Jolie Guillebeau

Archive for February, 2009


Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Chris and I have been working today to set up the office/studio. Last week when we moved in, we automatically took our bed to the larger room and all our other stuff to the smaller room, but after a couple of days we thought since our bed and nightstands are the only furniture in our bedroom and we’re trying to cram my easel, my desk, his filing cabinet, his desk, the printer and bookshelves in to the smaller room, then why not switch rooms? So we did. It meant we had to move the bed last night and I never want to move the filing cabinet again, but now we have twice the space for an office/studio and our bed still fits nicely in the smaller room.

In that process I had to move a big stack of paintings and I realized that I had a few that weren’t posted here. So, a painting update.

I painted this in early December. It was in the Fat Tiger Show, but somehow it didn’t make it here.

This was January’s big painting. I think it made it on to the blog, but not in a completed form.

And this was my painting this month. I played with the Fisher-Price Little People for hours at a time when I was a kid, so these were an obvious choice for my next painting. They are the people from the Little People Airplane Set, a pilot, a “stewardess” (because that’s what they were called in 1981) and the luggage cart. I found them on eBay. I’m still looking for the airplane– I want to paint the complete set. Meanwhile, I’m going to go finish setting up the studio, so I’ll have more to show you soon.

(By the way, this is my 102nd post– I let that milestone slip by in the midst of all the moving…)

A reason to stay…

Monday, February 16th, 2009

We have a few small sprouts in the the plants on our windowsill– and I’ve found something new to love about Portland.

The Waffle Window is three blocks from my house. A reason to stay.


Friday, February 13th, 2009

The English teacher in me is really in to metaphors. This is something that annoys Chris. I’m always using metaphors in conversation and he listens with the little bit of patience that he has acquired during our marriage (believe me, he has way more than I ever thought he would), until eventually he says, “What are you trying to say?”

And then I read him a poem. He LOVES that.

When we arrived in Portland Sunday, and unloaded the truck, and began to make order of all the boxes, we then made our way to Fred Meyer to get groceries. I never went to Fred Meyer in Seattle, because it wasn’t on a bus line for me, but the one here is less than two blocks away, so I think I’ll be there a lot. So far I’ve actually been every day since we moved to Portland. It could be dangerous.

Sorry– back to the subject. At Fred Meyer, there is a garden center just past the produce section. So while Chris was choosing bananas, I wandered over to the seeds. I thought it would be cool to have a plant that we started growing on our first day in our new home. Chris just rolled his eyes, but I bought the seeds and soil.

So I brought them home and put the seeds in the soil and put them in a sunny window.
And I realized — METAPHOR! Chris had to listen to my ramblings again… “See Chris? It’s like us– we’ve been transplanted, but we don’t have any roots yet!”

So this is where I am now:

Hopefully roots will come. And our new life here will slowly sprout.

Upside down…

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

That’s the way my world has been for the past few weeks.

But it seems that things are turning around. Of course, that may be because we’ve completely re-arranged our world.

Chris and I moved to Portland, Oregon this week. Surprised? Yeah, a lot of people are. We didn’t mean to keep so many people in the dark, but we weren’t sure that everything would come together, so we were pretty quiet about it.

And then, everything did come together. So we’re here. Which means I missed saying good-bye to a few people. But I hate good-byes, so maybe that’s ok. Unless you are one of those people, and then it’s not. And I’m sorry.

Portland is great– our new house is amazing. But I have to say, I don’t really feel like explaining myself to a whole new group of people. You know, “Hi, I’m Jolie. An artist. Who paints toys. Who lived in Africa. On a ship. Yes, a ship. Well, it’s a hospital ship… Oh, that’s my husband. He travels a lot. Yes, I’m ok with this. Well, he’s trying to go to every country in the world. Why? Umm, well… because he’s… because it’s… well we have these goals…” You see my problem. I don’t really want to explain this crazy life we live anymore.

I guess I’m just mourning the loss of my peeps in Seattle. My wonderful, hysterical friends that took me to get a nose ring on a Wednesday evening, and helped me procrastinate my painting, or were always up for sushi when Chris was away, or cried (and cussed) with me when my world there turned upside down.


I can see that we’re here for a reason and it’s going to be marvelous. (Except for the snow, but it’s snowing in Seattle, too.) I’m glad to be on a new adventure. I actually really love moving– making a fresh start in a new place, going through all my stuff, getting rid of things I don’t need, unpacking boxes and putting things away in a new place. Chris was freaking out about loading the truck, but I was pretending it was a game of Tetris– if you got the boxes in the right place, then you scored extra points and your stuff didn’t get broken on the drive down. (See? I can’t even explain myself to me…)

And once those boxes are unpacked, I’ll even put up some pictures of our new place. (I know, I know, but I really will.) It’s going to be so pretty, I can’t wait to show it to you.

Feast of St. Brigid

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Today is Groundhog Day and the Feast of St. Brigid. To celebrate, we’re having a (silent) poetry reading. Learn more here.

Jane Kenyon is one of my favorite poets. I keep a book of her poems on my shelf next to my easel, because reading her work is like taking a deep breath on a hectic day. It offers a quiet reflection, and a puddle of peace in the chaos of the world. Read for yourself.

The Suitor

We lie back to back. Curtains
lift and fall,
like the chest of someone sleeping.
Wind moves the leaves of the box elder;
they show their light undersides,
turning all at once
like a school of fish.
Suddenly I understand that I am happy.
For months this feeling
has been coming closer, stopping
for short visits, like a timid suitor.

Jane Kenyon