Studio Happenings 4/21/16

Things have been busy, busy, busy! My partnership with Bigfoot Hydrographics keeps me on my toes with all the custom painting and my daughter is quite successful at devouring any time remaining in the day. That being said, I wouldn’t change it for the world. There’s nothing I enjoy more than having the opportunity to be with my little Valkyrie all day and do what I love. I am very grateful. Kudos to all the mommas out there- love to the working moms, love to the single moms, love to stay at home moms, love to the entrepreneur moms, love to the empty nest moms, love to the retired moms, love to the teen moms, love to the moms who are just barely keeping their heads above water…because let’s be honest. Mom’ing is hard.

I’m writing this while my little naps (at least I think she’s napping, it’s been quiet in there for about ten minutes so….) There are a million other things I should be doing right now. I should be doing the dishes, or picking up the house, or feeding the dogs, or actually working on my art, or painting for Bigfoot. Working at home is such a blessing, yet often feels like dancing the polka on a moving scale where one side is weighted with all the tasks that NEED to get done and the other is the time available to do them. Let’s not forget that adding children to that situation is sorta like sweeping the whole apparatus off the table at random intervals (usually when you are closest to balancing the scales).

My work is art. Art requires concentration and some inspiration. Concentration is tricky to turn on and off, and inspiration comes from some magical land where the fairies get a kick out of inspiring you at 2 AM or right before you fall asleep. I am finding that inspiration seems to come most often on days when my baby is especially demanding…and there is zero chance of me sitting down at the table to work. Thanks a pantload magic fairies…I hope you choke on fairy dust.

Much love and hugs from this momma to you.





Fulton Oysterfest

Many people aren’t familiar with the Texas Gulf Coast, and to be honest I’m completely okay with that. I love my small town and our uncrowded beaches. I love being able to drive on the beach or bring my dogs to a bonfire. I live in Rockport Texas which is connected to the small nearby town of Fulton. It’s a tiny waterfront community filled with retirees, fisherman, and artists. The sunsets are amazing and the trees are short and bent from constant offshore winds. Our town is often lovingly referred to as “A sleepy little drinking town with a fishing problem”. Quite apropos. We have plenty of places to get your adult beverages and plenty of churches to repent of whatever mess they got you into. Folks here have boats and RV’s, fishing rod and guns, sandals all year, and hairstyles are non-existent (due to the constant wind).

Please don’t come visit and definitely don’t think about moving here. We like it being a small town. Here are some things to convince you to stay right where you are- the nearest Target is 45 minutes away (moms I know you feel me on this one). We don’t have a super HEB, or even a second grocery store.We don’t have any of the other large box stores either, no Lowe’s or Home Depot. Also, we lack any of the major chain restaurants, so if you’re craving Chili’s, IHOP, or Olive Garden prepare for a hefty drive. We have one clothing store that sells normal clothes. The other stores that sell clothing only sell fishing attire, Hawaiian shirts, or “resort wear” as it is popular with the wealthy ladies here on vacation.

Summertime is hot and humid- if you don’t like the feeling of being roasted alive in a heavy wet blanket, you won’t enjoy it. We have mosquitos and bugs all year. It rarely gets below freezing here so bugs are a constant nuisance. This means if you have pets- they have fleas AND ticks. ALL THE TIME. As a community full of retired folks, driving anything close to the speed limit is near impossible, and you can expect them to stop in front of pretty houses and point out the plants in bloom while you’re waiting patiently behind them with no option of going around. When there’s a festival driving patterns in the entire town and next town over are rerouted and disrupted for the parade featuring every single high school student in a 25 mile radius.

This past weekend was Fulton Oysterfest, and I’ve never been despite having lived here for so many years. I went with my friends from Bigfoot Hydrographics to meet with people and discuss ideas for handpainted tumblers. I had no idea it was such a big deal here, but let me tell you I think I saw every person I know in town and a few from Corpus Christi too. It was a great time and I’m sure they’ll keep me busy painting in the coming weeks.

Here are a few pictures to wrap up my weekend and show you a little about our town, but remember…stay right where you are. We’re just fine without any more tourists and please whatever you do, don’t tell anyone else about us either. HGTV does that enough for all of us. If you feel compelled to come this far south prepare to do some drinking, eat some seafood, and don’t forget to support the local artists!

Finding Your Art

Some of my own moments of beauty.

Art is all around you.

The world is full of beauty.

Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.

They’re all correct, but what does any of that even mean. When I attended art school, I was assaulted by these and so many other overly abstract and artsy euphemisms. In the end, I walked away from art school thinking it was the most presumptuous, elitist, nest of stupidity. I left jaded and frustrated because I felt like these are all the equivalent of the “Jesus” answer in sunday school. I hated being talked down to by people who were no more or less of an artist than I was. I think this is fairly common.

All too often art is presented as this lofty and esoteric concept, especially in modern circles. The idea that not everyone will “get” your art is supposed to somehow be a good thing. That’s all fine and dandy for those folks who stayed at art school and went on to become gallery artists (a select few from what I see on Facebook).

I want to talk about REAL art. Real in the sense that you already have it. It’s already in your head and your life. It really is, all around you. The problem is you’ve been led to believe that art has certain qualifications or a particular aesthetic. The truth is that it really doesn’t. Art is found in anything that makes you stop and look. Whatever it is- that’s powerful. Especially in the world today. If something has the power to make you stop, look up from your phone, or take notice…there is art there. It’s just sitting there waiting for someone to point it out. That’s what artists do, point out things in the world that hold their attention. It’s not always successful, sometimes the lure isn’t strong enough, hence I have a thousand sketchbooks full of drawings that never amounted to anything more or were never “finished” and that’s okay too.

It’s taken me years of work to feel comfortable calling myself an artist. In some ways I simply didn’t want to be associated with all those people from art school that made me cringe every time they spoke. In some ways, I held back because I felt I wasn’t successful or well known enough to call myself an artist. I too drank the art Kool-Aid without even realizing it. Luckily, like with so many other things, age brings clarity.

I am an artist, I have always been an artist, and I will always be an artist. No matter what else I do or spend time on, internally I see art everywhere. As an adult my task is to filter through it all and focus my attention on those things that I cannot ignore. It’s not always about “saying something”, the truth is sometimes there is no interpretation needed. Everyone sees things they wish other people could see through their eyes. Some art is just about showing people something that makes them smile. In the end, you can always find true wisdom…on the internet.