Thursday, June 29, 2006

That explains it.....

"How is the selection of artists influenced? There are, as we all know, only a few dozen curators, a few dozen critics worldwide, and we're all connected in one way or another. The question I want to raise is this: are we really free in our selection in a connected and somehow already manipulated art world like this? I doubt it." -Udo Kittleman, Director of the Museum fur Modern Kunst, Frankfort

..... and I can almost guarantee that this tight group of curators is not riding around together in a bus touring rural North Carolina to see if there is anything interesting being made in anyone's attic!

I am wiped out, my fingers ache... from writing grants, and working on a pine box car, yes, you heard me right. The deadline is Saturday, and what I thought would be "fun", and a good way to meet other artists, the SECCA curator, etc., has turned into a colossal pain in the butt. I am making a hedgehog car with hundreds of holes drilled into it, and hundreds of nails glued into the holes. Kevin says that I am addicted to the process of gluing lots of small things on to big things, and I can't argue with him, looking around my house...

Anyway, went to Michael's craft store and they have no little beady animal eyes, so I am tearing apart an old stuffed animal to get some. The critter is about half done, but my fingers don't work so well anymore, so I am hitting the hay. Other than a possible posting of my derby critter, you won't hear from me 'til Monday. Happy 4th of July weekend. (My Mom used to make a flag sheet cake that she saw in Family Circle with sliced strawberries for stripes, and blueberries for the negative space around the stars... my holiday guests are getting Tiramisu).

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

putting one's images on the web, you never know where they might turn up..... (yup, that's one of my drawings on the right)
What is more frustrating than embroidering with hair?

Pulling out your hair embroidery to redo part of it. Been working on this landscape for the past 2 days, it is not yet finished, and the tornado is still to come. Tomorrow is grant writing and packet day, followed by company, which means 2-3 hours in the studio per day max. Putting a little space between me and the embroidery for a few days is probably a healthy thing. Kevin had to pull me off of it to sit down and have dinner tonight, because I was in the middle of doing the telephone poles.

Coming soon; "married artist vs. single artist".... remembering the days when dinner was worked into a breaking point in the art (of course, dinner back then was also a chunk of cheese and some raw brocolli, not a warm gourmet delight served by a handsome husband) These days, I am trying to lead a bit more "balanced" life, after 20 years of having the scales tipped in an terribly unhealthy way towards artmaking and my art career.

Is it just me, or have artists become more mainstream in the past 20 years? When I was an undergrad, most of my professors were divorced alcoholics who chain-smoked. Now most of the artists I know go to the gym, eat healthy, have real relationships.... hell, Janine Antoni had a baby and moved to Park Slope, just like any other professional New Yorker. They're modeling for designers and sporting polite, well-dressed smiles in Vogue's society pages.

Most of the artists I know still like to drink, but there is very little misbehaving. Have artists, learning from their predecessors, decided that they want to stick around longer? Is excess out of fashion? It is consummate professionalism/being protective of their careers that keeps them in line? Or am I romanticizing the past? I spent a month at the Millay Colony in upstate NY one summer, and we got to tour her house. She had a gorgeous overgrown outdoor swimming pool in the woods behind her house, with a fountain and a bar. Inside the house was a painting, of naked people laughing and drinking and jumping in the very same pool. I have seen days like this back in grad school, but I don't see them too much any more. I told Kevin I wanted to build an outdoor bed in the back yard, with vines growing up the posts and diaphanous curtains, and he laughed before he realized that I was serious. A natural pool, an outdoor shower, some chandeliers hanging from the trees.... Give us a few years to get it all finished, and we will have a decadent summer night party.... you can bring all your kids, some bottled water, and low fat snacks, if that's your inclination.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Best Studio Dog in the World....
and "Love is a Dog from Hell"

Radley has his own couch in the studio, where he observes the artmaking process. Sometimes he prefers to sleep in one of the sunny patches under the skylights. Today was a very long day of hair embroidery, embroidering the ground of a landscape, hopefully by tomorrow there will be something worth showing.

