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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holiday Arts Tour Shout OUT

Lincoln Parish Artists Ready For Holiday Tour | KEDM

I had the great opportunity to go on Public Radio this morning and drum up some interest for this weekend's HOLIDAY ARTS TOUR in Ruston. If you didn't get a chance to hear about it, its not too late!

Monday, November 14, 2011

some exciting news



I found out a few days ago that one of my paintings have been chosen to show in the Louisiana Art & Artists' Guild 42nd Annual River Road Show. The juror, Pam Ingalls, selected 80 paintings from 479 entries by 153 artists.
This is my first national juried art exhibit.... yea!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Arts Rocks in Baton Rouge





Nan and I went on a Mommy-Daughter date to Art Rocks in Baton Rouge last Friday. Enjoyed every minute of it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

settled

Got everything moved last week, and was so busy I took only two pictures, the before and the after.
BEFORE: (in my bedroom)

AFTER: (painting bliss)

Monday, September 19, 2011

I am moving. Well, my art supplies are moving... into their new home... 
my own PRIVATE STUDIO!!!!
I have found a place to rent downtown and will be moving everything this week. I will take pics of the moving craziness. This ought to be good, as I have an interview with LPB on FRIDAY and they want to videotape me in my studio working, and shoot some other examples of my work. I just hope I have a workable space by then.


This photo has nothing to do with my post. Isn't it fantastic?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

my favorite


Took a nap this afternoon, and I awoke to my husband smiling on the couch, and the whole house kitchen cleaned.
Thank you Niel, my sweetness.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

not November

So the show at the Bistro was a success. It was so good to see my friends and colleagues come out to support the arts effort in Ruston. Just before the show went up, the Manager of the venue pulled the plug on the one large piece I had planned on including. No hard feelings. He said it wasn't close enough to Christmastime to put it up, which at first I thought was funny. He said, "Talk to me again in November." I never considered these two massive Christmas ornaments as Christmas decor. They had become to me nothing more than interesting subject matter. When I stepped back and took a more objective approach, I could see why he thought hanging the painting in August was inappropriate. I am not sure I had ever had such an experience with disassociation before. Interesting.

At any rate, Merry Christmas to you all. And if you are on my card list, don't be too surprised or disappointed to see the image again in your mailbox come December.

fear and ease


Painting, or any thing else for that matter, is not always easy. In fact, the thing that we love and are ultimately committed to doing is ofttimes the thing that fills us with fear. I realized during a conversation with a long-time friend last week, that every time I start to paint I have to push past fear. Fear of the ugly line. Fear of failure. Fear of so many more things. I was reading through Art in America this evening and I came across and article about Rirkrit Tiravanija. Featured in this article was an "original" tear out of his art created expressly for the issue. It prompted  my post.

The art was text.
It read: FEAR EATS THE SOUL


I believe that. Fear does eat the soul and I have experienced a little soul eating in my time.

Lately the fear has been about content, and context. I read not too long ago something that sculptor Horatio Dowbley said, "Art is language, and in language, a person says things." That haunts me a little. I understood my work better after having read his remark. I understood that for the most part it says nothing.They are mere studies in disguise, something pretty to hang above the couch...end table...chair...

Now, there is the fear of what to say. (And the fear of painting mere decorative art- but that is a discussion for another time.)  I am not alone. We have all been there, maybe not in the context of creating art, but the fear of "saying things" I think is universal:
Picture the social situation where you are invited but not known. You are welcomed but not sure. Where and when do you feel at liberty to be yourself? Do you safely stick to small talk? Do you drink the pretty drinks and be seen and not heard, to leave feeling lonely? Or do you jump in and spill the beans on your latest guffaw? Do you open your mouth and risk sideways glances and the mingly groups parting like the red sea?

While I do not believe I will ever naturally be able to rid myself of fear, I choose to acknowledge it and respectfully not feed it. The thing to do then, I suppose, is to keep painting what I love. While I want dearly for my work to say more than, "I look good in your foyer, don't I?", I cannot ever let the language be that of didacticism or blatancy. If I love what I am doing and I forge ahead, sans fear, it will have to say something, and what it says may end up surprising me.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

View in your browser
North Central LA Arts Council
Bistro Art Opening
Wednesday, August 3rd 5-7pm
www.nclarts.org or http://nclac.wordpress.com
102 A Bistro Art Opening:  "Sifting the Exotic & Familiar"

On 
Wednesday, August 3, from 
5-7 p.m., the North Central Louisiana Arts Council (NCLAC) and 102 a Bistro will present “Sifting the Exotic and Familiar,” an exhibition of recent work by regional artists Julie Crews, Melanie Douthit, and Jan Thibault.

