December 30, 2013

Happy New Year's Eve.

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I've edited this post like 3 times in an effort to end the year on a positive spin. And maybe it is. But in leu of getting terribly excited about the usual ups and downs, I'll just redirect you to Dave Hickey's resignation from the Art World last year.

So long, 2013.


December 26, 2013

OPS Studio Notes 12.26.13

I'm not scheduled for field work until after the New Year, hence Studio notes. I'm not sure why I've justified the messy and time-consuming process of actually making my own linen panels from scratch, but indeed, this is what I have been doing among other end of the year tasks. In preparation for my project (OPS) I had already cut, primed and sanded a half sheet of birch ply. I was ready to go. But no, not good enough. I suddenly needed these panels to be linen. Fair enough, but why the 1/4" panels? Why not just go on and stretch them on stretcher bars? Good question. Theoretically, these are supposed to be studies, only they're not. They are alla prima paintings. I figured if I kept them on flat panels, I'd be more spontaneous. Mind games.

I also think it was a ploy to prolong the inevitable year-end avalanche of paperwork.
They've turned out quite nicely.

Step 1: Cut panels
Step 2: Prime wood
Step 3: Cut linen, allowing about 1/2" for overlap 

Step 4: I used Gac 100 to glue the linen to the primed wood. 
Step 5: Working fast, squeegee out any air bubbles on front and back and wrap edges neatly on back. 
Step 6: Clamp or weight linen panels, preferably overnight.
Step 7: Gesso linen. Two coats.  Allow to dry between coats.
Step 8: Lightly sand.
Step 9: Apply a third coat of gesso and sand, if you are picky. If you're like, whatevah sister, that's a bunch of friggin work for your silly ass au plein air panels, then you can skip steps 2-9
I FINALLY sutured an old Gap Sweater that unravelled several years ago after only three months of normal use. At that point it became a favorite studio sweater. I love it even more now and consider it now fit for public outings. 

December 21, 2013

OPS Field Notes, Day 1:

I announced a new project the other day. Working title: Other People's Stuff. (OPS). Practical and to the point. I'll be dedicating some posts to the process and its evolution. 

Dec 18th, 2013: 
I packed my plein air bag and gear the night before, but had to make a phone call first thing in the morning. At the last minute, I decided my hair was simply too dirty to go out in public and I gave it a quick wash. Less then two miles from my house/studio I got busted by radar for speeding.

The set-up was easy. I brought exactly what I needed. I thought I might spend more time wandering around or being curious what people had hidden in the closets and drawers, but after painting still lifes in my own space, I decided nothing is more interesting than something else. It's more important to just paint, otherwise I'll start making judgements. 

I settled on the bedroom. Once I started painting, I lost track of time, but I worked for about 3 hours until I got to a stopping point. I continued working on the painting back in the studio. 

Once home, I primed panels for the next session and finally started working on the large painting.

In less than four days, I've booked three new sessions with two more to be confirmed. I am excited. I like the detachment and no-nonsenseness of it. This is my dream job. I need a uniform. 

December 10, 2013

Read it and weep.

According to my iPhone, I was in Miami for Art Basel and several other fairs this year. And even though I was hiding behind a documentation device, I was totally present and in the moment.

Thanks to Sharon Butler over at Two Coats of Paint for my guest correspondence gig covering this year's fair:

And to the Nashville Scene's Arts + Culture Blog, Country Life, for the real estate to share even more coverage of all things fair in Miami. 

The Miami Art Fairs are Decadent and Depraved
Miami Day 2 
Miami Day 3
Day 4. Be patient. I'll link after it's posted

a rose is a rose is a rose

December 03, 2013

Art Basel and the Miami Countdown. T-2


Almost there. Almost. 

I already missed the opening performance of the Marina Abramovic piece at Untitled last night which I would have chosen to miss, so I'm still on track. I am getting jealous of all the beach shots I'm seeing. 

