Jolie Guillebeau

Archive for February, 2008


Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

I’m not painting this week, because I’m not at the studio, because I can’t leave the bed without coughing my lungs out. Therefore, no posts this week.

Any and all sympathy is much appreciated. Also, gifts of ice cream.

Another oops…

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

Today the only painting I did was on my clothes. Thursdays I go to my studio first and then in the afternoon head to the Frye, so I have to dress up a bit more than normal. Today I had been in the studio for all of 45 seconds when I discovered that somehow I had gotten paint all over my new dressy clothes. All. Over. Like from my ankles to my neck.

It seemed like a bad way to start the day, so after our studio discussion I just went to lunch with a friend.

A lovely day…

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

The past couple of days I’ve had a bit of a studio “holiday.” Because I was here last Friday and again on Sunday, then I’ve taken half days yesterday and I’m going to again today. The weather is nice and it’s just too pretty to be inside painting.

A view of my studio at the moment:

You’ll notice the sunset has moved to the wall– I want to just look at it for a few days. So I switched gears a bit and decided to paint something more neutral. Janette was giving these away at 20 Things last week, and I thought they were beautiful. My camera has gone fuzzy again, but so far I’m happy with this.

Today's progress.

Monday, February 18th, 2008

Meet Cousin It.

Creepy, eh? On Friday, we spent several hours making plaster casts of our hands and face. (We also made an enormous mess.) Here’s a particularly unattractive picture of my face. Chris calls it “Dead Jolie”.

I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to use them, but I had fun making them nonetheless.

As for painting, more details and fiddling with the sky. I don’t feel finished with this painting yet, but I also feel by continuing to paint I’m smothering all the small things that made me so happy with it… a dilemma.


Monday, February 18th, 2008

What is it? How do you define it? More importantly, how do you capture it with a paint brush?

A couple of weeks ago, Julia, my studio mate, wrote a saying on our studio wall. Just above our coat closet written in charcoal and large letters, it says, “le laid peut ĂȘtre beau, le joli jamais– Paul Gauguin”. Roughly translated, it means “the ugly can be beautiful, but the cute can never be.”

This (and listening to Bo Bartlett last week) has me thinking. I don’t want to paint cute. I know that. But to be honest, I’m worried I can’t paint what matters. And if I can’t paint what matters, why paint?

I know I’ll figure it out (maybe), but meanwhile I’m a bit flummoxed. Any ideas?

A visit with Bo Bartlett…

Friday, February 15th, 2008

Since Thursday is the day I talk about artists, I thought it appropriate that I went to an Art talk today. Gage Academy has Art talks about once a month, but generally I find that it’s more productive if I stay in my studio and paint. The few artists that I’ve heard there have been wacky and a bit pretentious. They also create things using silly string and old toasters– not my kind of thing. If it’s your kind of thing, I’m not judging you, I just won’t go listen to your Art talks.

Anyway, Bo Bartlett was the guest for the Art talk today. He’s neither wacky, nor pretentious and his work is beautiful. One of the big walls that I keep hitting with my work is figuring out what I want to say with my Art. It’s easy to just paint pretty pictures, but is that real life? I’ve seen too much to know that I have more to say than just, “oh, here’s a pretty bunch of fruit.” Yet, I don’t really know how to communicate the big ideas in my head. I can barely use words effectively, much less tubes of paint.

So not only is Bo’s work wonderful, he really conveys the big ideas effectively. I took a workshop he taught last spring and learned more in that two days than I had in two quarters at Gage. It was called “Finding Your Voice as a Painter” and it was definitely a defining moment in my art making process. Listening to Bo again today challenged me and reminded me of the things about this process that matter. That what I have to say is worth the effort it takes to figure out how to say it.

Go look at Bo’s work and be inspired.


Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

My palette– a mess today, but that’s not the “oops”.

I forgot to post pictures yesterday as promised. It’s a busy week here in the studio, so please forgive my forgetfulness. Here are pictures of yesterday’s work and today’s as well. I think I’ll be done this week.

Yesterday I continued fiddling with the wine bottle and glass. I know, they don’t look much different, but I feel better about them.

and today I gave the sunglasses my full attention and I turned the water blue.

See? They’re much smaller now.

Tomorrow– a bit of work on the sky and a first coat of varnish!

Weekend recap…

Monday, February 11th, 2008

My weekend consisted mostly of working on Saturday, then off to church and hanging out with friends. Sleeping late on Sunday morning, finally rescuing Princess Peach in Super Mario Galaxy and then going to the gym with Chris.

After that, we walked over and had a late lunch and went home. I made a cake (it wasn’t terrible, but could’ve been better) and gathered my stuff together for “20 things” at Hysteria. What’s “20 things”? It’s our own version of recycling. Once per quarter, we each bring 20 things that we no longer need or want to our Sunday night group and we swap. Maybe I have a coat that I never wear anymore or a toaster that take up too much space. I bring it along and find that Meghan or Kelli or Jennifer really needed a toaster or a hot pink rain coat. And I discover that Kelli’s black turtleneck sweater looks better on me than it did on her. It’s a way to reuse old things or get new things without spending money. For example, last night I got: a pair of khaki pants (new with tags), a black turtleneck sweater, a reading light, a bathroom scale and some really pretty things for still life paintings. (You’ll see some of them in paintings soon.) Finally, anything that doesn’t get claimed goes to Goodwill at the end of the night.

And speaking of paintings, today I straightened edges and cleaned up a few wonky places. I’ll post a picture tomorrow–just to keep you in suspense! (It really didn’t change that much.)

Off to the museum.

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Just a quick update before I leave the studio for the week.

It’s a good day. Mitt Romney dropped out of the presidential race, I had a really wonderful piroshki for lunch and I made much progress on my painting.

Look, a glass!

And here’s the whole painting– I think it’s coming together.

So today in the studio we talked about books rather than Art History and therefore, I’m going to do the same thing. First, another influential artist–Thomas Buechner. His book, How I Paint, is out of print now, but I still use it constantly. He approaches landscape, still life and portraits with common sense and without pretention. It’s one of those books that I learn from every time I open it. Honestly, I know very little about him as a person. But his work really speaks to me. If you can get a copy of his book, it’s well worth the read.

More details.

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Today was all about details. I worked on the shells on the left side of the painting

and on the sunglasses in the center

and on small things all over that attracted my attention– like a rough spot in the glass of the wine bottle. I also painted the sides of the canvas, so that it could be displayed without a frame, if necessary.

Here’s the progress:

Now I have to get back to work– I just received the dates for my first show. It’s just a small show here in the hallway at Gage, but I have to have everything ready in two weeks! I’ll let you know how things go and post the dates here once they are finalized.

And for those of you who are curious, here’s my view of the things I’m painting– obviously the view from the window is a bit different.

That line of lights in the background is the traffic on I-5 this afternoon, and it makes me glad I’m riding the bus home!