Sunday, January 18, 2015

Winter, Winter, Solstice, Winter, Winter, Winter


I don't celebrate the traditional Christmas...I'm more of a Pantheist than a Christian and  hate all the Commercialism and guilt associated with the season...all the hoopla IS a way to pass the dark days before the Winter Solstice starts tipping the earth back toward the sun.

My West Coast family and I Love reasons for cooking and sharing food, so here are my end of December 2014 pictures.
A few days in the twenties in December, frost on the ground cover

A cold day at Ediz Hook

Looking across the harbor at Port Angeles, snow on the mountain tops and a few days at sea level

Celebratory Latkees...I LOVE potato pancakes any season

A two-table celebration at Doug's house in Seattle

Sarah, Serene, Connie, Hugh

Seren'e Cupcake Creations...she is an artist of cake!

Amal and her mom, who now lives nearby

David, Brian, Doug

Doug and Thayer cooking...Thayer is getting GOOD!

Lots of busy food prep going on

Thayer cured salmon and made potato latkes to go with...Very, Very Good!

Multi-tasking in the kitchen: Thayer, Serene, Amal

A small wall piece of my Mom and Dad in the Forties for Serene

One for Thayer of Dad at sixteen with a beloved train

Typical winter foggy day from the window where I sit at my computer


 I'm trying to put the dark days to good use, although sometimes the gloom gets me down. I finally broke my way into the process of making an eBook combination of DOLL MAKING AS A TRANSFORMATIVE PROCESS, the book, the class, and lots of additional information and images I've gathered over the last 10 years....I LOVE learning new skills!


My friend, Barb Kobe, is encouraging me along, to become known on Pinterest because a woman from Paris saw one of my fabric journals there and ordered my eBook on that topic.

Birthday Deal: 2 books and a kit and free shipping for $20


And to do my Birthday Deal above. Fast approaching my 68th birthday...and having more time at home is motivating me to clean out boxes of books, kits, patterns, and anything else I can probably do without.

The North Peninsula Surface Design group is having a show at the Port Angeles Library, so I've been making wall pieces (small, so they won't take up much space to store)...but every day a few more pages on the book...Stay Tuned!

Forest Dream...using up the Good Stuff!



Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Sense of Time--Winter Solstice 2014 and New Year 2015

Mt. Baker floats above The Strait of Juan de Fuca, as seen from the street above mine mid December 2014
 
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An NPR program about time speeding up with an increase in gravity—I can hardly get my mind around that one…time running faster closer to the center of the earth.


Sketchbook, playing that leads to the next thing

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Not wearing my watch on the trip (my Heroine’s Journey II)—mostly because the watch was too gummed up to change time zones, but also because I wanted to remind myself to stay in each moment…at least as much as I could. That continues to be a goal. I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, since they seem to be easily ignored, but I am constantly examining and resolving…It’s pretty noisy inside my head.


Sketchbook

Daylight Savings time and being able to set my own time now that I am retired from my day job…instead I am engaged 24/7 in my true career: All Art, All the Time, even though sometimes it doesn’t look like it, even to me. I do a lot of wandering, but see it as feeding my muse.  

Sketchbook, drawing on old dictionary page

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Time seems to be a convention that requires agreement, and I don’t always agree, especially with the dumb convention of the dumb Bush II era of making daylight savings time run longer, which makes more likely the possibility of running over black-dressed school kids at 7:30am when I used to drive down the hill to work. Now that I don’t have to go to an office 4 or 5 days a week that is not a danger, and I am following what I often said I would do--not force myself to get out of bed until after daylight. Now at the nadir of light it is 8:04am, occasionally I cheat and get up early and turn on the lights. For some reason I can stay up after dark, but getting out of my bed’s cocoon of heat before daylight has always been Rough, and I’ve always lived far north where the contrast between December and June light length is Vivid!

Sketchbook, start with a photo and GO, the animals are stitched into fabric...bought at a junque store



Time can run fast or slowly—my perception of time changes—listening to Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman and thinking about how ideas generate more ideas. Being absorbed in an activity cancels out time—flow. We are So Lucky to be creative beings, to be able to lose ourselves in our own particular chosen work or people, and being with other creative people and gently leading oneself back again and again into the studio generates more ideas…and can make time stand still.


Sketchbook: Playing with Sierra's face for her portrait


Listening to Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer reading poetry, singing songs, building images…”the rain came down like suicide…or typewriters.”  The darkness will be with me, as long as I am me, but I dance with it, knowing that light and dark, as well as expanding and contracting time will always be part of the dance.


My love affair with potato pancakes...festival of olive oil and light, insulation from cold

The sunny bits in the middle of the day, especially in winter, are the best parts for going out…or staying in. Enjoy your time. Have an interesting 2015…how will you spend your time?...Live!

