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My studio is next to Art Papers, a magazine about contemporary art. The former Editor-In-Chief and Executive Director, Sylvie Fortin, told me that an artist should always, when contributing, donate his/her best work. (Sylvie, by the way, raced me to the hospital one time. It was when a masonite painting I was working on fell, severely damaging the muscle in the back of my leg. I also should point out that Sylvie does not drive. She drove my car, first wheeling me in an office chair to the curb. In addition, she put everything aside to get me there.)

She told me that, by putting your best work out there, especially when you donate artwork, you speak to your audience clearly. As clearly as you would if your work were in a gallery.

This is the piece I have donated to the Hambidge Auction. I posted it recently on Facebook. It is from my solo show “Afloat: An Installation”, New York. This piece is a collage, 5” x 5”, a collage done strictly with magazine pieces, no computer imaging. Or internet sources. It is framed in a white floater frame.

I also posted it in my online exhibition here on WordPress. Where it received the highest “site stat” rating. Which means it received the most “hits” on my blog. 
Even with the inclusion of my post about my friend and mentor, the now famous artist, Peter Forakis which also received very high stats. This piece aced that one.

It is kind of like that song from West Side Story: “When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way.” Everything matters. Or don’t do it!

I have to send an image to Ceres Gallery. It is to represent the work I am showing in the solo show for the brochure.

I hate to commit. The show is many months in front of me. And I may still be working on the pieces until they are sent to the photographer. After the photographs are made, it feels permanent. Website, my print books, future reference.

I remember one of my solo shows here in Atlanta, where I put a tube of cadmium yellow light in my purse. Then upon entering the gallery, where my work had been hung, I walked over to the one of my paintings I felt needing a touch up and I dabbed the paint on with my finger. Cameras and all.

In fact, there were a few wet oil paintings in the show for about two weeks. Until they dried. All because I worked on them, up until the last minute.

Another show, I used a ballpoint pen to touch up a collage. It was during the opening reception and people came rushing over to me, sighing when they saw it was “just me.”

Sending in an image (not this one) feels so permanent. But it will have to do.

Calling those 1 800 numbers to get a credit card balance from a store can be a debilitating experience.

I called the J.Jill Store the other day, asking them to send me an official plastic credit card. So as not to carry around the frayed, dog-eared business card with my card number on it. I do carry around this battered card and make purchases, but I thought it nice to have a real credit card. The kind that other people carry around.

That’s it. That is all I wanted. And the only way to get this was to call the number.

What I heard from the Customer Service (?) Representative on the other end was… oh, and I have to say, that getting to this person was a half hour ordeal. (To digress further, one time I was talking into one of those automated phone “service” devices and I slurped my almost empty Green Tea Frappacino and the recording immediately went into Spanish.) Therefore, you see how well the automated system works.

Back to the Customer Service Representative. She said something to the effect that since I was a valued customer, I was entitled to a special offer.

I kind of got excited about this, thinking that maybe I was entitled to some deeply discounted clothing in their Spring Line.

But what do you expect from someone who roboticly asks you, “Is there anything else I can help you with?” after you tell them you are hanging up on them?

The offer: By paying a few dollars a month on my bill, if I should become infirmed, lose my job or pass away, I will not be liable for any unpaid charges on my J.Jill card. For peace of mind, she said. I said I would get peace of mind if I wasn’t talking to her.

But that’s my peace of mind. Her point of view: J.Jill is always with me. Even facing an oncoming truck!


A drawing I did a long time ago!

While shopping for my daughter’s second Prom dress, I happened to go to one of the strangest places. Mind you, my daughter has been in ballet for many years, therefore we are used to costumes, feathers and the bizarre quality the footlights bring about.

But my daughter had found her tribe, probably long ago, and her eyes lit up upon entering the grandeur and glue. But I was reminded of the circus.

Dresses hanging at least two feet higher than in a regular dress shop, (to allow for the length of the gowns), all squished into each other. They were catalogued by color. Rich, dazzling color.

Pedestals for self-viewing in front of huge gilded mirrors. Screens to dress behind. Girls being squeezed into cut-out sparkles, all lumpy and in need of Spanx.

The ring leader of this store sat behind a desk. She reminded me of Vito in The Godfather. Power was what she was about. And hustle was how she did business, while her minions worked the girls, oozing the words “beautiful!” and “you!” softly heard through the thickly carpeted rooms.

My daughter bought her dress there. Tasteful and elegant. I cannot tell you how this could be possible. Her manifestation of cheap glitziness was in the pair of shoes we bought, however.

Before the final touch was put on these lovely flat shoes, I fell into her trap. The circus leader had me writing a check. The male assistant then ascended the glitter strewn stairway to spray them.

He came down with silver glitter encrusted flats, telling us he went through two cans of spray paint. Carrying an extra can of Krylon silver glitter spray in case we needed to touch them up. I need say no more except that these shoes had clamped to them two clip-on earrings, rhinestones, of course. At the toe. The shoes could not be even tried on at the time because the paint was still wet. The assistant was respraying them in the dark outside as we were preparing to leave. Even the rhinestones had spray paint on them!

You get the picture. My husband returned them along with the third can of spray paint these stiff shoes might need. Our check was destroyed. Our dignity intact.

