Tag Archives: michigan

What’s Going on Around Here?

I have (mostly) not abandoned my blog, although it probably looks like it. Honestly, I am desperately trying to play catch-up (and tackle a ridiculous task of epic proportions in my pain-in-the-arse backyard) now that I am back in Baltimore.

I apologize for my lack of, well, everything around here. No Friday Favorites? No nothing? Yeah, pathetic. But I really, really needed a break from pretty much every aspect of my life and that break somehow managed to last three weeks. The only downside (aside from my shameful neglect of this blog) is that my muse decided to stay in northern Michigan (as I wish I could have). So, instead of creating (I haven’t touched my art supplies at all since arriving home), I’ve been focusing on the aforementioned ridiculous task…that, and falling down the basement stairs. Boy, am I sore.

So, for those of you who missed me (What? You didn’t even realize I was gone? Sheesh.), here are a few random tidbits.

  • Friday Favorites will be returning ASAP, now that I am once again in the Land of the Reliable Internet Connection (also the land of freaking Code Red air days and stifling humidity).
  • My trip was not completely devoid of creativity. In fact, I shot (what I think is) a very nice series of photographs while in northern Michigan. I even sucked it up and created prints for sale in my Etsy shop. Please check them out and let me know what you think!
  • I have once again fallen way behind on my 365 Project. Hopefully, I’ll get all caught up by the end of the week. I really can’t wait to be done with it.
  • Mosquitoes only like to bite the back of my left calf. What the hell is up with that?
  • I have really missed reading everyone’s blogs and looking at Illustration Friday submissions. I really need to get back into the swing of things and hope that I can coax my muse to come back east.
  • I chickened out on the gallery thing. I know, I know. Lame.
  • This place is fantastic. Try the Auxerrois¬† and the fungus wine (sounds disgusting, but it’s actually quite delicious).

photo : lakeside II by yours truly (available for purchase here)



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Packing Up My Studio

Friends, after nearly a year, I am going home.

At an ungodly hour tomorrow morning, Sir and yours truly will be loading up the car and heading to Michigan for a bit. Now, I’m sure it will come as no surprise that I am a tad OCD when it comes to packing. I tend to freak out a little if I forget anything. So, several years ago, I created a printable packing list that I carry around the house with me, checking things off as they go into the suitcase. I update it as necessary (adding all of Sir’s travel necessities was a pretty big undertaking) and it has yet to fail me (majorly, anyway).

We are also very, very, very, very heavy packers. Because of this, flying is always a nightmare for us. Several times, I have stood at the baggage check holding my breath as our suitcases were weighed. Usually, we are within about half a pound of going over the limit. Whew.

Anyway, the one thing that I haven’t accounted for on the packing list is art supplies. The last time I traveled, I knew I wouldn’t really have time to work on anything, so I left pretty much all of my art supplies at home. This time, with my parents happily keeping Sir occupied, I may be able to fit in a little work. That leaves me with one question: WHAT do I take?

The very, very, very, very heavy packer in me says, Take everything! The limited space in my car says, Uh, yeah…no.

I recently discovered that I can fit nearly all of my watercolor pencils in my Art Bin. So, I’m going to cram as many of them in as I can. I’m also definitely taking my pan watercolors, black ink pens, and assorted brushes (going to have to be careful about not going overboard there). I would love to take some wood panels, but that means hauling fixative and varnish along too, so that they don’t get damaged on the way home. But, it would also mean actually finishing some work, which I desperately need to do. And that reminds me of another question: What finished work do I take?

There is a gallery that I LOVE to visit whenever I go home. It is located in the lower level of a former mental institution. So, you know, my work should fit right in. Heh. Last year when I was there, my body of work was still quite small. So, I chose not to approach them about showing them my work. Now that I am finally starting to build a portfolio, I would really like to show them some of my pieces (as long and I don’t freak out, hyperventilate, and die first). My illustration portfolio travels well, but I am also considering taking some pieces from my two-color series (which may not fare as well, crammed in the backseat between a menagerie of stuffed animals and a bag stuffed with cheese crackers and M&Ms).

The more I think about what I think I need, the more I start moving toward that whole ‘Take everything!’ mentality. I need some guidance here, people. What would you do? Which art supplies do you travel with? Should I schlep a bunch of finished work in hopes of securing a sweet spot in a gallery in my home state?

photo : watercolor pans by yours truly


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Portrait of the Artist as a Young Hobo

I grew up in Saginaw, MI – a town that boasts such famous former-residents as…um…my dad? Oh, and Stephen Lynch. And that guy who wrote, directed and starred in the movie ‘Street Boss‘ (so bad it’s…still not good). And the guy in ‘Street Boss’ who wears the fedora and hides under the table. Yeah, I think that’s about it.

Over the course of my life, I’ve had a lot of strange experiences (many of them in the aforementioned bustling metropolis hive of industry place). As a kid, I didn’t really recognize the absurd for what it was, especially when the absurd was a school-sponsored function.

Like Hobo Day.

Yes, you read that right. When I was a young lass of about five or six, my school declared that there would be a special day for us to dress up like those charming vagabonds who ride the rails.

My mother put together quite the spiffy hobo ensemble for me to wear to what would become one of the most memorable bizarre events of my educational career (a career that fortunately, did not lead me down the dusty tracks of hobo-ism). Some goofy knee-socks, a pair of baggy blue knickers, a green vest, and the all-important red bandana on a bindlestick and before I knew it, I looked like a miniature version of a deranged down-on-his-luck Payne Stewart.

Now, it wasn’t enough for all of us kids to show up to school in tattered, mis-matched rag bag couture. Those bindles would prove quite handy as we made our way to…wait for it…the Hobo Picnic!

Yes! We packed up our mulligan stew, slung those sticks over our shoulders, and paraded through town to a nearby park to stand around a roaring trashcan fire dine on our delicious hobo fare. And, you know, climb on the monkey bars.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Was this really a school-sponsored activity? What did the good people of Saginaw think when they saw droves of mini-hobos sauntering down the street (with the required 1 chaperone per 5 children, of course)? Didn’t Simon and Garfunkel sing about Saginaw in some song? What is mulligan stew? Where can I get an official Hobo Convention tee shirt?

And here is my reply. Yes, yes it was. Why, I do not know. Really, it’s Saginaw, so probably nothing. Yes, yes they did. The song is called ‘America’ from the album Bookends. A dubiously tasty dish made of whatever one can beg, borrow, or steal (my guess is that owning a shiv is really helpful in procuring the ingredients for this particular delicacy). Right here!

illustration : portrait of the artist as a young hobo in pen & ink + watercolor by yours truly

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