a sense of success and self-doubt...

Don't those feelings always go together?  And aren't they equally as useful/useless when you get down to it in your work?  A couple of weeks ago, I really felt like I was killing it....work in multiple venues, got a check in the mail, even got to go on an art trip!  Then I get back home, and get in the thick of making these weird little pod things and worry about a looming deadline and all the crazy talk starts happening.  Half a day later I am down a rabbit hole of trying to figure out how I am going to make work that sells...how am I ever going to get this certain exhibition...why do I have to make such weird things...what is it all for anyway?  

The rabbit hole is exacerbated by the fact that I am not making much of an income now.  I have a one day a week gig with the greatest plumber ever answering their phones, but I am not teaching, which is what really helps to pay the bills.  I am lucky enough to have a supportive husband who knows how important it is for me to make work, but that is not paying off our credit card.  And then, what really is success?  Whenever you reach a certain milestone, you just see one farther off in the distance that looks shiny and nice.  

So I am trying to get out of my head and get this new work up in June.  I am going to have to consider an online marketplace and webpage update after that, and I think that will help me get more specific about my commercial goals.  Hopefully.  Maybe I need to get more clear about all of my goals.  I am sensing some worksheets in my future.  

Steadily making new work for my June exhibition....

June feels so far away, yet it is not.  I am working on these paper forms in my studio while the weather is still wintery, but hoping to get outside in another week or two to start cutting the styrofoam bases for these shapes.  We are supposed to get another snow this weekend and I am hoping it is the last!  I do enjoy being indoors and stitching on these, and just got caught up on Season 5 of The Americans while doing that, and I bought my pass for Season 6!  It is three episodes in and I am so nervous for what is going to happen to the Jennings family.  I am also very nervous for how all these parts are going to come together into a piece and once the sun starts shining regularly, I should know more.  

mixed media embroidery
mixed media embroidery paper forms

I so love the texture of the eyelets layered on one another.  I have backed off to a single stitch to attach them to save time, so they're a little loose.  I kind of like that movement they can make.  

I've been teaching middle school art club recently...

And one of the projects we have been doing was suggested by one of the best art teachers I know, a dear friend from my time in New Mexico.  She said to let them take a bunch of stuffed animals apart and then put them back together as a new species.  It has been brilliant!  Everyone has had so much fun.  And you just can't mess them up because there is no right or wrong way to make one.  I call them "Frankenstuffies" and it turns out they are my new favorite thing to make.  I have made one with every class and then made several on my own as gifts.  My son thinks they are super creepy.  I fall in love with every new one!

one-eyed rooster stuffed animal
Lion bear stuffed animal
sloth lion penguin stuffed animal
Fuzzy Dinosaur stuffed animal

I've got one half finished in my studio and two bags of stuffed animal parts in the basement.  It can be a little brutal.  

so much to share...how can it be March?


I don't know where the time goes.  Seriously.  I was asking everyone I knew to vote for my work everyday at the Bombay Artisan Series for six weeks this fall, and now it is March!  Many fabulous professional things have happened in that time as well as some not so fun family health issues we had to work through.  But everyone is healthy, my son has a paper route and I am in five exhibitions currently!

I am actually headed off to New Orleans to see my work in the group exhibition Between Stitches at NOCCA tomorrow.  I have never been to NOLA, and am so excited to meet a friend there from San Francisco for a girls trip.  She knows New Orleans, so all I have to do is follow her around and enjoy.  

I am super excited to have brand new work at Nahcotta Gallery's Enormous Tiny Art Exhibition #23 in Portsmouth, Maine with some of my favorite contemporary artists.  I have been joking that Nahcotta is where all my favorite online cool kid artists show work, and now I am among them!  I even had a piece sell before the opening reception.  I just popped online to look at my page and saw a sold button.  It was a thrill.  