Their works, while distinctly different, still complement one another, and while each of these women has a unique style,
 they share a passion for the creative process.

About painting, Douthit said, “I love the limitless possibilities that can be achieved through letting go and stepping ‘outside the lines.’”

Similarly, Thibault said, “Painting is a joy filled journey involving color, energy, and spirit that transcends everyday life. All can be abandoned to allow creativity to flow.”

Crews said that the advice and sometimes “rules” she gains from teachers and other artists influence her, but at the same time, she added, “Sometimes I paint and ask myself, ‘What rule can I break? Will I be successful?’ and I measure my success through my experience of the process and product. Did I smile, or did I stamp my feet and cry during the process? Was the product disappointing or in the end, was it beautiful?”

The artists will attend the reception honoring them Wednesday, so as you enjoy wine and appetizers, ask them about their work and what inspires them.

Afterward, stay and have dinner. Since it opened in April 2009, 102 has built a reputation as a place to experience great art and great food. More than just a restaurant, 102 is a unique cultural experience.

If you are interested in purchasing a work in 
“Sifting the Exotic and Familiar,” look for NCLAC’s Executive Director Leigh Anne Chambers at the reception, contact NCLAC at 318-255-1450, or stop by the Dixie Center for the Arts Tuesday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. We look forward to seeing you at the Bistro.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A sneak peak

Sorry about the last post. It was pretty gross. But I thought it a good joke for anyone who may keep up with this blog. I take it back, I'm not really sorry.
Here is a black and white image of the largest piece I will have in the show coming up, which by the way, I found out today is entitled: SIFTING THE EXOTIC AND FAMILIAR. (Such a great name, Leigh.)

Double Self-Portrait
24"X 24"
oil on luan mahogany

 I began this painting at the end of last year and had posted the beginning stages of it here. It is rewarding to see it completed. Now I am waiting for what Peter Jones, my retired professor and friend, refers to as the painter's reward: the frame.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

operation poison ivy avoid


Just kidding. I am fine, but isn't this a gross photo of some poor individual who didn't know to use TECNU?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

stand oil and tecnu

5 1/2" x 3 1/2"
oil
Another small painting of one of my painting materials.




Today I was clearing out the hedge by my neighbors and when I was finished I asked Niel to show me what exactly poison iv looked like. I knew our hedge was known to have it, but as I kept my eye out for it, I never saw any small, shiny, reddish/greenish three leaved plants. So he came into the back yard and showed me some very large, NON-shiny and green three leaved plants. Turns out I was all up in the poison ivy. DUMB. So while I stood in a towel, my sweet and non-judgmental husband ran to Walgreen's to buy me some TUCNU. Here's hoping it works. I should know in a few days. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

rectified turpentine


5 1/2" x 3 1/2"
oil
This little painting will be one of several new pieces I will have hanging at a group show I have coming up. NCLAC,  in conjunction with 102 Bistro, is hosting it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Peru in June 2011


Until just shy of one month ago, I had never been out of the country-- (O.k., I'd been to Toronto once but that doesn't really count as they take American currency and I didn't need a passport to come or go). Earlier this year my husband and decided to take a trip to Peru. Ten years ago (and before we were married) he served a full-time mission there for the duration of two years for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He always wanted to go back, and take me. So, I finally get a stamp in my passport.

We did not do "the tourist thing" since my husband had several contacts there and has maintained a solid grasp of the language since living there. So even though we missed out on places like Cusco and Machu Picchu, I feel blessed to have been able to see a closer glimpse of what life is really like for a Peruvian, at least in the city of Huanuco, which is where we spent most of our time.

So I will warn you now, there are a ton of pictures here. They are only posted here in such great number my popular demand. Instead of attaching a heavy dialog to every photo, I will let your experience of the trip be a photo essay (only supplemented intermittently  with text.)

