Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Artfest 2010 Iron Chef Artists Challenge!

I have no pictures of the Artfest Iron Chef Artists challenge so I stole this one. Linn Woodard took it and I stole it from Carla Sonheim's blog (There are stunning pics of Fort Worden there).

So, here's the deal, Teesha decided she wanted some interesting events this year at AF. She had a band the first night, Surrealized, truly AWESOME! gave us goosebumps!
Then on Thursday night any teachers who wished to could participate in the Iron Chef Artists Challenge. We chose either 3D or 2D. I of course chose 3D. We were given the same bag of cool stuff and 30 minutes to make something out of it. We were allowed to bring our own bag of "tricks". I was kind of dreading it after I said I would do it. It just felt like a competition even though it wasn't supposed to me. And I felt on the spot about it and Stephanie Rubiano, Keith LoBue, Micheal DeMeng were all participating.... I just dreaded being compared to them. But! here's what happened! Tracy handed me my bag of goodies and the start was announced. I dumped it out and what fell out on my table but a replica realistic resin otter skull!!!! Yeah! Way! it did! right then the world around me fell away...DeMeng who? I was enthralled and instantly began making a fetish. The next 30 minutes evaporated and time stopped. People pushed and crowded and cameras flashed, members of Surrealized played. While I noticed the music I had no clue about anything else. I just made. I twisted wire and assembled. I stretched sausage casing around it all and painted it with vibrant watercolors. It was SOOOOOOO fun! They added additional minutes but I barely needed any. I was the first person finished in my area and I LOVED how it turned out. People have promised to send me pics so I'll share when I get some.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


me at Artfest last year

Why do I adore Artfest so much? so many reasons...
At Adorn Me a couple of ladies asked me about it. They'd heard it was expensive, cold...
not worth it. They were SADLY misled. I am not a wealthy person by any stretch, and I get cold like the next person but that's like saying, "I heard Heaven's really boring and the gold streets are a bummer to stub your toe on." ???!!! really!? okay well.. you just go right on believing that!

Artfest is so priceless to me. I would do all kinds of things to be able to go every year.
The environment is a visual feast. The textures and rich greens... the lushness....
the view out to the ocean over the gorgeous bluff, the peeling old paint on some of the older buildings, then add to it the artists and their plumage! Teesha and Tracey are the coolest people EVER! and around then flock the coolest people EVER! The magical energy and vitality that swirls around next week at Artfest is unlike any other retreat... for me that is. I'm not a fan of the hotel retreat environment. Of course it make sense your indoors to learn the workshop... but its so sterile, fake and the air is recycled and has that icky hotel smell. don't get me wrong with hotel retreats the organizers try really hard to make it fun and choose great teachers and they can be a blast too. But I prefer a space that is inspiring. I want a vista, or scenery, or a gorgeous sky when I am not making or teaching. It is so wonderful in our time off to hike up the bluff, or down to the lovely lighthouse amongst the sculptural driftwood on a beach peppered with interesting rocks and pebbles. once in Anahata's class on the upper floor of one of the old buildings the sun brilliantly blazed forth through the tall windows. We cracked them and let the warm air breeze in. She put on fantastic music and we painted together in silence with the sounds and smells of the sea wafting in through the windows, while birds chirped outside and clouds billowed by on a blue sky. You could smell grass lawn being mowed... glorious and so NOT hotel...
The nearby town is quaint, picturesque and artsy. Its people delightfully friendly and talkative. Robert and I are entranced. A lot of folks are when they visit Port Townsend.
I couldn't imagine thinking Artfest was expensive. Teesha tries hard to make it available to all. There are even scholarship situations. So if you are reading this and on the fence, you will never, never regret coming to Artfest.

Floats on a fence by Ranger's housing Fort Worden.


the grasses at Fort Worden at Artfest last year.

McCabe of Dancing Mermaid said this a day or so ago:
"i think the closer i get to my dreams the more i freak myself out."

have to agree. I think this is why its really HARD to follow our dreams! We think we want to but its work, its scary, it may require change.... just not simple. but usually the rewards are untold, even unimagined!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday , Monday....

Wow, back in the swing for a week at the community college, then off again for Artfest! I have midterms to grade, assignments to grade, handouts to design for Artfest, outlines to do, supply lists to check off, new jewelry that may never get made, business cards to make for a friend, more shopping to do, and re orders for the community college for supplies for next year, our student show's in a few weeks, boxes to ship and disasters to avert! *pant*pant* Then tonight, lots of soothing to do with the teenage female person! Lots of emotional turmoil... I told her today, "well, might as well get used to it. One minute you'll be angry, the next elated, the next depressed and feeling inadequate... that's what being a teenager is all about! It's jam packed with feelings and emotions all swirling around. You have to learn how to deal with them and control them. It's a learning process you can't avoid. You have to grow through all those emotions!" She said, "its kind of like being bipolar only there's no medication for being a teenager!" I said "you got it! pat yourself on the back for figuring that out now!" She cracked a smile. We made found object goodie boxes for vendor night at Artfest, complete with clock gears, resistors, and itty bitty electrical thingies. While I graded, she baked some white chocolate macadamia nut cookies and searched bizarre choral music on youtube. She made extra cookies to take to her girlfriends at school. She really enjoyed making the goodie boxes with me she said,"Mom, I can't wait 'til I can go to Artfest with you."
Soon... maybe when she's 17 she'll be old enough... I love it so much there, Artfest itself, the students, the instructors, the volunteers, the art, vendor night, the trees, the Fort, the beach, the driftwood, the rocks, Port Townsend!
.... and I know she would too.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Small Pleasures

Woke to this in the morning and thought it was just lovely.

