The Gallery Show with Circus Peanuts

   At some point, probably David's senior year, it was decided that he would have a student show in the gallery on campus. He started planning his display and refreshments. I seem to remember him thinking not many people would show up. He had this wacky idea to serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and circus peanuts. He worked for hours, hanging a fishing line grid from the ceiling so the heads were hanging free. This was before the boxes and the collage. The room was a maze of hanging faces, some with bug parts in them and those were the "creepy" ones. 

    Opening night will forever be one of my favorite memories. This was before Dallas. It truly was the FIRST time these had been seen. I sat at the back of the gallery, across from the entrance so I could see people's faces. They literally lit up when they walked in. I was the proudest in that moment that I had ever been.  

     At that time, the heads were sold with the idea that they could hang from your rear view from fishing line. Lots of them sold that week. It was fun to go in and see the sign up sheet where people committed to buying (there were a few bidding wars). My dad had come to visit from Tennessee and he got to see the show too. It was exciting for all of us to walk in there throughout the week and see people enjoying themselves. And it was a nice little chunk of money, but more than that it was the first step on a path. We're much farther down the path now. But it all started in a cozy house in a lovely little town.  

    Our time there ended after a December 2004 graduation and a Spring 2005 move back to TN. The move involved a vehicle break down, an 18 hour day of sitting in a repair shop with 3 cats (our dog died right before this move) and cramming 4 of us in a UHaul made for 3 passengers while towing our car on a trailer. We sold our house the day before to a man who bought it for his college student son. His last words to us were, "I'm sorry my son will probably destroy your house". So yeah. There have been some bumps along the way and looking back makes me feel tired. But we both feel that we wouldn't be where we are now if we hadn't taken this road. 

Thanks for reading-- 

Elisabeth  

The end of a long difficult journey- graduating Magna Cum Laude

The end of a long difficult journey- graduating Magna Cum Laude

Please stop by next week as I actually discuss ARTWORK and break down a piece into parts and the process for that specific piece.

Storytime: College, Animation and the First Polymer Man- Part 3

   We settled in to our new home and town. We found the library (very important when you have small kids and you're homeschooling). It was in the basement of their "city hall". Four years later, when we said goodbye to the librarians who had become friends, they reminded us of our first meeting and how much we had missed back home. Make friends with librarians!    

   That first summer was hot, much like our summers in Tennessee. We swam in the lakes (town lake and Lake Erie) and at the swimming pool.  We went to the "beach" and marveled at how a lake can have waves. We drove to Canada to visit a friend and everything was new and exciting. And then...September 11, 2001. Family started calling because they saw on the news that a plane crashed in PA. It was about an hour from us, but like everyone else probably felt- it was all so close. 

    In September, we started looking forward to Fall. October 5th, it started snowing and eventually stopped....in April. In Tennessee, snow means a day (or a week!) off. Up there, especially with lake effect snow, snow means nothing. We didn't see the road for 6 months and life just went on. There was one really dramatic day where it was 70 degrees at 2pm and by 4pm, there was a blizzard and even college classes were cancelled. I went to pick David up and found him walking home, in ankle deep snow, carrying all his books and art supplies.  

     Life was hard for those 4 years. We loved the town and the people. But David was working 3 days a week for 12 hours a day, and going to school 3 days a week. Some of those school days were 9am to 9pm. We had Sundays together and that was it. It's all a blur now, but during this time came the first polymer man. He was a figure for stop motion animation class and he was built on a wire armature. He also wore a tutu and we watched him become an animated movie for school assignments. We all got attached to that little guy and when the day came for him to be disassembled...We all grieved :)

    At some point, David was playing around with the clay and suddenly, before us was a clown head. And then another head emerged. Huh. They were so cool. Seemed like he was onto something and REALLY enjoyed making them. They seemed like they were evolving. The path was shifting and soon, the turning point would come and we didn't even know it. 

Next up- The heads make their public debut. 

Thanks for reading-

~~Elisabeth

Storytime--College, Animation and the First Polymer Man- Part 1

  This is a story with no pictures, mainly because it was so long ago. If you choose to not read, that's fine too.

    Back in 2000, we had a 6 year old and a 3 year old and were living in an apartment. We had big dreams, but they were somewhat vague and involved art and traveling. At one point, in an effort to gain focus and stop distracting ourselves, we gave up TV. These were the quiet days before cell phones so we had time in our heads to ponder. It became clear that what we really needed to do was pursue the original dream we had- art school. An animation program, to be specific.

    So...being the research-oriented person I am, I started looking up animation programs. Yes, we had Internet (and indoor plumbing!) I gather and condense information as a way of life so I basically had this list of schools. One of them had won the Chuck Jones Award for Excellence (or something similar) and seemed good. State school so tuition was decent. Great program. Good size with smaller classes. But...it was 600 miles away in Pennsylvania.     

   David was really excited by that one so we sent away for info and mentioned it to a few people. The first response we got was, "You're kidding! I know someone who lives there. And she's an artist!" Someone that lives in a town of 7000 people 600 miles away. Seemed like a sign.  

    We got the info and made the decision to move there. It was crazy, but it was right. David applied, got accepted and we started telling people. Then we started the moving process.

    We made contact with the artist we were introduced to (she and her husband said we could stay with them for the weekend) and my dad rented us a van for the drive up. We went up in April, knowing we were moving there but knowing nothing about what THERE even was. Looking back...yes, it was crazy. But it was adventure!

Next up- Part 2- The Trip