Tag

Mike

Feeling Right

By | New Orleans Sojourn

We’re still settling in to our Pied a Terre in beautiful Uptown New Orleans, but with each passing day we get closer to feeling like we’re “just home.” Mike’s had one day of working remotely and I’ve started to figure out my domestic routine — cooking, laundry, dog walking — all a bit different here.

I’m also making sure I fit in a little art now and then as I’m able.

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Because Mike’s been sick since our arrival we haven’t gone out as much as we will once he’s all better, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t eaten in proper NOLA style. I’ve made us red beans and rice with hot sausage twice already. Mmm hmmm.

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We did go out for lunch today though — at one of our favorite places — Casamento’s on Magazine and Napoleon.

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We were both in the mood for “ersters.”

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The Carol Robinson Gallery, where Mike has shown his work since 1988, is just up the street from Casamento’s. We stopped in to give Carol a hug and make plans to get together soon. It’s time to pick a date for Mike’s next show, and I’m hoping she’ll have some idea of where my Tarps might fit in here in New Orleans.

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Carol is having her gallery’s 35th Anniversary exhibition, and Mike’s work is hung here and there, and tucked into nooks and crannies around the gallery…

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There’s always something to celebrate in this town, and for us now it’s how right it feels to settle back into the NOLA way of life and how welcoming the city is of our doing just that.

Why, they even decorated just for us….

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Mmm hmmm! Yeah, you right!

In Like a Lamb

By | Ordinary Days

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.

Time Flew!

By | Everything Else

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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!

Leave Home

By | Field Trips

I just finished reading a wonderful little book called STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon. It’s not actually my book. I stole it from my mother.

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Thing #7 is “Geography is no longer our master.”

In all honesty, geography has never been my master. I have moved 35 times since I was born, 17 times as an adult. I’ve lived in 3 countries besides the US and visited 10 others. I’m not sure how many States I’ve been to, but it’s pretty close to all 50.

That’s probably why the advice on page 93 is something I already do. A lot.

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In fact Mike and I just got back from visiting our daughter Lina in Chicago. We felt right at home.

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Growing up all over the world the way I did, and Mike did too, teaches you that your home is inside of you and goes wherever you go. The outside changes a little or a lot, but the inside stays the same.

Still, I crave that change of scenery and the freshening up of my inspiration which always follows.

Lina lives in the Chicago neighborhood of Edgewater, and we spent a lot of time in its next door neighborhood of Andersonville — which has a very cool looking, but out of commission, water tower as it’s mascot:

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Mostly we spent our time poking around in groovy little shops like the Woolly Mammoth, which was a lot like Paxton Gate in Portland, but with more veritas than verisimilitude — if you know what I mean.

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We rode the El. We rode the bus. We went to Logan Square. Lincoln Park. Wicker Park. We saw the amazing Bubble Academy where Lina works and met some of her sweet, talented friends. We did a little shopping, a lot of looking, and a ton of eating.

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If you’re in the neighborhood(s) I can definitely recommend: The Kitchen Sink, Kopi, Lady Gregory’s, Ombra, Big Jones, Hop Leaf, Feast, Ja’Grill, and Glazed’n’Infused.

Here I am with Lina at Ja’Grill, right before we hit Glazed’n’Infused. Ya mon, bring on da bacon maple bar!

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So, now we are home again and I am no longer glazed, but I am infused with the fresh perspective that leaving home provides. Which means my life is a little jangly right now. I’m noticing what is not working. I’m reminded there are many paths and just because I’ve been on this one for a while doesn’t mean I can’t take a different one and see where it leads.

I expect to be making some big changes in the next year and I’m excited about the possibilities. Stay tuned. It’s all good!

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HeARTy Birthday Michael Chambers!

By | HeARTy Birthday!

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…

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And I am that lucky wife.

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