Monday, October 31, 2011

Maybe I'm not invisible after all!

First of all I want to say a great big thank you to everyone for your comments on the last post, and to those of you who chose to email instead. You all made me feel warm and fuzzy and loved!! I thank you from the bottom of my heart!! I love my bloggers!
The very charming Bill Wilcox, with the Chatham Journal came out today to interview me for a story they are doing on the Chatham Artists Studio tour. I can only hope that my mindless prattle made some sort of sense! Just before Bill got here, the Raleigh News and Observer called to see if they could interview me next week and send a photographer. Well, this is fun! I go from being invisible to galleries, to being interviewed by two reporters in one day, haha, take that you bad mannered people, you!
And last of all a great big hug and shout out to my handsome and talented husband for shooting these photos today! My pal Laura had a photographer come out to her studio and shoot some pics of her a while back and I really liked that idea, so Gerry agreed to shoot some photos for me. I love what he did. He is such a pro. He spent so much time lighting things and working with me, it felt like a photo shoot for a magazine or something. I think he did a great job, don't you!? and on his day off too!
I think I will do a new blog header with some of them.
Lots of good things out of the kiln, just need a chance to get their pictures made! I'll get some posted soon..... peace ya'll xoxo

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Am I invisible?

Time to bring all of the plants indoors, and my house now looks like a jungle! It got cold yesterday after the beautiful week we had and today is a cold wet day, I'm firing the kiln and drinking lots of warm tea. Also cleaning my house, which may be the last cleaning it gets until mid December. Scary I know, but I can't do it all and I have quit trying. Right now there is clay, that's all....... I can fit in time for Gerry, time for Wesley, time for my friends, but I can't fit in grocery shopping and cleaning and laundry. It will just get done when it gets done, that's all I can promise.
I have something that has been on my mind and it won't go away. I find that if I purge it all here on my blog it goes away and I feel so much better. So, I may regret this later, but I'm just going to say it anyway. It's my blog and I'm over 50 so I have excuses for my behavior :)
This began a while back when I stopped by a gallery in a nearby town to drop off some postcards and ask if I could show them some of my work. Without ever even looking up from her computer screen the gallery owner said sure, she would be glad to take a look at my work, never really acknowledging that I was actually standing right there in front of her. I found this behavior offensive, impolite and it made me feel extremely insignificant. Now, you know how artists are with self doubt when it comes to our work. I mean, I have all the self confidence in the world. I am not too bad looking, I am mostly a nice person, I will treat you right if you treat me right, sometimes I even brush my hair, I have a great family, I basically like my life and what I have done with it (for the most part). But I am an artist, and I do question my work from time to time, because there is so much great art out there to compare myself to, and one has to be careful, because when you start comparing yourself to others you walk on treacherous ground. So, when a gallery owner barely acknowledges you when you are standing right in front of them, here comes the doubt monster. So that happened and then she turned me down after all, stating that I was over represented, big fat lie there!
So then other things happened. I applied to Frank, the local "it for the moment" gallery. I got turned down. Yesterday, I was in there with a friend of mine, and there is a bunch of work in there that causes my eyebrow to raise and causes me to make faces, and I KNOW my work is better than a lot of work in there, so I say to myself WTF? and then we go into a local museum store across the street. This gallery buyer also said to me when replying to an email inquiry, "sure, please stop by any time and introduce yourself, we look forward to working with local artists". Soooo, I did stop by to introduce myself and this very same woman told me she did not have time for me, and that was the end of the conversation. Very impolite, again, feeling pretty insignificant here. And then yesterday, the cherry got put on top, so to speak. My friend and I went in. This woman appeared to basically develop a crush on my friend and actually interrupted a conversation my friend and I were having. She followed her around the store, it got weird, because my presence was never acknowledged at all. She said not one word to me.
So this leads me to wonder, do I become invisible from time to time, and I don't know that I have this magical power?
I know my work is fine for galleries, I sold both pieces last year in the very wonderful American Craft Today show at the very wonderful Bascom gallery, my work sold in the NC Landscape show at the VAE gallery, I sold a bunch of work at my solo show at the NC Craft gallery and I continue to get checks from them and the Bascom for work they have. I have decided that I want to sell to galleries and step away from the outdoor shows I have been doing. I would just as soon pay the commission to the galleries as pay booth fees and waste my day at these idiotic food fests. But, I don't want to work with assholes, so after Christmas I plan to start looking for charming, kind and artist friendly gallery owners and see if they want my work. There are some out there and I would love to work with them. Sara at the NC Craft gallery is one of the great ones. After I sent an inquiry to Crimson Laurel gallery recently I got a very warm and professional email reply and I hope to see them sometime in the new year. And there are others, so if I survive the CDCG show and the Chatham Studio tour, I am going gallery hunting with some new work I have in mind. That's the plan, and I'll take off the invisibility cloak when I go see them :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

