Lina

House Ghosts

Mike’s exhibition “House Ghosts” opened on May 7th at the Carol Robinson Gallery in New Orleans.

That’s Carol, with Mike at the Opening…

Mike Chambers with Carol Robinson at House Ghosts Opening

We brought most of Mike’s new work for the show with us on our drive down, but we arrived in New Orleans with a few paintings left unfinished. Mike worked on them in the evenings, at his French easel which he set up on the kitchen table.

Mike Chambers painting at the kitchen table

Go ahead, try this at home!

Mike Chambers painting

Carol always hangs a beautiful show, and “House Ghosts” was no exception.

Mike Chambers' House Ghosts

Mike Chambers' House Ghosts

Mike Chambers' House Ghosts at Carol Robinson Gallery

Mike Chambers' House Ghosts

Lina Chambers and House Ghost by her dad, Mike Chambers

There was a great turn out for the opening, and it was wonderful to catch up with friends, both old, and new.

Moseley Sonier family at House Ghosts Opening

Marilyn & Morris Brum with Lina and Melissa Chambers

House Ghosts Opening at Carol Robinson Gallery

The show will be up during the month of May, and you can see all of Mike’s available work on the Carol Robinson Gallery website, as well at at MichaelChambersArt.com .

Michael Chambers with his painting "All the Light "

Good job Mikey! 👍👍❤️🍷🎉

Don’t/Stop Looking At Me

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I pinned this on my “Wise Words” Pinterest board this week and realized as I did so that I whole heartedly agree with the sentiment. As someone who is keeping a blog — the point of which is to make myself MORE VISIBLE — I also realized that it puts me in constant conflict with myself. Look at Me! Don’t look at me! Stop looking at me! Don’t stop looking at me! Jeez.

It also helps me understand why I don’t post as regularly as I intend to. Even though I have a daily practice of writing, and 60 notebooks worth of my thoughts which could fill a blog every day for several years to come — I could call it “TMI” — I hesitate to be that visible and instead of just posting a little something and calling it good, I disappear.

Now you see me. Now you don’t.

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And I feel bad about that. So, with the knowledge that there are only about seven of you who read this blog anyway, I’m going to do something I do in my daily writing to declutter my brain, and just list in no particular order the things which are on my mind right now — some of which have been taking up time I might have spent writing posts for this blog.

+ I am applying for the Nampa Public Libray Feature Art Wall project and would dearly love* to be one of the 3 artists selected to create a proposal.

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*serious understatement

+ I’ve been working on two pieces for the upcoming “Monsters!” exhibition TVAA is having. Here’s a preview of one of them:

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+ TVAA Exhibitions have been my primary focus and volunteer commitment for the past 4 years since we founded TVAA, and after 13 exhibitions I am ready to pass the oversight on to another individual, or group. Come out, come out whoever you are?!! I will continue to participate in the shows by creating art for them, and I’d love to curate now and then, I just need to pass the baton. Especially if we are not even going to be in Boise part of the year….

+ We were thiiiis close to booking a way cool artists’ compound Airbnb in what is admittedly a pretty rough (but getting better since Katrina) neighborhood in New Orleans for our Winter 2015 adventure, when our friend (and guard dog) Joy forwarded us a very dispiriting news report about an artist being beaten within an inch of his life by a gang of boys with bats and pipes just a couple of blocks from “our” place. Boo.

We’re definitely going to New Orleans, but we’re debating whether or not to take a risk on this particular (and particularly awesome in every way except location) housing possibility.

+ We’re thinking about trading in our 2001 Forester for a 2014/15 Forester with the 250 hp upgrade. Anyone?

+ After 6 years of pouring my heART and soul into this house it has “suddenly” dawned on us that most of the reasons we moved here in the first place — to create a home within a home for Logan (he now lives in Supported Living), and to evolve into a sort of family compound for Idaho raised grandkids (Lina seems to be heading further East these days and has no inclination to return to Boise) — no longer exist. Couple that with the fact we need more open work space for the larger pieces I am interested in creating, and it’s looking like move #36 is on the horizon.

Interested in a 3600 sq.ft. house with 2 kitchens, 2.25 baths and 6 bedrooms (2 bedrooms, 1 workroom, 3 studios the way we’ve used them), with a huge back yard? Then stay tuned.

+ My hair is giving me fits.

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Ok. You can stop looking now.

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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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Happy Birthday Lina!

I know I often complain about how quickly the month has flown by, or even that if I’m not careful, before I know it the year will be half over.

Actually the year is half over. Dang it.

I apparently live in a state of perpetual chrono-shock, so it should come as no surprise to you when I say I can’t believe it, but MY BABY GIRL IS 26 YEARS OLD TODAY!!!!

