March 30, 2011

I just sent out an exhibition update and listed 2 out of 4 current & upcoming events as happening in 2010, not 2011.

I just found another typo. I swear I hit spell check and proofed at least 3 times. My career is over. In all seriousness, I need an office assistnat. assistant. Okay, now I'm being funny. But seriously, typos are no laughing matter. 
And just when I was so excited to have formatted it for mobile viewing. 
Here is the corrected version:

Just a quick update on current news and upcoming shows.
Mary Addison Hackett

Hi everyone, 

Just wanted to share some current news from my studio:
March 15- September 8, 2011
Nashville International Airport
Reception: April 6th, 3-6 pm
RSVP for reception required by March 30.
The paintings are hanging by the Southwest Terminal. If you're flying in, out, or through Nashville, take a peek. 

Santa Monica Museum of Art
Invitational exhibit and benefit
April 30-May 1, 2011
Santa Monica, CA
I've once again been invited to participate in Santa Monica Museum of Art's highly anticipated annual art exhibition and benefit. Each 8" x 10" work is signed on the back and artist identities are revealed only after purchase. All works are priced at $300. 

Everything's Coming Up Roses
WG News + Art
50 – 52 Dobbin Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
group show of works on paper 
Curated by Luisa Caldwell and Mery Lynn McCorkle
Reception: Friday, May 6, 2011   6 – 8 pm
May 7 – 28: Open Saturdays 12 – 4 or by appointment: 917 304-6213/917 656-6048/706 528-2306

I was awarded a year-long residency and exhibition at Cummins Station in downtown Nashville as part of their Community Arts Program. The residency began in February of 2011. My studio is a rehabbed train car and is open one day a week to the public. Feel free to contact me for a studio visit at the number listed below. I've been working on a series of abstract watercolors, and after two years of working on an intimate scale, I'm working large again. The exhibition will take place near the end of the residency, date TBA.

and later this summer...
Asynchronous Salon
4-person show
Herron School of Art and Design, Marsh Gallery
Indianapolis, IN 
August, 2011 Exact date tba
* I will be doing a live painting.

Copyright © 2011 Mary Addison Hackett, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email as an update from the studio of Mary Addison Hackett because at some point we've run into each other or you expressed an interest in my work. If you're just not into me anymore, you can follow the link to unsubscribe. I'm a one-person operation. I don't share my list and I won't spam you with minutia; I have a blog for that. 

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Now hiring: proofreader, office assistant. 

March 29, 2011


See, they start out as stain paintings. I'll have to shoot another pic of the one on the floor. It's enjoying itself as a self-contained stain painting. Because it is flat on the floor, it cannot see it's future. It is so naive, so helpless. 

I had to clean up and hi-tail it out of the studio yesterday so I grabbed this shot on the way out. I want to leave this one alone. I am refraining from going back in and cleaning it up or make compositional choices or refinements. I'm being ornery. It's not a make nice have tea and crumpet painting. I don't know what it is. It's acrylic. I'm so homesick for Culver City I can't stand it. I want to go to Nova Color today. That is not probable. 

The odds of me being able to leave this alone are slim. Odds are I will go in with a small brush and knock up some detail. I'm guessing after that, I would feel crappy for being too tight and scrap it and muck around some more. Today is an office day, so it lives another 24 hours. 

Addendum, after comments:
Fortunately today is another office day so it lives another 24 hours. Also, I still have this Protestant work ethic when it comes to painting. This same painting would have taken twice as long to get here in oil, which may have made me feel better. I still feel the need to make it go through 3 transformations before arriving at its final stage. Sometimes, it occurs to me that I just like prolonging the act of painting. Meanwhile, I'll begin work on the others. I wonder what it would be like to have a huge warehouse and 40 large canvases with nothing to do all day but paint— but then I wonder if the daily distractions of life, the office work, and general life maintenance, feed the work to the point that the work would be a vacuum of nothingness without them. I'm sure I'd find a way to create a sense of urgency an stir up trouble, but it's a curious theory.

March 28, 2011

Prep work. The other kind.

