Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Things Are Fine Now

So just a few days after I took a big gulp and finally mentioned here that Doug and I were separating, we decided to give it another go. Why, I don't feel foolish now at all! Heh.

Looking back, I think things began to improve on the Fourth of July weekend when we went to an Open Studio tour in a nearby town, Treadwell, that seems to have an extraordinary number of artists who live there. Including Julian Hatton, who was a visiting artist when I was at the Vermont Studio Center in 2008. Our paths have crossed a few times since then and we totally enjoyed visiting Julian, Alison, his wife, their studios and talking shop. After months of tension between Doug and I, we were still able to enjoy that day and discussing the art and the studio environments that we toured.

Much of the tension dissipated after that, but we forged ahead with the legal stuff anyway, thinking it would still be best if we separated.

But then we took our trip to the Hamptons to see the Pollock Krasner House. We had a great time and I think we both realized that that was something neither of us could ever imagine doing with anyone else. Art has always been a big part of the bond between us and we needed to be reminded of that again. Or maybe it was just the walk on the beach on a perfect day. Either way.

We still have much to sort out but the separation has been called off and the house is off the market too. Which is really good because not one single person called to look at our beautiful and perfect house (stupid economy) in the 2 months that it was listed. Guess we're stuck with it!

Thanks to everyone for all your kind words of concern and support, I can't even tell you how much it all meant to me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Visiting the Pollock Krasner House

Doug and I arrived in the Hamptons on Wednesday. We first stopped in Southampton so I could meet the gallery owner that is trying out my work. She shows some very nice work, mostly pretty realistic imagery. My paintings (she has two) looked good and she said they have received a lot of attention, however neither have sold yet. Of course it is a slow summer for sales (stupid economy) and I think they will do better if she decides to take a few more paintings, so that they will make more sense.

Anyway, we had some extra time before dinner and even though our reservation was for the next day, we decided to drive out the Pollock Krasner House. We found it easily, it is very close to the road and I have to say that we both were a bit overwhelmed to see it in real life. I guess that sounds silly, but we have both read the books about their life there and have seen the movie, so we feel close to it all somehow. And knowing that the art that was created there had a profound effect on the course of American art, well that was just amazing.

Turns out we brought the cold rainy weather with us to the Hamptons so my pictures look a bit dreary but I am putting up the photos that I took of the house and yard. No cameras are allowed inside the studio, so Doug and I posed for cheesy tourist photos outside the studio building:

Images of the interior of the studio can be seen here.

So, like I said the house is pretty close to the road; there is a hedge in front and I was standing right at the end of the driveway when I took this one:

To the left of the driveway are several outbuildings (including the outhouse that they used for several years-the house had no plumbing or electric when they moved in). The studio is the wood shingled building:

This is the view from the back of the house:

The boulders are the same ones where the photograph was taken of Jackson Pollock (with Ruth Kligman) on the last day of his life. Beyond the boulders you can see the previous foundation of the barn/studio, which was moved because it was blocking the view of the bay from the house. The foundation is also where Jackson was filmed while painting on glass so that his face could be seen while he worked; the event that set him off on a brutal drinking binge.

The back door of the house opens right into the kitchen:

The kitchen table:

Evidently the house has been preserved pretty much as Lee Krasner left it. She lived and worked there until her death in 1984. She also worked in Pollock's studio after his death and bits of her colors and marks can be seen on the walls where she painted. Seeing that was awesome! As much as I appreciate Pollock's work, I actually like Lee Krasner's work better.

Anyway, the kitchen is open to the dining room where there is a huge round table (they had many guests out in the Springs):
and to the left hangs the anchor they found on the beach. This is the spot where an iconic photo of Jackson and Lee was taken:

And beyond the dining room is a small living room. There are shelves filled with books and and Jackson's extensive jazz record collection. Unfortunately, I got rushed through that room, I would have liked to have spent more time looking at the books and records.....

Upstairs are two bedrooms. This is the one that Jackson and Lee shared (they had twin beds!):

And Doug was intrigued by the old suitcases:

and when he looked closer, he insisted I photograph this:

The other bedroom was initially Jackson's studio when they first moved into the house (Lee worked in the kitchen) and after he began working in the barn, Lee moved into the room. I wish I had gotten better photograph of this room. It looked as if it had been used as an office space later on by Lee, and was pretty basic.

