Thursday, November 5, 2009

Look, Jasper, a Tapir!

{Open Studio Rehash} 

I'm finally resurfacing after a crazy, joyful weekend of Open Studios.  Almost two hundred strangers and friends filed through our little house, laughing, looking, and some of them buying my work. O joy! I haven't been this blissfully exhausted since our wedding, and although my feet ache and my smile hurts I'm still high on happy fumes.

The whole weekend was a blur of laughing, music, talking about painting, and punching that outrageous 8.75% San Bernardino County sales tax into the calculator. P. was my knight in shining armor; it was so much fun to work as a team and host the open studio together. I absolutely couldn't have done it without him, and I'm realizing how blessed I am that I have a partner who wholeheartedly supports my art. He was glowing the entire weekend and it made my little heart flutter to see him connecting with complete strangers over my paintings.

Joshua Tree is home base for a lot of wonderful, eclectic and unusual people, and many of them showed up at our house this weekend in rare form. Some of the highlights included: a German entomologist who helpfully concluded that my painting of a scarab beetle was anatomically incorrect ("See heah, ze leetal antenae should be maaach longa"), two high teenagers who ate all our cookies and giggled at the giant chicken paintings, a Russian Buddhist monk and close-talker who invited me to meditation on Saturday, a pro mixed martial arts fighter who bought a bucolic landscape painting, and a new friend who played the part of Susan on Pee-wee's Playhouse in the early 80's.  You can't make this stuff up. I had a BALL.

The whole experience was ultimately very humbling and motivating; it was such an honor that people actually showed up to see my paintings and buy them. I felt like I was floating above the ground the entire weekend, and I couldn't be more ecstatic or grateful for my friends who stopped by with love, support, constructive feedback (see beetle, scarab), flowers, and in one case, freshly baked ginger scones. Gawd, I love this place. I'm one lucky chicken.

Now, for some pictures. I only managed to take shots when the house was quiet, so although I can't show you the rumpus that was our tiny living room packed with people I can show you the layout of the show.

Priceless moment: overhearing an Englishman exclaim to his friend with genuine delight, "Look, Jaspah, a tay-pee-uh!" in a thick Etonian accent. Above, my pops with the tapir before the mayhem.
Homesteads! We sold all but one. Would you like it?
Above two pictures: an unstretched barn painting takes up an entire wall, as does a chicken. Below, one of my sisters takes a quiet moment with a quiet painting before the onslaught.

Above, afternoon sunshine on a jar of lavender and cosmos from a friend. Below, revelers enjoying the desert evening light in our outdoor living room.
Thank you all my dearly beloveds who came out - my sisters, parents, P's parents, my dearest friends who came from near and very, very far.  Thank you to all the strangers and new friends who made the weekend such a joyful success. I am *so* grateful. I want to wrap my arms around the world.


  1. I love your paintings oh my goodness, you should come here nature would call out to you and your paint brush! how fantastic all most sold out show!

  2. oh and i love that you do large works too!

  3. this is without a doubt, the BEST post i have ever read ... how you've captured the characters of your visitors ... your great interpretation of the german visitor's comments ... the high teenagers gobbling up all your goodies ... each and every word you wrote has me reading and rereading as you express your glee ... totally a riot! congratulations on having such a huge success in so many ways! i am completely smitten by your work ... and completely in love with this new life of yours ~ i just have this great feeling for you and yours ... YAY!
    i so wish i could have been there to see it and experience it all myself and now, in a way, i feel like i have ~ thanks!
    hope you and P get some well deserved rest and bask in the glory of it all ...
    sincere cheering from the north,
    prairiegirl xo
    ps ... love how your pappa looks so proud ...

  4. i am so proud of you i can barely breathe. you were the hostess with the mostess and your show was breathtaking! congrats to you and P and dolly and biscuit! xx

  5. Hooray! Congratulations to you and P on the huge success of the open house. I loved your descriptions, and I think if I could have met the woman who played Susan on PeeWee's Playhouse, that alone would have meade my week.

    I adore your paintings. I have your postcards up above my little desk here at the cottage, but I hope I'll get to see your paintings in person someday. Amazing!!! Big hugs.

  6. i'm so happy, excited, rejuvinated, and hopeful after reading your beautiful post (and your kind, kind comments over at my bloghouse). so wonderful to see that you did so well, selling paintings...doing what you love! my heart and soul thank you!

  7. Hi Lily Stockman,

    You chicken pictures alone put me completely over the edge, although the Williams Carlos Williams poem and your use of the word 'rumpus' certainly didn't hurt. For the record, I had your blog bookmarked for little visits BEFORE I met the reluctant octopus, and now I can't think of anything else. It's difficult to be a favorite of mine when there are chicken with blue and turquoise feet running about, but the dear thing managed. That is a good octopus.

    What I can do to convince you to part with it is going to keep me plotting though the workday tomorrow... be on your guard! :)


    P.S. Your blog is absolutely fabulous. Your writing is beautiful, and your paintings are an absolute inspiration. I'm in!

  8. Lil, how incredible. Your work looks like perfection and your homestead wall is beautiful. So proud of you. What a magical world of chickens, desert landscapes, tapirs, octopus, oh my. Wish I could have been there especially to meet the latest characters/guest stars in the Lily Stockman Show. Well done, lady.

  9. Oooo, this is such a lovely, warm, joyful, colourful post.
    Well done Lily!

  10. Congratulations!!!!!! looks so wonderful. hope for real we can make the next one! LOVE the homesteads.....

    and, will you come spruce up OUR out door living room???

  11. I like your homestead stuff and am interested in if there will be more (homestead2?) I can only hope....
    David K

  12. Thanks so much for all the lovely comments!

    David- I will indeed have more homesteads coming soon...possibly a whole show of just homesteads at the Mt. Fuji General Store, a gallery in Joshua Tree. Email me at lily dot stockman at gmail dot com if you'd like me to add you to my mailing list for upcoming shows. Cheers!


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