I am elated, because today I received a DVD of a film I have been looking for almost two decades! Many years ago, when I was still living in Binghamton and going to school there, I saw an amazing film called "Love is a Dog From Hell", based on some Charles Bukowski stories. It was an amazing film that I loved and talked about for years, but when I tried to find it to add it to my collection, it was nowhere to be found! Through some real digging on the 10th try, I found that the title had been changed to "Crazy Love". I ordered it, and it arrived today... I am anxious to see if it is as I remember it. When it was reviewed in the Binghamton Press, they fixated on a several-second, suggested necrophilia scene, and ignored the incredible poetry of the rest of the film. I expect it disappeared because it was written up in a similar fashion elsewhere. I found it an amazing descent from idealism to pathos and back again.... there are a few difficult scenes, don't watch it if you're on a downer, a certain buoyancy is needed. Anyway, add it to your Netflix list if you dare.

"Oscar® nominated director Dominique Deruddere's film is a darkly disturbing fairy tale for adults. On its original US release, the film was championed by Madonna, Sean Penn and GODFATHER director Francis Coppola. But it proved too controversial for mass acceptance and never got the recognition it deserved.

Now reappraised as one of the most under-rated films of the 1980's, Crazy Love makes its DVD debut in a stunning High Def transfer from the original negative, laden with extra features. The film tells the story of a man's life through three crucial nights, spread over 20 years. From a love struck teenager to a down & out 30-something, we see him move from dreams to despair. How he changes his life in one final, transcendent act gives the film its title as well as providing us with one of the most unforgettable scenes in recent cinema history."

Monday, June 26, 2006

Thinking about one thing and painting another....

I love painting hair, even when it is not hair....

One of my heroes, Ivan Albright (did you notice that the Jim Broadbent character/crazy artist in the dark apartment in Art School Confidential had an Ivan Albright reproduction on his bulletin board?) said that when he was painting this painting (a detail of "That Which I Should Hve Done I Did Not Do"), he "was thinking of Jesus when he painted one rose, and it was by far the sweetest of them all".

I have been reading Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit (one of the best books I have read in the recent past), and she calls metaphor "The lifeblood of all art". She also writes a great chapter on what she calls "spine", about your internal inspiration for a piece, which is often not evident to a viewer looking at the finished work, and would be distracting to a viewer if you even mentioned it (better to keep it to yourself), but vital to the creation of the work.
I was doing a visiting artist stint at University of Alabama and doing a crit, when I was finally able to articulate what a certain student needed to do, and afterwards thought, "Hmmmm... I think I just gave away the store...". I think that there are lots of artists who are channeling or summoning something up, whether consciously or unconsciously, and holding it in their minds as they work, so that there is always at least one more intangible layer in the work, sometimes more. Like thinking about the way your father's veins stood out in his forehead when he yelled, and painting drops of rain running down a window. Thinking one thing, and painting another.
What the world needs now....

Last night, I had a dream that I was visiting artist at a regional university, and in the art department, they offered a class on how to be an authentic human being, inside and out....

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Karmically, there is enough pie to go around....

Heads up, artists... George Sugarman grant applications are due this week! Wouldn't it be great if all artists told other artists about opportunities that they might want to know about, even though they might win and you may not. I have been telling my BFA students for years, now there are no more BFA students to tell. : (
It just FEELS better to think that there is lots of pie, or that even though I might not get the blueberry pie that my friend gets, there is some raspberry peach (warm with French Vanilla ice cream) for me around the corner, and someone might tell me about that. I'm sure it's a residual Catholic thing, multiplying loaves & fishes, giving things away makes you richer..... passing good currency.

