Time to bid adieu

pink lady

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 It was my very first web ‘presence’ as an artist and, although now woefully out-of-date, I am still very fond of the levitating pink me, welcoming visitors to step inside.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.

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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:

I’m all atwitter

Artist, reveal thyself

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Love is…

wheel of love

…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.

Artist, reveal thyself: a new creative endeavor

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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.

December round-up

It’s been an incredibly busy autumn for me, thus I’ve been slack on posting. So here is a quick round-up of some things I’ve had a hand in that are now in full bloom.

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This is the fourth year I’ve done the artwork for Theatre Britain’s annual Christmas panto. This year’s performance is Mother Goose. If you are in the DFW area, this is a wonderful family outing. The interactive theatre experience is fun for adults and kids; and the sometimes saucy double entendre dialogue adds extra laughs for older audience members. This year’s run is from Dec. 1 – 30. Check their website for more details. Go here to see art from past years.

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I’ve been working with Garden District Bloody Marys for several years now. This year we created new labels for Christmas and Halloween. Graphic designer John Harrell made my illustrations shine!

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Last year I helped David and Melissa Loder create their fantasy holiday yard display by designing a sleigh, Santa’s garage, signpost and a forest of trees, all based on their ideas. This year a locomotive was added. I put their ideas on paper, but they did all the heavy-lifting. I haven’t seen the train live yet, but it toots and blows steam! Their exhaustive efforts got them a slot on the Dallas Morning News Weekend Guide’s list of top holiday displays in DFW.

2012 yard display

I also created a winter sky theatrical backdrop for a private client’s Christmas village. Pics of the finished set up (and work-in-progress) coming soon. Also look for a post in the next day or so about our 2nd annual Christmas Art Market and Open House featuring local artisans to be held in my own modest casa. Gretchen Goetz, reporting live from Oak Cliff. ;- )

 

Have a Dreadful Halloween

I traditionally do a Halloween illustration every year, but this year my time was spent on a different kind of art project.

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My artist friends, The Brians (who are pretty much local celebs in my part of town) have an annual Halloween bash that is truly something to behold. The first time I went I was amazed to see so many fully grown adults in fully realized costumes. Lots of the guests are artists or have creative inclinations and The Brians party is a yearly opportunity to really cut loose.

For some reason I cannot explain, this year I wanted to be a dryad. A forest spirit. I really don’t know why but it was an idea I’d had for months and couldn’t shake. I also had no clue how to make it a reality. About a week before the party I had an inspiration: I’d make dreads to symbolize the autumn tree limbs. Excellent! Alas, I had no idea what was involved in the making of dreads. Quite a bit, as it turns out. Here are a couple of photos of the process:

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But the effort was worth it. I love them! Now I’m thinking about Christmas/Festivus dread falls. Stay tuned. And have a Happy Halloween!

Altered book created for SparepARTS fundraiser


Books are one of the great loves of my life. There was a time when I would have thought that “altering” a book would be the same as desecrating it.  No longer. Creating a new work of art with an abandoned book as its skeleton seems to me to be a loving and creative way to give new life to a book destined for the shredder. I made my first altered book for SparepARTS, a silent auction hosted by the Fort Worth Avenue Development Group to raise money for public art installations in West Dallas. (Picture above is a double-spread in progress).  FWADG  was my West Dallas community partner for the Parade of Giants earlier this year in March. Without their help, I wouldn’t have been able to create the fabulous giant puppet of Bonnie Parker, so I was happy to contribute to their cause. Bonus: I got to make this pretty awesome artwork. Making an altered book is great fun. Do it!

Above photo is one of the completed double-spreads from my altered book, “Flesh and a few Fish”. You can see more of the works-in-progress here. Click here to see images of the finished book.

Library Freak – because books are badass.

I am a serious book-loving artist and a proud library freak. Art and books are two of my biggest passions. When I can combine my love of both, as in this bookmark, it makes me very happy.

I’m also a bit of a Luddite when it comes to books: I like to read them printed on paper. I love the feel of a book in my hands, its heft or lightness. As precious as they are to me, I don’t treat my books very well. Dog-eared pages abound in my favorite ones even though I am a collector and committed user of bookmarks. Sometimes you’ve just got to turn down the corner of a page. I do try to resist that impulse with library books, although I’m not always successful.

Books are badass. Go read one. And if you’d like a library freak bookmark of your own, you can buy some here: Library Freak bookmark.  Or stop by my place this Saturday during the Oak Cliff Studio Tour  and pick some up then.

Everyone loves a Giant Parade

photo courtesy of Willie Baronet

I’ve not posted here for some time because, well, I’ve had my hands full with giant puppetry. Yes, that is correct. In late January, I was selected by La Reunion, a Dallas arts organization, as one of 15 local artists to create massive puppets for The Parade of Giants, one of several signature events to commemorate the opening of the new Margaret Hill Hunt Bridge that spans from downtown Dallas to West Dallas. For the better part of 6 weeks, I’ve been pretty much immersed in building a very big puppet. How big? About 14 ft.

Bonnie in front of the Margaret Hill Hunt Bridge - photo courtesy of Jeff Baker

The puppets represented West Dallas notable figures; most were honorable citizens, a couple weren’t. I was happy to have one of the latter: Bonnie Parker, the notorious bandit/poetress from the 1930s, who, with her partner Clyde Barrow, remains infamous to this day.

The event was designed as a community affair to bring awareness to West Dallas history, so each artist was teamed with a West Dallas organization. Mine was The Fort Worth Avenue Development Group and they are a great bunch of people. I couldn’t have built Bonnie without their assistance and enthusiasm. I documented my progress in photos on my facebook art page, The Gretchen Show, so hop over there if you’re interested in seeing how she started as nothing more than a humble piece of cardboard and some bamboo poles.  This is a great video clip from the Dallas Morning News of the parade itself. See more of Jeff Baker’s work here.

photo courtesy of Jeff Baker

The weeks of preparation and the parade itself were an inspiring experience for me. To see all of the artists’ and volunteers hard work come together in a visually dazzling procession, displayed against the magnificent backdrop of the Calatrava-designed bridge and the Dallas skyline, was a once-in-a-lifetime event. Thousands of people lined Singleton Avenue and the bridge itself; to parade my artwork down the middle of it all along with the other giant puppets, artists and volunteers and see so many delighted faces was a thrill and an honor.

Many thanks to David Lyles, Catherine Horsey, Nicole Horn, Janet Longstreth, Jan and Richard Doherty, Jennifer Snow, Katherine Homan, Ken Smith, Deborah Carpenter, Savannah Deering, my mom, Annie Byrd Goetz, who crocheted Bonnie’s giant beret, and Ron Veech, the brave man who actually carried Bonnie on his back (under her skirt!) for the better part of two hours; having a real person walk the puppet brought her to life.