Showing posts from August, 2009

Painting, Ceramics, and...more?

I'm working on the final piece of my 12 panel series, Exhibit A: Paintings of Alabama Places. I am still enjoying the project three years in, so chances are I will continue to explore this theme after a nice break doing some fun and easy abstracts in my usual format.
This last work is based on Alabama's churches. Today I worked on the tile part of the piece, which have been a challenge so far. I've wanted to get the look of stained glass without having to actually do stain glass. I got so frustrated with trying ceramic look-alikes that I actually got a glass artist friend of mine to teach me how to make glass tiles. I quickly realized that learning a new medium (again) was a tall order to complete for one work of art. I finally (happily!) found a way to make ceramic tiles using a slip-trailing method (email my husband for specifics) that just might look pretty fantastic.
I love that after 25 years as a painter I get to explore new vistas of creativity with at least one ot…

Description for My Steamboat

Here is a description of my new book, to be released in December.
If you think you know Steamboat, think again. This story of a ranch town cum ski resort, by a native who knew it all back when, will make you rethink not only Steamboat Springs, Colorado, but that "same small town in each of us," as the songwriter said. In these pages you will meet a mother with a profanity habit who fling cats into snowbanks and plays sad folks songs on the ukulele; a father who emerges only rarely from his deep silences to laugh manically at his own jokes and teach his teenage daughters how to play dirty basketball; townspeople who include lecherous old dudes hanging around the local pool, former race car drivers at the wheel of the school bus, and history teachers who issue bomb threats.Dori Decamillis (nee Duckels) tells of her unique family, peculiar neighbors, and reassuringly American hometown with honesty, grace, and most importantly humor. A cross between Patrick McManus and Garrison K…

The Freeway....again

My first book, "The Freeway," has seen a resurgence in sales recently. I've done a little blabbing on Facebook and Amazon, and have mentioned it to my art students, (no hard-sell tactics, I swear) and it's moving again. Its Amazon rank has been raised to near seven-hundred-thousandth, which sounds pretty puny, but compared to way over two-millionth? I'm hot!
My recent rise to micro-stardom inspired me to read "The Freeway" again. How fascinating to have the distance to read my story as if I were not the author. I saw myself as objectively as I'm ever going to, and did I like what I saw? Yes, overall. I realized a few things during my read.
First, I am a goofball, and always will be. I honestly did not realize how prevalent my goofiness is. Second, I've decided people don't change much. I read statements and recognized attitudes that I still say and carry today. I've been hooking up with old friends from high school lately, and I say it ag…

Got It Covered

I took a trip last week to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, my home town, to meet with photographer Buddy Bair to shoot the cover of my new book. Buddy is a friend from high school, and I discovered his gorgeous photographs on Facebook.Until I saw his work, I planned on using old photographs from the 1970s of me and my siblings. It would have taken a lot of doctoring to get those old pictures to work on a book cover, and when I saw the lush color and dramatic compositions of Buddy’s work, I knew I wanted his photos instead. We “hired” four young models to stand in for the Duckels kids. Buddy’s two daughters, my brother, Derick’s, daughter, and, from a hasty round of phone calls at the last minute to high school friends I hadn’t seen in decades, the nephew of Kim Wilhelm. Kim has been a friend since I was in diapers, and is an often-mentioned character in my book. I was so pleased we ended up using kids with whom I have a connection. Aside from getting soaking wet, freezing, dusty, tickle…


This week I finished a painting inspired by the Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuary in south Alabama. I've been working on it for four months. When I stand back and look, people ask, "Do you like it?" and I can never answer. "I guess," I reply, knowing it will take a while and some distance before I can see it without feeling wrapped up in it, and a little tired of working on it.
This piece, "Tweet," depicts many of the birds that migrate from South and Central America to North America to spend their summer. DIBS is one of the few sanctuaries left on the Gulf Coast (and one of the most important in the world) where the birds can land and get food after their long flight over the Gulf--up to 600 miles without stopping. I attended a bird banding hosted by the Hummer Bird Study Group, a non-profit organization that catches and bands the birds to keep track of their numbers and their health. There I took close-up photos of the birds so I could use the images to…