Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Guess You Can Say it's Kind of Like My Baby...

You know when you have a blog that you visit for years and then they have a baby and SWEAR that they're not going to talk about the baby thing forever, but then forever comes and they're still talking about the baby? Well, I'm going to try my hardest not to talk about my [art show] baby...but I guess when something tugs at most of your free time, it becomes your life and most people who blog write about....wwwaaaaiiit foorrr iiitt.....their life.

This piece is taking forever and I think it's because the background is white. I had the hardest time with this one, which is white as well, so it only makes sense that it could be one of the reasons. But I think I've gotten through the bramble now. And really- where's the challenge if everything's easy? Anyway, I'm going to add more blue to the middle and a few more rounded shapes to soften the edges. Ha....if only I could just "add" rounded shapes to soften my own edges. Actually, I suppose I COULD do that now that I'm thinking this through a little more! Coins are round and coins buy THINGS. Happy pills are round too. Thin Mints are round and Thin Mints buy a few minutes of glee. I think I might be onto something here...more on this later. Back to my would be awesome if I could finish this piece today but the weather people are in a frenzy about the heat and I don't want to move all my stuff from the garage to the dining room table.

Other than doing art stuff, I've been spending most of my time doing house projects [just small things...i'm slowly coming to the realization that i really don't like doing house projects. DAMN those DIY blogs for convincing me that doing projects is COOL!] Hmmm. Some firefighting stuff as well, but not too much of that yet. Hopefully I can start taking classes for the fire thing this fall, but we'll see. I'm not going to get too excited- it is SCHOOL, after all.

My new cards came in the mail the other day. Rather than calling them business cards, I'm referring to them as my "social networking cards." I'm pretty happy with them and I'm so glad that they turned out as well as they did! They're printed on the front and back and I got a good deal so I went for it and just ordered 500. 

So yeah, that's about it. I got up early this morning and watered the gardens and tried yet another paint sample on the exterior of the house. I think I may have found THE ONE! Bamboo Shoot by Sherwin Williams. We'll see...I was pulling for a color called "Sir-Moss-A-Lot" but he's a bit too boss for me. Which makes sense, because moss is boss. And since I'm rambling about moss, I might as well mention that I'm reading a book called Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer. It's my second book this year [hey this is a big deal for me since I suck at finishing novels] and her writing is like soft fingers on a harp. But anyway, back to paint...I am going to go bake myself in the sun oven now and measure the house. Sherwin Williams is having a sale and I need to get on it already.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Can I Ask a Quick Favor of You?

So umm, I don't know if you guys are looking for something to do right now, but maybe you could "like" Yellow Canoe on facebook if you're feeling so inclined [my page for the art stuff.]

I'm trying to get to 200 by September...a pretty low number. But you know, just to gather a few friends before the new people show up. And by new people I mean the ones who may end up there after the show.

It's kind of like when you're in a long parade of cars traveling 53 in a 55. All it takes is one person to go around the slow-ee before the fire is fueled. If that person doesn't end up going around, and they will if they know what's good for them, chances are the other people wont either. biggest pet peeve ever. I face this on a daily basis during my drives across the hills and valleys before I get to Madison.

Anyway, I would be so grateful if you took a peak at the facebook thing. Of course, I don't think you should "like" it if you don't indeed like it. But if you do, that's cool. Thanks a bunch for any help. Sorry- a little forward compared to my normal tendencies but I am trying to come out of my shell a little more. 

*the piece above sold a couple years ago. i admit- i was a little sad to see it go. i hope that wherever it ended up is a house that fun people live in. :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Adding Layers

A quiet, sunny Thursday morning here; my favorite time of day. I seem to find the most spark when the sun begins to lift or when the moon hangs high. I think that's pretty common.

I started this piece with the intention of keeping it quiet and low-key. You know, just simple and to the point. And then I got going and kept staring right through it as if it were glass...Shuffled a few scraps of paper and stared through it some more. It felt sheepish and meek. And while I'm usually a pusher of "less is more", I usually need the things that I make to really pack a punch. 