nature's treasure

Hornet's nests, old bottles, rusted tools, seed pods, these are the things I love. All abandoned by their former owners, and left for me to find and give new life. Finding them on a golden fall day in old abandoned barns makes it even better. I have brought things like this home with me for as long as I can remember. I now have a house full of bones, shells, skulls, antlers, wood, bottles, tools, tin, if it's old and rusty, I will pick it up.
I stood in this barn yesterday on a perfect golden fall day, warm sunshine, breeze blowing with a hint that colder air was coming, and I wondered about the family that lived here and farmed here. There were fig trees, persimmon trees, peonies, queen anne's lace, deer, birds and other little things skittering in the tall grass and in the meadow, and then I wondered at the mentality of those that would bulldoze all of this to lay down pavement and build a church. I know there has got to be enough churches here in the south. You can barely drive a block without passing one. Nothing against churches, but shouldn't we be preserving some of this beautiful pasture land we have and do without a little less brick and mortar?
Some days I want to lay down and just cry at the stupidity of the human race in general. Why don't we have more appreciation for the land and our water and less love for money?
At least some of the farm will be reused in my work and I will tell the people that buy my work where this beautiful wood came from and about the day I had when I went to get it......

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Barn wood

These barns are near my house and every now and then when I need something rusty for a piece I will ride over there and plunder through the rubble to see what treasures I can find. I have never felt comfortable taking any of the wood or anything that looked like it could belong to someone, but the land was for sale forever and there was never anyone around. I didn't think anyone would care if I took some rusty hinges and broken tools.
This week a new friend of mine, Roger Dinger, emailed me and said he was going to be reclaiming some barn wood near my house and did I want to come along. Heck Yeah! Roger builds furniture, mirrors, and other great things from old barn wood, his work is beautiful.
So I met him around 8:30 this morning and we ripped boards off of the barns and I now have quite a collection of old wood. I'm hoping to start using some of it in my work. I'm also thinking that some of it will be nice to build a show booth with......
This is a gorgeous piece of property, wish it was mine. A church just bought it so soon there will be a big old church and a parking lot on this beautiful piece of land. I guess it's God's land, but can't it just be a nice pasture?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Gerry!

As I mentioned earlier, I went with Gerry to Hanging Rock State Park last Friday, he worked, I took pictures of him working. I used to go with him on assignments a lot, then Wesley came along, and I stayed home. Now that she is in college, I have more time for things like this. I love watching Gerry work and it was fun to be with him back at the home crags, where we used to climb at least once a week, sometimes more. No climbing this day, just work, but it was still nice to be together.
Wesley wrote the song that's playing, this past summer. I thought it went well with the day we had.
Happy Birthday Gerry, I love you!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Busy weekend, busy week ahead

