Are We There Yet?

We’ve been preparing for this.
Thirty minutes here, two hours there.
Three years, two growing kids and 14 paintings.
One stroke one breath at a time.

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Three hours of driving, one time zone change. Spokane, Washington.
Our last minute ways led us to a hotel by the name of our youngest daughter.
The price was right, dogs allowed, three blocks from the gallery, one room left.
Perfect. I don’t get surprised anymore.

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Rainy and cold but not as cold as Montana.
Andy delivered his paintings, the girls and I found Neato Burrito.
Walked acres of old brick, stained stucco.
Trains rumbled overhead, crosswalks and stoplights at every corner.
Tiny feet paddled over damp cement.
Nothing beats a new space to explore.

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Dined out that first night, with the gallery owners, the people who love my husband’s art.
A fancy place. The Davenport.
Eating out is a dice roll regarding our children’s wiggliness.
They talked about art and world travels, I wandered turn of the century halls with Margot and Ruby, returning regularly for a beautiful exchange with beautiful people.
Found an empty banquet hall. Shut the door, hoped we wouldn’t get caught. Didn’t care if we did.
Cartwheels with Margot, somersaults with Ruby.
Made a silent, smiling vow to always be able to cartwheel and somersault.

Andy went to the gallery to hang paintings; I returned to Hotel Ruby with kids.
Oh so eager to snuggle under bleached white down and watch television, a big perk on hotel jaunts for our tv-less brood.
TV busted. We slept instead.

Early risers.
Andy set out on Mission Espresso and returned to us enjoying continental breakfast waffles in lobby which is a cocktail lounge by night. The Sapphire.
If only we’d named Margot Sapphire.
The day was wandering and blissful.
Friends and family arrived, most of them in dirty Subarus.

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The Opening.

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Pride, happiness, peace, contentment, love, familiarity, newness.

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Caroline and Melina meet; Margot rested, Ruby collected dust from the floor.

I didn’t take many photos, just loved being there by his side.

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thank you, Caroline, for these photos

Loud dinner out to celebrate followed by martinis in a safari-themed joint.
Girls with grandma, we stayed with the Jim and Pat in a home like a museum.

Unwound all day Sunday.
Coffee, food, shopping, duck-and-goose-watching.

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And then the drive home.
Stormy and dark. Margot slept, Ruby wanted to be anywhere but her car seat.

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We made it. Home.

:: :: ::

Andy painted 14 works for his show Are We There Yet? Two have sold. Twelve are available for sale. Questions? Contact the Kolva Sullivan Gallery at 509-458-5517 and/or contact Andy at

I’m Sick of Camping (Seeley Lake, Montana), oil on board, 14.5 x 24 inches, $4000

Park and Ride (Anaconda, Montana), oil on board, 24 x24 inches, $5500

Crazy Overpass (I-90 West of Big Timber, Montana), oil on board, 16 x 24 inches, SOLD

We Might Need That Some Day (Highway 212 Luther, Montana), oil on board, 35 x 18 inches, $5500

The Grass is Greener (Melrose, Montana), oil on board, 12 x 16 inches, $1200

Midnight Snack (Near Missoula, Montana), oil on board, 12 x 12 inches, $1200

Getting Close (West of Dayton, Montana), oil on board, 15 x 10 inches, $800

A house I hate, a house I want. (Luther, Montana), oil on board, 16 x 10.5 inches, $1000

“I am so bored! There is nothing to look at.” (Outside Whitehall, Montana), oil on board, 15 x 10 inches, $800

Horsepower (Anaconda, Montana), oil on board, 20 x 13.5 inches, SOLD

Almost Home (Missoula, Montana), oil on board, 15 x 20 inches, $4000

Modern Pioneers (Outside Melrose, Montana on I-15), oil on board, 12 x 24 inches, $2500

Beware of Deer (Helena, Montana), oil on board, 20 x 13.5 inches, $3700

Following a Beaten Path (Almost to Roscoe, Montana), oil on board, 14 x 14 inches, $1500

45 Responses to Are We There Yet?

  1. Luke and I just poured over these. The titles are so awesome, and I love how Luke knew where each painting (almost) was. He wants me to tell you in “Nothing to Look at” that’s an H-Structure and he loves looking at those. Silly. His favorite is “Horse Power,” while mine is “Roscoe,” a scene I love and miss and think of often and still remember the very first time I saw that.
    Ugh — gushing over here. Wish we could have pulled our act together and driven to Spokompton.
    Miss and love you tons.
    Your beautiful girls are going to be insane in the world with the both of you for parents..

    • dig dig says:

      Oh how I love imagining you looking at Andy’s paintings together! Very awesome. Tell Luke: that title is a quote from a very frustrated Margot not so long ago when we traveled across the state, beautiful vistas all around.


