Friday, August 31, 2007

I've Been Teaching Art

Shorty the Lion
Max Barker (my grandson)

All week long I've been substitute teaching in a junior high art class and I also taught reading. What an experience those kids are at that right in between age. They are seeing how much they can get away with, the little darlings "NOT".
Now that's one job that not everyone is willing to do teach. Bless our teachers hearts. The students say "can I go to the bathroom",touch, grab, play, make wisecracks, whine, bribe, fib,ask questions and more questions. YIKES!
How can you teach anything to that bunch? I gave a lesson in the basics, line, form, shape, texture, color and we did a fun abstract picture using these elements. They were challenging and talented and I made it through.
When the week was over one of the teachers said "you did wonderful job." I said "Wow, really?? Thanks."

This was posted in the hall: ART the first language of a child is drawing. art is a universal and basic language the inclination to express oneself visually begins early. Its subsequent development is fundamental for every person and essential for our society. This the the job for our art educators. Help preserve the first language of youth promote and support art education in American Schools.

Purple Guy
Jackson Barker (my grandson)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pic-O-the-Day - Sunset

My friend Linda left last night on the red eye. Her stay was nice we had some fun I took her to Girdwood, the Palmer Museum and showed her my art work and we did our favorite thing shopping at thrift stores and yard sales and eating good food and talking. Even though the years had aged us both are still Linda and Jude. Today she is gone and I feel a little bereft.

We met when we were wild teenagers. I got married when I was 17 and had four kids. Linda choose not to get married and have children. I honed skills such as compassion, tolerance and care taking and she honed skills such as courage, perseverance and candor. We both learned to use our talents and survive. We are radically different women. Life has taken some crazy turns yet paradoxically still the same girls. We never thought much of getting older, life was still out there and so much of it, we took incredible risks, had many experiences, attended the school of hard knocks, had successes, a few failures, loved and lost, buried some loved ones. Yet here we are a couple of middle aged broads more experienced for sure and able to see life from a vantage of being older, smarter and wiser and wondering where did the frickin time go?

Linda took today's Pic-O-The Day A fiery sunset in August it seems poetic like and a couple of old broads still setting the world on fire!

Always your friend

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Old Friends - Linda & Judy

Linda and Judy

My friend Linda Nielsen arrived today from Manti, Utah. We haven't seen each other for 12 years and have been friends since the seventh grade here we are about 15 years old.
We have been reminiscing and looking at photos all evening, there is alot of history there from the days of yore. we were on the life boat together we went through some hard teen aged times and still are the best of friends. We are taking a road trip tomorrow like Thelma and Louise so more to come.
and Judy and Linda 40 flippin years later.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pic-O-the-Day Tiger Lilys on the Deck

This photo was taken tonight by Peter, it's a great photograph the depth of field is nice.

School has started and summer is fading fast there are some beautiful flowers still in bloom and the trees are still green. We are having beautiful cool summer days.
I love the temperature here in the summertime never too hot always just right even when it rains. I feel sorry for the folks who have to endure ever rising temperatures in the lower 48 states. Global warming is happening and up here in Alaska the effects are devastating our glaciers are melting and temperatures are getting warmer, I've noticed the winters seem milder in the 12 years I've been here. But talk to me again when it's 30 degrees below zero for 7 straight days and your nose hairs freeze. Ah Oh it is bad to mention the W-t-er word, cancel cancel.


Dearest Judy,

I can't believe it's been another year. At this rate, in the blink of an eye we soon will have been dead for 20 years. Grandpa Nelson REALLY did not want to go to the next whatever.
It bugged him big time that life would go on, for all those he loved and those who loved him, with not much more than a hiccup in their lives. I guess that's just what it is, eh?

Ah so.

Now that I've finished my depressing diatribe I'll tell you the reason I'm writing.
It's to let you know how very special you are and have always been to me. I think the world of you. I so adore your 'eclecticism' if there is such a word. I don't have memories of most of my life yet of you I have a remarkably large smattering.... pictures in my mind of us here and there. You're one of the few people I've been impressed by and with forever. You're truly remarkable.

Happy birthday, dear friend. My prayer for you is that your heart and life are filled with love, giggles, joy and as much chocolate as you can possibly consume. My prayer for myself and the rest of the world is that you continue to let your light, eccentricism, unique artistic talent, love and radiant encompassing smile warm all those who come in contact with you.

All the words I think of, and say or don't say, aren't powerful enough to let you know how truly impressive you are so I'll close by saying I love you.

