Sunday, September 30, 2007

I just Love this Boy



Porter Whitear
Senior Picture
Taken by: Paula Pettijohn
Northern Exposure Photography

Sunrise: 7:59
Sunset: 7:41

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Matanuska Glacier (the way it was)


Title: Matanuska Glacier (the way it was)
Artist: Ann Wilson
Size: H 46" X W 78"
Created: 1985-1986

Carmen Summerfield and I took a beautiful fall drive up the Glenn Highway to Chickaloon to see a painting by a woman named Ann Wilson, 83 years. Ann called me out of the blue and asked for some help to help her give this work of art to the State of Alaska. A call for service! I'm on the case. I called Carmen and we went to see the painting not knowing what to expect. The painting exceeded all expectations it was grand.

Ann has been a prolific painter creating portraits, animals, horses and landscapes for friends and family. Her cozy home is remote but she is not alone her granddaughter Dorthy stays close to help her and daughter Donna lives close by.
It was fun to see her scrapbook, paint box, sketch book. I told her that the painting reminded me of the romantic style of
Sydney Lawrence and Ann told me she knew Sydney and talked to him frequently. When she would call him and ask "how his painting was going?" he said "never mind me, how is your painting going" always full of encouragement. Ann also knew Fred Machetanz another iconic Alaskan Artist.

It makes me wonder why a talented woman who painted prolifically with as much beauty and passion as these men is relatively unknown? I can't think of a woman artist that has attained the same fame in Alaska. If anyone knows of a renowned woman painter in Alaska please let me know.

I respect her desire to donate her painting in the hopes that many people will see and admire this wonderful work of art and a glimpse of the Matanuska Glacier (the way it was). The glacier was at least 200 feet thicker vertically in Ann's painting, it melts at an alarming rate and recedes every year.
This so so photograph of the glacier was taken from the turnout yesterday you can see the difference in the ice.

Sunrise: 7:49am
Sunset: 7:53pm

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Good Place To Start

Today is the Fall Equinox and a good place to start counting down to the shortest day of the year December 21st. The moon is full and the day light hours are at an even 12 hours.
To celebrate this date I baked some bread. My Grandmother Blanche taught me how. I love to make bread on a rainy day it helps me warm the house and my heart it's perfect comfort food.
There is something about the live yeast making the dough raise, the kneading and forming the loaves and the smell of baking bread that is so satisfying.

Bread represents Christs body in the sacrament, a loaf fed the crowd in the Beatitudes, the manna from heaven God gave the Israelites when they whined and complained, so many references to bread in the Bible and literature. Tomorrow I am going to share a loaf with my neighbor.

Sunrise: 7:50am
Sunset: 7:49pm 11 hours and 59 minutes of daylight
Moonrise: 7:22pm
Moonset: 7:52am
Full Moon: 10:46am

This winter will be different. I will try not to get the flu if I can help it and I have decided not to take any antidepressants this winter for SAD or Cabin Fever. Last year I went to the doc and said; I've got migraines and I'm hormonal and I get Prozak! WTF? They dispense them like candy around here. I know whats best for me and antidepressants don't do a damn thing to improve things when I'm down. So this winter I will stay positive and keep SAD (seasonal affect disorder) from laying me low. If anyone has any tricks or suggestions to keep my spirits up please let me know. I'm willing to try anything!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I Create A World

This is a photo of a corner of my studio messy yes but from chaos and uncertainty comes creation.

The piece in the background I painted over 15 years ago. The angel is standing on a pedestal and is carved from ivory the little carved bear on the tundra is looking up at the angel who sits in the firmament of heaven. The box frame says "Through my Passion, Power and Beauty. I create a world where others recognize their unique spirits and all live in Joy and a Celebration of Life" this is my personal mission statement.

This painting was I think the seed for my Great Alaskan Adventure. While living in Salt Lake City, I became claustrophobic even though the majestic Wasatch Mountains surround the valley there was no place to in nature to be alone and refresh my spirits even the closest canyon was closed off unless you paid $5.00 to get in. I would drive for hours just to find some place to be at peace in nature but my restless spirit could not be appeased.

