Archives for category: fun

IMG_7930In my room. Senior year at Moore College of Art and Design. Having my best friend and her husband over for dinner. The dinner I cooked in my room at twenty years of age. My best dinner was: canned green beans, noodles, ground beef and canned stewed tomatoes all mixed together. Fruit salad. Accompanied by a drink of homemade kaluah and ice cream, which was called a Polar Bear because of the color white the drink turned when I added ice-cream to the already vodka soaked liqueur. I was certain this dinner was a winner. Also my everyday ( even for special occasions ) outfit was Army Navy bells with an Army Navy turtleneck sweater. That was it. In my youth, what I didn’t know was vast. I wish I were that naive and at the same time, so certain of things as I was then.

As art students, we carried our cameras everywhere. But we only took B and W’s which we would develop and print later. If there was dust on the enlarger ( as is in this print ), we would hit it with the correct shade of spot tone. ( I had no patience with that. ) There are no photos of my best friend and her husband at this dinner. However she insisted that her late husband’s FAVORITE dinner was that canned green bean concoction.

Sadly, my best friend and I lost touch. I don’t make kaluah anymore. And I don’t do that electric fry pan green bean thing anymore either. I have grown more food-sophisticated, more clothing aware, but I have to say, nothing in the world can come close to the bursting enthusiasm of being twenty and the ever-expanding years of possibility and adventure ahead. The Army Navy sweater and pants combo, not bad either. That, I would wear today.

IMG_0536Look at the nice looking couple above. They were our next door neighbors. They left last week to move into a new house. Over the nineteen years we’d lived next door to each other, we became friends. We knew each other’s family secrets. We were in and out of each other’s houses. The one time I actually passed out due to drinking too much, it was when Ed (names have been changed) mixed martinis going down like water. I was on my feet and then I wasn’t. We acted like we were twenty. Eating cookies and brownies with untold ingredients. Drinking wine and OTC Wild Indian Cherry Bark Cough Syrup into the night. Dancing in each other’s basements, (Linda was from Philly too) decorated with lava lamps and disco lights. Yes we will miss them.

When we first moved into the neighborhood, I was skeptical. Both my husband and I had lived in “Intown Atlanta” for so long, I had the prejudice that those who live in Intown Atlanta have, that somehow Intown is a so much more diverse, culturally aware place to live. That the suburbs are boring and very “white male”. Our neighborhood may not be typical of the suburbs, but diversity here means more than having a lesbian living across the street.

In addition to gay couples owning several of the homes here, you practically need a passport to enter. Not that there is a gate at the entrance. There isn’t. People who live here are from all over the world. Our dog smells the incense from the Indian woman walking far down the sidewalk before I even see her in her sari. Three generations of Chinese people live in the house a few down from ours. Iraqi males still live across the way. Nigerian, Israeli, Colombian, Russian neighbors. I think Doug and I, along with our boogying friends next door were the only English speaking people living in this area. I am exaggerating, but you get the idea.

Anyway, we bonded with Linda and Ed. Ed even helped me put up sheetrock walls at the former location of Eyedrum Gallery when I built the projection room for my video, “Bread In The Sky.” The small gallery was hard to split into two spaces, but Ed made it happen. Linda accompanied me to New York City once when business demanded I go on short notice. She and I go to lunch frequently, which I hope will continue even though they don’t live here anymore. Their friendship means a lot to Doug and me. They will never be replaced. It was one of those times, when, we knew what we had when we had it. And not until after it was gone.

My husband and I have gained some weight recently, and in spite our daughter’s pleas, ”Accept that you’re fat. Don’t buy a new scale,” we bought a new scale. A digital one to replace the one with the numbers on it. The old scale had this red needle that waved back and forth with uncertainty. We both felt confident we would know our true weight with the new scale. And surely it would tell us that losing weight would be easy.

It is a Weight Watchers scale. Well, having had a career in marketing before getting into the “art world,” there had to be some sort of catch. You know, “fish while the fish are biting.” Make people sign up when they know they’re getting fat.

Doug got on first. He had no idea he was that heavy. My weight, too, was way more than the old scale told me it was. Okay, we accepted it. Didn’t join Weight Watchers, but tried not to eat the fries.

