Monday, May 30, 2011

Bicycle of Love

Just love this little image by Elizabeth Gonzalez! The more I look at it, the more I like it.

Elizabeth is a fellow Flyer from Kelly Rae Robert's e-class on developing  a creative business. She makes "Borbolitos--Art the Makes You Smile!"

So many of us have made huge steps since we began the class just one year ago May 30th! Some of us started blogging for the first time, some have written articles for magazines, or been sponsored on other's blogs, or set up at art fairs. Kelly gave us a kind of road map, and lots of hope. Out of the class came a fantastic group of artists who still get together and give each other support, by way of a face book page set up by one of the class participants.

Some things really do change one's life, and Kelly Rae's class was something that changed mine.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tea House Show

I still have a lot to learn about putting together promotions about my events. This flyer about my upcoming show neglects to mention that the show will be up all of June and July!

My show will be at the Green Spot Tea House and Gallery in Tacoma: 3318 Bridgeport Way W, Suite B
University Place, WA 98466
Phone: 253-565-2832
It's a great place to relax with a cup of fine tea or a bite to eat while you enjoy the art work. Do stop in if you are in the area!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Crystalline Clouds

Crystalline Clouds by Virginia Lloyd-Davies
Look what I found while looking for images of chinese clouds to inspire one of my silk paintings! This incredibly beautiful painting by Virginia Lloyd-Davies is done in a technique called Po Mo.

Po Mo, translated from Chinese, means poured or splashed ink.  It was developed in the Tang dynasty in the 7th century. Virginia has brought the technique up to date with her vibrant color. She also does more traditional Chinese brush work that is absolutely exquisite!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The impossible garden: Chickens in Thomas the Train

 Will Thomas the Train make a good chicken coop?

Thomas is left over from when Suzanna's School and Studio (my official business name) was mostly school and where I now want the garden was the playground. We had mostly girls in the school the year Thomas was created. Bob asked if we would like for him to build us a playhouse, but the girls opted for a train.

Thomas took us all over the world, including to the north pole. Sometimes we climbed up on his roof, and a few brave 5 year olds jumped off with wonderful flying leaps. Sometimes we pretended he was a dragon we were riding up over the trees and into the sky.

Thomas has been sitting empty now for about 3 years, except for the friendly wasps who built a nest inside last year,

This year, some neighbors and I decided to have chickens together. Not "raise" chickens, exactly. None of us wants baby chicks in the bathroom, or to wake in the wee hours to rooster crowing, but we do want eggs. With three of us to care for the chickens, we figured we would all still have the freedom to travel at times, and none of the chores would be too onerous. Also the expenses could be shared.

We spent days researching possible chicken houses that we could build for next to  nothing and looking at different places we might put the chickens. We only want 4 hens to start with.

Eureka! What about Thomas the train? Several days more of researching what exactly chickens need, and measuring, and I think it just might work, with a little bit of modification. We can build windows with plexiglas--Lynn and I both have some.  We need to make a door in back and put in some  2 x 4 's or branches for the hens to roost on. The space inside is 3' x 2'--just room enough for two roosts 2' long and 1' from the walls. We can pull Thomas's front out and put nesting boxes there. Feed will have to be somewhere else, safe at night from raccoons.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tree patterns

Kimberly Mystique, quilt by Gloria Loughman
I was so excited by these tree trunk patterns! What a unique way to show them! Now if i can just figure out a way to do this in silk!

Gloria Loughman is a teacher, quilter, and artist working in Australia.  I've been studying her book, Luminous Landscapes, Quilted Visons in Paint and Thread.
This piece is particularly stunning! Maybe I should take up quilting?
Grow, watercolor by Barbara of Embrace
Tiger, Return to Mountain

Did Barbara see this image in a book or on line? Is that what inspired her lovely watercolor/ink drawing? Barbara's piece certainly inspires me!

Two Small Cranes Winner

Congratulations to George and Sharon Howe! They have won the drawing for this beautiful 10" square  silk painting (by yours truly) offered at the Banking on Dreams Showcase on May 4th.

Banking on Dreams is an event sponsored by Washington Cash, and it takes place yearly at the Seattle Convention Center. This year I was one of about 30 small entrapreneurs who participated. I had lots of fun and met some great people--some of whom graciously bought my scarves!

Monday, May 9, 2011

It's Time....

Grandson Sebastian Danger Powers at one week old
Birth of my grandson,
Death of my father,
Awakening the garden.....

It's time for reflection, and possibly for redirection. Laura Otero created a list of things it's time for in her life.

 What is it time for in my life? What is it time for in your life?

In my life, it is time to celebrate family,
Time to seek out mentors for my business,
And time to get some chickens!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Impossible Garden Rises Again

 Putting my father to rest; awakening the garden.
There's something about digging in the dirt that is therapeutic, especially if the sun is (finally) shining too.

I think I'll do better with a little structure in the garden. Last year's garden looked good in the spring, but the deer ate more than I did, and the strawberries got lost in the weeds.

This spring we built beds for the plants we want to tend  closely. The beds will make the plants show up better, separating the garden from the yard.

So sweet to see that my little apple tree
survived! My little accidental apple tree
 sprouted after an apple pressing
 on this spot!
My business could use some more structure, too, some little forms to protect and nourish it, where it can grow.

Where my garden needs sun, my business needs appreciation.
Where my garden needs some kind of boarder to make it show up better, my business needs ....a place to be where people can see it.

Sunday I took my scarves, prints, and silk paintings to Loretta at the Ballard Farmer's Market in Seattle, to be juried for several markets. "You're In!!" she said,"but there is no more space for venders in Ballard. You are welcome at the Fremont, in Wallingford, and at Georgetown, though."

I plan to begin showing in these markets regularly starting the Sunday after Mother's Day. I also have my scarves at Ventures Store on First Street in Pioneer Square, Seattle. Having a place to show up where people can appreciate my work will give my business more of the structure it needs.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Lost in Grief--and A Way Out

Not quite 2:00 a.m. The rawness of my grief struck home, deep in my belly. The fear I had not allowed myself to feel in the hospital with Dad engulfed me. I felt the tearing of my heart as I tried to care for my father, prepare my brother, console my mother--and keep my commitments to my fledgling business.  Hardest was the sense of failure, failure to be there for my Dad in the way he needed me, failure to communicate with the hospital staff and arrange for my 86 year old mother to talk with the doctor.

Daylight now, and I came across this idea from Kara Jones,  a grief counselor who is going through her own grieving process:

When you feel yourself lost in grief stuff -- especially when you feel it physically like, feeling it in the pit of your stomach or when you have a gut instinct -- try mapping your body.  Take a large piece of butcher paper and have someone else do an outline of your body.  Then you take your time and fill in the body outline with words, collaged images, sketches.  Focus on the places in the body where you were "feeling it in the pit of your stomach" or "seeing red," that kind of thing.  Let yourself see the reflection of your body and feelings in the body outline.  Play, experiment, let yourself write words and then collage over them, then write more words.  There is no right or wrong way to do this.  It's just a way of getting outside endless rounds of unanswerable questions or the hooks that have you stuck feeling one way or another.

I think I might make a paper doll instead of a full sized body outline. Maybe dress her/me in ... not black.... Tulip colors, White sail against Blue sky colors, colors of the adventures we had together when I was growing up with my father..