See Spot Walk

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.

Walking the Talk

As soon as I think I’ve gotten things under control — my To-Due list is nearly all checked off, it looks like there might actually be an open day on my calendar to work on something just because I feel like it, this always seems to happen….

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I guess that’s the price we pay for being alive. I don’t really want to cross the last thing off that To-Due list — after all it sometimes feels like it’s the only thing that keeps the Walkers at bay. Gotta just keep on, keepin’ on!

Speaking of Walkers, this past Saturday was See Spot Walk. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

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It was a little surreal, and a real treat, to see so many people wearing the t-shirt with my design out walking their best friends to help raise money so other people can find and adopt their best friends in the future.

Here are just a few of them…

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Lula and I ran into Lisa Jarussi-Smith who is the See Spot Walk Event Organizer. I know how these things go, I bet she’s already working on next year’s event. Sit, Lisa, sit! Lie down, Lisa, lie down! Take a break! You’ve earned it!

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We also got to see Hannah and Mike, Lula’s fabulous foster parents. Lula was so happy to see them both!

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We wouldn’t even have Lula if I hadn’t agreed to do the artwork for See Spot Walk this year and run into Hannah and Lula that fateful day in January. Evidently it pays to keep adding things onto my To-Due list, and then to actually DO them.

This time was definitely worth walking the talk!

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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!

Go to Your Studio and Make Stuff

I’m sure you’re familiar with this sentiment, and maybe even with this poster by Fred Babb…

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which pretty much sums up the time that I have spent NOT working on this blog in the past few days, as well my excuse for what will probably amount to very spotty blog posting in the next couple of weeks.

I have a crapton of work to do for my public art piece for Treefort which needs to be done by the first week in March and I am simultaneously selecting, arranging, and hanging the TVAA exhibition “Metamorphosis” opening at the offices of Boise State Public Radio on March 7th. Plus I have a little project called “See Spot Walk” which needs my attention. Just sayin’.

So to inspire you to go to YOUR studio and make stuff in the hope that time will fly by for all of us, here are some photos from the studio of Marilyn Frazier.

We had Art Friday at her home last week and Marilyn let me take some pictures to share with you…

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These are some papers which have been painted and stenciled and which will be used as book covers or on boxes.

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You can always find a sharpened pencil in Marilyn’s studio!

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Each of these books is handmade by Marilyn. She paints the papers, and sews the bindings choosing the beads the way you would decide which necklace best complimented your dress.

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Lots of little boxes, some covered with painted papers.

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Work in progress.

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The view from Marilyn’s studio out to her garden and the chicken and duck run. The very happy chickens’ and ducks’ run. Marilyn is a vegetarian.

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More beautiful books completely handmade by Marilyn.

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Just in case you were wondering what you should make once you get to your studio.

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My plan is to continue dervishing (I just decided to make that the adjective, whirling is so tired) away in MY studio and I will blog visual updates as I’m able.

Meanwhile I’m trying to convince Lula to take over the blog for me — just until I can get through the next few weeks.

Does she look convinced?

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Well, we’ll see you when we see you!

Hey the Sun Came Out!

Hey the Sun came out! But I’m still fighting my way out of the inversion — at least the one going on inside my brain.

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I’ve been working on the See Spot Walk design for IHS and I’m going through the second stage of the three stages of a big important project — you remember, the IMPOSTER stage. Only this time, I really AM an imposter.

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I hate to tell you, but I can’t paint. I’m not actually an artist. I just pretend to be one for the sake of this blog.

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So for the past few days I’ve been f-ing around and f-ing around and going home crying (not really, that’s just the punchline to a much longer story) and all I have to show for it is this impasto.

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Luckily there’s Instagram. This almost looks like I meant to do that.

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But things may actually be turning around this afternoon because suddenly here comes the SUNSHINE after what feels like an impossibly long inversion. And I got a really great haircut — thank you Ingrid at Arroyo Salon in Boise. And tomorrow is the Lunar New Year — let’s hear it for MOONSHINE too! You know what I mean.

And there’s always Lula to remind me that it doesn’t matter how silly you look while you do it, just put one foot in front of the other and keep walking…. You’ll get there!

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What Would Lula Do?

“If at first you don’t succeed give up immediately. Move on to some other task until that becomes unbearable, then move on again circling back around to the first problem. By now, your subconscious will have worked on it. Sort of like sleep. Only cheaper.” — Jon Sachs 9-24-11

I took Jon’s advice to heart yesterday and had a great time. I gave absolutely zero thought to the project which I’ve been torturing myself with and instead I met with the folks at the Idaho Humane Society to discuss See Spot Walk which is the next “big important” project I’ll be taking on this month. I did not work on it until it became unbearable however.

Instead I got to meet Lula…

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Lula and I like winter coats lined with fleece, and not having to walk on cold, snowy, icy, slushy days. We have a lot in common!

Now it’s time to either work on the new project until it wears me out or “circle back around” to the first project. I’m not sure about this procrastination solution — it seems like a lot of work when I could just take a nap….

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Hmmmmmm?