I find I write this blog on the road mostly. Sitting in the passenger seat of a car for 8 to 12 hours any given day, you kinda run out of things to do. Not that I mean this is an “afterthought “ kind of thing-it’s not, but, yes, sometimes it is. It’s Wednesday and we are headed to the Des Moines Arts Festival. Never been to Iowa. Now North Dakota will be the last continental state I haven’t been to. I haven’t been to Alaska or Hawaii, but they are on the bucket list... not so sure about North Dakota. This show is a three day slog from 11 to 10 pm each day. But Sly ( not really Sly, because he’s dead) but the Family Stone will perform. I can go for a little “we are family”, might be fun! My booth is GS14 and I have no idea where that is, but since i’m up from the waitlist, it’s probably in the back 40 somewhere. I thought I was headed to Berlin so I cancelled Boston Mills and low and behold at the last minute Des Moines called, and Keegs nixed me coming anyway. So here I go, headed to Iowa. This show is the last show of a ten show run that I started in April. I am happy to be getting a break in July and August. I do have one show (Geneva) at the end of July near Chicago, but other than that I’m free as a bird. Can’t wait to get back in my studio and make some new art. If anyone is interested in stopping by my studio, this will be a good time, just leave me a message. I will be heading up to Jersey to visit my Ma and I think my best friend and college roommate will come with me. Karen spent one glorious summer back in 1970 waitressing with me at the beach in Belmar and Avon-by-the-Sea. I was a home town girl but Karen being from Duck Town , Tennessee, had a better accent and made tons of tips compared to me. Back then being from the South was like being from Tanzania... pretty exotic. We have been trying to get back there to revisit our glory days for quite a while now and I think we are going to finally make it happen. I need it and there is nothing better that a girlfriend trip. Well, send up some good thoughts for me for this show. It’s a beautiful day and I am ready to take the bull by the horns, I guess that’s a pretty good description since i’m headed to the big prairie of Iowa. See you there....(possibly?).
On Wednesday, my daughter Keegan crashed her bike in Berlin, Germany, while going to work. Germany has designated bike lanes all over the city, but she hit a pot hole apparently, and flew over the handlebars into a busy city street. She was lucky a car didn’t hit her. But she did sustain some injuries that sent her to the hospital in an ambulance. She fractured her shoulder and hit her head pretty hard. She looks like she went ten rounds with Mike Tyson. I didn’t know faces could swell that much. I’m not sure she didn’t break some bones in there also because she is having a hard time opening her mouth and has a spectacular shiner. They didn’t check for that so when she goes back to the doc early next week they will check, I’m sure. Apparently it was an incredibly painful injury and Keegs, who doesn’t mince curse words when things go wrong, (it’s a family thing , I think) let fly quite a few. Luckily, people came to her rescue and her boyfriend, Robin, was at the hospital in less than 20 minutes. I am eternally grateful. That was two days ago. I contemplated going over to Berlin, but she said she and Robin had it covered and in small apartment confines, I wondered if I would just be another stressor. Hard choices. I’m on my way to Talbott Street Arts Festival right now in Indy and worried she needs me more than she realizes. Our kids grow up and become self sufficient, as we hoped but when thing like this happen, they revert for us to being our babies again. This is our world as we know it today. Families are all over the map. I remember when growing up that my grandparents and aunts and uncles were a mere car ride, but no more. When I went to college a very long time ago in the South from New Jersey, I saw that my parents let me have my space, it’s probably why I am such an avid traveler like my daughter Keegan. I also remember a horrible car wreck during that time where I was in the hospital with concussion and a broken jaw. My mom didn’t come and I really needed her, if just for moral support.... I’m wondering if my daughter is feeling this way. It kind of haunts me. It’s not like going on a car ride anymore. This is the dilemma that many of us have these days and it is what it is. That doesn’t make it any less hard. So if you see me at the show in Indianapolis this weekend, I might be a bit preoccupied. Don’t hold it against me. My booth is 114.
