June 30, 2014

Anywhere But Here up at ShoeboxLA

1968. It Was a Beautiful Cake. No Moths, 2014

A couple of years ago, I carted a suitcase full of small paintings back to LA for a huge all-painting  group show/event I had been invited to be in. Being on the fence about where I was actually living, I was maintaining the cover that I was still an LA artist. I didn't quite feel like a move across country for reasons other than art made me a "Nashville artist" anymore than living 2 months in Holland made me a Rotterdam artist. Long story short, as the result of that work and my comrades in the City of Angels, I was recently invited to take part in a project on spot relevant to my current work.

My contribution to the ShoeboxLA's curatorial project went live on Friday.
For the full post including the essay and image, please visit,  Anywhere But Here

Many thanks, ShoeboxLA!

June 08, 2014

second verse, same as the first

Still waiting for…
my ship to come in
the postman
my close-up
a sign.

Back to…
square one
the drawing board
the future.

June 03, 2014

Ok, so I'm also a documentarian, remember. #fauvorealist

Fauvorealism and some Dogen

In the middle of a brushstroke, I thought that maybe secretly I was a photorealist trapped in a... and bam,  #fauvorealist.  I googled it because it seemed too easy, but no, the oracle came up empty. Even stranger was while I was googling and trying to post to the world in a dead zone in my studio, my friend, Cole, was simultaneously commenting on the very painting that inspired my sudden insight on Facebook. 

And now for some lunchtime Dogen:

Don't cling to your own understanding. Even if you do understand something, you should ask yourself if there might be something you have not fully resolved, or if there may be some high meaning, yet.
Although a suspicious mind is bad, still it is wrong to cling to what you shouldn't believe in, or fail to ask about a truth you should see. 

May 27, 2014


Holiday  weekend insights. 

#1. I'm at a place in my life where I keep thinking I need something else, maybe another mentor. Someone who's older, wiser, and more experienced. That's not the insight. That was the problem. The insight was realizing that I was thinking someone else would know the right answers, the next thing to do. Not so. Problem solved. Intuition rules. I miss my mom. Sometimes it seemed like every conversation ended with her laughing about how intuitive she was. It used to irk me, but it was true. Her perceptions were spot-on and I've got a high batting average myself.  It was 4 years this weekend. I placed a small potted flowering plant on her grave.  Cut flowers seemed wasteful and I thought maybe one of the groundskeepers might recycle it. 

#2. I was at the Frist looking at the Goyas. I've seen several of them before. I can't remember where- The Hammer, LACMA? Meanwhile I've read a couple of articles extolling the virtues of Nashville as an affordable city for artists, and how artists living here don't need to work so many jobs to make art. Obviously I live in Nashville's evil doppelgänger, and it's true, maybe if I lived off the grid or didn't need to buy Washington cherries every time this year, I could live more comfortably, but  insight: I realized what a privilege it's been to have seen a slew of Goyas in person, on more than one occasion, and it hit me that maybe scraping by in a city in order to simply make art might not be an appropriate fit for everyone. Long-term cultural immersion has been vital for me. I also recalled reading an article about city living being more stimulating than country living. All this while standing in front of a Goya. 

#3. I've been obsessing for almost a month now about something that is critical to my ability to keep going this summer, yet out of my hands. My part is done, but it's tough to wait it out and it's not so great for morale. Insight: On the bright side, it's just one little part of a bigger picture. Not the whole picture. Perspective is sometimes hard to achieve in a closed loop environment. 

I saddled up to my easel and made a small painting yesterday. Today I built a stretcher from leftover cuts of lumber and questioned how cost effective it really is to do my own labor. But for the most part, I still like building my own and the slightly odd sizes, which is usually the tipping point for why I continue to do so. I had wanted to complete two more large paintings, but bank hasn't come in yet, so I'l be scaling down and breaking into my paper stash until things even up. I saw Steve Mumford's War Journals— ink and watercolors, executed for the most part on sketch paper, some with the spiral edges in tact— at the Frist today. It may sound strange to call documents of war uplifting, but I mean this in the sense that they were able to convey something a photograph couldn't do. If you've ever spent any time observing and drawing something, it's there. The show ends June 6. Powerful stuff on a few levels. 

May 22, 2014

The South is too big.

My networking skills have been rendered useless. I relocated from a place where people didn't jump zip codes without packing an extra bottle of water and an energy bar. I surrender.

May 20, 2014

Commercial Break: DAY RATE

Announcement: I'm available for commissions under a project called Day Rate. I'll save you the back in forth, but much like handing out samples of fancy-ass peanut brittle at the organic food store, the soft launch was geared toward simply the act of painting other people's stuff to test the waters and see if I enjoyed it.* I did, but there was something lacking. At the end of the day, I went home with a nice painting of other people's stuff. It's funny, but there's something about prepping your gear and showing up at someone else's space and working for a day that makes you realize you're not as altruistic as you thought.

Thus, the idea of commissions began out of a desire to turn my skills as a fine artist, my interest in painting observationally and my love of paying my bills on time into an entrepreneurial project as a way of "Living and Sustaining a Creative Life," which in addition to being the title of Sharon Louden's wonderful book is also an eloquent way of saying, sometimes you have wear a couple of different hats instead of holing up in the studio painting all day while waiting for checks to appear in your mailbox. (I still have high expectations in that area, so let's not get hasty.)

The trial period is over. I'm for hire.  There is a flat-fee day rate which includes one painting on linen panel at the end of the session. I spent most of yesterday fine-tuning a page for the website. It's almost complete. I also concluded that I enjoy writing FAQ's almost as much as painting. Almost.

Artist's Office Space

Chemical Engineer's Lab
Gallerist's Bedroom

In the meantime if you'd like more details, contact me at mah [at] maryaddisonhackett [dot] com.

*Of course I enjoyed it, and another shout of thanks out to the participants who invited me in their homes and offices to work out the logistics.