Monday, June 28, 2010

I had the most wonderful visit with Agnes, Lydia, and Agnes's husband Shiang-Yu! Agnes and Lydia curate shows for The Green Spot Tea Shop in Tacoma, and I showed them my work and talked with them about a possible show while Shiang -Yu fixed us some lunch.
After lunch, Shiang-Yu gave me a tour of their art collection and introduced me to work by Artists new to me. I wrote down names so that I could learn more about them. Professor Liu Kuo-Song and Chang Da Chien studied both Western and Chinese art and thier work, while still very Chinese, reflects some Western inspiration, I particularly liked Both Sides of the Mountain, and Heaven Lake, by Liu Kuo-Song, and some wonderful abstracts and impressionistic work by Chang Da Chien. I think one of the pieces in Agnes's house, the Dancing Lotus, was by Liu Kuo-Song.

Now I am inspired to try some more impressionistic work and landscapres on silk!

quote for today:
When indeed shall we learn that we are all related to one another, all memebers of one body?--Helen Keller

Saturday, June 26, 2010

It's finished! The image is available on cards and as a print.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The impossible garden--synergy

We got the raspberries planted! My friend Donna is staying with me while she gets her life together in exchange for 1-2 hours a day working with me on the garden. It took us two days to dig up the sod, sort out all the grass and grass roots, and put the raspberry plants in the watered holes. How long would it have taken me by myself? probably about a week. And it is so much fun working together, chatting about this and that. I can work so much harder and longer when I am working with someone: synergy.

Today we went to the beach and found 9 driftwood sticks about our height or a little taller, and brought them home to hold up some bird netting we hope will keep the deer from eating our plants. The other day, I went down to the beach by myself with the same idea, and came back empty handed; today it took us just a few minutes to gather what we needed. There's something about telling someone else exactly what have in mind so that they can help, that helps ME to be clear about what I need: synergy.

quote for today:
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."--Helen Kelleer

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Blogging is story writing

I had the most wonderful conversation with Alice Orr last week. Alice is a teacher through and through, and she has a way of putting things that really help me to understand. She is an accomplished writer, who has also been an editor, an agent, and even a gallery owner. She is a speaker and workshop presenter. about a year ago she was derailed by a bout with cancer, and is now rebuilding her career—and voila! Everything has changed! We are both building our business with the tools of this new generation and learning how to use social media.
Alice and I go to different social media and marketing gurus and then compare notes. I’ve been taking Kelly’Rae’s eclass, Flying Lessons, and Alice has been talking to Charlene Kingston. Both Kelly and Charlene emphasize the importance of blogging in creating an online presence, and Alice adds her writing expertise to the focus. From these wonderful teachers, I have learned this about blogging:
Blogging is not journaling; it is story telling. You are telling the story, building the persona, creating the dream/ reality that your audience will relate to.
Always give something to your readers, whether it is an insight or a recipe, something they can take away.
Know your focus; don’t give your readers any details that distract from your message.

As soon as I got home, of course I rewrote my blog post and made sure I had some silk paintings showing more often.

Monday, June 21, 2010

This piece is nearly finished! It was inspired by a friend one summer day, demonstrating her African dancing. I want to call it "Flying Lessons", and hope to have a photo of the finished piece here for you to see soon. As soon as the sun comes out so that I can get a good picture of it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Writing for Life

Writing for Life

I am taking a writing class from Alice Orr, learning to find my voice and to tell my emotional truth. Alice challenges us to dig deep, to find the drama, to tell the stories with the most emotional wallop for us. I’ve been blown away by her colorful and effective use of anecdotes and metaphor to get a point across. When she said that writing about our stories is not like taking a photograph, but more like painting a scene or a memory of a scene, I suddenly saw both my writing and my art in a new light. I need to include and emphasize the details that tell the story, set the mood, create the drama; I need to leave out the details that distract my reader or audience. In story writing and in art you are creating a dream people can live in for awhile, and you don’t want to include anything that will wake them from that dream.

quote for today:

An artist's most intimate sensitivity is where the juice is. Sometimes it is as scary as hell.---- Roderick W. MacIver, Heron Dance newsletter

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The impossible garden--making do

The deer fence isn't up yet, so I threw some bird netting over the berry plants to keep the deer from eating the whole plant before I could even taste the berries! One makes do until one can get the right tools to do the job. This blogspot format is my make do while I explore other options. I want a website and blog that work together "seamlessly".

Just made the best ever salad dressing. It was so good I licked the bowl and had to share the recipe with you. Here it is:

in a blender, put 6 oz of tofu, 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, 2 cloves garlic minced, 2 or 3 teaspoons of Chardonay mustard, one half cup olive oil, one fourth cup half and half, and salt and pepper to taste.

With this dressing, I'll be eating salads for a change!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Symbols of Love

I so enjoyed doing the silk painting on commission! I loved getting to know my client, what she enjoyed most about my work and what she wanted in this piece. I loved visiting with her, noticing what images speak to her, what colors she likes, hearing what values were important to her. I loved finding images that resonated with her asthetic and values and creating a composition using images and colors she enjoys.