I will, however try and stop by Aqua where artist Tim Youd will “retype” Elmore Leonard’s classic novel “Get Shorty” in room 218 of the Aqua Hotel (1530 Collins Ave.) from Wednesday to Dec. 8 where artist Tim Youd will “retype” Elmore Leonard’s classic novel “Get Shorty” in room 218 of the Aqua Hotel (1530 Collins Ave.) from Wednesday to Dec. 8 where artist Tim Youd will “retype” Elmore Leonard’s classic novel “Get Shorty” in room 218 of the Aqua Hotel (1530 Collins Ave.) from Wednesday to Dec. 8...

And then there's this: 

Learn how to draw from skater-punk-turned-contemporary-pop-artist Ryan McGinness, dubbed "a Warhol for the information age." He's teaching a class at The Standard Hotel following the launch of his new book "Sketchbook Solutions", which will be available for purchase. He'll also give a lecture an hour before the class begins.

December 6 from 8-11 pm at the Standard Hotel and Spa.

I'm so there. 

December 01, 2013

Art Basel and The Great Miami Countdown. T minus 3.

It's Sunday. I had to run out to the mothership yesterday and purchase a brand new usb cable for my iPad. The dog ate the connector off my not-so-old one.

I'm going to be covering the art fairs for a couple of other artblogs this year. I thought it time to branch out, develop a broader audience. Deets to follow with links of course.
I'll also be tweeting live at @maryaddhackett.

Meanwhile as prep work, I made it through maybe 2 hours of online Basel yesterday before experiencing sensory overload. I filtered "painting." At least I think I filtered painting. At a certain point I wondered what I would wear and began looking at random images of previous fair-goers. Lest you think I am an uncultured rube, I've averaged one art fair a year, more or less steadily since I was 26. Leaving a margin of error for exaggeration, that put's me at about 15 art fairs. Still, when the fair is 4 blocks away from your workplace or 2 miles from your studio, it's like picking up a carton of milk on the way home. When it involves flying to Miami, I suddenly feel like I need a bikini wax and some gold-strapped sandals.

Back to Art Basel. The downloading of gargantuan files from the website prevented me winning the most patient blogger award. I switched over to the Art Basel app, which was still kind of buggy, but much better.

Nada Miami Beach is not to be missed. As a preview, I'm crushing on Club Paint, Jane Corrigan, Ryan Mosley and Daniel Heidkamp. I mistook a work by Ariel Dill for Charlene Von Heyl.

More tomorrow.

November 29, 2013

November 26, 2013

I'm going to be covering the art fairs in Miami this year.

Next week, I'm putting on my gonzo hat and will be reporting from the dreary tundra of the culturally impoverished and perpetually under-hyped cog of the Art World wheel- the Miami art fairs. So dedicated am I to the pursuit of culture and truth that I cashed in my Aadvantage Miles in order to get there. Phase II involves scoring reasonable accommodations and a steady drip of Starbucks in order to write some pithy prose. Bonus: napkin drawings rendered in eye pencil and lipstick.

November 17, 2013

Review: Old School. Norman Rockwell at the Frist Center

I saw the Norman Rockwell exhibition yesterday. Ninety percent of the work is illustration, (no judgement, just making a call) but there are maybe three or four paintings that reveal his hand as a painter. The wall text claims "Artists Costume Ball" was possibly done in less than an hour. I have my doubts on that, but still.

Nonw of my students had heard of Rockwell. Not surprising. At first glance, his work appears inaccessible contextually. Probably even at second glance. I'm also not a fan of how he lays down paint or numerous other formal concerns, but as a kid, I was fascinated by some of his work from a book my aunt and uncle owned. Coming across the painting in the exhibition, I remembered it was the triple portrait painting that graced the cover of that book that captivated me. 
As a kid, I was a fan of Picasso and Van Gogh and remember digging the fact that Rockwell had their images painted in his painting. Also, wanting to be an artist at an early age, I was a sucker for any painting that showed an artist in their surroundings.  Ironically, I now have a brass pot for my paint rags. 

With the help of wall text, the exhibition does a good job of contextualizing Rockwell's work and his stylistic migrations. It would be easy to dismiss this exhibition as populist and generational, and indeed it's an interesting juxtaposition to 30 Americans downstairs, but it's worth a look. 

I'm also looking forward to reading Deborah Solomon's new book on Rockwell, AMERICAN MIRROR: THE LIFE AND ART OF NORMAN ROCKWELL.