Thanks for being you. You ROCK! L :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

"When Pigs Fly" and "Horses Asses"

Yes! it is my birthday all day today, my hubby forgot again! gurrrrrrrr I was grumpy for a little while then I went to the Alaska State Fair to judge the art and forgot all about it.

What an enlightening experience. Some of the art was interesting, some beautiful, some showed great technical skill and some of it was quite lame. We critiqued everything we agreed and disagreed and really got picky,picky,picky. The grand champion intrestingly enough went to a 10 year old girl! It was a watercolor of a cat and a lion, hard to describe the colors were blue and orange it really grabbed you and made you smile. The children's art was generally very good they have an amazing talent for expressing things in a simple and whimsical manner. It seems that between the ages of 13 to 17 some get lazy and they are into anamie and cars. I loved this one of the pigs. I managed to get the other judges to agree to give it at least an honorable mention. We were each given a judges choice award so I put it on "Pigs Flying East" by Barbara Hunt of Palmer, Alaska. I loved it! They wanted me there for my quirky input so that is what they got.

The wonderful women in my life, Daughter Nicole, Daughter Charmaine, Former Mother in Law Vilate and Jeannie all wished me Happy Birthday and made my day special.
The men in my life, well they are just horses asses. Somehow when pigs fly seems appropriate. I see horses asses with different mens names painted on their butts trotting into the sunset.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Dream: Spirit Houses

Title: Spirit Houses
Medium: Encaustic Wax
Dimensions: 12 1/2" x 7 3/4"
Artist: Judy Vars
Date: August 16, 2007

Our dreams are rich with symbolism such as the house. I often dream of interiors; hotels, houses, even haunted mansions. I am going from one place to another sometimes lost, visiting with people some alive and some dead. Dreaming of a house symbolizes a larger aspect of you, your soul. The rooms represent different aspects of your personality.

My spirit houses are tethered to the earth with web like silver threads. My Spirit Houses are floating up high with the clouds with the moon and the stars. The blacks, grays and silver are the colors of the unconscious mind, the colors of night of sleeping and dreaming. Three (3) houses is a significant number representing the trinity; body, mind, spirit. The symbolism of the moon denotes female energy, intuitiveness, even madness and lunacy. The star means new birth and changes in ones life.

I am a dream lover and a dream weaver.

If you are interested in purchasing any of my art work please contact me via e-mail.

Go here for some campy fun! but warning don't get lost in U-Tube land
40 Common Dreams

Sweet Dreams Darlings

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Pic-O-the-Day One Pissed Off Magpie

This silly magpie got trapped in the porch today it was stealing the cat food. I made it pose for a picture before I shooed it out with the broom.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Glimpse of Heaven on Earth

I will never forget my trip Alaska, Joel, Porter and I were driving north to Alaska. We stopped in Calgary, Canada we were having fun in the park, suddenly a squelch of water from the sky hit my head like a water baloon, and then the sky opened up and dumped what felt like a bathtub of water upon us. We ran to the car and began to drive away from town. Cars were floating in the slow lane of the highway. I deftly drove around them fording the flood. We drove this way for hours in the rain looking for a motel to spend the night. We had been camping up until that night but not tonight.

As we were driving further north, the rain stopped, the air had that fresh, positive, clean feeling that rain leaves behind, and this is what we saw.The greenest of greens pastoral scene, a row of poplars lining the road casting long dark emerald shadows, a clear bright double rainbow the kind you can see from start to finish, the remnants of a fiery sunset and a low full harvest moon with a silvery, blue ring around it. Awe and a peace flooded my soul. I asked myself is it possible to have all these things occur at one time? Yet here is was a special glimpse of heaven, as we passed through Canada a place we’ve never been before going towards a place we’ve yet to see I thanked my creator for a wonderful world and
took it as a good omen.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I'm A Barbara Streisand Fan and Proud of It!!!

Yes, since I was a thirteen year old girl I have been in love with her. I am a die hard fan of Barbara Streisand. I used to play her records over and over and watch her movies again and again. I especially loved "The Owl and the Pussycat" and "The Prince of Tides" and "a Star is Born" I love all her work. I know that my infatuation with Barbara comes close to idol worship and I don't care. She is brilliant, strong, sings like an angel, and she is so beautiful with a profile like a proud mast head on a ship.
Once I wanted to see her HBO special so my girlfriend and I checked into the Hilton because we did not have cable TV, we watched her special on the hotel room television. Crazy huh? My friend Yevonne said wistfully "I want to be Barbara Streisand."

