Two weeks ago, Fabeku Fantumise and Jeanne Bessette hosted a call for artists regarding changing the archetypes around artists so that we think like THRIVING ARTISTS instead of starving artists. This call was huge and profound and has got me all fired up about a big project I want to take on. I had been talking just the day before with Kat Peters-Midland about this project idea and I was so into it, but left her house feeling more wistful than anything. I didn’t think it was possible on Thursday, even though the idea is a good one and I was excited about it. But while I listened to Fabeku speak, I became more and more confident to
GO IN THE DIRECTION OF MY DREAMS!
I want you to go there, too. This recording is free. But you do have to promise to share it with as many folks as you can think of. Help start a revolution! (FYI, the call is not work safe.)
See the glitter? and the doodling? Well, that’s all I had for a while, until yesterday, when I learned that two of my little house canvases sold this past weekend at Lola’s Fresh Patina. Now my mind has gone into overdrive with a mixture of inspiration based off my own little chunky canvases, plus the works of Denver artist Paul Cunningham, which I saw at Old Town Art & Framery last week.
Loveland Art Studio Tour is this weekend and next and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s free, so pick up a map & artist directory and go to town! I have a few pieces in Lola’s Fresh Patina this month, so I know I’ll be over there for a bit Friday night, for sure. Since it’s 2nd Friday, we might hit Artworks Loveland, too.
I haven’t shown any work in a while and I’m a little anxious, but I’m hoping folks like what they see. See you around town this weekend.
…though I am sure that I don’t have any readers left here since I’ve been so hit or miss with my blogging. (If you’re still out there, please comment and let me know!)
Tonight, I had an idea for a blog post and headed over here. Realizing I haven’t posted since early May, I had to sit for a minute, staring at the screen, trying to figure out why. I could have sworn I had written lots of things, but then I remembered what a long, hard summer it was. In mid-May, I learned that my awesome friend and mentor, Chuck, passed away, after battling congenital heart disease. It hit me hard because I had just seen him in April, albeit in his hospital bed, and he looked and sounded good. At least I got that last visit with him, unlike a number of others who have gone before him and I always feel pangs of regret about those folks.
Chuck was always so supportive of my work (he loved the prayer flags!), whether it was the web work or more hands-on creative endeavors. I feel so much loss every time I think about him. Same goes for my brother-in-law, Andy, who passed away at the end of May. Andy was also very supportive of my work, though he was more subdued about it. His passing was (and still is) a huge shock for my husband’s family and though I clearly didn’t know him for as long, or as well as they did, there are days that I can barely get myself out of bed to face the day if I think too hard or long about Andy.
Luckily, we still have our little bundle of energy, publicly known as Baby New Year. I’d show you a photo, but she’s a foster child and we’re obliged to maintain her privacy. She is now 15 months old and so cute it’s painful! She’s also bullheaded, funny, smart and intense. We love her lots and she keeps me hopping.
All of that adds up to me being scatterbrained and all over the place, both mentally and emotionally. Not much art has progressed this summer, though I have been journaling. The past few weeks, I’ve gotten behind, but my hope is to photograph some of the pages next week and get them up in my flickr albums.
I shouldn’t say that NO art has been made. I’ve been busy organizing workshops with out-of-state artists and this summer, we hosted Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, Kelly Kilmer and Leighanna Light. Leighanna’s workshops were just this past weekend and I have a few photos of my creations to share here in this post.
There are a few draft posts in my dashboard that I do need to finish up and I have some more workshop photos to share as well, so stay tuned for those!
This weekend, we had the white picket fence around our garden mended. It looks fabulous! Since we were having new posts put in and everything had to come down anyway, we had them lower the fencing so that our tiny dog, Doug, can’t squeeze underneath and get in to eat all of our vegetables. The result was two buckets full of scrap wood. I made Tim save it for me because they will make perfect tiny canvases.
And what will she do with them? Stay tuned, folks!
My husband is awesome…he got me a Michaels gift card for our anniversary! Yesterday, I went out while he watched the baby and I spent an hour wandering the aisles at the store, picking up things I needed or that struck my fancy. This is how I get some of my best ideas, usually, but mostly I thought about all of my unfinished projects at home. And that is how I exercised a lot of self control and only spent about $10 of the gift card.
I think my favorite bit is the “washi” tape there at the bottom of the photo. It’s so happy. (Yes, Kelly Kilmer, I know it’s not real washi tape…I hear your voice in my head every time I buy some imposter washi tape!)
Something akin to a pre-Christmas miracle has occurred. I, along with a handful of my arty pals, am heading down to Colorado Springs this weekend for two Michael deMeng workshops. On Saturday, we’ll be making shrines and Sunday’s class is the famous Pez dispenser-altering class. It’s a little miracle because it’s affordable ($25 per class. No, I didn’t leave off a zero.) and there are enough of us going that the hotel rooms won’t cost a ton. I’m riding down with Lynn and we’ll meet up with Susan and Karen. I love taking workshops with my arty girls! Bonus — I get to see a couple of my Zoner friends and their offspring who all live down there.
