Jolie Guillebeau

Archive for March, 2008

Darkest before the dawn?

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Ok, so last Wednesday’s post was a bit bleak.

Since then, however, the curator here at Gage contacted me and we hung my first show this morning. AND– I am looking at a check! That someone paid me!! FOR A PAINTING!!!!!!
That I painted!

It was a bit of a confidence booster.

Welcome to the roller coaster that is my life!

Crisis of Confidence

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

When I was in first grade, I had the most wonderful teacher. Her name was Lucy Cotton. She was all softness and sweetness just like her name implies. When I was stressed, or worried, she took me in her lap or put her arm around me and reassured me in quiet soothing tones. Even when I’d done something wrong, she still used a soft voice to correct me. She was wonderful.

Then I moved to second grade. My teacher was Pinna Gattis. She was also all that her name implies. She should have retired long before I arrived in her class. I clearly remember her saying to me on the first day of school, “You’ll never be able to write well, because you’re left-handed.” And in second grade, handwriting was everything. All my report cards that year said, “Jolie’s handwriting needs work.” At some point in the year, I started writing with my right hand, but only when Mrs. Gattis was looking. When she was on the other side of the room, I’d switch back to writing with my left hand. If she caught me, she’d slap my hand with a ruler. Needless to say, I entered third grade with little self-confidence and terrible handwriting.

It took a few years, but I eventually developed neat handwriting. I worked at it so much that when I was in college, my education professor used my handwriting as an example of “what a teacher’s blackboard handwriting should look like.” It was one of my proudest moments. (So there, Mrs. Gattis!)

I’ve been trying to remember this lately. For some reason, I can’t seem to make a straight line. All my edges on this painting are supposed to be sharp and crisp, but instead they are wobbly and fuzzy. I keep piling on the paint, but just can’t get it to come together. There have been a few afternoons this week where I’ve looked at my painting and thought, “Maybe Mrs. Gattis was right.”

I know that part of this feeling is because my main cheerleader is in India right now, but I feel a bit like a second grader today.

I still don't have a camera…

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

and I’ve spent a bit too much time goofing off on the computer today, so instead of painting progress, you get my attempt at Cubism .

Look at my baby sister…

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

Ok, so Chris is gone and I have no one to share my joy with, so I will publish it on my blog! Yay–I solved my own problem without feeling sorry for myself! (sigh– I feel a bit sorry for myself that I have to share my sister’s pictures with the internet. Pathetic, I know.)

Ok, moving on… so these are photos of my sister, Tera and her fiance, Wes. They’re getting married in 2 weeks and 3 days and we’re really excited! These pics really capture that excitement and also who they are. I’ve never seen photos that show so clearly the spark of personality that makes me love them so!

Shameless older sister plug: Tera and Wes have really good taste in photographers, because they are such great photographers themselves. You can see their work here:

Adding details…

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Well, I don’t have a camera here today, so I can’t show you what I’ve done. My camera is in India with Chris– I’m looking forward to having both of them back in a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, I’ll catch up on details in life. Around the 22nd of February I went to bed and when I got up it was March 11. It’s taken a week to get myself back to almost normal, though if you’ve emailed me lately then just be patient– I’ll respond eventually. Last week when I emerged from my house I discovered that it was Spring! Things are blooming and trees are budding–though all that pollen isn’t really helping me recover.

I’m now back at the studio on a regular basis and I’ve even been back to the gym. With Chris gone, I have a lot of alone time (both a good and a bad thing) and it’s giving me an opportunity to take inventory. For example, last night I made a list of all the things that are on my knitting needles or things I want to knit. It’s extensive. I need to finish Chris’s sweater, and his socks, and my socks, and a hat, and a dishcloth, and then I want to start my sweater, and another pair of socks, and a scarf for a friend, and… um, maybe I should stop typing and start knitting.

This is the problem with taking inventory!

The Twilight Zone…

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Which one is my reality?

Obviously, I’m having fun with this. Though I am starting to wonder how many times I’m going to paint that sunset. It was originally a sketch based on a photo from the ship. I painted it last summer to commemorate a year of life on land. (You can see the sketch on the wall behind the easel.) Then, I thought it would be the perfect background for this still life painting– I just added the sand to make it a beach scene. Now, I’m painting a painting of the same painting. Oy.

A stack of small paintings

Thursday, March 13th, 2008
A stack of paintings that I did while I was sick– it was too much effort to start a big new project.

Each of these are 5×5 inches square and they are small landscapes from memory. Each is the view from my bedroom window in various houses that I lived in as a kid.

This is the view (as I remember it) from my window at 508 Owens Drive. I lived there from 1984-1985.

This is from 5620 Jackson Trail (1985-1988)

And this is 450 Frank Patterson Road. I switched bedrooms with my sisters, so the view changed, but this is the one I remember most. (1988-1992)

And finally an exaggerated view from my window at 1107 Mulberry Road. (1992-1995)

I decided not to paint any buildings in these paintings, but otherwise this is what it looked like to me. I made a list and I’ve lived in 17 houses in my 30 years, so this series might take awhile!

A new painting

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

So this is my studio today…

and this is my painting of my studio. I love beginnings!

I'm not dead…

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Though I wasn’t sure there for a while. No, I’m finally back in my studio after a nasty battle with the flu, and a sinus infection and an upper respiratory infection. The combination of the three was a bit overwhelming, but I have triumphed!

I have lots of things to update you on–a new painting, Chris’s adventuring, and the final days of my thirtieth year (there are only 30 days left to finish my 30 things while 30). However, I’m working under a deadline today, so you must be patient while I catch up on other things in my life.