Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We Have Cleared the Tower: Killing George Washington Is a Go!

HOOOORAY! I just learned that my friend Molly received my book today in the mail. This means you can actually BUY MY BOOK and GET IT! And READ IT! The funny thing is, I don't even have a copy of the book yet. I should have bought one!

Sorry for all of the exclamation points; I am just really pleased that this project has finally seen the light of day.

If you want a copy, you can find me on Amazon. Or come to Wordstock at the Portland Convention Center on Sunday, October 11 at 2:00 (Mountain Writers Stage). I'll be giving a reading and signing books.

Friday, September 11, 2009

What's new? An update summarizing all of this year so far!

It has been a ridiculously long time since I posted on the blog, mostly because I put everything on facebook these days. But here is an update on what I'm doing:

Teaching: This fall, I'll be teaching part time at the Alliance Charter Academy in Oregon City. I'll be teaching writing to 3/4 graders, middle-schoolers, and high-schoolers. I'll also be teaching study skills and drawing and painting. ACA is a public charter school that provides classes to homeschoolers. It's kind of a "design your own curriculum" kind of a place. I may also be teaching a community ed class down in Canby: Writing activities you can do with your kids!

Writing: My first book, a collection of narrative poem entitled Killing George Washington, will be out next month. I'm very excited yet somewhat overwhelmed. I should be spending a lot of time marketing and publicizing it, but instead, I'm working on designing my syllabi for my teaching (see above). Just trying to go with the flow and not get too stressed out about it. I will be doing a reading at Wordstock next month, where signed copies of my book will be for sale. You can also order the book from Barnes and Noble or Powells online if you are interested!

Art: My art for the last six months or so has focused on recycled materials and commentary on popular culture and identity. I have had a great time scouring thrift stores and my own appliance graveyard for inspiration. I also started a major collaborative with 14 other women/girl artists entitled the Wedding Dress Art Project Invitational. For this project, I invited interested artists in all media to produce a work of art based on a wedding dress that I would purchase on their behalf from a thrift store and mail to them, along with a mystery "bonus item." The resulting works will be shown, hopefully around the country, beginning next year. In what has been one of my longest sustained projects every (I spit on you, Myers-Briggs), I have actually managed to work on this project continuously for about 6 months now, with no signs of waivering interest. I stepped down as president of the Three Rivers Artist Guild last spring in preparation for what I thought would be a cross country move (see below), but now that we are not moving, I feel kind of bad about that. However, it left me more free time to actually *DO* art, so I doubt I will be throwing my hat in the ring for any future leadership roles in the organization anytime soon. However, it is nice to see that the group is finding successful new ways to bring art into the community in conjunction with the Oregon City Main Street program.

Personal: About a year ago, Marc and I felt we needed a change, so I started looking for full-time work, mostly at universities around the country. I ended up accepting a job in Woodstock New York at the Woodstock Day School teaching English and French on the condition that we could sell our house here in Oregon City. From January through April 1, I worked very hard to ready our property to go on the market. We listed it on April 1 with high hopes, but come August, we had received no offers whatsoever. I declined the job in Woodstock, and we recommitted to our life here in Oregon, which wasn't hard to do given that we had such a beautiful summer full of friends and playmates and great weather. Thanks to my friend Sascha, I got an introduction at the ACA, and they have given me what is probably my ideal job--part-time teaching. So, we will see how it goes. Meanwhile, Marc has come through a tough project at work and is feeling happier than he was a year ago, so things seemed to have worked out okay. Duncan, meanwhile, is as wonderful as ever. He is in the 4s class at his preschool three days a week. He's really into his Karate lessons, where they focus a lot more on child development than on fighting, if you know what I mean. Huh, this is starting to sound like a Christmas letter. Anyway, we still go back and forth on whether to sell our house (it's so big and ungainly and such a maintenance hog) or stay in it (it's so big).

So, that's the update for now. We are looking forward to many visits from family and friends in the fall. I'll try to post here on the blog more often. I'll try to find a way to link to my facebook page for better cross polination.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Road to John Day

On the Road to John Day
11 x 14
Acrylic on Canvas Board

Last spring I took a trip out to John Day, Oregon to research my book. On the drive out, I saw this amazing field of burned trees and flaming red willow bushes. I figure this painting still needs about 2 more good sessions to finish it up, but I like how it is progressing!

Golden Trout "Mini-Masterpiece"

Golden Trout
2 1/2 x 3 1/3
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas w/Mini-Easel

When I saw these beautiful golden trout at Tony's Fish Market, I was more excited about painting them than eating them. But they turned out delicious too! I felt this painting was above my skill level--where I am really lacking is in the area of "verisimilitude." I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to make the white wrapping paper look crisp and papery. And that was a grave disappointment. However, for a cheeky little 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 painting, this'll do.

This will be gifted to my frien Barb Blumer when I get around to shipping it to her.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Moving House

Ce n'est pas ma maison.

I am in the process of packing up my house to move. I've decided to close my etsy stores while this is going on, just to eliminate distractions and allow me to pack up my inventory. Sooo, I'll still be doing some art, but until further notice, I won't be listing it on etsy.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Some Trailers from Gladstone

I had scouted two great trailers in recent trips to Gladstone, just over the river. Here they are:

Dartmouth Road, Gladstone, OR

The sun was at a really bad angle for this one (above), but I think I got a pretty good shot of it. The owner came out to tell me he thought it was made in 1969, and he just had to do a little work on the inside. I think he was a little baffled by why I would be taking pics of his trailer.

Corner of Oatfield and Thiessen

I love the faux wood paneling on this one (above), but there was a car parked next to it that stopped me from getting a really good angle.