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Showing posts from November, 2009


It's that time of year. Last year Tracy Hegelson and Jeanne Williamsonstarted up websites. Jeanne's is Small Art Showcase, A collection of fine artists who are making their work accessible and affordable to art lovers and collectors. I'm happy to say that yesterday I sold a clock due to the exposure on Small Art Showcase. VERY COOL! Visit the fan page to see updates of new affordable, collectible works.

Tracy's site is The Fine Art Department. The Fine Art Department is a group of 27 fine artists, working together to promote our art. Fan page is here, again, be updated on new works as they happen. I am grateful and honored to be included in both sites, the art is stellar AND affordable. Consider buying art for the Holidays, perhaps have your special someone pick out their favorite piece and buy it for them. If you don't do it, who will?

As Christmas rolls around and people are scrambling to buy gifts, both sites are refreshing their photos and updating the …

still no clue?

I can't say i miss vermont. the beauty, yes. i miss being able to walk outside right smack dab into nature and get lost in the beauty. can't say huntsville is in the beauty category but it does make up for that lack in the nice people department.

i've been here in texas something like 6 weeks now and i guess it feels like i'm slipping into some of my old thought patterns. not good. you see, turns out i'm not jumping in and learning how to build houses. i could i guess, if thats what i wanted to do. but the more i hang out and see what is going on and what is going to go on, the more confused i'm feeling about what i want to do.

tod got the website up and a design store is now a part of the phoenix commotion. the point of that is to help bring in funds for them as well as the artists involved. that could be me. it's a chance to make functional art with perhaps a wider audience/chance to sell. right now i need to get some income coming in before i tak…

just a few street finds

tod and i have found lots of glass, washers, porcelean stuff in parking lots some are too good to pass up bringing home

nothing too astonishing, but good for working into the next art project

doll laying face down in the perimeter of an abandoned lot, i left her untouched. seemed like she needed to be left alone

Walker Evans quote

this morning on jeanamariesblog she linked to a quote and works by Walker Evans. I LOVE what he says and feel strongly the same about feeling, working blindly and not getting overly intellectual:

"I am self taught, and I still think that is a good way to be. You learn as you go and do. It is a little slow, but I think that's the way to work...

I have had a good number of years of more or less compulsive photography; I am devoted to it, and still get a great deal of excitement out of looking at things and getting them the way I want. However, you won't find me overly intellectual about what we are all interested in doing.

I work rather blindly, and I don't think an awful lot about what I am doing. I have a theory that seems to work with me that some of the best things you ever do sort of come through you. You don't know where you get the impetus and the response to what is before your eyes, but you are using your eyes all the time and teaching yourself unconsciously …

back to now what

as a full time artist working for no one but myself, i find it challenging to know what to do next. after the rush of a project is over and the high dissolves into unseen particles, i must then refocus and find the next thing.

it was a relief when we got here last month to have dan suggest i make some bone furniture to be exhibited at the Doss Heritage & Culture Center in weatherford, texas. i felt pressure and stress, but was excited and given purpose. a few posts down for those of you who haven't seen, i indeed made two tables which will exhibit later this week.

i was flying last week let me tell you! and now i'm stumbling around looking for familiarity or clues to whats next. working on the new blog also kept me busy, but as you artists know, if ya aint making art, things dont feel right inside. i feel little to no pull to make my own art. meaning, back to my clocks or puzzle or mixed media works. those works are packed up as are most of the materials that i use …


tod and i like walking around huntsville. we find little scrappy things, like this smashed paper cup holder(?) that appears almost rusted and metallic. we almost always see someone we know or someone sees us. not a day goes by we aren't out there walking and something seems to happen. i marvel. it's a little place considering it is a city. it feels like 2 major streets with little dinky alphabet signs filling in the gaps. little neighborhoods. little houses. little life.

last week we went walking and out of the blue someone called my name. 'paulaaaaaaa' i looked. it was a woman i had just met a few days ago. so tod and i walk up to her vehicle at the jiffy lube and are introduced to her husband and before you know it we are passengers going off to her friends storage unit to see about a bed she thought might be there. she is helping her friend sell off the stuff so it was perfect timing. it was great to meet people who live outside of huntsville (she is fro…

phoenix commotion website & blog

so tod has been working on redesigning the phoenix commotion website, there are still things to tweak and pictures to add, but it is done and up! good job tod, looks great and much easier to navigate!

i'm still working on a blog header for the pc blog as well as final sidebar touches. it is an adjustment to know what to write here and what to write there. i've decided to be a reporter at large on the pc blog, hoping to relay stories, pictures and any revelant news/information as it happens. this blog, my blog, will still be my rants, hopes, dreams, fears and struggles. just in case you were worried i got all buoyant and floated away :) thank you to those of you who have already visited/followed and commented on the phoenix commotion blog. i've linked it to my sidebar so check in and say hi!

