As with all great notions it started with a daydream; move to Alaska and settle down in a cozy cabin, next to a lake, with my beloved other, my dogs and family. Paint and make ART to my hearts content. It's been a long road, today I am fortunate to have realized that dream. My blog is mostly about ART and sometimes everything else.
Today I treated myself to this gorgeous Fushia Dark Eyes the petals look like ribbons, these plants will not survive the winters in Alaksa unless they have a green house, perhaps we can put it in the garage come winter. Our new garage has in in floor heat and will be cozier than our house. That is why I have not been blogging lately, we've been installing insulation and dry wall, it kicked my ass. The dirt man is coming this week then the gas and electricity needs to be hooked up and it is getting closer to completion. My mantra lately has been "Get Er Done" When I moved here everyone had houses in various stages of construction with Ty-Vec exterior. I said; no way! will I be one of those people with a house half finished for years, careful what you say, our the garage has been in stages for years! one neighbor commented; when will they put the roof on that thing? It was embarrassing, so this is the summer we will finally finish. The thing is huge, Peter will have his shop, I will have my paint booth there is room for two vehicles and lots of other things like a boat, Harley, ARGO, snow machines (2) etc. (I'm fantasizing really)
Every true Alaskan has a huge shop/garage for all their toys and hobbies so I'll get mine too. Here we all must make hay while the sun shines, because summer is so short we all get manic to do it all. GET ERRRR DONE
Beth was our model for the last two days isn't she hot and pretty?
This is my painting the photograph is poor and the painting is not finished so I shouldn't show you this but I want to share it anyway.
This is Dawn with her landscape she looks so proud of her awesome painting. The class was so much fun and I learned so much and I know in the weeks and months to come I will still be learning and remembering. Tomorrow I'll go over my notes and put them in a journal like Dean suggested. It's late and all this painting kicked my butt but WHAT A GREAT WEEK!
The whole class what a bunch of talented creative artists all assembled in one room.
The instructor Dean Larson kept telling me to put darker values in the eye area finally he sat down in front of my painting and lightly glazed dark lines through the whole shadow area, now I get it, the values need to be in the same family. He daubed on some paint here and there and after he did that the painting improved immensely. Today was harder in the afternoon I had a hard time keeping my focus. There is one guy in the class a 6o years old man that loves to talk about everything from speaking 5 languages fluently, to being the first tax collector in AK, working at the UN, being a nurse, but when he said he was a good fellow (mafia) in Chicago I realized he might delusional. But it was just non stop talking and about totally irrelevant things and personal stuff. I kept thinking how his wife must be enjoying peace and quiet. Finally I stepped out into the other room and discreetly put in my ear plugs and when I concentrated on my breathing in and out I could not hear a thing. Was that rude? Was it just me? I hope he dosen't read this but its true yatta, yatta, yatta Blah, blah, blah non-stop. The classroom has no ventilation and some people are complaining so it's not perfect still I look foreward to tomorrows painting class, even the talker.
http://www.deanmlarson.com/ I'm taking his workshop for the week at the college, last night I was so excited I kept waking up. Dean Larson is a talented and experienced artist from San Francisco he has a relaxed and friendly teaching style. We had a live model which was a happy unexpected bonus his name is James the hubby of Mary.
In the morning he lectured and demonstrated then we painted our own version this is mine in the first stage. And in the afternoon he lectured and gave a landscape demonstration. This is the start of my ocean scape taken in Hawaii some of the students are going outside to paint plenn air. I should try especially since it is out of my comfort zone. Well,,,,,,I should get to bed at a decent hour so I can be bright eyed and bushy tailed 6:30 am comes early.
Midnight. I just watched "Romance and Cigarettes" with James Gandofini , Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Christopher Walkin and every actor whose work I like, It was a love story for the ages with all the other love stories combined. There was music, dance, sex and poetry with great oldie songs, but don't let that stop you it was a good movie. I give this flick my ***** star rating.
This photo was just taken from my deck I'll call it "Full Moon and Cigarettes" It's time for sleep,
My wonderful Friend Yoby called me the other day and left a song on my answering phone "You Are My Sunshine My Only Sunshine" so I called her back and sang "Give Said The Little Stream" a song I learned when I was about 3 years old. She called back and sang "Happy Mothers Day To You" and I in return sent her the "I Love Myself the Way I am Song."