This is the drawing for the silk painting I did for her. She wanted something to help her focus on the kind of love she wants in her life, the relationship with partner/companion/mate she wants to create. To symbolize the partnership, I put in lots of twos; two people in the bridge, two lotus in the background, two peonies "looking" at each other, two cranes. Peonies are her favorite flower and symbolize abundance, wealth, beauty. Cranes are for longetivity, for wisdom, for carrying people to higher levels of spirituality . The dance of cranes is a dance of love and joy. In China, white lotus represent purity, integrety. The purple flowering Empress Tree purifies the air and the earth with its leaves and with its roots, just as I have seen a loving relationship purify the surrounding emotional atmosphere.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

the impossible garden: growing my garden, growing my business

I bet I learn a lot about creating my business as I create my landscape. Both projects seem huge and somewhat incomprehensible right now. I'm getting lots of ideas and contacts from Kelly Rae's Flying lessons on the business of art/the art of business. For the gardening I'm still muddling along with books and friends.

The piece that is resonating for me now is looking at what I've got and taking care of it. In the garden that means feeding and mulching the poor fig tree that lost most of it's leaves from neglect last year, and looking at what else needs saving or feeding. In the Creative business, that means looking at what images I can use in cards or do paintings on silk or cotton, or create stories from, to have for sale at the Strawberry Festival in mid July.

Quote for today:
Your mind is a garden,
your thoughts are the seeds,
the harvest can be either flowers or weeds.
- Author Unknown

Monday, June 14, 2010

Prayer for the waters

Passing this along from my friend, Jeannie Robinson, who got it from her friend Pam Bredouw. While I'm not sure water responds to our emotions, I do know that human kind does, and that our thinking is clearer when we approach a problem calmly.

"Dr. Masaru Emoto is the scientist from Japan who has done all the research and publications about the characteristics of water. Among other things, his research revealed that water physically responds to emotions.

Many people have predominantly angry emotions when we consider what is happening in the Gulf. And while justified in that emotion, we may be of greater assistance to our planet and its life forms if we sincerely, powerfully and humbly pray the prayer that Dr. Emoto himself has proposed.

I am passing this request to people I believe may be willing to participate in this prayer, to set an intention of love and healing that is so large, so overwhelming that we can perform a miracle in the Gulf of Mexico.
We are not powerless. We are powerful. Our united energy, speaking this prayer daily...multiple times daily...can literally shift the balance of destruction that is happening. We don't have to know how...we just have to recognize that the power of love is greater than any other power active in the Universe today.

"I send the energy of love and gratitude to the waters and all living creatures in the Gulf of Mexico and its surroundings. To the whales, dolphins, pelicans, fish, shellfish, plankton, corals, algae ... to ALL living creatures ... I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
I Love You.""

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Fairie House?

There's a strip between the struggling fig tree and the little lilac bush, where I once had raspberries. My brother planted his beloved cat there when it died a few years ago, and piled a cairn of bricks on the spot to keep the dogs from digging it up. I decided to reclaim the area and plant something there. Today I went after the thigh high grass with a weed eater, and bought a rake to rake away the resulting hay. My plan was to restack the cairn and then cover the whole area with newspaper, compost, and mulch so that I can plant next year.

But oh! there between the bricks! isn't that the door to a fairy house? OK maybe a mouse or a snake lives there. at any rate, I can't bear to destroy someone's home. I can just imagine the terror the inhabitants must have felt when the weed eater roared over their home, removing the grass that hid it from predators (such as my cat).

I decided to leave that spot as a "wild place". I can still reclaim a strip about 15 inches by 15 feet to plant something in next year.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Can these paintings be saved?

AAARRRGGG!!!!!!! spilled dark blue dye on two pieces of silk with the resist all done and ready to paint. I swore and cried like I just don't do. Then decided I'll take it as a challenge to redesign the image. I hope I can figure out a way to save the paintings. Stay tuned.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Prayer for Peace

My heart goes out to friends who are dealing with cancer, who are earthquake survivors, whose family is ill or troubled, who are going through the fire in one way or another right now. Barbara from Italy especially comes to mind, and my long time friend Lindy.

I have experienced the power of images to help us focus, for healing. This image is my prayer for you, that you will be centered in Peace. Please feel free to steal it and print it out if you like it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The impossible garden step 2

OK, OK, all you REAL gardeners out there, I know this is all a piece of cake for you, but for a brown thumb like me?! It's an impossible garden. But as my dad used to say, the difficult we do immediately; the impossible takes a little longer.
I've committed to myself and to you that I will do at least one small thing every day, or almost every day. Yesterday I dug 8 post holes for a deer fence. today I covered some grass with newspaper and mulch, hoping to prepare a little more garden space for this fall or next spring. My goal for the vegetable garden is to have greens throughout the year and maybe beets and carrots that winter over, and to have 5 or 6 beds so that I can give one bed a year off every year. Here in the Pacific Northwest, working in the garden means dashing out between rain showers and occasional thunderstorms and working madly for about 20 minutes--which is about right for me. The child sized shovel is about my speed too.

quote for the day:

Your garden will reveal yourself.
- Henry Mitchell

(myself becoming?)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Art42 party

Here is the crew who created ART42: Sandra Wallace, graphic designer; Atom Powers, site designer (did all the tech work in creating the site); Danial Powers, who I think is the driving force; and Jeremy Wallace, staunch supporter and husband to Sandra.

