July 10, 2015

THINGS KEEP HAPPENING IN REAL LIFE.


This is significant because when you have a wildly unabashed imagination, Churchill says double the amount of things happen to you- blessing and a curse really.  so as opposed to the things that I THINK happen.  

several actually do. 

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*
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LIVE ART HAPPENED JUNE 8. 


and I can never do it justice in words. 

It is hard. 
It is busy. 

It is beautiful to work on. 

and then when it is over there is a major weight lifted off but it's kind of like carrying a baby on your hip. and then someone takes the baby. 

Yeah. I just used kidnapping as a metaphor. 






So when it was over I had some other major projects start up immediately.


One- MILK RIVER ARTS

and 

Two- THIS IS WHAT WE SEE:  A HILL GALLERY ART EXHIBITION


MILK RIVER LAUNCHED AND I PINCHED MYSELF A HUNDRED TIMES BECAUSE I FOUND PEOPLE WHO WANT TO DO GREAT THINGS AND ACTUALLY. DO THEM. 
And I am three thousand percent behind organizations that elevate human beings. and their hearts.
(Milk River Arts is a vocational arts center/gallery/place of business and adventure for adults with special needs. If you know of an artist in the area who has developmental disabilities and a passion for this kind of career, do tell. )


AND THEN 

I will take the caps lock off. 

My art show happened last night. 



So naturally I had a dream about some girl dragging me into a museum exhibit of large taxidermied animals. And the nightmare lasted basically the whole night while I fought to get out of the door. 

the horror. 



anyways.

cheers to LIVE ART happening. I will eventually reflect and post about it, but it takes me a while because that project takes everything out of me.









and my art show.  thats next... please hold.

May 26, 2015

LIVE ART IS COMING.






 I am on another planet. 

Normally yes, but particularly now. 

LIVE ART HAPPENS ON JUNE 7 








and therefore it takes over my life- HAPPILY until then. 












If you do not have tickets. you are missing an experience. 





get them now and just go by yourself

and be inspired by the power of the arts and of a community that unites.




these students are risk takers. brave fighters. quiet. loud. happy. nervous. loving. troublemaking. authentic. clever. smart. funny. 



they have different abilities. 


they see things and understand things in ways that inform my life. 


and we get to share that. 

on JUNE 7. 

LIVE ART is a concert/show/performance... but it is like that book you read and when it is over it affects the following days and you want to tell everyone about it but they didn't read the book and you wish they had because it swallowed you up.





lucky me. 
lucky you.


While painting the set last week I told one of my coworkers that I seem to speak really flowery about this program and wonder if that kind of gets old and people dont realize how amazing it is. 

maybe I am making people numb to the words I use...



BUT I WILL CONTINUE TO DO IT. 







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ok picture how you feel if you are a barefoot sweaty kid covered in sticky rainbow hands with pieces of a lollipop in your hair and running around with your favorite friends. 

(that is a literal picture of one of my favorite LIVE ART helpers last week) 

Anyways. That is how we sincerely feel working on this project. 





Because it takes your insides. and sets them -  in a very aesthetically beautiful way - on the outside.


hmmmm


yes. 









I geeked out when I drove by this. I took pictures and pulled over and people stopped to see which famous person was on the sidewalk. 



No guys.. hes on the marquee. 


________________



And when it is over. you can find me. 

creatively exhausted. 

and missing my people. 


Because the coolest thing about this is that it's a show. but it is a realistic representation of a program that happens all year. 

A way that human beings are valued. and elevated. 

And loved. 






I am an artist because I am interested in the important. real. and deep stuff. 

and this... 

This is it.








Thankful.


May 15, 2015

My little city garden is life affirming: and how being outside makes life feel: good.







So I have been really busy which is kind of annoying to hear and awfully subjective. and me just trying to justify any delay on anything. 

really sorry about my delay in mailing prints lately. you would think it is rocket science....it sometimes feels like it. 

I think the post office enjoys the apologetic rabbit illustrations all over the packaging. 
especially this one lady who makes zero attempt to react. 
I am onto her. 


THINGS:

ART SHOW OPENING JULY 9. details to come. ( thursday. mark your calendars. my friends are playing music. my sister is making bacon wrapped dates. 
my art and the art of Claire Hill will be on display at Hill Gallery. 
again, that's july9. a thursday. come have a drink. and look at things) 

but before that!