The “Elizabeth in question is the hallowed halls of Old Town, Chicago. Number one show in the country. I’m on my way as I write this, hoping, it will be worth the trip. It’s been a weird year so far and I could use a really good show. I’m in booth 180 and I hope you will come out this weekend. Times are, 10 until 5 each day. When I post that you should come out, I mean to say hello, there are so many former students and friends that have migrated to this fabulous city and I would just love to say hello and ask how life is. Of course, if you are in the market to buy art, I have come here to oblige. I have so much new work and it’s a bitch to carry back home and if l can go home lighter, that would be fantastic. On another front, last weekend Griff, my youngest son, flew in from LA for a friends wedding. It was nice to have a visit from him. I had seen him at Xmas, so it was worth cancelling a show. It wasn’t a long visit but it was one where I realized that some things never change. First, if you know Griff, you know he is one of the funniest people on the planet. He is my only child that can still make me wet my pants from belly laughing. I know, tmi, sorry. Underneath is one of the kindest and humblest souls. It’s sad really, even family has to re-acclimate to each other. All those years together and it takes at least 3 days to transition this new, adult, busy person to the heart I know. Then they leave. Life sometimes is hard. You give your kids wings -they fly away and although you wouldn’t have it any other way, it hurts. And every time you see them... they get farther (mentally and physically) away. It really sucks. 4 days in and Griff was who I know him to be and then boom...gone. I miss him already. This mobile world is isolating. It makes strangers of all of us. Skype helps but not enough. I wish my kids lived closer, but that will never happen. I am so proud of them, they are living their dream...and I wouldn’t change any of that, but damn, it is fucking hard. Sorry for this post, I just miss my kids. Anyway, a beautiful weekend is ahead and hope to see you at Old Town!
Two weeks. Two trips to DC. 8 lovely hours in the van. 8 hours back. I hate my back.
There, it’s out for the public to hear. If you know me, I’m pretty upbeat and the original adventure junky but all this sit down travel is creating an unfortunate consequence. No position is comfortable and my lower back makes me grumpy. Take the occasional stop for gas and restroom break, (many restroom breaks). I get out of the van and can’t stand up strait for the next two minutes. Literally bent over like an old arthritic grandma. I am presently much more sympathetic to old arthritic grandma’s... I feel their pain and it sucks. What is this? I work out and except for road travel, I eat right. There is no earthly way to eat right on the road but that’s another post entirely. I shouldn’t have to put up with this yet. I’m only 68. Is this the first thing to go? Will my knees go next? Then my eyes? I’m mad at my body. Two years ago I did most shows solo and now I am happy to have my roadie, David with me. He, poor guy, has to put up with my grumpy back problem which makes me guilty and feel bad. But hey, that’s marriage-so enough said. Anyway. This weekend I’m driving this far back up to Reston, Virginia to be in the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival. It’s an impressive show and I’m in booth 820. It’s going to be a sunny, warm weekend and an excellent time. I will be strait up ready to see you all. Strait up! Promise.
