Thursday, January 29, 2015

McGyver skills

Yesterday I spent most of the day putting the final touches on a few paintings and started wrapping and labeling them for delivery. I am feeling happy and confident that WAM is going to turn out nicely.

A while back, I had a problem that I. COULD. NOT. SOLVE.
I am no life hack guru, but I do consider myself somewhat of a McGyver. I can fix a broken bra fastener with super glue and a little baking soda, repair the messed up radio knob in the car with a scrap of paper and keep all the hair out of my daughter's face with a small branch.
This one had me stumpped though.
I was painting on these little mounted boards (I talk a little about them HERE) and couldn't figure out how to get them to hang flush against the wall. 

Using traditional hanging wire like this, whether it was set far back in the recess of the painting or not, would not work. I feel like I tried everything. Things got wacky when I was criss-crossing the wires but no matter what I did, the painting kept falling away from the wall:

I am not one to give up easily. Maybe it was the weather, or maybe the laundry in the back of my mind was piled WAY too high, but what ever the reason, my frustration got the best of me and I set it aside. For MONTHS. 

Eventually, the situation really needed solving and I turned to my engineer husband. He is an especially useful resource in situations like this, and I still can't figure out whay I didn't turn to him sooner. I explained the problem and how I wanted it to hang flush. He asked, "Do you have to use hanging wire?" I said, "No" and within fifteen minutes he had this:

So. So. Simple.
And when you use these OOK hooks, it not only sits flush against the wall, it actually SNAPS TO THE WALL. Thanks to your superior McGyver skills, Niel, these little guys aren't going anywhere. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

tents and swirly chairs

I have been asked many times: "How do you do it with four children?"
Many responses ensue.
"It gets pretty busy around here."
"The same as other people, I guess."
"Hang on to your hats, boys and girls! It's going to be a crazy ride!!"
And the nuclear answer:
"Oh? I have FOUR!?!"

Two weeks ago we sat down as a family and looked at the calendar. Those upcoming weeks were so jammed full of trips and deadlines and appointments and social studies projects.... we all had to get on the same page.
So during this meeting, we marked off what is now this last Saturday as a "mom-lock-herself-in-her studio-day". It was going to be the last real day I could paint for the work I wanted included in the upcoming show at 1800 Prime.
--then Niel was called away--
Important business.
I had already called a "no media day", so you can only imagine my pleasure when the children got to playing-- with each other--

(He is happier than he looks...promise.)

When at one point they all ended up IN the studio with me (I don't really lock the door when I am the only parental unit available), and all it took to get them back to the task of entertaining themselves was to move the twisty chair our from behind my desk and out into the living room.

So the real answer: How I "do it" is that I have pretty wonderful children.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

waiting for me

I took Nan to the Masur Museum for an artist talk tonight. The exhibit was Birney Imes' series Whispering Pines- "documenting the life and times of Blume Triplett, the late proprietor of Whispering Pines, a roadside bar and restaurant in Crawford, Mississippi." It was well worth the drive and I thought the show was both compelling and interesting. Nan enjoyed it too.

When I came home, I found this text from my husband waiting for me on my phone:

I guess he really likes the piece I am working on.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

business cards

The last couple of days the children have been out of school and will be out tomorrow too. Reminds me of summertime- not a lot of painting gets done, but we have a lot of fun. Although today's "fun" included my oldest falling off the monkey bars at the park and busting up her face. (No need for too much alarm...she's ok.)

On a brighter note, the business cards I ordered last week arrived today. 

In the last six years I have gone through several different designs. The evolution has brought me to this (you can see the back side of the card in the background):

I really could not be more pleased with the way these turned out. I have used different printing companies in the past and returned to one I'd once used previously: My decision was based mostly on price. That and the fact they had come out with a thicker card. 
The 24pt TriFecta card has a fabulous silky feel to it and I found that it equaled the quality of the Luxe cards that Moo introduced to the marketing world several years ago. 

So thank you GotPrint, for delivering some amazing (and reasonably priced!) business cards to my doorstep today. I love them.

Friday, January 16, 2015

running out of room

I finished this one today. As I sit here and type, I realize once again how hard it is to go from painting to writing. Some days when the children come home from school, I have a hard time talking. It always takes me a little while to gain access to the other side of my brain.

waiting for dinner is going to Critical Mass 3, a group show at Art Space -downtown Shreveport, LA. February 5- April 4.
waiting for dinner
oil on panel
48" x 48"
It's going to hang in my living room to dry until then because I am running out of room in the studio.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

a break and two up to bat

waiting for dinner
**work in progress**
48"x 48"

I took a little break from waiting for dinner yesterday and got these two finished.

mother and daughter
24" x 24"

neighborhood in the next town over
14" x 17"

Today I sketched out some work for after everything goes to  W.A.M.
I am pretty excited for these two. I have never done a nightscape before and the second one pictured here is another hanging clothes. Get ready for some orange.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Dee and Tyler

I am so pleased to announce my congratulations to the Guymon family! And thank you to all who have turned a tiny portion of your attention to my work and life. I hope you will enjoy checking in with me throughout the upcoming year and that what you read and view here will enrich your lives. I am always full of hope at the turn of a year, and 2015 is no exception.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

tomorrow is the day

Tomorrow a little painting will find it's new home. If you would like to be considered for this giveaway in the random drawing, sign up to follow by email, and type your name in the comments below by 6pm central time tomorrow. I will post the winner on the blog shortly thereafter.

I was able to get some relief today with the medication for my neck, and consequently made some good progress on a piece for the WAM show in Shreveport on February 5th: WAITING FOR DINNER. 

Here is the little painting getting packaged for shipment to one of my fabulous readers.

pain, pain, go away

So this is what my day looks like. 
I hate you, pain. 
Please go away. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

back to school

I adore Christmas break. I love having the children home and how they make the house so busy. But today the holiday break ended as sleepy children grabbed their backpacks and headed to the little Camry where my husband was waiting in the dark to take them all to school.
The sun has since come up and I am settling in for some longer, more productive work days in the studio. My neck is no better than my last post, but I am going to work anyway.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

pushing through

Today is a day of pushing through. 
I have occasional flare-ups with degenerative disk disease, and this morning it interrupted several wonderful months of life without pain. 
Thousands suffer worse than this, so I'll try to get something good done in the studio while keeping my family safe from my pain-induced bad mood.