Painting

Houses for Sale

image

Yesterday I found refuge from all the sturm und drang of our house sale in the pleasant distraction of doing a little house painting.

image

A little bird house painting, to be exact.

image

They say when you’re feeling sorry for yourself the best medicine is to think about somebody else and do something nice for them.

image

Every year the Idaho Humane Society finds various creative ways to raise money to help find homes for all the wonderful animals that end up on their doorstep. This year, artists are painting bird houses to be auctioned.

image

It felt good to think for a change about somebody else finding their perfect people and future home.

image

So…now I have two houses for sale.

And I feel good.

Just Doing That, Not This

When I started this blog I had the idea that I would be able to do frequent, if not daily, posts. Some wordy, some mostly pictures, but all dependably shared. Often.

Shhiiiiiit. There’s just no way.

This year I’m thinking if I can average one post a week I’ll be doing magnificently.

image

Worrying about this has peaked my interest in the process of procrastination. So, while I’ve been putting off writing my next post I’ve spent many delightful hours reading about the art of putting things off. On-line.

No irony there.

I’m not talking about putting off paying the Electric bill or going to the dentist. I’m talking about putting off that thing that you have defined as “What I Do.” For me that’s making art. And, doing a blog that’s sort of about making art.

All in all I no longer think of procrastination as being “bad.” Like boredom, it has its up-side. Where boredom can create the space for creativity to emerge, procrastination can allow for the time it takes for an idea to mature or evolve into something better.

The trick is to manage your procrastination. First, you have to maintain your awareness of the big picture — the dates of deadlines, the amount of real time you think it will take to complete your project (always multiply by 4, that way you can be pleasantly surprised if it only takes twice as long), your personal skill-set vs. your need for others’ assistance. Then, you have to learn to stop wasting time worrying about putting the project off until later. Let that mother go!

image

If you can do those things, then one of two things will happen. Either, by your own action or inaction, you will get it done. Or, you will move on to something new and never look back. QED.

image

I guess I’m starting to think of procrastination as a very useful filter for determining what I will be spending my time “just doing” vs. what will end up on my “Fuck-it List.”

This might help: pay attention to what distracts you. What are you doing instead of that project you are putting off? The things which consistently distract me are generally the things I really want to be doing. And the things I really want to be doing often lead to projects better suited for me, and often to better outcomes for those projects I do finish.

image

Whew!! Now that I’ve finished doing this, I can go back to doing that!

Time Flew!

image

Oh, Hello!

I guess I’ve been a wee bit distracted with things besides updating my blog these past few, … er, well…several days, but I’m back now, and I apologize!

Don’t I look contrite?

image

Yeah. That’s me, suffering at Tour de Fat this weekend.

Mike “Mr. Stripey,” with his bike “The Bee,” sacrificed his Saturday to accompany me.

image

We’ve ridden in the bike parade for 5 years now and it’s one of our very favorite things to do in the summer in Boise.

TVAA set up a booth at Tour de Fat two years in a row. We had the public paint tiny paintings of where they liked to ride their bikes in a grid we imposed over a larger painting of a bike we painted in advance. I painted the bike the first year, a red and white cruiser.

That painting hangs in the workshop at the Boise Bicycle Project.

image

Terry Burkes painted the bike the second year. It’s a bike made of tree bark. It hangs now in the new studio space in the offices of Boise State Public Radio.

image

My favorite painted bike though, is my bike. Which I painted in 2010. It always gets a lot of compliments during the parade. Especially from anyone in a tutu, and the under 10 crowd.

image

image

I’ve got lots more to tell you, but as you know, it is best to “take little bites and chew them well” — so this little bite will have to do for now!

image

Ride on!

HeARTy Birthday Michael Chambers!

On July 17, 1961 Michael Dean Chambers II was born in Vicenza, Italy. A simple lad, he thought he might one day become a world champion marble player, or perhaps enjoy the easy life of a garbage man riding on the back of the truck, his eye peeled for treasures hidden in the um, peels, and coffee grounds and such.

But the Fates had a different plan in mind…

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

And I am that lucky wife.

Happy, er, HeARTy Birthday Mikey! I love you!!!

Tarpe Diem

At least I warned you my blog presence would be spotty, and now I’ve got pictures to prove I’m really not just sitting around watching Netflix and eating bon bons — though I’ve had my fair share of that as well. (If I don’t give myself little treats now and then I pitch fits and stomp out of the room and quit, so it’s just easier to let me watch Netflix and have a bon bon.)

image

I have been working on my public art project for Treefort, which as you know is going to be giant tarps cut out to look like papel picado. Only I can only find the tarps in blue, brown, white and silver so I have had to paint 10 of them to get some fun colors.

image

It took 17 cans of Fusion (for plastic) spray paint in red, pink, yellow, purple, and orange to paint 10 tarps with Mike’s able assistance. My hand could barely grip my toothbrush this morning. (This could be a problem considering the number of bon bons I earned with that little paint job!)

image

Luckily we had a relatively warm sunny day and the tarps dried spread out on the lawn. They are now stacked in the loft in the garage awaiting the next steps.

image

image

I have 8 million, OK, 8 rolls of carpet tape to adhere the cut tops to the painted bottoms, and my crack team of assistants is lined up to help.

image

Honestly I wish I had a videographer to chronicle the process ahead and set the whole catastrophe to music. The plan is to take the tops which I have already cut out and ever so deftly adhere them to the colorful bottoms.

Here are the tarps I’ve already cut out, stacked in my sewing studio:

image

I’ll let your imagination run with that plan I just mentioned for a moment.

