Monday, January 7, 2013

To Infinity and Beyond!

My husband spent his Christmas vacation 
remodeling the studio

"No one gets anywhere without help." 

That's what artist Chuck Close said in an interview I recently watched and it made me think about this blog post, which is long overdue. 

Mad Construction Skills
Nobody supports and helps me more in my art than my husband and my family. Doug Nelson spent his much needed holiday break not relaxing on the couch, but remodeling my studio. Building shelves, installing countertops, and painting things purple, he kept busy for several days straight. I could have helped by painting, but he insisted. He wanted to do the whole job for me. All I had to do was keep him company and provide a beer and some food every now and then. 

I'm only moral support and manual labor, 
I'm not allowed to measure or operate power tools

Remodeling the studio, isn't it beautiful?

I took this photo of Doug taking a photo of me, 
with my fancy iPhone camera

Behind the Lens
Doug is a professional photographer by trade, this is a talent that is very difficult not to take advantage of! Many of you have witnessed my ever changing look as a result of the many head shots he has taken of me! I am NOT an easy subject to photograph either. I am fussy, I have no idea how to pose, I squint, I am fidgety, I hate 90% of the photos, and I have partial facial paralysis on the right side of my brightly colored head due to a lost battle with Bell's Palsy over 14 years ago. I am super sensitive about this, and my husband does his very best to work around it. I think if you only ever saw the photos he takes of me, you would never know. And THAT makes me super happy. 

400,000 photos of me to get one good one

Poppies on canvas at Pier One Imports

As an artist it's important to have a photographic record of all your work, for website, for printed materials, for archiving. My needs for images go even beyond the average artist. My collage work is licensed with Lang for calendars and gift items as well as retail outlets such as Pier One Imports for canvas reproduction. All of this reproduction is done from the photos that Doug takes with meticulous accuracy. 

My riding partner

HELP! I Need Technical Support 
and can you put air in my bike tires?
Despite being a graphic artist by trade and by Monday through Wednesday, I cannot create a website. I kid you not. My husband has not only designed my Paper Paintings website, but has also set it up in a manner that I can add and subtract images from the online gallery, this I can handle, and I'm very proud of that ability.  

If you own my Collage Process DVD, Doug filmed and edited that major undertaking. He sure did. And this was NEW to him, he figured it out as he went along. Just like he figures out how to fix my computer when I mess it up, throw out my hard drive, lock up my e-mail, or crash the system.

Are you beginning to think that I am very demanding? Or high maintenance? LOL I guess I am. 

Mister Mom
When I am off teaching workshops, as I am this week in Chatanooga TN, my every helpful husband takes care of the kids and the dogs and runs the household while I am gone. That means driving to dance and swim team, cooking, cleaning, running laundry, procuring food, and loving my two little Maltese, and trouble shooting.

Guess who took this amazing photo?

My Crazy Kids
And speaking of the kids, I'd be remiss if I did not thank my two teenagers for having patience with me sometimes missing swim meets or dance competitions in order to pursue my artistic dreams. I make every activity I possibly can, but I do miss a few.  I'm hoping that I'm setting a strong and positive example for them of following your dreams and always reaching for that golden ring.

How About a YouTube Video?
Did you know that my daughter Emilie created my "Progression of a Peacock" YouTube video when she was only 13? She filmed it and edited it all on her own. I owe her a great debt of gratitude because that video has gotten a lot of play! Thank you Emilie. :)

Emilie, my dancer, and Yours Truly at the Nutcracker

Studio Assistant
My son Connor has been helping me in and out of the studio for a long time. He used to under-paint backgrounds for me when I was making small bird collages. He also made sure every one of my Noah's Ark Series pieces (all 50 of them) had bumper feet and hanging wires the day before I packed them up for delivery last year. These days he's almost as tall as I am and he's very handy when it comes to carrying boxes of art into FedEx! Thank you Connor.

Connor, my swimmer, and Yours truly enjoying the Cupcake Bakery 
and our monthly second Saturday in DeLand

A Heart Felt Thank You
Even though you may think it in your head and in your heart, it's always nice to say it out loud. Thank you Doug, Emilie, and Connor for supporting me in all of my endeavors. I wouldn't be who I am today without you. 

Nobody gets anywhere without help.


  1. You will never know how much you inspire me, as a woman, as an artist, as a wife. I have always loved your work, but this post sealed it. You are awesome.

  2. Cristall, thank you very much for taking the time to share such a sentiment. Any artist is only as good as the people who admire her work, as well. :-)

  3. You are so lucky to have a supportive husband and those two beautiful kids! I guess I'd have to say Doug is more than's amazing that he is so talented in so many areas. Count your blessings....Also, I want to tell you how awesome your hair color is!!

  4. Doug is super talented and always has been and I guess sometimes I just figure everyone else is the same. but you are right Deb, I should appreciate it more! I am very lucky and thanks about the hair, off to spruce up the color right now...

  5. Doug is super talented and always has been and I guess sometimes I just figure everyone else is the same. but you are right Deb, I should appreciate it more! I am very lucky and thanks about the hair, off to spruce up the color right now...

  6. Really nice tribute to your hubby! I have one of those types too that I can't live without and feel very blessed. So nice to see you have one too in Doug!

  7. I am glad I came across your blog, I will enjoy looking through it, your collages are amazingly beautiful. I am a watercolour artist and just wanted to say I can totally relate to what you say regarding having photos taken of yourself as I too am a failed full recovery, right sided Bells Palsy sufferer and am also highly sensitive about it! Take care :-)

  8. Amanda! Thanks for your compliments! Yeah that Bells stinks!! I'm glad you found me, you can see lots of work in progress on my FB page "Paper Paintings Collage Artwork"


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