Thursday, April 24, 2008

a while ago, a tag

Awhile ago I was tagged by my friend Shawna and I told her I would have to get to it later. Well, now is later and here are at least five things you did not know about me:

When I was born my mother and father gave me the name Julie Suzanne Wright. The name, they said, “…was given because it sounded good to us.” I never changed it because by the time I was old enough to do so legally it sounded good to me too.
I was steeped in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina the first 14 years of my life. Because my father was in prison for planning an armed robbery, and because my mother was not mentally or emotionally stable enough to care for me and my brother and sisters, “the children” as we were called, were cared for by “Nanny.” I was number four in our family out of five, and despite our situation, we had to have been the five happiest children in Buncombe County. We were bathed every night, dressed every morning, read to, talked to, and all our meals were delicious and hot. We knew we were loved, all because of our dear 80 year old Nanny, aunt of my father.
I stayed mostly out of trouble, playing in the creek below our century-old house; the very one in which Nanny was born. My three sisters and I picked cherries for pies and our older brother played “hut-hut” with us, a game also known as football. He never called it that though, knowing if he did, we wouldn’t play that “boy” game. We caught water falling from the porch roof with Mason jars during rain storms. We went to McDonald’s twice a year after our dentist visits.
By the time I was 8, my father had served his time, found employment and a new wife. She also had children from a previous marriage, so in one weekend, I got a new mom, and one more sister and another brother. It didn’t take long before dad’s dreams took us to California. I had never been more than 50 miles from that 100 year-old home on the hill, but as I was an adventurous sort of girl, I took advantage of the wider open spaces. At one point during the five day move, we stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona for the night, right off Interstate 40. Requiring fresher air than the “roach motel” provided, I took a walk by myself, rustled a horse, rode it around bareback for about ten minutes, dismounted without much grace or style, and walked back to our little hotel room. No one was ever the wiser.
This was the beginning of high school for me. I spent my time in the Antelope Valley of the Mojave Desert, and by the time I had completed my junior year, my father and step-mother’s marriage had finished falling apart. It was back to North Carolina for me, just in time for my senior year. I did succeed in graduating high school there, though I did not care for the graduation ceremony, my graduating class, or any of the diversions surrounding them. Instead, I bought a rusty little 1977 Datsun B-210 for $333.00 and traveled the country for a few years.
I worked very odd jobs and occupied my free time with sundry enterprises. Once, in a town named Paradise, I snuck into a retired logging flume and snorkeled down it about five miles. I recall walking home in wet sneakers that afternoon. Other occasions found me on a train trip across the United States and deep-sea fishing in the Gulf Stream. I worked for a while as a professional rollerblader, and in the mornings I delivered newspapers. I have since decided
that I would rather eat a newspaper than ever deliver another one. However, my favorite occupation during this time of hodge-podge employment was counting and measuring paper in a factory filled with dust and din. Up until this time, I had not stayed with any one job for more than just a few months. My work ethic included the philosophy that life is too short to have a job you don’t like. The reason it was my favorite was largely due to the fact I actually hated it, but I had made a goal just prior to attaining this job, to work somewhere, anywhere, for at least one year, which I did.
None of my adventures or travels is more precious or beautiful to me than what I have now though. Some years ago I decided that it was time for a change, and I traded the name Wright for Crews. Life has never been better. Niel, the man I now call my husband, and I met in 1999. This was back in the mountains of North Carolina, in the green hills that I knew and loved so well. White water rafting brought Niel and me together, a slice of pizza opened our eyes and a few months later, a hurricane named Floyd closed the deal, well, almost. Once we were sufficiently in love, Niel went to Peru for two years, serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During this time, I went back to college. Once again, I drove across the country, this time to Rexburg, Idaho. Three month’s after Niel’s return, we were married in the Columbia, South Carolina temple.
I still believe life is too short to have a job you don’t like, but I have since learned an important lesson: There is a great deal more to life than just doing stuff you like. Currently, I am finishing my Associates Degree in Illustration through the BYU-Independent study program. At the University of Utah, my husband is either inventing things as he barrels toward a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, or he is burning holes in his pants and blowing things up. So, we live
happily in Salt Lake City, Utah and somewhere in all my bouncing around between the south and the west I have managed to produce three bewitching children. Nan, five years old, is my first child, an inviting and golden little daughter. She informed me at the age of three that when she grew up she wanted to be a snowman. However unrelated this insight to her future career goals may be, I would also like to mention she was born on Dec 25. Wesley, my delicate and delightful little son, trails behind Nan by two years and two months. When he grows up, he either wants to be a snowman like his sister, only shorter, a wacky scientist like his dad, or a horse rustler. And then there is Mallie, 7 months old, just trying to make any sense at all of this crazy mixed up world she’s in.

a special delivery

It was my great pleasure to deliver a painting tonight to my little friend Brandon. He is 9 and when he came to my show over a month ago he proclaimed to his mother, "Mom, we NEED art!" And so they pooled some of their savings together and bought some. I was just lucky enough that it was mine.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

some matters of sketch

Here are some sketches out of my big drawing pad (thank you shopping spree.) I have been doing well with the goal I set at the beginning of the year to draw more. I am found much more often with my sketch book (and camera) and that has been so helpful. Shawna, you asked me about the paper in the sketchbook where I did the Moab watercolor. It's just regular manilla colored paper but the water didn't seem to bead it up too much, and there was a surprising little amount of wrinkling. Nothing you'd want to do anything permantent on for sure, but it seems to do well for color comps. You can find it at Barnes and Noble. It is 6" x 8" (I am not sure about other sizes). ISBN-13: 9780641596209

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

some fresh air

OOooo. I can think of very many things that are worse than a stale blog, and having reckoned with almost all of them since my last post, I decided it was time for some freshening up. It's about time that hideous picture of me shopping isn't the first thing you see...

I went to Moab last weekend for a family vacation and did this little watercolor sketch while my daughter was on a hike and fell into the cactus beds there.