I usually preview a show but as I’m driving home from Rockville Maryland today, I’m here to give you the inside scoop on what it’s like when a show takes a nose dive. I applied to this show thinking it was similar to Bethesda, which I didn’t get juried into this year and Northern Virginia at Reston, which I did. It wasn’t. Last week I posted on “Art Girls” when I had a suspicion that this show might not be what it’s cracked up to be. The director, a seasoned show promoter who I thought was in charge of Bethesda also, so what could go wrong? Come to find out she left Bethesda last year to focus on Rockville. She was great though, in terms of organization. She runs a tight ship. Not sure advertising was part of that ship though... but it could have been the weather. The show started at 11am each day and went to 5pm, Unfortunately, we pulled the short straw and had to set up at 4am. We had driven up that day from Knoxville (7 hours), and we were tired already. Luckily, we got to pair this trip with visiting my older brother Bob, and his wife, Susan, which with my busy schedule I get to see far too infrequently. So it was great to visit. Emma, my niece came over with her new husband Jake and it was a great dinner and visit. Bleary eyed, David and I thought we would throw the tent up then come back later to set up. But when we got in the groove we just kept going and set up everything. We came back to Bob’s house around 8:30ish and took a fast shower then headed right back. It was misting rain but by 12 it had cleared up and was overcast but warm. The crowds... where were the crowds? We also realized we were on an offshoot road from the Main Street and people missed us entirely. It was not looking good. The biggest thing though was that there was no interest from the people there. Not too many packages walking by and nobody selling much of anything. The two guys on either side of me, a photographer and a wood “cutting board” artist did zip all weekend and many more besides. I made a whopping 400 dollars, with nothing going off the wall and the only thing saving me, my funny smalls. It was disappointing. It was also puzzling since it was a high end upscale town with lots of expensive looking apartment complexes where I usually do very well. The next day, Sunday, started with a hard cold rain that never let up. All I can say is thank god there was a Starbucks across the street because that’s all I did all day was drink hot coffee to try to stay warm. It was awful and nobody was there. As an artist I knew this was a possibility but DC is a big area and I was hoping all week that the rain might miss us. No such luck. We were suppose to go till 5pm but they shut the show at 4 because it was getting worse( not sure that was even possible). Lots of artists left early. I kinda wish I had too, but I’m too much of a coward. I should have. Broke down in the pouring rain and hit the awning with one of the pro-panel poles and about 4gallons of water fell on top of my head, ( as if I wasn’t wet enough), Yea, it was funny.... for about a minute until it wasn’t because it was also so darn cold outside. I think I’ll remember in the future not to do that again. Overall thoughts: Shows are fickle things and just because the last show was great doesn’t mean the next one will be. It’s sort of like the Kentucky Derby this weekend, just because you win, doesn’t mean you really win. There are just too many invariables. So doing shows, is akin to a betting situation sometimes. I knew it, I knew I was going to a bad show last week when I put it out online. I just didn’t trust my instincts. But if you don’t take chances, you never know do you? And, you never grow. So, money is tight for the next two weeks and then David and I will hopefully bite the bear back in Reston, Va. In between, if anyone needs a painting-ha! Let me know.
I’m finally out of the studio and back in the rink. Ready to perform a triple axel and a double toe loop. Maybe throw in a Salkow for good measure. 4Bridges starts today and we are driving down now as I write. After disappearing into the studio for the last two months, abet a fast trip to DC for a wedding, I am so ready to come back to civilization. I have over 34 new pieces, and I have got to say that even with a constant studio practice, I have never been this productive. I can’t wait for you all to see the new work. I am in booth 105 and I’ll be there tonight for the patron party and tomorrow from 10 til 6 each day this weekend. I’ve tied on my skates and I can’t wait to see you all!
4 Bridges, Chattanooga April 12-14
Dogwood Festival, Knoxville, April 26-28
Arts Rockville, Md. May 4-5
Northern Virginia Arts Festival at Reston, May, 17-19
Decater Arts Festival, Georgia, May 24-26
57th St. Hyde Park, Chicago, June 1-2
Old Town, Chicago, June 8-9
Talbot Street, Indianapolis, June 15-16
Crosby Arts Festival, Toledo, Ohio, June, 28-:30
Boston Mills and Des Moines are waitlisted for now-so we will see if either comes through.
The rest are in the jury process as of yet... I’ll let you know as soon as I know.