I put a final coat of gesso on 4 canvases this morning while having coffee. I spent an hour taking the hinges off and on a door so I could wrangle a large oak chair from the den where I never sit, to a spot by the fireplace in the kitchen. Once it got stuck and I chipped the paint on the molding. When I'm not in the studio or the office I live in my kitchen. It's cozy. It's office lite. I mopped the floor fastidiously. I let the dog out. The dog came in with muddy paws. I cleared off the surface of the kitchen table. I mopped the floor again. I took out the recycle and garbage. I had to break down some cardboard boxes to fit in the recycling bin. I went to the grocery store. I did 3 loads of laundry. I sifted through my pocketknife collection. I found 2 sterling cuff links that said "25 years Miracle Whip." I found a pocketknife that said, "To My Friend." My intent today was to spend a lazy Sunday reading my new book on public art. It's 8:40 pm. I'm tired. 

Yesterday, the whole point was to get my kitchen spotless so that today, I would not be distracted. Today's all about pleasure. Today is a big number as far as birthdays go. A friend whose name I will not reveal, is hopelessly excited about this year being a milestone- very empowering, fem energy I am woman hear me roar kind of stuff. That's really not me. I'm more in touch with my masculine side than I should be, and thus, have no need to roar. Part of yesterday's lazy afternoon agenda was spontaneously power sanding the legs and corners of the kitchen table in an effort to smooth out the massive gnawed chunks of wood the dog teethed on as a puppy. The day before I treated myself to a fancy pedicure, complete with sugar scrub. Balance. 

Birthday activities:
Run 3.1 miles
Work/Studio: large paintings
Work/Education: continue reading book on public art
Work/Career development: write cover letter
Work/Career development: send email announces for Arts in the Airport show.
Relax: dinner. Maybe smoke a cigar. 

March 26, 2011

Stop me if you've heard this:

I promise not to say another word about gesso. The canvases that have 2 topcoats of Plaza Gesso seem to be doing better. All in all, I'm think we're rocking 4 coats of gesso, maybe 5. Except of course that the first 2 coats don't count. I've lost count. This is the only painting that I've started on the crappy gesso before knowing it was crappy gesso. It's 54" x 43".

Perhaps you've noticed, it's hard for me to let go of things.

Postscript: The Plaza gesso is not working on top of the Jerry's gesso. For all I know, cheap gesso is cheap because they forget to use binder. I'm at a loss. I'm trying Kilz on one canvas.

Postscript: Postscript: I am ordering a few gallons of Nova Color gesso today. For future use. I miss Nova Color being up the street. Ordering online is just not the same.

I see watercolors in the studio, so I know I've made work, but...

It's almost April. Things are blooming. I'm really happy my mother planted what looks like thousands of bulbs over the last 40 years because I do not have a green thumb. At night, after the neighborhood is asleep, I go to my secret stash of dead potted plants that were suppose to be planted, or died shortly after planting, and I cart the dried remains to the street for the green pick-up.

I've been at my residency program studio for 2 months. One month of which was spent prepping semi-large canvases. I'm still doing that. (See previous post on gesso.) I should have ordered the Nova Color gesso outright and paid the shipping expense, but I was trying to go local and I wanted the gesso yesterday.

I started one painting during the gesso fiasco, but have been working on stabilizing the other canvases before digging in. I've done about 12 watercolors which sounds like and looks like I had a productive month in February, but I'm chomping at the bit to immerse myself on the larger paintings, though I have no clue what they will be. Plus, I'm working on the other 50-80% of being an artist which is the hustle and flow factor.  I'm in a couple of exhibitions right now and am also taking steps to apply for some public art opportunities. I'm expected to have a show sometime during the residency, so am hashing out proposals for that as well. Sometimes, like now, I go through a phase where I look back at my work and think wtf?  I had perfectly good reasons for devoting all my studio hours for the last two years to painting super small paintings, but as I'm updating my portfolio, I'm reticent to include anything under 36 inches less the wow factor diminishes upon discovery that I've given the dimensions in inches not feet. The pool and flower paintings can function as a single wall installation though I need better documentation of them in that context. I could imagine the abstracts as a grid, but I'd have to play with the space. Maybe this summer in Indy...

