Thanks to an alert reader for contacting me that the link to my new and improved website in my earlier post today was a stinker. Way to make a great first impression, Gretchen! It’s fixed now though – so go look! The revamped Gretchen Show is right here.
After many months – errr… so many months it’s almost years – my revamped website is ready for its debut. Check it out!
The Gretchen Show has had a blog home here for five years but my new platform has a blog built in so I’m going start posting there what I would usually post here. Confused yet? I’ll see how it goes. Which is just to say, this site is probably going to be pretty silent. I will leave it up for the time being until I see how I like the new setup.
I remain a big fan of WordPress, though, and will continue Half Agony, Half Hope on WordPress, as well as 52 at 52 and Annie Byrd, two additional blogs not live yet but will be very soon. You can also find me on Twitter and as The Gretchen Show on FB.
Last year, on my 51st birthday, I began the 52at52 project (this is how the idea originated). I didn’t get very far into it before I hit some serious time crunches that I had not anticipated. By the beginning of 2013, the project had transformed into Half Agony, Half Hope, which is what it wanted to be anyway. I continue to work on Half Agony, Half Hope. It is – like all blogs – a work in progress. Please have a browse round; this primer post may be helpful.
So. Fast forward to this year’s birthday, my actual 52nd one. My birthday is May 25th, and this year I feel more prepared for a yearlong art commitment. I can do it! Art is underway. The website probably won’t be live until sometime next week, so here’s a sneak peek: the kick-off self-portrait of 52at52. I hope you’ll join me throughout the coming year. I’ll post here, as well as on Twitter and my FB art page, when 52at52 is open for business.
Hola on this lovely May morning here in Texas! Here are some updates on what has been keeping me busy so far this spring.
I wrote last month about my upcoming debut on the Oral Fixation stage. It was not the first time I have performed on stage, but certainly the first in many years as well as the first (that I can remember) performing my own material. It was an intense two week period of preparation, from the first draft of my story, to Skype conferences with director/editor Nicole Stewart , rewrites, reading my story aloud at home over and over and over, rehearsal and finally the night of the performance. The show was sold out. There are seven storytellers in each segment of Oral Fixation; I was the last to read in Miss the Boat, closing the show. Hearing the audience howl with laughter was very gratifying! My story is titled Hal and the Cruise and my entrance music was the theme to Love Boat (that alone was hilarious!) The show was taped and recorded, but you’ll have to wait until next year before they release the 2012 series on podcast and youtube. It was an exhilarating experience; I hope there will be more live storytelling in my future.
I submitted a proposal for a public, utilitarian art installation in West Dallas (see sketch above). Alas, mine was not one of the finalists. However, I am still in love with the idea and I have a few supporters who are as well, so I’ll be revisiting it this summer to see if I can find the perfect place for it and a partner to finance it. It’s a reading tree and is all about sharing books. I’m itching to make this come alive.
There’s been a name change on my other WordPress site. The blog formerly known as 52at52 is now Half Agony, Half Hope . I’d been meaning to change it for some time for a couple of reasons. One, so the name is more suited to the content and two, to free up 52at52 so I can use it for its original purpose. So soon I’ve have three blogs up and running with another one in the works. Turns out, I like the blog format. Of course, you can always follow me on my FB art page, The Gretchen Show, which is probably the site with the most current info. I’m also twittering these days, so if you’re into that sort of thing, I’m gretchenartiste when tweeting. ; )
Finally, the annual Oak Cliff Artists Studio Tour, aka the Speedbump Visual Art Tour, is this Saturday, May 18th. My home & studio is one of the stops on this free, self-guided tour. I’ll be joined by two other local OC artists, Scott Winterrowd and Gillian Bradshaw-Smith. Mark your calendars: it’s a great way to spend a funky day! I’ll be back with more info on the tour later in the week.
I’ll be sharing the stool and spotlight with six other fearless Dallasites at the April 23rd Oral Fixation show.
I’ve always loved stories of all kinds – written, verbal and illustrated. That love is often expressed in my visual art. In the last several months I’ve become enamored with the storytelling art form, connecting with various productions across the US via podcast. I decided to stretch my creative muscles and submitted a story to Oral Fixation, a Dallas storytelling series with “an obsession for true life tales”. I was delighted to learn that it had been selected. I am now readying my true story to read in front of a bunch of people I don’t know (and some I do). The director/founder of Oral Fixation, Nicole Stewart, is shepherding me through this virgin territory. Writing a story to be read aloud is quite different from writing for print.
The theme for the evening’s tales is “Miss the Boat”. I’ve got less than two weeks to get my story shipshape (oh, come on!). I admit to a degree of nervousness but that is part of the point: to reach past my comfort zone and, hopefully, discover something new about myself. Come see the show and you might too!
But not to you! I’m still here, but it’s time for Pink Lady to move on. She has been the welcome hostess on my original web site, The Gretchen Show, since I began it over seven years ago. It was my very first web ‘presence’ as an artist and, although now woefully out-of-date, I am still very fond of the levitating pink me, welcoming visitors to step inside. Also retiring are the Green Girls, those tireless showgirls who have been holding up my marquee for so long.
The Gretchen Show is long overdue a revamp and I’ll begin making that transition this weekend, but thought these three cool chicks deserved one last encore. So pop over if you want to catch their last performance – before the curtain rises on a new Gretchen Show. Adieu and many thanks, Pink Lady! Farewell, Green Girls!
Other posts about where to catch me online:
This week’s topic on Illustration Friday is talent. I’ve got a few works that would fit that bill, but I’m especially fond of Amazing Feats, a piece I created a few years ago for a self-promotional postcard. Multi-tasking with élan!
…I was going to say ‘a crap shoot’ but that would be mixing literary and visual metaphors. But it sure can be perilous.
As you might guess, I have ambivalent feelings about Valentine’s Day. Could be because my fortune in spinning the wheel in recent years has been a little spotty.
Like J. Geils, I’ve had the blues the reds and the pinks. It’s one of the sad facts of life that, sometimes, ‘this thing they call love it’s gonna make you cry”. Still, I hope your Valentine’s Day is a sweet one!
For a more somber look at the perils of love, visit my illustrated memoir.
52at52 started out as a year-long self-portrait project but has morphed into an illustrated memoir of thwarted love. In other words, just another way for me to expose myself! If you’ve ever loved someone hard, you may find something that resonates. Pop over and have a look: 52at52
52at52 will remain the working title for the time being until I decide on a name more appropriate to the content. I plan to regenerate the 52 weeks of self-portraits project on my 52nd birthday in May. I’ll keep you posted.
I thought it would be nice to have a little commemorative artwork for my twitter inauguration. I’ve resisted tweeting, but, after following a few folks for a couple of months, have realized it’s a pretty cool platform for sharing and exchanging information quickly and efficiently. So I’m going to try it out. If you’re a twitterer, please look for me @gretchenartiste. If you have any twitter words of wisdom you’d like to share, please do! I don’t really know the tweeting world protocol and would like to make as few missteps as possible. You can use the comment box at the bottom of this post – or shoot, tweet’em to me. I will be keeping my art page on FB so pop on over there if you haven’t already. I like the social atmosphere of Facebook.
I’ll be rolling out my current art project, an illustrated memoir of thwarted love (for now in blog form), in the next couple of days. Very soon! I’ll do an initial post about it here, but will post more frequent updates on it and all my other arty stuff on twitter.