  2. Kathy says:

    Each time I see his art I am in awe all over again. His talent is truly extraordinary.

  3. Amanda says:

    Amazing stuff! Every time I see paintings like these, you know, the ones that trick you? My heart beats a little faster. I sit there in awe, I can’t even fully wrap my brain around how someone can create something like this. I have a hard time with stick figures! he must be one beautiful soul that husband of yours! i can only imagine how proud you must feel! My favorite that absolutely took my breath away is beware of deers. so beautiful! and the pics of you and andy together? priceless 😉 i love your blog and all that you do. thank you for being you and sharing your life and being an inspiration.

  4. sian says:

    This is so exciting! And deserved, his paintings are amazing! xxx

  5. Shaylen says:

    Goodness, I just can’t get over Andy paintings! They’re incredible. And you’re both beaming in the pics of you two, esp. Also, I love how the girls are in their nightgowns & the hoodie in the middle. Now for the paintings. . . my fave “We might need that!” “Horsepower” (totally see how that sold! Divine!) but “Beware of Deer” made my heart stop. Incredible!!! & my fave title “I’m so bored” sounds just like Margot (I mean, Sapphire!) 😀

  6. He is truly talented! Absolutely gorgeous paintings done by a phenomenal artist. Love the pictures of the two of you!

  7. Allison says:

    congratulations to all of you for making the dream happen. Andys work is truly beautiful. Park and ride makes me ache with memories. Young love cycling around Australia with a camper van…..”sigh”.
    This post has been super inspirational.
    Much love x

  8. He’s such a talent! I can imagine the pride you feel.
    What an awesome weekend.
    Congrats on a great gallery show.

  9. SmithShack71 says:

    I love the art, too. Pretty incredible.
    I love the vow to always do cartwheels :)


  10. mau says:

    Wow, they look like photos they’re so perfect! Your pride shows in your second photo with him. I know the feeling of having seen someone sweat and cry over something they’re creating. I like to imagine it’s what assisting someone give birth feels like. The euphoria when it’s all there for the world to see is incredible. Thanks for sharing these moments with us.

  11. Minnesotagal says:

    I’m downright giddy! You know… What an amazingly talented family you are! I love how you just fit the girls right into it all. Gives me courage to do the same with my son. We’ve been into a few galleries since I first saw you bring the girls years ago. I was nervous enough to go in by myself they seem so intimidating – let alone with an infant/toddler. Honestly, they were all gracious and wonderful about it. Art people must get it!
    Your pride and beauty shines through here!

  12. Eee!! This is so exciting. I can’t imagine the pride you must feel in these moments. I love, love, Love the art. “A house I hate, a house I want” I know that house. Okay, maybe not that particular house but I have seen the likes. And “following a beaten path”. I love these. Mind you I love them all. So happy for you all in this great happening.

  13. Kris says:

    Andy has an amazing talent. His paintings are truly special.
    I love how your family travels. I especially liked the image of you and the girls cartwheeling in the empty hall. Congrats on this exciting time for you guys!

  14. Jen D. says:

    Those are beautiful, touching, amazing paintings. I so wish I could buy one as just looking at some of them fills me with peace. Well done, Andy!

    What a great looking, loving family you have. Great post, thanks for sharing!

  15. Kelsie says:

    I love Horsepower. What an amazing piece. I don’t live too far from Spokane (which is where I’m from), and I’m super bummed to not only miss this opening but a chance to meet two of my favorite bloggers. Someday! Glad you guys had a great trip.

  16. Congratulations to Andy! His art is seriously amazing. If I had a couple extra thousand dollars laying around, I would buy Almost Home! If he ever makes prints of his work, I will be one happy lady. I love the pictures of you two at the gallery, you looked HOT! : )

  17. finny says:

    I am stunned. These paintings capture the feeling of our winter roadtrips so well. I absolutely adore “Beware of Deer”. The concept is hysterical, but the way he captured the brash lighting of the front yard at night is perfect. Brave, even.

    Way to friggen go. And you two and those girls are just the best, most genuinely lovely.

  18. Abigail says:

    I can not wait to own a Cline one day soon. I have always admired Gma’s collection. A2

  19. Rhett says:

    Beautiful…all of it.

  20. Andrea says:

    Amazimg! Congrats to Andy and a dream realized. I love how you describe Spokane, like it’s
    The real big city and all. I mean it is, compared to my small Washington town. Wish I cOuld have been there myself. Really… Bravo to your hubby!!

    • dig dig says:

      It feels so much like a big city compared to Missoula! But, yes, it’s not so big after all. I will say this: my country kids could use an traffic and big crowd internship! :)

  21. Andrea says:

    Oh no. Having trouble leaving my comment and congrats to your hubby’s dream realized!! Amazing, beautiful, inspiring!!

