Posts Tagged Guacamolly

My Dining Room Art Studio or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Mess.

I haven’t had a dedicated studio space since I graduated college 3 years ago. And it’s killing me.

For a while there, I had an extra large bedroom space in my apartment before Chuck and I got married, and I had everything spread out there within about an 8′ x 11′ space. It was managable, but oh so NOT a studio. Since this past January, I’ve taken over about a third of the living area and most of the dining area in our current apartment with boxes and books and paper and glue and paint and canvases and mostly just my “stuff and junk and crap.” My family has been so awesome about having to live around the chaos. They patiently help me clear off the dining room table and all the floor space around it (where the chairs are supposed to go) every single night in order for us to eat supper. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive husband and daughter.

Every once in a while when I ask Guacamolly to clean her room because it’s so messy you can barely see the floor, she comes back with, “But I’m an artist just like you, Mommy!” My heart fills with pride and embarrassment all at the same time. Will I ever have a dedicated studio space with room for all my mess (that won’t interrupt our family meal times) again? Sigh…

Our poor dining room...

And then I stop and think about how lucky I have it. I’m able to work on my art as my (fledgling) career from my home in the first place. Chuck works all week, sometimes from the office, sometimes from home, to pay the rent and bills and buy the gas and groceries. He not only supports me following my dream of making and selling art, he WANTS me to follow my dream.  So it may not be the perfect set-up (i.e. a dedicated studio), but at least I’ve got it set up at all, know what I mean?

I do make a little money here and there. I pay at least one bill every other month or so, and I can usually pay for my own gas, and sometimes even groceries! And every time I make even $5, Chuck and Guacamolly get so excited and proud of me.

In short, artists, embrace whatever mess you may have turned your surroundings into. I’ve learned that following your dreams can get messy and moving forward in your life is not usually a neat and clean experience. Keep fighting through what you have at the moment and working towards your goal (of your own studio eventually!) and it’ll pay off in the end.

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April’s Art Auction

Something I should have blogged about three months ago, but never got around to it- Guacamolly’s first grade class project that I helped with back in April for Teasley Elementary’s Purple Party and Art Auction!

I did write up a little blog post about the piece of art that I donated to the auction to help them raise money, but I never got around to writing about the piece of art that Guac’s class collaborated on.

So, each class at the school made something to be auctioned off at the fundraiser. Mrs. Ivey (Guac’s teacher) and I brainstormed about what to make- something that all 20 kids in the class would each have a part of. I suggested something having to do with recycled materials, or “upcycled” art. We didn’t really have any kind of budget for this project, so we wanted to make sure that whatever we used, could be free, or at least as cheap as possible. I donated pretty much all of the materials including the 4′ x 3′ canvas, all of the paint and glue, and tons of stuff I had lying around like buttons, stamps, confetti, paper scraps, plastic lids from soda bottles and milk cartons. Mrs. Ivey also had lots of stuff in a huge storage bin in her room- scraps of paper, string, tissue paper, cotton balls, etc.

I gave the canvas a coat of pale lavender paint, gridded it off so that each kid would have their own square to decorate, and viola! After spending the entire day on the floor (egad, my knees hurt BAD for the next week!) of the classroom helping the kids each become fabulous artists in their own rights, the finished product was this:

Isn’t it great? The pictures don’t do it justice. I took this particular picture right after it was done, so the glue and paint and what not was all still wet. I didn’t get a picture of it standing up on an easel or hanging on the wall, darn it. Oh well.

There were 4 squares left over after each kid designed their own, so Mrs. Ivey decorated one, and I filled in the last 3 with leftover paint and odds and ends. I wrote Teasly 2011 in one of them:

After I left it to dry over the weekend on the floor of the classroom, I came and picked it up, took it home, and painted layer after layer of Modge Podge and Elmer’s glue over it to seal in all the buttons and stuff. I really hope that it’s held up well for whoever bought it at the art auction. It would suck if all the stuff started falling off, piece by piece, and ended up on the floor behind their sofa or something.

I sent out a few emails to the PTA mothers who were in charge of the auction and the donated art pieces, trying to find out how much things sold for. I would really like to know how much money my personal donated artwork and this classroom project raised for the school. Nobody ever got back in touch with me though. I do know that the entire auction (tickets and dinners included, not just the art) raised roughly $11,000 for the school, all of which paid for field trips for everyone- a little over 500 kindergarten through fifth graders at Guac’s school.

I never thought I would be such an involved mom at my daughter’s school, I just never thought that was me, ya know? Grownup responsibility? That’s crazy talk.  But the older Guac gets, the more I do. I paid my PTA dues at the beginning of the school year, I volunteered 3 days a week in the media center, I volunteered at the Scholastic Book Fair,  I helped with art projects at Xmas and and this auction, and I chaperoned one of the field trips to the petting zoo. I never thought I would ever admit this, but being a mom’s not half bad :)

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Teasley Art Auction

In two short weeks,  Teasley Elementary School (where my daughter is in first grade) will hold its biggest fundraiser of the year- the annual Purple Party Art Auction! This year it will be held on Saturday, April 30th, at The Vinings Club here in Smyrna, GA from 7:30 to 10:30 pm. Tickets are pretty expensive (for our one-income family) to attend the dinner and silent auction, so I’m totally donating a couple of items, but sadly, I won’t be attending. Boo.

I was contacted via my Etsy page by one of the PTA moms in charge of the auction and asked if I would like to contribute some of my Upcycled Art items such as paper ornaments and gift bows, and then I also decided to make one of my mixed media sculptures as a second donation. I should have taken a better picture of my upcycled donation before I gave it to her, but oh well. I made a cool box/container, a picture frame, a few envelopes, some gift tags, paper ornaments, and gift bows. The total sale value of the package was $60 and I hope it brings at least that at the auction.

I did have the presence of mind to get some good pictures of the mixed media sculpture I made and donated:

It’s titled “The Yellow Mold,” from my Mold Series that I’ve been working on recently. It’s by far my favorite one I’ve made, and if I hadn’t donated it to the auction, I totally would’ve kept it for myself. Sheesh.

The Yellow Mold is approximately 10″ x 14″ and priced at $75. Who knows how much someone will pay for it at the auction? I hope the school gets some money for it and I hope whoever buys it loves it as much as I do.

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