November 15, 2013

The Kitchen Paintings (#Drifters)

Meanwhile over breakfast, I worked on over 50 paintings this year of things migrating around my kitchen. I thought I might continue them after the show- and I might, but the morning monoprints got in the way.

Contact me via my website if you are interested in knowing more.

This morning's conclusion:

October 15, 2013

Good news for Nashville's art scene.

Press release from David Lusk Gallery :

David Lusk Gallery | Memphis & Nashville | 901.767.3800 | 

David Lusk Gallery will open in Nashville in early 2014. The new endeavor continues the Gallery’s commitment to artists and clients – now in a second city. Formed in 1995 in Memphis, David Lusk Gallery promotes a roster of artists from the mid-south and well beyond to clients across the country. The Gallery’s program is distinctive – one that matches the diversity, ingenuity and excitement of Memphis. Gallery owner David Lusk comments, “It has been a blast creating opportunities for our artists on both a local and national level. For me, working with clients and arts professionals to incorporate contemporary art into their everyday lives is tremendously invigorating.”

Now the Gallery will broaden its reach by opening a new Gallery location in Nashville. That city is growing quickly; cultural industries like food, film and fashion are booming. David Lusk Gallery will fill a gap in the Nashville art scene, while also providing Nashville artists and their collector base with new opportunities.

The Gallery in Nashville will be located at 516 Hagan Street in the burgeoning Wedgewood/Houston neighborhood. Dane Carder will serve as the Gallery’s day-to-day Director. Carder, a Nashville based artist, has previous experience promoting the local art scene through his gallery Threeesquared. Carder says: “It has long been my desire to expand the scope of Nashville’s art community. David Lusk Gallery’s program will bring a welcomed component to what is an established and vibrant art scene.”

The new Nashville Gallery will have 20-foot ceilings, a series of operating industrial garage doors, pristine exhibition galleries and a large viewing room. The building, formerly a large truck machine shop, has been redeveloped to house three distinct businesses. The location is already a recognized arts locale: next door to David Lusk Gallery is Zeitgeist, a long-time Nashville art space, noted for cutting-edge installations.

David Lusk Gallery will create an artistic program tailored to Nashville. The Gallery will showcase recognized artists previously unrepresented in Nashville, others well known in the city, and a few without any Nashville recognition. The Nashville Gallery will build a reputation related to, but unique from David Lusk Gallery in Memphis. These artists, among others, will be represented during the opening exhibition of David Lusk Gallery Nashville:

Carroll Cloar (1913-1993): nationally recognized painter of the Southern cultural landscape.

Maysey Craddock: gouache drawings on found paper describing the beauty of dilapidation and

Hamlett Dobbins: abstract paintings about emotional attachment, described through shape, texture and color;

William Eggleston: internationally renowned for beautifully mundane color photographs;

Mary Addison Hackett: contemporary paintings of everyday objects given new life with fast brushwork and unexpected color;

Greely Myatt: sculptures of domesticity, communication and wit, using widely varied found materials;

Kit Reuther: large, minimally-marked abstract paintings and totemic large wooden sculpture;

Tad Lauritzen Wright: subject matter includes, among other things, one-line drawings, word-find paintings and shuffleboard tables.

David Lusk Gallery is excited to join the active art scene in Nashville. A formal exhibit schedule will be released shortly. David Lusk Gallery in Nashville will open at 516 Hagan St in January 2014. David Lusk Gallery is located at 4540 Poplar Ave in Memphis. For further information contact David Lusk at 901 767 3800
or Or, contact Dane Carder at 615 598 5600 or

October 09, 2013

Although the map is not the territory, the territory is still in need of a map.

I'm tremendously happy that Le Rayon Vert caught the attention of some of the area's writers. Tremendously. Not that I would been totally disheartened had the other show garnered all the attention, but I was rooting for the dysfunctional work.

Jim Ridley, The Nashville Scene. Go Green with Mary Addison Hackett's Le Rayon Vert.

Joe Nolan, Arts Nash. Le Rayon Vert is Mysterious and Masterly.

