Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cheese Balls Rock

Ouch, judging by the date of the last entry I don't think I need to tell you what type of semester I had...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Sweet Gesture

Yesterday my husband did something really thoughtful. It's a funny story so I'd thought I'd share it. Maybe a month ago I accidently bought two TresEmme conditioners when I thought I was buying a shampoo/conditioner combo. Trying out new hair products is an indulgence I give myself. TresEmme was cheap and I thought I remembered using it years ago and liking it, so I gave it a try. Well of course after discovering my mistake I had to make an additional shopping trip to pick up the shampoo. I hate this stuff! It has caused my hair nightmares. Even though everytime I'd get out of the shower I'd be cussing at myself for my mistake, I wasn't just going to waste all that stuff by simply throwing it away. I have been accused of being a wasteful person so this was my chance to redeem myself. I was just going to have to stick it out and use all of the crapoo. In the meantime I had received a free sample for Aveeno's new hairline and fell in love with the pricey stuff. It was settled, as soon as my yucky experiment shampoo ran out I was going to run out and buy this stuff. (I'm always checking wal-mart for free samples, why not?) Yesterday my husband calls me at work and says, "Guess what I just did?" He like making me guess, sometimes I just don't have any guesses left in me, "What?" "I threw away all your shampoo and conditioner, guess you'll have to go buy that stuff you like on your way home from work." So excuse me for being crazy in love, but isn't that the sweetest?

Anyway, I got the Aveeno Nourish+Revitalize Shampoo and Conditioner. It rocks. My hair loves me once again.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Letters to a Young Artist

Last Thursday Nate and I went to Mat Kearney's concert in El Paso and out of course to eat at P.F. Changs. Nate instructed me to remind him the next we're there that he should order two or three orders of Pe King Dumplings. Most of our conversation had to do with our photography business and my career as an artist. I say "our" photography business because it is just as much mine as it is his. He has been absolutely unbelievalbe in helping me. He's been my comforter, my motivator, and my sounding board. This summer I'm taking a class that is designed to teach artists how to market and promote themselves. Designing business cards, websites, stationary, artist packets to send to museums and job application. Very helpful stuff.

It's sometimes hard to balance the want for success and the want for a normal healthy life. I'm always questioning my motives. Am I too worldly? Too selfish? I found this article in "Art on Paper" in the July/August 2005 edition. Gain what you might, this one's for me.

A year ago, I graduated from art school and moved to New York City from the West Coast. I was excited about the prospect of living and making art in what many say is still the heart of the contemporary art world. The museums. The galleries and nonprofit spaces. The music clubs. A community of peers. I remember the exhilaration I felt when I arrived, sleeping on a friend's couch while I looked for my first apartment and studio. That seems like a long time ago. The past twelve months have been harder than I expected. I've been overwhelmed by the challenges of trying to make ends meet, while finding time to visit exhibitions and make my own art. Some of my peers have already been exhibiting and selling their work but I have decided not to show yet, which has often left me feeling isolated and alone. I struggle with many aspects of the art system: Is it possible to maintain one's integrity and freedom of thought and still participate in the art world?

In March, I decided to write a letter to an established artist whose work I deeply admire. I was reluctant to do so at first, as I did not want to burden someone I did not know with my troubles. I wrote it anyway. Several weeks later, I received a reply. Reading it, I felt buoyed, energized, and heartened by the engagement.

I decided to write to other artists. I selected people who seem to me to have approached their careers with passion and integrity, and asked them to write me back c/o Art on Paper, where I was working. Over the next few weeks, I received responses from artists in the United States and two in Europe. Some are encouraging, others cautionary or stern. At least one forced me to take a good look in the mirror. I realize that their usefulness to me might not be of interest to you. Nevertheless, I am hoping that they be of some value to other young artists like myself. I share them with you exactly as I received them; I have not included the letters I wrote back, for lack of space. - Young Artist

Dear Young Artist,
I started my career as a young artist in 1957. There was no money in art then as there is today. Therefore one did art because they needed to do so. I taught public school five days a week and painted when I could. I got married and participate in having two children which made it more difficult to do art. I lived in National City, not an art center.

My advice? Don't go into art for fame and fortune. Do it because you cannot not do it. Being an artist is a combination of talent and obsession. Live in New York, L.A., Koln, or London.

As for money if you're talented and obsessed, you'll find a solution.