Yea, I know. It’s been winter and I have been in hybrrnation. Actually, I have been in my studio working for the last month and a half getting ready for April shows. Just so happens I’m driving up to DC this weekend for my niece Emma’s wedding so I am having some car time (that’s when I write). So far, I have completed 1-24x24, 1-18x18, 2-12x30’s, 1-18x24, 4-12x12’s, 8-10x10’s, 4-8x10’s and 174 new 6x6and 5x7 small quote paintings. That’s what having a healthy studio practice gets you. When I get back, I’m heading into my large formate work and hope to rework one that I thought I was done with but I’m not happy with(it happens) and do some new work too. It will be fun to get back to working large. It’s been a fun time but I have been kind of a hermit. I have three weeks before the next show and it’s finally Spring and along with painting I’m doing some planting of my gardens and also seeing if I can get the raised beds going this year. Life will become a bit crazy because since the tree fell on the house. The contractors will be coming to replace the roof and fix all the damage. Did I mention it before? Yea, a huge hickory tree fell on our laundry room and dining room right when we got back from Florida at the beginning of February. It happened around 6am in the morning and both David and I jumped out of bed. What a mess. Yesterday, finally the tree company got the rest of the tree taken out. They started over a month ago but because of all the rain they got stuck in the yard and had to wait to be able to bring the truck back in. My yard is a mess because of it. They are suppose to fix it but the contractors will start work soon so it’s kind of a moot point to fix. 2 months of construction I am facing and man, that sucks. So, I guess as far as studio time. I’m glad I have done the gist of it while it’s been quiet in the house. I have been listening to the Golden Hour album by Kacey Mugraves... which I love. I’m not a big fan of country but she is really amazing. When I get tired of that I go to Amazon and watch the myth series or Jason and the Argonauts....Well, do you expect different? And also, Queer Eye for the Strait Guy series on Netflicks... which is the freaking most uplifting and funny and endearing show on that channel. I recommend it wholeheartedly. I’m doing a separate post to give you all my Spring and tentative Summer schedule.... so check it out. See you soon down the road.
It’s the 14th of January. After a great month of December, with the whole fam home for Christmas, and being that we got through the roughest part of David’s 61/2 hour hernia surgery last Wednesday.... (It was rough). I am finally gearing up to head to Florida for two shows. I think this will be a solo trip, and in a way, maybe that is good. First up, is Art Beth El in St. Petersburg. This is a first time show for me. It’s an invite only, selectively advertised show with a fabulous patron program and best is, I just deliver the work- then I’m headed to the beach! That one runs Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Then I’m heading down to Delray to spend a day or two with Neal and Audrey (hopefully) then on Thursday heading to Ft. Meyers Art Festival on the first Friday, Sat.and Sunday of February. If you are at either local, come by and see the new work. 14 new pieces being added that I have been working on for the last two months. Anyway, Florida sounds good right about now. Tennessee has been rather dark and gloomy lately. A shot of sun and warmth will be appreciated! See you there I hope!
This is my last post of 2018. I am honestly befuddled that time seems to disappear so fast lately, it goes exponentially faster the older you get. It seems to be galloping for moi. 2018 has been a good run though. 23 shows, from Miami to Park City and lots of inbetwen. Missed Kentuck this year, because I was teaching at Arrowmont, but hit most of the shows I wanted to get into, although, I doubt I will ever break the code of Jazz Fest or Cherry Creek. I will probably always send them $40, because, I don’t understand it but hope springs eternal. Won a slew of awards this year at Tennessee Craft, Crosby (Toledo) Peoria, and Best of Show at St James Court. There have been years where I wouldn’t even be able to post anything in this category... but this year, was an upswing. No rhyme or reason. Einstein said success is 20% talent, 30% hard work, and 50% luck.... I’ll buy that. Also, want to give a shout out to my faithful patrons, Amy and Allen, Courtney and Barry, Sherry and Al, Nani Lagenstein and The Robbin’s, who I have lost touch with, Frankie, if you see this post, I would love to hear from you guys! Also, anyone who purchased work from me this year, a million thanks yous for your support. I am thrilled that somehow my work spoke to you. That is the reason I