Sunday, September 25, 2011

Seize the Day!

Our days are full of busy-ness...Multi-tasking is a highly touted skill...and yet...what are we sacrificing to all this productivity?

I normally have Tuesdays off, which, in addition to a time for all my various appointments, is my Art Day. With a stack of projects in the works, I was charging through my 24 hours...taking time to email my brother, David, also busily working at his computer. I said, "I feel like playing hooky, it's SO gorgeous outside and I don't know how many more days like this we're going to get before winter!"

He said, "Go" and that was my conclusion as well. The gallery won't miss one sculpture more or less, the easel with the unfinished painting will still be in my studio on the next day off, and the next. Sometimes Experience is more important than Product. I left at 1:00pm, taking myself to North Beach in Port can see Mt. Baker as a faint white triangle on the horizon in the first picture, my shadow and yellow sock against a lovely profusion of rocks.

I also had time to buy a new pair of pants for work and watch a movie about singing and dancing in Naples at my favorite, Rose Theater, with the best popcorn in the world...

Friday David came over from Seattle and we ate pizza and blackberry pie, with berries picked right in front of my house. Saturday we walked down to the Farmers' Market and back (5 miles?), stopping at the Blackbird for coffee.

Fall's Bounty at the Farmers Market.

So, no great art to show you from this weekend, either. It was supposed to rain today, but instead
the sun came out and I seized the day yet again.

The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center Gala last night was Quite Delightful and inspiring with all the creativity that had gone into dressing in silver...I wish I'd taken my camera. I swear there was a woman in an aluminum foil dress, and lots of sparkle...a town with a sense of humor!

I'll go back into the studio tonight, although probably not to paint...I feel I have to be fresh to do that difficult and exciting task justice. I am making some new cloth dolls, and one will have a yellow painted face with crackle paint over the top and some added bones...maybe I'll have more Art to show next weekend. After the last endless winter, it's a heady experience to be out in the sun. Plenty of studio time in the dark days to come. Here in the Northwest, we have learned to suck the juices from any sun we see.

An August sunset...I love it here! Please visit my website: and buy books. Thank you!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

3D Doll Design

Yesterday I started 2 new online classes at
Returning to teaching doll making, upcoming shows wanting sculptures, cooler weather with the return (finally!) of rain are sending me back into the studio to create.

Every Christmas since High School, I've designed and made angel tree decorations. This year's is based on using some mother of pearl buckles I got in Seattle with Katie and Karen. As promised, here's a picture and pattern.

Drag the image to your desktop and size it to about 7" tall...
and Have Fun! I love piecing the bodies, use a short stitch
length. You can use one plain piece of fabric instead of the

Fraker/Scott Gallery in Seattle sold my sculpture, CHILL, to
the lovely and peppy owner of Olympic Cellars, Kathy Charlton,
so I have been moved to make some more small sculptures
for the Christmas shows in Seattle and at Port Angeles Fine
Arts Center.

I bought the carved ebony letter opener in
Fort Bragg in 2002 on my Heroine's Journey
up the West Coast three years before I moved
here. The base is from a set of tinker toys I bought
at an antique store in town.

For my 3D students: the side pieces are two-piece, with bases, Apoxie sculpt holding the whole thing together, one-piece tubes of fabric in front and back, beads.

The earlier dark is driving me back inside...Although I hate to see the wonderful summers out here leave, the darkness and rain do give me more studio time. When I fell in love with Port Angeles and almost immediately had my house built in 2006, I was still sufficiently cautious not to want to build an un-re--saleable studio, so I work all over the house, from paintings and books stacked all around my living room to
the painting studio/bedroom,

to the sewing studio other bedroom.

I always have way more potential projects than time, as I have to work 4 days a work to support this Art Life...And, as a woman who has learned to Follow My Instincts, I still feel compelled to keep the painting and portrait series going, so here's the beginning of my next portrait of Serene...I like the feeling of the rough stage. We learn and learn by doing more and more, so get into your "studio" whenever you can and you may be surprised at what comes out.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

On the Beauty of Not Working

After a seemingly endless winter, summer has finally come to the Peninsula in September. Last Sunday I introduced Mercy and Anita to the wonderful beach at Port Williams, seemingly miles north and south, and usually very few other people, although that day 30 made a crowd...a very quiet and respectful and friendly one. We kept meeting people at least one of us knew, collected beautiful rocks, and shared a delicious picnic. As long as one is always kind, there is no drawback I can see in living in a sparsely-populated area.

I spent my free time last week stitching on this banner, WATER OF LIFE. It's for the celebration of the tallest dam removal ever in the US, on the Elwah river. I always volunteer art work when needed for town events...I love stitching and watching movies, and when I can do it for a worthy it Work? After polling a group of my patients (captive audience) about how they feel about this huge project, I'm not sure about Reasons and Results, but nevertheless, water is going to be a bigger and bigger issue in our world as we just keep growing in our demands, and from what I've heard, the amount of water available does not increase...important thing to ponder: In our climate of All Rain, then No Rain, I have a gravel-covered yard.

I talked with Mom yesterday. She spends so much energy avoiding tasks she doesn't really
want to do, I told her to take the weekend off.
What is this Calvinist super ego that insists
we MUST be "productive" every second
of every day? Play often leads to Creativity.

If we can enjoy the beautiful days thoroughly, the friends, the stitching and watching movies when they come, we'll have more energy for the
deadlines. As long as I have at least one painting in the works, I know I'll get back to painting. (these are the endless conversations I have with myself)

This is Kiki Smith, artist. This is the third version and good enough to stop here. Skill in Art making...and probably everything else...accrues by Practice. So by all means, keep the Practice going, but stop to enjoy the other things and people, too. If you love what you're doing, it
won't seem so much like work.

Blessings to the people touched by floods, by wars, and by the 10th anniversary of 9/11/01.