Chocolate filled "Sun Drops" from Country Aire

Solstice lights and Works in Progress
 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hereditary Talent

There's a challenge on Facebook to post 5 black and white photos in 5 days, and my brother tagged me. Taking photos in black and white is a special skill, to See pattern and tone, as opposed to being seduced by color.

Because I have been using old family photos in some of my wall pieces lately, I found the folder of photos my Dad printed, some from a magazine article he did in 1942 about farming in Vermont. I've been listening to Radio Lab on NPR, the last 2 weeks on evolution, both over time and because of environmental stresses. Also listened to OUTLIERS on DVD. Interesting how much of personality seems to be inherited...or is it learned?? At any rate, when I posted some of my father's photographs, I was impressed at what rich skill he demonstrated as such a young age...working with light, pattern, composition and all the classic components of really good art.

Uncle Armor boiling down maple sap, the fog effect

Dad at 16, probably done with a timer, repeating engines

Mom, gathering snow for sugar on snow, note the diagonals


Mom and Dad picnicking, Northeast Kingdom, VT, timer

Holiday lights, Bradford, VT 

Happy Solstice to All! I hope to keep living up to my heritage...Make Art, Love....

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Current Installment of my own Heroine's Journey


Only snow so far 11/29/14  Happy I put the studded tires on


Snowy scenery on my walk...doesn't happen often here


12/13/14 I am sitting at my big computer, looking out at a dramatic play of light (sunlight after several dark days) on bright green grass and bare gray poplar limbs, but with hints of reddish buds already dotting their surfaces. The Northwest is a wonderful place for learning to stay in the moment/take advantage of sunny days and have indoor projects for rainy days…or go outside and get wet, then come in to get warm, dry, and fed on lovely-smelling soups and bread.

New Collage, step 1

Step 2...I like a wide variety of projects

Finished my most recent portrait of Scott Johns...he's a very eager and adept student of self portraits

  Yesterday the deluge had abated sufficiently so I went to visit old friends whom I met in Port Angeles, but they moved to Arizona for five years, and are now back in Port Townsend for at least a year…maybe next time at the other side of the globe. As I get older, I learn/we learn to savor each precious moment, not knowing how many we will have.

Mike and Katie's cute cottage and studio...why didn't I take a picture of them?

Me reflected in the window of closed store at the end of Water St....maybe a painting?


I’ve been working on a more thorough version of last summer’s Heroine’s Journey 2, organizing All my pictures and writing, expounding. I hope it isn’t too boring for others…I seem to get a consistent 10 viewers, but the process is mostly for me…and doing this, and spending time with Mike, who is writing every day, encourages me to keep writing. 

Inspirational materials I picked up in PT at the store where Kathy works

12/14/14 As I process photos from the last few days, I see how much my life and my Road Trip are alike…full of interesting people, ideas, visuals. Port Townsend was precious on Friday for Katie and Mike…the kind of friends where we pick up the conversation from 5 years, 2 days, or 3 months ago as if we’ve never been apart…so if they go to Singapore next December, we’ll be the same. Having this kind of friendships is So Important! Kim left yesterday to go back to DC, and we’ll do yoga together again some day. I also had great conversations with artists in Port Townsend, added George Mane to my group…some day I’d like to paint her…Art/Healthcare…we seem to agree on a lot, Kathy—kind and sparkly, Helga—so talented, Glo—so full of ideas.

A work in progress

Memory, just finished, pottery shard from the beach, antique photo and beads

Driving around the Peninsula is So, So beautiful at every turn. I didn’t take many photos with my camera, but did with my eyes…out on the Dungeness flats yesterday…trying to find my way around…the leisurely way to Nash’s Farm store…A whole different feeling of close-to-salt-water out there…it would be a great place to bike—so flat, but no shoulders. A talk on Climate Change and Agriculture from the Jefferson County extension service. The people on the flat won’t do well if the Strait rises 6 feet or so, but they may be able to grow more warm weather row crops and grains before that happens. Nash says that September weather, which used to be consistently warm and dry is now unpredictable…and fruit flies are increasing. On the way over, Radio Lab on Darwinian evolution and evolution in response to stress. I’m reading Diane Ackerman’s THE HUMAN AGE. A retirement perk is being able to study interesting topics.


To the right a griffin statue in back of a home near Nash's...I wonder about the story

Works in progress

A piece about retirement, inspired by the book in Maine with the parallel lines on the cover


I go to more events, seeking out the people who will excite my learning…and finding them. I’m still not sure what my art will look like, what my mind will be busy churning, but as several people have said, that’s always evolving.

A 3-D figure on a rusty metal base with wheels

I used Apoxie Sculpt to keep the base stable

This was going to be the body, but I don't want to cover up the rusty metal, so it can become a separate piece

  I’m not sure how I’ll use my two blogs, so Stay Tuned--maybe I'll post more patterns.

Another wall piece--small, because I'm running out of storage

Drawing on an old dictionary page...Ideas Abound!