The next day, Doug came down the stairs, exclaiming he had lost ten pounds! Oh, I guess Weight Watchers figured we would join after the first weigh-in. Then it would throw us a bone of encouragement the next day-hey this weight loss thing is a piece of cake! (so to speak)

My weight continued to drop one pound a day. Even though, on a routine trip to the doctor, the scale had me demoralized again. One day, our new digital scale read me the original first day weight again, and I yelled at it, saying, “What??? I thought I was losing weight?” And then, when I got on again, the scale read the lesser weight it had registered the day before.

Artificial intelligence is making its way into our lives. We are all nervous about it. We fear the power that computers may have over us. But none of us figured on it being easily conned. Like when I yelled at the scale, it was easily bullied. How about that?

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Here is Orion Crook at the closing reception of his curatorial exhibition “Living Case.” His face is framed by one of the rings I used in my installation, “Afloat” in New York a few years back. He used these squishy rings I made in a different way, making them a part of one of his themes, art is life, subject to decay. They worked well with the partially rough and jagged walls of eyedrum.

The rings also gave a person slight disorientation while entering the gallery, as he put them on the floor as well. Not knowing where the ceiling, floor and walls were, as these rings ran throughout…over, under and around the gallery.

I am very happy to have been a part of such a refreshingly creative group exhibition, filled with music, visual art, living creatures, plants, lighting, costumes, neon and performance art! An asset to Atlanta’s “art scene!”

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Above is a photograph of my art studio in town, all cleaned up and ready for work! The accumulation of wooden stretcher frames, at the far side of the big table on the right is waiting for me to stretch canvas over them. My next solo show is in New York, April, 2016.

This past year has been rough for me. My mother died four days before Christmas. The darkest time of the year. Our sweet daughter left for college in the fall.

I aptly named this section of my blog, “Piece Of My Heart.” And have written things such as “Vince Vaughn Bought My Daughter’s Prom Dress”, “The Shredding Skirt” and “Pie O Logy.” I did get carried away, and may continue to do so.

Even though it has only been a few months, I think, “Did I really tell the world about the mining accident?” (Now, now. I did not say it was I who had the relative who took one step back too far!) I could use some relatives now. Some relatives who will stretch my canvases and tell me what a good a painter I am!

I have thought about giving up the blog. But I enjoy it so much.

Although you might think i should post my painting in progress, ( and I may do so from time to time ), I would rather keep each post an artwork unto itself. Painting is totally separate from the keyboard.

I need to get back to work.

Copyright Hollis Hildebrand-Mills 2014 All rights reserved

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Collage by Hollis HIldebrand-Mills/ Oscar Statuette courtesy of AMPAS

“If you build it, they will come.” – A quote from the movie “Field Of Dreams.” I am a believer in my ability to make things happen.

I could give you many examples of how I manifest my dreams. If a person is certain something will happen, and is focused enough on the goal, the subconscious mind will make it so.

A recent example of this: Although I am allergic to cats, I love them. Disregarding the allergist’s advice, I had two cats for many years, until they both died of old age. I have been catless for fifteen years. With a friend the other night, she told me Siamese cat dander is different – I would not be allergic to Siamese cats! And suddenly the possibility of having another cat was there!

A few days later, I was downstairs, hanging the remaining unsold collages from my “Afloat” show. They had been stored in boxes at my studio and I wanted to enjoy them. I looked out the window and there was a Siamese cat coming up the steps from our woods! I practically fell off the ladder! No! Not again! Have I manifested this?

You long-time blogger friends know that Vince Wiggins and I collaborated to make my animated video, “Bread In The Sky.” Not totally believing it, skeptical, of course, but all the same, together we have been occasionally visualizing winning an Academy Award for our video. (In the category of Best Animated Short Film.) Yes, a far flung dream. Yes, a long shot. Even so, he and I were at it again recently and we visualized the entire red carpet thing. A few times. We got to the place where we each brought our Oscars home. Vince knew exactly where he was going to place his statuette. But there, I was uncertain. I did not know where I would put mine. Did this mean I do not want an Academy Award? I mean, come on! Everyone wants an Oscar! Or did it mean I just cannot imagine (literally) receiving the highest award in the world for a short film? I mean, really, “Bread In The Sky?” It would certainly shock the art critic who gave it a bad review! The critic told me a few months later that after seeing it again, it was the projection room I built that made him feel claustrophobic. It tainted his opinion. He rewrote the original review in a slightly more positive light.

