Tuesday, April 13, 2010

LIfe of Leisure - NUAMES & VSA 300 Plates!!

My life of leisure is nearing an end as I’m going to start a full-time job here come next Monday!  I’m very excited but will absolutely miss my come-and-go-as-I-please-life of leisure!  It has been, I would probably say, one of the most fun years of my life!  I was going to say “funnest” but technically that’s not a word, and well, damn it, Wesley would be all over me!)  Being able to “putter” around the house, flitting here and there, great phrases I learned from my mom!  on my own time schedule has been a blast (and, quite frankly, I don’t have to do that if I don’t want to!)   

One thing I'm really going to miss is the ability to just take off and go with Doug as I please!  Going out to the plein air competitions was an absolute blast!  We probably spent at least 5 or 6 weeks away from home this year.  That’s like a six-week vacation for me!  We spent two weeks in Estes Park, a week in Idaho Falls, several days in Spring City as well as shorter stays in Midway, Torrey, Arizona and St. George!  He would go out painting while I was, uh, yeah, on vacation!  Oh, I’d do some work on the computer, but that didn’t take long so I got to read some great books, drink lots of Fresca and yes, I must confess, played poker with my facebook poker buddies!  It did give me the chance to meet soooo many of you who are now readers of our blog and for that, I am eternally grateful!  I still plan to come to many of the plein air competitions and have been assured by my new employer that they are incredibly flexible and will allow me to still travel a little with my main squeeze!  
Our “Wet Paint” for this week is a plate for the “VSA 300 Plates” show which will be held at Art Access in Salt Lake City on Friday, May 20 from 6-9 pm.  This event is going into it’s eighth year and each year it gets better and better!  VSA raises money to help provide quality art activities for adults and children with disabilities.  “The arts are truly a universal and essential language that challenge people to look beyond themselves and celebrate diversity.”  What a great cause!  

"Snowy Sides"
2010 VSA 300 Plate Show

So, this is how it works:  VSA extends an invitation to some phenomenal artists across the state to paint on a “plate.”  It’s not a round dinner plate mind you, but just a metal square plate with two holes punched in the top.  The plates are organized around the gallery and are numbered starting with, I believe, #65.  They go all the way up to #365 with a few that are put on a “silent auction” wall.  The painting “number” is also the price!  So there are some incredible bargains to be had!  It has grown so popular over the years that now, when you get there, your name is put into a “hat” and, after you’ve had a chance to peruse the gallery and find your “picks,” they draw out a name and you then get the opportunity to purchase your “bargain” painting!  This keeps us from tackling other people who are going for our same painting!  haha  We’ve gotten some great little paintings over the years, including a John Erickson, Tracy Strauss and last year, a great little broom painting by Joe Carter!  We love them all!!   
Last year Doug painted “Dueling Banjos” which most people loved but didn’t get the title. 

"Dueling Banjos"
2009 VSA Plate Show 

Doug is always very fascinated with the graffiti painted on the trains and always comments to me “isn’t that some awesome painting on that train!”  Dueling Banjos represents the friendly rivalry between “graffiti” artists and plein air painters in their quest for “who’s the best in the west” I suppose!  

If you’ve never been to the Plate Show, contact Ruth Lubbers at Art Access to get on their mailing list!  We will most certainly be there and would love to see you there as well!  Hey, let’s do dinner! 

Another thing I'm going to miss is teaching!!  I’ve been substitute teaching, as I mentioned before, at the Northern Utah Academy of Math, Engineering and Science (NUAMES) and DANG, I am sooo going to miss that!   Since I was in high school myself, I have always dreamed of teaching school.  I guess because of some of the great teachers I had myself that really made an impact on my life.  
I seriously just love these kids!  It’s not easy being a teenager so it’s really great when you have someone there that truly WANTS you to succeed.  It’s easy to teach the good kids, the ones that do their homework and are totally prepared day in and day out.  It takes a really good teacher, however, to love the ones who don't--to help motivate the kids that are, well, unmotivated for whatEVer reason.  Sometimes they are too smart for their britches and are bored, or sometimes they are overwhelmed with a lot of stress at home.  Reaching out to those that need a smile, a pat on the back, a little gentle nudge or a swift kick in the butt!  So to my friends at NUAMES, (and I’d name names, but there are too many, and I most certainly would leave someone out - but you know who you are) I say thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me feel welcome at your school and for helping me fulfill a dream I had of teaching!  (a term I use loosely!)  

See, being a “regular teacher” is a piece of cake, you get to not only teach your specialty, but you have your own lessons prepared and do your own curriculum.  Being a sub, however, well, that’s tough stuff!  Here’s your lesson plan and by the way, we’re learning about algorithms and poly-something-or-others!  I loved teaching the English stuff, PE, Finance and World Civ, but when they asked if I could sub for Chemistry . . . “Well, I DO own a Honda ELEMENT so I’m pretty sure I’m qualified!  I am seriously campaigning for “Sub of the Year!” (an award I created myself so I’m quite certain I will win!!)   
Off to work . . . or not,  . . . maybe I’ll just putter in the kitchen . . .
Cheers to all clink clink here’s to . . . full-time jobs with health insurance!!  :) 

PS . . . the weekly blog will continue without interruption, like it or not!!  


  1. Jeanette!!! Glad you'll be continuing your weekly blogs! I sure do enjoy them. We also enjoyed our golf day with you two in Estes Park. Great picture! Congratulations on your new gig!


  2. Congratulations on getting a job--what a relief. I assume you'll tell us at some point what it is?

    I'm glad you explained the plate thing--that explains the two holes in the top of the painting. (I was wondering about that.)

    Elizabeth Eastmond

  3. Hi guys -
    Loved both paintings. And loved the way you ended your "life of leisure." Do all good things have to come to an end?? Good luck with the new job -- and try to find time to do those fun things you and Doug enjoyed together. Love from your sis in Boston -- Nik