Spent the whole weekend painting the den.... goodbye "butter" walls, hello avocado walls with paprika ceilings (between the dark wood beams). Finally, a room I can spend time in without feeling waves of beige-good-taste nausea.
We also drove 35 miles to see "An Inconvenient Truth".

Last night, had a dream about the Pierre Huyghe piece again, it was so haunting.... all those musicians playing in the dark, like everyone finding their way together, through something so much bigger than themselves...(I am fascinated by collaboration because I am such a control freak).... the rain falling in Central Park was 9/11 dust, and that penguin was crying out.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Art is the Thing

When I was an undergrad at SUNY Binghamton, I was fortunate enough to have an amazing mentor, who basically told me “it’s ok to chose to be an artist” (“even if you’re from Binghamton….”, he added “...the Valley of the Shadow of Opportunity”). Charles Eldred was an eccentric man; he ate every meal out, and kept only wax figures and milk for his coffee in the fridge. He had a phone but never answered it: “…my mother has to send me postcards if she wants to get I touch with me”. He would set up elaborate, fantastical still lives for drawing class that would involve hanging old window frames with dirty glass from the ceiling between the still life set ups so we would learn about space. He had a quiet way about him, mumbling almost everything, coupled with the most mischievous eyes. When there was a model on the model stand in the middle of the room, he would walk in a circle between the stand and the drawing tables, chain-smoking those skinny brown cigarettes, mumbling things underneath his breath. I think that most of the students were not paying much attention to what he was saying, but every once in a while, he would say something really funny, and I would laugh out loud, joined by one or two other students.

My brother had him for class too, and a group of us would go out after openings, sometimes out to art parties or dinner. We fight over this picture, which Bob took, then I made a copy of, now he can’t find his copy (just emailed one to him).

One summer, on the last day of school for the semester, Eldred gave me a crumpled brown grocery bag with 7 books in them, saying only, “These are the books you need to read…” I read all of them, but I only remember the ones that have eventually made it into my own library: Kandinsky’s Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Ben Shahn’s The Shape of Content, Tom Wolfe’s’ The Painted Word, Vasari’s The Lives of the Artists, and Robert Henri’s The Art Spirit.

I remember towards the end of undergrad, I was obsessing over getting into an exhibition, and he said, “exhibitions are nice, Kathleen, but don’t forget… the ART is the thing.” This stuck with me so strongly that when I was away at grad school, I decided to make him a drawing, of “The Art is the Thing” seemingly carved into granite (something that you could do in Photoshop in 5 minutes now). He died of a heart attack before I could give it to him.

For the past ten years, I have lived in Miami, making art, but becoming increasingly frustrated and incensed at the kind of work that is gaining attention, the hype, the process where art stars are made through a validation machine that monetarily benefits each participating party. It became overwhelming at times, and I would periodically “drop out” and not go to any openings or lectures, just sit home and make my art. Six months ago, at Art Basel, I ran into one of my students, a really good painter who was gaining some notoriety in Miami, but had just spent his first six months in grad school at University of Iowa. “it’s amazing,” he said, “my professors don’t want to hear about all the Miami shit, they want us to make good art!… that’s all they care about… it feels so good… we are in competition, but it is not to see who gets in the best collection or the best show, we are working our butts off to make the best art!”

So, I have moved to NC, and there are days that I miss the action, the gossip, the big openings, the community, the buzz, but then I look up at the sign on my wall and remember…
The Art is the Thing.

I miss you, Charles.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

It's so romantic being an artist....

