Sunday, April 30, 2006

The groovy Groove Squad, grooving...

Well, Sam survived his Arts & Jazz Fest performance. He got excited when we got there and did just fine. He dances a lot better when there aren't a bunch of people watching him, but I guess that's true of everybody.

We got rained on a little that morning but it cleared up around noon and turned out to be a really nice day. Sam went with my mom and stepdad to their lake house and I walked over to Art Six Coffee House for the Denton Craft Mafia sale. I bought a super cool ceramic necklace by Superchica. They had a lot of cool stuff - jewelry, bags, re-made t-shirts (that unfortunately would only look good on skinny people...), and stuff like that. Not a whole lot of stuff, but hip and cool.

Saturday night I went to an opening reception for two friends from TWU, Jennifer Quarles and Luana Aldrete. Jennifer is getting her MFA in ceramics and Luana is graduating with her BFA in painting. That's one of Jennifer's pieces above...

One of the highlights of the evening was when Jennifer thanked her husband Matt for his support during grad school. She gave him a gift - a Detatchable-Leg Larry action figure that she had made, inspired by one of their dogs. He had several extra legs (one for digging, one being attacked by their other dog...), all employing "velcro technology," as Jennifer put it. She made a really cool box, too. I wish I had remembered that I had my camera with me. It was awesome.

Today was cleaning day. I decided to bite the bullet and clean my house. Well, the bathrooms and Sam's room are clean. The rest of the house at least has the big chunks removed... That's all I can manage at this point.

Oh, I almost forgot - I watched The Godfather last night. Marlon Brando was incredible. It was kind of like watching Citizen Kane for the first time - so many pop culture references came from that movie - sleeping with the fishes, an offer he can't refuse, the horse head in the bed, etc. And it also reminded me of watching the Sopranos. The obvious subject matter, but mostly the confusion - half the time I didn't know what was going on. I guess all those old Italian guys look alike to me.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Lily pads...

The big Arts & Jazz Fest is going on this weekend. Sam's performing in the morning with The Groove Squad. It sounds like some sort of hipster crime-fighting team. He's really nervous and doesn't want to do it. I don't know how to reassure him that it'll be ok. He didn't seem to have a problem with it when they performed for the PTA meeting. Maybe somebody's playing it up and making the kids nervous about it.

My nieces are also performing - at the same time but on different stages. How convenient!

It's supposed to rain tonight and taper off in the morning. I hope it stops by the time Sam performs!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Stepping stones...

Sorry, no embarrassing 80s photos today. There are plenty more, believe me, but I think they'll stay in the box for a while.

I took this quiz to find out my ecological footprint. Quite depressing, really. It said if everybody lived like me, we'd need 4.4 more planets. And I was below average...

I also found this blog about sustainable style. I'm interested in the concepts of using what you have, reusing or remaking out-of-date or out-of-style things into something new. Kind of the whole ReadyMade magazine idea. I wish I had paid more attention to the sewing lessons my mom gave me. I wanted to be able to sew but really didn't enjoy actually doing it. And the things that I made were really ugly, so that didn't help. But I love the idea of going to the thrift store and buying a couple of pieces and remaking them into something new and fun. I know that if I had stuck with it, I would have gotten better, but you don't think about those kinds of things when you're 12.

So I need to get a new outfit for the reception next week. Well, I don't really NEED one, but it's a great excuse to buy something, so I'm going with it. So I'm going to try the thrift store first. I won't be remaking anything, just shopping. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Blast from the past...

For some reason, I was telling Jenna about my prom dress and she had never heard of "dotted swiss." So I had to dig out the prom pictures so she could see. This picture cracks me up. First of all, there's the poofy dress - I wish I had a picture of the bow in the back. Seriously. And you can't see the baby's breath tucked in my hair. Nice. Then there's Jeff's maroon tuxedo. Hey, it was 1984 - maroon tuxedos were like, totally radical! Then the fact that the sun is so bright we can hardly look at my mom, whose shadow you can see at the bottom of the picture. It's classic bad photography. I love it.

Oh, and coincidentally, I found out later that my friend Heidi in California had gotten the same dress, only in pink!

That was Jeff's senior prom - I was a junior. I didn't go to my senior prom. How could I have topped that dress, anyway?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Check out my friend Trish's flickr page, with some cool photos that she took on our Oklahoma trip.
Oklahoma wildflowers.

I realized that I forgot to write about the North Texas Book Festival and the Earth Day celebration at the Cupboard. The book festival was a bit sparse. They were raising money for school libraries, so I wanted to support them, but honestly, it was lame. Just a few tables with people enthusiastically, well, desperately telling us about their books, which seemed low budget or maybe self-published. Nothing wrong with that. I was just hoping for a larger selection.

The Cupboard was fun. We picked up lots of free samples and they handed out free samples of food and drinks. I tasted fresh carrot juice. I love carrots but for some reason the thought of carrot juice always creeped me out. But it was good. I also tasted wheat grass. Blech. Not something I would pay for. But I'm glad I can say I tasted it.

There were some tornadoes around Oklahoma City yesterday. I told Trish that we should have stayed an extra day.