I liked the house quite a bit. The rooms are all open and it feels very spacious. It is very simple and spare and I envy that. I tend to want a lot of things around me, plus we have four kids so there is a natural clutter that follows us around. But someday I swear I will live in a clean, white sparse space. Well, maybe.

Our little tour group spent quite a bit of time in the studio. We all put on super fashionable foam slippers and walked on the actual floor that Pollock painted on. There was a written and pictorial history of both the working habits of Jackson and Lee. The light was amazing and the space really had a good feel to it. I wanted to stay and paint!!!

Seeing this house and property in person had a profound effect on both Doug and I. I wrote about the connection I felt to their move out to the country here. So funny to read this old post now but actually I still feel the same way about creating art on the beautiful farm where I live. Unfortunately, Doug has neglected his art in the years since we moved here and so we spent some time on the drive home making some plans concerning OUR barn for his use (seems like the separation is on hold, more on that another time).

Our day was not over but I think I will save the rest for another post. Must. Paint. Now.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Away We Go!

The Barn Next Door, 2009, Oil on Birch Panel, 12x6

Well, I have actually wanted to post over the last few days but things have been crazy here! Between finishing up the last minute details on the work for my show, getting my daughters all packed and off to summer camp and getting things ready for a short trip this week, it has been hectic.

But now the girls are at camp, tucked into their tents in the woods, my work was delivered to the gallery yesterday, and before I get started on cleaning the house and packing today, I thought I'd put up a quick post about our upcoming trip.

Ever since I saw the movie 'Pollock' and then read the book it was based on, I have always wanted to visit their house and studio out in the Hamptons. It's quite a hike from here, at least a 6 hour drive and so Doug and I kept putting off plans to go. But now since we are separating (yes, it's true, no further details available, but I will say it's been the reason for my difficult time earlier this year and also that it is an amicable split. I promise;)) we have decided that we should take this trip with each other, NOW before we put it off again. Neither of us can imagine seeing the Pollock-Krasner home without the other and so off we go tomorrow.

I will be back on Monday with a full update!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New Gallery, Maybe

Pink Triangle, 2009, Oil on Birch Panel, 9x9

So earlier this summer, my former NYC gallery director/current dealer gave my name and info to a gallery in the Hamptons. The owner of Chrysalis Gallery (no website!) in Southampton really liked my work, especially the more simple color fields. After going back and forth a bit with images and other information, she chose two paintings to start with. I am being 'tried out'. This has happened before, in fact most notably with the NYC gallery who went on to sell every painting that she ever got of mine. So normally I am fairly confident that the try out period will lead to more, however all bets are off now. The stupid economy has made sure of that!

But it is very nice to have another shot somewhere, especially the Hamptons, where I hear some people are still buying stuff. Well, it's just a rumor but I cling to it anyway.......

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Checking to See If My Blogging Mojo Is Back

A Quiet Setting, 2009, Oil on Panel, 18x24

Well, now that I have had a good long break from my blog, I think I am ready to come back to it. Things have calmed down a bit in my life (temporarily, anyway) and when the time is right I will discuss that here in more detail. But for now, I have many updates and new work to post so I will start with all that.

I have been a busy bee the last few weeks, trying to get work ready to take down to the Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson, NY. I am part of a landscape show and will be getting the front room again so that is gratifying. Not sure what to expect as far as interest or sales go, but I feel very confident about the work I have ready and so that is all I can do for now. I will be posting the images for that show over the next few weeks here.

AND, you can also see my work on my new fan page at Facebook. I stressed a bit about starting one up (what if no one joined?) but finally published it the other day and was extremely flattered when so many of my current FB friends joined almost immediately. I also have a few fans that I don't know, and of course I love that. Heh.

So if you are on Facebook and would like to be my fan (wow, that sounds SO ridiculous!) here is the link. Anyone can join, provided the whole "life revolves around Tracy" thing isn't a problem and if I haven't accepted an invite at my regular page, this is the place to try again. I don't want to offend anyone, but my other page is more personal and I'd like to keep that one for real life friends and other bloggers that I have gotten to know over the last few years. I will discuss the chickens, cat puke and other such silly things here on the blog so no one will really miss out on much anyway. And if you are following all three Tracyland venues, I apologize in advance for all the repeated info you will surely be learning about me.....

