Saturday, April 28, 2012

Residency Dream Begins Now

It's been interesting to note that so many people I've spoken to about my residency don't really understand what I'll be doing there. For me, it's an opportunity to travel to an interesting place and work along side other artists. I won't be teaching. This is a time instead for filling the well, shutting out the world and working uninterrupted. 

I wanted to choose a residency where other artists would be in attendance and doing their own work. Alone in the studio all day, then meeting over a shared meal. I loved the interviews in the film, "Who Does She Think She Is" where artists spoke of their lives and how they realized their dreams. We're dreaming all the time according to Jung, creating every moment of our lives by what we believe. How can we all dream of a better world and how can we help create it. I love talking to other artists about this concept and so many other ideas about transforming our lives. This is what's on my mind as I envision my time there. 

I expect a lot of solitude at the residency too, which I love. I'm taking my big camera, my flip video and a laptop and expect that those things will keep me entertained. That along with painting and writing. I live in my colors and wordplay.

I'll be checking in with you guys too. I have my gear all packed now and spent the day quietly making last minute preparations. Tomorrow with only a few hours of sleep if I'm lucky I'll start out on my cross-country, cross-ocean 18 hour journey. My pockets will be full of all my loved ones, (that's you) right up near my heart. 

I am hopeful, excited, curious. I'll see you there.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Big Catch Up

Everything is yeasty and rising in my neck of the woods. 

My painting buddies came to visit and we all painted big boards together. That unleashed a week of creativity that I'm still riding high on.

I want to alert you to this TED talk and the challenge that I've accepted to write out my gratitudes and blessings for 21 days in a dedicated journal. In this photo you see other big things filling my life right now. The Mixed Media Journal eBooks that are available here and the green smoothies that have brought me control over my junk fooding and 10 pounds of weight loss. Had to shop for smaller levis and (ahem) underwear. Feeling mighty spunky about that.

My Favorite Green Smoothie

one banana
mango or papaya chunks (1 cup)
frozen blueberries (1/4 cup)
lime juice (1/4 lime)
non-dairy "milk"(almond or hempseed) 1 1/4 cups
stuff blender to the top with dark greens
brewers yeast (1 tbsp.)
walnuts (2 tbsp.)
chia seeds (1 tbsp.)

Blend until smooth. If I drink one for breakfast I'm still full at lunch and only need a mid-afternoon snack.

Then yesterday another friend and I drove up to Seattle to see the Gauguin show and incidentally got to see paintings by one of my art heros, Mark Rothko. Here's Kay standing in front of one. It was amazing. And the Gauguins were amazing too but there were too many people around to sneak off a shot.

Here are my latest paintings. Acrylic, 24x48"

8 1/2 x11"

8 1/2 x11"

8 1/2 x11"

8 1/2 x11"

These are the types of studies I intend to work on during my residency in Spain at Can Serrat in 5 days. I'm excited to find myself there and see what else inspires me too; maybe landscape.  But do tell me what you think of my line and color studies. I'm ever so infatuated with them right now.

It's such a nice day; let's stroll the garden for a moment while you're here.

Someone gave me these luscious tulips. Someone who knows what colors I love.

Time for rhubarb crisp. These leaves are humungous.

The peonies are coming on just as I'm about to leave. (insert sad face here)

Leeks! We love leeks in pasta.

Lily of the valley. Exquisite fragrance.

Kale. Crinkly, crunchy kale.

The rhodys are coming on.

Swiss chard spends the winter. A welcome guest.

I doubt if even the Italians eat more garlic than we do.

Mountain Bluet. Kin to Bachelor Buttons. So blue it's hard to believe.

Artichoke hearts. Not as big as the ones you get at the Serena Gorda Bar in San Miguel de Allende but still a fabulous treat.

Apple blossoms now, fat, juicy apples in the fall. Mmmmmm.

This is where all the greens for the smoothies come from.

Favas are coming on strong.

And a note to the Wilmington students: A great place to stay is the Waterway Lodge; link here. Kim will hook you up with a room share if you're interested in that. 

Hot Wax eBooks are available here and a reminder that I'll be teaching at EncaustiCamp again this summer; it's a wonderful mid-summer gush of encaustic creativity and friendship gathering place so be sure to get your reservations lined up now. July in Oregon is gorgeous; you'll be glad you came.

This year is going to be wonderful; I'm so excited to be connected once again to the International Encaustic Group in here in Portland and I'll have some exhibition announcements about that pretty soon too. Life is full, is good, is full of promise. 