I always think about how ironic it would be if a show of my paintings, or my studio, or even my house were to be hit by a tornado. Yes, tragic and scary, but also ironic. Someone would be sifting through the rubble, finding paintings of tornadoes... I like to think that if there is a god, he or she has a good sense of humor. But that's a little too obvious, isn't it?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Clint, the rockstar gallery dude, hanging the first three tornadoes. 197 more to go! He's going to be cursing my name, I'm sure...

Last night Sam saw the invitation and he said, "You're famous!" I laughed and then he said, "Are you really famous?" I said, "Only in Oklahoma City."

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Trish at a scenic outlook in Oklahoma. Yes, I used the words "scenic" and "Oklahoma" in the same sentence. Southern Oklahoma is actually kind of pretty.

Had a fun visit to OKC. We crammed everything into my mom's PT Cruiser (in fact, I think Trish rode with paintings on her shoulder the whole way up). Trish helped kill the time with a car game - Rock Star (btw Trish - I thought of another Y - Yo Yo Ma!).

We unloaded the work at the art center and Clint, the gallery dude got right to work helping me figure out how to hang some new paper pieces and the big hanging spiral tornado thingie. Trish and I were cringing at the sight of him up on his tippy toes on his rickety ladder, trying to secure the round wooden piece. Very scary.

He recommended a local Mexican restaurant that we really liked. We especially liked the paintings of the Mexican men in sombreros, one of which looked suspiciously like Saddam Hussein.

We attempted to find the "artsy/gallery area" but ended up just driving around. There are some really nice houses in OKC. Lots of Vietnamese restaurants, too, which seems weird. Clint said they had really good food, too.

Some more observations - Oklahoma Citians (?) seem to like pineapples and sex toys. Probably not at the same time.

Today we had a leisurely morning and went to the arts center where we got straight to work, unpacking artwork and laying out the show. I think it's going to look really good.

There is another artist having a show concurrently who also does tornadoes, but in a sculptural form. Also a bit more playful, from what I've seen. They're also going to have a show of student work from a local college. So the opening reception is going to be big. I'm a little freaked out by that. But it'll be fun.

On the way home, Trish "cubed me" by playing a visualization game. It was really interesting and enlightening.

It was a really fun trip. Thanks for going, Trish!

Friday, April 21, 2006

A work in progress. But pretty close to finished... I used my thrift store iron and some aluminum foil to get that cool texture. I love wax.

The weather is clearing up today and it's supposed to be a nice day.

I think I have everything ready for OKC. Trish is going with me to help so it should be lots of fun. Oh, I forgot to ask her if she's afraid of heights...

After I get all the stuff there, I need to figure out what I'm going to talk about for my "conversation with the artist." I have about 5 hours worth of slides that I can show. Sounds fun, no? I might edit it down a little. :-)

I'm going to go to the North Texas Book Fair with Jenna tomorrow. I'm not sure what that is, exactly, but I'm hoping they'll have free stuff. Then we're going to hit the earth day celebration at The Cupboard, in search of more free stuff. I see a theme...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Concentration... Playing the new game.

Changes in the weather - some thunderstorms rolled in last night and more are expected today. I made the mistake of watching Storm Stories last night before I headed to yoga class. I'm surprised I didn't have any tornado dreams last night (or during yoga).

I have a couple more movies from the library that I might start at lunch today. Actually, I think I'll start on the Desperate Housewives first season DVD. That sounds like a good lunchtime activity. My other choice is The Godfather. That seems more like a Saturday night activity. Can you believe I've never seen it? Jenna told me that it was required, and I agree.

For Sam I got Howl's Moving Castle. We haven't started it yet. Sometimes when I suggest a movie, he won't want to watch it but if I just put it in and start watching it, he'll end up liking it (like School of Rock, Spirited Away, The Princess Bride, and Pee Wee's Big Adventure).

I believe Howl's Moving Castle is from the same director who did Spirited Away and Kiki's Delivery Service. They're considered anime, but they're OK for kids. I really loved Spirited Away. The animation was really complex and interesting. The story is really weird and I'm not really sure what is happening in some parts, but it's so original that the weirdness seems cool.

I kept trying to point out to Sam how much better the animation is compared to Pokemon. I know some parents object to Pokemon because it's tied to toys and it's teaching kids how to be consumers and all that. But I object to it solely on artistic grounds. It just sucks. The animation sucks. The dialogue sucks. The stories are stupid. The characters are one-dimensional... I could go on.

But then, he is only 8 (soon to be 9!), so I can't really expect him to have mature tastes. For example, I was really surprised when I saw an old Scooby Doo episode and noticed how bad it was. I loved Scooby Doo. And I was even more surprised when I saw a Josie and the Pussycats cartoon and realized that they had used the same voices from Scooby Doo! I had never noticed that as a kid.

So I guess I need to lighten up. Man, that's true on so many levels...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sun comes up, it's Wednesday morning...

I wrote a really long and profound post earlier and blogger made it disappear. :-(

I'll try to recreate it. Today I got an email from the director of the art center in OKC. He's working with a local TV meteorologist (who happened to play the meteorologist in Twister) to do a talk about tornadoes for school kids in conjunction with the show. Exciting!

