Dede Macchabée is one of the musicians I've gotten to know here, but she is also a painter. She so kindly invited me to come to her home and studio and shared her work with me. It was like stepping into a magical world. The first thing I saw was a blue tree trunk reaching to the ceiling and a swirl of stars overhead. It made me think of Walter Anderson's secret room he created with paint as his own retreat. My own home tends to suffer as I put time instead into my work, but Dede's is stunning. She makes me want to create an artistic space to live in.
She kindly let me take photos and also do a quick sketch, that doesn't begin to do it justice but will help me remember. I could paint a week in there.
We spent easily two and a half hours talking about art, travel sketching, music, and our creative habits as well as the business of being an artist. I completely lost track of time and feel like I have another new sister.
You can see more of Dede's paintings of the world she has created on her website at www.dedemacchabee.com
I was also lucky enough to get to sit in with Dede's old time band over the weekend. Unlike Memphis, apparently people pack a bar standing room only and whoop and holler for old ttime music. Amazing. I had a total blast and was delighted they asked me to join them. They even got me to sing Little Maggie as part of the set, and Dede's boyfriend Vincent was kind enough to film my Paris debut. It was a rush to get to play with such good musicians. You can see it at https://www.facebook.com/vincent.mandeville.1/posts/1213140115404171 if you're curious about this side of my life.
Here's an overall shot of the evening with the crowd reflected in the mirror. I look a little fierce singing about bluegrass's orginal badass wild banjo woman, but I like the photo overall.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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