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I’m not sure how that’s possible since I myself was 26 only a short time ago.

But in fact, it is true. This amazing creature has grown from adorable baby, to rodeo cowgirl…

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to, er…twins…?

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to high society dame

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to someone who spends a lot of time counseling people on couches…

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and (you can actually see her in action here)…

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I can honestly say she was the easiest child I ever raised. She never talked back once!

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Now that she has moved to Chicago and has found full time work counseling the clergy…

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and stunt modeling for album covers…

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her Dad and I are confident she will continue to grow and AMAZE US EVERY SINGLE DAY!

We love you Lina-Lou!!! Happy Birthday!!! And Many Moooore!

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.

How Sweet it Is

We went to Salt this morning for breakfast and had Guru Donuts and lattes. Sweet.

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Today is Lina’s last day in Boise before she goes back to Chicago and so we just ran around doing last minute things like mailing her Christmas haul so she doesn’t have to carry it back on the airplane and train rides home.

We also felt the need to carb load. Apparently donuts for breakfast leads logically to Mac-n-cheese for lunch.

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After lunch we stopped into Bricolage and talked with Chelsea Snow who has some great plans for the New Year for local artists and makers. Pay attention! 2013 was a stellar year for Boise, but I can see that 2014 is shaping up to be even SWEETER!

On the way home we stopped at the new mosaic collaboration Anna Webb and Reham Aarti have just finished. It’s a roundabout next to the Boise Depot:

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I think there’s something really special about a city that not only has new food and art and craft and public art ventures popping up all the time, but whose chefs and artists and makers and public artists are all accessible, real people. Maybe it’s a Boise thing. Whatever, it’s the sweetest.

Now back to my sweet daughter for our last evening before she heads home…

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Looks like she may have over done it on the sugar today.

Whatever, she’s the sweetest.

Crazy “To Do” List

Lina arrived safely from Chicago for Christmas, meaning it was time to relax and play and enjoy the holiday, right? Only I’m slightly embarrassed to admit, I pretty much put her straight to work. (Tell me I’m not the only one with a crazy “to do” list in her head?!)

Well, we let her refuel first.

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Twice.

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I’ve been wanting to build a snowman for days, but it’s been so cold the precipitation has all been powder. Finally, it warmed up enough the snow could stick and then (of course) it all started to melt. So, first things first, we made 3 tiny snow creatures…

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Quickly.

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Next there were cookies to be baked and decorated at mom’s house with both Lina and Logan…

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And then the real work began. Lina introduced me to the 21st Century. (I don’t always move quickly.) She set me up on Facebook.

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I’m only about 10 years late to the party and I’m really planning to stay only as long as we can talk about art. And I can already hear my more literary friends practically screaming in unison (some with really bad Scottish accents)… “and the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley.”

But I’m here now, and Facebook actually let me open a personal page and an artist’s page, and a few of you already like me. You really LIKE me!

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I will try to keep up with the whiplashing pace and volume of information (Hey Deby!!), but I will also be honest and say my hope for Facebook is that I can finally share what I’m doing with my art with a much larger audience. Color me crazy!

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I hope your crazy “to do” list is as short, and sweet, and colorful as our plate of Christmas cookies. And vanishes as quickly!

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Merry Christmas!

Breathing Room

I have been waiting for today for some time now. In fact this is the first day since this time last year that I am beholden to no one and no thing. There are no looming deadlines, no exhibition openings, no meetings, and no social events to hostess. My only concerns are my family and myself, and I am already finding it easier to think. It’s so much quieter in my head.

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The final event on this year’s very busy schedule was the TVAA Kringle Mingle last night. I promised you results of the art exchange and as you can see, I was tickled!

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I received Kathleen Probst’s beautiful abstract textile piece titled Peepholes #7:

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You can see more of Kathleen’s work at her website www.kathleenprobst.com and I highly recommend you do so.

The other cool thing is that Barbara Bowling received my bamboo utensils…

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Barbara is another one of those 1 degree of separation stories. My daughter, Lina Chambers, and her daughter, Sarah Gardner are both actresses who knew each other and acted together long before Barbara and I ever met.

We had one of those “Wait a minute, your daughter’s an actress? My daughter’s an actress! I know your daughter! She’s your daughter?!” sort of conversations a few weeks ago from which we are still recovering.

Barbara is also a very fine artist and jeweler. Her website is www.louisesleap.com

By the way, both Kathleen Probst and Barbara Bowling have terrific work in the current TVAA Foray III exhibition, to say nothing of the other 65 artists, so check out the show if you find a little time in your schedule.

Ok. That’s enough work for one day. Now I’m going to go relax and enjoy this terrific weather we’ve been having. Maybe work on my tan a little. I’ve really been looking forward to this break!

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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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