Tag Archives: artist and craftsman supply

moving, muscles, and m’lady

things have been a little absurd these days. absurdly crazy, that is.

the art store where i work is relocating and it truly is beyond exciting. our current location is underground. i refer to it as ‘the dungeon.’ there are no windows, therefore no natural light or airflow. thanks to very colorful walls and excessive lighting, it’s not dark down there. however, when someone comes in after i’ve been down there for a prolonged period of time i tend to inquire about the weather ‘out there’ in the ‘upstairs world.’ it could be snowing or sunny and i would be none the wiser. which explains why i am grateful for when i see someone wander in in a t-shirt or holding a wet umbrella. it gives me an impression as to what is happening outside. that said, the lair in which work is quite cozy, but i miss daylight. i miss looking out the window for a weather report. and in our new location we are above ground. even our basement is above ground. my manager said it best when she exclaimed, “i felt a breeze in our new space !” and seriously, i moved from Seattle to San Francisco. i not only expect, but also feel that i deserve, some sunshine in my life.

so, this means we’re moving an art store. i’m not sure if you understand what kind of an endeavor that is. when a 4,500 square foot place is packed from floor to ceiling (literally) with art supplies, it’s a little difficult to imagine moving it to another location. i have been a wishin’ and a hopin’ and a prayin’ for a magic wand to miraculously lift our current stock into our new store, but it hasn’t happened yet. i’ll keep you posted. since we still have a huge amount of stock at our current location we are liquidating it. we are, essentially, giving away art supplies. no, they aren’t free per say, but they might as well be considering the deep discounts we’ve been doling out in an effort to rid ourselves of our current stock. while i’m on the subject, if you live in San Francisco and you (or anyone you know or anyone that they know) is an artist – you need to get here immediately. seriously, get to this store without any further ado because our sales are ridiculous, nay – downright obnoxious.

so, the new location required a serious paint job. not because the existing paint job was sub par, but because our stores are multicolored. some may refer to it as some sort of latex paint explosion, but i like to think of it more as a unicorn that vomited multiple rainbows onto the walls. however, it’s not just some random hodge podge paint job, there is quite a bit of structure and planning involved (and, by the way, it looks amazing). i was afforded the opportunity to take an over sized roller, dip it into a pan with not one, but three, different colors, and roll the walls and ceiling. and i got paid to do this ! we listened to Johnny Cash and laughed and celebrated the new space. the only draw back being that when you are a somewhat scrawny girl (me) holding a somewhat large and extended roller and you are painting fourteen foot ceilings, there is a price that you will pay.

that price was not only complete disorientation (seriously, looking up (for five hours) at a ceiling with a roller in hand that might weigh more than you is liable to cause a serious case of vertigo). i’m not complaining because it was a blast to be a part of this whole experience, but i’m just sayin’. i was more than just a little dizzy after that sort of labor. but the complete loss of balance is nothing compared to the muscle, or perhaps ligament?, that i tweaked in the process. i still cannot laugh, sneeze, cough, breath, or lie down without an incredibly sharp pain in my upper left rib area. who knew painting could result in a ‘work related injury’ ? i wasn’t expecting it and i, personally, find it to be rather hilarious despite the pain.

i was also there the day some two tons of steel were delivered. steel, people. i aided in the movement of said steel down into the basement area. there’s no elevator. there are stairs. we did construct a makeshift ramp from some ply wood that made the whole experience far easier to manage, but lifting and heaving steel around when you have a seriously tweaked something in your torso is not incredibly comfortable. and it’s particularly uncomfortable when you drop a pile of said steel on your foot, causing a rather impressive bruise to form thereafter. what can i say ? moving this store is, truly, a labor of love.

i realize that i have, by now, rambled on for far too long. i have one more story to tell (which is quite amusing), but it can wait. it’ll have to because i’m not in the mood to bore you any further. plus, i’m not even finished telling the stories above because the new location we are moving into holds so much amazing history, i would feel criminal keeping it from you. but i will leave you with this post for now. it’s just about nine o’clock and bed is in my near future.

[‘m’lady is called ‘Filling the Void.’ she is acrylic and mixed media on glass. she was just displayed at a drag show fundraiser (yes, this is what happens when you live in San Francisco) and i shared her last week, but the picture was sub par so i figured i’d re-share her this evening. so, please, enjoy.]

jessi

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Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt)

and so forth.

i’ve got quite a few things a-happening these days and they seem to be all good. which is entirely awesome.

first of all. the whole ‘home situation’ seems to have settled down. we have two new people living here and we all get along like a house on fire. perhaps the most important part of our getting along is the fact that we all have a good sense of humor.. and if you live with me, that’s key. if you do not understand or appreciate my sick, twisted, perverse, and entirely sarcastic sense of humor – well, we are bound to fail as friends and bound to struggle as roommates. so, as it stands, we can all dish it out just as much as we can take it. thanks be to god.

secondly, my job is on the up and up. if you are unfamiliar with my place of employment, here’s the run down. i work as a clerk for Artist and Craftsman Supply. we are technically a ‘chain’ store (merely because we’ve got over twelve stores nation wide), but we are far more like a family than some corporate nonsense (p.s. you should find us and ‘like’ us on facebook). we have, as of this morning, just signed a lease for a new space which is about two and a half times the size of our current underground-window-lacking location. the painting for the new space starts within the next week and i really could not be more excited about it. and you have to understand, painting the new space is not some Home Depot endeavor where we pick just the right shade of mauve pink for the walls. it’s basically a paint can free for all (with structure, naturally). our walls are multicolored works of art and i am stoked to be a part of it. show up in your finest pair of Dickies, dip your paint roller into some twenty different pans of color, and go ape sh*t on the walls. and i’m getting paid to do this. did i already tell you how much i love my job ?

