Tag Archives: pleasant perk

On such a winter’s day

It’s been a fairly cold stretch of days recently.  The sort of cold that puts your shoulders all up in to your ears and dries out your nose and lips.  When the weather gets this bitter, my studio is uninhabitable.  There is just no warming up an uninsulated room that is 3 sides windows… no matter how good the old fireplace!  This yearly hiatus of studio based work is not bad timing really.  I got the show for the Pleasant Perk finished and up before the weather got too unbearable to melt wax and there is something about winter that puts me in a pensive, planning sort of mood.  The way gardeners get when the seed catalogs start to arrive….

The Perk show has been a success thus far – I have sold 11 paintings!!  They are all relatively small paintings, which I figured would work well in that market (I was right!) There has been plenty of good feedback as to the quality of the work and that it seems to resonate with a lot of people.  With a good chunk of that work going to new homes at the end of the month, I naturally am wondering, what next ?

So, the dogs and I went walking a bit today, in spite of the cold, and did some thinking.  Luckily, some of the answers are already in place.  Making paintings is a rather solitude filled activity and I am looking forward to beginning the collaborative effort with fellow artist Tina Westerkamp and some ArtWorks students.  We will be creating a large scale indoor relief mural for the Cincinnati Convention Center. Starting later this month, this project will be on the proverbial front burner for a couple of months, allowing for the weather to warm up at home to eventually get back to the wax work later in the spring.

The other work I am excited to continue and nurture is that of my sketchbook.  The Art Academy class will be starting up again in February but this time will have a book making element to it.  I am excited to be team teaching with amazing artist/book maker Cody Calhoun and will certainly post more information about this new class as it approaches.  Also in February, I will be a visiting artist at UC Clermont to introduce my sketchbook process to a drawing class.  So many wonderful opportunities are coming together at what seems like all at once!  But I know it’s been years in the making – and I need to keep on making.  Beyond the current plans, what could lie beyond?  Not only what next, but what after that?  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to over plan my life.  But I believe in tossing things out there that could be possible and seeing what comes back around.  With that spirit in mind, I am looking into residencies here and there.  I could see spending an entire season (adventure loving family in tow) somewhere entirely different than Ohio.  Like Maine, or northern Michigan.  Who knows?

As I ponder the possibilities of going some place for the sheer point of exploration and art making, I will avoid my cold, cold studio and focus on some cozier fibery work like quilt making or embroidery.  Who knows what lies around the bend?!  This from a girl who idolized Jacques Cousteau back in the day.  I wonder if artists ever get to go on scientific oceanic explorations?  Hmmmm, now there is a thought.

Stay warm if you can….

A month of hard work

It’s been about a month since my last post as there has been a lot happening around here, not allowing too many blocks of time to sit down and update.  So I’ll catch things up here now, as best I can.  Early in November, my son Jack was in the pit orchestra for the School for Creative and Performing Arts’ performance of the musical Fame. (pardon the pixelated photo).  In this production there is a wonderful song, done in a series of rounds that talks about what “hard work” the arts are, each discipline convinced that theirs is the “hardest profession in the world”.  Our lives have been a lot like this song recently with music, dance and in our case, the visual arts, occupying much of our time and energy.  It’s been wonderful!  Jack’s weeks leading up to Fame meant long hours after school and tons of make up work for the days missed at school for tech-week.  But being part of the major musical at school has been something he’s wanted to do since he began school there.  I think it was worth the wait for him.

Another big event that came to fruition this month is the Mid-America Irish Dance Championships, the Oireachtas, (pron. or-rock-tus).  My daughter Maddie and her teammates at McGing Irish Dancers have worked for months to get to this and they were met with success.  One of her ceili teams (somewhat like Irish square dancing yet judged on precision of the steps of the team) placed third in the Midwest out of over 30 teams!  The girls were overjoyed at how months of hard work and time and effort paid off.  As a parent it was heartwarming to witness.

The kids’ activities have had us running around town quite a bit and it’s important to take a step back now and then and steal away for some quietude just the two of us.  So on Tony’s birthday, we did just that and played hookie for the day to head out for a paddle up the Licking River, one of the Ohio River tributaries.  It was a pretty cold day but once we were bundled into our boats it wasn’t bad.  Luckily we did not get wet, though we were prepared if necessary of course.  It was a wonderful day…

On Thanksgiving, on top of a house full for dinner, my 7 year old nephew decided that it would be fun to make a movie.  And he had it all worked out in his head as to how he wanted it to go.  And so, Indianapolis Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Turkey was born via the group artistic effort of most everyone available.  This might look like goofy non-sense to most folks, but when we showed the movie over pie that evening, we all laughed so hard we cried.  Even Tony tapped into his inner actor and played the evil “Mobile Commander” who was attempting to steal the crystal turkey (foam, packing tape, and rhinestones from the craft box).  I think it’s pretty cool that we can make a movie in a day nowadays.

These are just a few of the things keeping me in “busy” mode.  Often when I get in that mode, artfulness is more fleeting and I let the “busy-ness” take over.  But lately, that is not so much the case.  In spite of a hectic month, work is getting done (ok, so I didn’t blog for a month…but…).  Drawing Down the Vision, the visual communication class I have co-developed with my former student Adam will be unveiled at a home based pilot here on December 17.  We have asked a few friends of Adam’s and Tony’s from the corporate set, and my friend, fellow artist, writer and workshop facilitator Diane Debevec to join us so we can get used to presenting what we have gathered and in turn get some critical feedback before we attempt to offer this workshop in the real world.  It is tremendously exciting to be at this point.  Nerve-racking, but exciting.

My fall semester at the Art Academy of Cincinnati has come to an end.  I taught my six week sketchjournaling course to 10 students.  Among them were non-artists, artists and art teachers.  As usual, I learned so much from them and am already looking forward to next time.  Next semester will be a bit different.  I will be co-teaching with a book-maker named Cody Calhoun.  Together we’ll be offering a class where students will make a blank journal, and then learn how to fill it.  Details about our Make The Book/ Fill the Book class are available in the new Community Education 2010 course catalog which you can download via the link above.  You might recognize the featured faculty member on the cover as well as inside.  My sketchjournaling process is featured in this issue!

Work at the wax table has seen some growth spurts in the month of November, with new layers and processes developing.  I plan to spend the month of December preparing more work for a show at Pleasant Perk in January.  One exciting aspect of the upcoming show is that 20% of the sale proceeds will be donated to the Esme Kenney Sculpture Project.  This is an exciting project that I am involved in and it deserves it’s own post with photos and details to come soon, but I wanted to mention it here and give folks a chance to check it out. I will certainly keep you posted, most likely later this week…. but for now, a sneak peak at some new work.


what’s stewing in studio

Current projects brewing here in the studio include a second music video for my friend and fab music maker, Kim Taylor (this gal makes a mean mocha latte too, btw). This time around, now that I have gotten my feet wet in both the movie making software and in the moving pictures realm, the video will probably include some stop motion animation. In searching for examples of others doing this type of “art meets music in video” work, I have stumbled across the following two videos:

The first is Rock My Boat by a band called DNTEL. I had never heard of them and really like this song as well as the amazing animation that accompanies it here.

The second video is one I came across on an art blog while researching a completely different project regarding Blue Heeler dogs (more on that later). It is by a band called Mum for their song They Made Frogs Smoke til They Exploded off of their album Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy. The art work and motion in this video are stunning, to put it simply.

I now know what to shoot for (at least eventually) in this line of work and I feel inspired that there are other artists out there doing it so beautifully. As for today… I am still in Daily Dog mode. Stewing and brewing these new ideas.