Rachael Rossman's Studio Blog

I'm a mom. I'm an artist. I clean up a lot of messes.

Tease February 25, 2010

Filed under: Beautiful Things,In the studio,Not painting,On the web — rachaelrossman @ 11:54 am

I’m working on a super spectacular something withNikki at Design Coyote. It’s almost ready, but I really couldn’t help myself from sharing. Just a little.


Memory Lane January 22, 2010

Filed under: Beautiful Things,Not painting,Random — rachaelrossman @ 6:30 pm

My sister is visiting from Arizona this weekend. Since she moved there two years ago, we only see each other a few times a year – when before it was just about every week. We still talk on the phone everyday though, so when we get together we kind of just pick up where we left off.

So today we left (all four of) the kids at home with grama and grampa and did a photographic tour of our hometown, Coos Bay, Oregon. The sites we visited were probably not the ones that you’d find on the Chamber of Commerce website, but more a tour of random childhood and teenage experiences.

Every good tour of Coos Bay begins with a cow in the road.

Hey Mr. Buffalo! Love your wings!

See? Dreary and beautiful at the same time.

The Newspaper is called "The World," which I always thought was a little presumptuous.

The old Tioga hotel: tallest building on the south coast.

We used to smuggle in bottles of wine in the sleeves of our letterman's jackets.

Seriously. That's a bad ass mascot.

Pre ran on this track. So did I.

My dad drove a 1963 Willy's Jeep with an "Arrrruuuuga! horn" and for obvious reasons, I asked him to pick me up from school at these steps, out of view of my friends.

My dad drove a 1963 Willy's Jeep with an ARRRUGAAAH! horn and for obvious reasons, I asked him to pick me up here, out of view of my classmates.

Of course, no tour of The Other Bay Area would be complete without a drive out to the beach. I use the term “beach” lightly. Oregonians don’t swim in the ocean. We fish in it, crab in it, harvest oysters and clams; watch whales, and occasionally surf in it, but we do not Swim. In. The Ocean. Do you know how cold the Pacific Ocean is along the Oregon coast? Damn cold. But it is quite lovely. Very, very lovely.

An inlet at Charleston.

"Someone I knew" walked out to this island at Sunset Bay, hiked to the top when the tide was out and camped there. But it was not me. Because how stupid is that? If that person's big sister had know about that foolishness, there would have been words. Harsh words.

About 20 years ago, I was parked in this very spot, at night, with a boy, when we were hassled by the police for being in the park after closing. Now I know State Parks close at 10 p.m. And I married the boy.

I will spare any reader of this blog the other 40 photos that we snapped, ninja-style and from a moving car. There’s the senior center where I attended my first boy-girl party (I still remember what I wore); the coffee shop where my sister worked, the dog grooming shop where I bedazzled the canines of greater Coos Bay/North Bend. The houses where all of our friends lived (and some still do.)

This last picture has nothing to do with memories, but I thought it was delightful.

Aw, shucks.


Head of the Class January 10, 2010

Filed under: Art,Beautiful Things,Not painting,Random — rachaelrossman @ 10:50 pm

I didn’t take a ton of art classes in high school, even though I was convinced that I was going to be a graphic artist, whatever that was.  My what-will-you-be-doing-in-10-years-quote in the yearbook was “subliminally seducing the minds of American consumers by airbrushing phallic symbols into Absolut vodka ads.”  Truthfully, I didn’t even know how to use an airbrush (still don’t) and when this sophomore painting of a horse and rider required it, Mr. Snyder had to do it for me:

I painted this in Mr. Snyder's art class in 1988 when I was 15. It is freaking HUGE and has, therefore, never been hung. Mr. Snyder airbrushed the corners of sky.

Mr. Snyder taught art and was the yearbook advisor, so I spent a fair deal of time in his classroom throughout high school. When I was junior editor of the yearbook, we were the first class to use an Apple Computer to publish part of the book. Remember those tiny little screens? Before that, everything had been plotted out on pica paper. We still shot all of our photos on black and white film and two photogs spent hours every day in an actual dark room making prints to size. (My god, I’m remembering this tedious process and it pains me to even type it out.) So we had this one Apple Computer that the entire yearbook staff shared. We would do the layouts in Pagemaker, typing in all the copy and making borders for where pictures would eventually go. Then we would print out the page I think, or maybe put it on a floppy disk, who knows, and send it with the photo print(s) for that page to Jostens or whoever was doing the real work of turning our ideas into an actual book. So yes, even the technology of a scanner was beyond us in 1991.

Acid-washed jeans, mall bangs and a Joe Satriani concert t-shirt? Oh yeah, it was 1991, baby.

One of my most fondly remembered compliments was from a fellow classmate the summer after graduation when he told me, “That was a nice piece of yearbook.”

Mrs. Reid taught basketweaving and stained glass and ceramics. When it came time for ceramics, I clearly remember Mrs. Reid telling us that we were under no circumstances to make bongs and that she could spot a bong a mile away and don’t even try to pretend that you’re not making a bong.

So I did not make a bong.

Today I went to an art show in Bandon called The Teachers that featured art educators from in and around my hometown. Mrs. Reid and Mr. Snyder were there and even though I’m a grown-up and have kids, and have graduated high school and have a mortgage and pay taxes and everything…I still cannot bring myself to call either of them by their first name.

They’re still Mrs. Reid and Mr. Snyder and probably always will be.

And...just like high school, my mom was there with her camera. Here's me with Mr. Snyder.

Me, Mrs. Reid, and a small person.


Addendum January 5, 2010

Filed under: Art,Beautiful Things,In the studio,Not painting,Random,Resolutions — rachaelrossman @ 7:01 pm

I’ve got two additions to my New Year’s guideline list, and they’re actually ones I’m looking forward to.

  1. Spend 10 minutes every day looking at something beautiful.
  2. Spend 5 minutes every day making something beautiful.

The first one is easy. Seemingly. I have piles of books, magazines and a list a mile long of blogs that I want to dive into for a little inspiration. But do I ever do it? Rarely.

Starting today though, I’m going to carve out just a little window of time every day to look at something purdy. To keep myself honest, I’ll be sharing my finds here every now and then so you can look at something purdy too.

Here’s where I’m starting…

Because I love, love, love this work.

I think I like the birds best.

As for the second addition to the list – making something beautiful – I’m going to leave it open for interpretation. Maybe it means messing around with an Etch-A-Sketch for a few minutes. Creating an artfully arranged tableau on some unspecting horizontal surface. Or – let’s be realistic – cleaning a toilet.

Beauty is where you find it.