Also, a special thinks to my dear, dear sister-in-law, Anita Ervin who also documented her summer vacation with my four children. There adventured can be seen on her blog: swervinervins.


the kitchen of the Chuy home- our first night in Lima
I am such a sucker for hanging laundry

view off the kitchen balcony- Chuy home

Same balcony, other end of street

This pic cannot fully describe how crazy the driving is in Peru, wish it could.
Typical  residences on a street in a richer part Lima.

After unsuccessfully getting a seat on a bus to take us over the Andes, we decided to fly from Lima to Huanuco.
Smart choice: 8-9 hour drive vs. a 45 minute flight. (We learned later the next day that the bus we were trying to get a seat on was delayed on the mountain pass several hours due to a car accident a distance ahead of the bus.)
View of Huanuco from the air.
Add caption




The doors to peoples' homes are right off the sidewalks.

Typical street in Huanuco.


The Luna family, whom we stayed with in Huanuco, live above the family-owned auto parts store, so to go in or out, we needed to walk through the shop. This is the entrance.
This is the view from the dining room table.  Amazing to see all these rooftops.

To get around, you either walk, or take moto-taxis.


The Luna family: Carla, Omar, and Frenanda

All of these people are standing on the sidewalk looking into an  appliance store watching the soccer game.

Me and Niel.



Fernanda, my sweet little friend. 

The Internet cafe.



Our living room, the bed room and bathroom are up the stairs.

FELIZ COUPLIANOS TO ME!!!!


I had the most wonderful birthday party ever.

With the way they drive, it is no wonder the children's are running for it in the school crossing sign!

Yummy food. (especially the cuy...aka. Guinea Pig. MMmmm.)



Rotisserie Chicken is a very popular and very delicious meal. 


My favorite and most trusted bathroom in all of Peru.

Up at the Hacienda de Shismay. We stayed here for two nights.

at Shismay. Omar and Carla accompanied us for the afternoon, and had lunch with us.






We chased some pigs. Omar caught one so we could hear it squeal.

A little family walking to get firewood.

Staking the pigs down by the road.


Nial and his new favorite instrument, the charango.

Again, a sucker for hanging laundry.


Warming up before breakfast, and a big drive up the Andes to see a lake.


I cannot believe we are making this drive in this old car. Seriously, we were off-roading in a  little Toyota!



These pictures demonstrate how Niel was feeling right about now.


These are very isolated dwellings that are used in season. People bring their livestock up here to graze.                            


No altitude sickness here.



Niel and our guide.

Probably my favorite picture of our trip. I think I am holding in Niel's sick guts (from motion sickness).

We left the car behind and are on foot at this point. An enormous rock slide covers the road.

Don't know why we are feeling particularly victorious here, just feeling good.


never did catch anything but it as fun teaching our guide how to cast a line with a rod and reel. We took with us telescoping poles from the states and gave them away, one to our guide and one to the owner of Shismay.


It wouldn't have been the same if I didn't get a picture of myself with my head out he car window... Everybody's doing it.

We waited for three days for this wild steed.

Our last morning at Shismay I finally got my chance to horseback ride.

This Peruvian Paso was about as wild a horse as I have ever ridden. Apparently, only the owner can ride him, but I got a chance anyway. Was I scared. Not until we actually got going (the owner lead him on a VERY short rope) and I realized the only way he could get the horse to slowdown was to make him turn (sharply- as pictured above). That, and the fact that during the entire ride the owner was chanting and whispering to the horse: tranquillo. tranquillo. Translated: CLAM DOWN. CALM DOWN.

Would I do it again?
 Yes.

Our last meal at Shismay. Coca tea. Soft goat cheese. bread and fried yucca. Delish!

A woman spinning yarn.


Tranquillo!

We are back in Huanuco from off the mountain at Shismay. We are
getting ready leave this amazing and generous family to take an overnight bus  back to Lima to meet  back up with the Chuy girls, Brenda and Madeline. and then off to AMERICA!!!!!!! (and my children!!)


Brenda and Madeline Chuy and Me and Niel.

Back at home.

Happy Simon in a Peruvian sweater.

Wesley trying to thread up a trompo.

And of course, Mallie with a glass of milk.
(Nice sweater.)