Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Let's go 2017! Swim, swim, swim!

Hello!  Happy New Year! 

My blog resolution for 2017 is to post twice a week.  Monday (or sometimes Tuesday) I will post more about my personal life activities.  Friday, I will post something professional - mainly picture book related.  Although, potentially, it might be art related depending on what's going on.  Really - the art stuff could fall on either day.

OK.  Let's go.

Swimmers warm up in the pool.
 This past weekend, Magoo competed in a USA swimming competition.  This swim-a-thon was a separate event from his regular swim team, the Waves.  These kids were pretty hard core.  Coach Julie wanted to give her Waves swimmers another opportunity to step-up their game and challenge themselves. 

Cheering on his teammates

Magoo looks pretty hulking here next to the younger swimmers, but there were plenty of big swimmers there too.  When he stood next to those kids, he looked more like my cute little guy from years ago.

Magoo had his first event on Friday night, the 500.  He swam 20 laps. TWENTY!  He did great!  I would have barfed in the pool and drowned after thirteen.

Saturday he swam the 50 Free (which meant that he was at that pool from 7am-11am for a warm-up and a 30 second event.)  And Sunday he swam the 200 IM.  (Two laps butterfly, two laps back stroke, two laps breast stroke, and two laps free.)

Magoo's wingspan





This was a higher level of competition than he's used to and we're really proud of him for doing it.  One of the main things his father and I try to impress on him is that things are worth trying and doing, even if you don't get a ribbon, even if you don't succeed.  And with every thing he tries, he feels a little more confident and a little more proud of himself. 

High five from Coach Julie


Wishing you all a great week and a very Happy New Year!
Thanks so much for stopping in.
Julie





Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Happy Holidays!



It's four days until Christmas, and things are finally settling down.  My art shows are over.  The Holiday cards have been sent.  The presents have been wrapped.

We got the inside of the house decorated, but I've been too busy to do the outside.  Now it hardly seems worth it.  We'll see.


I finally made the Christmas cookies for neighbors and friends, and I have enough left over to have as dessert for Christmas dinner.  (Do you know what tastes good?  Butter and sugar taste good!) Of course I'll have one more batch of Magoo-edible cookies, but then that will be that.


Despite the fact that there are many gifts under the tree now, I have left a space for Java.  She loves sitting under there.  There's a cozy tree skirt, it's protected, and it's right up against the radiator.  Mmmmm - so warm!  Sometimes when she's under there, she'll let out a little mew, inviting someone to lay flat on their belly and pet her under the tree. 
And so we settle in to enjoy the holidays.


Thank you so much for coming in and having a little peek into my life.  Please know that I wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season and all the best in 2017!  I'll check in again then.



Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Peek Inside the Pop-Up Show

Photo: Phyllis Meredith
This weekend was the WeHa Artists Emporium Holiday Pop-Up Show.  It was kind of a big deal for me because this is the first one I've ever helped to organize.  We rented a warehouse.  We booked artists.  We taped off space.  We got heat.  We did LOTS of marketing.  (And a bunch of other little details.)  It was the brainchild of the group's founder, Stefanie Marco (below) but I'm kinda her right-hand man.  We both put a lot of work into it - and others in the group helps a lot too.

I'm happy to report it was a smashing success!  Let me take you inside the event.

Above:  A shot of my space.  This is more of a craft show then a fine art show, so I only brought the one big painting.  The rest of my goodies were rocks, picture books, ornaments, softies, prints, cards, and original works of art in the rack.

Below: Stefanie does a lot of art shows, so she has a very nice set-up.  Here she is on one side of her tent.  So many wonderful items!
Photo: Phyllis Meredith
Below:  Hannah Jackson's area was right next to mine. She really went all out.  It looked like an Anthropology store in there.  She did a lot of textiles dyed with Indigo.  The woman brought a rug - classy!

Photo: Phyllis Meredith

Here's a shot of the warehouse filled with people.  On Saturday it was crazy busy - like awesome good for artists busy- but we were all hustling.


And there were two food trucks outside.  One sold donuts.  Do you know that 100% of redheads love donuts?  It's a fact!  Even if you're a dye job, like me.

Photo: Phyllis Meredith
At the end of Sunday, we were a group of tired, but happy, artists.  Here's a group shot of all twenty of us.
Photo: Chris Meredith

There were just too many wonderful artists for me to feature, but if you click on the brochure above, you can see a thumbnail image of their work and their contact information.  Some people may sell online.  Most of us don't.  But you can always contact artists via email and ask about products.

Big kudos to Stefanie Marco- she really pulled it off!
I think we're all looking forward to the next one, but not before we kick back and enjoy the holiday season.

Thanks so much for stopping in!




Monday, December 5, 2016

Holiday Pop-Up Show

Finders Keepers is well under way.  And - with the exception of some people I suspect were hoarding rocks on Day 1 - it's been going very well.  So now it's time to move onto the next event on my agenda: The WeHa Artists Emporium Holiday Pop-Up Show.

