Saturday, March 10, 2007

I have clever, crafty friends.....

Here's a thank-you post to two good, crafty girlfriends!
Here I am modeling the Bear Gloves from Bugheart.
So damned clever! I love these gloves---especially
the teeth!

(Hey Minkett---notice my new, funny
rear-view mirror decoration?)

Interior of their mouths.....

Their clever little faces...

The story behind bear-related anything with
Bugheart and I: she visited me in AK two summers
ago and while hiking the Little Coal Creek Trail in
Denali State Park to find a letterbox, we came
across the BIGGEST black bear I've ever seen
in my life.


A boar.

He wasn't very scared of us, either.....
We made a lot of noise and left, letterbox unfound
and unstamped (sad).

Another pair of perfectly knitted gloves came to
me in the mail the same week! These are
the best fingerless gloves I've ever seen or worn,
made by my friend Jan.
Dunno what kind of yarn she used...something with silk?
They are incredibly soft....

These gifts are particularly wonderful for an Alaskan....
Up here in the North, it's especially meaningful to give
a gift that will keep someone warm. No joke! To
give someone something that will keep 'em nice
and toasty during the winter shows a special affection.

I feel special....two friends sent me gloves....

Friday, March 09, 2007

Art update...

I realized that I haven't finished many paintings this
I've been working steadily on art and art-related
business: life drawing classes, learning how to set
up my website (still in the works) organizing
shows and applying for juried exhibitions.

But actual paintings? Not too many.

The picture above is a small glimpse of a finished work,
mixed media on birch board, 4'x4'. It's not as stellar
as I thought it would be...this happens....but it's still
good. Not a dud.

I learned a lot about working large....up until now,
my paintings haven't been bigger than 22" x 30".

Here is a partial view of another finished piece---
no title for it yet. I'm considering this one to send
to the "Sticks & Stones" invitational at the Kenai
Covention and Visitors Bureau this summer....gotta
send it out this weekend, whatever painting I choose.
The premise is Alaskan artists response to the
landscape or how the human presence fits into the
AK landscape.
Nice, broad subject matter to interpret!

Anyway---the painting above is 22" x 30", mixed
media on paper. I'll frame it with a simple, gold
metal frame under plexiglass. It turned out a little....
quirky. Most likely because it sat on the easel for
a LONG time, and lost it's original momentum.
I'm finding, more and more, that my paintings in
progress can't wait too long for completion or they
get garbled...their original message or purpose
gets muddled.....
Know what I mean, fellow artists?

Guess what!? THE SHAPE has taken on a new incarnation!
This is the next embodiment of my obsession.
Ooooohhhh, I can't even tell you how much fun and
how good it felt to draw these....hanks.
I am thinking of this combination of lines and the
shape as my own visual illustration of a decision.

4' x4' on baltic birch plywood, mixed media tissue
collage with acrylic (so far).

Here are the decision hanks in their line-up,
the basic underpainting, as simple as it is,
ready to be added to.
I hope to make a lot of progress on this painting
this weekend.
This one REALLY excites me.....
This will be one of my paintings for the May exhibit,
"9 North." At least, that's the plan.....
With art, there is always a margin for....not error,
not, let's say...a change in plans.

Those hank shapes are just rocking my world....

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Holy Experience....

I went to my first real orchid grower in Volcano, HI---
Akatsuka Orchid Gardens. As you can see, this was a
HUGE greenhouse with thousands of orchids. I wandered
around, enthralled, so excited! I've never been in the
presence of so many orchids. I felt like I was in a cathedral--
it was kind of a religeous experience!

I was hoping that I would find a Bulbophyllum Medusae,
but alas, they don't grow them.

I did find an Epidendrum, "Volcano Queen," which
I fell in love with.....I've never seen anything like it.
I bought it in bud, so I shall enjoy the blossoms here
in another couple of weeks. It's comfortably
tucked into my orchid shelves and seems happy
with the new environment.....

This was a real treat---vandas hung on a growing
platform. Some of these plants must have been 6'
from blossom to root tip.
I had an immediate fantasy about laying a bed under
these vandas and spending the night under their
reaching roots.

Here's a sexy Masdevallia----didn't note the variety,
I'm afraid.