Laura Hutson, Nashville Scene's Arts & Culture Blog, Country Life. Installation View: Mary Addison Hackett at Belmont's Leu Gallery

And this small blurb:

Many thanks to everyone for checking the show out.  

The show is up through October 17. And in case you're armchair gallery hopping, here's the link to all the works in the show, including the Kitchen Painting (#Drifters).

In the studio it's business as usual. 
I started a new painting and due to an upgrade in wood shop skills, I'll be taking some time to build some nice stretchers. Tonight I will be watching the final 3 episodes of Breaking Bad. #Research & Development.  

October 05, 2013


Two studio visits in one month. Yes.

And just when I thought I had worn out my welcome.

October 02, 2013

Zen and the Art of Dado

Test cut. First attempt at actualizing the dado. Not bad, but room for improvement. 

Nashville is not known for it's plethora of fine-arts industry related services and I have had to resort to building my own stretchers (strainers, really, but no one is keeping track.) It's been a good thing. I actually like the prep work and I'm not too shabby.

I have owned a simple chop saw for 25 years. Crosscuts and miters were as fancy as it got. A couple of years ago, my friend Carla, and sage guru in all things DIY, taught me how to cut  beveled edges using an inexpensive table saw. I added the table saw and beveled miters to my skill set. I make cuts as needed to build small to medium stretchers. For years, I was spoiled by living in cities where quality stretchers were actually affordable, and without certain tools I could only get so far in my DIY stretcher building when I wanted to work large.* Enter, the elusive dado cut cross-brace. And also, most of the time I believe in using quality materials and craftsmanship, though not always.**

I've also known about dado cuts for about 25 years. I've read about them in my hardware books. I've looked at diagrams. I've studied them close-up after purchasing stretcher bars made by professionals. I knew how to make dado cuts, and yet, no dado cuts were made.

There are at least 4 ways to make dado cuts. There are others, but these are the ones seemingly accessible if you don't run a major woodshop:
1. A hand router.
The hand router is a lot of work and frankly seemed a little heavy and prone to operator error.
2. A table saw with a dado blade.
The dado blade is a myth. I've never seen one and no one I know has ever used one. To change the blade for a single dado cut is apparently so labor intensive that no one wants to do it. There is no dado blade. 
3. A coping saw, a chisel, and nothing to do for the rest of the day. Maybe some band-aids.
Need I go into detail? 
4. An inexpensive table saw with an all-purpose blade.
I finally asked someone to show me the mechanics of making a dado cut, specifically, how to handle the wood as it glided over the saw blade. It sounds simple, but when there's a whirring blade inches away from your fingers, anything is possible.*** It came to my attention that they assumed I didn't know anything about dado cuts, saws, or lumber for that matter, but I listened patiently and watched a single cut being made on a megafancy table saw at the school woodshop. I paid attention to the wood and the position of the hands as they went back and forth over the blade. I was concerned with potential kickback and keeping my lumber straight as I made multiple passes- the action part of making the cut. 

Yesterday, I finally made the elusive dado cut on my home table saw. The test cut came out at 90 degrees and perfectly flush. That is all. 

*sometimes I also support crappy cheap labor from China, but only because it's impossible to find crappy, cheap store-bought canvases made in the USA. 

**I quit using a stretcher-builder out in LA when  in a snarky convo, he told me that most of his work (stretcher bars) winds up in landfills. I didn't want that as the foundation for my paintings. I don't know where my paintings will wind up, but it seemed like a rotten place to start knowing that the guy who made the stretchers was already thinking "landfill.") I think about these things in terms of karma. "Take care of your work and it will take care of you."

***Allow me to make the analogy between lane-splitting on a motorcycle and making a dado cut on a table saw. When discussing the pros and cons of lane-splitting, a friend in California explained that when you (the motorcyclist) are between cars, you're relatively safe. The cars on either side are parallel to you; they are not converging to single point. They will not crush you. True enough, unless one of them wants to radically change lanes. I grew to love lane-splitting, but back to the saw. The saw blade is lowered to about half the depth of the wood and it's not roving around all willy-nilly on the table, so making a dado cut using multiples passes on the table saw is a rather safe cut, but like anything you do more than once, there are odds to beat and conditions to be alert to. 