It was crazy, to leave family and friends at my age and start over. Still I was compelled by forces that I didn't understand to come to Alaska and nurture my spirit with the best Mother Nature has to offer.

This I need to remind myself that here in Alaska "I created a world where others can live in Joy and a Celebration of Life" my days are full with people I love and that love me, I have a son that makes me proud, friends tell me that I am inspirational and fun to be around. I have time to paint and create with nature in my back yard. My life is as I pictured it could be filled with my passion, power and beauty. My attitude makes me as happy as I dare to be.

The universe gave me my hearts desire now God give me the courage to trust my self and accept your gifts graciously.
Joy to the World, joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea, Joy to You and Me.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Beautiful Crisp Fall Day In the Mat-Su Valley

Today I took myself for a little ride to enjoy the beautiful Fall day before Winter sets in. This is a stand of old cottonwood trees in Palmer. I tried to ask permission to go inside and photograph the trees. It was a farm with several houses and was loaded with children, playing in tree houses, jumping on the trampoline, helping mom it was an idyllic scene. Grandma said sure but the cows graze in there and the fence is hot!
Well I'm glad I asked! The picture was taken from my car window away from the hot fence.
The snow on the mountains is fondly called termination dust; summer is officially terminated.

The small hill is called the Butte it was formed by two glaciers pushing the earth to form a big hill.


This last image is just a few moment ago on the deck a moon rise. Benson ran outside and won't come to me when I call and I want to go to bed.

Today I am so grateful to have beauty all around me and that I'm alive to appreciate it all.
thank you My Lord for another day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Spooky Old House

I am painting each one of my grandchildren a Halloween painting. This is the first one, it looks like my Grandmother Genevas old house in Idaho the house is still there. It was built around 1890 and hasn't been inhabited since 1967. The place was haunted when I was a little girl, I wonder if it still is.
When Mom, Patty my sister and I went to see it about 10 years ago it was still standing.
I picked up some glass bottles, rusty keys, thread bobbins, and old magazines, great stuff for my art. Grandma was a saver (a nice word for pack rat) and there are still hidden treasures.

It's very scary place at night, once I literally scared the pee out of my brother and sister. Years ago we went to visit the old place as a family and decided to spend the night.
My husband and I snuck away after my sister and brother were safely tucked in their sleeping bags and snoring away peacefully. Then we came running up yelling like a couple of axe murders. It was so hilarious to see them try to run in terror zipped in their mummy bags.
The joke worked so good I felt a little bad, no wonder they call me a mean -itch. I was notorious for playing mean jokes on my little siblings. The retelling still gives me a certain evil glee as I cackle like a witch.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Down By The River or another reason not to live in Alaska


So I took Benson my lab for a nice run down by the river. There was a big gate and this sign. Would you go to Deliverence Holler? WTF? say it like a dumb redneck. YOU WELL BE SHOT
There was a nasty rotting moose head by the river Godfather style! Good God! The hungry bears are the very least of yer problems. I was just afraid Benson would run in there and get some lead in his head.

Here's the real kicker it's a public road!!!!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Self Portrait and Shakespeare Tonight


To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Hamlet

Friday, September 14, 2007

Two Spirit Houses and the Impassive Moon


impassive(im pas'iv), adj 1. without emotion" apatetic: unmoved. 2. calm serene. 3. unconcious, insensible 4. not subject to suffering

My brother is still in a coma the brain is gone and his heart beats on,
leaving ours broken, suffering and praying for answers.

That's just not fair! Hey, sometimes life is not fair.

The Soap Opera Queen and other Lamentations


TITLE: The Soap Opera Queen
Artist: Judy Vars
Meduim: Encaustic Wax
Size: H 15" X W 13"
Price: $150.00
Go to Boundless Gallery and search for Vars, Judy

The Soap Opera Queen was not finished after all.

Its strange how different our own perceptions can be from other people, like recently when I was a substitute art teacher. I thought it went really well. I waited two days for the teacher to call me and say how it went, finally I called her. Not Good! When I let a kid try to sign on to her computer, just to prove that he really did need a password it messed up her settings and other things (I don't know how) she is understandably very aggravated, the principle had a negative impression because I was late one minute late (it's very, very bad to be late to school) and I showed them a movie (I was told to show them a movie). Almost a direct quote "this school runs a tight ship and we use a core group of subs that are degreed substitute teachers." YEA, UH HUH, They will call me again when they need me guaranteed.

