Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Final Countdown

Chris and I enjoyed the Richard Petty Driving Experience last weekend. I have to admit that I was a little hesitant, but it was a BLAST! After an hour of brief instruction, they strap you in and let you follow an instructor in front of your car. The entire "experience"only lasts for 8 laps, but it is completely worth it. I went 137 m.p.h. Chris went 136. It was a good day.
Chris pulls into the home stretch at Kansas Speedway

Getting in and out of the car was the hardest part.

The conclusion to Saturday's exciting driving experience was a dinner with Lisa and Reid at Marina Grog & Galley on Lake Lotawana. It was fancy. Chris had four mojitos and then concluded the night of fancy dining and sweet drinks with a few cans of Busch Light over a card game. I did learn something new about Chris this weekend...he bought a synthesizer in 6th grade just so he could learn how to play "The Final Countdown." I always knew he had mad skills, but WHAT!? So impressed.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Summer cleaning

I spent the better part of my weekend reorganizing my studio/corner of the basement. I received several commissions after the art show and I've just been so overwhelmed with all of the crap on the floor, on the desk, everywhere really and that I just couldn't concentrate on the task at hand.

I did complete a commission tonight for two special Texas ladies and will deliver it on Tuesday night. Kerri, I hope you like it!

Check back later in the week for updates on our adventures at the Richard Petty Driving Experience this past Saturday. Hint: I beat Chris and, to me, that is all that really matters. Not that I'm competitive or anything.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Oh so good

The new House House a Go Go opens at The Legends on Friday night! Oh my goodness...this is my new favorite restaurant. Chris and I enjoyed a free lunch there today because one of the perks of my real job is to try out new restaurants when they open at the shopping center.

Hash House specializes in twisted farm food. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner...I can't wait to try the breakfast and lunch. The portions are gigantic! Think Cheesecake Factory on steroids and WAAAY better. Some of their menu items include one pound hamburgers - two patties with stuffing in between like ham and egg with smoked cheddar or mashed potatoes and bacon! The Andy's sage fried chicken salad was served in a bowl so big that the waitress had to use both hands to pick it off the table. It was so huge that a small child could have bathed in it. The pancakes are 18 inches in diameter. The chicken pot pie is as big as your head. And the presentation makes the awe of the portion sizes have a secondary wow factor.

If you are in the area, you must check it out...They are two other locations in San Diego and Las Vegas, but who can go wrong in Kansas City, Kansas. Martha Stewart and Dr. Phil have paid visit and you should, too!

Monday, June 18, 2007

No tatas in The Village

Chris and I looked out the window after dinner tonight to see the statue in the "triangle" across the street had been adorned with an over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder. I can't wait to see how long it will stay there. I've seen unsuspecting young boys cop a feel a time or two, so I'm happy to see that she looks a bit more decent.


As my header says above, my hope with this blog was to inspire others. I'm happy to report that I received the nicest compliment from Gretchen, a girl I met through my real job. After a luncheon last week, we toured the Bloch Building at the Nelson-Atkins Museum and she talked about art classes, old pictures...I mentioned my work, my recent show, yada yada yada. She couldn't have been more enthusiastic. She emailed me today to ask about seeing my work and I referred her to my blog. Within an hour, she had not only read my blog, but she created her own blog! Her comments made me blush...Thanks Gretchen.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Moving on

Now that the art fair is over with, I feel like I have nothing to blog about. I moved on to wanting to spring-ify my house, but wait it's already June and I've missed the opportunity to make my house look springy. I splurged on a handful of home magazines including Cottage Living's special edition of Fresh Ideas. There are no ads! I love it. I also picked up Renovation Style. Cool mag, but not a good web site.

I picked up a commission from the art fair. I'm thrilled about it. Custom art is hard because there is so much pressure, but I'm excited to get back to work again.

We took a quick trip to Salina last weekend for Em's high school reunion and the Smoky Hill River Festival. Chris and I ate a stuffed cucumber and it quickly became the butt of the family's jokes and the highlight of everyone's weekend.

Who said the trip across Kansas isn't pretty?

Flowers on my mom's front porch.

One of the very cool Art Cars that were on parade at the festival.

Have a good weekend!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Cloud Nine

I'm officially considering my first art fair a huge success! Seriously, I'm on cloud nine. I didn't make a TON of money, but that wasn't really the point. In 2006, my only New Year's Resolution was to apply for an art fair. I didn't have to get in, I just wanted to go through the motions of applying for an art show.

The entire procedure started last fall when I started planning to apply for a few shows. I had to come up with decent work that I would feel comfortable being juried, build a booth, borrow a tent to take a booth shot and that was just the process of applying.

