My Artist Home

Up and At ’em

Tonight is the Opening for Spring Awakening, the latest TVAA exhibition at Boise State Public Radio. It is also the debut of my tarpestry “Spring Awakening (The Unconcious Arsonist).”

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I’m excited to have one of my original tarps out in the world where people, besides my nearest and dearest, can actually see it in person. Descriptions and detail shots don’t do it justice — you have to see the entire “elephant” if you know what I mean.

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It’s been a whirlwind around here lately what with making plans to sell my beloved artists’ home, and being so jazzed about making more tarpestries inspired by our New Orleans trip, and having a new traffic box to design — yes, I’m doing a “traffic tarpestry.”

It’s actually a bit ironic that I am oozing with inspiration at the same time I have to subtract myself and a lot of my art from this house. Potential buyers have to be able to “see” themselves living their lives here, not me living mine.

(This bad boy is coming with me!)

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I’ve “restaged” a couple of the rooms so it is more “housey” and less “artsy.”

Buh-bye “Gallery,” hello Living Room…

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Buh-bye “Music Room,” hello Bedroom…

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I left myself enough space in the Living Room to work on my tarps, sort of. It’s a little cramped, but that just highlights the kind of studio space I really need, and is helping define what we want for our next place. The next space has got to work as a studio first. We can live in our studio, but it’s much harder to turn traditional living space into working space. I’m guessing a lot of you are very familiar with that conundrum.

This is my latest New Orleans inspired tarpestry — sorry about the usual less than great shots since it is so big, and is on the floor.

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Some detail shots…

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And this is the “traffic tarpestry” under way…

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(More to come on this piece in my next post.)

I hope you can make it to the Opening this evening for Spring Awakening — there is a ton of other work besdides mine to enjoy as well.

Up and at’em!

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The World is My Oyster

Our sojourn in New Orleans is over for now. We are back in Boise, and as usually happens to me when I travel and have a literal change of perspective, I’m in an entirely different “place” than I was when we left.

If you’ve been following my blog you have undoubtedly gathered how much New Orleans means to me and to Mike. How vital it is to our sense of being who we truly are as artists, as a family and as citizens of the world. It is our true “heart home,” the place we feel WE belong.

Don’t get me wrong, we love Boise too! It’s like Boise is our BFF, and New Orleans is our Soul Mate, and we believe we can have both. It’s just going to get a little complicated around here while we make that happen!

I know you have heard me muse on ways we are better using our house in Boise as our artists’ home — repurposing rooms as studio space,

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turning our former living room into a “gallery”

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and Logan’s former apartment into our new living room

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and studio space.

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That’s been done, and it absolutely works for us as it reflects the way we live now that we are empty nesters who also happen to be artists.

BUT…we want to have another home in New Orleans too, and we can’t do that and keep this house. So, our plan is to sell this house and buy two condos — one in Boise, and one in New Orleans.

We have bought and sold houses before, but there has never been a house I’ve loved as much — or have poured as much of myself into — as this house. It hurts physically to think about selling it, but no pain, no gain, right? My wish is that someone will fall in love with it the way I did and I can hand it over to them with a light heart.

Wish us luck as we embark on this next phase of our lives which I have dubbed “Bon Temps Le Boi.”

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Who says you can’t have your oysters raw, and chargrilled too?!

In Like a Lamb

I’m taking real liberties with that title because I’m not referring to either March or the weather. See today as I write it is January 4th — a day I have been very careful to spend quietly, just like a little lamb, so as to avoid any possible conflicts with those near and dear to me brought on by the “thorny full moon” which is currently under siege from Pluto and Uranus. Seriously.

You would too if your silverware did this whenever you ate out…

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Or the street lights all did this when you drove by…

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I think that full moon might exert a little pull where I’m concerned. Anyway, so far so good.

Even more good news is that this is supposed to be a gangbusters (“gangbusters”…don’t you ever wonder if these words really mean what you think they do?) month for my work life, and since my work life is really making art, this should be a gangbusters month for… making art. And to that I say it’s about time!

I’ve spent most of my time lately setting things up so that I can make art, and have a place to show it. I’ve even helped a tiny bit to influence the city I live in to appreciate the fact there are a bunch of us here worth getting to know.