If you can imagine it, you can do it. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Finding My Rhythm

This is one of those years where I find myself casting about for a root to hold on to. I got so far behind when I left country for a month and now in 2 weeks I go again. My journal is the thread that holds me here. And the online class that I just taught which was such a joy. I had to be completely present for that. 

I made this little book to take to Spain, thinking I could work small in it. Little sketches. Little collages. To see if I could say it without words. And then I couldn't resist beginning to work in it. At this rate I'll have it filled before I leave.

If that happens I'll have to make another book. 

I have so much to say.

I'm trying to figure out what to take to Spain. I've decided on paper, paint, wax, maybe plaster. Well, I can get the plaster there. And I bought a new suitcase. If it's big enough. We'll see.

I'm using lots of tea bags in this book. 

Every morning I pull out my little book and a new idea pops into my head. Scissors. Glue stick. Tape.

Go. It's just for me. For my enjoyment. I teach others not to work for approval and then I find myself working for approval. Well, not this time.

My safe boat.

Have I ever told you about my protective bubble? I can do that when I'm afraid. Cast a protective bubble over myself and hunker down. In the bottom of the boat. 

Hanging on the lip of the mystery.

In other news John got some good test results from his doctor. Since going on a vegan diet his cholesterol has dropped from 278 to 182. The LDL (lousy part) from 188 to 123. And Triglicerides from 249 to 98. That takes him from stroke and heart attack country to a safer place altogether. 

It amazes me that doctors put you right on statin drugs without telling you that changing your diet can achieve the same results and save you a lot of money. Plus John's lost about 25 lbs. So the only down side is that you have to buy smaller clothes. I did that this week too. 

Big Announcement!!!!!

 I'll be traveling to Wilmington, North Carolina this fall to teach a journaling class in the studio of Kim Beller of Big Strong Girl Designs. I'm super excited about this class for several reasons. First of all, it's going to be fabulous; one or two days as you choose and in a beautiful studio where we can share time and space with each other in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. Secondly, because John is coming with me and thirdly because I've never had the opportunity of teaching or even visiting the southern part of the country and it's been on my bucket list forever.

Please please please come and join us for what promises to be a really great experience. Here is a link to all the information. Kim and I have had our heads together and we are going to make this really fun for you.

Now for a quick trip through the garden. 

We have sugar peas ...

Varieties of pepper ...

Varieties of tomatoes ...

and tulips and plum blossoms! The season turns again to new beginnings and baby lambs; hope and faith is renewed and the earth is green and new. I hope you feel in good spirits whether you are experiencing spring or fall; the circle of the seasons is one of the enduring blessings and mysteries of life. Get out and breathe it all in. ((hug))

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Checking In Following Artfest

Home again from the most wonderful time at the last ever Artfest. For 2 nights preceeding the big event I hung with friends at a cabin overlooking Discovery Bay, next to Fort Worden State Park. The wind and rain battered the little cabin on the bluff so hard that it shook but we stayed cozy and mostly warm and kept each other company. It was the happiest and most melancholy time for me. I don't know how the others were feeling about it. No one really wanted to touch on the subject. But there it was. Change being the one thing you can count on.

I took very few photographs. The memories will be enough. Of helping Stephanie teach and experiencing her forgiveness when I blundered. Of watching the people there love and share and cherish each other. It really has been like church for me; seeing this community grow and extend an attitude of inclusion to others. It's good to feel safe with others, to feel loved and to love in return.

Now I'm home again and getting my even keel back. Going through the last week of the online class with the journalers who are terrific company and who present me with new surprises and fun every time we meet on Facebook. 

It's good to have friends who are near as well as friends who live far away. Especially if you live miles from the nearest coffee shop and long for a bustling city from time to time.

I have the Dalai Lama, Anais Nin, and this charming child though to keep me company. They are as real as can be.

Frida drops in from time to time. She urges me to wear more flowers in my hair. I like how she's not afraid to wear two at once!


Recently I've been obsessed with nurse's uniforms and those white uniforms the sailors wore in the 1940's. It occurs to me that men shoot holes in each other and nurses have to sew them back up. Or at least they did in that war.

I'm in a balmy mood here. John's planting every sort of tomato, pepper and potato crop. He bought 3 new trees yesterday (weeping mulberry, pear and hachiya persimmon) and caught a squirrel in a have-a-heart trap which he delivered to a park a few miles away. This is how it goes in our neck of the woods. As soon as the rain lets up I hope my mojo will turn up again. I keep looking for it. Until then, mildew is the watchword. 

Take care. xo