Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Gratefully Filling the Bucket

Well, as most of you probably know by now the cancer came back.  Boo Hiss!!! But this isn't really a post about that.  It's a post about what I am doing to be happy, live in the moment, and be grateful for art and good friends.

In November I had another (thankfully) successful surgery, but I also knew that I would be facing chemo again.  With the motivation of a small window, I needed to work some fun into the time.  The open-ended questions of "What do you want?" and "What would make you truly happy?" are surprisingly tough to answer with a whirlwind going on in your mind.  But finally...duh!  What never fails to make me squee with joy?  A photo shoot!  

I set about devising a monster photo shoot and dubbed it Shoot-A-Palooza!  The location was set first.  I rented Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch's wonderful 1880s Victorian home via airBNB for four days.  It served both as housing and as a shooting location. How perfect is that? I have to give Trish a massive shout out for allowing us to invade her home like an army on a siege. About half of the contents of my studio ended up there. Trish as an artist herself "gets it" and I have to personally thank her for being such a warm, welcoming, and motivating person in my life.

Seriously, check this out amazing house!

Check out her art too!

Two of my best buddies dropped everything and flew up from Florida to model, work as set assistants, have an awesome slumber party, eat, drink, and be packed like rented mules!  Local buddies loaned me props, created a costume I'd dreamed up, and patiently listened to my coalescing ideas.  I can't overstate how grateful and humbled I am to all of my weird, crazy, amazing, generous, and talented friends that made this possible.

Below are some peeks from Shoot-A-Palooza.  The post processing on the finished pieces is in work right now.

I mentioned there were some crazy props right?
So many dresses, so little time!
Light's too harsh?  Suzanne's a genius with tea towels!

 These two photos need a little explanation...  My first of 18 chemo appointments ended up falling right in the middle of Shoot-A-Palooza.  Suzanne is a commercial photographer, so we just extended the photography to the new location!  Teresa brought this cool attachment to her phone and projected a movie for us to watch on the wall.  I must tell you that as far as chemo appointments go this one was epic and will never be topped!  We confused interns and amused nurses with all the laughter coming out of my room.

 Teresa is a fiber artist and I always tell people she can do anything and everything, but I had no idea she would actually be able to spin wig hair!  Holy cow!

It's so very rare that I allow myself to be caught on the other side of a camera lens...

As a final note, I want to acknowledge all of my friends, not just those involved in Shoot-A-Palooza. They say you find out who your real friends are when times get tough and I'm grateful to say I found mine crawling out of the woodwork! 

I must thank my funny, crazy, loving, inspiring, generous friends for entertaining me with dirty bitmojis, bedazzling a barf bucket for me (I couldn't make this up), keeping me busy and engaged on the art front, offering a willing ear at all hours, making me lovely hand knitted hats, hanging an entire frigging show for me, and laughing and crying with me.  I love you all.