Today I spent the entire day making millions of little dots. Being engaged in an activity such as this leaves the mind free to think of lots of new blog subjects. All of the little nuggets that I used to share with my students will now be funneled into the blog.

so, at end of day today, the painting looks like this:
I missed the ARTSTAR program... was painting and didn't think of it until 9:59. Did anyone see it? I usually don't know what day it is, so I am not going to start being one of those people who has to be parked in front of the TV every Thursday at 9 p.m. It would just make me angry anyway.... everything about the art world makes me angry, except art . That's one of the things that brought me here....
Lee Bontecou envy.
So I am getting lots of great emails from people commenting on the blog and making insightful comments to me that I know everyone else would like to hear. If you don't make the comments on the blog, I will be forced to start paraphrasing you.... There are maybe 40-50 people who know that this blog exists, most of them are artists or art aficionados, and they are all cool people, so feel free to share your insights....
I am scared

One of my ex-students, now that I have admitted to watching "some TV", sent me this link to a review of the new show "Artstar".
It is on tonight. I am afraid to watch.
Words to Paint By

Above my computer at suitable staring-into-space-eye-level, are excerpts from Idiosyncratic Identities by Donald Kuspit that create a kind of touchstone for my artmaking, a concentrated reminder of what I aspire to in my work. I copied it into my sketchboook many years ago, and felt that I opened the sketchbook so much to read it that it needed to be accessible.

"Create a new myth that reflects the directness and originality- true primordiality- the image seems to have when stripped of secondary consciousness or odd elaborations of it."

" 'Sensibility' implies an inclination towards or search for a hitherto unrevealed basic image... an uncanny experience of an unknown image as URGENTLY IMPORTANT."

"Imagery, even strong imagery, is not worth the bother unless it has a special point... a VISIONARY point.... imagery that issues from the PRIMARY IMAGINATION... the living power and prime agent of all human perception."

and the kicker,

"Fanciful images are easily accessible - easily taken in, subsumed and comprehended by the viewer... they do not AROUSE ANY RESISTANCE in him or her. They never get the better of him or her, as do truly imaginative-visionary images, which remain SIMULTANEOUSLY INCOMPREHENSIBLE AND HAUNTING. Visionary images TAKE POSSESSION OF THE VIEWER... THEY CAN'T EASILY BE SHAKEN OFF. Visionary images seem to EPITOMIZE CONSCIOUSNESS, TO CONCENTRATE IT AGAINST THE VIEWER'S WILL to give him or her a singular sense of his or her concrete being, whereas fanciful images DIFFUSE BEING in facile communication. They are easily summed up and have an easy continuity with the everyday imagery from which they derive. It is for this reason that the fanciful image can easily degenerate into a "boutique image" one that achieves an abstract autonomy that just by its empty difference signals its conformity. In contrast, the visionary image can become "baroque", that is, a kind of publicly credible and convincing inner voice DEVOTIONAL IN IMPACT. Fanciful imagery is based on the association of familiar sources. Visionary imagery is based on THE CONFLICT OF FORCES THAT ARE NOT CONVENTIONALLY COMMUNICABLE... THAT SEEM TO NECESSITATE THE REINVENTION OF LANGUAGE."

capitalization mine.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Another Typical Artist Bites the Dust

Another thing that marriage has changed is that I have gone from NEVER watching TV to, occasionally, when I am too exhausted to read, plunking down beside my sweetie in front of the box. Last night, I saw an episode of “Saved”, a drama about ambulance workers, and one of the subplots was about an artist who was brought in because he was spontaneously gushing blood from his nose. It wasn’t the coke that he had snorted with the girl he met in the bar the previous night (after he brought her home in his Porsche and drew her naked). No, he was dying from the benzene in his painting materials. He had a crazed look in his eye whenever they gave him a close-up, and as he was being wheeled into the emergency room against his will, he makes a pass at the nurse, trying to impress her with “I’ve been in the Whitney Biennial…”. His parents are dead, he has no friends, and he pays the ambulance attendant $200 to call his ex-wife to tell her that he is dying, and she responds that she “hopes that it is painful” and hangs up. Apparently, this guy is a real asshole. He could prolong his life for a while if he stopped painting, but this is unacceptable to him, and he eventually jumps off a very high bridge after musing about what pigments he would use to mix the color of the sky and rattling off the names of some of the really great artists who have killed themselves, hoping to be counted amongst them. (Alphabetical list of artists who have committed suicide)

