Monday, February 28, 2011

Tomorrow is the day

I purchased the canvas panels for my 31 day project this past weekend at Memphis Art Center.  I posted yesterday that I am open to suggestions for a title of this project.  (and still....I am open for quote Carrie "I got nuthin") None the less. Tomorrow the project begins.  I am committed to a couple of things....1. Doing this EVERY day. Even if I don't complete a piece before work each morning, and I realize this might just happen-depending on how early I get up (and on another note. At 5:00 this morning the rain was pounding the tin roof on our house in gushes-my head wanted to get up and start the day..but my heart-my heart wanted to time the gushes-my heart wanted to listen and find a pattern to the tap-scratch-SCRATCH---of that tree limb on the bedroom window- "My perfect ambient air temperature of our bedroom...I.....should...get...up.....yyaaawwwnnn....." I will get soon as this pattern soon as the rain....zzzzzzzz HOLY CRAP!!! It's 7:00!!!!! I'm awake! I'm awake!!!!" My heart won out and I did NOT get up as's hope for no rain in the morning) As I was saying depending on how early I get started in the mornings I may or may not complete a painting each day. But I WILL paint each day.
2. and I am struggling with this one..... I am TRYING to let my mind just decide what to paint at the time I start painting. So if you have asked for a specific date- I will try to explain better.  You are requesting the DATE for a sentimental reason- I may or may not be able to paint something specific as it pertains to your loved one on THAT date.  So...I will give you an out- If you do not want the painting from the date you requested you are under no obligation to purchase it.  NO hard feelings and NO pressure.  There! I feel better! 
3. I am charging $10.00 per painting
4. Here are the dates already requested.
3rd-Penny, 7th-Lisa, 14th and 17th-Shaundra, 18th Michelle, 25th Lacey Howe
5. In an effort to let go of my artistic ramblings, trying not to "save" anything up for March-I had to get a few things "out" over the weekend. One thing was this pig-peering over a short stack of pan cakes. The other was a pack of crayons-the third was a family of birds-there was an owl couple on a branch and a country church...I make a confession...Sketching these things DID NOT cure my desire to paint them in March. I am pretty sure I will fail at the whole-letting my mind just decide at the moment exercise...but I am committed to the effort.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Every Day Art

If you are a follower of my blog  you know I am a fan of Madison Latimer. Hence forth called "The Chicken Lady" She is the painter of the chicken I fell in love with in Memphis three years ago and in her honor I painted Poxy. October, like a  pre-pubescent adoring fan of Ringo Star I stood all dorky and googlie eyed as I approached her display area (inside the former location of - muse downtown Memphis,TN)  I was quite intimidated actually to meet her face to face.  But....My desire to express my appreciation for her work over-came my wall-flower tendency and I introduced myself.  She and I talked for a considerable amount of time- she answered questions I had-she was funny and quick and oh so artsy-I mean her very appearance was "art girl chic" But not in that "notice me! notice me! I wear my paint clothes out in public so people will know I paint!" sort of way.  I mean she has style. She is sure of herself. I admire that.  I told her I fell in love with her paintings at the River Arts Fest  three years prior.  And then....I did the unthinkable...I showed her my "poxy"