Last year, we did a small on in a member's house.  We could only fit 6 artists.  And you know what?  It was fine.  Easy.  This year - mainly due to interest from other artists - we're going bigger.  We're renting a space.  (Not as easy, but should be fun.)

This is what it looks like now:






But this weekend it will be filled with 19 artists and their goods.  We're also having 2 food trucks on the premises, which will be great for the artists.  We get hungry.  And one of them is a donut truck!  Yes please!


This is Stefanie and me with the sign Stef made.  Here's one of my promo posters.  Oh, the marketing!








So now, with one week to go, I am trying to work in as many little goodies as I can.  I've been painting more rocks (because, after Finders Keepers, people will want rocks) and making ornaments and softies.  Here's a peek.







In my spare time, I'll be baking.  I like to make holiday cookies for my neighbors and friends.  Sometimes I curse myself for doing it because it's time consuming and messy, but still, I like to hand over the boxes of goodies.  It's Christmastime!

Hope everyone is healthy and well and enjoying the holiday spirit.
If you're in the area (and I don't think you are) please come by the Holiday Pop-Up Show next weekend.  You can get a donut.  :)
Thanks for stopping in!
Julie



Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Gearing Up for Finders Keepers

I find myself in a position of juggling several artistic adventures at once.  The Holiday Pop-Up Show is December 10-11, the group show RED goes up in the Noah Webster Library on January 3, and on Thursday, December 1st FINDERS KEEPERS begins.


If you don't know, FINDERS KEEPERS is an artistic rock hunt that we've been doing in West Hartford for three years now.  It was hugely successful the first year, so we've kept it up.  It really is very fun.  We post clues daily as to what rocks are hidden and where they are hidden and people got out and find them.  And it's totally free. 

These are some of the promos I've done to show off the rocks and get people involved.


Seventeen artists participated this year, which really blows me away.  Everyone has been so generous with their time, skills, and paints.  And it's a special thing to do at this time of year, when we all want to come together and give.

So, as always, I'm pretty busy trying to keep all the plates spinning, but I am looking forward to the fun of Finders Keepers this year.

If you're local, sign up for the 2016 Finders Keepers Event on Facebook for clues.  If you're not ... sorry.  (I think you can still peek on the page though.)

Hope everyone had digested their turkey and is now settling into the holiday season.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Best,
Julie

Monday, November 14, 2016

Open Studio Weekend 2016


Forgive me for a quick post, but already my to-do list is piling up.  Open Studio Weekend went pretty well.  My good friend Angela Shenk, who I normally sit next to, was sick, so I was all by my lonesome this time.  But - lucky for me - many of my wonderful friends came to see me, support the arts, and commiserate over what is, to me and many of my people, a very disturbing and disappointing presidential election.


And now I must prepare for the NEXT art show.  The WeHa Artists Emporium is having a Holiday Pop-Up Show in December.  Since we're throwing it, there's a ton of organizing to do.  And Finders Keepers is right around the corner.  And now the group is curating the main gallery of the Noah Webster Library so there's that.  And there's a little thing called Christmas right around the corner.  Woosh!

So I'm off to get some things done.

Thanks so much for stopping by.
Wishing you a good week.
Stay strong and be kind to each other.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I Voted!


It's a big day, people!  Very exciting.  I dug through my closet to find the only blazer I own and put together the closest thing I could to a pantsuit to go out and vote for my candidate.  Woo hoo!  Go Hillary!  (In case the pantsuit didn't tip you off.)

I hope you all voted, too.

In other news, Open Studio Hartford is this weekend.


I'm dotting the i's and crossing the t's, packing things up and making my signs.  The weather is supposed to be cold, but clear.  PERFECT conditions for going to an art show.  Now, all I need is a good election, because this is Connecticut.  This is Hillary country.  And if she does not win, people around here will be unhappy.  Unhappy people don't buy art.

I'm hanging my show in a new way this year.  It's always such a bummer to bring a lot of framed work to these shows and leave with a lot of framed work.  Frames are heavy.  Frames are delicate. You can knick them easily and sometimes the glass breaks.  In fact, that just happened.  I was packing up a crate of art from my recent Wind & Water show, and I have a rather large watercolor of two koi.  I propped the painting up against a wall so I could slide the crate into the backseat of my friend's car when a gust of wind came and knocked over the paint.  Crash.  To add injury to insult, when cleaning up the glass, I cut myself.  Then, I bled on my white mat.  It was a comedy of errors.

So that was fun.  (I am fine, by the way.  The cut was not big, but it was a gusher.)

This year, I am bringing far less framed work.  Instead, I am going to run some "clothing lines" along the wall and clamp matted pieces to it.  My idea is that the pieces will be less fragile, less expensive, and more accessible - which I think the Open Studio crowd likes.  And then I can just swap pieces in and out from my standing rack.

Open Studio is THIS WEEKEND.  If you're in the Hartford, CT area, stop on by.

Thanks so much for stopping in!
Vote!
Julie