I cannot emphasize the importance of QUALITY installation documentation. Either hire a serious professional whose work you're familiar with, or get a good camera with a tripod and some lighting eqip and DIY, but either way, allot the necessary time to this task. I was stretched pretty thin last year and admit I dropped the ball or expected it to happen without my supervision, but in the end, all you have is the documentation.

I'll be reading a book on public art today, crafting a cover letter and selecting works. Today's a run day, but it's cold, grumble. I'm going to lay down a wash on the new gesso and see how that works. Then I'll either cry, scream, or PTL and start painting. At this point, I think the time and cost factor has revealed itself to be worth the extra money to have my stretchers arrive at my door already prepped for me.

March 24, 2011

I feel somewhat better, I just trashed Jerry's gesso in a review.

Ten yards of canvas painstakingly stretched and primed, and one week friggin later, the gesso still reactivates with water. I can't afford the time or money to trash them, order more, and start from scratch. The gesso is dry to the touch, has been for days, but it just keeps reactivating with water whenever I lay down a wash. I tried a layer of GAC 100 on one canvas, which seems to be working, but I'm not fond of this method because I'm not into having a polymer emulsion as a base layer. I tried a layer of different gesso on two other canvases, but it basically just made the crappy Jerry's layer wet again, so now I have three coats of gesso that won't cure on my canvases. The super nice guy at the local overpriced art supply store told me the Jerry's gesso probably froze during shipping, which made the binder and gesso pigment separate.

You know what's really funny? I'll tell you what's really funny. Today at my train car studio, while this gesso mayhem is taking place, I saw a train go by. The train car had "calcium carbonate" stenciled on it. I thought, calcium carbonate, why does that sound familiar?

I'll tell you why that sounds familiar:
Modern "acrylic gesso" is technically not gesso at all.[5] It is a combination of calcium carbonate with an acrylic polymer medium latex, a pigment and other chemicals that ensure flexibility, and ensure long archival life. source: wikipedia.

Life is funny, is it not?
Clay Slurry or Calcium Carbonate Only #2

And here is a picture of Calcium Carbonate transmogrified into Mother of Pearl. l.

As someone recently told me, "You only have your name and your work."

So I get a Google alert:

 and I click on it:

and I see my painting on the left, and a NOT my painting on the right. I click on the NOT my painting on the left. It takes me to the Julie Heller Gallery link:
I did some beach sketches once or twice when I was watching Matt do karate beach training. No one other than Matt has ever seen my watercolor beach sketches.

I went back to the Artnet main page and notice three dealers are selling my work. This would be good news if indeed three dealers were dealing my work. I click on the other dealer claiming to sell my work, Acme, Fine Art.

There I am again. Third column about half way down. Needless to say, it not's me. Some spider must have just typed in my middle name. There are actually quite a few artists named Mary Hackett out there. This particular one is from Provincetown, MA.

Artist: Hackett, Mary
Biography: (died in 1989) Well known and collected Provincetown "Folk Artist". Her works are part of the Provincetown Town Art Collection, PAAM and others. Very rare for any paintings by her to hit the open market. She showed regularly in Provincetown from the 1930s until her death in 1989, Mary Hackett has been described by Philip Hamburger in The New Yorker (September 9, 1996) as "a painter fools might label 'primitive' but whom those with eyes to see recognize as great."

Part of me wants to send an email letting the other two galleries know that Artnet is trying to link my work with them, part of me feels oh, hell, it's exposure. Once again, I tell you. I like all three of my names.

Artist: Hackett, Mary Addison
Biography: (still very much alive.)

It's CRUNCHTIME!!!!!! I have to get to the train car today and check on my gessoed canvases to see if they've finally cured after a week. If not, I'll be spending the rest of my life dissing a bad batch of gesso.
So much to do. I wish I had an assistant for administrative  work.

March 23, 2011

Sometimes I think a little more about the future than I need too.

This book has been on my wish list for a while. When friends pass away way too young I guess it's normal to wonder a little bit more about life. I'm still dealing with stuff left behind. On top of that, I'll be leaving stuff behind. For the record, I have a storage unit in L.A. Marina Del Rey, actually. Just art. For the other record, at the end of the day if I do more than break even, I'd like to establish a small grants program for other artists.

