Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Garden Report

Was it the weather? Was it alkaline soil? Was it because I'm not enthusiastically composting? Why did some kinds of gourds grow like these super darling 'egg gourds' while others like...
the snake gourds just not make it this year?
Gardening is so mysterious.
I do love my zinnias.
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Glenda the Hummingbird

On August 31, 2008, we gently placed the tiny hummingbird we named Glenda into a container filled with silica to be opened at a later date. At that time I had been strangely fascinated with mummification but couldn't bring myself to actually mummify this beautiful tiny creature.
With eager anticipation we opened the container and Glenda slid out. Oh Glenda!
She was totally intact after two years of drying time. Her stunning iridescent color was gone but she still looked sort of pretty.
We reverently placed her in the drawer of one of my favorite sculptures by Suzi Gallup. I don't think I'm very interested in mummification or taxonomy as hobbies. I'm far too sensitive for that sort of thing.
If you are ever visiting the Barney home, please feel free to take a peek at Glenda in the drawer on the shelf.
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Six Hours

Don't get me wrong, I love all of it. I love all of the joyous, jubilant noises of happy children in the back yard. I love helping to clean up the biggest fort we ever built. I love teens coming in the studio to talk and the chaos of a house full of teen cats, tom cats and little kittens night and day. I love all of the time outdoors, feeling the sun on my skin. I love the garden and dirt under my fingernails. I love biking and swimming. I love watching the quail families grow and when we have to rescue them from the window well. I love crickets and hummingbirds and sunflowers that give me hives. Sigh...yes, it's my favorite season.
Very most,I love every minute I spend with family, letting go of everything else.
Although, if you were in my neighborhood on the first day the kittens went back to school, you might have heard a hearty "hallelujah!" coming from my house. I've been bursting...BURSTING with joy for the past two days. If I were a leprechaun I would jump and click my heals together.
I love summer and everything we do in the summer and I also love to paint. Painting is hard for me in the summer. It's hard because there is a battle inside of me. I feel tugged by the urning to be out in the sun. I feel guilty because, even though my kittens are occupied and happy, I worry that I should be playing with them. Honestly, I don't think there was a single night this summer that I went to bed before midnight, then I sleep in, of course, and miss those beautiful morning hours when my mind is clear and focused and I feel guilty about that too.
So, when the kittens are in school for the day, and I have SIX HOURS to paint uninterrupted and guilt free, I feel so happy that I could cry. It feels so good to be working. It feels so good to funnel all of that churning and burning inside of me into paint.

As I have in the past few years, even though it takes more self control than almost anything I've ever experienced, when my six hours are up, I wash my brushes and close the studio door. That's the one thing that helps me create balance between having a career and being a mother. Put it away when they get home. On the days when the temptation to keep working gets the best of me and I justify working a little longer, I end up feeling guilty and frustrated so I don't paint well and my other duties as far as my household goes get neglected and I'm not in tune with the needs and wants of my kittens. Yikes.
Six hours feel like ten right now in the studio and I'm really trying to use my time well, doing work that I hope has value...but that's another topic. I can't wait for tomorrow, another day, another six hours.
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

From This to That?!

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The Martin Willie Handcart Company

Our costumes were so good and the dirt on our faces really helped us get into character for our parts as...extras in a movie about the Martin Willie Handcart Company.

This was Nina's idea. She is a direct descendant of those very pioneers. Actually, Dan Barney is too. Through my mother's side of my family I also have pioneer heritage from the company that came with Brigham Young. Yes, we are very pioneer indeed.

The costumes were very serious and I loved every bit of dressing up.

Look at my ears in this photo! While spinning I turned from pioneer to elf. Huh.

Some pioneer children enjoyed refreshing beverages.

Others frolicked and played games...

or picked berries by the river.

Actual filming didn't start until after dark but we certainly didn't lack for entertainment.
Though none of us have taken any acting lessons, being dramatic isn't a stretch for this group.
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Dan Barney and Terrel got to play two parts; weary traveling pioneers and angry mobsters.

I felt a great respect for these people as we read some of their journal entries. It was scary being in the barn as the mob yelled and threw rocks, even if it was just acting.

If I had to trek anywhere, I'd want to trek with the Cochrans. Together, our families make everything fun, even being in a barn in costumes, doing take after take at 1:00a.m.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

O Pioneers!

O Movie Stars!

Images and story to follow.

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Monday, August 16, 2010


I just shipped of my latest set of ExVotos to Greenwich to be photographed and possibly printed. I think they look good. I love this idea, paintings devoted to gratitude. I would hang these in my house as a reminder and a representation of what I believe.
The backs look as good as the fronts.
I've interested in how these should be presented so I've been working all of that out. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my idea will come to fruition because to me, gratitude is essential to happiness.
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Friday, August 13, 2010

I've always wanted to be on a billboard...

I used to joke about it, about wanting to be on a billboard. In interviews, one of the questions I've been asked on more than one occasion is, "what would you like to accomplish with your art?" I have never had an actual big goal with my art. Mostly I'm surprised and amazed at every good thing that happens...like an actual billboard and commercials and that sort of thing. I couldn't have thought these things up. I'm on a commercial in nine cities right now. I saw the commercial for the first time last night. Me...just for being me. Whoa.

It started with the video. Adam Abel asked if they could do a video...and that they wanted it to be authentic so I wasn't to change/stage anything. Easy...I did dust, but that was about it.

So the video went up on mormon.org and I got some nice emails. Cool. But then they came back a second day to video again and they said it was for t.v./billboards. I thought they were joking until I got more emails for people saying they saw the commercials?!

As far as I understand it, the commercials were produced because more than half of the people in this country say they know nothing about Mormons. Like with any large group, Mormons are diverse but they are also united by common values-family, service, honesty, friendliness, and so on.

There are six million Mormons in the United States and 14 million world wide. I can tell you from personal experience that when I go to art shows all over the place, if it comes up, people are surprised that I'm a Mormon, like I'm supposed to have a french braid or something (not that here is anything wrong with that.)

msnbc and mormon.org

Oh, but that's not all! Last night I got a phone call asking if I would come to Salt Lake (this afternoon) for an interview with MSNBC. In my mind I thought,sure...wait,what? MSNBC requested an interview with one of the featured members from mormon.org. It was me along with Scott Swofford and it was live. LIVE. My stomach dropped into my shoes at the very thought of national television L.I.V.E.

I was nervous and if you saw the interview, it showed on my face but my voice sounded okay. I answered the questions easily enough, except for one question that I tossed right back to Scott. Smooth, eh? It was strange talking to the camera with only and earpiece to hear the questions.
Scott was way cooler than I was but I'm glad I got to do it anyway.
Has any of this changed my life? Nope. The commercials don't air in my town and I have yet to have a stranger come up to me and say, "hey, are you that little art girl on mormon.com?" I think there is only one person in my neighborhood who even watched the news interview today (thank you, Julie Lee) so it's all just what it is as usual around here. Good thing too.
I'm a Mormon, but like Jeff Decker said in his video, "I'm not the perfect mormon." I've never claimed to be. The Mormons I know aren't perfect either, thought I have met some people who seem pretty close. That's what's so great about mormon.org , it's about real people like me. We are all individual, imperfect people who share in wanting to follow Christ's teachings, and that's a lot. I'm glad I got to be a part of this, even nervous and live on MSNBC.


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