Not orchid related, but nifty, nonetheless......
Another example of illegible text to add to my growing
collection of images. I get such a kick out of this!
I see this as a lost message.... I must post more images
for you to understand why I find broken text
so fascinating.

I love the push and pull it plays on the mind when
one tries to read it and absolutely can't.....

Hawaii images...

Most of the pictures I took in Hawaii were of plants...
Amazing, huge, beautiful, flowering plants....

Fromage and I under the Brugmansia tree....

I have a Brug---usually gets about 7' tall every summer
and if we're lucky, gives us 2-3 blooms.....

The abandoned pier at Mahukona.
I LOVED snorkeling here----what a combination!
Swimming and abandoned cool.

Wayne with the rainbow.
We met up with two Alaskan friends also on the
Big Island, Nelle and Wayne. Very good to hang
out with AK friends while on vacation...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

In Hawaii...

Heap of ginger root at the Hilo market...

The forest canopy....
what part of my personal heaven probably looks like....

Mysterious lava rock sculpture at Laupehoehoe Point.

Fromage and I...

A few more Seattle pictures...

Some variety of Euphorbia, if I am not mistaken....
I love this plant...

Even Seattle in winter had some fascinating
greenery. Of course, this is coming from
someone who's been looking at snow
and spruce trees for 5 months....

Another friend to see was Minkett...
I haven't seen her since graduation in 1996!
I had forgotten how absolutely funny she is---
a brilliant sense of humor,
not to mention her wise woman nature
and savvy intellect.

Wish we lived closer, L...I'd love to spend
time together....
One lunch every 11 years just doesn't cut it
for a good friend!

I found this before we dashed off on our flight
to Hawaii....

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The art opening in Seattle....

Here's a shot from Joe's opening in Seattle. He made
several good sales that day. His paintings are oils on
canvas and board---very lush, vistas of
abstract shapes that call to mind underwater
plant life........

That's Joe on the far left.
(Did I mention he's an exboyfriend?
It was so wild to see him again---married,
new baby son, home owner.....)

I got to see many old friends....
kind of like a reunion....

and then,
a good party afterwards at a nearby bar.

Bugheart and the nifty Canadian women, Jen and Christine.

Bugheart talking to Ed. I love this shot! The curve
of their backs, the contrasting patterns.....
and the tattoo....

And of course, the star of the evening, Joe.
Very happy and pretty drunk that night.

Being with all of my old friends was a fascinating
experience. I felt so completely at home----which
doesn't happen often for someone as tightly strung
as I usually am.

Sadly, I didn't get any pictures of our friends Jan
and Neal who made it to the opening. They are fellow
people of the earth: builders, musicians, artists.

Now, back home, I miss all of these old friends all
over again.

Posting, after long absence and much frustration...

I've been wrestling with Picasa and Flickr, trying to
find a new method for posting multiple images without no avail. How do you do it, fellow bloggers?
Please let me know...
I've resorted to just uploading images directly from
my computer.....tedious.

Anyway, back to the fun stuff.
Fromage and I went to Seattle and Hawaii in February.

Seattle: to see Joe Shlichta's opening at the Ballard
Fetherston Gallery, see friends, decompress on our
journey to the tropics.

Hawaii: need I list reasons? Snorkeling, sunlight,
green, living things, birds, flowers.....

The picture above was the North building for my
alma mater, Cornish College of the Arts. Cornish has
since moved all it's facilities and this building is now a
children's school. I went in, signed in at the office,
explained my presence as a nostalgic Cornish alumni,
and they let me wander around the building.

I confess, I got kind of choked up while looking through
the halls and classrooms....
So many memories....
It was a totally different time and life for me....
The four days in Seattle was a bit of a time warp
for me....familiar faces and places...lots of change,
yet none at all. Very interesting....
I lived there for 6 years.

Another treat in Seattle was thrift store shopping with
miss bugheart.
A more thorough thrifter shall never be found.....
She found loads of stuff, of course!
I was restraining myself as I was living out of a
backpack for 2 weeks. I did find a lovely light
coat that reconfirms just how great I look in
chocolate brown.

And yet a third treat....
Spending time with my old friend, roommate and
partner in crime, John Shlichta.....
aka, Johnny Sidecar, Johnny Sparkles, Juan de Fuca......

He actually did a quick pose for this image....standing
in front of one of Joe's paintings at the opening.....