Field Trips

Leave Home

I just finished reading a wonderful little book called STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon. It’s not actually my book. I stole it from my mother.

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Thing #7 is “Geography is no longer our master.”

In all honesty, geography has never been my master. I have moved 35 times since I was born, 17 times as an adult. I’ve lived in 3 countries besides the US and visited 10 others. I’m not sure how many States I’ve been to, but it’s pretty close to all 50.

That’s probably why the advice on page 93 is something I already do. A lot.

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In fact Mike and I just got back from visiting our daughter Lina in Chicago. We felt right at home.

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Growing up all over the world the way I did, and Mike did too, teaches you that your home is inside of you and goes wherever you go. The outside changes a little or a lot, but the inside stays the same.

Still, I crave that change of scenery and the freshening up of my inspiration which always follows.

Lina lives in the Chicago neighborhood of Edgewater, and we spent a lot of time in its next door neighborhood of Andersonville — which has a very cool looking, but out of commission, water tower as it’s mascot:

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Mostly we spent our time poking around in groovy little shops like the Woolly Mammoth, which was a lot like Paxton Gate in Portland, but with more veritas than verisimilitude — if you know what I mean.

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We rode the El. We rode the bus. We went to Logan Square. Lincoln Park. Wicker Park. We saw the amazing Bubble Academy where Lina works and met some of her sweet, talented friends. We did a little shopping, a lot of looking, and a ton of eating.

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If you’re in the neighborhood(s) I can definitely recommend: The Kitchen Sink, Kopi, Lady Gregory’s, Ombra, Big Jones, Hop Leaf, Feast, Ja’Grill, and Glazed’n’Infused.

Here I am with Lina at Ja’Grill, right before we hit Glazed’n’Infused. Ya mon, bring on da bacon maple bar!

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So, now we are home again and I am no longer glazed, but I am infused with the fresh perspective that leaving home provides. Which means my life is a little jangly right now. I’m noticing what is not working. I’m reminded there are many paths and just because I’ve been on this one for a while doesn’t mean I can’t take a different one and see where it leads.

I expect to be making some big changes in the next year and I’m excited about the possibilities. Stay tuned. It’s all good!

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Field Trip: India Foods on Fairview

Logan ate everything as a tiny tot, Lina was the picky one. That’s totally opposite now. Lina even puts together a curriculum which involves introducing 3 year olds to foods like purple cabbage, eggplant and lavendar — which they love!

Whereas Logan, on a recent visit home, requested meatloaf for dinner which surprised me as I have never considered myself a plain Jane sort of cook!

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Now that it’s just Mike and me, and the wee wolf pack, we can eat whatever we want, whenever we want — which is oddly guilt inducing and yet liberating at the same time. After all, I’ve put a proper meal on the table for up to three meals a day for twenty plus years, but now if we feel like having Jalapeno poppers and Kaliber for dinner, then I just make sure there’s enough sour cream for dipping.

Today we were hungry for Indian food. Luckily Boise has several very good ethnic groceries, and India Foods on Fairview is one of them.

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Besides being well stocked with every kind of rice, spice, simmer sauce, canned good, packaged sweet and salty treat…

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chutney, pickle, yogurt drink, naan ready to warm in the oven, and frozen ready made dinners, they also stock fresh vegetables.

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Some are familiar. Some are grown on another planet and shipped in specially.

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AND, they stock cool stuff.

Clothes…

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Containers for your tea and treasure…

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Little altars for your minor deities…

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For an artist and collector of “raw material” there are interesting things like this lovely item…

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which unwinds into this — undoubtedly useful (once I think of a use for it) length of dyed and twisted fabric and paper. Um hmm.

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I also got this little beauty…

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which I will leave and love just the way it is, and another…

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that I intend to have a lot of fun painting. I’ll share the results with you in a future post. Now I’m going to go make dinner, Butter Chicken tonight, Tikka Masala next time. Oh yeah!

Check it out! India Foods 6020 W Fairview in Boise. They are open 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM Monday through Saturday and 12:00 – 7:00 PM on Sundays.

Field Trip! Star Moxley’s Costumes at Enso

I took a little break from painting hot air balloons today to go see the exhibition of Star Moxley’s costumes at Enso gallery.
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I’d missed the opening, and her subsequent walk and talk-through, and the whole Idaho Shakespeare Festival reception. Frankly it was just getting ridiculous, and then mom said she was going to go and photograph the costume that Lina wore as the Woman in Black.
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So I decided “Foray III submission deadline be damned,” I was going too. Good thing. The show closes tomorrow.

Star is a mix-master, a mashup queen, a genius at spinning hay into gold thread, whispering pigs ears into silk purses, and making chennile bedspreads into boleros.
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I appreciate her playful intermingling of materials and high/low mix of quality and I know she loves the second hand hunt as much as I do.

One of the things you figure out about Boise after you’ve lived here a little while is that nobody in this town is more than one degree of separation from you. One degree. If you live here, you know I’m not lying. Ask anybody. Star has designed costumes for the Idaho Shakespeare Festival since they began, and my daughter Lina’s acting career began with the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. One degree, I’m telling you.

Anyway, Lina has worn costumes designed by Star for a couple of Shakespeare Festival productions including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but the reason I didn’t want to miss going today was the dress she wore as the Woman in Black was in this exhibition. Gorgeous.
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The dress isn’t bad either.

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Lina lives in Chicago now and I miss seeing her every day, but it felt good to be in the same room with a ghost of her presence. Pretty cool too since everyone knows the Woman in Black wasn’t really there at all. Was she?

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Tomorrow it’s back to painting. Tonight I’ll enjoy the visions of Star’s patterns dancing across my blog.

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Take a seat and join me!

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Local Color – Boise 150

All this year Boise has been celebrating her Sesquicentennial, and all Boiseans, even very small children who still call Pasta Putanesca, bisketti, can pronounce the word that means Boise is 150 years young. Woot woot!

In honor of this Happy Birthday the Treasure Valley Artists’ Alliance applied for and received a grant to curate an exhibition of artwork by local artists about Boise, and produce a catalog to accompany the exhibit. We called it Local Color – Boise 150.
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Each artist whose work was selected also wrote a few sentences about Boise as portrayed in their artwork, and that statement is on the page with their art in the catalog. This is my painting titled “Le Boi-cycle”…

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and Mike’s titled “Boise Blue Doors”…

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Mike and I wrote the grant. Jacqueline Crist selected the art for the exhibit. I arranged and hung the exhibit with assistance from Sue Latta, and my mom, Shirley McCarter, both of whom are also featured in the catalog. Debra Smith edited the artists’ writing, and Will Spearman and I designed and curated the catalog itself.

It was a huge learning experience, in fact we’re still learning from it. We had an event at Rediscovered Books last night along with three other writers/editors who produced books for the Sesquicentennial. Debra Smith who is not only the catalog’s editor, but a dear friend did the presentation for Local Color.
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Thank you Deb! I’m one of those people who would rather share a mochalottachocolatte with God (and you know what that would mean) than engage in public speaking.

By the way, we still have copies of the Local Color catalog available for sale: $19.95/copy plus standard shipping in the US and Canada. Contact me if you’re interested, and Mike and I will both sign your copy. Woot woot!