In June, my rabbits and birds and such are hanging in the lobby of Theater Lab
in conjunction with their show 
white rabbit red rabbit
June 8-21 
I support theater making, art moves, and experimental voices- so: http://www.theatrelabrva.org/


but before that!

LIVE ART is coming on June 7. 
buy a ticket NOW.

It is the biggest deal. 

I am a teacher and the art director for LIVE ART- an inclusive theater arts program for students of all abilities. 

And I mean all. 

I am particularly in love with... 


each of them. 


I can honestly say that
because we teach the value of every human being and we genuinely feel it there-
which is why it is my great passion and feels like my purpose on this planet. 


to work with human beings that are unique. genuine. honest. fighters.  and did I say genuine? 


I think that is what I crave most when I really think about what attracts me.









_______________________


I am currently in school for American Sign Language- English Interpretation
and. lets have a small dance party for the fact that I just finished my first semester.

surreal.

But I already bought my next set of books and am of course already anticipating the craziness as it continues. 

I adore school and love to learn.

but I do not love balancing the work load

- HOWEVER-
there is something extremely empowering about sacrifice
and doing things you dont love... to get somewhere you will... love. 


_______________________




But
this post was originally supposed to be about my garden.  Which I planted a few weeks ago and am always standing in. 

I am obsessed. I am 90 years old.   

I love Birds. 
Gardens.


I am also 12. 

I love Dirt.
Sun. 


today I literally stood at a bird feeder down the street for a good fifteen minutes. 

and if you think- 
I DONT HAVE 15 MINUTES. 

yes you do. 

calling your bluff. we all make time for what we really want. 



anyways. 

my point is-

I have a garden. and I like to stand barefoot in it for far too long. 








This is a bookcase I got from the alley by the trash can. Turned it sideways.

and the mint and cilantro are doing really well. I put mint in everything now.






I wanted an outdoor bar. and, being 90. I love yard sales.

 and this guy was selling a white and faux wood cabinet thing.

It is not white and faux wood anymore.

The power of turquoise.




I almost died when I saw these things.











I also just discovered that rose bushes are on my list of the greatest things ever.

This year the one in my yard is particularly incredible. 




please. 


I watch every one happen. 





this small chair is in case a fairy wants to sit.
it was also a yard sale find.



if it sits still. I plant something in it.






Today I gasped outloud at this one and I have no idea what makes it so amazing except that I have been waiting for it for so long.





and I dont know how big this marigold think it can get. But its out of its mind.







so far, there is a direct correlation between work load and garden size.

I have cilantro for the whole block.


____________



I am acing the warm weather this year.

I am outside 90% of the time. either in my yard. or


packing paints in a backpack and adventuring.


more on that soon.
on how being unprepared means nearly fainting at a waterfall.
how lizards feel about oil paint.
and how you should apply sunscreen behind your knees.


P.S.


there is a new art center in town.

it is providing vocational opportunities to adults with special needs
who have a passion for a career in the arts.


So. I am working with them now.

That was a no brainer.

and it is BRAND NEW. so please hold for more information.


enjoy the music while your party is being reached.








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April 21, 2015

quiet. THE GREATEST ADVENTURE.


quiet











It is raw. and real. and powerful. 














And. When I am walking or running. or sitting. I put my hand on the brick wall. the sidewalk. the airport shuttle. the church cinderblock. the baby's foot. Whatever is there.









And I am in the present. 



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The present is the best place to be because it is where everything is possible. It is where dreams are completed 

or disregarded.






The choice is to run from discomfort. or move into it. 











The present is where hope lives. 


you would think it lives in the future. 

But let it live in the

right
now












it helps your walk become a run. 


and your run. 


become 



a fly. 







This is Nella.


When she was born, I wrote her momma an email. Because her momma is a great photographer and writer.

And I felt connected to her.
So I followed my instinct.




Good thing I was right.

We have been friends for five years.
Good friends.


I would call her one of my best friends. We speak the same language. and text. call. and skype when things are insane. or scary. or amazing.


We think we were born in the same hospital. High-fived our little baby hands and then worked on projects until we saw each other again.

We volley around art ideas and help each other with work.




We are artists that love human beings.
beautiful things.
raw places.

and our hearts beat in this ridiculous pattern. almost out of our chests.




















and we hugged last week.

Five years later.











Adventure is what life is for.







Kelle.Abernathy.Heidi.


Kelle: http://www.kellehampton.com/
Heidi:http://www.heididarwish.com/



They are like wings.. see.

