The Art of Watching Paint Dry: Abstract Oil Painting #1 by Vanessa Longacre-Wilcox

At this point, I think the painting is done, but I'm not sure, I’ll give it another day, time to dry, maybe touch up just one or two of those lines, probably ruin a different line, I’ll have to let it dry again and touch that up, which leads to...oh dear...this could go on indefinitely.  I could be working on this painting for the rest of my natural born life, then I’ll die, come back and haunt the painting, at first it will scare the new owners but soon they'll be saying, “Just leave it alone already!”...

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Invisible Bravery (Part 1): The Mannequin Room by Vanessa Longacre-Wilcox

In the summer of 2000, on most Saturday nights, you could find me painting.  No, I mean it, you really could find me painting because I was part of the ambiance at a nightclub named Contour on 1st avenue in Seattle.  The promoter was trying to create a different kind of nightlife experience, one for creative people, celebrating music and art, he called the night “The Mannequin Room.” (Was it a metaphor? Club-going was plastic? A commentary on societal beauty standards? Was it meant to be ironic?  I never knew.  Whatever the reason, it was a lot of fun.) 

I got the gig because my friend Mary Anne has more faith in me than I could ever have in myself for the next six lifetimes combined.  It's important to...

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Underwater Dome: Painting Project #1 by Vanessa Longacre-Wilcox

When my eldest son was born I quit my job to stay home and take care of him.  Actually, I quit my two jobs.  In the year before I got pregnant I had two jobs and I was in graduate school.  I liked to keep busy.  I liked to use my brain and plan projects and talk to people and multi-task and go to the bathroom by myself and generally be respected. 

Babies have no respect for you.  They love you, need you, adore you, think they are extensions of you, but they have no respect for you.  They don’t care about your “me time.”  You can’t...

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