Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Doing the Quick Step

First self-portrait Wednesday. Dreaming, sleeping, enjoying the moment. Actually working down my list, loving the preparations for travelling to teach and thinking about what Valley Ridge will be like. I love new experiences and first-times.

On Sunday I went to a poetry workshop with the wonderful author, Susan Wooldridge. She can get poetry out of a rock. I had a wonderful experience there.

The workshop was held at Innerstandings so the experience was intimate and friendly. We all got to know each other and really listen to what was being said.

Thought I'd throw in a photo of my recent wax medium making project. Some of these blocks will travel with me to Wisconsin tomorrow for my workshop there.

This is what my studio looks like this morning after the packing, shipping and tearing around that has occupied me for the past few days. It never gets back to square one anymore.

Journal pages. My blah blah blah that keeps my wheels turning, keeps me on track and inspired, gives me a place to reflect on the kind of energy I'm creating and the kind of world I want.

I really believe every single person matters when it comes to creating a kinder world where we all can succeed. When I think an unkind thought, it matters. I observe myself here. This is where I meditate, talk with my muse, discover my sticking points.

I'm trying to limit my blog posts to once a week but so far have not been successful at that. Every new habit though starts with an intention and I want to make room in my life for a new project that I will enjoy. The energy for it is building in secrecy. My little big dream.

I'm going to cut back next year on teaching too I think. I'm really beginning to appreciate how it cuts into my time in the studio and my 8 year old inner artist is jealous and wants time to play. So okay, little miss I-gotta-paint. You'll get your way and that's as it should be.

Ripped this image off of the Ffffound site and wanted to share it here because this is how I feel about YOU. xo

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Letting the Mind Wander

My friends phoned last night and told me about visiting MOMA and seeing the videos of William Kentridge. I found a number of them on U-Tube and brought this one here for you to consider. The thing I reflected on, as I spoke to my friends and as I watched the videos, was how much time and playful attitude is required to make art.

It isn't always pure creation. Sometimes art includes observations, like the sounds made by the suits that Nick Cave conjured up. It wasn't until he made and observed his costumes that he discovered they made beautiful noises when he danced in them. I wonder if we don't miss a lot of sensory information in the fast paced world we live in. It seems to me that we need to move very slowly through life to take in even a small part of what surrounds us.

Here is a video of Nick Cave talking about his work. It isn't very long but it describes a lifetime of work and process. It describes the slow work of loving the world.

Well, from the sublime to the ridiculous. I want to introduce you to Murphy.

Murphy was a gift from Miss Bee Shay, east coast friend and art collaborator. Right away Murphy got himself into hot water with Breezy whom you've already met. It seems Murphy was (ahem) amorous and Breezy wasn't having anything to do with it.

Or was she? This is what I found recently after leaving the two of them quietly sitting on the shelf before I retired for the night. When I wake up in the morning it is not unusual to find that my dolls have changed positions, tipped over a wine glass, left evidence of mis-deeds in the studio and on the lawn.

One of my friends wondered, after I'd introduced Breezy, where Murphy was as they were inseparable at Artfest. Well, behold a new character who appeared in the studio today; a very odd baby it is.

A baby with a suspicious resemblance to ............................ hmmmm. The plot thickens.

Self Portrait Wednesday

Never attempt this feat with hayfever.

p.s. Allegra has posted about a fellow artist who could use a little help and about an opportunity to participate in a give-away on her site. Read about it here.

Monday, April 20, 2009


What is strange and lovely and lives in a pine box?

What has skin covered with colorful designs and a dress of felted wool?

Who has a face you can read like a book; an expression of permanent sweetness?

Why my little handmade doll, Breezy, gift of Miss Katie, maker of dolls and sunshine. She is approximately a foot tall and every time I look at her I smile. Thank you Katie, for the joy you sprinkle this way and that as you make your way through the world.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

IEA Meeting & Karl's Cupcake

Just a quickie run-through of the meeting at Andrea's last night. In the first photo Natasia is flambe-ing some marshmallow chicks for some wacky kind of Easter S'Mores. Encaustic artists carry their propane torches everywhere!

Three photos of the attendees. I think I counted 14 of us gathered in Andrea's beautiful studio.

You can barely see the bottom portions of Andrea's latest work. I can't rave enough about her work, technique and knowledge of the art of encaustic.

Plus her studio is a reflection of her disposition; organized, methodical, spare and elegant. *sigh*. Maybe in another lifetime.

This is Amy Stoner's encaustic dessert. She has a blog here.

Andrea's piece.

And now for the piece de resistance; Karl's Cupcake. Oh my cheese and crackers, I just about picked it up and took a bite before I realized it was 100% wax. That's right, plate, cake, icing and candle; WAX. He gets my trophy. Check it out.

Hand dipped candle. Comes right out of the cupcake.

