Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Roadside Philosopher and Other Roadside Attractions

Today I stopped by to see my friend Bob. He parks his motor home on the Parks Hwy every summer and fixes windshield chips. After about 45 minutes listening to Bob my head is spinning with esoteric stuff you know the big questions of life and death. He practices the teachings of Adi Da i.e. Death is by no means simply a doorway to heaven. What is on your mind now, when you lose physical attention? What kinds of thoughts do you have, what kinds of dreams do you have, what kinds of fears do you have?

Whatever they are, they will make your experience after death. While you are alive, you have physical concentration and a brain that locks you away from the so-called unconscious. You have an opportunity while alive to purify yourself, but what is to be purified is outside the brain. You think it does not even exist — so you just indulge yourself in physical life, as if the physical exists for its own sake.
The physical is not there for its own sake. It is there to help you purify the deeper being, the deeper personality — to the point where you can be Gracefully Awakened to That Which Transcends even the deeper personality".
Huh? He is a little too pedantic for me, but still I felt calmed and serene in the rock/art garden Bob had created. He simply balances the rocks in the most unlikely positions and they stay that way for awhile no re bar, no glue just patience and balance. The rock garden is like laying on the grass when you were little, watching the clouds you see all sorts of fanciful creatures.

"Art like life is transient and all things exist in the eternal now." (I said that)

True art is not merely the product of a hero or heroine who is able to transcend himself or herself and create something which is then to be passively admired by others. Participation in an art form should be a great exercise that enables you to transcend yourself. True art has a purpose for others, not merely a purpose for the artist.

— Avatar Adi Da Samraj

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Skeleton on the Floor

Title:Skeleton on the Floor
Medium: Encaustic Collage
Dimensions: 5" X 12"
Artist: Judy Vars
Date: June 26, 2007
Price: 45.00

"The skeleton on the Floor" is titled thus because it was created on a salvaged piece of mahogany used for a hard wood floor.

I currently sell my art privately and at the Girdwood Center for the Visual Arts. If you are interested in any piece please contact me and visit my web site Cabin Fever In Alaska

I am busily getting some art together for the Girdwood Forest Fair July 6th, 7th and 8th next weekend! It's going to be a blast, belly dancers, bluegrass, art, hippies, crowds and good food. We look foreward to doing the Forest Fair every year. I'll be ar the GCVA gallery on Saturday and at the GCVA booth some of the time.
I hope to see you there *:)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Day @ The Museum and Folk Art

Margaret Roach Wheeler (b 1943 Sisston SD
Lives in Jopplin Missouri)
Forest Dweller: The Bear 1998
Silk/wool yarn, copper, sterling silver, deer antler, deer teeth,
gray goose feathers.
Collection of the Artist

Today I did my volunteer work at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art. It was the annual "Family Day." I get to visit the museum and participate in the fun and look at the wonderful exhibit "Changing Hands:Art Without Reservation." This is piece moved me in light of the prayers I've been saying, the show was great!

I got a mention in the Frontiersman local newspaper the other day. YAY! The article: Does the often high-brow art world have a place in the Mat-Su?
The reporter said: Bagel's Alaska hosted last weekend's June opening with pieces from Shelley's and local folk artist Judy Vars' collections. Well I quite like being called a local folk artist It's been hard for me to label my art I don't know quite genre I fit into. So Folk Artist suits me fine.
folk-art (fkärt)n.
Art originating among the common people of a nation or region and usually reflecting their traditional culture, especially everyday or festive items produced or decorated by unschooled artists.

There is alot of high brow debate as to just what is a folk artist. Well it's not that snobby, pretentious artsy fartsy stuff. It's not low brow either. It's art created by folks who make art for the love of art. Folks like me who just want to communicate, tell a story, and share their art with others. Folk Artists don't need an arts degree to say, I AM AN ARTIST, they "just do it" YAALL

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Life and Death

I've had some sad news lately, a friend's grandson drowned in a lake. It was a terrible tragic accident and no ones fault really. He played on a raft when his mom said NO. The wind carried him out very quickly people tried to reach him but could not get him in time. The raft hit a buoy and he fell in and drown.
Today, I heard that a distant friend killed herself. She had kinky, curly, wild, red hair was a real hippy and one of the friendliest and warmest people I knew. While she wasn't a close friend, it make me happy when I saw her. I was happy knowing she is still around somewhere in my universe.
Life is so hard and painful and sometimes bad things happen to good people. Why? The randomness makes no sense to me. Life is a mystery.