It's been a crazy weekend, and life is getting in the way of me making work that I REALLY need to be making right now! Friday, Gerry went to Hanging Rock State Park to shoot a fall package for AP, so I went along (instead of staying home and working like I should have), but we were able to stop on the way home and have dinner with Wesley at school, which would you choose, a day in the mountains and then dinner with your kid, or clay? Tough choice, huh!
Saturday I was at the fun filled fall festival in Pittsboro, you heard about that, and then Sunday
I went to the closing show of One Flea Spare, which was great, and then we tore down the set, packed up the props and said goodbye. For some reason, I completely forgot to get photos of the set before we ripped it apart. It was really dark in the theater, so the pics would have been pretty blurry anyway.
This was the floor of the set. The set rotated during the play to show the interior or the exterior of the house, it was pretty cool.
Today Gerry and I finished enclosing the roof on my studio, it's been open at the rafters all summer, but winter isn't too far away and I would prefer to keep the cold out as much as possible. Tomorrow I got some stuff to do in Raleigh, and I'm working at the Sustainable Film Series at Fearrington tomorrow night. Wednesday is Gerry's birthday, and a local reporter has asked to come over and do a story on me for the Chatham Artists Tour,Thursday I am going with a new friend of mine to help tear down some barns and collect some old barn wood, that I am hoping to incorporate in some new work, and Friday I have to return props and I'm having lunch with my pal Laura. Guess I'm going to have to work nights this week, my days are already full and it's just Monday! How did this happen again? It seems to happen every week, my week gets full before I know it. Wish I could add some hours to the day, but unfortunately the days are going to grow shorter soon and I'll be working in the dark at 4pm!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What happens when the school budgets cut arts funding

I had a lovely day yesterday with Gerry. We went to the mountains so he could shoot a fall package for the AP and I rode along. I'll post about that later when I am having a calm moment and can put some of the video together. But for now I thought I would tell you all about my day today. Because many of you have had these very same days, I know you have!
I arrived at the Pittsboro Fall Festival, booth number ten, with some rather nice art and a Chatham Studio Tour banner, because I was mainly there to promote the artists of Chatham County and the upcoming tour. When the set up time says between 7-9am I am getting there at 8:45, because I can set my booth up blindfolded now. Only disadvantage is that everyone else is already set up and eager to sell their shite. Booth number nine had this display all set up and ready to go.... I'm just saying..... she also had a great speech to go along with the work and I now know it by heart: you can use these for strawberries, carrots, put your birdseed in here, wine and cheese parties, add a splash of color to your space, they are all one piece, my husband helps me glue them together, he has a special glue, yes, I'll pack that up for you right now and you can take it and put it in your doublewide (ok that part was mean, but I'm on my third Bud Light, sorry). I also photographed the lady that made spit ball shooters out of pvc, the fairy princess head wreath things, those idiot foam alligator things, the face painted children, you know, you've done this.... I'm not doing it anymore, Done with this world, time to move on, dues have ben paid, thank you very much! Are there any galleries out there that want me, because that's all I'm doing next year, is looking for nice galleries to take my work to, if you want me, I'm yours!

Then I looked across from my space to see this eye popping display of gourmet food items, and I watched the line all day
mid morning
afternoon, it never let up, this guy made a killing today, I did not.
Then there was this poor unfortunate old lady that somehow drove her car through the barricade and was merrily driving her van through a very crowded festival!!!! Until she of course, stopped in front of my booth to figure out her predicament. She was in a pickle! This was hilarious to watch, then the police came and helped her. I stupidly just stood there in my booth saying WTF( except I used my real words).
Please notice that the tour brochures I handed out all day have a photo of MY barns on the cover, yay for moi!!! I was excited and honored, I'm the new guy after all. But I paid my dues today, was this some sort of initiation? I think so.
All in all, the day sucked and the day was great. Weh! There are always those folks you meet that have something interesting to say, they have a bright smile, they have their kids and you can tell they are great parents, they have on a beautiful scarf or piece of jewelry that you can drool over, or they are just nice, sweet people, which the majority of the people that live in NC are including 99% of the folks I met today. But you do get that fringe element that you just want to smack up side the head, and then you remember, oh yeah, the f'ing government is cutting funding to the arts, that's why these people are ignorant!!!!!!
Thanks to all of you sweet people that stopped by today and picked up a card, with my blog address, that you are now checking out, I hope, I appreciate you and your purchases and your kind words about my work. Hope to see you on the tour!!!! Chatham Artists, you owe me big time :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cotton and basil

