Monday, July 7, 2008

One Year Later

Wow! The power of the internet. Who knew that people would still be reading about us a year later? And helping us to reconnect with lost friends - Hi Jessie! And hopefully inspiring many of you to blog less and create more. It's wonderful that we still have people we know that mention they "found" us on the Learning to Love You More website. It's amazing that for some of them it took so long. These are people we interacted with on a regular basis all through the process. People who heard about what we were doing. People who were invited to both the premier and to Bumbershoot. And they're just now getting around to seeing our work. It only serves to reinforce my perception of how quickly time passes, how lives today are FAR too busy, and how wrapped up we all are in ourselves that not only do we not have time to stop and smell the roses, we can't stop and smell the roses of a friend either.

Well here we are a year later and the creations still keep coming. All the Olivers seem to have an enhanced confidence on both our ability to create and the value of those creations. Since Bumbershoot Michael has created some beautiful things from wood, Sydney has drawn some of the most intricate portraits, I am trying my hand at quilting, Mary has made millions of masterpieces, and the boys (who don't show us their art but I'm pretty sure some takes place) are making the world a more beautiful place one tree at a time.

One of the most interesting, lingering effects of our experience is the appreciation it has given us for art and aesthetics. After Bumbershoot, we hung some of our work on the walls of our apartment and have been enjoying them, but more recently we received a large piece of art from Michael's brother James who is an artist in his own right. Our artist neighbor, Steve, who some of you may remember was featured in one of our LTLYM assignments, is moving away and is divesting himself of seemingly hundreds of canvases. He leaves them everywhere for people to enjoy and acquire. We've "rescued" several dozen for ourselves and have them hanging everywhere. Having "been there and done that" we perhaps appreciate how much of himself there is in each one. Somehow the dumpster or a street corner don't seem the appropriate resting place for anyone's creations.

So. Quit reading this now and go make something already!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays

And merry christmas from the Oliver on this blog that nobody reads .... But its chill I don't read it either.

Monday, September 10, 2007

blog wrap-up?

Well, it's been a week since the last day of Bumbershoot. It's been a long, fun ride. I'm sure any blog readers who were at Bumbershoot and saw our exhibit can come to their own conclusions about how the display went. Suffice to say we were all pretty satisfied with it. The fire code only allowed for max. 50 people in the room at one time, so there was usually a line of about 20 waiting to get in and look at our stuff. That was pretty heartening. So was the sight of all the people walking out of the room talking about how inspired they were. Thanks, everybody.

Mary and I were walking down to Broadway the other day and were surprised to find two women who completely recognized us from Bumbershoot. They said they were inspired by LTLYM and were actually on their way home to complete assignment 61. Hopefully we'll have more such encounters in the future.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Free Viz Arts Day

Hey readers...

I'll admit that this blog hasn't amounted to much. But it still serves a purpose, and that is to let y'all know what's going on with the Learning To Love You More project. Only two more days until everyone gets to come see it.

This Friday is the Mayor's Arts Awards, a little ceremony held at noon at Seattle Center. (To recognize art that the mayor likes?) It's also the official opening of the Bumbershoot viz arts exhibits, which will be free and open to the public from 12-6 pm. Anyone who's learning to love us but doesn't want to pay for a Bumbershoot ticket should come on down. We'll be there greeting people and telling stories about the assignments. I'll probably even be wearing my suit!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Just a Few More Days!

Dear Readers,
I feel we've neglected you the past couple of weeks. But we've been so busy trying to finish up the last few assignments. We put polishing touches on many we considered "done" but were not yet ready-for-prime-time. We done extensive video and audio editing on many of the pieces that we'd shot or recorded but hadn't yet brought to a state of readiness. Many of these can be found on google video now.

The Installation of all our hard work occurs this weekend. All of the tactical pieces will be hung, squared, matted/framed and otherwise arranged on the walls and plinthes. We only have about 4 more assignments to finish up. One that we are having trouble with is the creation of our own LearningtoLoveYouMore assignment. While Bob frantically tries to get our committment of what this piece will be, we are trying to dig deeper to find something that can truly be meaningful and worthy of all the tasks we've already accomplished while at the same time being something that will be awesome to experience. We've thought of and almost agreed on at least 1/2 dozen different things, but still have found THE one.

Michael has written the lyrics to the world's saddest song and tonight I will put it to music. It is short, sad, and will pluck at your heartstrings. It's also in spanish. Covering the song by Crowded House has proved to be tougher than we thought and elusive to put our desired "spin" on it. There is the added dimension of this one that this song and the band who made it famous will actually BE at Bumbershoot and thus anything we do may well pale in comparison and people will be hearing both. No pressure there, eh?