On the up side the teacher said the kids did not need to be peeled off the walls indicating that I kept them under control. What ev, I asked myself, did I do my best? And the answer is YES.

Well I've lamented over this enough and it's time to shake it off and move on with my day. The sun is out and it's beautiful.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ode to the Universe

Title: Ode to the Universe
Artist: Judy Vars
Medium:Encaustic beeswax,moss,ceramic lamb,glitter,paint and leaves
Not For Sale

And so from hour to hour we ripe and ripe,
And then from hour to hour we rot and rot;
And thereby hangs a tale.
--William Shakespeare, As You Like It

The Teachers Pet NOT!

I've been sub-teaching for two weeks for an art teacher.
Today I taught 6,7th and 8th graders to draw a face in perspective and I talked about creating a self portrait. I tried to draw out their feelings about themselves, how they wear their hair, how they are going to reinvent themselves, whether or not they had a good summer. I secretly want to be an art therapist.

Just when I was starting to feel like an art teacher my sub-job is over. Trying to teach 6th, 7th and 8th graders is crazy making. They are at that insane age when the hormones are in overdrive pouring into the body all kinds of feelings, impulses, urges. Last year I said I hate those junior high kids they are so naughty. But it was because I hated being that age. Then I remembered little Judy. When I was 13 I dyed my hair black and wore my bangs in my eyes. I wore so much eye makeup that I had black holes for eyes. My favorite outfit was a black mini skirt, orange and black top and socks that match with go-go boots. With my ratted hair out to there I was quite a fox.

My home life was so overwhelming it was hard to concentrate in class. I was never any teachers pet and didn'nt trust authority. Remembering and accepting myself when I was a teen turned my attitude around. Now I say those crazy junior high kids are so much fun, I just love them all to pieces.

Patti, if you read this thanks for the cool lesson plan you saved me.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Queen of the Soap Opera



TITLE: The Queen of The Soap Opera
MEDIUM: Encaustic Wax Collage
Artist: Judy Vars
Size: 15 1/2 H X 12 1/2 W
Price: $75.00

Yes. somewhere in the midst of this weeks drama I did manage to create a peice of art. Behold the ultimate drama queen; The Queen of the Soap Opera

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Too Cute for Words

I can't help it I'm having a proud Grandma moment. These fingerprint characters are by my gra,ndson Jackson are just the cuttest little things I've seen all day. He is soooooo talented. Lately I've been looking at artwork done by children and I'm getting blown away by their simple straight foreward honesty. Later we all forget how to be innocent and how to communicate as a child. I wish that kind of inspiration could be canned.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Wet Dreams

I am on a ocean liner like the Titanic and it's sinking. Just like the movie I am making my way through the ship. I see people in life boats I see people on jet skis I people freezing in the water. One room has an elegant lady who is tidying her quarters, one room has a couple of women trying on different outfits and preening in the mirror. There are hallways and passages. My objective to to reach the bow of the ship. I reach the bow of the ship and it is horozontal and sinking into the ocean, I jump into the water to my suprise the ocean is warm just like a bathtub and I do the back stroke away from the sinking ship.

Are there any dreamologists that can interperet this one?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Brother's Fine Red Wool Hat


If I could have knit you a fine red wool hat I would have.
It would be made from the world’s finest wool, it would be a very handsome hat, care-fully knitted to protect your hard round noggin and keep your big ears warm.

Your Fine Red Hat would bring tons of compliments people would say things like;
I sure do love your awesome hat! And that hat makes you look so smart and confident. I wish I had a hat as cool as that. Where ever did you get it?

You'd proudly say; my big sister knitted this hat for me.
It took her a lifetime; she used the finest wool and knitted every stitch with love.
She made it red because blood is thicker than water and it's my favorite color.
She made it to protect my hard round noggin and to keep my big ears from freezing in the wind.