But now it’s time for me to just Make Art. To materialize the inventory I’m carrying around in my head. To move from the “To-Due List” to “Just Doing It”, and I am really, really ready.

What makes this year different from last year is that I am entirely on my own as far as incentive goes. Last year I had both the Treefort Public Art project, and See Spot Walk, plus four shows to curate for TVAA.

This year we are going to New Orleans for two months and that will briefly restrict the size of the work I can do, but besides that I am unencumbered by responsibility to anyone or any organization. I am my own boss. Soy Chingona!

As part of his New Year’s Resolutions Mike is reading a blog called Art Biz Blog written by an Artist Marketing Coach named Alyson Stanfield. I read a few of her posts as well and one sentence in one excellent post in particular (Your Job is In the Studio) caught my eye. She said: “If you don’t make art, you have nothing to market.”

She couldn’t be more correct. How do you like the gif Mike made for me when I pointed out how cunningly “make” and “art” are nestled into “market”…

The word "market" transforms into "make art." This animated GIF is designed by Melissa "Sasi" Chambers and Michael Chambers

Cool right?! What a guy, and he’s handsome too!

Anyway this got me thinking that this year will be a different sort of approach for me because I will be making art first and then marketing it. Last year the market came to me and I made the work it asked me to make. I am liking the freedom to do what I want. We will see if the market wants what I do.

Which I guess means I’ll find out if “gangbusters” actually means “blowed up good.”

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Nah.

Just Did It, Yo!

In the spirit of “just doing it” I have been a busy girl. Making pom poms. Hundreds of pom poms. And watching Netflix. Hundreds of hours of Netflix. It’s been serious business around here. Seriously. I can make 12 medium pom poms, and 20 small pom poms in one episode of Breaking Bad. That’s 1,080 small pom poms during the series. Yo Bitch!

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I attached all those pom poms to my collection of second helping crocheted blankets and violá “POM POW An Exhibition” was born.

Pom Pow-500w

We have recently turned our living room into a gallery space in which we plan to have infrequent, exclusive, random exhibitions and events, and “POM POW An Exhibition” was our soft opening.

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If you made it to the opening — Thank you for coming, it meant a lot to me!

If you couldn’t make it, I missed you, and here are the mug shots (plus titles and prices) of the bad boys you missed…

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Pandora’s Ice Box – 165

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“You’re Crazy. No, You’re Crazy.” – SOLD

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“Sanguine” – SOLD

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“Rothko Baby” – 75

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“Smells Like Snow” – 65

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“Vitamin C” – 200

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“Straight-laced Ladybug” SOLD

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“No Yellow” – 40

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“Wonderland Checkers” – 100

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“Lemon Meringue” – SOLD

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“Johnny Jump-up” SOLD

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“Chinese Checkers” – 250

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“Make Love Not War” – 125

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“Zonky” – 150

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“Ice Cream Social” – 200

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“Raspberry Jammin'” – 125

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“Spumoni” SOLD

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“Clown Baby” – 85

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“M’hija” SOLD

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“Pepe Le Pew” – 150

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“Pom Pom Harvest” – 150

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“Complementary Sorbet” – SOLD

Contact me if you see anything you like. Do it soon and I may even have some “round snacks” left to share…

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I told you I take this very seriously. Pom Pow bitch! Yo!

Just Doing It

There does seem to be a certain amount of disconnect between living a creative life and writing a blog about it. I’m not managing to do both — you may have noticed — but that’s because I’m choosing the “living” part, and the “blogging” has had to wait.

Lately I’m obsessed with the idea of “just doing it.”

You know what I think about feeling pressured to do things just so we can say we did, but I feel equally strongly about actually DOING the ideas that keep nagging at us — especially the ones we push away because they seem too difficult or outrageous or contrary or even a little embarrassing.

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Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting you go flying off on every crazy idea that pops into your head like some sniggly baboon drunk on fermented Marula fruit. You need to have a plan, be willing to work your ass off, and see it through. Unfortunately it’s not like those movie montages where they show 6 hours or 6 days or even 6 months worth of work completed in 6 minutes — it’ll really take you those hours, days or months to complete. I just believe it will be worth it.