do it and sell it in this manner. It’s all about the connection. Next, a gigantic thank you for my friends that I travel with and have become family in this business. Lisa, Karen and Paul, Matt, Clay, Kendra And Kristen, you all make this life a fun adventure. I may not think that on a Sunday night pack up in the rain... but honestly, it wouldn’t be half as fun without you guys. To Ann and John, my favorite people in Nashville, Thanks for letting me invade your home and for also storing my new furniture recently, you alway make me wish I lived in Nashville so we could be closer. Same goes for Karen and Dan in Chattanooga. My longest running soul mate, friends since freshman year at UTC. You make coming back for 4Bridges the best time. Also to my homies, El and Cindy and Harriet, who make living in Knoxpatch home, thank you. And most of all, the person that keeps me on track and gets as excited about this life as I am, my husband and travel buddy, David, you know I couldn’t run this pace without you. We make it work. So right now we are headed to the Atlanta airport, it is a horrible day, fog and rain and way too many cars on the road. It’s the #1 travel day in the US. But we are going to pick up Keegs and her boyfriend Robin, who are traveling from Berlin via Tulum vaycay and Atlanta. Robin is from Ireland and this is the first time he has been to the South.... should be fun and interesting ( on a social experiment scale-ha!). Tomorrow Griff and Nereida fly in from L.A. Dillon is throwing a huge party on Saturday night and hopefully we will go to Dollywood one night if we can fit it in. Robin needs to see Dollywood, after all! The house looks perfect, we killed ourselves spiffing it up. Even painted the living room and bedroom. I even made a chocolate cake.... So I think we are ready for the big day. I hope you are too, no matter how you celebrate. This time of year just makes me appreciate life more. I can’t say enough how grateful I am. A toast to you all, I’ll raise my glass, for a splendid 2019, throw one back for me if you get the chance.... love marge
This is my last show this year....Ahhhh...It’s been a year of 23 shows and I am ready to put my feet up...That’s bad, considering the Winterfair show hasn’t even started yet. I’m ready!!! -In the last 2 weeks I made 130 new small paintings and 5-10 x 10’s , 1-8x10 and one kick ass-24x24. Not to mention I have had some all nighters recently where I redid 2 of my large paintings I was not happy with, no small feat. I realize that I might just be one of those people that only needs to sleep about 4 hours a night. Maybe, you just don’t sleep as much as you get older and that’s the reason, but I seem to be able to do with a lot less. While David is usually in bed by 8pm, I am rockin it out usually at 4 or 5am in my studio. Go figure. Anyway, Columbus is a cool town and this is my 3rd year doing Winterfair. I am in my same booth #203, and if you live nearby, definitely worth the trip.....best Christmas show in the country. Not a formal show, a little bit of everything. Great place to buy gifts and other things. If you get sick of the craft show.... walk out the door to the next building and hit either the cat show, the gun show or the Chinese lantern show. Take your pick, something for everyone. Ha! After this weekend, i’m Going to relax for about 20 minutes then go hang my work at my son, Dillon’s bar( The Brickyard) for the month of December. He’s been asking and I’ve been hedging, because there have been so many shows. No snob here, I go from “Old Town” to the “Brickyard”....equal access art, democratic as hell yah! My kiddo’s are all coming in for the holidays and I am so stoked. This year I think everyone has found their “person” and so it’s the way I always envisioned it and hoped it would be. I like their choices ( sometimes more than I like them) and I can’t wait to meet the newest addition, Robin, who is Keegie’s Irish beau. Should be fun. Christmas at the Luttrell house is always an event....I grew up as almost ( my siblings were 10 and 8 years older) an only child. Christmas was lonely and as I remember, if I didn’t put the tree up or wrap my own presents, it wouldn’t happen. So when I had my own kids, it had to be extra special. Not only do we have a ton of tradition’s, special to us, but we usually have a big crowd for dinner( around 15) and an intense game of Cards Againts Humanity” and the most incredible desert spread made by me and Keegs. It’s my favorite, favorite time of the year. Before they get here I’m going to try to take a quick trip up to see my Ma in Jesey. The body is failing but the mind is as sharp as a tac. At 102, I feel like I need to spend as much time as possible with her. After the Holidays when everyone goes back to Berlin and Cali, David will go in for major surgery