Wednesday, March 20, 2013

An Artist's Life

I don't know if I've mentioned it on here before, but as an artist, I am an avid listener.....of books and music and talk radio and random phone conversations and anything else that can keep me entertained for hours on end as I paint.  I was listening to This American Life the other day while beginning my newest painting (more on that to come) when my mind started to drift about the woes of being an artist.  I won't pour a bunch of negativity on you, but it was along the lines of the input and output of my business and how long everything takes for me to produce.  I constantly struggle with the "one man show" my business is derived from.  As I was in my mental downward spiral, This American Life host Ira Glass, introduced the next story in the episode revolving around the topic "Obsession".  Out of the blue came a story about artist Liza Lou.  You can listen to her 10 minute act below, but let me give you a brief summary:

Kitchen 1991 - 1996
Room made of glass beads, wood, wire, plaster and artist's used appliances
168 square feet (5,120 square centimeters)

If you don't know what is going on in this colorful image (or the radio button above didn't give it away), it's a mock kitchen covered in glass beads.  This is a 3-dimensional, to scale piece COVERED IN BEADS!!!  She set each bead by hand which resulted in her only covering square inches per day and the whole project taking her 5 years to complete.  And, while doing this she was also creating other bead pieces to pay the bills.  Can you imagine?

Kitchen detail
I am totally in awe of her work and highly encourage you to go visit her site:

Her more current work is just as painstaking but a little less garish.  I find it even more beautiful than the multi-colored canvas she put together with this kitchen.  Remember, these are all made out of beads....

Untitled, #17
169.5 x 150 cm
Woven glass beads

Devotional, 2010-2011
Glass beads, cotton
5 3/16 x 9 3/8 x 14 1/2 inches
Each pg: 6 x 9 inches

Almost Wonderful, 2010-2011
Gold-plated beads, cotton
22 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches
After listening to Liza speak about the kitchen project and how it effected her as an artist and then taking a look at her work, I quickly snapped out of my pity-party.  Yes, my paintings have taken upward around 50-60 hours lately, but I definitely have a quicker completion/instant gratification rate than poor Liza.

For another episode about life as an artist and all of the trials and tribulations we go through, take a visit back to This American Life.  This show definitely helps me get through the day.

I will continue to be an artist and paint and share my work with others....which includes tomorrow's event:

La Primavera- Spring Fashion in Chicago

Ladies Night Chicago

Thursday, March 21, 2013 from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM (CDT)

Chicago, IL

 To purchase tickets to this event, click HERE!


  1. I can totally relate to projects taking hours. Thanks for sharing this so honestly and spinning it in a positive life. I just adore your work and although it is hard at times, I know you are doing great things!

  2. Jenn, you are so sweet. I've been receiving so many spam comments lately and just readjusted my settings, so when your comment came in I actually lit up. Thank you for being so supportive. Xoxo