Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hope for Oklahoma

Hello Friends...

Like many of you I was saddened by the news of the tornado that touched down in Moore, OK this past week. I have very good friends who live close to Moore and waited anxiously to hear if they had been affected. Thankfully, they were not directly affected but they do have friends and family who were. I am sure that we have all seen the devastation that was left in its wake.

This is where a glimmer of HOPE and happiness raises it heads. In the true CAN DO fashion of many artists that I have so fortunately encountered during my online networking, a friend has stepped up to arrange a very special auction to benefit some of those who were personally affected by the tornado.

Heather Ales who lives right down the road from Oklahoma in TX and is a very talented artist, has
"HOPE" cross I created for
the auction
undertaken this task single handedly. What she envisioned as a small auction with maybe 40-50 items has mushroomed into a virtual extravaganza of handmade goodness. Beginning tomorrow and running just 5 days, folks will be able to bid on a plethora of artist made creations from dolls to jewelry, paintings to mixed media artwork. Participating are small local artisans to nationally known artists and instructors. Every day new goodness is being added!!

Please visit the Hope for Oklahoma site on Facebook and check out all the wonderful items that have been donated. Hey, you can start your holiday shopping early!! 100% of the proceeds will go DIRECTLY into the hands of (vetted) needy recipients and Heather will post pictures and share stories.
Below are just a few of the things I have my eye on...

Funky Frida by Aimee Wheaton
Adorable Owls by Doreen Gay- Kassel
Beautiful necklace by Beth Quinn

Gorgeous soldered earrings by Heather Ales

Leather cuff by Emilee Ginger

Thursday, May 16, 2013

rolling along

I'm still here!

Things have been a whirlwind as school finds its last few weeks and I continue to prepare for Open Studios in just a couple more weeks!
I have already lined up Greg to assist me with some bigger projects on Saturday that involve digging out the drills and saws. We'll make our hardware store run and then bust through my list. I might have to make a clay run at some point and then try to just finish up projects so I can start pricing!!
My muse has been all over the place so I have a kind of strange array of works lying on my table. I hope the sun peeps out more tomorrow so I can take some more pictures. I have been sorely negligent in shooting anything more than a few sneak peeks with my phone. What can I say? I like to tease... heehee
Anyway, I did capture a couple of newer pieces when I was photographing the mosaics for my postcards!!

The Secrets
And not to toot my own horn, but I LOVE the way this piece turned out! I started with one of my house shapes and attached it to some particle board my hubby had cut down and went to town. The black and silver piece is a cast off earring from the 80's ;). Ooh its vintage! LOL Even though this is not my usual color palette, I know it works and I am super happy with it. This is the piece that I finished JUST AFTER delivering my artwork to the gallery for the art show and reception. I would definitely have taken this piece, but 'c'est la vie!'
Hope to have some more to share soon...

Monday, May 6, 2013

about learning new things...

Hannah pulls back her bow.
Yesterday I posted about wanting to teach my daughter to embrace learning new things.. no matter what age. So, with that in mind, I wanted to veer off the art topic here, which I will do from time to time, because, well, this is my blog. LOL. Plus, I will probably run out of stuff to write about when I get stuck in a creative rut...

So, today was a Girl Scout Day.. and it was one that we had been looking forward to. Why? Because it involved sharp objects! Yes my friends, today was archery badge day with a side serving of tomahawk throwing!

Greg throws a tomahawk.
Not only did Hannah get to learn all about archery and shoot arrows at targets but Mom did too! And, despite growing up in a heavy Boy Scouting family and being an Eagle Scout, Greg had never thrown tomahawks, so we all got to learn something new.

I get my turn to shoot arrows..
guess what 3 bulls eyes in a row earned me?
Aside from Greg and me, the girls also got to watch their Troop Leader, Emily and Asst. Leader and Mom, Julie participate. I think one of the best ways we can teach our kids is by modeling behavior. Experts tell us that if kids SEE their parents reading, they will be more likely to develop their own love of reading. So, in that vein, I believe that if kids see US try something new, they will be apt to learn to try new things and have more experiences.