Cupcake formed on a wooden base. And yes, the plate is wax too. When I searched for a link to Karl I discovered he has a new (to me) blog too (go here now!) where he shows beautiful photos of his studio and some of his wax techniques. Right away it solved a problem I've had with getting my wax to pop out of the muffin tins; he cleverly uses silicon cupcake papers. Let's go shopping. So thank you Karl, well done!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring Mash Up

A little of this; a little of that. I've been in the studio moving slowly, changed the furnace filter, vacuumed and dusted, have been busy with the neti pot (yes, I think it does help) and twirling around like a dervish who is alternately grouchy, hopeful, determined and weepy. Crazy life.

John's tomatoes are sending out blossoms; can summer be far behind? Everything is growing wonderfully. It reminds us how tenacious life is and how is comes back again and again. The good news. It makes you want to hug your mother and thank her for the bounty she brings.

The tomatillos are simply ridiculous in their leggy beauty. Show offs!

The hungry deer have hit the roses hard as they do every spring. This once bushy rose bush has been trimmed away by the dainty munchers and I don't really get upset when I think about what a delicacy it must be to a hungry deer. Just so they leave enough for me too.

I discovered this beautiful tableau beside the deck. Maybe the bluejay hit the window or maybe it was a gift from a passing feline but what a tender reminder that even death has an austere beauty. Not from the human standpoint of loss but from an abstract position of pure observation.

My Disintegration project has barely changed and yet in a short time this arrangement of nature has returned to the earth in heart moving beauty. It belongs.

I saved the skull which was cleaned thoroughly by nature and will check the rest of the bones later. The beak is black. Incredibly holy and awe-inspiring.

For tonight's IEA meeting we are each to bring a small encaustic with a dessert theme. I'll show you the work of the others in a later post but here are the pieces I made to take.


And this one. I'll bring the Encaustic Meeting news to you next. Ciao.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Self-Portrait Wednesday

One of the more thought provoking conversations I participated in at Artfest was the value of self-discovery through self-portraiture. It was a lively discussion about our relationships to our outer appearances. I don't identify with the person I see in photos of myself. It occurs to me that maybe others feel this way too. That outside I may look like the photo above but that inside I am rich and juicy and forever young.

You must see katie's self portraits too. I wish we could post all of them on one blog. It's an interesting investigation.

I believe I'm finally coming out of this plague of coughing asthma. I'm nearly through a round of anti-biotics for the sinus involvement and had a chest x-ray so it's been narrowed down to allergies. That word sounds innocuous but it's been quite a siege.

One of my favorite homelies is, "this too shall pass" and it is true. I have so many wonderful plans ahead of me; I want to be in top form to enjoy them all.

More soon.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

More Artfest

Just a few more photos to share as the majority are at my flickr site. I swiped one of these photos off a friend's site and the rest were taken at random moments for blackmail purposes. Don't worry; you all look mah-velous.

This is the one I swiped off the Pookieville site, home of my friend Tyn Atol. This is Tyn, Kari and myself, reflecting the spirit of Artfest. Sweet, dreamy happiness. This was taken after a day of waxy goodness.

Misty and LK, taken the first night after introductions. Shortly after this they shared an arm wrestle - I'm not sure who won but Misty's sure looking fierce.

Stephanie, Katie and myself, mellow or maybe just exhausted after a day of classes.

Alex Shur joined us. She's a marvellous artist and will be teaching in June at Squam (New Hampshire) and in August at Art Unraveled in Phoenix. Her classes are highly recommended.

Sue Hadden isn't teaching yet but I'm working on her. She makes deliciously off-center paper clay beings.

Melissa Manley teaches classes in making objects, flowers, insects and jewelry out of gut. It is a fascinating material and the things I've seen made out of it are beautiful and strange.

This bug has wings made out of wire and gut and he looks real.

Mary Beth Shaw and Katie again. I've seen Mary Beth around for awhile and always admired her paintings but now that I've gotten to know her better I can testify to her quick humor and wonderful smile. She's FUN.

Bee and me. She's the woman with the best ideas. The organizer, instigator and revelator. She's so busy DOING things that she doesn't often post to her blog but then we love her anyway. The two of us are teaching a printmaking class this fall at Art and Soul and we're both super excited about it. She ain't heavy; she's my sister.

Forgive me, LK, I got carried away doodling on your photo before I found out that you can only back up so many steps in PhotoElements. So I left the doodle on; think of it as LK and her breath of life and creativity. She instigated so many wonderful conversations about juicy topics such as artists and self-portraiture and living in a small town. And I just liked this photo and wanted to share it.

The peach blossoms are glorious today; if we don't have a late freeze we'll have a bumper crop of juicy, fragrant peaches - I can almost taste them now.

Well, I'm off to the races as far as my schedule goes. I may slow down a bit on the blog posts to get it all in but I'll be here as often as time allows. Next task; catch up on e-mails. Bisous!