Yrs in Art,
John Baldessari

Dear Y.A.,

May this note find you well. Thank you for yours, and asking a good question...

How to maintain one's integrity and freedom of thought... there is a more serious question inside that question: how do we make art that contributes to humanity's common intellectuality.

Money, especially in it's aspects of fame and fortune, and especially in the U.S. with its culture of commerce, has told everyone that it is the standard of success (or as Bob Dylan said, "Suck cess"). Money never stops jabbering, but that does not mean we must listen all the time.

It is money that makes you ask about integrity. Don't ask me, but ask yourself; "How can I join the world I live in?" "How can I speak with people who are smarter than me?" (and those people can be anywhere, any street corner.)

Imagine if we were writers. For a writer that is valuable to us, of course distribution, the publishing world, is important. But the real importance is "how can I write in ways that contribute?"

Everything else follows.

Good luck to you,
Jimmie Durham

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Summer is Here

Yay! Another semester is finished. I'm going to take one summer class during the first term. Oh, first summer class ever, I wonder if I'll be able to hang. So believe it or not I am not listening to the Beatles. At the moment it's Carrie Underwood.

Here's some projects I want to accomplish this summer:

start the scrapbook I've bought the supplies for
finish nolan's picture book and send it (SOON)
re-do the office so that it is an actual functional space
rearrange living room furniture
hang wedding pictures with temple picture
grow some flowers
work on Taylor'd Photography

I'm really a list person. I'm not sure when it started but I'm the biggest list person you'll ever find.

I have this jar full of questions to help your journal writing. I don't think I've ever used it. Shows how good I am at keeping a journal. Anyway, there's no time like the present...

Here's the question: How many minutes do you spend on the phone in one day?

Boy, that's dated. I haven't had a real long conversation on the phone since my dating days. In those times I could last a good 4 hours, maybe longer. Now a days it's a quick conversation a work, between classes, or on the commute home. I'd say the longest I stay on the phone now is 20 minutes, and that's rare. Phone conversations are almost eliminated due to text messages. Crazy. I'm really going to have to work with my kids on vocabulary since who know how brain mushy their generation will be. I blame it on the text. OMG, LOL, DIY, FYI, BTW. I hate these.

Okay there's my rant and attempt at journaling for the day.

I other news, Nate and I tackled a small project yesterday. We painted our front door red! We wanted something to tell our house apart from the cookie cutter ones surrounding us. We figured this would accomplish that. It looks great. Here are some pictures. (Pictures of the final project to follow...)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Chilled Monkey Brians

Ohhhh. I feel like I'll never get good at photography. Not even great, never good. I'm so frustrated. There are so many, maybe too many variables. This ones too bright, the colors aren't right, what exposure is that? Ahhh. I know it's just a matter of practice. But gee whiz, I just feel like I'll never get it. So much too learn. And where's the time? 

Today I am shooting engagement pictures. I feel pretty good about this type of situation. The couple is fun and full of energy. Now it all depends on me. I seem to be frazzled and rushed. Worried about what they think of me. Do they think I'm too demanding? Picky? Bossy? I shouldn't let those things affect me, I'm the photographer and I'm in charge. They want me to be in charge. I need to just mellow out and take the lead. Take my time. Actually enjoy what I'm doing, I used to, when did it become a rat race? I am going to have fun today. I am going to enjoy this couple's energy. I am going to capture it. I am going to make beautiful images today. 

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Wow, it's been awhile. I think it's interesting that everytime I write on this thing the Beatles are playing on my stereo. What do you think that means? Well today has been an interesting day. I slept in and didn't go to my digital photography class. Today was a good day to miss so I didn't beat myself up too bad. I went visiting teaching with Heidi which was very enjoyable. Then I was so happy that I had the whole day to work on all the stuff I need to catch up on. I came home and found a very grumpy husband, and I'm not sure why. And for some reason that shattered my mood for much of the day. I did work on projects but I never get as much done as I hope to. In the late afternoon I found myself getting a headache and crying because I just felt so miserable inside. Sometimes I seriously think I have some sort of depression. So I decided I should go to my parents house and use their treadmill, pump up some happy hormones. I called to make sure someone was home and my mom asked me to go visiting teaching with her. I'm so glad she did. I need interaction. Sometimes I wonder where all my friends have gone. We all are just so busy. Today showed me the extreme need I have for some quality girl time.