Does anyone know any artists who drive Porsches? This was obviously a tragic morality tale about an artist who lived only for his art, was successful in his career, and was a miserable human being. (Depictions of artists in films). We know that ALL successful artists can’t possibly be assholes, but does it improve your chances of "making it" if you are? (We used to debate this question in grad school until the wee hours, because, apparently, the few famous artists that we knew collectively at that time were). Now that I have met a few famous and almost-famous artists, I know that it is simply not true: I'm sure that Ann Hamilton would be a delightful person to have over for a dinner party. But not Jeff Koons (unless you like that kind of thing).

On a lighter note, today I received the Amazon book I bought my niece for her birthday, Lady in The Water by M. Night Shyamalan, (click on the link to see him reading excerpts) and I will need my own copy the minute that I send it off, as I have looked at it ten times and want to keep looking at it. Crash McCreery did an amazing job with the illustrations, somewhat Chris Van Allsburg-esque, but less stiff and chunky, more nuanced. I am jealous of this book.
Isn’t This Supposed to Be an Art Blog?

On the night stand: David Sylvester’s Interviews with Francis Bacon, essentially an entire book dedicated to interviews with FB in various states of sobriety trying to articulate how he makes things more “real” by making them less real. (something that the Queen of Pores and Hair Follicles could stand to read, n’est pas?) He talks about getting to “the magic place”, “the zone”, the place where he is working intuitively, etc., and, honestly, just paraphrases himself from there. Still, on my last trip to NY, I spent a lot more time in front of his painting than I did in front of most of the stuff at the Whitney Biennial (with the exception of Pierre Huyghe’s film, which I could have stayed and watched ALL DAY LONG). I would have given my cat to have been in Central Park the night that he was filming....

In the studio: I realize that by showing works in progress, I open myself up to comments that I haven’t heard since grad school, i.e.: “that looks really interesting just the way it is, why don’t you just leave it that way?”, but by now, you should know better than to say that to the Queen of P+HF (see above). So, after the longest break from studio work that I have ever had (not counting making wedding dresses and accoutrements), I did some warm ups:

thistle drawing in silverpoint (stems & leaves) and copperpoint (the flower) on black gessoed board, 11 x 8". This is the actual scanned image, as it is difficult, if not impossible, to photograph the metal point. At some angles, in person, it actually seems to disappear.

Then I did some really technically interesting but conceptually cheesy drawings on vellum that are bound for the back of the closet or a future unimportant art auction.

This scared me, but I had to get working, so I pulled out some sketches and photos and started a new night landscape, which is still in progress, but i am working on furiously to be able to deliver it to Chelsea Gallery when I go down to Miami in July!

this one is 36 x 48", and still has quite a way to go. But it helped me get my stride back, and I did a new hair embroidery: this one is called Ebb., and it is human eyelashes and human hair embroidery on a pillowcase, with a pillow inside. I am about to do a mass mailing featuring all of the hair embroideries, so if you know anyone who might be interested in seeing them, please drop me a line, and I will put them on the mailing list.

I have also started a new hair embroidery, and I am buying vintage oval frames with convex glass to put these new mouth embroideries in. I am in love with the title for this new series of oval mouths in oval frames, which you will have to come back to see, because I am not giving it away until one of them is officially "out there".
Here the mouth is life size, and mostly done, though I'm sure I'll tweak it a bit. You can see the beginning of the inside landscape (the black... did I tell you I dyed my hair back to its natural color?) at the bottom. So far, this piece has about 40 hours into it.