I also have work at Woman Made Gallery in their Woman Made Juried Regional Exhibition in Chicago, Illinois.  And then two weeks ago, last minute, I got an email from a gallery owner in Dallas who was interested in working with me.  Turns out she had an exhibition going up in the next week featuring the women artists of her gallery and asked me to participate.  So another big box went to Fedex.  I am so happy to be included in Women of RO2. at RO2 Art in Dallas, Texas.  

Finally, I have work back in Miami with Casa Mondo Gallery, after having met the owner at Superfine! during Miami Art Week two years ago.  It is absolutely crazy.  Working your ass off works!  Now I just have to get more organized.  Turns out I should have a spreadsheet inventory of all my work and where it is.  And then I need to start my 2018 tax expenses spreadsheet.  And then I desperately need to make some new work.  I have a group exhibition with my favorite local art besties in June, and some things coming up in the fall.  So I am shutting this down and pulling out my thread.  I will be back soon though.  Hope you all are well!

Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series....

I am so happy to be a semi-finalist in the Bombay Artisan Series!  Voting is open from today through 11/7/19.  You can vote once a day for the entire voting period.  Please help me secure a spot at SCOPE Miami in December...the top two artists will be there.  Please vote for me here.  Measuring Spoons is my official entry.  

art doll, fine art, contemporary art, Measuring Spoons.jpg

Summer camps, tennis, mom taxi and exhibition proposals...

Have been happening this week.  This is my sons first full week off of school for the summer, and of course, I have got us overbooked.  There is tennis in the morning before it gets too hot, about an hour for lunch and then off to a birding camp on the other side of town at Quarry Hill Nature Center.  This has been the first summer in a couple of years where my son has wanted to participate in one of the nature camps, and it has been really fun to see him excited about catching a tagging birds.  I have been bringing my laptop with me to both tennis and birding camp, and I'm getting a lot done....two exhibition proposals for Minnesota art centers, a residency proposal for new work at Wesleyan College in the fall, and a SEMAC established artist grant for four person exhibition I will be in at Rochester Community and Technical College in June, 2018.  So much hustle.  I think the more you do the better you get at it all...I think my writing is improving.  All of these word and character count requirements really force you to get to the point. So this has been my view when I get too hot being outdoors...

QHNC home office

I have written a couple of these proposals for this large piece I really want to make:  

ballpoint pen sketch drawing new work

I want to make all of these smallish, but varied in size, breast like shapes. All the shapes will be made with the same painted sewing patten paper I have been exploring in my two-dimensional works.  The shapes will be formed with darts, gathers and sewn seams, and maybe even include some boning (like a corset). Some will be open and you get glimpses of the innards....some will be closed shapes and marred with massed stitches.  The value around all of these shapes will be black #1 eyelets (from hook and eye sets) individually stitched together to make this sort of curtain of texture.  I love the idea that when you are far away from it, it will just read as a value, but the closer you get, the more the texture and material are revealed.  And did I mention that I want this to be about 6-8 feet tall and 10 feet wide.  ALL THOSE STITCHED EYELETS.  I am terrified and thrilled at the prospect of making this piece.  I figured I would need 20 GG (great Gross) of eyelets;  A great gross is 1,728.  Maybe I have lost my mind, but here is hoping I get a grant to get it made.  

"Pulling Stitches" exhibition at Hutchinson Center for the Arts....

went up yesterday.  There is some brand new work, work from the fall, and work from way back, but I am happy to see it all together.  The install was easy (Thanks, Lisa!) and the space is fabulous.  My reception is June 29 from 5-6:30 pm and the exhibition closes on July 7.  I am not going to make it back up before the reception, but our plan is to stay overnight, get good documentation and maybe play at the Science Museum in St. Paul before getting Thai food and heading home.  

 Embroidered pattern paper

Embroidered pattern paper

 Beaded vintage handkerchiefs

Beaded vintage handkerchiefs

 All new animal dolls

All new animal dolls

 Some more friends...

Some more friends...

 Still more....

Still more....

So happy to have the Kangaroo standing again.  And the sloth is on his tippy toes.  The air was not keeping up, so Lisa promised to light all the work today.  I am so relieved to have it up!