Jason Isbell &The 400 Unit @ The House

Last night Nate and I got to see an excellent show at The House.

009 - Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit @ the House
 Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit were awesome, along with the opening bands Roman Candle and Tom Schraeder & His Ego.  I've been loving seeing shows at smaller venues lately.  I can't say enough good things about all of the bands, so please check them out for yourselves! :)
011 - Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit @ the House
And being the nerd I am, I had to get a picture. :) 

I blame my love for the electric guitar on growing up in Milwaukee.  Good music makes me weak in the knees - good thing I married a musician!


I've been busy this weekend gutting my dollhouse.  If you ever build a dollhouse, don't use towels, carpet samples, or miniature shingles as the flooring.  Also, don't use gallons of wood glue to fix them in place. 
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doll house 21
Getting there!  Since this photo I've removed the rest of the 'shingle floor' as well.  I can't wait to get everything sanded and repainted. 
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I even got fancy and tested the paints to see if they were oil based or latex based.  Luckily for me they are latex based which will save me a bunch of time.  I've been working at some drawings in the studio as well, hopefully I will remember to bring my camera when I go there later today so that I can show you!

Recent Acquisitions

I've been hitting up the thrift stores recently in effort to gather frames and various objects that I'm using in future projects. Along the way I've also found some great stuff. First off, here are a couple of the frames I picked up.
005 - Frame
I look for ones that are plastic (the spray primer works best on plastic), somewhat tacky, and have glass inserts.
006 - Frame
Usually they are between $1 and $2.
I also found some dark grey primer to start using on the frames so I don't have to use as much paint to cover the primer. I am going to use them for paintings similar to this one.
001 - Mug
Mugs, they are my weakness. I picked up a bunch of them for my Drawing students, and found this little pretty for myself - it is a mikasa mug. :)
002 - Leather Bags
And bags..... my other weakness..... The one on the left is one of my favorites, I thought I had lost it, but I found it in my closet while cleaning! My grandma had picked it up for me at a garage sale a while back. I found the one on the right last week and payed $5 for it. It goes across my body so it is really great for traveling. They both look like they will last a long long time.
004 - Necklace
Last but not least, I bought a necklace. We had a visiting artist this week who works with women in Guatemala who lost loved ones in their civil war. After recording their stories of war and suffering, he compiled a book in hopes to keep future generations from making the same mistakes. After they told their stories to him, he taught them how to do beading as a way of renewing their spirits. This necklace really caught my eye. :)

Home Sweet Home

Good sense would tell me to go to bed because I teach in the morning at 8am. But the next few days are going to be very stressful and busy, so goodbye good sense!
First off, I've been photographing my dollhouse before I rehab it. I wanted to get some straightforward before and after shots to highlight the changes. Here is the before:
doll house 09
The house has these little pictures on the walls of the previous owner's grandchildren, their boat, and a dead deer. I feel a little bad taking these off.
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I've got a bunch more to edit.
I'm also in the process of repainting a bunch of thriftstore frames for another project.....
primed frames
On top of those things, I've got some paintings started in the studio. I am hoping to get some images of those up soon as well. So much to do! I think I already need a vacation.

Gallery Season

This last Friday was the kickoff of the gallery season here in Chicago, and after two years of living here, I finally made it out for the openings with some friends. Somehow I only took pictures of art though, so that is what you are going to get. :)
{Frank Trankina @ Packer Schopf}
We started out the night by touring one of our professors - Frank Trankina - studio. I've always loved seeing where people work, and the processes they use to make their art, so it was a really neat experience. He has a massive collection of vintage toys, my favorite being the Blatz beer elf.
{William Staples @ 65 Grand}
Our first stop was 65 Grand, an apartment gallery in the west loop (we spent the whole night in the west loop). The artist was William Staples, whom I've actually received a visiting artist critique from. Right before I got to say hello and reintroduce myself, the group I was with hit the pavement, so if you are out there Will, hello and nice show.
We went on a gallery blitz from here on out, and mostly, I wasn't too impressed. The majority of the work I made little or no connection with, for the exception of a few pieces here and there. Kind of disappointing.
{Karen Savage @ Packer Schopf}
The exception to my disappointment was the work at Packer Schopf, they had a really solid showing of work, my favorites being the pieces by Karen Savage and Diem Chau.
{Diem Chau @ Packer Schopf}
I loved these pieces so much.
{Diem Chau @ Packer Schopf}
I'm planning on hitting the North Loop soon as well. Overall it was still a great night, and I'm really glad I had a chance to get in to the city.

Welcome to the Dollhouse

As you may have figured from my absence here, school has started - thanks for all of your encouragement and kind comments on my last post, you guys are swell. This last week or so has been quite the whirlwind, but I am starting to get back into the rhythm of things. Teaching is going well, despite having my class switched on me last minute, and I'm making some headway on developing work for my thesis show.
I am really excited about the project I'm taking on. Want a preview? Well you're getting one:
doll house 03

doll house 04

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doll house 05

doll house 07

And one for fun:
doll house 01
Can you believe I finally found a dollhouse? I've been flirting with the idea of getting one for so long, and have been stalking craigslist ads all summer to find the perfect one. Originally I had thought I would purchase a kit and make one - documenting the process as I went - as a part of my thesis work. Instead I've decided to rehab this one, document the process, and then use it like a 'set' of sorts for a series of paintings I am planning on doing. I can't wait.

Also, the garden is still doing swimmingly despite it being so chilly this last week. Isn't this the most perfect pear tomato! It is so cute!
loot 02
I've got 6 good sized zucchinis waiting for me along with a large number of tomatoes. Time to make some salsa and bread....