WhIle I am on the subject of my daughter’s Prom, she and I, of course, had to go Prom dress shopping. For Senior Prom.

Two Prom dresses. One remade and shortened (Her date was short all of a sudden.) The second one, altered for $225.00. Yup, you don’t want to know what the dress cost. Five pair of shoes: One pair, too high for the first Prom dress. One perfect for the first Prom dress. One not as dressy as it should be. (We are into the second Prom dress now.) One pair of shoes sprayed with two cans of Krylon glitter spray (The story of the glitter sprayed shoes is saved for another blog.) And, finally, the perfect pair.

Prom went off in the perfect fashion. Drama, dreams and delirium.

I want to go back to listening to the garbage removal truck outside!

Piece Of My Heart, Number Six

Vince Vaughn bought my daughter’s Prom dress.

He is making a movie in Atlanta. And the location unit chose the building where my art studio is situated.

I used to be in Advertising. And one of the accounts I worked on, was Orion Pictures Publicity. I am familiar with the movie business. Maybe not the production side, as this was. But I loved the hustle, bustle. The project to project. The excitement. I loved the collaboration. I loved how everyone was working toward a common goal. The hurry up and wait.

Is it possible I could have made a mistake to do what I do now? I am all alone. I see no one. Ever. I work alone. But I get ego recognition. The work is all mine.

In the movie business, you pitch in. There is not room for two egos in the limousine. With the exceptional Philip Seymour Hoffman hat sported by the guy on the ladder, the importance stays with the stars and the film company executives.

How did Vince Vaughn buy my daughter’s Prom dress? No one knew this was not an inconvenience to me. I did not attend the shooting. I did not talk to many of the workers.

But the preparation of the scenes demanded an excruciatingly long time. And, needing the money, as most of us do these days, I accepted compensation for the work done in the building.

When we lived in a quiet “In town” neighborhood in Atlanta, I used to walk quite a bit. I walked to the grocery store, which we called the Korean Market. How racist. And I walked just to walk.

A few years prior, after my job at the Ad Agency ended, I became a pet sitter, going from house to house, looking after peoples’ dogs and cats. I was attacked by a dog during one of these visits, and needless-to-say, I halted my job as a pet sitter. Why should I do this for money?

Therefore, my leisurely neighborhood walking excursions were filled with the fear of being attacked again. Around every bush, there could be a dog just waiting to attack me. And that fear bred more fear, because after all, don’t dogs sense fear?

I was leafing through a magazine one day and found an ad for a device a person could carry. It would emit sounds undetectable to humans (of course) and dogs would be repelled. It was perfect for mailmen, the ad said. And those on business having to come to unfamiliar houses.

Perfect! I would order this gray pancake-like item with little sound wave grooves on the end of it. And a button to push when a dog was near.

I carried it around on my walks. Still a little fearful. And also aware I was probably being duped. But hey, I had my gray dog repellent device and, if a boxer came near me, I would aim.

Whether it worked or not did not matter. Because I never had to use that thing. The other day, years after I had purchased this mysterious gray piece of plastic, I was cleaning out a drawer. I looked at it and with a little embarrassment, put it back in the drawer.

Belief in a dog repellent? Just like those round green termite traps that lie in our yards. Or the one inch square cut piece of sheet I own that Paul McCartney supposedly slept on at the Plaza Hotel. Or how do you know there is really a star out there with your name on it? Belief. Praying on love, fear or desire. It’s part of our psyche to want magic.

You all know about my love of fortune cookies. I blogged about it. Their meaning to me. Their potential for being correct for one’s life at a particular time.

I got one the other day that said, “IF YOUR WORK ISN’T FINISHED, BLAME IT ON THE COMPUTER!” Pretty cool. A lot of my work is done on the computer. But I get the point.

This project I am doing now is two fold. Doing the art for my solo show. Blogging about it. Allowing for a tangent, a rant. Tall order.

Blogging is time consuming. I don’t have to tell you that. But it could be looked at like this: Blogging will become my time manager.

I will have to paint. I will have to blog. I will have to paint in order to blog. Blogging will become my master. I will work for blogging.

To the contrary, the fortune cookie should have read “IF YOUR WORK ISN’T FINISHED, YOU ARE NOT GIVING THE COMPUTER ENOUGH CREDIT!”

Piece Of My Heart

Here I continue to post works of art in preparation for my next New York show.

The image above is from the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project. Fairly recently, I got a hold of one of the 28,000 or more blank sketchbooks issued to people all over the world and decided to make a sketchbook for the tour. And when the sketchbook tour came to Atlanta, I “checked out” my book. (These clever people have the tour set up like an actual library!) And looked at it again. Had to put it back, though, for the rest of its journey.

Because I plan to make a video animation of its artwork someday, I had it photographed. While my sketchbook was tooling around for others to see, I had the opportunity to alchemize it. I love to recycle ideas and extend projects.

Since I will never be able to touch the sketchbook again (It returned to Brooklyn with the other thousands of sketchbooks) and I will never turn its pages or mark it to make it different, I had no choice but to bring it out of its virtual world. And into the world I can alter.

The beginnings of this new series of work start with inkjet printed pages of the sketchbook. Bringing the work once again back to me. To look at and make different.