Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Popping in to say I've been taking a much needed blogging break. Finally finished all the book illustrations last Friday. To do so, I decided to deny myself any painting time until the job was done. I had joked with the author that I viewed working on the illustrations as foreplay and would not allow myself painting release until completion. So it was over a week with no oils.

Returning to the canvas this past weekend felt really good as did handing over the completed illustrations and receiving a nice check.

I'm also fairly swamped at work and on top of it, trying to prep my new assistant because it looks as if I may be taking a 4 - 6 week sabbatical at the end of February through the month of March.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Very quiet day with only a couple of us in the office. The bulk of the staff worked from home today. Bodie was bored.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Red Wall...

This morning about 7 am from the deck of our office...


Sunday, November 21, 2010

It snowed today. Flurries bring me a sense of calm. I stepped off the bus halfway during my trip so I could walk home in the cold air, feeling the wetness on my face. Taking a right on E. Republican off Broadway, there was the comforting smell of wood stoves warming homes all the way up the hill.

Last night I purchased a small roasted chicken, knowing it would be dinner for four meals. The weather was perfect for my baked sweet potato with baby peas and chicken. An early taste of Thanksgiving.

These past few days I've been too engrossed in a project to blog or even take photographs, saving my creative energy for the studio. This photo was shot last week.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A quickie once again because I'm still slammed with work -

It is Thursday afternoon in the office and for the first time in a long time, I have successfully resisted office cupcakes and bagels and chocolate all week. A couple times today I'd walk into the kitchen muttering "screw it", pick up the package, remind myself that I will indulge on Friday night and then walk out without succumbing to major sweets temptation. Huge victory.

The days are shorter and it feels as if we've not only lost hours of daylight but hours in actual time. How can I get everything done?

I've had to make a decision not to think about painting for the next week or two. My work week is spent focusing on my day job and the weekend is committed to completion of another art project, interspersed with a little fun, social time.

a couple links...

Patti Smith wins the nonfiction prize at the National Book Awards for "Just Kids". The book is a gorgeous read and I've been slowly savoring it.

Here are some poignant photos from various protests held in the last few weeks.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

busy, busy day...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian is featuring artists' explorations of the fluidity of sexuality and gender. Gorgeous site.

Entrance to the exhibit, Hide/Seek - Difference and Desire in American Portraiture.

Keeping with the Hide/Seek theme...here is Matt Alber performing Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek" live.

For the original, here is Imogen Heap.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yesterday's open studio went well. There were folks who had come into the studio for the first time as well as friends. A few painters popped in and we had great conversations. It was a good day. After dinner with a few friends I hadn't seen in months, I arrived home at 7 and was in bed by 8. Very tired.

The above photo is of the 30 paintings in 30 days completed by my studio mate. I shot this while prepping for the open house. The work was due last night, and a few were still wet. So we set up the lights hoping they would dry a little more before she dropped them off.

And the color photo of my work table was taken by my friend John while he was visiting yesterday. He captured the 5 minutes the sun came out.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Explorations of the viaduct...

Open Studio today - 12 - 5pm
619 Western Ave
4th floor south - The Sophia Room

Come hang. Check out work. Chat. Nosh.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

When I purchased my new Macbook in June, I discovered iWeb. Since then, I've slowly been creating a website to showcase my work. It's still in progress. There is tweaking to be done. And I'm still indecisive about what else is going up, or coming down...etc. I still need to put is dimensions for the paintings and plan on redoing the photography section. But, at least there's finally something up.

You can get a first glance at mariegagnon.com

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shot on Tuesday as our ferry was leaving for Bainbridge for our staff retreat. It was a good and fruitful day.

I had planned to take a vacation day this week to paint until we were reminded that today was a holiday. I've looked forward to an entire studio day and decided to walk instead of bus it. I can make it in under an hour. It'll be good, quiet day, chunking through paintings, working on illustrations while munching on a hard boiled egg, a couple satsumas, apple, cheese and a 1/2 a peanut butter sandwich.

These are some of the small things that bring bliss.


I walk or bus more often than I take the car. Yesterday morning I woke up very late and decided to drive to work instead of walking the 20 minutes. That is, until I found this. I am penned between two cars in a 3 car spot. What angered me the most was that the car in front can move up another 4 feet before hitting the loading zone. The car in behind me (although you can't tell from this photo) can back up a couple feet before hitting the crosswalk.

So...I walked to work.

This morning, nothing has changed. I called the nonemergency number of my police precinct to find out what I can do if I absolutely needed to take the car. They suggested I call 911 and their officer would come out to get it towed. I wrote a couple notes and left it on each windshield, asking them to move a foot otherwise they would get towed if I had to leave.

I don't need the car until Sunday, when I head out for my open studio. That morning I'll be hitting various shops to pick up food, wine, cider, and flowers. Hopefully one or both will see the notes before then.

A huge pet peeve is when people park without paying attention to what's around them.

And yes, I know I need to get new hubcabs. The plastic ones that came with the car 10 years ago slowly cracked and disappeared. But, for an old car, it only has 79,000 miles on it. My Corolla is still a baby.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Carb Central

I walked into work yesterday and after seeing this declared war on carbs…simple carbs. It was a weekend of meetings and events which meant loads of extra food in the office. I love carbs but they no longer love me. Getting older means a slowing metabolism and it takes a greater effort to keep the weight down. I have to be even stricter with what I'm eating and increase the exercise even more. I don't purchase cookies, cakes or desserts for my home so the discipline needs to happen at the office.