And a week from Sunday in the middle of Bumbershoot and all its Broo-ha-ha, we will be presenting a lecture series.. Art is Where You Find It or possibly Everyone Can Do Art. We must have a flyer to advertise this so that it can be passed around to entice people to attend. We've got the concept and perhaps even some/most of the presenters, but we still must make the flyer. Just a week or two ago it seemed the least of our worries. Now it's at the forefront of the short list that Bob must have had immediately three days ago.

I believe we should have stuck with the original self-imposed date of July 31st. There are so many details to work out at the last minute that I feel we really shouldn't be still doing assignments. Plus the logistical challenges involved for the installers for last-minute items. We won't even MENTION that there are just this week two new assignments on the LTLYM website. Do we want to be able to say we've done 63 of the 65? Or do we want to be able to say - as we've been saying all along - that we've done ALL the assignments there. So two more assignments added to the mix. Nigel has knocked them out quite easily but that still means more to upload/convert/double-check/edit, etc.

Once the assignments are all finished I will need to make the CDs and DVDs we need for the show. Continuous looping audio and video. More media-engineering under my belt. Interestingly enough it is MUCH easier to edit video even with changing soundtracks than it is to edit audio. Who'd have thunk it?

So I will say "adieu" for now and hope to see you all at Bumbershoot. One of us will likely be there, in the Olympic Room for most of the festival. Look for Nigel in his pink suit!

Keep the faith - look how far it's taken us!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

This week's progress

This week we have been mostley working on Assignments #1, #10, #5, #44, #32
and a few others. On monday night Nigel finished Assignment #1, and he wore it to work on Tuesday. Then Neil, a fellow Greenpeep, took the pictures.
#10 Mary has been doing with the help of Pete, Mom, Dad. The flier has been completed, including colorful illastrations, and Nigel is getting it copied as we speak.
I have asked Amy, a neighbor about #5, Recreate an object from someone's past, She gave me three objects, But I need to find some good cardboard.
#44, make an LTLYM assignment, Everyone kind of has their own ideas about that one, but we have not decided yet.
#32 was finished on Monday by Pete, who cried in "Pay it Forward" a family favorite. If you have not seen I recommend you do.
If you have any questions or comments please post them.

~The Olivers

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Time Flies

Wow! We are coming down to the wire. Those of you watching our assignments grow on the LTYLM website will see that we have been busy, busy, busy. I've spent more time learning to use editing software for audio and video and how to combine and uncombine them than I ever dreamed was going to be necessary. Not to mention the conversion processing and hoops I've been jumping through. Pete has been doing some masterful video production, taking all the snippets and multiple angles of the same performance and splicing them together seamlessly with cool transitions and everything. I've been doing the same for the audio.

We have a lot of awesome minutes of recording from Pete's 8th grade graduation which we used for the "record a choir" assignment. It was really difficult to choose the 45 seconds to use. If you come to Bumbershoot, you can hear the long version. We had several technical glitches, not the least of which is trying to change everything to a format that can be used on the website. I wonder how many people don't get to have their A/V posted because they don't know how to convert it.

I spent some time myself looking through our posted assignments this morning (which didn't yet include the several more I sent to the master-of-all-postings, Yuri, last night). We have accomplished an amazing amount of work this Summer and we still have a bit to go. Nigel in a pink child's outfit looks like nothing less than a Pink Jedi. His art is amazing for someone who thought himself not an artist at the beginning of this journey. It proves our point that anyone can do art. Which by the way is going to be our lecture series which you can catch on Sunday at Bumbershoot - Anyone Can Do Art. We will have presentations from several people both in and out of the family on different types of art and some hands-on stuff so that people in the crowd can be convinced.

We are meeting weekly with the wonderfully patient Mr. Bob of One Reel who is managing to finesse all the conflicting personalities with the aplomb of a Deity. Kudos to him for keeping his cool while all around are continuously questioning the plan, the process and the outcome. We are about to do a little internal press releasing of our own so that people we know in Seattle don't fault us for not letting them know about our little summer project until it's too late. For those of you who don't plan to attend Bumbershoot but live in the area, the visual arts portion of Bumbershoot will be open to the public on the Friday before Bumbershoot from noon until 6pm. So if you want to catch all our art in one place and in person - check us out - we'll be there. It will be right after the Mayor's Art Awards.

While editing video, I've come across some footage of a project in progress. I'm going to try and post it to this blogsite, but in case I can't you can look for it on google videos. Well, must go now to compose Mary's art and text into a flyer of her day. Watch for it to be posted everywhere on Capital Hill (for assignment 10) and watch the website where you can click on "latest reports" of the Oliver family to watch them grow all the way to 63. Then you can give a cheer for us. Remember that 63 is the minimum. There are many projects that more than one of us has completed so I am going to be very interested in the final number to see just how many total projects we will have finished this Summer.

See you later!