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I am NOT now going to list all the work that I have been “just doing” which has prevented me from keeping up with this blog, though I will say that things look very different around here — literally — and though deadlines and pressure in general may actually have increased, at least I’m the one in charge.

I’ll be more specific about what’s going on soon, but for now I’m just doing it!

Hellooooo…….? Anybody Still Out There?

I know, I know! I’ve been just terrible about keeping up with this blog. Inertia is a total bitch! She sneaks up on you and before you realize it, it’s been 2 WEEKS since your…MY…last post. Uuugh.

At least the inertia hasn’t extended to the rest of my life as I’ve actually been quite busy. On the TVAA front, I submitted a piece to the TVAA & Track 13 juried exhibition “Water Works” called “The View from Logan.” I’ll find out if it gets into the show this week.

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I also got the prospectus written, and it’s now posted for Foray IV — our final FORAY, and my last exhibition as the Chair of the TVAA Exhibition Committee. I’ve been the “buck stopper” for all 15 shows we’ve put on so far, 14 of which I curated. It’s been wonderful, a crapton of work, and I’m ready for a break.

Along with Will Spearman and the other Excoms, Carol Elliot Smith, and Jordan Newberry, we laid out the dates and themes for the shows through 2015 and will soon have those posted on the TVAA website. It will be a good year and I plan to create new work for each of the shows. Our themes will be “Menagerie,” “Spring Awakening,” “Collage/Assemblage,” and “Cuisine-Art.”

I’ve also been seeing spots everywhere I look!

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That’s a hot pink Lula as one of the See Spot Walk dogs I painted for this year’s campaign. My designs are showing up everywhere — on posters, rack cards, in the Boise Weekly. Lula’s famous, and she has no idea!

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I also took the time to create a piece on the off chance it might become the cover of this year’s Moxie Java Idaho Ho Ho CD. They said they’d let us know by the 15th of September and I haven’t heard anything (All together now….Grrrrrrrr!) so I guess, no news probably means no cover. But here’s the design anyway. It’s called “Googly Tidings to You and Your Kin.”

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I also (I’m trying to see how many “I also’s” I can get into this post) completed my first Second Life of my Treefort Tarp Picada “Granny Squares.” It’s too big to have just one photo of the whole thing, so here are a couple of detail shots:

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And finally, I also (that makes 5) have begun yet another rearrangement of our house to better accommodate our use of the rooms as studio/working/living/showing/entertaining/escaping spaces. The first room to be transformed is a room that we called the “workroom” but which was really the “dump” — the room where things we planned to deal with later went to die.

We emptied it out completely, vacuumed up about 20 deadly poisonous spiders, then replaced tools and things we actually will use again in an orderly fashion, and today I plan to prime the walls for painting a color other than their current shade of “death warmed over.” I’m so excited!

Oh! And the best part is we’ve discovered that if you put ANYTHING with a “FREE” sign on it out in our driveway it will disappear. Like magic. All this time, and it was our driveway where we should have been putting those things we planned to deal with later! Well, live and learn!

I’ll try to be better about posting from now on. But if things get too crazy I can’t promise I won’t hang a “FREE” sign around my neck and go sit in my driveway.

At least you’ll have an explanation if I disappear again!

Leftovers to Digest

Wouldn’t you know just as we were contemplating the idea of downsizing, I’d get word that my “Leftovers” prints were ready for pick up.

There’s nothing quite like having 12 more beautiful, original works of art crying out for MORE wall space to make me question that idea….

Tall walls?

Smaller footprint — taller walls. Duh.

These are the prints I received in this year’s exchange:

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And this is what my living room looks like BEFORE I’ve figured out where I’m going to hang them all.

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You may notice there are a few more prints than the ones pictured above — that’s because there are other Leftovers from our exchange a couple of years ago which I’ve only just gotten framed.

I can’t wait to participate in next year’s exhibition. Mike is planning on it as well.

We are going to need some VERY tall walls!

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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Illumination

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We had Logan, and Lina’s best friend Emma, over for dinner last night. Emma wanted a photo of our new “Pixar” standing lamp so she asked Logan to take a picture of her next to the lamp using her iPhone. This is the photo. One click. No special filter. All I did was cut out his thumb from the lower left corner.

The world is an amazing place filtered through the lens of an Aspie.