Jolie Guillebeau


Archive for October, 2012

Memory

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

“It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.” –Lewis Carroll 

I’ve started a big project. You can see how it’s progressing from the links at the bottom.

Here’s a funny question: Remember Memory? I’m talking about the game. Mine had a little red tray and stacks of cards with rounded edges and cartoon pictures. I loved that game.

I always took it when I went to visit my aunt Doris. She’d park me at the kitchen table and make lunch for all the men who worked on the farm while I’d turn cards over and try to find the matching pairs. I could entertain myself for hours.

If this canvas was a game of Memory, then today’s square is a match. It’s Friday, so I’m going to show you how it’s progressing.

Can you find the matching pair?

Oh! One more thing! I want to say Hi to Mrs. Hailey’s kindergarten class in Salt Lake City. They’re following along with this project and that makes me incredibly happy. Hi!

Memory. 30×30 inches. Oil on Canvas.

Square 14 of 49 (it’s the fourth square on the sixth row)

An archive of this project can be found here. You’ll be able to see every square as they continue to form a whole painting.

Questions + the big reveal

Friday, October 19th, 2012

“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” –Voltaire

Last week I started a big project. You can see how it’s progressing from the links at the bottom.

When I’m not painting, I’m often helping new knitters. A solid 75% of helping anyone learn something new is encouragment.

Yesterday, I was at the yarn shop and a lady came in totally flustered. She said, “I just know I’ve done something wrong here, but I can’t find it! It just doesn’t feel right.”

And she pulled this beautifully knit, but very short bit of fabric out of her bag. I looked at it and couldn’t figure out the problem. It looked perfect.

But she was certain that she’d made a mistake. So we sat down at the table, and looked more closely. Finally I asked her to show me what didn’t feel right.

And that’s when I saw it. She was holding her knitting backwards. So everytime she tried to knit, the yarn was coming from the wrong direction.

I didn’t say a word, but I just turned the work around in her hands. She sighed with relief and then we laughed.

Sometimes it just takes a different set of eyes looking at what you’re doing, and maybe you decide to turn around. Suddenly everything is right again.

So today, I’m going to show you the whole canvas. Should I turn around?

Here’s the dilemma: The small paintings are safe. I’ve already explained my reasons. But I miss looking for those tiny moments in my day to share with you. Recording and sharing them makes them last longer.

Yes, I like painting the larger work. It’s challenging and fun. But who says I can’t do both? Yes, it means more work for me, but if it’s something I enjoy, then that shouldn’t be a problem, right?

I still need to work out the logistics of all this, but I can’t help wondering what you think. Do tell.

The Big Picture. 30×30 inches. Oil on Canvas.

Square 9 of 49 (it’s the second square on the sixth row)

Bright Side

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Bright Side.

“Being fully present is the best guarantee for a bright future.” –Guy Finley 

Last week I started a big project. You can see how it’s progressing from the links at the bottom.

You might have guessed by now that I’m a optimist. But some days I really have to look for the bright side.

I’m coughing, tired of being sick, a little grumpy, and a little lonely.  It seems like everyone I know is off on a big adventure together and I’m at home.

But I was riding my bike home on a gorgeous fall day, wearing a sweater I just finished knitting. The leaves were bright and the sky was so blue. And I realized I’m really glad to be home.

So I knew immediately which square I needed to paint today– a bright one.

Sixth row, Sixth square. Detail, 30×30 inches. Oil on Canvas.

Square 8 of 49.

Pieces

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

“There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.” –G.K. Chesterton

Last week I started a big project. You can see how it’s progressing from the links at the bottom.

Today I rode my bike in much kinder conditions than yesterday. There were a few showers, but for the most part the sky was just the way I like it.

There were pieces of clouds around, with big bright blue patches everywhere. I rode home in a light rain, and stopped to look up– since I’m paying attention to clouds more since I’ve started this painting.

I love clouds.

Horizon

Monday, October 15th, 2012

“No matter how far a person can go, the horizon is still way beyond you.” — Zora Neale Hurston

I’ve started a big project. You can see how it’s progressing from the links at the bottom.

This is an important square. By now, many of you have already guessed what I’m painting, but after today you’ll know for sure.