If I knew how many days I have left to live I would be faithful, I would stop protecting myself from the pain and joy love brings, I would live my life with passion and stop being a coward.

Memento mori
is a Latin phrase that may be freely translated as "Remember that you are mortal and Remember you will die."

Prayer helps

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Stages of a Painting (start at the bottom of this post & read to the top)

Title: Alaska Summer Solstice
Medium: Original Oil
Dimensions: 18" X 24"
Artist: Judy Vars
Date: June 21, 2007

Some tiny touches and it is done. Another artist once told me "I always finish my art pieces, even If I don't like them there is something for me to learn." I try to follow his philosophy, I have many duds but I always try to finish what I start. This painting is quite nice if I do say so.
No still not finished. While painting I felt some raindrops on my head. Curious I thought since the sky is blue. I looked straight up and there was a little funny looking gray cloud raining on me. Well it made me laugh out loud and thank God for sending me a little cloud to make me smile and cool me off.
I added the clouds and mist and toned down the water. Still,there were many shades of green and the atmosphere of the low clouds. How I wish I could capture a landscape like Van Gogh. Would madness be the price?
More Paint! Landscapes are challenging. I observed the colors, atmosphere, sun, clouds and bring it home, a photograph in my mind. I set my easel up on my deck in the sunshine to paint. Now it's time to get busy. But I'm thinking it would be nice to go back to the nature center and finish. But not after Mondays debacle! Bob Ross said "We don't make mistakes, we just have happy little accidents."This is the beginning of my landscape started at the Eagle River Nature Center.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Plenn Air Painting

It's summer and time to paint outside plenn air so yesterday I met some friends at the Eagle River Nature Center to paint Plenn Air. The day was perfect.
I packed my french easel, my paints, supplies, ducktape, bug dope, a chair, my camera and my tripod, canvas, water, lunch and I bungied it all to a little old lady trolley and hiked to the first observatory, it looked ridiculous and I felt like a nut. Plenn air painting must be easier than all that! I unpacked everything and proceeded to paint. The hikers, tourists and the guided nature tour about 20 of them stopped chatted and observed. I quickly got the general picture roughed in and decided to pack it in, so I roll my art supplies to my car and go for a hike. Judas Priest what a pain in the ass.
Karen and I hiked to this yurt.
Now that's the way to go! I decided to reserve it for my birthday. I will backpack in spend the night and paint plenn air all day in nature with some privacy. I will grab some serenity and recharge my energy. How to get everything there I'll need a big red wagon. Just Kidding.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Dedicated To My Dad Burt on Fathers Day

Title: Crying Angel Statue
Medium: Oil Painting with Faux Copper Patina
Dimensions: 10" X 6" (with frame)
Artist: Judy Vars
Date: June 2007

Thursday while I was in Anchorage I stopped by the Salvation Army Thrift Store. This is how I get much of my junk err treasures for my artwork. I spied this off white frame and bought it for $4.50. I liked the classical design, pineapple finial and acanthus leaves. I had some faux paint to make a copper patina on any surface, given to me by Nikki before she left for Roswell. Then inspiration! Why not patina the frame green and paint a weathered angel statue to match. I took a nice angel photo last spring while visiting the city Cemetery in Charlotte, NC, so I used it to paint the bust of an angel statue. It turned out quite lovely although after 25 photographs in every light and setting, this picture is just ok. I can't seem to get the green patina on the frame to photograph, in life they match perfectly.

Art is an expensive undertaking and so I love using the things I can rummage and find to create beautiful one of a kind works of art. It gives me such satisfaction to make new and unique creations from the things others discard. I have trained all my friends save unusual things and give them to me for my art work. They are tickled when these objects find their way into my art.

I love you Daddy and hope I make you proud.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

This is how I feel - I'm not a rocket scientist

Sometimes I feel guilty and think that I am having too much fun painting, creating and making some money doing what I love. So I go out into the world and apply for regular jobs. Today I took a civil servant test. I did not pass it for the second time! WHAAAAS UUUP? I consider myself a person of above average intelligence. I'm confused,(what the hell does that mean I'm dumb?!). I've got looks, talent, and brains. WTF, LOL, so KMA XOXOXOXO :).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Zen of Photography - Miksang

Mr. Nelson the cat likes to bite the heads off the mice and leave them lying about the yard for the flies to eat. This little photo was taken with the telephoto setting on my camera.

