Wow. Umm. It is a lot harder to find time to paint with a full-time job and two big boys than it was when I was a stay at home momma with a sleepy infant and a toddler in preschool. All the same, it still feels so damn good to clear a few inches of clutter from the drafting table in the studio and just make something. Wyatt painted right along side me this time. The little bear is really growning up.
Anywho, it has been a looooong week and I am worked over. A nice, long post coming your way on Sunday evening. For tonight, some eye candy in the form of a close up of Day Three.
Damn you blog. You give me anxiety. I give you no love or attention anymore. I think of all sorts of things to write and have tons of stories and pictures to share. I just can’t seem to put finger to keyboard. Oh well. I am always really good and starting things and sometimes good at keeping them up. Fits and starts. That’s me.
A little taste of something new
Any who, I wanted to make sure no one misses my all out media blitz for my new show opening on June 10th. Lots of new fun stuff to be seen and purchased. Check out the flyer below for all the details. There will be all sorts of tasty wines on special. Let’s get dolled up, have some drinks, and talk about art.
Inspiring aren't I?
When I was I college I took an advanced ceramics class. One day in class we watched a video on some ceramicist (I can’t remember his name) who talked at length about what makes a really great ceramic drinking vessel. We had to examine our concept of a just-right vessel. Does it hold the right amount of liquid? Does it feel right in your hand? Is it weighted properly? How does it feel when you hold it to your mouth? Does it keep your coffee or tea or whatever the right temperature for the right amount of time? What is the glaze like? Does the shape appeal to you visually? All of these things suddenly mattered. A mug. I have a few perfect vessels. One for tea, one for coffee. My tea mug was made by a mentor teacher and I formulated the hideous glaze. The mug feels light but substantial, it keeps my tea warm for a long time, the lip of the mug is not too fat and not too thin, I feel at ease when I have this mug in my hand. My coffee mug is a standard issue diner style coffee mug that we got on our honeymoon from the bed and breakfast Jon used to work at in Alaska.
Finding the perfect mug is like finding home. You know it when it’s right. I have been thinking a lot about the concept of domesticity and the idea of having a home, not just living in a house and having stuff rather, having a space where your life happens. Home is the center of our existence and for Jon and I it always has been. I think that’s why we’re so good together. We both know that our home is not just a place but a life being lived. It is where we make or choices that will trickle out to the rest of the world and create some sort of change.
Milo, Day 57. "This is a window and me and Uncle Tony looking out."
Milo, Day 58. "This is a silly mountain."
Milo, Day 59. "Shh, he is sleeping and he has buggars."
Now that Milo is getting older and Wyatt is here, home is even more valuable. I could not even begin to put a dollar amount on the time I spend making home. Being the stay at home parent this year has gotten me thinking about how we address home life. It is so easy for women and men to get into the “house wife syndrome” of being completely unfulfilled by domestic and childcare responsibilities. Since the industrial revolution domestic life has become centered on consuming things rather than creating them. I fell so easily into the emptiness of going to Target, buying things and consuming them. By the end of the summer I was downright sad. I felt empty and guilty for feeling so empty. I knew that I didn’t need something outside of the home. I needed a new perspective; I need to feed my home and my life with some creativity. Ever since I started this project I am not sad every day. I don’t feel so empty and I no longer feel like I’m watching my life happen to me while I drink coffee from a mug that doesn’t feel right.
A very serious post for a Halloween weekend. Sorry folks, let’s lighten things up with a few good Halloween photos…In 3rd grade I was Tammy Fae Baker (my mom has a wicked sense of humor), this year Milo went as a Rescue Hero (or a member of the Village People). He won win 3rd place at the coffee shop costume contest and we didn’t spend a dime on his costume!
P.S. Check out our pictures from the I Am photo shoot
Tammy Fae Baker
Rescue Hero Milo
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Milo, day 49, Mommy and Little Wyatt
Like looking in a mirror
Milo, Day 49, an alien with sunglasses
The actress who played June Clever died over the weekend and it got me thinking about domesticity. I love to say that word, domesticity. Anyways, a while back, my mom gave me her home economics text book from the 60’s. The first time I looked at it I was prepared to be offended over and over again but what it really was was a practical guide to being thrifty, clean, cooking nutritious meals, caring for one’s self, family and community. It was like a guide book for everyday life. There’s even sections on sewing buttons, canning fruit, managing your time and what colors to wear with what skin tone. We don’t teach our kids most of this stuff so well anymore. A quote from the first page, “Not only are your physical characteristics determined by your parents, but also many of your traits of character are acquired at home. A good home is built on love and kindness, forgiveness, unselfish giving, and sharing. In the family you learn to assume responsibility for your actions.” Well put Your Home and You Textbook from 1960.
