The Long Way Home


Here Comes the Sun: Mural Progression
October 20, 2009, 10:15 AM
Filed under: Art Gallery, Pennsylvania | Tags: , , , , ,

Curt Gettman, project manager for the Sprout Fund has been tracking the mural progress. It looks as if the sun will prove to be the mural’s savior. In the future: do not put on clear coat if the temperature is below 60 degrees with rain in the forecast. Lesson learned.



Warm Water and a Kind Soul = Near-completed Mural
October 19, 2009, 8:13 PM
Filed under: Art Gallery, Pennsylvania, United States | Tags: , ,

Someone in the Morningside community was kind enough to wash the mural with gentle dabs of warm water. It’s looking much better.  Thank you, whoever did this. Now with the warm weather tomorrow, it may return  to its original state.

 

gnome detail - warm water may do the trick

gnome detail - warm water may do the trick

crossing our fingers: the white-wash is disappearing

crossing our fingers: the white-wash is disappearing



More Adventures from the Morningside Mural Project
October 18, 2009, 5:55 PM
Filed under: Art Gallery, Pennsylvania, United States | Tags: , , ,

I wish we could say it’s finished. But we’re not sure yet.

Jeff on his 40th birthday

Jeff on his 40th birthday

 

 

This entry was supposed to be the grand-finale blog entry documenting the completion of the Morningside mural. Jeff’s been working on this project since May – from submitting the proposal, to the preliminary designs — meetings with the Morningside community, the final design, and then the painting – two and a half months of painting (with the amazing help of Sarah W.). Finally, he rolled the last coat of clear finish to protect the mural on October 11th, his 40th birthday. It was a little chilly that afternoon, but sunny and we couldn’t have been happier. 

 

the 'final' design

the 'final' design

 

mural detail, houses

mural detail, houses

 

the final step: clear coat

the final step: clear coat

We were both pretty shocked this past Friday when someone from the Morningside community emailed Jeff, telling him that the clear coat on the mural had dripped down the length of it, causing white streaks. Who knew it would be 30 degrees and snow mixed with rain in the middle of October?  The low temperature and rain caused the streaking. Jeff was in such shock that he  had no reaction at all, which really worried me. My stomach dropped and my heart ached for him, thinking of all the hard work he put into that work. His hands were still flecked with mural paint, the greenish-blue embedded under his nails and staining his shoes. This mural had become a big part of him these past few months and to think that he might have to paint it again pretty much makes me want to puke and scream at the same time. 

 

damaged mural detail

damaged mural detail

oh deer: the clear coat didn't have enough time to dry in crap weather

oh deer: the clear coat didn't have enough time to dry in crap weather

We still had a good weekend, despite this setback (flea marketing is always good therapy for us). There is a chance that if the clear coat has a chance to fully dry on Tuesday and Wednesday when it’s sunny and in the 60s, then Jeff won’t have anything to worry about. But if it is damaged, then we start figuring out how to fix this little bitch. Here is a sneak peek of what is beneath the cloudy version:

 

gnome detail

gnome detail



Morningside Mural Project
September 7, 2009, 6:53 PM
Filed under: Art Gallery, Pennsylvania | Tags: , , , , ,

 I’m happy (and relieved) to say that Jeff’s mural is almost finished! One more weekend and I’ll have my husband returned to  me.

I’m super proud of him. He worked so, so hard doing this – from many sketches to the final project – all while working a full time job as well as having two other freelance projects. His dedication and talent are inspiring to me (and yes sweetie, you get a big present waiting for you on the other side, he he). 

I really like Morningside too. It reminds me a little bit of where I grew up in Coraopolis – -everybody knows your business (this could be potentially annoying, as it was growing up in Cory. But I find the idea comforting as I get older). On the afternoon I took the pictures, our friend Bill and I stopped in to Frank’s Pizza to get some lunch. “You’re new here?” the owner (Frank?) said. Jeffrey, the owner of Morning Glory Coffeehouse, held a corn roast to kick-off mural festivities. People kept walking by or driving up to the coffeehouse and saying hello.  Jeff and I marked it on our list of possible places to look for a house.  I may get my garden sooner than I think. 

previous mural, corner of Greenwood and Chislett

previous mural, corner of Greenwood and Chislett

 

painting over old mural

painting over old mural

wall canvas

wall canvas

the first images

the first images

mural4

mural1

mural3
mural7



Dividing the Goose and the Art of Leisure

wojojlizcardslargeJeff and I are co-curators of “Dividing the Goose,” a multi-media fairy tales exhibition at Future Tenant in downtown Pittsburgh. The opening is September 18 and the show runs through October 17 featuring artwork by: Stephen Boyle, Alexandra Etschmaier, Kyle Ethan Fischer, T. Foley, Linnea Glick, Roya Hamadani, Ben Hernstrom, Michael Lotenero, Jody Perigo, Laura Vincent and Michael Vincent. Working with Kate, the FT director has been awesome  and I’m so excited to see all the pieces in one room, finally! 

The title of the show is from a Russian fairy tale — a peasant man must find a clever way to divide a goose among many people when there is only one to go around. After reading through all the artist statements, I can pretty much sum up in one sentence how fairy tales affected the artists’ works: Fairy tales scared the shit out of us as children. 

We haven’t been able to travel much all summer because Jeff received a Sprout Fund grant to paint a city mural in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Morningside (I’m so proud of him!).  And while my hubby is busy away working on various freelance projects, I’ve been sitting on the couch watching deliciously terrible films, not feeling inspired much to do anything. It’s summer, right? I’m allowed a creative vacation.

But this past Monday I finally picked up my lazy self and started working on the fairy tale photos I took at the beginning of the summer. It’s amazing how distance makes you see your artwork in a whole new way. I remember taking the photos in June and thinking a lot of them weren’t what I intended. After flipping through them the other night, a whole world opened to me, much like it does when I write stories and let them sit, then go back to them months – years sometimes – later. I should learn to apply what I know from writing to photography, but I still have a hard time making them connect. 

I want to thank Erica Stratton for finding my photo “morning ritual” on flickr and including it on  www.genderfork.com. The site has really beautiful, inspiring photography, so I felt honored to have one of my pieces on there. And thank you S. for encouraging me to submit my photo to the Silver Eye self-portrait exhibition – that helped get me back into photo stuffs again.

You can also find some of my other photos along with the secret Toboz-family stuffed cabbage recipe in issue #’s 8 and 9 of www.discounderworld.com.

Now that I’ve completed my shameless self-promotion, I’m going to watch more crappy movies this afternoon. I need a break from all of this typing.

 

goose




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