I have loved both of them for a while.



So good to be together.



We soaked it up.










in cow pajamas. with stickers. swimming pools. ballet class.
beaches. alligators. grapefruit slices in our beer. thai food.


and lots of creative conversation and brainstorms.



until going to bed exhausted. with wet hair. and a closer understanding 
of what support and love looks like. 







                                                                                                                                                                       photo credit:Kelle Hampton














March 30, 2015

that dream where you miss a quiz.





When you go back to school you have dreams that you will miss an exam. 

or have a quiz you did not know about. 

That dream even happened to me when I wasn't taking a class. 



Working and school is a funny animal. It's super empowering and exciting and then also discombobulating. 

For four seconds a day I get stressed about it and then I remember it is a really amazing opportunity. 

This ability for us to do exactly what we want. when we want. 



to change up our lives. or to enhance them. 




(in my case I am in school to become a sign language interpreter. which is part of my art. not separate from. I am going nowhere. just talking to more people ;) ) 



I love to learn. So. sitting in a classroom is one of my favorite places. 
I could take less work
but when I am working towards something I really want, I realize it comes with the territory

....sacrifice.


totally familiar.


I think I have 42 lists around my house that tell me when things are due. 

I also carry several bags around. A computer bag. A teaching bag. A school bag. A project bag. A bag with just a glue gun in it that keeps showing up wherever I go.


Honestly it is a little crazy. but I am not a martyr. I am just juggling(flaming torches). 





I also eat neat things like significant blocks of cheese. 
and salt and vinegar chips. 



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oh. also. 

that quiz. 
I missed it.


IT HAPPENED .


in real life. 


and I am still distraught about the mix up and how it played out. The student in me is horrified and currently playing out a tragic stage death..spotlight...downstage left. 
(back in college I never skipped a single class. slept through one and cried but thats it) 



but the other parts of me are laughing really hard. 
because this is my life right now.




I missed a quiz. 
I got a parking ticket Thursday. 
Someone hit and run my truck and took my side mirror off.

AND I DONT REALLY CARE. 

I am sort of kicking ass. 




because I have chances. 



_______________________________________



March 16, 2015

This is where I am right now.












______________________________________________________




I am in a constant state of looking for amazing and authentic. and in doing that. 

Those things. 

They show up.


______________________________________________________




I was invited to be a part of an art and faith panel a few days ago. 


Before we went up, I looked behind me at the crowd and thought... 

one of the most beautiful places is where human beings are eager to learn from each other. 


Eager to HEAR and UNDERSTAND and GROW with each other. 


_____________________________



I am in the early stages of several projects with people who take risks and are interested in work that says something. 

Work that DOES something. 


And those are the teams I want to be on. The places I want to get muddy.
The projects I want to exhaust me. 



_____________________________




Work and school has been really crazy. 

I am still figuring out how to organize and balance everything. But my life is my art. and it is all part of the same picture. 

It just gets richer. 





When you make work. 

Make marks. 

really intentional. really bold. really brave marks.






______________________________________________________





March 6, 2015

Some tour birds.







your hat OFTEN does not show your real insides. 

But putting on the hat is actually half the battle. 






focus a little differently...










The birds escaped again. they are on their own little tour. 

Now at:

Grove Ave. | Starbucks Coffee Company
5802 Grove Ave. Richmond, VA
Regular Hours. Open 5:30 AM to 8:00 PM. 










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February 24, 2015

February 16, 2015

Long story


except it isnt. 

I just forgot 
and wore my slippers out of the house today. 



I think it has something to do with school plus teaching plus art work plus I have three plants to feed. 



____________________________________



I was painting in a friend's studio this week and heard some people in the gallery behind me discussing work. 

And I thought, one of those voices sounds familiar. 


and something all of a sudden came over me and I knew exactly what voice it was.


My college painting professor - Joseph DiBella.


I walked up and said, "I am going to cry." 


And I did.






He is very special. 

A wonderful teacher and supporter. 

And a huge part of who I am as an artist. 


It was amazing to be able to tell him I am a full time artist 

and show him my current painting. 

sigh.

_____________________




I am working on two very large pieces right now and he got to see most of one.


If I am not doing homework these days I am carrying oversized canvases against the wind. I can never figure out how NOT to turn into a sail when running a painting into my home.


Let's just say. 

I am very cool.




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February 11, 2015

i love music. almost more than everything.