Thursday, September 20, 2012

Talented Artists

I had the pleasure of going to the local Community Arts Council Fall Arts Stroll this past weekend. This year, they had close to 90 vendors, including a large number of artists. I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you.

Natalie Michalski of Moon Cookie Gallery has a fresh and vibrant style that makes you happy just looking at her paintings.

Curwick Creations creates astounding works of art with wood. I've never seen anything like their pieces anywhere else. They are truly beautiful.

World of Traegonia presented both their books and sculptures. I was impressed by the variety and detail, and enjoyed watching one of their young customers making a purchase of a dragon described as a mug guard. (It sits on the lip of one's drink container.)

Jesse A. Maricle's paintings have a realistic quality that vies with photography, while they simultaneously have a softness to them that is quite soothing.

Two additional artists I saw, who, unfortunately, do not have websites, included Pamela Baker, whose cross stich wall art is absolutely lovely, and Bud Hainzinger, who creates art pieces in wood by carving with a chainsaw.

I hope you enjoy their work as much as I did.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


The hummingbirds are migrating. Since we added a second feeder this year, we have had dozens of visitors. (The pictures are a little blurry, for which I apologize.)

Especially thrilling to me are those times when a hummingbird will stop and sit for a while in one of our bushes or trees, as several of them have, allowing me to get a close up photo.

I wish you similar thrilling moments to enjoy during this changing season.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's Natural

After storms that accompanied a system coming down from Canada, we have been experiencing cooler temperatures and beautiful skies.

Since I have decided to do more soft sculpture art dolls, I moved around some of the supplies in my studios this week to facilitate access. It seems reorganization is a constant these days, as is the fine tuning of ideas. However . . .

Nature continues to provide sources of beauty and inspiration . . . .

as well as the occasional, sometimes reluctant, live subject or two . . . .


It also provides food for thought.
One of my sons and his family are vacationing in California. When I spoke with him, yesterday, he told me the trees around Mt. Shasta are all brown and the waters of Lake Shasta are down 25 to 30 feet. It is a stark reminder of the severe drought most of the country has been in this year.
I came across this information yesterday, too: Sun Come Up - Trailer.  The movie depicts some of the world’s first “climate refugees,” inhabitants of the Carteret Islands just north of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. I was unaware that the seas were already rising, so it was enlightening.

The website describes some of the ways that people can address the problem of climate change through the "Take Action" tab at the top of the page. In addition, there are links for more information about the situation and the effects on people throughout the world. I hope that you will take advantage of them to see for yourself what the situation is for our planet.

For my part, I am more committed than ever to attempt to use materials which have the lowest possible impact on the environment to create my pieces. We already do what we can to reduce, reuse, and recycle at home, though I am always looking for new ways to do so. Any suggestions would be heartily welcomed.

Until next time, I wish you peace and all good.

Monday, September 3, 2012


I have always felt a sense of new beginnings with the coming of September, fall, and the start of the new school year. Even though I have no children in school any more, I find it is still the case. And so, I find myself ready to begin anew.

As a first step, I revamped my "schedule." While it is arbitrary, since I need only be concerned with how my actions affect my immediate family members still living with me, I find it a relief to be able to decide on my activities for the day based on a framework. Part of my decisions, too, have involved how active I plan to be in the studio. I have not come to any conclusions about distribution of my artwork, but know that I will be making time for creation on a daily basis.

One thing that helped me was taking a complete break from any artwork. It helped that my husband was on vacation, too. By the end of the time, I found myself anxious to pick up something creative to work on, though I did not eliminate photography from my activities.

We made a short trip to visit Geneva, Illinois, which allowed me to visit both the Fabyn Japanese Garden and the Geneva History Center (Geneva Museums). At the History Center, I was able to view the traveling exhibit "A Celebration of Rural America." It will be there through October. A collection of artwork from the 1920s and 1930s by Regionalist artists, it was inspirational.

The Japanese Garden is suffering the effects of the drought, but was still beautiful. It also provided some inspiration, which I expect will show up in some of my future work.

I am continuing my research of the 20th century, and have found myself also exploring some of the history of the 19th century, especially as it affected immigration to the United States. One of the things that strikes me is the change in what and how much Americans, in particular, feel is necessary to a good life. This reflects my concern with sustainability, of course, and will, no doubt, result in output either in artwork or writing.

And so, I am off to explore all these things. Until next time, I wish you peace and all good.