August 26, 2013

Sleight of Hand

It's tucked away in a back gallery, hidden from view. If looks could kill, this show would plead guilty. Armed with hi-viz hues and iridescent  pigments, the paintings in Shell Game have toppled over themselves on the way to outsmart one another. The ringleader, known simply as FTP (Faker Than Plastic,) was last seen shaking down the gawkers while the rest of the juvy gang (Spin, Downstream Log Dream, Pretty Pass, Hologram, Turner's Vignette, and Ombre on the Outside faced off on opposing walls. Skunk, whose Christian name is Clowns to the Left, Jokers to the Right, sat frozen in the middle, unsure how this scene was going to play out. Lil' Scoop Neck (shorty shorty) wasn't tall enough for this ride and was sent back to the Merry-Go-Round.

Shell Game, a show of 9 works by Mary Addison Hackett is on view at Tinney Contemporary, August 24th - September 28th, 2013. 

August 24, 2013

Copy. Export as PDF. Delete. Repeat.

Process is in the process of a transformation. What's that you say? How will this affect, me, your not-so-loyal reader?

Well, for starters, 2005, 2006, and 2007 have left the blogosphere. Except the Baldessari post- it's still there for posterity and will be archived at a later date. The writing is a little unpolished and clunky, but it was a charming story.

I was surprised at how uncarthartic the Delete process was. My studio life in Culver City was more exciting than it has been here, but that's like saying Cream of Wheat is more exciting than Cream of Rice. I experienced some fabulous art firsthand and was reminded of shows I had been in with artists I admire. There was sunshine and cappuccino. I saw some mistakes. I had studio visits on a regular basis. People genuinely seemed interested in talking about the work. LA was good. There was some sadness of course, but all in all, very good.

Still, we can't live in the past. Onward and upward.

In tandem, I'm also winnowing out my bookshelves. The odds that I will frantically need to pull a quote from Semiotics and Interpretation or Sexual/Textual Politics is slim, but just in case, I will keep them. On the other hand, my Home Improvement tome can go. If I can't find out how to fix something via YouTube, there's no reason to carry on.

It's time for a change.

August 18, 2013

I forget things.

"Levitational" at LAX through December 2013


I was just reminded by someone who passed through LAX that I still have work installed at LAX International Airport in Terminal 3. 

3 of 20 panels 

Wow. I made even more work than I remembered this year. I had totally forgotten that the winter work force cranked every day painting 20 scenarios as seen in the above works on paper.

Every year I threaten to take some time off and stick my feet in the sand or something. I'm still threatening to do that. One day. 

I'm kind of on break this week. Not really, because I'm prepping works for delivery and cleaning out the house.  I'm catching up on reading. 

I'm excited about some upcoming stuff. It's not directly art-related, but it's relevant. 

August 17, 2013

Aiming for nothing.

that's my faux chop that looks like a chair.  ^

may have been the first day in 3 years
I didn't get emotional
The map of state quarters did it last time, 
but today, 
it was just a piece of cardboard. 
I took in the tattered inspirational daybook
with multiple dates listing births
and deaths, 
including a stillborn first cousin.
My aunt and uncle were like a second set of parents to me. 
My own mother had 2 miscarriages prior to my birth. 
Stuffed animals wrapped in plastic. 
Needlepoint panels noting our horoscope sign, a prom dress. 
Linen tablecloths, 
still creased.
Do I need to keep the paperwork from the cemetery? 
I mean, 
what's the worst that can happen, 

August 15, 2013

Wake up Glitter Pony! Wake up!

(Occasionally there are technical difficulties when blogging between two formats. As a result, some witty corrections I made to my Glitter Pony post caused said post to be lost in the nether regions of the www.)

To recap, I was mulling over the phrase, "quiet integrity," when I came across something which made me question busting my glitter pony ass for the entire summer. I sat with it. There's the quiet part and the integrity part. I decided the integrity part would be to address it directly, and that the quiet part would be my response.
Wake up Glitter Pony, 2013
acrylic on canvas 
20 x 16

I'm also really happy that some work sold. I usually don't talk about commerce here or anywhere, but I'm blown away by the continued support from my former community. In turn I hope to give back. Maybe I've already given some, but it makes me want to give more. 