I have clippings, records, photographs, biographies, and because I was such a fan an old friend Kay got me her autograph. She was the chef for Peter Guber a producer that made many of my favorite movies.
We stayed with her in the guest house many years ago. I had never been to Hollywood before and there I was hanging out with the rich and famous. Well not really, but I did look around their home and go shopping at the Beverly Hills grocery store with carpet on the isles. WoW what a house! they had a tennis court on the hill side and underneath the court was a movie theatre, a projection room, bar, popcorn machine and fancy white leather seats to view the movies. I was so impressed and star struck (at the time) with all the money and luxuries that Hollywood moguls had.

This is how I got Barbara's autograph, she was at the Malibu beach house doing Yoga with Peters Guber's wife during the time she went with Jon Peters her hairdresser. Kay (my friend the chef) was preparing them a healthful salad, when they were done exercising she said Barbara started noshing the salad and kibitzing with her, so Kay asked for an autograph for me Barb graciously gave it to her.

I cherish this piece of paper and keep it like a talisman, this woman has been a major inspiration in my life and given me many hours of enjoyment, her signature makes her more tangible to me, I have a personal connection with a mega star and contrary to some peoples opinion is a nice lady.
For Judy, Best Wishes, Barbara Streisand.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Make a Scene Magazine

Go and check out Medicine Dream Medicine Dream a local group with national acclaim.
I've seen them several times and they are a great band in the Native American genre.

I was inside for upcoming underground ART exhibits. Look at Briony Fryfogles Family Tree it's rich with symbolism and roots.
Annie Aube Go look at this art it so feminist and disturbing.
No way! I have known these guys for years. Josh and Bryan are major computer geeks and good friends of the family, they have kept my computer running for years. Their band THEORY OF HATE (heavy metal) is opening act for MEGADETH at the Egan Center, Anchorage September 4th. see these guys @ ~Way TO GO!~

The Mat-Su Valley is getting all artsy-fartsy-n-shit it looks like I am in good company.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Summer Birch Trees

I started this painting with high hopes on a large canvass 48x24 inches. I wanted to create a beautiful painting that looked like a stained glass cathedral in nature. I painted it plenn air dedicating many hours in Jeanies garden looking at her many beautiful colored flowers. Then I brought it home and painted the trees etc. Admittedly I am in a bad mood today because of P's rude immature behavoir. Maby it's not finished but I think it is u-g-l-y. I want to hide it in my closet. I tried to be sunshiney and gay and I get this mess-o-kaka. Ok here is the painting yuck!

This is What I Saw On My Walk Fungus Galore

Sunday, August 05, 2007

To everything; turn, turn, turn there is a season

It's been pouring rain all weekend so I felt like making some good tummy warming fish soup and crusty sourdough bread, YUM. It did my heart good to see my little family eating soup from my new tureen and having seconds.

August is going to be a busy month, my 8th wedding anniversary, and my 50 something birthday, my old friend Linda Nielson is coming from Manti, Utah, school starts and the state fair. I am planning to judge the art at the Alaska State Fair, do another encaustic demo, I signed up for being the snack shop coordinator for the Booster Club for my sons football team Houston Hawks. Now, I consider myself a good mom but I have not in the past been a part of PTA, Boy Scouts, etc. But since Porter is my last child so I have doted on him more than the others and do these things because he seems to really appreciate it when I do. My other three were raised by a different standard. They were much more self-sufficient and wished I would participate more in their activities. I was a different person. When I got divorced I told myself that I could do it all raise great kids, earn a great living just like a man, we made sacrifices and got by with lots of love. Now my son Porter and my grandson are playing video games and getting ready for bed, life had gone full circle.
In gratitude

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Check Out My New Bat House

After the day the little bat flew into my house I was smitten. The little creature was so homely and cute I kept it inside for a while. I didn't want to chase it around with the broom screaming like a banshe and traumatize the tiny creature. Late at night in the Alaskan twilight I see them flying and diving for bugs. Ever since that day I have wanted to give some bats a nice little home near my home. Google provides a wealth of information about bats and how to build a bat house. It turns out that bats fly close to waterways and I live on a lake. Bats thrive in a diverse eco system and I have many animals in my area. Bats eat their weight in mosquitoes and their guano is the greatest fertilizer in the whole world.
This bat house needs a little roof to deflect rain, it needs to be erected on a pole 12 to 25 feet in the air and a few feet from trees so they can find their home, it should have a predator guard. If I put it up before Winter in the Spring they may move in. I hope so.

In the art world I am working on a very large painting of summer birch trees and wildflowers when it is finished I will post the picture and put it for sale on Boundless Gallery. This is my day 10 of 90 exercizes in 90 days.