I am pretty darn good at some domestic tasks; I can sew, I can cook, I can care for small children, I do however suck at laundry and keeping a really clean house. It’s not too bad but I have too many junk drawers and I’ve begun to notice that the doors are dirty. Who knew you have to clean doors?! I don’t look like June Clever did either. Most days I don’t get a shower, I am certainly not wearing a dress and pearls while vacuuming (let’s face it Jon usually does the vacuuming and he’s not wearing a dress and pearls either) and I’m not rushing to freshen my make up before Jon gets home from work expecting his slipper and paper. I live in a real house with too many art supplies, kids, a dog and a dusty husband who, get this, actually participates when he’s home. Milo’s even been into folding the laundry lately. Maybe he’ll take over and I’ll never have to match another sock!
Things are just plain not like Leave it to Beaver and probably weren’t even back then. My friend Jessica pointed out the other day that Valium use and teen pregnancy were at all time high in the 50’s.The glossy perfection of the 50’s has its appeal and because Tuesdays are now also for perfection, I’m more inclined to work myself up about my domestic shortcomings. I do however, like June, have a pretty sweet apron collection. I like my domestic world, it’s a good home and we try to be kind, forgiving, to share and to be responsible for our actions.
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Yup, that's me. Age 12.
Here's to wierd
Milo, "Do monsters make art?"
Day forty-five (this is one of my favorites so far)
Having been strange my whole life I feel like I am well equipped to parent a weird kid. I’ve always been the “artsy” one. I think that’s a nice way of saying that I’m a bit weird.
I do think that all kids are weird in fantastic ways. That is one of the best things about being a teacher, especially an art teacher. I get to be privy to all the weird things kids come up with. First grader jokes are among the best. Milo is no exception. He is super weird. He just decided that he is not a person who wears socks. He’s had a scribbled on receipt from pizza delivery taped next to his bed for a year and would be devastated if we tried to take it down. We’ve already discussed his obsession with pens.
For kids, weird is fine, it’s widely accepted at least until school age. We let our kids wear Robin and Superman costumes day and night, we let our kids read books in cardboard boxes. Then we do something to people. We shame them into hiding the things that make them who they are. How sad. If you went to middle school, you probably remember someone being incredibly unkind to you because you didn’t do something the way they expected you to. It takes a super weird person not to give a *%^& when this happens (thank you with all my heart to one Ms. Rebecca Rubel). I taught middle school for one year and that was quite enough for me, thank you. I went running and screaming back to those weird little first graders. I would much rather sit in a tiny chair with a crayon in my hand hanging with silly, imaginative little kids anyday.
We all want to be part of the tribe but we need to be who we are. Think about the people you are drawn to the most. Are they the safe, beige people (I just looked down and I’m wearing a beige sweater, damn it.) or are they the little-bit-weird folks who seem to take a few more risks than you do, say what they mean a little more often, and seem to live in their skin a bit more comfortably? I’ll take the later.
Let’s keep it weird people. What was your favorite weird kid memory of yourself or your own kiddos?
I’ll go first:
Me: I had an obsession with the author Roald Dahl. When he died I was in the third or fourth grade. I cried tears and was so grief stricken that I insisted that the librarian let me create a shrine to him in the library. She begrudgingly agreed and I painstakingly recreated a bunch of his illustrations from the BFG and the Twits and turned the whole thing into a huge display with stand up cut outs and a backdrop. Can you say dork?
Milo: I think this week’s pictures speak for themselves.
Loving Milo's monster art
Milo, Day 44
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Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel
Ah, to have an encouraging audience
Milo day 40, PlayDough sculptures
Milo, day forty-one. "This is for the mailman, he has a lot of brains."
Milo’s Grandma Lori and Grandpa gave him a book a while ago, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel. Milo loves this book. In the story, Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel, Mary Anne are at the end of their career, they are being out performed by diesel powered diggers. Anyways, Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne take one last stab at greatness and offer to dig the cellar for a new town hall in just one day. The town’s people agree to let them dig it but everyone seems skeptical. One little boy and his dog come to watch. Mike Mulligan says to the boy that the always dig a little faster and little better when someone is watching. Soon the townspeople, the school children, the fire department and folks from the next town over have gathered to watch Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel. When the dust settles at dusk, Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne had dug so fast and dug so well that they finished the job.
There is something to be said for being accountable to others. I can tell myself to do something all day long but when I make a statement that I will accomplish something, it takes on a life of its own (insert my secret love of strategic planning here). If I’m not just painting for lil’ ol’ me but I have made a goal to put it into the world, I dig a little deeper.
A mom at Milo’s school was telling me that they like my project and my work. Was I gracious? Probably not, I was probably more awkward than anything else. I need to work on that. Great. Now I’ve said it, it must be done. I will get better at taking a compliment and talking about my work face to face with people (Is that like using the Secret? Do I have to get a bulletin board?)
I’m on day 43 of this project and I am pretty pumped about things. I’m starting to realize that I can put it out there and not have any pretext about it. That I can accomplish this. I don’t have to sell every piece (although that would be nice) I don’t have to blow up al a Julie and Julia (although that would be nice too). I know a few people are looking and listening and that this is somehow more for me and for Milo than anything else.
I want Milo to know that he can finish what he starts and how important it is to do what you love, work hard, do what you say you’re going to do and to share it with the world. Just call us Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne.
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