I am not saying that work does not help make your dreams come true. That projection room was not easy to build. Not to mention the months of tedious animation time I put in for that 17 minute film. Anyone who has ever done this knows. But where to place Oscar? Do I want this? Me not filling in that one important blank…..get this down, folks….. of knowing where I am going to place my statuette, signifies doubt and doubt prevents manifestation. Do I want to win an Academy Award?

I have not seen the cat lately. He must have a home. Or, because I have bronchitis, the cat will not appear. Intentions. Do they affect the outcome of the dreams in your life?

Copyright Hollis Hildebrand-Mills 2014 All Rights Reserved

 
Please do not watch video if you suffer from epilepsy or complicated migraines!

Above is a very short video I took with my iPhone last night. It is a video of something called Steve Spangler’s Energy Stick. My daughter is activating the Energy Stick by touching the metal ends on the device. Its copy on the packaging (which I have never removed) says, “Watch Your Body Conduct Electricity!”

Moods can be contagious. A positive person can make us happy. The New Age considers every person to be encircled by an energy field. Ben Franklin, it is a common fact, made huge advances in the study of electrical storms and how, even beyond the practical application of electricity in our lives today, there is a rush and charge in the air when an atmospheric change such as a storm is about to occur.

The Energy Stick was given to me last Christmas by my husband. My mother had passed away four days before. In trying out the Energy Stick, since it was my present, I discovered there was no sound and no lights. Like the stick displayed for my husband and daughter! It was because of my grief over the loss of my mother that the stick did not respond to my energy. I threw it in my closet. Almost in the trash!

I pulled out the Energy Stick from my closet recently and touched the metal ends. To my great relief and surprise, my grief was subsiding! The sounds and colors were there!

A separate example of the manifestation of energy, was four years ago with my friend Lorraine. She accompanied me on a business trip to New York. We both were in a happy mood, even though I was there on business. Although solo art exhibitions are a positive thing for the artist – a time to celebrate, share and reflect – It is still business. I was in New York, being given a special reception this time, in addition to the customary opening reception where I was also in attendance the week before. We had enormous crowds the first time, over three hundred people came to see my video, “Bread In The Sky.” Therefore, I felt Lorraine and I could take a quick break to venture upstairs to the top floor of the gallery‘s building. We were drawn to the end of the hallway, and ended up hanging out the window, laughing about how, right there in Manhattan, a window could swing open into the “fresh” air! Looking right toward the Hudson River a block or so away, we marveled at the blue light, lightning and wind. There was the smell of ozone in the air.

When we returned to the gallery downstairs, Lorraine touched my silver bracelets by accident. She got a shock! My bracelet vibrated! It was as if my phone was on vibrate and someone was trying to reach me.

In the cab the next day, the driver told us about two tornadoes touching down in New York City the night before. And how it took him nine hours to get home due to fallen trees and power lines. On TV, Lorraine and I discovered the path of one of the tornadoes went directly through Chelsea. Through West 27th Street. Our window. Our fun. We were in the middle of the storm! In fact, my silver bracelets were probably struck by lightning!

Do you, my blogger friends, have any experience with energy, electrical and other?

Copyright Hollis Hildebrand-Mills 2014 All rights Reserved

 

DSCN0771We as a family were bumming around New York as we usually do, going to bookstores and thrift stores, stopping here and there, soaking in all the wonderfulness of Manhattan. I cannot remember the year, but our daughter was probably between six and ten at the time. Not quite up to my shoulder.

We were in SoHo, and happened upon a lovely neighborhood, as they all are in SoHo. We walked up the stairs to a consignment store. Or used clothing store, more aptly.

I picked out a particular shirt to try on. It was only $16.95. As I was in the dressing room, I tried on the simple gray plaid shirt. I honestly did not like the way it looked on me, nor did I have anything to go with it. I decided to put it back. As I was taking it off, regretting that I had to actually reject something to wear, (God forbid) I looked at the price tag. It was $1695.00!!! I silently said, “Yikes!”