as for my own endeavors. i have a painting i have just completed for this project called El Travo Callabo. wherein, five or so artists work on one wood panel. i paint on it, then ship it to the next artist. who, in turn, ships it to the next artist. and so on, until all is complete. there are eight or so panels in total that artists are working on around the country. once all is said and done, they will be exhibited in several different cities. here in San Francisco. i believe also in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and perhaps other cities as well. i was lucky enough to begin panel number eight and i made a painting of a mouse. a dead mouse. a mouse that my roommates found under our fridge last week while they were deep cleaning the kitchen. a mouse clutching a peanut. the photograph was so endearing i had to convert it into a painting. meet :: “under our fridge.”

i’m also taking place in a show at The Cinch (see piece below – apologies for crap photo). a gay bar on polk street. or perhaps i should call it a drag bar. regardless, my ever so talented friend and co-worker, Nick, has put together this fundraiser called Cancer is a Drag. yes, he’s very clever. Diane Arbus (my favorite photographer) inspired the piece below (from a photograph she took in the sixties). i am delivering the piece to Nick tomorrow and it will be on a wall for the next month or so.

“filling the void”

in addition. i will have a painting up at Modern Eden in June (see the elephant below – again, apologies for crap photo) and will have an entire wall to myself in July at a favorite place of mine called ‘Vesuvio.’ it’s a bar. it’s a coffee shop. it’s an art house. it’s all of the above and i am very excited to have my work on the walls there. it’s located on Columbus Avenue at Broadway (on Jack Kerouac Alley). it’s an amazing little joint and once i have pictures of the work i’ve chosen to exhibit, i will share.

“what gives?”

i’m trying to think of a funny story to tell you because, to be entirely honest, i feel like that’s the main appeal of my blog these days. and although i find pretty much everything amusing most of the time, i have nothing to share at the moment. nothing noteworthy at least. i’m currently listening to the George Baker Selection’s Little Green Bag from Tarantino’s ‘Reservoir Dogs.’ it’s the song from their opening sequence and it’s amazing. i’ll share a funny story soon, but in the mean time ? i should probably catch my forty winks because i have a long week ahead of me.

[wood burning and acrylic on wood panel][acrylic and spray paint on glass][acrylic and pen on wood panel]

jessi

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cartography and life behind the counter

i never knew a chicken salad sandwich would make such a delightful breakfast.

i’ve decided that learning things like this will be normal now that i work at an art store, but we aren’t your typical art store. we are not a machine buzzing with employee badge numbers. we are employee owned and operated and we are the opposite of all things corporate (phew!). therefore, we are not unhappy employees who cringe at the thought of their next day of work. we are happy employees who look forward to helping people find things like acrylic gouache (yes, it exists) and carbon pencils. and we have regulars. very happy regulars, in fact. regular customers who stop in just to chat and will, on the spot, make you a chicken salad sandwich (we had no cutlery, so a pencil was used to ‘spoon’ out the helping of chicken salad and hands were used to rip apart the slice of gouda that accompanied it). it was all so charming. this job is charming and i am adoring every minute of it as i meet all these customers, regulars, and sometimes even their very adorable dogs. (and i can’t believe i just googled ‘chicken salad sandwich’).

in other news, remember that t-shirt company i worked for in Seattle ? t h e i r b a a a c k . . well, not really. that company is wonderful and the people who own it are wonderful and the people who work there are wonderful – so, obviously, we’ve kept in touch – i would be an idiot not to, quite frankly. if you have no idea about what the company does – my feeling like their cartographer will totally confuse you. i’ll try to explain, in a nutshell :: Destee-Nation Shirt Co. seeks out local businesses. i’m talking about the ‘mom n pop’ type businesses that we all frequent. our favorite coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and so on – the small businesses of america who are trying their hardest to survive in this economy. the businesses that put their love and hard work into every drop you drink and every sandwich you eat. you know what i’m talking about and now you know why this company is what i consider awesome.

so, in an effort to promote these businesses, Destee was created. it was their way of giving back to the communities that had served them for so many years. it’s a t-shirt company that makes and sells t-shirts for all of these local joints and promotes them on their website, encouraging locals and tourists alike to frequent and support said businesses. it’s kind of a fool-proof business model – how can you not love that?

in order to reach businesses all over the country, a ‘Road Scout’ was placed in an old school suburban with an even more old school streamline trailer hitched to it and sent on his way. his name is Gabe. Gabe rocks – in a huge way and i only kind of a little bit (ok, fine, maybe a lot) hate him for this being his job. his instructions :: drive through america, seek out these local favorites, drop in, have a beer, chat with the employee(s), and see if you can’t get a hold of the owner so you can discuss the possibility of becoming part of the Destee club. and i only kind of a little bit (ok, fine, maybe a lot) hate Gabe even more because he is personable, kind, and a really great writer – he really is the perfect guy for the job. for every town he visits and every bar or coffee shop he drops into, he tells his story/stories. they are amusing and heartfelt and honest and you ought to read them.

as Gabe makes his way around the country, i’ve been making maps to represent his route. being a huge lover of maps in the first place (i’m a little bit obsessed wih the concept of mapping), this kind of project pretty much rocks my world ::

above is the final product that’ll be featured on their website as Gabe works his way back from Texas to Seattle. he’ll be on a brief hiatus and then will venture out to the midwest and beyond. yes, we love to hate him and we hate to love him.

[google images][sharpie & paper & digital application]

jessi

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