Finally, I have started another Crying Man. This will be Crying Man IV. If I keep doing them, maybe this Sam Taylor-Wood thing will just fade away. (It must have been "something in the air"... post 9-11, the other side of the bell curve after too much irony, etc., but I DO have documented proof that I sent out a mass email to solicit cryers at least a year and a half before her stuff hit the gallery walls... I will stop now before I "start", but some art historian could do some really great research on obscure artists who have done work along the same lines as famous ones, or as it says in the quote on my friend Sal LaRosa's studio wall, "For a century there have usually been two versions of each art, one real, but poor and underground, and one fake, altough rich and conspicuous. The latter ingests the former as needed." -Donald Judd ).
Anyway, this one is 24 x 18" like the others (see my website under "Paintings", towards the bottom), and it is done on black gesso as well. I am digging black gesso these days, as I am using it for a secret project, and it is creeping into my other work. Sorry for the bad photo glare.
Oh, and check out my link (to the right side of the blog, above) to the beautiful little films I found.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Friday night we went to a “do” at the NC Museum in Raleigh. It was the Young Urban Professionals group, getting together to drink and find suitable partners equally interested in “art” or at least interested in spending time at functions like this, i.e., a group of museum board-members-in-training.
The attire was “summer party”, so I wore my special fun shoes:

Kevin wanted some input into his wardrobe, and so I remembered the great shirt I saw among his things stored in the attic, ran up there to get it, and made him put it on:
The shirt looked great and was a big hit, except when people had the desire to address him: they got confused, because it was his father’s shirt:

The food was good, and we met a few nice people, though it mostly looked like debs and the types who would marry them. By the time I picked out the curator and casually worked my way in to a conversation with her, I had consumed two glasses of wine, and was probably a bit forthright with my opinions, which I can only hope was appreciated. I am pretty certain that when you introduce yourself as an artist who has just relocated to the area, they assume that you are just another person doing bad watercolor landscapes. I hate this part of the job. Why can’t I just wear my art around my neck everywhere?

Saturday, we got up at the crack of dawn to go to the Raleigh Flea Market at the State Fairgrounds….. it was great! Amazingly cool stuff, lots of great antiques, and great prices. We almost bought a large garden gate, and we are going back for an over-the-top Art Nouveau lamp. I got doilies to embroider on and an amazing peach silk 1920s dress for $7.00 !!!!!! Then I saw it……. How could I not?!!! So, while Kevin shook his head and waited for me under a tree, I went in to experience this new regional culinary specialty:
It tasted, well, like you might expect a twinkie to taste if it was battered and deep fried, warm, with the cream center turned to liquid. I took two bites, enough to get the molten-liquid-center effect, and gave the rest to an appreciative dog.

Sunday has so far been layed-back, with Kevin using our new KitchenAid to make us some bread and pizza dough. We then had a mini-pizza competition, limited by what was in the fridge... Kevin is of Italian lineage, and although he experiments a great deal in the kitchen, when it comes to pizza, he is a bit of a purist, so his were tomato sauce with oregano and mozzarella, and a white with ricotta, oregano, and motz, and I did a gorgonzola w/caramelized onions and motz, and a red one with sauce, rosemary, pork, parm & motz. I diverge... I promise to stop writing about nonsense and write about art next time…. xo K

Friday, June 16, 2006


I am a way-too-ambitious-for-my-own-good artist whose personal life is inextricably intertwined with the work that I produce.

In the last 6 months, I have
•moved from Miami to the suburbs in North Carolina
•quit a tenured position at a large University
• started working full time in my studio
•commenced being supported by someone else for the first time in my life (at least for a year or two to see if I can get this full-time thing going), something I swore I would never do
•gotten married, twice (civil, then the big one)
•planned a wedding back in Miami, designed and sewed my wedding dress, two flower girl dresses, ring pillow, etc.