The sea is somehow built in to my DNA. If I go too long without looking out at sea and sky I start to get antsy. There’s something about looking over the horizon that anchors me.

So it seemed natural to paint that horizon as part of my biggest painting ever. And while every square doesn’t tie in to what’s happening in my day-to-day life, it’s kind of marvelous that my own anchor, my marvelous traveling man, returned home yesterday via Horizon Air.

Horizon. 30×30 inches. Oil on Canvas.

Square 12 of 49 (it’s the seventh square on the third row)

An archive of this project can be found here. You’ll be able to see every square as they continue to form a whole painting.

Fully Cornered

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

“Courage can’t see around corners but goes around them anyway.” — Mignon McLaughlin.

This weekend was a quiet one. And by quiet I mean boring.

I’m still recovering here, so I spent yesterday trying to rest. But I was bored out of my skull. I read for awhile, I watched Netflix, I listened to the rain. I was so very glad to start this painting. I was even tempted to paint two squares.

So I started another painting.

But all four corners are complete. 5 down, 44 squares to go.

My corner.

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.” –Aldous Huxley
Monday I started a big project. You can see how it’s progressing from the links at the bottom.
Yesterday was a catch-up day for me. It’s been a hectic few weeks, and my inbox and laundry hamper were both overflowing.

So I spent a few hours sorting both things, then I went for lunch, and picked up a couple of flowers for my desk. Then I went to TaeKwonDo– my first time back since I got myyellow belt!

It was a great day. And tomorrow’s weather is forecasting the first rainy day since July 1. I’m excited!

Turning a Corner

Monday, October 8th, 2012

“I want to look at life – at the commonplaces of existence – as if we had just turned a corner and run into it for the first time.” –Christopher Fry

Monday I started a big project. You can see how it’s progressing from the links at the bottom.

I got some good news this week– and I’m grateful.

About a year ago, I found a lump in my breast. Because of my family history of breast cancer, I’m at a higher risk than normal, so I’m pretty cautious about screening.

It’s been a hectic year. But we’ve finally turned a corner.

My doctor told me this week that I don’t have anything to worry about right now.

I’ll go back in a few months for a follow up, and we’ll continue to watch things carefully. Here’s my chance to remind you about screening, too. Can you make that doctor’s appointment you’ve been putting off?

Meanwhile, I’m breathing a sigh of relief and celebrating. Thanks for checking in with me over the past few weeks. Your support and  kind words have meant so much.

Puzzle.

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

A good puzzle, it’s a fair thing. Nobody is lying. It’s very clear, and the problem depends just on you. –Erno Rubik

Monday I started a big project. And yesterday I painted the Free Space.

So I decided to approach the early paintings from a familiar perspective. I love jigsaw puzzles.

I can spend hours piecing puzzles together. And everyone knows the first rule of jigsaw puzzles is finding the corners.

So I’m starting with the corners. This one is the top left.

Bingo.

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” — Paulo Coelho

Yesterday I started a big project.

I’m still feeling a little intimidated, but I’m leaping forward– and I hope you’re as excited as I am.

Today– the first square on the grid. And a few more details.

Let’s start with the details. How ’bout a FAQ? Since some of you emailed to ask, I’m guessing that everyone is wondering.

1. Wait– what’s happening to the 100 Stories series?

It’s still here. It’s one of my favorite things, so I’m definitely going to keep it up, but the change for the next few weeks is a way for me to tackle a larger canvas in smaller pieces, while still telling you stories about my day.

2. So is this one big painting? Or 49 little paintings on one canvas?

One big painting. I’ve never painted anything this big. (yikes!)

3. How can I help so that the money thing is less scary? 

You’re awesome! I’m so grateful that you even asked. I’m thinking about that– can I get back to you in a few days?

Okay– now, today’s story of course revolves around this project. I spent a long time thinking of which square was the best for beginning. Should I just start in the top left and work my way across? Or work in reverse? Top middle?

When in doubt I go with a memory. Bingo.

Have you ever played Bingo? At the center of every board is a Free Space. No matter what, that space is covered. You don’t have to worry about it.

Before the first number is ever called, you’re one step closer to winning. It’s a grid filled with possibility. So I knew that had to be the square to start.

I’m so grateful for the Free Space.