A while back I made this little house modeled on some of the houses you see along the roads and on the plantations in South Carolina. I knew that I wanted some sort of imagery on it, but didn't know what, until I found this image of cotton pickers. My grandfather was a cotton picker and then worked in a cotton mill in High Point NC for 50 years so I thought this was a fitting image. Still working on where this is all going to go.........
I just read that Michele Obama's great great grandfather grew up as a slave on a rice plantation in Georgetown. There are slave quarters on that property that look a lot like this little house. Maybe I should send Michele one!
I picked all of my basil today before the cold gets it, and made pesto for the freezer. I like the tops of the basil when it has gone to seed, so pretty on my table in my Paul Jessop pitcher from the Clay and Blogs show.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Six weeks

I have about six weeks to have all the work made that is going to get made for the upcoming shows I have in November and December. I work soooo slow, I'm just not sure how much work I'm going to have for these shows, but whatever I have, I have, it won't be from lack of working!
These little guys turned out so nice. They take a long time to fiddle with and I can't get nearly what they are worth since they are so small, but they will be nice for folks that can just buy a little something. They should be tree ornaments, maybe I'l attach something that they can be hung with...... then they can cost more, right?!

As promised here is a photo of the book I bought from the very inspiring artist Candace Thomas. I have had in the back of my mind a narrative for some of my barns based on slavery in the South and the little slave cabins I used to visit when I lived in SC. My issue with this is that I am a white girl, and although I had my share of childhood trauma, I really have no idea how to get my head around being a slave or a descendant of one. How do I speak to this or own it, when it is not a part of my own past. Except, as Candace pointed out, it really is a part of my past if I lived in the South. It was all around me growing up in the 60's in South Carolina. So maybe I can speak to it, and Candace, as a very brilliant and fierce African American woman gave me some very good advise and suggestions on how to do it. So, it's perking and I'm back to thinking about this subject again, so maybe I have to do something about it. The subject doesn't seem to want to leave my brain. I don't want to get all political and angry with it, I actually want to celebrate the little houses that African Americans lived in and made homes for their families. They sang, they laughed, they made beautiful quilts, they taught their children, they prayed. These homes celebrated lives, just like anyone's home, and this is all jumbled in my head right now.
I'm going to try and work some of this out this week and see where it goes. Nothing like having a huge deadline and experimenting with new subject matter to make your head explode!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Explore Chapel Hill art website

There is a workshop at Durham Tech in Hillsborough on Wednesday night for a new arts website featuring artists and art events in this area.You can read about the workshop HERE. It looks like they are reaching as far as Alamance and Randolph counties so if you live nearby you might want to check it out. I went to the website last night and spent a couple of hours figuring it out and put up a listing for myself. You can see the page HERE. Listing on this website is a similar format to Etsy, so if you have struggled through the early Etsy days, you can do this. There are only two potters there now, me and Joseph Sand, so come on over and join us! I was going to go to the workshop, but I'm just not into crowds of people with minimal computer skills trying to figure things out, I usually want to smack someone, so I stayed home and fussed with it on my own. It's not that difficult!
Sorry for the screaming session last night, but really I just want to pull myself apart when I watch the news. I feel absolutely helpless. There was a bright spot yesterday, driving to Pittsboro I saw a sign that said NO FRACKING in NC!!! Yeah! People get it!!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I just heard on 60 Minutes that this country is spending
THREE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS A DAY on the war in Afganistan!!!!!!!
This whole damn country ought to stop what they are doing tomorrow and march up to Washington until something is done about this fucked up country and it's greedy sons of bitches, and yes I am yelling this!!!!!!

