Friday, March 12, 2010

Sweet Caroline has arrived!

Actually she arrived some weeks back. And I could not be happier for The List Maker and The Red Hot Mamma! Sure this is a blog about the painting I completed for their baby’s room, and you can see the completed project just right here. But this blog in particular is about one of those art forms you don’t find in a gallery or museum. We see it all around us-it’s the kind of art that is small and often silent while at the same time LOUD and IN YOUR FACE! It’s the kind of art that invites, almost necessitates you interact.
I remember the first time I interacted with The RHM. TK and I were co-leading a cultural class. My part of the class was teaching multi-cultural cooking lessons. At the end of the first class I gave a “chop, slice and dice” home work assignment. The very next week she arrived at class proudly displaying her home work-complete. Three very nicely prepared bell peppers. “A-Plus for Cindy” I said (she was one of just a couple who actually did the home work) and we’ve been friends ever since. Really? She just chopped up, excuse me sliced up some produce and that made you friends? Really? Well…yes. But to me it was more than that. If you are not a John Travolta fan please just indulge me for a moment and read along anyway. (By the way, I am going to need a written explanation from anyone reading this blog who considers him/herself NOT a fan of John Travolta) Let me set this clip up for you. The film Phenomenon-George (John Travolta) is in love with Lace (Kyra Sedgwick) who for a multitude of reasons, will not allow George to get close. Lace is a crafts person and makes chairs-she puts her heart and soul into her work. George buys multiple chairs (he does not need)

This monologue explains the significance of “buying chairs” which could also be called “slicing vegetables”.

Bane is explaining to the Doc that his girl, Lisa has left him (AGAIN)

Doc: Really? Now George has a love at his side and she is sticking with him. You know why? Because he bought her chairs. That's pretty smart to me. You ever buy Lisa's chairs?
Doc: Every woman has her chair, something she needs to put herself into, Banes. You ever figure out what Lisa's chairs were and buy 'em?

It’s amazingly simple, yet I don’t always do it. The best practice for the art of love, romantic love AND platonic love, is to invest. Invest in people. Find out what matters to another person and extend a little effort to show your support of that venture. BUY THE CHAIRS! It’s what Rich and Cindy were doing when they showed up at that second cultural class with their “home work completed” It’s what they did last summer when we had an idea to create a coffee shop on Wednesday nights. The list maker came strait from work and began serving coffee, RHM, did the same. In October when the crazy idea for an art auction to raise money for my orphans in Kenya was presented---Here they were again, “buying chairs” making item donations for the auction and buying art for this sweet baby’s room. I realize it may sound as if I have a connection with these people because they have helped with so many projects. I suppose one could draw that assumption. It’s true, they have participated in many of the things which I have passion. That in its self deserves a giant thank you. To me, their support of my little projects is less about the “work” they have done-and more about the investments they have made. It challenges me in a way I find difficult to understand.

While painting the dots on the wall in Caroline’s room, I had conversation with The RHM, part of the conversation turned to the loss of an amazing friend and we shared the same sentiments-with this exception. I expressed my regrets having not verbalized my love and appreciation for him while he was here. She said something about the list maker at that point and it inspired this whole blog. She said something like this “Now The List Maker, he doesn’t do that- He believes in telling people how he feels. What they mean to him, that he loves them. He lives that way-no regrets now.”

See what I mean? There is an art form to that way of living. Living Love to the people around you. I love an analogy so… saying “I love you” is like taking a stroll thru your favorite gallery-but the art of really LIVING OUT “I love you” involves that interaction I spoke of before, it involves the buying of chairs.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

like the fruit...part 2 (in color)

Phase 2.  Color. 

Stayed up late to play in the paint.
It was TOTALLY worth it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Like The Fruit.. Part 1


“umm…it’s Cheri. Like the fruit.”

So…At the request of “Sharay” I mean Cheri.

Cherries…phase 1. The Background.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

There is always room for ice cream!

I firmly believe that. I am living proof that no matter how much dinner I have, no matter how many times I am offered seconds and I’ve refused, stating I am just “toooooo fullllll” no matter how tight the button on my “just out of the dryer-not worn in a few days so not stretched out or relaxed at all, almost a size too small at this point” jeans is…I can ALWAYS find room for ice cream. I believe ice cream is the perfect food and I believe the person responsible for the invention of this manna from heaven deserves at the very least a Nobel Peace Prize.