on the 5th. January will be a recoup month for him and I will try to spend as much time as I can in the studio. The first thing on next years dockett is the Tempel Beth El show in St Petersburg and then down to Fort Meyers at the toe of Florida the last week of January and first week of February. Hope to fit in a swing by Neal and Audry’s in Delray Beach if possible in between. BTW, the show in Covington a few weeks ago was dope as hell, not just because I sold a lot, but because I ate the most insane, wonderful Cajun food all weekend. Definitely worth the trip. So, that’s the scoop, all the news that is fit to print, and I wish you and your’s a wonderful Holiday, no matter how you celebrate! Thanks for supporting my vocation and reading my hidden blog posts this year, not many do, but that ok, I think I do them for me, as a record, as much as I do them for everyone else. Remember one word of wisdom for the next year, I don’t mean to preach...but do what you love, ( and buy what you love) until it kills you. That is the only way to live. Love you all... marge
Lots has happened since Artlectic and I haven’t kept up. Sorry, life has been a little exhausting. Left Artlectic on a Saturday night and got home around ten o’clock. Said hello to the kitties and hit the hay. Seven thirty Sunday, up and packing to head up to teach at Arrowmont in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. A wonderful Crafts School for adults, where I have taught previously three times. I love it up there, and to kick it off, I had three of my favorite previous students return. The class was made of 8 students, it was supposed to be eleven but two of my dearest former students had to cancel when their houses were heavily damaged in the Florida hurricane. Another person got sick and dropped out. Eight was plenty, We worked on big 36x36 wood panels and it was a rigerous assignment for everyone. It turned out amazing and everyone was so creative. Along with a rousing game of “Cards Againt’s Humanity”, and lots of glasses of wine and the amazing food and comraderie that Arrowmont always provides, we had a fabulous class..... Special thanks to Colleen who was a great assistant and better friend. I always come away from Arrowmont being better, all the way around.... but man was I ever tired. Back at home I had to get ready to head to Raleigh to show at the Carolina Craftsman Show, so I kicked it into gear again and although I just couldn’t get any small paintings done, I got there last Thursday and had a three day show, inside, thank god, and drove back 6 hours on Sunday night. So Monday and Tuesday I made 100 small painting somehow and here we are again, on the road, driving 9 hours to Covington, La. and hoping it’s worth the drive and the exhaustion. I sound like a giant wuss but man, I don’t think I have ever beaten my body up like this before. Oh, yea, of course there is a reason, David, has a major operation coming up in January and it’s my job to have enough to get us through until the end of January. So, I’m kicking it again and hoping that Louisiana will be good to me. This life sometimes.......@x#%£€¥@!!!... but I love it.
First, I don’t like it when people toot their own horn, but I just have to tell you.... I won Best of Show at the St James Court Show two weeks ago! It was exciting and yes, I was totally surprised. That makes 4 major awards since the end of June... and yea, that never happened to me before so I guess it is alright to post it here. Hope you don’t mind. We are on our way to ArtClectic at the University School of Nashville. I did this show in 2015 and then didn’t get in for two years, so it’s nice to be going back. As far as school fundraiser shows go, this one is top notch. I do know that the last time I did this show I gained 10 lbs. so I need to lay off the good food. I have been dieting for about a month now and I am down 12 lbs.... don’t want to undo everything. The school is at 2000 Edgewood Ave. and is open to the public from 10 until 8 on Friday and 10 to 4 on Saturday. The nicest thing about heading to Nashville is that we get to stay with our good friends John and Ann...They always make Nashville feel like a second home. We will drive back on Saturday night then on Sunday morning I’m headed up to Arrowmont to teach an encaustic class.... I am looking forward to meeting new folks and seeing many former students coming back. Send up good thoughts for my friends Cynthia and Evelyn who’s homes were pretty demolished in hurricane Michael..... I hope they can make it to the class but I know it’s going to be iffy at best. I just can’t imagine how hard all of a sudden having your home gone must be. So, today, embrace life, smile and be thankful you are able to do the things you love. I know I am. See you at ArtClectic....Come buy some art!