What else? Oh, yeah, I finished watching the Enron documentary today at lunch - Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. It made me angry and sad. Amazing that so few people saw what they were doing. There were so many people along the way that could have said, "No, this isn't right," but Enron was making them lots and lots of money.

The movie Fun with Dick and Jane is loosely based on the Enron scandal. But the movie has a happy ending - the evil executives get what they deserve. Too bad the real story most likely won't end that way.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

101. Maybe the more I complain about the heat, the hotter it gets. I'll try to stop complaining...

I included some images of one of the clay tornadoes I dipped in wax this weekend. I like the way they turned out this time - lots of interesting texture. This one pictured here somehow didn't get a hole poked before he got fired. I started to make a hole but I was afraid I'd break it, so I stopped. He'll just be my non-hanging tornado.

Sam is taking the TAKS test today. He did great on the reading portion last month but this one is math. This morning on the way to school I reminded him to read the questions really well because they try to trick you. He said, "It's just math." OK then.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Hot... Well, I guess I spoke too soon about it not being too hot yet. It's supposed to be 97 today. Sheesh!

I got a lot done in my studio yesterday. I'll post photos of a clay tornado when I get the images uploaded from my camera.

For Easter I got Sam the soundtrack for The School of Rock. Not very Easter-ish, but he likes it. I got the movie from the library a couple of weeks ago and he wouldn't watch it until his friend Simon told him that it was his favorite movie. So all of a sudden Sam wanted to watch it. He loved it and has watched it twice already. Anyway, another time when I was at the library, I had picked up the soundtrack to High School Musical, which is a movie/show thing that was on the Disney Channel. I thought he might like it, so I got it for him. I should have listened to it first. It's complete drivel. He loves it, though. They play it on Radio Disney, of course. So I was hoping that he'd forget about that one and focus on The School of Rock instead. That I can deal with.

But I guess anything that gets him to turn off the TV and dance around the living room is OK.

Oh, and I still can't believe that I'm the one saying, "Turn it down!" How did that happen?

Speaking of music, they played a great song at the end of The Sopranos last night - 4th of July by X. I love X - old school LA punk. This song is more melodic than some of their other stuff. It gets stuck in my head. But in a good way...

On the stairs I smoke a cigarette alone/Mexican kids are shootin' fireworks below/Hey baby, it's the 4th of July...

Oh, and speaking of great songs, zeFrank posted this link to the video for Breathe Me by Sia - it's very cool. Not sure if it was really made with a gazillion Polariods like it says, but maybe...

That song was used in the last scene in the series finale of Six Feet Under, so I always think of the lives and deaths of the Fisher family when I hear it. I miss that show.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter. It's a beautiful Texas spring day. Spring and fall are so nice here. Even winter's not so bad. You'd hardly know that in a month or so it will be so hot that you won't want to go outside. I need to figure out some way to get out of Texas in the summer. That's my goal in life. To spend summer in Colorado or Santa Fe or Europe (George Clooney's place on Lake Como sounds nice) or Johnny Depp's private Caribbean island... without his stick insect French supermodel wife, of course... Hey, I can dream, can't I?

Well, it's off the the studio again. I still have some more clay tornadoes to dip in wax and at least one more painting to start on. I need to update my website with some new work - I'll work on that next week. I also need to start getting slides together for my artist's lecture at the closing of the OKC show. Then there's my filthy house... And the grocery store... So much to do!

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Got up early this morning. Sat out on the porch with the cat and had a bagel and some tea. I had a great visit with Eileen. She's started a women's clothing company that makes actual clothes that actually fit actual women. What a concept! Check her out at

Now I'm off to the studio - still getting ready for the OKC show. I need to dip my new clay tornadoes in wax (thanks to Jennifer Quarles!), dip some more paper pieces in wax, and maybe even do a couple more paintings. Yes, you guessed it, dipped in wax.

Dipping the clay tornadoes in wax reminds me of dyeing Easter eggs. Maybe I'll hide some tornadoes instead of eggs this year.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Walked around campus this morning taking pictures of buildings and sculptures. We got a sweet 7.2 mega pixel Sony camera. It's freakin' awesome.

The campus is so green right now - the trees are getting their leaves, the grass is lush and new, the squirrels are busy looking for buried treasures.

I found an easer egg by the pond. I decided to leave it there for some little person to find.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

This little guy was in my back yard this evening. I think he was lost or hurt. Luckily the cat wasn't interested...

I titled the blog Seeking Shelter because that's the name of the solo show I'm having in Oklahoma City next month. It was also the name of my MFA thesis show. I often think about we humans and how we deny, ignore, or try to outwit Mother Nature. With tornado season starting soon, there have been lots of tornado shows on TV recently. It's scary and also pretty amazing to watch the videos of tornadoes - to see the force of the wind tearing a house apart, blowing cars and trucks around like they're nothing.

Hurricane season tends to make me think about it, too. How we build houses on the beach, a hurricane comes and washes it away, and then we do it all over again.

Anyway, Seeking Shelter is all about the need for order, organization, calm... Hopefully we can each find some, somewhere.