Painting Studio

Hare Today

I was just explaining to my friend Peggy Jo how I’m a sprinter. Whether I’m running or swimming, setting up a new home or making art, I do it really, really fast — and then I take a break. I am not a marathoner. I can’t sustain energetic output endlessly. If I were one of the two characters in the tale of “The Tortoise & The Hare” I would definitely be the hare.

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(Sleeping Hare by Celia Hart)

Something about being a sprinter makes it difficult for me to run multiple races. I need to pick one race — move into my new home — and not add on another race — get ready for my exhibition in December — until the first race is won.

The last room/sprint to finish in our new house was the big studio where Mike paints and I work on my tarpestries…

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Race won.

Now I’ve begun to sprint towards my solo show in December at the Boise State University Student Union Gallery. The show will be of my tarpestries and I will have a variety of sizes including itty-bitty tarpestries.

Tarpitos?

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Unlike my big pieces these have no particular narrative, they’re just pure pattern. So far I’ve done 14…

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Whew! Time for a break. I’m out of breath!

Maybe another interpretation of the tale of “The Tortoise & The Hare” is that they both won the race — it’s just that the tortoise was a marathoner, and the hare was running a sprint.

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Delight is in the Details

Our house is now officially on the market and there are photos which you can see everywhere including right here on our virtual tour.

There is also a flyer:

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What we don’t have are the “detail” shots which I think make this house special, and which are of things I’ve done to our home which will stay when we sell it.

Things like all the rugs I’ve painted on the floors.

In our Living room/Dining room:

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In the room we’ve used as a cosy dining room, but which could be a study or bedroom:

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In the hall between the main floor bedrooms, (as well as the door to the front bedroom):

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In my little studios upstairs (which could also be bedrooms):

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I’ve also painted the door in the upstairs hall between the two studios:

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As well as the door to the Butler’s Pantry:

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And three hallway light fixtures:

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The house was built in 1938 so it has tons of character, and wonderful details like coved ceilings in every room on the main floor as well as the arched setback for the kitchen range and refrigerator:

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And the 29″ deep window ledge in front of the wall of windows in the downstairs living space:

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This is a wonderful big hug of a house, and there is a lot of delight in it’s many unique details.

Spread the word! This house is looking for someone new to love!

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!

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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Second Helpings: Sewing Birds

Sewing birds have got to be my favorite Second Helpings objects to paint. I had no idea they even existed until a couple of years ago when my friend Marilyn brought me one she had for me to fancy up.

This is that first bird:

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Your scissors make the beak and topknot, there are padded wings to use as pin cushions, places to put your spools of thread, and a little drawer for your thimbles or the odd button.

They’re so sweet they make your teeth hurt just to look at them!

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I don’t find sewing birds very often but now I always buy them when I stumble upon one. I found these two at my favorite secondhand store soon after finishing Marilyn’s bird. Makes me wonder how many I missed before I knew to look for them.

Dagnabit.

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You may remember my finding this tweetheart a few months ago when you see this BEFORE picture:

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And here are the AFTER photos in sequence as I painted the entire bird with acrylic paint — including the felt wings which were painted with acrylic paint mixed with Textile Medium so the paint won’t crack.

When I was finished with all the colors and detail I wanted to add I sealed it with a coat of Minwax Polycrylic Sealer.

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I even got a brand new pair of pink sewing scissors to complete the look! Who’s a fancy bird now!

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So keep your eyes peeled for the odd objects, the misfit toys, the ugly ducklings — they make for the most spectacular transformations. And if you honestly don’t know what to do with them, just pass them on to me. I paint everything!

An Ordinary Monday

Today was one of those days. Just one of those ordinary days. An ordinary Monday. I did the laundry. Thawed a flatiron steak so I didn’t have to shop for dinner. Listened to some NPR while I folded the clean clothes. And I got started on a new painting I want to finish by the 22nd so I can submit it for the Treasure Valley Artists’ Alliance Foray III Exhibition.

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I’m using canvas this time because framing is so expensive. This canvas has a 2″ gallery wrap edge which I will paint black. It won’t cost me any more money, will look professional, and be ready to hang.

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After I drew the outlines of the hot air balloons with pencil on the canvas I started painting using acrylic paint and a #5 (pretty teeney) brush).

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All of the hot air balloons will have quilt patterns. Patterns in general, and specifically quilt patterns show up all the time in my work. It’s that Domestic Art thang that resonates with me. Quilt patterns always have descriptive names. Descriptive names resonate with me too. This pattern is called “End of Day.”

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Today I think I’ll call it “End of An Ordinary Monday.”

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