It's amazing what these folks have done in a year! Art42 started from ground zero, with only Faith Marie (Sandy Wallace) and Empress Dragon (Danial Powers) as members, and built a community of 849 artists from all over the world creating and sharing tiny works of art--in just a year!.

The largest piece shown at the celebration Saturday night was 6" square. The smallest art, 1" square, was arranged in tiny "quilts" of 9 squares. The most common size was ATC's ( artist trading cards), only a little bigger than a business card.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

First Step--the impossible garden

So Here's my first step. I planted natsurtiums next to the fence, which meant digging up the ground and adding compost. I put compost then newspaper on top of that, and topped it with a layer of chips from the downed maple. I can't wait to see the nasties pop up and bloom, so I picked up some little plants today to put.....where? I don't THINK the deer eat nasturtiums.

It's just a little step, but they say a journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step, soo.... Here I go!

Don't worry, I haven't stopped painting. I have two pieces with resist on them ready to paint, and two more images in my head bursting to get out.

quote for today:
Mental sunshine will cause the flowers of peace, happiness and prosperity to 
grow upon the face of the earth. Be a creator of mental sunshine.
- Kathi's Garden

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Doing the thing I cannot do: create a lovely landscape out of this mess

Kelly Rae in her class "Flying Lessons" suggests doing the thing you think you cannot do. It builds character.

So I made a list of things I cannot do:

fly to the moon
sail around the world in a small boat
run a marathon
create a really beautiful and welcoming landscape in my backyard AND maintain it

Well, I really have no desire to fly to the moon or to run a marathon. People do run marathons, and they seem to enjoy it, but for me, that seems like as much fun as getting all my teeth pulled without anesthetic. Someday maybe I will sail around the world, but right now I have a lot of other things I want to do. That leaves the landscaping.

I really do want a beautiful back yard, yet getting out to even pull a few weeds in my tiny garden just doesn't happen.My grass is knee high now, and by the end of this month, I'll have to keep a close eye on my two year old grand daughter so that she doesn't get lost in it! I envy people with green thumbs; mine is brown. Things die under my care. Creating the landscape I envision is a real challenge.
So that's my committment: create a beautifully landscaped back yard.

quote for today:

It is only when you start a garden - probably after age fifty - 
that you realize something important happens every day.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Teaching Artist

After a year of feeling cowed by the application process to (this is a mouthful) get on the Washington State Arts Commission Roster for Teaching Artists, I've finally completed the application!

3:30 pm yesterday I picked up the printer ink (can you believe every ink color cartridge was kaput?) and I'm ready to print out the application. AARRGG!! My printer suddenly stopped working!! What happened to the Gods taking a step toward me? They aren't supposed to BLOCK me!!

3:45 figured out the printer problem
4:30 mailed the applications a whole 24 hours before the deadline! I think that's a first for me!

Quote for the day:
Joseph Campbell
I have found that you do have only to take that one step toward the gods and they will then take ten steps toward you. That step, the heroic first step of the journey, is out of, or over the edge of, your boundaries, and it often must be taken before you know that you will be supported.

Flying Lessons and next steps

I've begun KellyRaeRoberts ecourse, Flying Lessons, on how to thrive with a creative business. Wisely, she started with a post on commitment and goal setting, then on on handling fear. It is definitely fear that gets in MY way! I have all these wonderful ideas--that go nowhere. I get all fired up about a course of action, start to make it happen--and get distracted or blocked. I even put out money to hire a personal coach! Sandra Jones helped me stay the course to complete and show my first series of silk paintings, to fill the space for opening night and for my photo presentation, and even to get my first ever really good commission! Thank you Sandy!! But then I fell down again. The creative road has more pitfalls and traps than a video game.

Sandy invited me to a Landmark Forum presentation. It helped something break loose! I started cleaning up my studio enough to work in again, and to begin the application process to be on the Washington State Arts Commission roster as a teaching artist, something I've been putting off for a year. I think I'm back on the road to creative success!

Finishing the Commission

My first major commission is finished and delivered! The buyer loved it!! When she unwrapped the covering around it we danced in joy! Now for the next step.
I am applying to be on the teaching artist roster for Washington State Arts Commission. The application form includes 7 narrative questions, plus a short bio, a lesson plan, and a write-up about the 10 sample art pieces I'm submitting photos of. Wow! It pulls in all of my training and experience as a teacher and a good deal of my work as an artist. A special challenge was condensing the important experiences of my long adventurous life into 125 words! Thank goodness for friends who helped me think this through and who edited/critiqued my writing.