So that wasn't so hard, now was it? More tomorrow then!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ginger Baby Is 10!

Another birth story.

Ten years ago today I woke up around 5am with pretty consistent contractions. Like all my babies, this one was over due by at least a week, maybe more, but unlike the others, I hadn't had days of on and off contractions. Somehow though, I knew that this was it. I woke Doug up and he helped me get our room ready, changing the sheets, getting out the baby things etc. He also got the kids up and called our awesome friends Kristin and Jason who came and whisked the other three kids away for the day (by that time we had adopted our nephew and so all of a sudden we were going to have four kids!).

And after awhile we called our midwife, who came up about mid morning. It was a beautiful hot and sunny day (nearly all summer days in Utah are hot and sunny) and after walking around as much as I could, I finally laid down on my side and enjoyed our peaceful, light filled bedroom. Doug and the midwife sat on the bed with me and between contractions we laughed and chatted. It was so wonderful, relaxed and peaceful. Finally just after 1pm, my breathing changed and even though I had noticed it too, I remember still feeling surprised when our midwife told Doug that I would soon be pushing! Oddly I was surprised that the baby was actually going to be coming out!

By this time my uterus and cervix knew exactly what to do, and so this little baby just easily came right out after about ten minutes of pushing. Even though we had chosen not to have an ultrasound during the pregnancy, I knew this one was a girl too (my instincts were right with all my babies) and sure enough I was right. The other thing I knew within moments of holding my baby was that she was the last baby we would have! It would not have been unusual for us to have another baby, or three, hehe, we were living in Utah after all! But when I looked at this baby I knew she would always be youngest in our family. It was a most interesting feeling and I still recall it to this day.

Of course some of that may have been due to the horrible hemorrhoids I had in the last few days of this pregnancy! The pain of all that even almost had me questioning my firm intent to not induce labor!!!

Anyway, we had a few names on our list for this baby. Annie, Rosie, Ramona (my favorite) but within a few minutes of looking at her, I told Doug, this is Ginger and he agreed. Our son had mentioned the name a few months earlier because he knew a girl in school named Ginger, but we didn't really think about it again until we saw her.

Ginger was in perfect health, but within an hour or so, she started humming. It was the cutest thing, but our midwife was a bit concerned and kept checking her stats and breathing. She even gave us some advice about how to handle the situation at the hospital if we had to take her in (the local hospital wasn't too happy about home births and most of the doctors wouldn't talk to the midwife), but since Ginger seemed totally perfect otherwise, she finally decided we didn't need to take her in. We all surmised that the humming was just Ginger's way of settling into her new life outside of me and we sat back and enjoyed it. She hummed for well over a day, even while she was nursing and sleeping, and eventually it tapered off. I missed it a little bit when it ended, because it really was so sweet!

Around dinnertime Kristin and Jason came back with the kids and the first thing Sophie (she was two at the time) said when she came in was "give me my baby" and she got right up on the bed and held her little sister. I still get teary eyed when I remember that. Of course eventually she bit Ginger's fingers a few times, poked her eyes and now they fight and yell and pull each other's hair fairly often but when not doing all that they are very close. heh.

The other thing that the kids talked about for years after the day Ginger was born, was how they spent a good portion of the day cleaning out our car with Kristin and Jason. I was horrified to learn they had done this because man, that car was so filthy!!! But I can't deny that it sure was wonderful to get into a sparkling clean car with my new baby. And every time we cleaned the car after that the kids talked about how much stuff they found under the seats on the day Ginger was born.

And of course Ginger has grown up to be quite the character. She keeps us all hopping with her bubbly energy and enthusiasm for everything. She has had a few close close calls too, including the time she fell out a second floor window when she was two (she broke her wrist and had a skull fracture) and of course now her Type 1 Diabetes keeps us on our toes too.

Oh and the other thing I loved about Ginger's birth was how I just woke up one day, had some labor, gave birth to a baby and went to sleep that night at my usual bedtime. The others were practically all nighters and I was always so tired from being awake for so long which was way worse than giving birth!