I learned a new word/concept today from Robert Genn" at The Painters Keys newsletter. Miksang The art of contemplative photography the Tibetan word miksang translates to mean "good eye." Fascinating isn't it? At photography I am a dilettante. My camera is an Olympus with 7.1 megapixles, 10 X zoom, it has a macro lens, and I can make 45 second movies. It's a neat camera. Just take out your digital camera and walk around your around the yard and take photos using the macro. Afterwards have a slide show you will be taken away, Zen-like, to a world of amazing detail, colour and design.

This is what I saw the beautiful iridescent green colors of their bodies shining in the sun. Not a nasty dead mouse with no head and some filthy flies laying their icky maggot eggs.
"To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour." (William Blake)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Out of the Box and Raven Mockers

The show with Lindsey Shelley "Out of the Box" turned out great. Lots of people came and really, really seemed to enjoy the artwork. The weather was perfect which in Alaska means that people prefer to stay outside doing outdoor activities so the folks that came for the art and stayed for the bluegrass music are greatly appreciated. One person wrote in my guest book "Your works of art have a mind of their own." love it!

I took a commission for a smaller version of "Resplendent Resurrection" This piece was formerly called "Raven Skeleton Man." Yesterday while looking on the web at "spirit houses" for an idea I have simmering, I happened upon the Cherokee and Appalachian myth of the Raven Mockers. These are humanoid creatures that take on the appearance of ravens. Raven mockers will swoop in when someone is sick and dying and will beat them to death and steal the rest of their days. It is said sometimes the throes of death are actually the raven mockers beating them. The relatives of the sick person will post medicine men outside the door to keep these Raven Mockers from getting to the person before their time. It's weird that unconsciously I depicted a Raven Mocker. I suppose the reference to the raven mocker is a little too obscure to change it now.

I have this interesting raven skull that I was going to attach to the painting but decided against it. This one flew into my wood pile and broke his neck. I put the head into a bait trap and left it in the lake for a few months to let the fish and water bugs clean it up. Now I have this cool raven skull. The raven is a protected species and I shouldn't have any parts that is why I did not put it on the painting so Please don't tell anyone. Pleeeeeeeeze I'm begging you.------>

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Loon on her Nest

I took my flat bottom Pelican boat with the electric motor out to visit Mrs Loon today. Isn't she pretty? I got so close to her and snapped these pictures. It was so cool that she didn't see me as a threat. She just sat there on her nest and looked pretty.
It really annoys me when people go out on the lake with their gas motor boats dumping oil and gas into the lake. Don't they have a consicence?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I'm ready for my close-up Mr. De Mille

OK lets admit it we're all a little vain, yes? I wanted to have a photo on my blog that I actually like. Invariably people say "that doesn't look like you" I have so seldom had photographs taken of me that I like. In Hollywood the stars of the "Golden Age" like Gloria Swanson they were always photographed from their best side in perfect lighting. I love those black and whites. In a beauty magazine I read once, "carry your self always as if you were being photographed from every angle", imagine that! I'm not smiling in this photo but I do look dramatic and sensual. Don't you think?
Patti, if you are reading this you inspired me with your pin-ups. I am going to honor the Diva inside and have my celebration of my womans sensuality. Come back later when I'll ready for my close-up.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

"Winter Trees"

The paint is still wet on this one. I love painting birch trees and each time I paint one it sells! It's one of my bread and butter pieces. I did pretty good considering my trigger thumb. I woke up a couple of weeks ago and the first joint in my right thumb did not want to move when I force it it goes off like a trigger. I am supposed to wear a thumb immobilizer for 10 days and the tendon will heal but I rip it off every 10 minutes to do something (like paint). It's very frustrating. I think it's really bloggers thumb. So I'll make it short tonight.
Title: Winter Trees
Medium: Original Oil
Dimensions: 2 panels 24" X 8"
Artist: Judy Vars
Date: June 3, 2007

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Mary Mother of Jesus in Lights!

Title: Mary Mother of Jesus
Medium: Encaustic Wax and Oil
Dimensions: 26" X 16"
Artist: Judy Vars
Date: 2004
Don't be frightened, Mary," the angel told her, "for God has decided to wonderfully bless you! Luke 1-30