I can deal with hot flashes (my new super power as I call it) much easier than deal with a tired metabolism.

And now, away for the day. I'm walking down to the studio before hitting the ferry for an all day staff retreat on Bainbridge Island.

Monday, November 08, 2010

The walk to work in the mornings have been blanketed in darkness. It is soothing because it offers a slow wake up without the shock of light. This morning brought a reminder of the upcoming season: cold enough at 5:30 am to miss my mittens and hat.

I've been told I have 30 hours of vacation time to use or lose before the end of the year. My deliberation for the next hour is to make a decision as to whether I want to take some vacation time today and hit the studio or wait until Wednesday.

Or maybe take both afternoons instead of one entire day.

Happy Monday all...

Sunday, November 07, 2010

A weekend of painting and a nice brunch this morning catching up with E. This photo is from B & O Espresso where I opted for a little decadence by indulging in a omelet filled with asparagus, cream cheese and carmelized onions. A spicy Bloody Mary completed the meal and then a walk downtown making my way to the studio.

Yesterday I had a huge hankering to work large and so broke into my 48"x48" canvas. This is the first pass...

Today I wanted to let yesterday's painting sit a while as I consider what direction to take the canvas. It was also time to fully rework an older painting that I've been struggling with for over a month. It's 30"x40" and this is what it looked like before finally going back into it.

So I turned it upside down and began painting. This is the same canvas after today's work session...

Saturday, November 06, 2010

What a full day. Laundry and writing this morning and then I headed downtown. Being cool and rainy made for warm times in the studio and the space was enticing. So much so that I wanted to stay all evening and work. But I had other plans because I had been given a ticket to see HUMP! at 6pm.

The tickets go on sale for screenings all weekend long and normally sell out within hours of going on sale. I spaced it this year and was out of town the day they were sold and figured this would be the first HUMP! I miss. On Thursday a friend approached me with an extra ticket.

The films were all fun. Wonderful. Sexy. Each year the caliber of the films get better and better. We have some seriously creative folks in the PNW and The Stranger does a great job with this contest.

I'll be in bed early and look forward to more studio time tomorrow. I have lots of new ideas for furthering the viaduct series and plan on stopping at the store first to pick up a new stash of canvases.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Thank you to all who came out for art walk. It was a very full four hours of chatting and connecting and laughing and being. The reception to the work was almost mesmerizing...filling me with awe.

Good friends, a pink sidekick, and new folks made for a rich evening. The weather was warm. No rain. No Mariner's Game. Pioneer Square was bulging with people. Our studio, constantly full. And I have some very sexy friends.

Kenny, my studiomate's 5 year old stepson was showing 8 more of his drawings. I surprised him by creating a color flyer announcing his show and posting it in the elevator so everyone coming into the building could see it and come up to the space. I had to make sure to tape the flyer low enough so he would notice it. He came in, quite surprised and thrilled at having seen the little poster. We gave him a stool and he chose to stay in his area for 3 hours, never a lack of interested people to engage in conversation. He sold at least three drawings.

Here is the first entry I wrote about Kenny in September.

Today...I'm going to rest. I would like to head down to the studio later this afternoon but it's been such a hectic week that staying in may be more prudent.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Another beautiful day...

Yesterday was a nonstop whirlwind day.

Leaving work I hopped a bus downtown. I got off the bus halfway through the ride because not only did I want to grab some exercise but it was another gorgeous day and I ached to spend time in it. I saw this game of chess on my walk to the studio.

After spending time in the studio cleaning my space and prepping it for tonight's art walk, I ran to my framer who is shipping a painting to a buyer for me. From there, I walked the 6 or so blocks to the Kucera Gallery where the foundation I work for was holding an event for fund holders.

It was a nice event, made even a little more special because the gallery is currently showing some absolutely beautiful Picasso etchings. I spent an hour speaking with donors while surrounded by glorious art. And I fell in love with a little print that I can't even afford unless I found buyers for my entire inventory of paintings.

An hour later I needed to dash for the bus home. My bus transfer was getting ready to expire and I had already given my two singles to a couple homeless folks I met on my walk. The timing was perfect because I didn't realize how exhausted I was until I stepped off the bus.

A late dinner consisted of peanut butter and an apple before peeling off my clothes on the way to my bed.

And today? Another busy day.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


I made Joey Veltkamp's "the openings you don't want to miss..." Art Walk Guide for this month's First Thursday in City Arts Magazine.

Check it out here.

And as a reminder, if you can't make Art Walk, the studio will be open again on Sunday, November 14 from noon - 5 pm.

Thanks Joey!

...shot as I waited for the bus downtown yesterday afternoon.

It was a gorgeous autumn day. While the light was still lovely I took quite a few new viaduct photos yesterday so I'll have more images to play with. This is directly in back of my studio building. Our building is there on the right...where the Antique Importers sign is.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A few of you know how incredibly nervous I get in front of a camera. And, it's even worse in front of video. Having said that, in October I volunteered to be filmed for two entirely different projects. It's part of my personal commitment to push myself with something challenging every month.

One of the filming endeavors was to create a video for the It Gets Better Project with some of the staff.

Monday, November 01, 2010

One of the many wonderful things about having a dog in the office...Bodie tells me he wants to play by grabbing the hem of my jeans as I walk. Each step has a little pup attached to my pant leg. We'll then play fetch which turns into my chasing him around the office to grab the toy from his mouth. Bodie assists with my daily cardio workout.

Another reason it's delightful is because he will wander around to each of our offices and plop himself in our chairs. To work at my computer and then look up to see a little dog hanging out chilling is bliss.