"Poxy" hangs in my kitchen against a splendidly happy blue wall.
I explained I  did this as a tribute to her amazing chickens and hoped  she would neither laugh at me or become angry ...I just stood there and  she paid me much respect.  Whew! Now, checking the list--- Introduced myself to one of my "art heroes" check! Got up the nerve to tell her I copied her work b/c I couldn't afford any of her work and I could not stop thinking about her work..Check check check!  Okay-cool...move on, meet The Hopkins, have dinner...errrrrrkkkkk!!!!! wait!!!  She had more to say than "thanks I am flattered"  okay...ummmm..Im listening...."Do you call yourself an artist?" Me: "ahhh errr ummmm well....ummm no not just like art-and I enjoy painting..." (Really-must you qualify EVERYTHING? Amber?Currently-that's a Yes.) Chicken Lady "well...from now on you should. You should call yourself an artist. You are an artist. How do you expect people to view you as an artist if YOU don't view yourself as one? I used to think b/c I didn't paint full time for a living I couldn't call myself an artist....but I was....I was learning to be better at art while doing other jobs but inside I was and always have been an artist.. so...1. Call yourself an artist. You are one." let's move on- meet friends- have dinner....after all- Chicken Lady called me an artist-can't really go anywhere but down from here right? RIGHT. Chicken Lady "And Secondly.....Paint your own work." GULP.  OUCH! and YIKES! and for good measure- I'm Sorry?  "I am flattered you painted Poxy. I like her" she said "but you need to figure out what moves you-(as an artist.) (I am one now-apparently) and paint it. It's fine to be inspired by other work. But you will not move forward with your art until you make it YOURS."  Still stinging from the "paint your own work" advise yet understanding she is completely right and just relieved she didn't take that opportunity to shout at me-I made eye contact with a very amused TK-signaling for sure it was time to leave. "Thanks so much" I humbly muttered shifting weight looking at the time on my cell phone (Yea, I do that, I am not proud of it, but I do. As if by some cosmic miracle my discomfort has summoned an urgent text from a friend-or if the timing is just right, scored me a pretend phone call I must take-thus allowing me to make an excusable exit... Oh COME ON! I am not the only one! Don't judge me! I know you either have done this or you will now that I gave you the idea...You're welcome!) and then amidst my urge to walk away (I was starting to feel challenged (but not the kind of challenged I can't handle-the kind of challenge I know I CAN handle but might not like-but will have to accept and conquere even tho it's going to be a lot more work than I really want to do-(I am a slacker by nature really I just fight it) I was feeling uneasy just like ohhh this is like school....ohhh mannn....the teacher wants me to apply myself...I'm smarter than this-I must work harder than this-how can I take this ability for granted? People work twice as hard and never acomplish what I slack and get by with.... school...I hate school-totally should have faked sick  "Lastly" she said snapping me out of my 8th grade geometry flashback...."Paint! Every day. Make time for it. Go to work. See your friends. Spend time with your husband. but also Paint. Every. Day."   Humbled and excited about meeting those Hopkins for dinner (priorities you see)  I thanked my new The Chicken Lady for the insight and asked for a photo before we left,  which she obliged. 

Me and The Chicken Lady. It was a very good day!

Since that meeting, we have become "social network "Friends"" I kind of keep up with The Chicken Lady and her Chicken Truck and I think about the advise I was given the day we met. Well folks. I may not be ready to call myself an "artist" yet (small steps people small steps) but I am ready to start painting every day. Since I do better when I have a game plan, coming up with a game plan is my current project.  I know what must be going thru your minds "seriously, you have been "thinking" about this? Since October? And now you are working on a game plan?" Correct, correct and Correct.  I am big on keeping commitments and I just had too many irons in the fire to commit to painting every day until now. that it is a new year and after this weekend-my cupcake obligations will be minimal-I am ready to make a commitment.  An Art Pledge if you will.  Starting March 1st. I will paint every morning before work.  I am going to create a series of small works. Theoretically 31 to be exact. My plan is this- I will paint one small (size to be announced) canvas each morning. Take a photo. Upload the photo with or without explanation and offer it for sale.  Proceeds to benefit my orphans in Kenya (like you didn't see that coming). 

Me and Kelvin, the one I call "mine" He keeps me awake at night from the other side of the globe.

I will also take specific "orders" for specific dates or occasions in the month of March. Say for example you would like to purchase "March 10th" because that's the day you learned to crochet and you just feel so darn good about the life changing experience you would like a painting to commemorate it-That's great! I'll do it! Just so you know-I have no specific theme in mind and the paintings will be as random as my whims. This way there is no pressure on me, (The Artist. echh hmmm...well I typed it, that's sort of like saying it. Right?)  Okay...There you go. I have said it. In Blog. That's like putting a task on "the list" but way more public.  Look forward to seeing you in March.