I opened the curtain and the entire staff working in the store surrounded me. I merely said, “I didn’t have anything to go with it!”

We descended the stairs, walked down the block and I told my husband and daughter what happened. We wondered about the origins of such a shirt, (a celebrity owned it?Perhaps Madonna?) It looked rather worn. But in any event, (as my mother would say), we were aware that the workers in the store wanted to see who was behind the curtain trying on this plaid shirt!

Copyright Hollis Hildebrand-Mills 2014 All Rights Reserved

images I was told I would have bad karma.

A member of my family is not speaking to another member of the family. This has been going on for years. Rather than go into the drama of why she is not speaking to her, the family member just says, “She died in a mining accident!”

No further questions are asked. A look of horror passes over the questioner’s face and the subject is dropped.

We all thought this was best, since it really is boring to talk about family members’ wrong doings and such. And to play the victim is ridiculous. No one in my family is a victim. We may seek council from an attorney once in a while, but we are never victims.

One school day in the fall of fifth grade, our daughter was questioned about this family member as in, “Do you have any relatives living close by?” Our daughter answered, “Well, we did, but she died in a mining accident.” The teacher was not put off. He asked what mine. Our daughter said she did not know.

Since then we have filled in the blanks for everyone in our family, so that this second question does not throw us. Usually we just have to say, “She took one step back too far!”

Copyright  Hollis Hildebrand-Mills 2014  All rights Reserved

IMG_2623People like different kinds of pies. And everyone has a favorite. My husband can assess your personality by what kind of pie you like. This method, he came up with in Junior High School and he calls it “Pie o logy.” I’ll start with Apple: You are a fairly basic, conservative person. However, if you are specific about the type of apples you like in your Apple Pie, such as Granny Smith or Macintosh, in any way specific, you have a secret side to you. Like you have a crush on Matt Lauer. Whose favorite pie, I am sure, is Apple. Cherry: You are a Liberal sort of person. You like National Public Radio. And you follow the party line. If you prefer a deep crust on your Cherry Pie, you are not as Liberal as you think you are. LIke you might secretly have voted for John McCain, but you like to look poor and publicly put down anything Republican. Lemon Meringue: A fellow blogger loves this pie and announced he would celebrate his art opening with eating lots and lots of Lemon Meringue Pie. What does this mean? My husband says if you like this kind of pie, you are a little acerbic, droll and witty. Not necessarily political. Judging from what I know about my internet friend, I would say this is correct. A few more. Banana Cream Pie: Your jokes fall flat. And there is a hint of exploration in the things you do. You go off the beaten path, a little. Like you might wear a safari congo hat. (An example of a joke falling flat!) Sweet Potato Pie is a bear hugging type person. And Key Lime, you are a kook. (Although I have been known to drive to the grocery store and buy Kenny’s Key Lime Pie at 10:0PM) Do not judge. There are just a few more: Rum-Raisin, as featured in the photograph above, can be something you love, but don’t eat very often. However, if it’s your favorite pie, get ready. You’ve got a problem. You light candles instead of using electric lights. And… no offense, (I am guilty here too) you are probably into the occult. And you like taxidermy as decor. You may even have a room full of dolls. Whipped cream on top of any pie tones down the characteristics. Pecan Pie means you are nutty. I guess loving a nut pie would be emblematic of nuttiness. But seriously, in Pie o logy, if your favorite pie is Pecan, you are on the off-beat side. My personal favorite is Blackberry Cobbler. He says that if you like this pie, you are wild. Blackberries indicate this. The crustiness of cobbler hints at being conservative, possessing humanity, and being centered or grounded. Lots of sugar forming a glaze on top means that you are sweet, but with resistance. My husband’s favorite is Strawberry Rhubarb: Meaning, if you like this, you are clever, brilliant and an off-the-wall radical! You might have a gun under your bed. You may be a Libertarian. I really don’t want to know this about him. We do not have a gun under our bed. Does this make me doubt the science of Pie o logy? You decide.   copyright 2014 Hollis Hildebrand-Mills All rights reserved. copyright 2014 “Pie o logy” Douglas C. Mills All reserved.