My friend Laura gave me the skull, isn't it cool!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Perfect fall day at Yart

Today was one of those glorious southern fall days. Beautiful blue skies, golden leaves and warm temperatures, not too warm , just right. I didn't take my tent today, we had heavy wind and it was much too pretty to be under a tent. Thanks to everyone that came out to Yart today and supported us hard working artists! Thanks to Andria and her family for decorating everything in such a festive way and opening up your home for us. It is a great way to have an art sale.
This is my second year doing Yart, and while my sales were way off from last year, the day was fun. I met some really interesting people, learned a few things, and found myself listening to some people's problems and listening to others who completely inspired me. One such inspiring person was Candace Thomas, textile artist.
Candice makes beautiful art quilts and other textile art, I bought a book from her, I'll get a picture of it when I dig it out of my car. We had a wonderful conversation today about narratives I have in mind for my houses and she gave me much to think about.
Andria Linn opens up her home for this sale every year and invites a wide range of artists, so there is something for everyone. Today we had fiber artists, painters, photographers, glass artists, felt artists, and a potter. The potter sold a lot more $2 items. I'm thinking of opening a new company, Dollar Store Art, everything under $5. Jeez..... At least I sold a bunch of stuff that has cluttered up my studio. All nice stuff, but most of it was all those little things you make when you are procrastinating getting to the big stuff you need to make. You know those days, right? Anyway, everyone loved their purchases and everyone was so nice, what can you do? The economy sucks!
I loved the way this artist displayed these children's hats. They were all in little flower pots. Too cute!
Andria set up a craft station for those that wanted to leave their kids with something to do while they shopped. Brilliant! We also had a potluck brunch/lunch and there was lots of homemade breads, quiche, chili, cookies and even truffles!
The attendance was definitely down this year, but Andria just had a baby, so our fearless leader wasn't there to encourage us to promote the show like she did last year and I just wasn't feeling that well, so I did very little myself. Just goes to show you, it pays to get the word out, it definitely helps! All in all a good day, got a little cash in my pocket and I packed up an empty crate. Lots to think about. I had a big blog post going on in my head driving home, but the hot shower I had washed it all away. I'll try to get those thoughts back when I'm less tired. One such thought is this: please don't fold my beautiful postcards right in front of me. I had postcards printed with one of my alters on the front and I can't tell you how many people stood there and folded the dang thing in half while talking to me, grrrrr!!!
Happy weekend!

Friday, October 14, 2011


6th Annual Yart Sale!

Oct 15, 2011 - Oct 15, 2011
524 Wofford Rd • Durham, NC

Its that time of year, when you start thinking about gift giving and holiday festivities. Kick it off with Harvest Yart!
October 15th from 10-5pm
this year you will find an intimate group of women gathered with their jewelry, pottery,photography, paintings,glass works knitted and boiled wool delights!
A children's craft available to keep your munchkins busy while you shop and talk to some of our areas finest!
Spread the word! And we'll see you on Saturday the 15th!

And the line up is!!!!!

Andria Linn-
bright vibrant paintings, prints and more!
Janice Kalin- custom hand made crafts and gifts for your little ones learning
Alison McCandless- natural fiber and organic knitted hats and scarves for children and women
Ali K. Linn- Handcrafted picture frames
Alicia McKinnis - Alicia’s Whimsy (wool and fabric Creations)
Karen Casey and Arlen Custer - (fused glass jewelry, hair care and art)
Paula MacLeod - (mosaics, glass, and jewelry)
Candace Thomas-(rich textural purses and handbags created with a quilters sense)
Tracey Broome- (Raku,pottery)
Jamie Hagenberger- Blue Nandina
Erin Boberg- painting