I am no ice cream snob-I like it all. Everything from that little clear cup of Turner vanilla that comes with a paper lid and wooden-splinterish spoonula, to the obvious Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food. Although it’s not good math I reason if that tiny single serving of Turner is to be consumed at one setting, the same is true for the four servings that come in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. I do have a favorite ice cream. For the sake of trival information I will tell you. It is from Braums (the local favorite in my home town).   Chocolate Almond. I can rest in comfort at  both ends of the spectrum as far as ice cream goes. While I truly love the crunchy salty deliciousness of almonds mixed with frozen chocolate love from Braum’s, I simultaneously feel a vanilla soft serve from DQ is ice cream in it’s purest form.

Likewise apparently the same is true for Art. There is always room in my life. No matter how busy the week has been, no matter how many nights of 4 hours sleep I got, no matter how many times I silently declare “I’m toooo fulllll””” or more appropriately “I’m toooo tiiirreedddd” If an opportunity presents its self to go see some art, or even better participate in something artistic….I can muster up enough energy, re-dry some “been worn a few times now way too baggy “ jeans, and head out the door to indulge.

Last Friday was one of those times, the end of a strand of really long weeks-really long nights and lots of activities-feeling completely exhausted and silently declaring “this weekend I am doing NOTHING. I wish to stay in a hoodie and sweat pants all evening and all day tomorrow…Heck I many not even shower tomorrow….I’ll just veg out ALL weekend. (and by “veg out” I of course mean stay at home and wash clothes, clean the bathroom, organize the laundry room storage that is becoming a place Fred Sanford himself might be a little uncomfortable) I am leaving work at 5:00 and will begin my weekend of rest….I mean I’ve go to, I have absolutely no energy to give anyone or anything…I am spent.” Beep Beep- AHHH new email from TK-----All thoughts of rest were immediately put on hold as I read this invitation to travel to Memphis for “Trolley Night in the Art District.” See what I mean? ALWAYS room…..

And…at 5:00 this theory was tested and proved true. We met with The fireman and his woman and away we went to Memphis (side note, and this may be more information than you care to know but…I didn’t go home to re-dry those jeans I mentioned, just wore a pair that had been in my car for nearly a week…reasoning I had an amazing green scarf (super artistic) and my favorite Blueberry coat. Confident I could work these pieces into something acceptable in the art district) We traveled to Memphis and made a quick stop at a little pizza joint-then arrived down town. Trolley Night is the last Friday of each month. As the name implies, you can ride the trolley downtown (no charge), all the galleries and shops are open and offering Trolley Night specials, food, drinks, and live music. After stopping by an exhibition of photographs taken in Japan and a folk art show-complete with a 4 piece acoustic band *fantastic cover of Brown Eyed Girl* then a really random and creepy encounter with a pair of uber talented photographers-I faked a phone call to get back out on the main street and stumbled into……wwwwaaaaahhhhhhhhhh…….A boutique called Muse. Now before you read any further- I would ask you to look back into my archives 2009-There are only 2 blogs in 2009 so it will only take you a second to find “year in review” I posted a link to an artists’ page and a photo of my tribute painting I call “poxie”. Seriously….go look at that---it’s important to the rest of this story. As I said in that blog- I love this artist. And Aspire to own a big big piece of her work some day. Well…in my attempt to escape the insulting photo-bugger guys-I stumbled into Muse and found their plaster peeled/semi brick walls randomly decorated with nothing else but…Lattimere’s work. I became a little emotional at the sight of it all. I find it difficult to describe the feeling of seeing art-in real life. It’s a totally different experience than I get scrolling thru a line of thumbnails on a web site. (I mean it’s as different as watching someone eat ice cream and actually grabbing a spoon and indulging yourself…) As I walked thru this quirky boutique where there was a woman playing a Kimball piano for a 4 year old child who was signing songs from Annie (for real this was happening at 8:30 last Friday night and it was not a performance) The child is singing, the store owner is helping a customer fit into a pair of overpriced but fabulous all the same heels, and I am just wondering about with tear filled eyes-loving each new painting more then the one I saw before… We looked thru some interesting jewelry art and decided to end the trip on that high note and travel home. Afterall—I was exhausted and couldn’t even imagine another stop. Must. Go. Home….oooohhh wait- let’s stop by Starbuckie on the way out of town. *I will now add “a visit over good coffee” to the list of things I am never too tired to do.