August 09, 2013

Two Upcoming Solo Exhibitions

It's been a productive and intense couple of years in the studio and I'm excited to have two shows in September to kick off the fall season. I'm in the middle of compiling the checklists, but roughly, I'll be showing 35 works and 50 studies in two spaces. Insane, you say. I agree.  

I blasted everyone's inbox early because the shows are in Nashville and since most of the fine citizens on my mailing list are not, I couldn't think of a reason to keep it under wraps any longer. I also uploaded the recent work to the website. Major thanks to a group of artists friends for inspiring me with their own work, some virtual & long distance studio visits with discussions about what really matters, and for some disciplined daily practices I've incorporated into my life. Time to wipe down the palette table and pack up the work. I'm looking forward to starting with a clean slate and seeing what's next. Anything is possible.  

If you're able to visit Nashville, or would like to do a studio visit while the shows are up, please let me know and I would be happy to arrange a time to meet. 

image: Faker Than Plastic, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 inches
Shell Game
Tinney Contemporary
August 24 - September 28, 2013
Opening Reception: Saturday September 7th, 6-9 pm
Tinney Contemporary
237 5th Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37219
ph. 615.255.7816
contact: Sarah Wilson
In Shell Game, I revisit my relationship with abstraction by incorporating invented flora, patterns lifted from family heirlooms, and carefully constructed layers that shift slightly in color when viewed from different angles. Before studio hours, I had a meditation practice. During studio hours I listened to mashups. In between, I walked the dog and did housework; saw a movie or read a book; took a motorcycle ride and did some yoga or ran. There were a few storms. Trees went down. On and on. 
Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday: 11am - 5pm, and by appt. 

image: Le Rayon Vert (StaƄczyk), 2013, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches

Le Rayon Vert

Leu Gallery
September 9 - October 17, 2013
Opening Reception: Thursday September 12, 5-7 pm

Gallery Talk: Thursday September 12 at 5:30 pm

Leu Art Gallery 
Belmont University
1900 Belmont Blvd
Nashville, TN 37212
Contact: Jessica Owings

In Le Rayon Vert, my focus was on the parameters of painting and the ever-shifting construction of meaning, memory, and representation in my day-to-day life. The paintings in Le Rayon Vert are concerned with ideas about temporality and the absurd. My goal was anti-hierarchical and all-encompassing. I varied my approach by working from memory, direct observation, personal photographs and found images. 
A green ray is an optical phenomena dependent on atmospheric condition that occurs as the sun sets. It’s the last ray as the sun recedes over the earth’s horizon. Jules Verne used it as a plot device in his book of the same name, and Eric Rohmer used Jules Verne’s book as a plot device in his film, also of the same name. I’ve taken liberty with the narrative structure and characteristics of French New Wave Film and applied them to the recent work. Viewed in this way, the paintings in Le Rayon Vert can be seen as jump cuts about perception. 

Kitchen Paintings (#Drifters)
As part of the Le Rayon Vert exhibition, I will be showing 50 studies from the Kitchen Paintings (#Drifters). 

composite image: Kitchen Paintings (#Drifters), 2013, oil on wood, 6 x 4 x 1/4 inches each. 

Last January I set up a cigar box studio in my kitchen and began documenting the wayfaring objects crossing its terrain.

I am offering a selection of them available for sale before the show opens, at  I am emphasizing that in red in case you are skimming. I had sworn off painting really small, but I began these as a casual documentation project and sometime during breakfast while working on #23 or so, I decided to make them available to help fund the studio. They are currently available through my studio, and will be for sale during the show at Leu Gallery at Belmont University.  

As an acknowledgement of your support, (and patience), you can choose to be listed publicly on the wall tag as a lender to the exhibition. I'm doing this in the spirit of experimentation since the show is at a university gallery. My intention is to divert some attention back to people who support me and to demonstrate the micro-economy in the arts that often goes unnoticed. 

Please visit the site in order to purchase, or contact me directly. The studies are oil on hand-cut wood panels and are priced at $200.