There is hope, however. The cut out parts look really cool, and IF we can actually get them to become one with the other colorful tarps then I think this will end up being one of my favorite projects ever.

image

image

I’ll keep you posted, and until then…I think I just heard a bon bon calling!

Second Helpings: Painted Lady, Woodstock, IL

Today for Second Helpings, it’s Deja vu all over again!

image

I mentioned a few posts back that we lived in Woodstock, IL and that I had had the pleasure of transforming a humdrum Victorian into a standout Painted Lady. That house is today’s secondhand transformation.

This is what the house looked like from the side before we made the dramatic changes to the color scheme:

image

And here’s a view of the same side after I boldly chose to go where no one had gone for one hundred years!

image

So you’re thinking OK, you’ll allow as how an old house can be considered secondhand (I think we were actually it’s third owners) and since I do “paint everything” it qualifies as one of my art projects. But even taking into account my love of word play and visual puns — February second, secondhand, second hand on the clock…. What the heck does my Painted Lady have to do with Groundhog Day?

image

Well here’s the thing. The movie starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, which actually happened to be one of Mike’s and my favorites long before we ever moved there, was made in Woodstock, IL. True story.

And even cooler than that, the street that the “Bed & Breakfast” that Bill Murray stays in was three houses down from our house:

image

image

The movie filmed in 1993 and we didn’t move there until 10 years later, but there were still annual tours on February 2nd through town and once I looked out my window to see Stephen Tobolowsky (“Needle-nose Ned”) leading a small group past our house to the “B & B” at the end of the block.

Here’s a picture taken probably sometime in February. See icicles, and the snow on the hedge?

image

I think the groundhog must have seen his shadow every February 2nd because winter always lasted a very long time in Woodstock, IL.

image

In spite of the cold, Woodstock was a wonderful village to live in. Our house was only four blocks from the town square and I made many friends in the too short time we called it home. They’ve probably forgiven me by now for shaking up tradition with my more colorful approach!

image
So for February 2nd, my Second Helpings how-to advice is Shake it Up, and Make it Colorful, and do it TODAY. Because as Bill Murray says in the the movie: “Well what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.”

Happy Groundhog Day everybody!

Second Helpings: Painted Cigar Boxes

These may really qualify as “one man’s trash” as opposed to secondhand castoffs finding new life as objet d’art, but either way they start out ordinary, end up special, and that’s enough for me.

I’m talking about painted cigar boxes:

image

You should have no problem finding a variety of boxes at smoke shops, or if you have a grandpa or an uncle, or even an interesting aunt who relishes a fragrant Cuban now and then (well who wouldn’t?) you may be lucky enough to find these boxes closer to home.

Once you’ve got the box then all you need is paint. I use that same acrylic paint I’ve been painting everything else in creation with…

image

and when I paint I let little bits of the original cigar brand artwork peek through. I like to pick out words or phrases like “ART” or “CAN DO.”

image

image

My patterns lean toward the geometric and often look like quilts. Not much of a stretch for me I guess.

image

image

Sometimes I play with the original images on the box and add more of my own to create a little story.

image

image

image

So if your recycling is more likely to end up in your studio than in the blue bin out back, and you would never refer to a raw material as trash — consider the humble cigar box.

image

And if you run across any fragrant Cubans let me know. I’m working on my Interesting Aunt credential.

An Ordinary…Friday?

I’m so thrown off schedule by the Holidaze I had to check to see what day of the week it is! (It’s Friday, in case you too are discombobulated.) And being without any annoyingly prioritized “to do” list filling up my head, I decided to do what any other “artist who paints everything” with time on her hands would do… I painted my boots.

image

No sooner were those boots painted than my feet began to itch for a little adventure. So I put them on, photographed my feet and posted my #fromwhereistand Instagram photo on my Facebook Artist’s page because I am now living in the 21st Century and that’s what I’m supposed to do.

Right?

Anybody?

image

Then Mike and I went where any other self respecting former US Military Dependents go with time on their hands…to the Army Navy store.

image

Seriously. If you have never been, you must go. Not only is it a great place to find hats, gloves,

image

image

and crash-test dummy face masks,

image

but you will also find every thickness and color of rope, cord and twine you can ever imagine needing…

image

image

image

for art projects, tying things up, or down, or quickly rappelling down the sides of tall buildings to escape from zombies.

image

Or perhaps from another former US Military Dependent trying on hats.

image

Maybe it wasn’t such an Ordinary day after all. But it was Friday.

I’m pretty sure.

TVAA’s Third Annual Foray Exhibition + Opening Update

The show is hung and it looks great. The staff at Boise State Public Radio are happy to have art back on the walls, and it always feels wonderful to have them tell us things like “I know I say this every time, but this is the best show yet!”

image

Sue Latta and I spent an entire day getting it up on the walls. No surprise there, 67 pieces is the biggest show we’ve hung so far.

image

Sue is great to work with because she brings that fresh perspective I was talking about on the 11th to the process.

image

She’ll tweak what I’ve laid out just enough to tighten things up. She’s like that pinch of salt or splash of lemon juice that you didn’t know you needed in the soup, but once it’s added it makes all the difference. Plus she can do ridiculous math. In her head.

image

Mike’s and my pieces ended up side by side. I had not placed them together being wary of the “Mike and Melissa Show” accusations, but Sue didn’t give a rip about that, and I agree that wall is better for her rearrangement.

image

Next up, the Opening on the 13th. It should be quite the crowd with 67 artists and their entourages. Oh, and it’s supposed to snow!

image

December 14, 2013

It did NOT snow fortunately, and we had a great turnout. As often happens, I totally forgot to take pictures at the Opening itself, but luckily Mike took a few and here are two including one of me with my new haircut. Yes, it’s true. I couldn’t stand it any longer.

image

image

Pun intended.