And so, after a few trips to the basement for inks, blocks and tools, I started to print. I kept telling myself to keep it calm and restful...but I still think this thing is going to find a fork in the road and choose to veer. The same thing happened with the last 2 pieces...I guess part of the reason is that the challenge of balancing and composing while adding and adding and adding some more is a fun challenge for me. And I think the other reason I always layer more and more is because when it's still or quiet, all the imperfections prod at me even at a half glance. I don't just always seems a bit amateur or something. Not to say I'm a professional or anything. But you know what I mean, right? Maybe? Anyway. Here is where it sits right now...

Yellow arrows, inked to surface. The paper scraps aren't glued down yet. I spend a lot of time staring at the thing before I ever glue. Haha, and to think I wanted to finish this the same day I started...Yeeeahhh. Right.

I read this really great article by Douglas Eby the other day and it made me feel much better about this slow, chameleon-like process. Sometimes I need to step back and remember why I do this in the first place. So far it's the only thing I've found that sustains flow for as long as it does. My other 2 things are solo canoeing and gardening, although gardening isn't as good at it. Well, writing is good too, even though I'm always finding myself in fits with who I am vs. who I'm not. I think that started when I began writing for Houzz. Anyway...back to this article I read. It basically talks about how affected artists/designers/creative minds can be by their environment, which is something I mentioned in my last post. It was reassuring to read it from somebody else. One of my favorite parts from the post is: 

"1. Acceptance. Accepting things as they are is a great way to give yourself permission to be exactly where you’re at in your creative process even if that means struggling to maintain motivation or coming up with ideas. In other words, not judging your current situation as good or bad, but that it is what it is."

Something I need to remember more in my personal life: that things are what they are. Thankfully I'm pretty good at this when it comes to dealing with others. But during my own personal feats I always tend to be pretty hard on myself which is never fun. Annnyyywaaay. That's where I am with the art things right now. 

So my question for you is: What have you learned about yourself in your creative processes? I'm always curious about this sort of thing...I'd love to hear what you think. 

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Art Show Stuffs

Last month I felt like crickets were crawling up the walls of my stomach every time I thought about this whole art show thing. I kept thinking in circles..."Oh...4 months? Is that all? How the hell am I going to pull this off in 4 months? What am I doing to myself?! Is this venue really over 70' long? There is no way I'm ever going to fill that much space."

I honestly can't remember the last time my stomach tingled. I'm not much of a butterfly trap. I usually cut to the chase and just pass out if things go amok. And although this was nowhere near any stage of amok, I was pretty much kinda sorta on the verge of freaking out. Why? I don't's stupid. I mean come on, this is my show. I make the calls. It's up to me and only me to have things the way I want them. Oooh. RIght. Duh...that's why I'm freaking the fuck out. 

So anyway, after a few pep talks from myself to myself, I think I'm doing okay. Although, haha, funny thing- as of today I now have only 3 months know, like 90 days. I still have a LOT to do. The same amount as I had 30 days ago, actually. Well, just about. I did buy some wood and I did go shopping for some screen printing stuff. I started some business card designs. I've had the table saw with a huge piece of plywood resting on top as my work space in the middle of the garage for about, oh, a solid 3 or 4 weeks now. Yeah, that's right. I have an entire basement, an extra bedroom, a kitchen table, a back deck, a front porch...lots of places to set up shop...and I chose the garage. The only place out of all those spaces that is actively used for something else every day. All of those other spaces are generally vacant. Joe has been so incredibly patient and I'm really surprised that he hasn't asked me [told me?] to move my stuff so we can park in there again. Ugh. I don't know....something about the garage just feels right. I wish I wasn't so affected by my's kind of a pain.

But, thanks to my garage, I did start this one today. Not quite finished and needs to be touched up a bit. The flashcard has to be glued down along with a couple other things. Oh. The white fuzzies are from a towel I shook out. I didn't really see them when I snapped the [chitty camera phone] photo.

Anyway, moving on. I have lots of ideas for new pieces. Tons of ideas, really. The problem is that I am a Gold Medalist when it comes to waiting until the last minute to do things. Seriously. I'm always training and I've become quite good at it, hence the gold medals. Sorry, I don't mean to brag. . . . .

We'll see how things go over the next few weeks. I'm feeling good now that I've gotten my feet wet and I think I'll be able to hold onto the baton for a bit. I'm sure you'll read all about it in the coming months. For now I'm off to bed.