•moved in with someone after 20 years of living alone
•left a large friend support network for a place where I know no one but my husband and my dog
•had a wrist operation
•helped my husband through the sudden loss of his Mom, who he was very close to

So, 6 months ago, I was living on Rt 1 in Hollywood, in a 1800 sq ft 1930's rented house with schizophrenics from the nearby home wandering through my yard and talking to themselves, loud Cuban music festivals taking place until the wee hours at the park near my home, running off to class, going to hear talks by famous artists and famous curators with my friends, going to openings where no one cared about the art, and it was all about pretty people sipping trendy drinks in expensive designer clothes and being seen at an art event. There was too much going on in the art scene, you had to pick and choose what to attend. Since Art Basel started in Miami several years ago, many international magazines have dubbed it “the new Brooklyn”… artists were moving there at an alarming rate, and I left town, at the peak of it. On a typical day, I would go for a morning rollerblade on the beach, then get 20 minutes of sun, listening to the waves before starting my day. Traffic was horrific, people were really rude and the many wealthy inhabitants had an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. I was pretty poor, and worried about money 350 days a year, but I loved my little house, with the rooms of saturated color, filled with all the furniture I had made or redone from thrift stores. My studio was a converted garage, but I still had to keep my washer and dryer in there: most often, the artmaking process took over the entire house, meaning I could have no dinner parties unless I cleared the dining table of my current project.

Now, I am a wife (though my husband, wise man that he is, is very careful to never make me feel like one….). I live in a 4,000 square foot house in NC, where every room is painted a different shade of beige (this will change soon). It was a compromise house… we had to find it fast, and we are both so busy, there would be little we would have to do to it to make it livable, and neither one of us needed another "project". I have told my husband if we do not get to the painting soon, he will come home one day to find that I have gone wild all over the tasteful wallpaper with responsive embellishments of red, orange, and blue. We are fighting over where to put the 25 year old television that I covered with glitter and hundreds of glass beads.

There is no traffic, and people are so nice and friendly and seem genuinely happy... it cheers one up just going to the supermarket and having all of these content people around. (Just don't talk politics, and get out of the conversation before they ask you what church you go to...)

We have put skylights in the attic, and have spent $10,000 making a studio to order (pics coming soon). I have joined a gym for the first time in my life… it is a nice, well-equipped gym, but it is a YMCA, so there are Christian posters on the wall and the TV stations are turned to FOX news and country music stations. We get art supplies, The New York Times, movies, and cases of low-carb pasta shipped in. If Wal-Mart (SWORE I would never shop there, but...) does not have the zipper I need, I have to drive 30 miles to get to a Jo-Ann Fabric store. I went to the first art opening (in my 26 years of attending art openings) where they did not serve wine. I have not yet attended any functions where my 1950s party attire will be appreciated. I have been giving slide lectures at some local universities, and some boy in the audience asked me if I would be changing my name when I got married. When I responded that 1) it was 2006, and 2) I would still be the same person after I got married, so of course I would not, he asked me “and how does your husband feel about that?” One neighbor, bless her heart, heard that I was an artist and told me there were artists who set up booths at her church bazaar, and she could “put me in touch with them”. I am doing some weed paintings, and so we are letting some really scary large thistles grow in our front yard in a neighborhood where just about everyone is retired and trims their grass 2x a week.

I am distracted by the overwhelming desire to plant things because this is the first Spring I have seen in 15 years. For the first time in my life, I have someone who comes home and asks me (in the sweetest way), “what did you do today? What are you working on? When do you think that piece will be finished?”

But, I am living my dream. My whole life, I have always wanted to live in North Carolina, “boom!”. I had resigned myself to being single because I never found someone who took my work as seriously as I thought he should, but, “boom!”. If I could write my own life, it would be working in my studio full-time and doing occasional visiting artist gigs at Universities, “boom!”.

Now, what am I going to make? And if the world's greatest artwork (theoretically) gets made in the middle of North Carolina and no one sees it, does it really exist?

I miss my friends horribly, so I am starting this blog. I am hoping that they will check in from time to time and see what I am doing, show me or tell me what they are doing, and we can, as a community, have some of the great dialogues that we used to have over coffee, dinner or drinks.