What new things are you teaching your kids??
Hannah and her friend throw tomahawks. Watch out boys!
New badges.. Hannah earned her Pioneering Badge and she and I BOTH earned archery badges today!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

the Reception...

Hannah views my artwork installation.
Friday was the Reception for the Open Studios Preview Exhibition at our local Art Gallery. Its pretty exciting for such a small town to have such a nice art gallery in the first place and it was an honor to have my work hung amongst some might fine artists.

My sister-in-law Ceal, took all of these shots with the exception of the last one which my hubby took for me. I was very bad and didn't take any pictures myself of the art that also hung because I was kind of nervous and overwhelmed by the whole thing. 

If you follow me on Facebook, you may recall that I mentioned that this was my FIRST gallery showing aside from college when I both hung and showed our gallery shows since I practically LIVED in the art department. I took a Gallery Methods class during that time which taught basics of readying and displaying artwork. While that class has served me well over the years, it wasn't much help when it came time to ready some of these pieces for display. I have learned my lesson, that I MUST figure out a method to hang the piece BEFORE I start building the piece because once it is all tiled and built, it can be a b*&#! to prepare.

Anyway, my parents all came and of course my hubby and daughter. I think it was pretty exciting for my daughter to see my work hung in a real gallery because while she has always seen me make art and I have never denied her any art supplies or space to create her own, I want her to know that it is never too late to do things. Its never too late to try new things and to tackle new goals. She can do anything if she sets her mind to it. Whether she is 15, or almost 45 like me, she can do new things and be nervous but feel proud of herself because she just jumped in with both feet.

Visiting with my friends.
The other thing that made me feel amazing was that some of my friends made this event a priority in their lives. I invited all my family and local friends and their kids.. because, let's face it. Art is important!  It meant the world to me that some of my friends took time out of their Friday night and came down to the gallery to support me and cheer me on. My friend Theresa, is a new friend from school. We hit it off quickly and I love her kids. She and the kids all came and gave me hugs and showed me how proud they were of me. They couldn't stay long, but the act of making a few minutes meant a lot to me. My friend Tracy, came with her family too. She was one of the first Mom friends I met here in town and we have kept in touch and now work together. After the reception she sent me a text thanking me for including her in my "celebration". Really, I felt I should be thanking her.

So even though this shot isn't the best shot, it is the most meaningful to me and will serve as the best reminder of how I felt that night. The man in the picture is Mr Kent Child, who is a fellow artist and who, with his wife Kathleen, happens to be my neighbor.  Mr. Child also served as an instructor and Dean at Gavilan College while I attended and after. What was meaningful was that during the reception he took me aside and made a point of telling me how much he enjoyed my work and how much of a gift he thought I had for composition, design and color. He seemed genuinely excited to have a "newbie" participating in the Open Studios process and especially one that brought something different to the table. 

WHY, does this mean so much? Of course everyone likes to receive kudos, but it was the affirmation that I was good enough, from a "stranger", that made it more worthwhile. Of course I value what my friends have to say, but don't you find yourself always wondering if they are "just telling you that to be nice"? I have had to overcome some serious self doubt and feelings of unworthiness during this process. Its different than being published in a magazine or book. Somehow if they say NO it doesn't seem so personal, at least not to me, as to have your work scrutinized in front of you. I know many of my fellow Open Studio artists where wondering what the heck I did when I spoke at our organizational meeting. "Mixed Media and Polymer Clay mosaics".. what?? Well, now they know... :)

Next step is the Open Studios Tour itself. I have just three more weeks to finish everything up and get ready!! Hope to see you there...

Ella's image in my mirror. "Ella" painting by my friend Chenoa.
Me and the pieces that I selected to hang.