This doll should be named Experience because she has gone through many changes. She sat on a shelf in my workroom for a long time until this week, when I decided to stitch a body covering on her.  I was dissatisfied with the messy paint marks on the body which needed covering up. 

She started as a cloth doll where I experimented with a different paint type.
But I didn't like the slick surface.  

So I added a layer of tube bandaging.  
Then I painted two coats of glue on top of that.  

Then I painted over the glue. 

Now working on a body covering and she should be done soon.  

The Yesterday Tree

A few weeks ago, I took the day to drive to the coast here in Maine.  The salt air clears the head in so many ways.  On the way, I stopped to look again at the house that was built by one of my ancestors. I've written about that house here.  I am fascinated by the house but also the TREE that stands so majestically next to the house.

Who knows how old this tree is?  Was it there before the house was built or did someone plant it? Someone at some time either planted it, or decided to let it grow when they were clearing the land for the house and farm. Over the years, subsequent owners let this tree be, and it has grown to be majestic.

We all make decisions like this - what to plant, or what to let grow. This tree is a metaphor. What will I intentionally establish, protect and nurture today so that future generations will benefit? There's a lot to think about in answering that question.  What do I wish I had done yesterday?  There's a list for sure. Some of those things I can still do.  Time to get crackin'.  Er...preserving.

Thoughts Over Coffee -
What I Wish I'd Done Yesterday

I'm glad I made this mug with 
my younger son when he was a toddler!

(A repost from the past - something I still want to think about). 

I start my day with coffee.  And with thinking.  Sometimes I write my thoughts and prayers in a journal. Today as I was creeping down the stairs trying not to wake the dog or the kids I was a bit mad at myself.  Usually I make coffee the night before, and I hadn't done it.  That made me think of other things I hadn't done.  So I was mentally making a list of all I hadn't done and wish I had.  This is dumb.

But I might be wrong.  Maybe making a list of what I wish I'd done in my yesterdays can inform today's to-do list.  Do I wish I had exercised yesterday?  Yes.   Will I wish I had tomorrow?   Yes.   Shouldn't that be on today's list?   Yes. That way I can turn regrets into something positive.   Pssst!  It's called learning, Dixie.  There are other things on the list that are as important.    Maybe my list should be called "What I Will Be Glad I Have Done."  And then do it.

An Art Goal: Use Only Supplies on Hand

The comedy show we were planning for Project Graduation 2017 was a success. It made a decent amount of money. That is good! It was a tremendous amount of work, but the event was a tremendous amount of fun, so there was a built in reward for the work. Juston McKinney did a superb job performing for a crowd consisting of students, parents, teachers and grandparents.  When we booked him, he agreed to do a PG show appropriate for teens and adults. I think he hit the mark spot on. I would recommend him without reservation for your event, if you are looking for a comedian for a show. 

So now I am working on taxes.  Printing out documents of last years art supply purchases steels my resolve to only make art from materials on hand.  I got some books and supplies at Christmas that I am looking forward to using in the coming months. I have a few areas I want to learn about - the books above give a hint.  I will probably be working on two dimensional works for a while as that is easier to fit into how life and family are working right now.  

The Kind of Art I'm Doing

I've been helping to organize a fundraising comedy show for Project Graduation 2017 featuring Juston McKinney  on March 18th at our local high school, Hampden Academy.  You can purchase tickets here at Brown Paper Tickets if you are in the greater Bangor area. Juston is a very funny guy - and a national comedian who has appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and has also done TWO Comedy Central specials.  You can see view some of Juston's comedy clips on Vimeo.

One of the challenges in designing the poster was all the information that needed to be on it! So, in true Dixie fashion, I didn't just design one poster, I designed about 50 versions until I got something that felt good.  Not perfect, not right, but serves the purpose.

Good is my new goal in life which is way better than "unfinished."  A decent meal is better than no meal at all.  Although if you are a surgeon, I want your goal to be finished and if not perfect, at least very, very close to it.  ;-)

Posters need to look good, but that's not the only goal.  A poster's purpose is for people to find information quickly. I wish I had taken more graphic design classes when I was in art school, although I have learned some along the way by doing.  Here's one of the final versions that made the cut - it has the image provided by the comedian as well as information about the event and the generous businesses who have helped make the event even happen.

Soon poster-making will settle down and I will get back to art-making. With Christmas money I bought myself a book on antique tavern signs.  I want to experiment in some new areas in addition to art doll making: printmaking, sign-painting and also a return to fine art paintings. 

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden


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