one more for the road

jaw/teeth surprisingly tough to drill through the jaw

i got the 2nd table done!!!! finished it this morning and went to the bone house to drop it off before the museum people got there to pick up all the furniture. i will be doing a post on the phoenix commotion blog today about all the furniture and more about the bone house.

i have to say, i'm liking wood better. ESPECIALLY when i get to combine bone with it. providing we can get hold of more extraneous pieces that they don't need to decorate the house with and providing there is a market for it, i could be making more furniture and selling it on the new online design store for the phoenix commotion. [not yet up but getting worked on]

long way to go i'm sure, for me. still don't know what i'm doing but learning how to make it work somehow. after the hours and hours of looking/thinking/trying screwing up and starting over, i do like the challenge of working with new materials as well as making functional wor…

time in texas

life is still chaotic for us. we have no set routine and are still fumbling around trying to find/make our way. while it is true that in vermont our lives were comparatively unfettered by routine, here, the rules have all but disappeared.

there are many options available to us. at first, tod was going to the job site everyday for 4 or 5 hours and helping out. learning. doing whatever someone needed. i was showing up less as i was trying to get my little studio space set up here in our loft. we came here knowing we wanted to be involved with the phoenix commotion but were unsure of what that would look like. did it mean learning how to build a house? did it mean making more functional art? did it mean being behind the scenes with web stuff for them?

the reality is we have zero income now. dan is very aware of that and is very supportive in trying to allow us to be self sustaining again while volunteering/working however we can with/for him. i find it utterly amazing that we h…

redux sort of

redid the bottom of my table for more stability
here you can see it next to one of dan's AMAZING chairs.

went back today for more supplies to possibly make something else before the museum picks the furniture up. turns out they didn't come by yesterday, instead will pick up the bone furniture mid week. so my little (less wobbly) table will be included with dan's table/chair as well as bob's table (bob is an associate professor at the college and is a crew member on the build site)

I will be posting all of the furniture on the Phoenix Commotion's new blog as well as information about the enjoy this sneak preview of just one chair and look for the whole enchilada soon on the new blog!

candle stand

so here it is people. the bone candle table stand. when dan saw it he had an entire mini discourse to share. tod and i had no clue, no idea whatsoever that throughout time candle tables stands have been a staple, a constant. one could even say, done to death. and i took it as a compliment that wobble and all, he doubts anyone has ever made one like this. he liked it. i got a stamp of approval i think. and quite frankly, i like it no matter what anyone thinks.

the bones are affixed onto the table top and i shaved the candles to fit the holes. one could of course put pencils....dried flowers, twigs, or just about anything else they so desired into these marrow orifices.

i was pushed to my limit. tod was pushed to his. i wanted to quit. i hated so much about this initially: being forced (not really but its what i had to work with) to use things i wouldn't normally use. the time pressure. the out and out ignorance of my own self when it comes to truly understanding the laws…

artist Steve Tobin

My friend Maggie in MA just sent me a link to an article about Steve Tobin. After reading the article I googled him to find his website. I was shocked at how much work he has made, and how much variety exists between the bodies of work. Then I saw this video on his film page [can't link to it so go here and click film on left], Tod and I watched together and felt inspired beyond belief. We like the idea of finding a way to make art that is messy, fun, very Dionysian (a term i've recently learned via listening to dan talk). Check out the article that was written via NYFA, the last paragraph speaks YELLS to me!

things i've learned this week:

how to use a torx screw
what a magnetic drill bit end is (i've yet to figure out if i can remove the magnet and replace the bit style)that cedar and redwood wont rot (and cedar repels insects) if you make outdoor furniture as long as it can breathe, so put screws under the wood to lift it off the groundthat you can cut/drill/and sand bone quite easilygrout will crack if attached to plain woods, it needs to be mdf or silica stuff(?...i forget what it is, but some sheet of some toxic man made stuff) has to be affixed over the woodhow to measure two pieces of uneven wood with a leveler (doesn't mean i'm good at it but i have a clue now)
screws are THE way to go instead of nails or glue when making furniture and proper pilot holes are a MUST, even for little dinky things
fancy ways to use tools but i dont remember the proper termsthat i have NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOINGno one walks much or rides bikes, and if they do its probably because they dont have a vehiclethat i have NO IDEA …

allowing process

this is what i'm learning about myself as an artist: i have to follow the unseen thread and play and take the chance and waste the time, waste the materials, and allow myself to abandon everything at the last minute....something that is always hard for me when working with a limited supply of found objects.

a few posts below i posted pictures of these bones all pretty and lacy looking. had GREAT suggestions on facebook and here of how i could implement them into my bone table that i'm making for the phoenix commotion. resin, glass, painting...lots of fun stuff. i keep saying i'm on a time line (sunday coming up) to get it done before they need something if i want to show this along with their bone furniture; that and the (semi-loose) perimeters were to use their materials ie: bones/wood/long gold screws. these were all my 'excuses' for not getting all fancy.

what i realize is, there is a part of me that wants to get all fancy. fancy to me is using resin, adding …


walking and observing

MA Open Studios

Mark your calendars for the 18 Annual Open Studios, Saturday and Sunday before Thanksgiving. Artists open their studio doors to the general public from 11 am to 5 pm. I am proud to say I know Margaret MacLellan, who is one of the artists there. Above you can see one of her paper mache works.