The dog is suspicious of me today. He won't come back in to eat his breakfast. Yesterday, I ran a tight ship and got him out, fed, and walked with amazing precision. Then I left all day, came back during lunch to reassure him the world hadn't ended and returned to the public arts workshop. It's 9 am now and he won't eat breakfast. He thinks this will keep me at home. He's manipulative.

Mary Addison Hackett
Crisis Management, 2008-2009
oil on paper
20" x 16"

March 22, 2011

Today was one of those "Oh, right. I have a purpose" days.

A couple of weeks ago, I committed to attending a day-long workshop for artists wanting to make the leap from studio art to public art. Today was the day. Registration was at 8:30am, approximately 30 minutes after the muffled sounds of NPR on my clock radio start to make sense, and square in the middle of my stare-out-the-window-and-drink-coffee time. It was sunny and warm. I sucked down my coffee, said goodbye to the dog, and rode my motorcycle downtown. On the way, I swerved every so often thinking I was avoiding some kind of ash fallout, but realized it was cherry blossoms pelting me in the wind. Apparently, I am still shaking off the expectations of the fire season in Los Angeles.

Sponsored by the Metro Art Commission and presented by Lynn Basa and Joel Straus of Chicago, it was totally worth  the day-long time investment. I have an interest in public art. I like the principle of bringing art to the public and I like the idea of getting paid by an organization to make art that will be enjoyed by numerous people who wouldn't necessarily think about purchasing art for their private enjoyment. I like the idea of translating my art in scale and medium. I could go on. Still, as a painter and an abstract artist, I look at my work, look at some public art, and think, nope, no can do. Not going to cast bronze old people reading a newspaper on a park bench. Not going to cast an oversize banjo and talk about the human spirit in a cover letter. And so I continue to work in the studio until a workshop like this comes along and I get all excited about applying for public arts project again. The workshop struck a good balance between stoking one's enthusiasm and presenting a realistic and detailed picture of the prep work involved in simply applying for RFQ's. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to meet some other people in the art community and did so. I also foisted a couple of my announcements for my show at the airport- which counts as a tiny step into into public art- into other people's hands. I thanked the hosts probably too effusively, but sometimes I feel starved for information and contact with other artists, so at least it was sincere. It was a relatively good day and I felt hopeful about living here and making art. On the sad side, I learned of a friend's sudden death and the imminent decline of an elderly neighbor with Parkinson's. I scattered some more grass seed and tended the area where the dog  mud wrestles with rocks.

March 19, 2011

Would you buy this owl?

My alias has an alias. I'm trying to make some stuff for mass-producing. I almost poked some sharp sticks in my eye as I was experimenting with making cute things to appease the masses. #fail, but everyone likes owls, right?
So, would you buy this owl?

I got a bad batch of gesso.

I tried Jerry's World's Greatest Gesso for the first and last time. It's not curing. I suspect it has no binder. It reactivates with water. Oh, not obviously so. If you're slapping on thick coats of acrylic paint or oil paint, you might not notice, but if you're working with thin puddles of transparent washes and trying to manipulate paint, you would notice a milky white substance mixing with the once-transparent pigment. You would notice a chalky muddiness to your once bright and beautiful washes. You would notice if you applied too much pressure, not only would you have a chalky muddiness, you would also notice your previously dried, once-transparent layer was no more, having been swiped milkywhiteclean back to the white of the gesso. You would scream. You would curse. You would sit in a corner racking your brain on all the time and money you've spent ordering frigging materials from exotic places such as Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Antioch, Tennessee. You would wonder if you were ever going to get the canvas to a place where you could put paint on it, and have it stay put. You would wonder why you moved from the land of reliable art supplies and trustworthy vendors.

I called Jerry's and tried to explain this phenomena, asking nicely why this was happening. I mentioned my once transparent paint washes becoming cloudy and milky. I was told that because the paint was transparent, I would be able to see the white of the canvas underneath the paint-that transparent paint had that quality. I said, no, you do not understand, the gesso is reactivating and making my pigment no longer transparent. It is making it milky and chalky. I know what transparent paint is. Do not fuck with me, dude. 
I did not actually say that last line.