Beautiful day, this 4th of October, sunny, not too cool, around 74... perfect for a Fall show and this is one of the big daddies. I just got back from the Peoria Arts Festival in Monday afternoon and tired but trying to get pumped for this weekend. This show is 4 shows in one-the “Court”, which I got into but declined because it’s a well known fact that you are in the back forty as a first timer.., Belgravia, 3rd St and .,... I decided to do 4th St... a less prestigious address but a better booth placement. As a first timer at this show, which ranks up there with the size of Ann Arbor, I hope the odds are in my favor.... I am in Booth 605 if you might be reading this and want to check out what I do. Life has been a bit nuts lately, The Peoria Show granted me an Excellence Award, which made up for a “meh” showing. Granted, the weather didn’t cooperate but I guess I was a little surprised. Up to this point, especially, Out West, I was kicking butt. I do think that people are preoccupied with all the bombardment we feel daily from politics and last weekend was especially raw. As a victim of a violent rape in my college years, I know it had effected me and made all those horrible things come up to the surface again after I have tried for years to tamp them down into my subconscious history. Crazy, huh. Hoping for some possitivity and a weekend to escape from it. Sharing a condo with Karen And Paul Fincannon and Clay and Matt and Kristi are at the show also- so the whole gang is here and good food and fun are in the forecast. Now, if it will just be a rocking show....
We are on our way to the 4th St Festival in Bloomington, Indiana today. A two day show over and this Labor Day weekend and I am in Booth 58..... for anyone interested. I have spent the last 2 weeks hunkered down in the Studio. I sold out of so much inventory on the Utah trip that I had a few large pieces left and only 2 medium sized pieces left and pretty much no smalls left. So, that is what I worked on and completed 11 new medium and smaller pieces. Yea, they don’t bring in the moola like the larger pieces but they are much more collage visible and I love doing them. There is something intrinsically satisfying to me when I get to play with paper, shape and the laying down of story. The fun is in the subtleties that can happen, the under and over and the in and out, physically and mentally in a piece.... and the surprises that happen when just one element can change the context of the piece. Needless to say..... I had a lot of fun and stayed up a lot of hours. I think it will be good. Can’t wait to see what the good people of Bloomington think. On the home front, Poster my 15 year old cat tentatively diagnosed with FIP.... seems to be doing better for now. New blood work came back almost normal. Not sure if this is the calm before the storm or a mis-diagnosis, as this cat desease is hard to get a hard diagnosis with. Now, Lil’ Mo my 13 year old girl hates when I am gone.... when I get home she sleeps right on top of me for a week. I think she thinks if she can keep body contact I won’t leave again....But hey, kitties gotta eat..... so i am on the road again. The schedule is brutal coming up but I’m trying to get a new van and hopefully this schedule might help. Next week is the Lakeview Art Fair in Chicago near Wrigley Field. A Saturday and Sunday show. Then a week off and I’m headed to Peoria, Illinois for a three day Festival. October has me at St. James 4th St....(1st time!) in Louisville where we get to hang with Karen and Paul! I have a wedding the week of Tennessee Craft this year and it will be the first time in 8 years I won’t be there-bummer, it is one of my favorite shows of the year. But, for you Nashville peeps-I will be at Artclectic at the Vanderbilt University School the week after. It’s open to the public so come see me! I come back from Nashville and head directly up to Arrowmont the next day to teach my class..... You can’t imagine how much I am looking forward to seeing everyone and hanging out in the Smokies for a week. My favorite time of year.... so that is it in a nutshell in September and October for me.... I’ll fill you in on November and December later- no sense overloading everyone... I’m overloaded enough for everyone anyway.... but hey, for now, that’s how I like it.
This is just a wrap up to our trip out to Utah and Colorado. As I sit in the car through the rolling plains of Kansas as they roll and roll out to prairie lands that stretch out to the horizon. It’s beautiful but empty and as we drive by an isolated service station every 20 miles I wonder who are these people that can survive this quietness. Ridgway, Colorado was a nice show, not as fruitful as Park City but knowing it was a filler for our return trip I was really happy with the out come. Plus, I won the third highest award which was a nice surprise. We ate great pizza and filled growlers of the local brews to bring home to our beer conessouir son, Dillon, I thought how fun it would be to live in this breathtaking local and have the 10 thousand foot mountains as your neighbor. The town felt like a big extended family and I met so many really cool people. Colorado, you are dope! And I mean that in the most endearing way. Twelve hours on Monday in a car is not fun, but I had a great book to read. Tara Westovers “Educated”. Wow! I could not put it down..... If you need a great summer read, this is it. The daughter of a junkyard survivalist dad becomes a Cambridge PHD...what a ride. It rained hard most of yesterday coming back and it seems like today will be the same. Hard to believe that the West is in a terrible drought with the smell of smoke heavy in the air and the East has flood warnings most every day. What a crazy time. Looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight... if I don’t see a Holiday Inn for a good while, that fine by me... Also, need to pet my kitties and check on Posty. It’s been fun but I am ready to get back in the studio.... I have 10 shows and one week Teaching at Arrowmont coming up and it’s time to hustle....