  22. Meriah says:

    Way to go!

    (and I was wondering, how many times did Margot/Ruby ask “are we there yet?” on the way to “Are We There Yet?”!)

  23. Yes, just absolutely beautiful and indeed inspiring.
    What a powerful quote, “Made a silent, smiling vow to always be able to cartwheel and somersault.” That moved me.

  24. Tara says:

    Incredible, I am in complete awe! The details are so vivid; the images look real! “A house I hate a house I want” brought back memories of your journey to your new home. I am curious if you have had a chance to sneak a peek at it now??? Your family and ours were selling our houses at the same time, while your family of 4 settled into the tiny space in your basement, our family of 4 settled into my parents basement for 15 months, shortly after your family moved into your upstairs our family moved into our new home. I am dying to go back and ask for a sneak peak of the home I brought my babies home from the hospital too.

  25. Melissa says:

    Andy’s work is extraordinary. Wish we could afford one…maybe one day. :)

  26. Caroline says:

    And the thing that is so striking to me, is that you guys do ALL of this with such grace and ease, smiling all the while, eyes twinkling, as if you didn’t grasp what a Big Deal it all really is. Congratulations to you both. The world is such a better place with you in it. xo

  27. Ariel says:

    Breathtaking work! And you are such a gorgeous couple! I live just 5 minutes from the gallery and I so wish I could have made it to the opening – I would have loved to meet you guys!

  28. Nikki says:

    Those paintings are insanely beautiful :)

  29. Melina says:

    One flat stretch after the cascades. getting ready in a groovy hotel. walking down a dark alley to an austere room. the room is filled with people and friends and kids and Andy’s art. Colbalt blue light streams in through the thick glass, square paned windows. Paintings and congradulations and pictures and little girls being passed beween loving arms. Afterwards, we slunk into a martini glass. I couldn’t handle my own so I dove into Nicis.

    Congradulations, Andy, are you there yet? Oh boy, you guys have just started…you’re off like a rocket, you’re on your way!!

    much love

  30. Way, WAY rad. Ruby Hotel! The girl! The lovebirds! Neato Burrito!

    Then: The art.

    Me: Honey, look at this.
    Cory: (looks)
    Me: That’s a PAINTING.
    Cory: No it’s NOT.
    (scroll through every painting with long pauses at each one…)
    Cory: How is that possible?

    Holy cow, N. You two are the artsiest couple I know. I raise my bean martini to YOU!

  31. Alma says:

    Congrats to Andy! I am a fan of his work.
    Thanks for taking us along on your adventure.
    Love the pic of Ruby on the floor.

  32. kwqrs says:

    Congratulations to Andy!!!! His work is so amazing. What a wonderful adventure y’all had. The Ruby hotel is my favorite part. :-)

  33. CB says:

    Amazing paintings, I have traveled the US in the backseat of my parents car (am planning to do the same with my Kidlets this summer, also – we had a VW Caravel and have toured norway and Europe in it), and I am in awe of the paitings and the titles make me giggle and remember my “younger years” . . . thank you and congratulations to your Sweetie on 14 wonderful paintings!
    Smiles CB

  34. Amy says:

    Your awesomeness amazes me.
    this brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face.
    Congrats. Andy, You, Margot, Ruby. All of you. For all of this.

  35. Sarah Phillips says:

    Amazing that that is art, and not a photo!! It’s unbelievable!! Congrats!!

  36. Tisa Hats says:

    Hey there! I’ve been reading your site for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the good work!

  37. Wendy says:

    Amazing! Congratulations to your family. What a journey you are on.

  38. Marita says:

    This is so incredible. I am so happy for you all, even though I don’t know you, I feel like I do from reading your blog for so many years. Reading this post had tears welling and a lump in my throat. I’m so happy for your family.

    I wish SO badly I had the funds to buy one of these paintings…Andy is so insanely talented, and I would LOVE to have one of his pieces be the first piece in my lifelong art collection. Please don’t ever stop making art so that I can buy one in about six years :)

    Huge congratulations!!!

  39. Jacki says:

    First. Andy’s paintings are absolutely stunning. I love the detail and the subject matter – “I’m Sick of Camping” is particularly calling to me right now. Congratulations to Andy and really to all four of you – what an accomplishment!

    Second. Loved reading about the journey there. Love the photo of the girls, dog and dad walking through town. “Friends and family arrived, most of them in dirty Subarus” – love this, because, yes. That’s how we arrive around here, too.

  40. megan says:

    your husband’s work is incredible. i’m gonna have start a change jar so that one day i can hang one of his amazing works on my wall. do you have any in your house? i’d love to see it.

    kudos to two amazing artists. such lucky children to have you.

  41. Rachel says:

    SUCH beautiful paintings!!! If only I had that much money to spare…