Today was a bust in the studio. It has been almost 50 hours since I applied the gesso to the canvases at the studio and about 72 hours since I applied it to the canvases here at home.

March 15, 2011

Hackett, Mary Addison

I admit it. I google my name every blue moon. Tonight, I belatedly discovered a post over at KCLOG with pictures from my 2010 show last fall at Kristi Engle Gallery, fabulously linked in the same post with the amazing, Steve Roden, a painter I, and many others admire. A big thanks to KLOG for the post!

I liked the simplicity of seeing, Addison Hackett, though as a first and last name, not as compound last name. In the last ten years, I've noticed how people tend to want to clump Addison with Hackett as a last name. It doesn't happen that often, but I always feel obligated to correct it, lest I wind up with a new last name at this point in my life. Quite possibly I am the only contemporary artist using three names, the middle of which is a middle name or as it's known around here, a double first name. Unlike standard issue double first names, such as Mary Sue, Mary Jane, or Mary Jo, I got Mary Addison. I happen to like all three of my names, but if I had to lose one, I'd probably lose Mary at this point. Not saying I will, but just saying I probably would.

Oh, and I suppose I should rally forth and have anyone who might be interested in following another ***HIGHLY ANONYMOUS** blog I started take note and be on the look out for an invite for the soft anonymous launch soon- via FB prolly. Hardly groundbreaking stuff, but thought it might be time to shake things up or down a bit. 

March 14, 2011

Reluctant Productive

I usually boycott Daylight Savings Time for at least a week by not getting out of bed for an hour.
I work later, so it's still dark when I clock out my imaginary timecard.
I'm noticing that I'm most productive Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I like working when most people aren't. The world feels quieter and I go to bed with a sense of accomplishment.
My eyes are tired today, and as I suspected, I'm not getting a lot done. I discovered two more staplers, bringing the collection total to 10.

I have long suspected that my mother and I shared the same secret obsession with office supplies. I sometimes suspect that my mother "borrowed" these staplers from her offices over the years. I remember some of them from my childhood. I like office supplies. Little gadgets that make people more productive and efficient. What could be better?

I am going to gesso my canvases now. 

March 11, 2011

I'm here, there and everywhere.

Today was a good day. I rode the bike to the studio. It was bit chilly, but worth it. Stretched what I thought was a 60" x 60" canvas, but turns out it was 54" x 54". Nonetheless only 3 more stretchers to stretch. Oddly enough, I'm enjoying this time I'm spending with my raw materials. 

As part of the Flying Solo program at the Nashville Intl' Airport, the above two paintings will be hanging in the South Ticketing Lobby by the Southwest Terminal from March 15- September, 2011. If you're flying through Nashville, enjoy. I'm very happy to be a part of this. When I was in Los Angeles and having to fly across country about once every 5 weeks for less than joyous circumstances, the art in the airport made my day. 

March 03, 2011

I hate to say this-

I've got a stalker/lurker person reading my blog and I cannot tell you how much this annoys me. It's the person who "accidentally" applied for a drivers' license using my address, after having having his mail forwarded from my address since he accidentally listed my address on his car title. Some of you may know the story. Con artist type with a history, claims everything was a mistake. yawn. Though I checked and he's no longer using my address-I assume since I made such a stink about it- I still find it annoying. The whole thing is creepy and disturbing to me. It also makes me feel like after all those years I defended the South as not being some place where all the backwoods indigents wind up, maybe I was wrong. It's enough to make me miss my crazy neighbor in LA. The one who thought I had a portal to another world inside my house. If you want to keep up with me, message me on facebook with a note. I may start another blog with a different name later on. I'm not sure what the solution is. Maybe I'll just lay low for awhile. Such a bummer for me because I liked blogging, but then again, maybe it's time to:
Ross Penhall's tat.

oh and here....not perfect, but better. I tried SGL's method of avoiding glare and there's a small problem of some areas being out of focus, but as a placeholder, these will do. Much better than those iphone shots though. 
I'm calling them The New Transitionals. I've decided to fuck themes or any pretense of consistency this year.
(I'll edit in the titles later. They do have titles. I'm just tired.)