First off Park City was incredible. Beautiful place, cool art, savvy people... sold a ton of work, pretty pumped about it. We then drove to Moab... little did we know it was going to be 107 degrees I the shade there the entire time. Brutal, just brutal. First night, we stayed in a hotel called Big Horn Lodge, from the pics on Hotels.com it didn’t look too bad. HA!!!! Dark and dirty... stayed one night and got the hell out. Unfortunately, not soon enough. I had three horrible spider bites on my arm and face. We went to breakfast at a chill little cafe, in the middle of breakfast felt something itchy.... went to the bathroom to find a hitch-hiker in my bra from the hotel.... a live roach....shudder. We moved to a nice Comfort Inn and things were better.... not a lot of choices in little Moab. The parks, Arches and Canyonlands were magnificent...beyond earthly...Tatooine maybe. But so hot, it was almost too much to hike. We did though...went to a lot of the Arches and down to the Needles-nobody goes down there, it was so worth it. Packed the paintings back into the van and headed out on the Colorado River Road (wow)... at a stop off stopped to take pics and fire ants climbed up my pant legs.... It was so painful I had to pull my pants off right on the road... I’m sure it was a lovely site for the other travelers...ahem....man, they hurt-a lot, and for a long time.... I started to have breathing problems and had to take some Benidrill. We are on our way to Ridgway right now...maybe my luck will change....stopped at a cool Winery, that helped a lot.... I swear I am not a complainer but sometimes you just need to cut your losses and get away from a town that has bad juju. On and upward and a little ready to head home..
While I drive through this state today, I am blown away by so many different landscapes and vistas. Park City was last weekend and it was a stellar show. Brought 130 of my small quote paintings and came out of there with 22 left. Apparently, People out here like my sense of humor. Funny thing is everyone that came by had been told to come by from someone else.... Started feeling like a minor celebrity! If you ever get out here, you will love it. The town is perfect and flower-filled. Plus there are wonderful places to eat and a zillion coffee bars and brew houses. I met so many cool people and former student’s came by too....definitely a win-win. We are headed today down to the bottom of the state to Moab and Arches National Park for some R&R before the next show in Ridgeway Colorado, close to Teluride. Everything is very hazy and the smell of smoke hurts your eyes. Saw a massive fire outside of Provo, with a ton of bucket helicopters in the air battling it. Crazy. More when we get to Moab, who needs to read when you can look out the car window and be enchanted!
It’s been six weeks since you have heard from me. My last show was in Toledo, Ohio, With lots of rain but I won the top prize in 2D so, that kind of made up for it. By the time I got back to Knoxville, I had done 3 shows in June, and although I was scheduled to be at Central Penn and the Ann Arbor Guild Show, I gave up my spot so that I could build some inventory and to complete some commissions. Inventory was severely depleted. So, I have to admit that the first week home I slept and caught up on every Netflix show I had been meaning to watch... but then I got down to business. Man, was I on a roll, and it all seemed to come together. Completed 12 new pieces, most of them in the 38x38 size format arena. Kicked butt! New directions within same framework. Read a great book on the goddess Circe by Marilyn Miller, that inspired so many ideas and variations. Now, after packing the van this morning, we are on the way to Utah, to the Kimball Museum, Park City Show. It’s three grueling days through Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Wyoming, Colorado and then finally Utah. I’ll try to keep you updated and hopefully the show will be good to us. After the show, we are headed down to Moab and Arches National Park for a few days of checking out the landscape and then to Ridgeway, Colorado for another show. Hope the weather hold up. More updates to follow....