Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October Images

Busy busy, happy happy. Our weather here is a boon in October; sunny, warm, a lengthening of summer's gentle blessings. Every morning that I wake up to the light I am full of gratitude.

And I've been in the wax again. Inspired by the students, by the weeds outside my door and by the necessity of writing new proposals. It's a glad time.

The wood is stacking up in preparation for winter. The chimney has been cleaned and the furnace filters replaced. We're bringing in the sheaves.

This is a detail from a class sample.

The corn has been harvested and the stalks laid down to slumber.

Any season is a good season for daydreams, don't you think? Especially while one is in the studio, pushing paint, heating wax, drawing diagrams.

The journal reflects myself back to myself. I am my own cheering squad; my own grandpa. Go girl go.

I heard something this week that I'd heard long ago. Something about how we create a thing and then we keep returning to it for the thanks it gives in return. Beauty generating beauty. Hope generating hope.

I walked under the apple trees again and smelled the crisp cidery smell. There must be that smell somewhere in a test tube but it could never be the same as standing under the apple tree and gazing at the remnants of the summer's garden. The seedheads that remain. The boxes and bowls and trays of produce.

John made more salsa this year and canned it than ever before. Oh, tacos, enchiladas, huevos, and more. Full heart. Full heart.

Tomatillo habanero sauce. Fruity, spicy and fabulous with corn tortillas, cheese, onions and sour cream.

Maximillian sunflowers. These are the fall blooming sunflowers that come to replace the earlier variety. The honey bees love them as you can see and they are great fall color in the garden.

What gives more love than a hydrangea I ask you? She starts early and gives and gives and gives. That's my girl.

More snippets from the wax works.

And the journal.

Lonely little onions. 

The tie ups for the tomato plants looking like their job is done for another season.




And still there are more.

Write it all down. Capture it. Live it over again. Sweet life, so fleeting.

Thank you for coming. Big doings in the coming weeks. I'll bring you along. xo

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm Late! I'm Late!

I feel like the White Rabbit, running late posting about my classes at Art and Soul. This morning I decided to post the images I've got ready and to post others later . Sorry that they'll be out of order and all mixed up. I taught 3 classes at Art and Soul and I feel lifted and healed and so happy to be back in the classroom again where I love to be. 

I taught a Journaling class, a Wax Collage class and one on Sculpey Dolls. So these images of student work are from these classes and since I had 74 students in 3 classes and many photos to organize, more will follow. 

Each class was so much fun. There is a group energy in the classroom that feeds each of us. There is no time to over think or procrastinate. Tick tock. We trust our instincts and bust loose.

This doll with the heart isn't finished yet. She will have arms and a bird perched above her crown. I love her perky hair-do.

This girl is drying but we laughed that she looks like she's doing the dead man float. She is going to hang on the wall. There are several styles we make and this is one.

The next 3 images are spreads from the journaling class. I love the exercise where we freely draw a face across a 2 page spread and then write. I encourage a style of painting that is more expressive than realistic although I like both. I think in the journal it is good to bring emotion to the page.

This page folds out to an extra large size and was painted by my comadre Katie Kendrick in class. She was my support and helper through 2 of my classes. What would we do without our friends? Friends are like angels by our side, there for protection but mostly for courage.

This page is so beautiful to me. So relaxed, my favorite colors, an uplifted feeling. And surrender. As we sometimes must.

And now some samples from the Wax class. I teach a lot of encaustic techniques in this class and the results are always exciting. Here are a few.

John is waiting for me to give him a haircut.

My manuscript is waiting for the final edit and is due in less than a week.

My laundry is piled up and overflowing the top of the basket.

The sun is shining and the potatoes John dug yesterday are waiting to be washed.

I am renewed by this experience of teaching again. I always learn as much as I teach and I would fade away without the human contact. Is it the people or the art that I need the most?

It is equal. My twin passions.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Calm Before the Next Storm

It's been a wonderful couple of weeks since my return from the east coast. I've slept in and indulged myself in every pleasure I could get my mitts on. And so, full of chocolate and well rested, I've packed my bags and filled my teaching boxes in preparation for Art and Soul.

I love teaching in my home town. That means I can take everything; lots of filled journals, more clothes than I could ever need and all my electronic toys.

Check out the enormous cake our friends presented John with on his Birthday. Across the pineapples it reads: Feliz Cumpleanos John and it is a cake like none I've ever seen or eaten before.

It is made up of layers of puff pastry with whipped cream and fresh fruit on top and filled with a sweet caramel pudding. The cake is called Miel Ojas (also Mil Hojas) and it was heavenly. 

Of course I've been experimenting in the studio. I think that's what I do best. I am curious. I get an idea and I just keep switching it up to see what will happen. The transfer above is from a transparency sheet to watercolor paper. I had to try photo paper, contact paper, direct transfer and so on until I almost rubbed all the skin off my fingers. 

This is the teapot I painted for the Art and Soul silent auction fundraiser. Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Such a wonderful metaphor.

This is another view.

And the Cheshire cat on the back of the pot. The entire pot is coated in encaustic medium.

This is the contact paper transfer.

This page is about growing up in Arizona. Every photo has a personal connection for me relating to events in my past. Things I love to think about and yet things I need to release.

I once knew a 92 year old woman with an excellent sharp mind who told me the biggest challenge she faced was not thinking about the past all the time. Because her memory was intact and there was so much to remember. So many good things. I can relate.

This page I started at Squam as a demo on breaking in a new journal. How you have to choose a color and boldly slap it on. How you start with something random and then gently bring order to the chaos. The deep satisfaction of doing that.

I gathered acorns at Squam that I glued and drilled and attached to the journal that I sewed together there. I get all of my best ideas from my so-called students and this was one of them. *wink*

We are eating lots of arugula this week; I made this salad twice already and might make it again. Here is the recipe.


big bowl of washed, broken arugula without the stems
cut up avocado
thin slices of red onion
walnut pieces (or sliced tomato)
dressing: equal parts of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar
shake up the dressing with salt and pepper and dress the salad

you will feel as strong as Popeye if you eat this salad

This is the last page of the journal I just finished. Good-bye old friend. 

So here is my wish for you if you live in the northern hemisphere near where apple trees grow. Step outside when the air is crisp and walk under the apple trees where you can smell the cider from the windfalls on the ground. Leaves burning. Woodsmoke. Cider and spiders. Experience all of it while you can. Namaste.