Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Waking up to Spring!

And some days it is warm enough to enjoy outdoor markets!
Here is my love, Rifaat, at his booth in the
Freemont Sunday Market, Seattle
Can you feel it? The sap is rising. Yesterday we saw an eagle carrying a branch several times bigger than herself across the water to build her nest. The buds on the quince are swelling pink. The ducks are mating. And I'm in love, too!

Finally, after a long winter of not being able to focus on the projects I want to do and the classes I want to teach--finally--just today--my brain woke up! Today I did preliminary planning for classes I want to teach in silk painting, and for two projects I want to do.

I want to do a co-operative project with a middle school or high school class that combines:

  •  Observation of the birds and sea life at my favorite beach
  • A study of it's history--what it was like before the white man came as well as when the pilings supported a dock that welcomed a ferry boat
  • Art projects expressing our findings to the community, with an exhibition in a public place.
and I want to draw on my years of sailing in Puget Sound to bring to land bound people an awareness of the water, of what the land is like from a water-based perspective. I want to fill in my years of notes, photos, and paintings with new observations this summer, sailing my little Cat 27 into small harbors and rural places. I want to do a new body of work, paintings on silk or cotton,  to give people in this region a different perspective of this beautiful place.

If you would like to know when I offer classes and how these projects are coming along, I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter. It comes out by email about once or twice a month.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Woodcarver's Story--Thinking Like An Artist

This story is from the teachings of Chuang Tzu, a Taoist master who lived 2500 years ago:

The Woodcarver

Khing, the master carver, made a bell stand     
of  precious wood. When it was finished,
All who saw it were astounded. They said it must be
The work of Spirits. 
The Prince of Lu said to the master carver,
"What is your secret?"

Khing replied: "I am only a workman. 
I have no secret. There is only this:
When I began to think about the work you commanded
I guarded my spirit, did not expend it 
On trifles, that were not to the point.
I fasted in order to set 
my heart at rest.

After three days fasting,
 I had forgotten gain and success.
After five days
I had forgotten praise or criticism.
After seven days
I had forgotten my body with all it's limbs.

By this time, all thought of your Highness
And of the court had faded away.
All that might distract me from the work
Had vanished.
I was collected in the single thought
Of the bell stand.

Then I went to the forest
To see the trees in their own natural state.
When the right tree appeared before my eyes,
The bell stand also appeared in it, clearly, beyond doubt.
All I had to do was to put forth my hand
And begin.

If I had not met this particular tree
There would have been 
No bell stand at all.

What happened?
My own collected thought
Encountered the hidden potential in the wood; 
From this live encounter came the work
Which you ascribe to the spirits"

from A Hidden Wholeness by Parker Palmer

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blood on the Maple Show is on line!

Blackberry #1
I got so excited by the colors and shapes of fallen leaves this fall and by trying out itajime techniques for dyeing silk, that I made something like 33 paintings and hangings to celebrate! These are beautiful little paintings, all one of a kind originals. 

The profits from the sale of these pieces during February and March all go to the Backbone Campaign. Some have sold already; 24 of the small 6" x 6" paintings, those not sold yet, are now available in my etsy shop. I have raised $175 (after show expenses) through sales. My goal is to raise $500 at least. Can you help me get there?

Why the Backbone Campaign

Well, when I  designed my own home and ran a school for young children, I came face to face with regulations that made me realize how difficult it can be to build and to live using materials and technology that are earth friendly. While things have eased a little, there are still a lot of hurdles. Bill Moyer, co-founder of the Backbone Campaign, ran into a bunch of regulatory roadblocks  when he spearheaded a community solar project. As a result, he is focused on working to change some of those laws and regulations that blocked this project.  I want to support him in that.

These paintings, reminders of the beauty of nature, are small enough to brighten a spot over your desk or on a narrow piece of wall,  delighting you for years to come. They make nice gifts for a man or a woman. Do check out the selection on Suzanna's Studio on etsy! Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Spiritual Journey Through Art

Sun Eyeby Sharon Rowley

My Mission is this:
 My art inspires in people appreciation for nature and for each other,  connecting them to the Divine Joy within and to their own Inner Guide. 

Sometimes I feel this is too....airy fairy.....too...presumptuous a mission, so I LOVE it when I see this in other's work.

Here is another fiber artist, Sharon Rowley, who is doing this with her art! Sharon's work will be at Lila Yoga Studio in Seattle, February -April.

Opening reception is Sunday, February 10, 2pm - 4pm.

Contact Sharon for additional viewing opportunities at: Sharon@RowleyArt.com.
To see more of Sharon's work, please go to her website at www.rowleyart.com

Lila Yoga Studio: 2812 E. Madison, Seattle, 98112

Hope to see you there!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Blood on the Maple online soon!

contact me if you are interested in buying this one
leigh.suzanna at gmail.com
DAng!!!! just got 32 photos ready to up load into my flickr account so that you can see the paintings I have up at the Tea Shop--got them all labeled and ready to actually upload and go live--and lost the page!! I closed my browser by accident!! Arg!!

Well, at least I know how to do it now! Please do be patient with me. I am really excited to show you this body of work and to give you the opportunity to own a piece and in that way contribute to an organization working to change the systems that keep us locked into earth destroying behavior.
This one sold opening night!
Just a reminder: all profits from sales of this body of work during February and March go to the Backbone Campaign.

I am donating all my time creating these and will only take out for cost of materials and any fees associated with selling.
The wood frames these are wrapped around were donated by Rich (Rifaat) Osborne.

All these paintings are 6"x6", painted on silk with dyes that have been steam set.
They are priced at only $45, to make them easier for you to buy.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Blood on the Maple--Celebrating Leaves: Support for the Backbone Campaign

Celebrating Leaves!  
The show is up!! Over 30 paintings on silk ranging from 6" square to about 12" x 48" are hanging in the Vashon Tea Shop. People are already commenting on their beauty!

I am so excited about this body of work! My heart's mission is to make a difference in this world through my art. I want people to fall in love with nature (if they aren't already!) through my images, and I want to inspire people to take care of this beautiful planet.

I get discouraged and frustrated when I come head to head with regulations and laws that require us to conform to earth destroying behavior, or that make it difficult to use new technology which is kinder to us and to the natural world. Once these regulations made sense, but our world has changed and there are better ways to do some things, yet the old ways have been written into law.

So I was excited to learn that Bill  Moyer of the Backbone Campaign is working to change some of these regulations and laws. The Backbone Campaign--that's us working together for change.
That is work I want to support!!

This show will be up from February First (today!!) through March 27th. All profits from sales of these delightful paintings during that time will go to the Backbone Campaign.

Please join me in raising $500 or more to support work for this change! After all, good planets are hard to find. Lets cherish and protect this one!