that we are all there for each other in more ways than one.



GO FREIDA!!

Jeanette Locher
Click Jeanette's name to go to her website
Your spirit and energy touches my heart.
You have such great VIBES!!

I thank you for that!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Art Blog: So DAMN Lucky!

This is why I believe in UNIVERSAL principles. Even though I am a Dave Matthews groupie, there have been certain songs I have missed over the years. Maybe I heard them, but I didn’t pay attention. Well, I am paying attention now.


“So Damn Lucky” Dave Matthews
Everything's different
With my head in the clouds
I hit this corner
With my foot on the gas
I started sliding, I lose it
Everything's different just like that

Oh my God, wait and see
What will soon become of me?
Frozen heart
Screaming wheels
Does that screaming come from me?



I need to hear this NOW. I need to use these words as a catalyst to obtaining my new life and dreams. Yes, my head is in the clouds right now. I hit the corner and put my foot on the gas.

The reference to “starting to slide” is funny to me. I made the decision to move to Florida during a minute or two long slide on ice while on the expressway in Detroit. I thought “If I get out of this alive, I am moving to Florida!” Well, I did and I did.

All this is history and water under the bridge. I am only interested in the NOW. I am sliding again. The wheels are screaming. I know for sure the sounds come from me. I have to do things differently. I just don’t know what or how. It is ironic because my deadline to make a decision is the end of July. I have reservations to go see Dave Matthews July 28th. The night of that concert will be my deadline. Hmmmmmmmm.

Yes. The Universe works in strange ways, but I am going to trust it. Things have always worked out for me in the most unusual ways. I have to have faith.
I do.

It will be all good. I have to believe this.



Art Blog: Magic Wand! PRESTO!

I have been working, working, working. NO. Not art working YET. I have had to deal with the studio mess brought on by moving 17 years worth of STUFF into my studio. I was very worried. I thought "How am I going to pull this off?" It is kind of funny because I have a lot of neurotic tendencies that are at odds with each other. I am a natural hoarder and pack rat. Show me an artist who is not! However, I am also an “order freak”. It isn't that I need total cleanliness, but I need things neat. I need things to have some kind of order and organization. If you put both traits together, you end up with a crazy, looney person pacing around in circles talking jibberish if things seem awry.

Since I am old enough to have experience with this tendency to suffer bouts of mental illness and know the drill, I knew I was about to start jabbering and pacing at any moment after taking the photos of my wrecked studio. I had a friend come over on Friday and even he scrunched his nose and lifted his eyebrows. He knows me well enough, I think he even got worried.

WELL!! I got out my magic wand and a load of adrenaline. I cleaned closets, I filled trash barrels, and hoisted crap up onto the loft. I got it done. It is like MAGIC!! I am ready to paint again!!
Whooooo-HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Three days ago, my studio looked like this. I wrote about it on my blog. Click pic to see more pics of the disaster.

However, I took out my magic wand and PRESTO CHANGO!!
Click the pic of my “LuLu” to see the transformation!
P.S. The rest of my house is all neat and tidy too. I have to have order!!!



I made a new studio photo for my website.
It features “Little LuLu” the Studio Wonder dog!! (When you get to my studio webpage, scroll down to see current pic!)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Art Blog: Moving on UP!



A-ha! I didn’t tell you I had a loft in my studio! Yesterday, I wrote about moving 17 years worth of junk from work into my studio. I put pics on my last post of the resulting disaster area. I didn’t tell you about the loft above my studio. So when in doubt, move everything UP! The reason I didn’t mention it is because it is a total hassle getting up there. I wondered if I was going to be able to swing this. Also every time I do start to climb up there, I feel like I should call “Billy the Exterminator from Vex Con” before I venture up into that dark, creepy space.

However, this morning I did the dirty deed. I got my trusty ladder out of my shed, put my boots on, grabbed a flashlight, and got a surge of courage. This overflow of guts made me smile. SHEREE is back! In fact, if things don’t work out, maybe BILLY will give me a job!!! LOL LOL

I started piling boxes on a table, climbed up on the table, reached up, and pushed each box up on the ledge until it got full. Then I marched up the ladder and threw them back into the dirty, nasty crawl space. Every so often, I would use my flashlight and pan the space for moving creatures. It was quiet and still. A few years ago, I spent 3 grand to close off the soffits and fascias. I see now, that was money well spent.

Today, I realized all this transition and change is a really good thing and has its perks. Not only am I storing all my job stuff, but I am reorganizing my studio too. Do I really need 20 years worth of collage materials when I rarely do collage anymore? Or do I need boxes and boxes of wood scraps when I don’t have room to work 3-D? The garbage dumpster is full and ready for tomorrow’s pick up.

However, there is a limit. I understand it when hoarders tell of the magical power and sentimental value of an object. I threw away a metal toolbox I carried around Wayne State University all through my undergrad and graduate school years. It was all rusted and nasty. I dropped in the dumpster and looked at it laying there with the other trash. I could hear a voice in my mind saying “It is garbage. You don’t need it. It is rusted. It isn’t even usable anymore!” I looked at it one more time and shut the dumpster lid. Then, I took steps toward my studio door and ran back to the dumpster to fish it out of there. I couldn’t do it! Just looking at this forlorn piece of trash brings back so many memories. So what if it is rusted? I am getting kind of rusty too!! LOL




Not done yet, but we are making progress!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Art Blog: Boot Straps!




OK. Get it together Sheree! You are doing IT again. NOPE NOPE NOPE! We are going to do it differently now. Take a deep breath. Breathe. Calm down. Think.

It is finally over. I did it! I have moved every single shed of my belongings out of my job site. I have wanted to do this for years. The biggest problem is what am I going to do with 17 years worth of STUFF? My studio is wrecked. I have to start figuring out what to do and how to find a place for this junk so I can function. Organizing is one of my specialties, but this is a bit overwhelming.

To add fuel to the fire, I am in ART MODE right now. I want to start a new series of paintings. Actually, I am not sure about that either. Do I continue with the series I have been doing or start fresh? Stay tuned for the answer to that question in future posts. Also, I am thinking about my next job. I have no idea whatsoever where I will be (job wise) in two months or if I will be anywhere. I am working on starting my business “WIZZLE WORKZ”, but this is going to take some doing because I want to make it official, legal, and right. I have no idea what will happen.
Gulp. Breath, Sheree Breath.

I am not going to let anxiety get me again. I am not going through all this self inflicted drama. Rome does not have to be built in a day. Things will all work out. In fact, instead of letting myself mentally spin, burn, and crash land, I am going to make a sincere effort to believe everything is just ducky. I have lots of things to do and I need to concentrate on the positive. I am picking myself up by the boot straps and getting busy. Also, I will look forward to what is coming next. I don’t need to know what that is. It will be revealed without my fret or meddling.

Right now the paramount goal is just to BE.






“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!”
Time to get to work Sheree!