Treasure Valley Artists’ Alliance

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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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!

Monsters! The Morning After

I got to Boise State Public Radio at about 5:30 last evening feeling resigned about the condition I was going to find the lobby in — considering how torn up it was only two hours before.

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We’d titled the show Monsters! after all — maybe the public would think the construction was an installation in the show?

But when I walked through the front door — Oh Happy Day! All the dust and tools and scaffolding had been cleared away.

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Artist Marilyn Cosho took that picture of me feeling very relieved with her “broken” camera. Here are a few more of her snaps from the evening including one of some snazzy kicks worn by one of the patrons and one of a friendly monster who graced our refreshment table.

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Even when it’s “broken” we can still have fun with it. Go see the show, it’s up through Halloween!

Monsters!

I have spent much of this week preparing for the opening tonight of the TVAA exhibition Monsters!

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The artwork we selected was delivered on Monday. I figured out the arrangement with the able assistance of my mother, and on Tuesday, Sue Latta and I got it hung in our usual fashion with Sue doing the heavy lifting and me jabbering away while making her have to recalculate where to sink the nails — with annoying frequency I’m sure.

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I’m quite fond of this show. It runs the gamut from the seriously monstrous to the scarily goofy, and I had fun with it myself — on the sillier end of the spectrum…

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My pieces are titled “Idle Hands are the Devil’s Playthings” and “Venus in Fur.”

Here’s a wee tour of what you’ll see if you make it to the Opening this evening…

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The scariest part of the show for me is the fact that BSPR is having a special wall constructed in their lobby — right now this very minute — and when I left this afternoon this is what it looked like…

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Unless you come this evening you’ll never know if it got cleaned up in time for the Opening. Of course if it doesn’t, you will understand why the next time you see me, I look like this…

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Yikes!

Y’all come now, ya hear! 5:00 to 8:00 pm at 220 E. Parkcenter in the offices of Boise State Public Radio.

Time Flew!

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Ride on!

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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Four Eyes: An Optical Collusion

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I’ve been busy for the past couple of days getting ready for the next exhibition — Four Eyes: An Optical Collusion, An Exhibition of Collaboration.

That’s meant literally dusting off older collaborations TVAA did for the Modern Art in 2010 and for Tour de Fat, as well as receiving, arranging, and yesterday hanging — with Sue Latta’s usual expertise and a very cool laser level — the whole show including the new work.

I framed the mock-up of the wall of panels which we hung on the outside of the stairwell of the Modern Hotel for our first collaboration. There were 60 panels in all, either T’s, V’s, A’s or self-portraits.

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These are some of the actual self-portrait panels:

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And these are some of the actual T’s, V’s and A’s in a grid format just like our TVAA logo:

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The other 16 pieces are hung in the atrium…

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and the open hall.

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Here’s my collaboration with Barbara Bowling, “The Abdication of the Sylvan Beauty Queen on the Occasion of Her Epiphany” right next to Mike’s collaboration with Lauren T. Kistner, their acrylic painting “Getaway Bike.”

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The Opening Reception is tonight from 5:00 to 8:00pm at the offices of Boise State Public Radio at 220 E Parkcenter in Boise. I hope I see you there!

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Guilty as Charged

Last night’s Art Journaling panel went really well. I found it fascinating and inspiring to see the variety of approaches we each take with our journals and how they reflect so accurately our unique personalities and talents. I even have renewed appreciation for my own journals and am excited to dust off some old friends that could use some new chapters.

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Before I can get to that adventure however, I have a more pressing assignment for this week. We are mounting TVAA’s 13th exhibition Four Eyes: An Optical Collusion, An Exhibition of Collaboration which opens this Friday, June 6, 5:00 – 8:00 pm at the offices of Boise State Public Radio.

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Collaboration is at the heart of the mission of the Treasure Valley Artists’ Alliance. When we founded the organization four years ago we envisioned artists working together with each other, with the public, and as an organization with other arts organizations. You’re familiar with the aphorism “Whatever… is like herding cats“?

Meow.

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Four Eyes: An Optical Collusion will be a comparatively small exhibition. We have 16 pieces which are original collaborations created for this show and, in the spirit of our original vision, I am bringing back elements from two of TVAA’s previous collaborations with the public.

One of those is the bicycle painting which Terry Burkes painted for our second collaboration with Tour de Fat. I painted the bike for the first collaboration and it hangs in the Boise Bicycle Project shop.

The finished piece is 7′ x 4′ framed and she and I hauled it over to the radio station this morning in her pickup because it doesn’t fit in my Forester. Actually, Terry and I have each had a hand in 8 of the pieces in this exhibition, including “Confluence” which is one we worked on together.

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I guess that makes us collaborators. Or really manageable cats.