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Just a few

Here are a few things I'm working on. The roof on this piece is covered with paper that I bought at Studio Supply in Chapel Hill. They have some great papers and I have been looking for some reason to use some of those nice patterns. I have wanted to do something a little different with the roofs of these barns, and I like the way this paper turned out. It adds an unexpected element I think. I have a feeling the mixed media thing will be going on for awhile, I have collected a lot of stuff. I also like the birdseed in the glass tube. This one is sort of a take on Magrite's Ceci N'est Pas Une Pipe. Ce n'est pas un nichoir (this is not a birdhouse).
Better photos of the image transfers I did
I had a really productive day today even though I didn't get started until noon. This cold has me moving slowly, lots of hot tea this morning to settle the coughing and sniffling. Also having a little Wesley withdrawal. But I was feeling it today, made two new barns that will get some of the hardware from my last post. I am trying to crank out as much work as I can before the CDC and the studio tour. I still have no idea what to expect, so I'm just going to make work every day and hope for the best.....

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Treasure hunts

I've been going in and out of a lot of antique shops and thrift stores this past month looking for props for the play I working on and all the while keeping my eye open for interesting objects for my art.
This week I struck gold! I found this great glass door knob, the cast iron door mechanism, this green ledge thing and best of all this little silver book box with Ave Maria embossed on the front.
Finding religious icon stuff is hard here in the south, but I found this little jewel today in a local thrift store where a lot of the local hispanic population shops. Perfect!!! I'm thinking this is going to go on a barn as a door/alter piece. I'll be sad to part with it though.... I may have to hand pick who gets to buy this one so I can visit sometimes :)
Also found these bone carvings that I am planning to add to some raku beads. I love the mermaid, she may stay with me.
I took Wesley back to school today, sad to see her go, but nice to see her with new friends that she likes and respects. She is so happy and learning so much about making films. I have tech at the theater tonight and a full day in the studio tomorrow working on some new designs for my latest treasures! My cold, of course, cleared up today just in time to take Wesley back. Why is that always the way?! Anyway, feeling much better and the weekend is looking nice for the YART sale, so happy days!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lots going on

Wesley got this gorgeous tea bowl in the mail today from Hollis Engley. It is soooooo nice and I am just a bit jealous that she gets to take it back to school with her. She picked out a similar wonderful tea bowl when we stayed at their place this past summer, but there was an unglazed spot inside and it leaked out all of the tea. So he very kindly timed his mail with her visit home and she had a nice surprise today. Hollis, she sends her biggest thanks to you!!!! She loves it, you are very kind. She was perfectly happy with the other one for holding her pens on her desk :)
In other news, the day we picked Wes up from school I had a cold coming on and I have been sick the whole time she has been here. She goes home tomorrow and of course I am starting to feel better. We just laid around on the sofa for two days watching movies while it rained so all is well. If I had been feeling better I probably would have felt guilty about that with all I have going on, but at least I had a good excuse with this cold. I also worked on some transfer tiles, I am digging this process and slapping decals on everything! I'll get some better photos when the sun comes back out. Very dark and rainy today.....
I thought my desk looked pretty much like my life right now, so I snapped a quick photo this afternoon. There are some props from the play I'm working on, some paints from a frog I had to make, some nice paper that is going to find it's way onto my barns, and some things I picked up on a walk yesterday around the arboretum at UNC with the family. Plus paperwork from Festifall that I still need to work on.
It's been so great to have Wesley home, lots more dishes to wash, I forgot about how much we eat when we are all home. Lots of dirty mugs from all the tea I'm drinking to stay hydrated. She brought some interesting DVD's from friends at school and we caught up on all that's been going on. Back to school for her tomorrow and back to work for me. One Flea Spare opens at the Artscenter Friday night, I have tech this week, and I have YART this weekend, and I am mostly going to have a bunch of stuff that I need to move out, test pieces, things from last year and things that are taking up space in my studio. There will be lots of $1 and $2 items, but the weather looks promising and the company will be fun so come on over to Andi's house and see me. I still need to get the details, should already have that info, but I got this new alka seltzer cold medicine and I have quite a buzz from it, so I'm moving in a time warp right now. I'll let you know soon....