Jolie Guillebeau

Archive for the ‘grid’ Category


Saturday, November 17th, 2012

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” –Ernest Hemingway

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

Yesterday I returned to TaeKwonDo after a six week break. My biopsy in late September required a little more recovery than I anticipated, so I feel like I’m starting right back at square one in some ways.

Except I’m starting as a yellow belt. Woo-hoo!

And as a yellow belt, I get to break boards. Which I did  yesterday morning for the first time ever.

Let me repeat that for proper dramatic effect. I, Jolie Guillebeau, PE class dunce, broke a board with my foot yesterday morning.

It was a thin board, but it was still a board. And I broke it.


Monday, November 12th, 2012

“‘The best thing for being sad,’ replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, ‘is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails.'” –T.H. White, The Once and Future King

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

Yesterday I didn’t plan well. I rushed from one thing to the next, and didn’t realize until late afternoon that I actually needed to eat something. Suddenly I was hungry, but only had two minutes to spare before my next student arrived.

As I practically swallowed a banana whole, I thought to myself, “Why do I do this at the end of the day? Is teaching these few students really worth it? Am I just wearing myself out for nothing?”

Then I put on my happy face and opened the door. My 12 year old student bounced in and the first thing out of her mouth was, “I’m so excited about class today!”

And I had my answer.

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.


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.


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.


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.