Jolie Guillebeau

Archive for June, 2008


Monday, June 23rd, 2008

It’s my final week here at Gage. Next week, I’ll move out of this studio and begin to work independently at my very own studio. My little space here will get a bit bigger. I’ll have my own key, my own door and my own window. While I’ll miss my little community here at Gage, I’m looking forward to working on my own terms. Playing music as I paint. Listening to NPR. Painting without unsolicited critiques. Enjoying quiet when I want it.

My new space is small, with a limited view. I won’t have a computer there, so I’ll have to make time at home for email and blogging. I won’t have a fridge or a freezer like we have here, so I’ll have to plan lunches a little more carefully. But I will have North Light and privacy. I will have independence. I will have the freedom to figure out how to be a painter on my own. I will also have a 10 minute walk from my house, rather than a 40 minute bus ride. I will have more opportunities to meet friends for lunch, or walk for ice cream at my new favorite neighborhood place.

I can’t wait.

Meanwhile, I’m going to paint. And I’m going to pack. There’s a lot of stuff in this small space…

Settling in again.

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

I’m back. Did you miss me?

I had a lovely visit with family, saw really beautiful scenery, and manned a support team for a marathon at sea. Once again, Chris’s determination and drive made life crazy-wonderful for a couple of days. I’m always impressed with him and his fierce ambition. Who else would imagine running 262 laps around a jogging track on a cruise ship? I love that man.

Now I’m settling back in to life. And I’m reminded of how much I like my life. I like my house and my husband. I like my studio and the act of painting (even if I’m not always happy with the product). I like my job at the museum. I like knitting on the bus and the simple familiarity of crazy people on the route 49. I like that I have friends who are excited to see me and I like my rainy, grey-sky city. I like life in Seattle. And I like that we’re staying here another year.


Thursday, June 5th, 2008

Just a quick post to say why I’m not posting…

Chris and I went to Portland for a few days and returned last night. It was lovely. Today guests arrive for a family vacation, so I’ll be back here sometime after the 15th.

I’ll have lots to update you on then.

Thoughts at the Makeup Counter.

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Last week I took a rare trip to the makeup counter at Macy’s. I went because there was a special and I needed a couple of small things. As often happens (maybe because I’m a sucker), I ended up sitting in a chair while a young woman wearing lots of eyeshadow touched my face.

Now back in my teaching days, I needed a second job for awhile, so I used to work at one of these counters and I remember how this works. The girl with lots of eyeshadow needs to present herself as the expert and to do that she needs to make me feel insecure about my face or my skin or my eyes–whatever will help her sell me something to cover up or enhance or accentuate my features. Those are words the eyeshadowed girls use a lot.

So, anyway, I’m in the chair and the eyeshadowed girl is scrutinizing my face. After a pause, she asks, “So how old are you, dear?”

I smile (I know what’s coming.) and say proudly, “31.”

“Oh? Really? Hmm…” Delicate pause. “Well, let me show you one of our new products that will help you get rid of those circles under your eyes and get you back to looking more your age.”

“Circles?” I think, “I didn’t notice any circles this morning–hmm. Maybe I do need to put a little more effort into my appearance. Did I even look in the mirror this morning when I left? I wonder what the rest of me looks like.”

I sat there in that chair and began to feel more and more insecure. I decided it was time to change the subject. “So,” I asked, “what do you do when you’re not at Macy’s?”

“Well, I have a three year old little boy and he takes a lot of my time. When I’m not here then mostly I’m doing his laundry.” She laughs with a tired smile.

I sense that she wants to change the subject, so I ask how long she’s worked at Macy’s.

“Oh, on and off– about a year.” Ok, let’s change the subject again. So I ask if she had enjoyed the long weekend.

“Well, my boyfriend and I got in a fight, but then later we grilled out with his family, so… no I guess not.”

Ouch. A little too much information. She realizes this and changes the subject, but thankfully not to my dark under eye circles. “So, what about you? What do you do?”

“Well, I’m an artist…”

In a effort to steer the conversation away from my facial flaws, I describe my life for her. I talk about my art, our travel, living overseas– anything but makeup. And as I talk I realize, my life is really good. I look at her perfect makeup and I contrast my life with hers and decide that even with my under eye circles, I’d rather be me.

Finally, she steps back and hands me a mirror. “Now, doesn’t that look nice,” she says. “What do you think of that concealer? Should I put that in your bag, too?”

“No thanks, I don’t need it.”