Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Twenty-Five, the Big Number

Today, February 25, is my 25th wedding anniversary. I am very lucky to be married to the most wonderful, smart, creative, talented and supportive person I could ever have wished for.

One of the really inspiring things about Jim is the way in which he has always followed his dreams. The profession of photography has taken many twists and turns, being changed by technology as the camera has moved from film to digital, and the computer has taken on more and more critical importance. Keeping up isn't enough. A really smart person has to be ahead of the curve. Jim has always done that. He got savvy about computers way back when, is an expert at transforming both film and digital images into works of art, and knows more about how to use the internet than I can imagine.

Years ago, he had the vision of a project about US Route 89, which runs from Canada to Mexico through some of the most fascinating country in the western United States. A huge project, with more potential that either of us ever imagined, is one that I'm also involved in. See what we're up to at

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Brand New Website

I'm pleased to announce that with the patience of a saint, my husband helped me to create a new website. This one is specifically for the Nooks and Crannies series of paintings I've been working on recently. The web site includes a gallery of the paintings, as well as a revised artist statement, resume and bio. Thanks also to Alyson Stanfield, whose book I'd Rather Be in the Studio, as well as her newsletter helped me to face the onerous task of rewriting my Artist Statement!

Here's one of the new ones. It's called Down the Drain. I challenge you to go to the Phoenix Art Museum and search the stalls in the ladies restrooms to find the exact location of this drain.

Yes, I admit that doing a painting of a drain in a bathroom is a bit unusual, but I was struck by the glow and sheen of the stalls in contrast to the slate floor. And the drain, the drain! I think it has a beautiful pattern.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Spector of Health Insurance Raises Its Ugly Head

Here we are, me with my paint brushes, Jim with his camera and Mat with his school books. Above us is an ugly monster called health insurance, which is threatening to bleed us dry.

Long ago, I went back to school to become an art teacher for two reasons. One was a steady income. The other was health insurance. As it turns out, I loved teaching art. The pay check and insurance were a bonus.

When I decided to become a self employed artist a year and a half ago, we signed up for COBRA, which extended our health insurance for 18 months. Seemed like forever at the time. COBRA is a very expensive interim health insurance policy. For us, it was costing close to $900 per month. A lot of money.

The 18 months flew by. Some time ago, we started investigating individual policies, since we are self-employed. Guess what. We got a big fat DENIED from every policy we applied for. The good news is that the state has what's called a portability law, which means some insurance company is forced to cover you even if they don't want to, once you've been denied.

So we applied for a portability policy, figuring that it would, of course, cost more than what we are currently paying. Guess what the estimate for the three of us was? No, your guess was too low. In order to continue with insurance which would cover what our current insurance covers, our monthly payment would be $2800!!! Now does that sound like a great option?

We are mulling over the situation, and have several different companies doing research for us. Too bad the government can't get it together. Of course, we are only one of countless people facing the same problem.

Yes, going back to teaching would be an option. Not one I'm entertaining at the moment. Not that there are any jobs out there.