When I got the good word about the show, the preparations began and I started working on getting enough inventory to fill the booth display. Was it 100? 80? I settled on 60 pieces once the weather got nice and being in the dark basement every night and on the weekends was just not my idea of a good time.

The last two weeks were spent almost entirely in my "cinder block studio". I cranked some pieces out and, more importantly, I was pretty confident that people might really like them. When I wasn't working, I was nagging Chris to get the credit card stuff up and running, making him spray varnish the canvases in the garage (I'm pretty sure he lost significant brain cells in the process since he only opened the garage door a crack and if any of you saw the sunglasses he purchased at the drug store on Saturday you would believe me), putting hardware on the backs of each piece, designing business cards, posting to the blog and buying more supplies. I made lists and checked them twice.

Friday morning came and I had a live interview with Darren Mark on Kansas City Live. What a crazy guy! He asked me to put all of my pieces out on the stage, so the camera guy could pan to those while I was being interviewed. Anyway, Daren was standing off to the side and I thought he was communicating with the studio through his earpiece and microphone when all of the sudden he started rushing toward me and bumping into everyone in his path. I'm not sure what I really said...all I remember is that he called me an art fair virgin, I said that I was nervous and felt vulnerable and compared in to being naked in my booth and then he asked me how I was going to celebrate International Doughnut Day and I responded "I guess I'll eat a doughnut." Then we high fived and he threw it back to the studio. Not your average live television interview, but he was a blast.

So...the show started on Friday evening and I fell in love with the whole aspect of showing and selling art. I posted a little note in my booth next to my artist statement (thanks for the idea, GT) which said "This is my VERY first art fair. I would love your feedback." People couldn't have been nicer to me. I felt that my work was very well received. I got a few strange comments like..."Why do you use masking tape? I couldn't buy it because it looks unfinished with that masking tape on it?" "I don't get it. Are we supposed to know these people?" But those comments were far outweighed by comments like "Keep it up" "Beautiful work." "Sweet and refreshing."

Two women cried and lots of women claimed to get goosebumps. ( sister cried 4 or 5 times because she was proud, but I think it is just because she is pregnant.) Their reaction wasn't because the work was so outstanding. I know it's not. It's simple, but some people just get it. They "get" that were supposed to look at the artwork with the forgotten photographs of mothers holding their newborns, of a single woman in a field of flowers, of a happy family in simpler times and be reminded of distant memories or emotions that may they might have tucked away. I didn't really know that there was a true theme to my work until I started working on my artist's statement last week.

This is what I came up with...

"My approach to my art is purely explorational. As a self-taught artist, I learn a little bit more about my process and myself with each work that I create. I’m always eager to see how my own feelings and emotions are revealed in the multiple layers of the final piece. The imagery I choose to use often references family or nature and reinforces the importance of these things in my life.

I work with found papers and vintage imagery including antique books and lost photographs, as well as various forms of media including acrylic, oil pastel and pencil. Beginning with a blank canvas, the collected elements, although dissimilar, come together to tell a story through the various layers.

My hope is that the viewer finds their own personal meaning in each collage. Whether it is a simple word or an obscure image, each work tugs at forgotten memories and serves as a reminder of their own life experiences."

This was a wonderful life experience for me and I hope that it is only the beginning. Thanks to all of my family and friends who came down to visit me during the show. I appreciate all of your support and well wishes. Our fair neighbors from Boulder couldn't get over the amount of people that stopped to talk to us. I don't think a 15 minute period went by that we didn't have someone stop to say hello. The cooler full of beer in the back of the booth did the trick!

I promised to take some pictures, but I didn't take too many...

Picture of the booth display with fresh flowers courtesy of my bff's at Highwoods Properties.
A closeup shot of the right side of the booth. I had an ugly electrical panel just behind the booth, so a straight on booth shot wasn't possible.

Sorry, but I have no photo cropping software at home. This above picture was called She Would Bloom and it's the one that made one women tear up. She was so sweet!

This is a 16x20 that I really liked, but it didn't sell. I loved the greens and yellows and the vintage picture of the family in the swimming suits. Apparently nobody else liked it as much as I did. Perhaps I will find a place for it at my own home.

Here is a full shot of Prayer for a Little Home. I could have sold this one 50 times, but my mother-in-law knows a good thing when she sees it!

This is another 16x20 called No Longer Broken. It didn't sell either, which is OK because I sort of hated to part with it so soon. I just did it Thursday night and I really liked it. I think it was too bright for others.

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