I love myself the way I am, there's nothing I need to change.I'll always be the perfect me, there's nothing to rearrange.I'm beautiful and capable, of being the best me I can.And I love myself, just the way I am.
Silly I know but that simple gesture of hers reminded me that singing little songs that I learned as a child immediately lifts my spirits , it even prompted me to perform a random act of kindness that no one else knows about (except me). It feels good to help others and be more cheerful. Now we are collecting little uplifting songs like "I Am A Child Of God." Thank you Yobbers for being "you, you, you oh wonderful you."
"M" is for the million things she gave me, "O" means only that she's growing old, "T" is for the tears she shed to save me, "H" is for her heart of purest gold; "E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining, "R" means right, and right she'll always be,
Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER," A word that means the world to me.
Title: Raven and Salmon # 6 Artist: Judy Vars Medium: Encaustic Wax Dimensions: H. 16" X W. 24" Price: 295.00
I just finished this piece an hour ago and it will be on display at the Valley Arts Alliance event, the "For the Birds" Art Show at the Loon Attic, located at 2061 E. Palmer-Wasilla Highway in Wasilla. The Alaska Wild Bird Rehab Center will bring their live birds to enjoy and learn about our feathered friends. The art will be on display until June 13th. As always if you are interested in purchasing my art please contact me through my e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org so we can work out the details. Comments, critiques and cudos are always appreciated.
Ok-yes i know how you feel about dead animals me too, I love them alive and left alone in nature to be themselves, however I noticed something today, that we had 2 moose antlers, dall sheep skull, bison horns, moose skull musk ox horns, baleen, reindeer antlers, whale vertebrae, fox skin, wolf skin, raven skull, bear skin, even mastodon tusk and other assorted bones and such. Peter is a carver so they collect over time, YIKES! how did I let my house get over run with bones and such?
Our friend Sheryl gave Peter this black bear skin saying she had no place for it anymore, (like I do) still I accepted the gift. I am leaving it on the bed as a joke for Peter. As for the rest of the things I put them into a big box and took them out to the old outhouse/shed, hopefully he will not miss them for a while. It was all feeling way, way to yin (masculine) for me, now that they have been taken out and the atmosphere in the house is less heavy and dense and balance has been restored temporally at least.
Spring has finally arrived to my corner of Alaska, I had the windows washed, raked some leaves next I will plant flowers, fill the bird feeders and my tree hammock awaits. The ice left the lake today and the loons returned last night waking me up to their loud beautiful call. I wonder if I could get a recording of it and put it on my blog for others to enjoy???
p.s. I was told to bring them back inside lest they detriorate. $%$#^%&^%$T ohhh he makes me so mad sometimes.
Friday when I took the salmon "A Natural Beauty at 50" to the I.B.E.W http://www.wildsalmononparade.com/. I was so proud. The woman at the reception desk was impressed with the realness of it, the woman handling the fish was in love with it and several men came out of their offices to say WOW! So now it's gone no longer in my hands and I was having some separation anxiety and worries about the fishes life from here on out. While encaustic wax will not melt until it reaches 160 degrees, it might, I've never tested the theory outdoors, also the curious can scratch the body and frequently vandals hurt the art, and unscrupulous meanies steal the fish. So I said a prayer; please God take care of the salmon and please see that it get put indoors a place like the Alaska Performing Arts Center, or the Anchorage Museum of History and art would be the best places for it." AMEN
Last night in conjunction with Dawn and my show Paul Pike of Medicine Dream http://www.medicinedream.com/ was giving a solo performance. Great show in an intimate setting, while it was way too loud the songs were good and he explained them fully. Their genre of powwow and pop music blended together is quite good , but when he sang a native song over a hundred and fifty years old with the drum I felt my goose flesh rising, the words and sounds that I could not understand on an intellectual level resonated in my soul and he played a love song on his flute is was so hauntingly beautiful I just about cried.
The lake ice is about 25 feet out from the shore now, Benson our choc lab has been for a swim I saw two trumpeter swans today, some green headed ducks, and heard the cranes flying so high you can hardly see them. Spring and Summer is coming again to Alaska and during this time I cannot even dream of vacationing anywhere else, the natural beauty and wildlife it is beyond description. This summer I am getting out in nature more!