So, I’m gathering my supplies and I find that it’s a daunting process. I don’t want to take too much, but I don’t want to be caught without something I’ll really need. When I take workshops in Fort Collins, it’s easy to dash home to grab something I really need (or call Tim to fetch it for me), but being three hours from my studio will be a challenge. So far, here’s the stuff I’m bringing. I believe the garden gnome that Dougie busted is going to be the central character in my shrine. I’m so glad I remembered him because he’s the perfect little dude to enshrine, don’t you think?
I don’t have a real plan. I’m just grabbing handfuls of screws, nails, rusty oddities, broken jewelry, pieces of glass, Scrabble tiles, little winged babies, tiny burned-out light bulbs and whatever else strikes my fancy as I go through my studio. It’s quite fun. I have always been a saver, and I have a lot of odd things that I’ve hoarded over the years, or that my grandma and mom have saved (and I have acquired), so when the shrine is completed, it will be an Ode to Those Who Save Things Because They Never Know, It Could Be Useful Later.
I’ll post to Flickr all weekend, snapping shots of whatever is in progress, so you can keep an eye on the madness that will surely ensue.
I have a few coach-type folks that I follow. One is strictly for my web dev business, eeep! productions. One is for my creative processes in general. And one is Fabeku. Fabeku calls himself a suck exorcist and his podcasts are invaluable to me in my business. He cuts through the crap and, as Andie says, is “made of magic.”
Recently, I’ve been purchasing and listening to Fabeku’s “teletastics,” which are basically these calls where he knocks me on my ass and makes me rethink how I’m doing everything. Which is good. We like that. While I listened to two of them, “The Un-Secret Superhero Clinic” and “Unfuck Your Money Mojo,” I painted. I took random papers, some of which already had marks on them, and did the intuitive painting/markmaking thing. It was glorious. Below are photos of the dried pages, back and front (click to enlarge). I’m turning the pages into journal books and will post those photos when they are ready.
This week I re-discovered gluebooks. If you’ve never heard of them, a gluebook is a book (with me?) that you glue things into.
What’s it for? you may be asking.
It’s for …wait for it… fun.
A gluebook might be a place where you stick all of the pretty pictures you cut out of magazines and don’t know what to do with them after that.
Or a place where you put cut out photos of your favorite dreamy actors.
It’s a book into which you glue stuff. Simple as that.
I used to do gluebooks stuff a long time ago. And I guess my Everyday Book journal is a sort of gluebook, when it comes right down to it. But I haven’t consciously worked in a gluebook for no reason for a very long time. The thing I love about gluebooks is that there is no pressure to create great work. And it can be a nice collage exercise. Or it can be nothing at all. Is there anything in life that creates less pressure than “nothing at all”?
Here’s a spread I did today in under a half an hour while I listened to inspiring Todd Henry podcasts:
The theme was “blue.” I got the theme from the gluebooks group I just joined on Facebook. This group popped up in the sidebar on Facebook last week and it made me go “oh yeah, I love those!” and I joined the group without thinking.
I have made two rules for myself in working in this book (which is just your ordinary, run of the mill, every day composition book, btw):
Don’t think. All I did was rummage through my box of images and pull out anything that was blue and turned me on. I did not spend a lot of time aching over the composition of the page either.
Don’t spent more than 30 minutes on a spread. A spread is two facing pages. Therefore, if I did one page, I would only spend 15 minutes. This goes with the don’t think thing very nicely. You can express yourself in whatever way you need without spending a lot of time over how perfect (or imperfect) the page looks.
If this sounds like fun, grab a magazine you want to cut up (I like ripping out pages and images for later use while I watch tv in the evening), a glue stick, and a book to glue stuff into and GO! Go Glue Something. I’d love to see what you do!
Today is the first day in a long time that I have an uninterrupted large chunk of time and it just happens to coincide with a pedicure appointment I made a month ago with an excellent salon in town. I’m thrilled to have the next 6 hours with only the dogs and the husband getting in my way and frankly, they know better by now. I will complete some billable work. I will go to the craft store. I will have pretty toes.
Walking into my studio to work after dropping the boy at Boys & Girls Club and the baby at her grandma’s house, I realized, “Oh my gosh, I surely can’t let Kelly Kilmer see my studio in this disastrous state!!” And that’s when I sat down at my desk, sighed, and said, “Ok, I can’t do it all. Or I can, but I can’t do it all well.”
First step is in admitting it.
Now for the recovery period.
<3 <3 <3
And here’s what’s currently on my worktable. I have a yen to cover a bunch of little birdhouses with lots of bright and sparkly crap, waterproof the hell out of them, and then put them up in our yard to see what happens. (Those knobs in the upper right corner will be painted and put on the dresser in the baby’s room. Eventually.)