The day for the beginning of my art show has finally arrived!!! Well, okay, technically it arrived a couple days ago on April 3rd, but who’s keeping track, right? Last Monday, Mr. Husband and I managed to complete the installation of twenty-nine pieces of my artwork without downloading any divorce papers. This post is all about that set up, but first….

A Little Tragedy

Cocoa the Guinea Pig died Tuesday. As far as signs go, this is probably an ominous one for the start of my show. Or maybe it’s one of those things-can-only-get-better moments (now I have that Howard Jones’ song in my head). Either way, Cocoa has gone on to nibble that big bale of hay in the sky.

guinea pig
Cocoa hiding behind her big sister (and I mean BIG) Ginger.

Unfortunately, this leaves her sister, Ginger, alone. Since guinea pigs are social critters who do best with a partner in crime, I’m currently in the process of finding another female guinea pig who is close to her same age. I’ll keep you updated on her search for a friend.

And Now It’s Time for the Show (Set Up)

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my first task in preparing for the show (okay, besides making oodles of artwork) was to clean off the price tags that had been stuck to the glass by the morons who work at the stores I got my frames from (admittedly, the frames were a good bargain, so I can’t complain too much).

Waiting for the olive oil to do its magic.

Once sticker-free thanks to some olive oil, a razor blade, and a bit of elbow grease, it was time to slap some artwork in those frames and get an idea of how everything might fit together. The two gallery walls measure about 25 feet long each, with a divider thingie in the center, so I figured I had four 12.5 foot walls to lay out. Luckily, my front room measures just a little over 12 feet across.

I have to say, this was a challenge. I didn’t want to have an entire wall of flowers and an entire wall of animals (my two main subjects) because I thought seeing flower after flower might get a bit dull. After all, this isn’t a garden show. It took a bit of playing around, but after an afternoon of moving pieces back and forth and back again, I had a layout plan complete with measurements for the spacing.

Maybe a bitt too close?

Once all that shuffling around was done, I put hanging rings on the back and thought I was being very clever and saving loads of time by not attaching hanging wire to the rings. More on how this plan nearly failed in a bit.

Uh-oh, they’ve left me alone with the power tools!

Houston, We Have a Problem

On the day of setup, I had everything packed up and ready to go. We arrived at the campus and I explained the hanging system to Mr. Husband. The system consists of a track near the ceiling from which wires and hooks hang. You can space the wires as close or as far apart as you like, and then raise and lower the hooks as needed.

Boxes and bags of installation goodies!

As I began setting my art out along each piece’s corresponding wall (according my very efficient layout plan), Mr. Husband said he didn’t understand how the hanging system worked. I explained again, to which he replied, “I still don’t get it.” Rolling my eyes, I then physically took a picture and hung it to show him.

“You don’t have enough wires.”

Oh shit. He’s right.

See, here’s where we come back to my attempt to be clever. See, the For my previous two shows with the Clackamas County Arts Alliance, they (using the same hanging system I just showed Mr. Husband) mount your art work with two hooks from two rings you put on the back of your artwork. They don’t use a hanging wire strung across the back of the work.

Since I knew the new gallery used the same system, I only put the rings on, not the hanging wire. The problem with this bit of time-saving cleverness is that the college must have assumed artists would hang their work by using a single wire and hook attached to your frames’ hanging wire where I was expecting to use two wires and hooks on each ring. Meaning I needed almost twice as many wire/hook thingies than were left hanging from the gallery’s previous show.

Yeah, uh-oh.

Wires! My kingdom for more wires!!!

I ran back to find the gallery coordinator in a panic, asking her if she had more wires and hooks. I’m not normally a lucky person, but that day was my lucky day because I needed fifteen more wires and she had exactly fifteen more wires (plus a whole gob of hooks). Phew!

Back to Work

The rest of the installation went super duper smoothly. Once we got the extra wires and hooks in place, we threw the art up on the wall just to get it all in place. The result looked, well, a bit drunkenly.

Looks just fine to me! Now, gimme another drink.

Then came the tedious work of leveling and spacing using the measurements on my handy dandy layout plan. Okay, some of the measurements had to be slightly adjusted, but we ended up staying on plan for the most part.

After that, I just needed to slap on some labels, put up some smaller pieces on a couple podiums, clean up, and go off to celebrate with a couple pints!

The big walls make my stuff look VERY tiny.
Figured I might as well toss these in as well.

Relieved, But the Work Continues

It is a HUGE (as in pregnant blue whale huge) relief to have this show up and running. But the work still goes on. Not only do I still have the open house for this show to plan,  purchase nibbles for, and set up, but I also have my show in May through the Arts Alliance looming ever closer.

I’ve only completed about half the work I need for that show and the damn calendar pages are flying away despite the Super Glue I’ve been trying to hold them down with. With planning and some good fortune from the art gods, I should have the final pieces done just in time before I head offer a week of much-needed vacation in London at the end of this month.

Any big accomplishments for you over the past weeks? Any deadlines rushing too rapidly toward you? Share your thoughts in a comment below!! Thanks for stopping by, everyone.

* * *


Saturday, 15 April 2017  * * * Noon to 3:00 pm

Please stop by to say hello, grab a snack, and view several pieces of my colored pencil and acrylic artwork!! The gallery is at…

Clackamas Community College, Wilsonville Campus, 29353 SW Town Center Loop EastWilsonville, Oregon 97070

Can’t make it? Don’t worry, the art will be on display from 3 April until 16 June 2017



14 thoughts on “The Art Show Begins Amongst Tragedy

  1. Wow, that’s a huge amount of work. Frazzling for anyone, for sure. But your work looks wonderful. So many great colors! Sorry to hear about your guinea pig though. Always sad to lose a pet. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it was a bit of a shock to see her with Death knocking at her door Tuesday morning. I thought she’d pull though, but my home hospital efforts weren’t enough. And I was surprised myself to realize how many pieces it ended up being!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. RIP, Cocoa… I hope Ginger finds a new buddy soon. This doesn’t seem to have been an ill omen for your show though, since even the hiccup with the wires got sorted out pretty speedily. It looks great! (And I do kinda like the drunken first hanging, too) Good luck with getting your next round of artwork together… Beastie Calendars, Inc. has taken note of your excellent idea for sticky pages that halt the relentless march of time, and we’ll be rolling out this feature in future editions of our product! 😉


    1. Ah, I think you’d hit a gold mine if you could do that with your calendars! As far as new buddies go, Ginger may be getting a new playmate today unless the person delivering her flakes out (not uncommon when dealing with people on craigslist).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hang on… You’re finding Ginger a playmate through Craigslist? Isn’t Craigslist dating how most modern horror stories start?! This guinea pig could be an axe murderer… Or at the very least, have families in 3 other states, or a history of credit card fraud! 😱

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Your show looks great… I wish I could come and see it! The photograph of your pictures all crammed together on the floor made me think of Marianne North’s paintings at Kew Gardens… she had one or two more paintings than you to fit in, though!
    Sorry to hear about Coco. I hope you find a pal for Ginger soon… you could always get a rabbit if you can’t find a suitable guinea-pig (and then gender won’t matter), since the two species do get along really well.


    1. Oh good gravy! Now I’m going to have nightmares about having to fill a gallery like that. I’ve heard guinea pigs and rabbits get along well and I did once get a rabbit for a guinea pig I had several years ago, but they kind of just ignored each other.


  4. Great job Tammie getting all of the pieces done. I’m looking forward to the open house, and not just because I’m taking the day off!


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