Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A Television Interview

Earlier this spring, the producers of "Tennessee Life" with East Tennessee PBS television reached out to me and inquired about interviewing me for a segment in an upcoming episode of their program.

It was a great experience to share what I do, as well as the "how" and the "why." Being an artist means that I spend a lot of days alone, working at my easel with just my dogs for feedback (they are wonderful art critics). So it's a privilege when someone takes an interest in what I do.

Following our move to Tennessee a year ago, I've begun work on a new series called "30 from Tennessee." This is my way of sharing my initial impressions of my new surroundings and of getting to know my new home. During the interview for "Tennessee Life," I spoke about this new series of paintings as well as my approach to my artwork. It's really important to me to share the beauty of everyday moments and to highlight the cool things that surround each of us. Under the right light, just about anything is a worthy painting subject!

I hope you enjoy the interview and the glimpse into my studio.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

An Action-Packed Year

My Art Show / Moving Van
Before our official move, I made a couple of trips up and down
I-81 to move much of my studio materials myself.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of our official arrival in Tennessee from Pennsylvania. One year ago today, my husband, Tim, and I landed at our house with just our suitcases, our two dogs, and a couple of air mattresses until our moving van and household contents arrived the following day.

And, yikes, what a year it has been. If you can picture some of the dime store comic books of yesteryear, 2018 smacked us across the faces with a larger-than-life "Ka-Pow" like a Batman and Robin adventure.

To be candid, it's been one of the most difficult years of my life and definitely one of the most challenging of our married life together. The day our moving van arrived to load up our belongings in Pennsylvania during a torrential downpour, my father-in-law was hospitalized in Illinois. He died within a month. Shortly after our arrival in Tennessee, our oldest dog and my field painting companion, Maple, was diagnosed with elbow dysplasia, severely limiting her mobility.

Even before we officially moved in, there was the menace of the old house we bought. Prior to our official arrival in May, the air handler unit over the kitchen leaked, and condensation poured into the kitchen ceiling over a period of weeks while we were blissfully unaware and wrapping up the sale of our home in Pennsylvania. We fixed that upon our arrival, but the year rolled on and we soon realized that we were painfully naive about old house ownership. For every one thing we knew would need repair, there were at least two additional issues, everything from an old, buried fuel oil tank to a full property length retaining wall that had to be replaced after record rainfall in February, right on down to a leaky shower that had rotted the joists of the first floor over a period of years. Truly, throughout this past year, there has not been one single week without a contractor to our house to repair or replace something. And late last year, my Dad was briefly hospitalized following a series of mild heart attacks. He has recovered, thankfully, but I think you get the general idea of why this transition has been a bumpy one.

I was of mixed mind about moving to Tennessee. I wanted a new adventure, I just wasn't sure that I could see myself in Tennessee (aka, the South). After a year here, I'm starting to "see" myself better in Tennessee. I've begun to discover some beautiful parks and scenery, plus I like the city of Knoxville because there's much more to do here than there was in central Pennsylvania. And, of course, 2018 was not all bad. We enjoyed some fantastic performances by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and attended some great shows at the gorgeous Tennessee Theater. In addition, the downtown farmer's market is a wonderful destination throughout the growing season.

Oh, and our old house? Welp, she's in much better shape than she was a year ago. Uff dah!

Nonetheless, I'm intent on making this second year in Tennessee calmer and better. I'm starting with a renewed focus on my artwork. Because my studio is in our home, the non-stop parade of repair people and contractors has been extremely disruptive to my work and creativity. I'm looking forward to exhibiting my artwork at a couple of upcoming outdoor art shows in the next few weeks, and then I'm taking most of this summer off just to hunker down in my studio and paint, in peace.

I'm very excited about this.

I'm looking forward to plowing more energy into my painting while exploring some changes in my painting style. Stay tuned.