I met Margaret this summer when I was looking for studio space to rent in MA. I was unsure if I was going to outright move to Massachusetts or go down for blocks of time and slowly get to know the Boston area and it's art community. Margaret and her studio mate put an ad in craigslist for studio space to share/rent and we hit it off instantly. The space was perfect and I loved these women immediately but in talking it over more with Tod we realized it wouldn't be quite what we wanted live wise. Tod grew up and lived most of his life in MA and didn't want to go back there. In retrospect I laugh at how we thought culturally the area might be less than perfect for us...(so instead …

tidbit of a tour

artist studio facing street, tree house behind it

2 views underneath the tree house

floor of another home that was built by a woman and her 16 yr daughter

pickle plates 'serve' as windows in artist studio
paper mache floor

today i met amanda, she has started the living paradigm in houston which is modeled after the phoenix commotion. she was heading a tour of the homes here in huntsville, people from houston came up who wanted to see some of the homes dan and others have built. unfortunately we were only allowed into one artist studio (the tree house which tod and i were able to go into last week is where the artist lives and she has a big art studio across the walkway) and one home. i'm thinking i might upload them onto flickr and if i do will post the link.

still working on that table...kind of intimidated all of a sudden as i think you all expect GREAT THINGS and i'm seeing it as not so great. life goes on. my 'studio' is A COMPLETE SHAMBLES and honestly tha…

putting the F in un

(same bones different lighting, just fun to look at)

i fancy these bones. its a stinky rather gross process cutting the bones. i recognize that it could have been much more labor intensive were i the one to have to cultivate them. from what i understand these bones are donated to dan by ranchers. i guess all ranchers have areas where they unload their dead animals and lucky us we get to play with them. most of the marrow has dried, the oils nearly gone, but some of the bones i cut were moist inside...smelled like death and old manure. i left some of the bones in our loft overnight and by morning i smelled the stench. put them outside for ants and sunshine, i dont have time to put them in warm water and clean off the bacteria, that could take days or weeks and i think next week is the deadline to have something to show for myself. so i've scraped them with a knife and am making do with what i can. i'm a bit of a hypochondriac at times so every time i would cut a bone a…

dem bones

the downside to having awareness about self is seeing how it is you are making it harder for yourself and still not willing to change. hoping for another 'out'. hoping something outside of you changes so you dont have to.

thats what i'm getting with this bone furniture thing. i have about a week and some days left to make at least one table to go on with some of the other bone furniture that dan and another wood artist are making to show/sell. if i can come up with something i too will be able to show/sell it.

this brings me back to how commissions were always more challenging than i liked. brings me back to how i like doing things my way and get completely a jaggle when i'm given rules or limitations. i mean it would be easy to just put a slab of board on some legs and with some bones here and there and call it a would look like crap to me though and that isn't acceptable. for anyone who has seen some of my 'furniture' you know that for one i…

donuts and cigarette smoke

3am the donut wheel air conditioner churns. i look out and watch the street lights in their steadfast green hue. i could trot down there and have a donut. they open at 4. i can sit here and blink at my monitor. can't think of much else to do.... lots has changed and i'm a little cramped and trapped right now. i was tossing and turning, wishing i had a sofa to curl up on. wondering how i could get my big red round chair that is still in arizona, here. tod is nestled in our little bedroom on his air mattress. i hate that thing but its good he has it. i prefer sleeping on two foam pads but tonight they are making my body ache. i notice my eyes are puffy here. is it the low sea level?
it was hot today. its been hotter here since we've landed but for some reason i found it a little intolerable. menopause? maybe a little. i went to the job site during everyones lunch so i didn't have to deal with all the flurry of activity. grabbed more bones that are the '…

out of my element

no surprise i'm just now catching up to myself and having a hard time. you dont just up and move to a completely different place and change every aspect of your life without going through withdrawals. i told myself i wouldn't complain because i voluntarily chose to do this.

having said that, this morning i'm feeling it. other than the day to day creature comforts (ie bed/sofa/tv & recognizable editables) the one thing i miss the most is time to myself and making art. (and right now i type this and i can hear my neighbors morning piss flowing like Niagara) time to myself. i had the big basement to work in in vermont. tod had a job and was gone a good deal. now i have a super small space that still is in no condition to accommodate me let alone art making ~ i'm moving at a snails pace trying to decide how to set anything up. and the materials available so far are not at all what i'm used to or want to work with. suddenly i feel totally out of …