Later, over my cereal and coffee, I read another artist's beautiful blog. Ya' know its so frustrating... there is always somebody more talented, and more prolific with a cooler life. Its hard to keep your eyes on your own paper. I'm not jealous, I mean I like my life and I don't have malicious feelings, just envious feelings... "I wish" feelings. But those are non productive. I fight them so often... and I know envy is a cancer. And I have Artfest to get ready for! As hard as it is for me to get any studio time, and productive studio time at that... I can't get derailed in a quagmire of self doubt. *sigh* Just wish I were more free in my work and cranked out cool stuff at the rate she does. I seriously doubt she's on anyone else's blog envying! But for those of us that experience these moments take heart, and dig deep into your own life.

On a lighter note here's some pictures of the belt buckles my student Beth Hammett just finished for her sons! They were a winter ordeal. They had to be redone and worked over a number of times. She told her sons they'd have to change their homeowners policies because these were now worth $10,000.00 each due to the amount of work in them! the end result is wonderful she should be proud. One is faux bone with a city skyline inspired by her son's business logo. The fauxbone encloses a piece of Russian meteorite. the buckle's etched "when you wish upon a star" on the reverse. The other buckle is an enameled basse taille (etched)water scene. It has our mutually favorite quote from Isak Dinesan "The cure for anything is salt water; sweat, tears or the sea."

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Here's the little longhorn who came to Adorn Me and went to dinner with us, shown with Riki Schumacher's cuff.
Read about him here on Riki's blog

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

70 degrees!

Ah.... its 70 outside and I ate lunch outside on my little deck in a tank top!

A Goodly Huge Cabinet

"with a small compass a model of the universal made private ....a goodly, huge cabinet, wherein whatsoever the hand of man by exquisite art or engine has made rare in stuff, form or motion; whatsoever the singularity, chance and shuffle of things hath produced; whatsoever Nature hath wrought in things that want life and may be kept; shall be sorted and included." Francis Bacon 1594

In a frantic search and dig through all the myriad CRAP that accumulates in my studio, ran across this description of a Wunderkammer by Francis Bacon that used to hang over my bench in grad school. Seemed fitting....

...and here's a Remedios Varo piece

Monday, March 8, 2010

Hard Candy in Houston

More Hard Candy pics!
Here Stephanie Rubiano fires some enamels.

Below are Tish's beads. I apologize, but I realized that since I didn't get to keep a roster I don't know last names! If you're out there Tish speak up, these were great! The blue and silver one says La Luna along the crescent edge.

EJ's adorable little brass dapping block and her buddy Jennifer hard at work.

Hard Candy Pics!

Here are some images from the "Hard Candy" enamel bead class.

Collage Lab

My pal Bee Shay has a new book out "Collage Lab". And guess what! I'm in it! I have a watercolor pour collage in the gallery section. Woo hoo!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fun at Adorn Me!

The Hard Candy class was a blast! through the class as well as my fab roomie Charlene I met and bonded with Diana Frey, Riki Schumacher and Diane Cook. What a riot those gals are! Enroute to dinner at a fun local tex-mex spot, Riki revealed the group's little plastic longhorn mascot. His name is still being decided I think, more on that later. The little plastic longhorn got to eat out and then participate in a Thomas Mann class and a Keith LoBue class. He's a lucky little bovine!

Here Diana Frey and another student Susan Linn torch fire their enamels.

My Adorn Me! Roomie Charlene

Adorn Me was WONDERFUL! I had a FABULOUS roomie that I met online through the Adorn Me! yahoo group. Gotta love those yahoo groups! Charlene's blog is here. She was my guardian angel running to get the luggage cart helping me load and unload stuff... just an all around great gal. You can "meet" Charlene here and see her soldering with plumbing solder in Diana Frey's "Twisted Sistah" class.

Adorn Me! Houston

Everyone at Adorn Me! had a great time we all sincerely hope that it's a yearly thing now. Stay tuned! I did not take many photos. I was go, go, going the entire time. I hardly had time to breathe! I got to meet someone I've read about and admired for YEARS Ricë Freeman-Zachery. I have long loved her journal clothing and am very inspired to try my hand at one. Spent some good chat time after breakfast Friday with she and EGE, her husband "Ever Gorgeous Earl", who is just that! Earl is a quiet one but what a thrill to get a chuckle out of him! Earl was behind the camera much of the week at Adorn Me as Ricë and he have a new book coming out. Again, stayed tuned!!! ...very exciting stuff. They were truly quality folks and a delight to have finally met.

Pre Houston Chaos

So I've been in such a whirlwind that I didn't load these up before I left.