Thursday, November 27, 2008

Oh Thanksgiving

We have one of those narrow galley type kitchens. So when my hubby, daughter, son-in-law, brother, 1 son, 2 grand kids, Jim my neighbor and 5 dogs yes 5 (I'm not kidding) two dogs are just are visiting. When we all crowd into the kitchen it gets a little crazy. I however stood back and smiled and thought to myself, see what you created, A bountiful feast, happy people and plenty of love to go around. I have so much to be grateful for.

Tomorrow I am working at the Firefly Gallery but right now at nineish, I am ready to collapse after one more piece of pie.
Errrrrrp excuse me

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Blue Madonna

Title: The Blue Madonna
Medium: Oil indirect method
Size: 24" X 12"
Artist: Judy Vars
Price: 498.00
This is a modern icon which copies a fourteenth-century Serbo-Byzantine icon.
The slim elongated figure renders her seemingly weightless. Many coats of paint were glazed on giving it a rich laquered finish. She shines like a jewel.
Currently @: Madd Matters Gallery .101 East Artic Avenue . Palmer . Alaska

How to Buy: I accept checks, cash, and credit cards via PayPal. The latter is probably the easiest method -- and safest for both parties. If you would like to have my "Blue Madonna" please send me an e-mail that includes your request, your mailing address, and most importantly, your e-mail address. I will then send an invoice to your e-mail address, and we go from there.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Assemblage Art

After steady painting I need a break, assemblage is another creative outlet which I enjoy very much. An idea has been simmering in my subconscious for some time now. This summer I brought this rusty old typewriter home knowing it would become something again.Assemblage is an artistic process in which a three-dimensional artistic composition is made from putting together found objects.
To make an assemblage sometimes you must dis-assemble, here are sticker keys the holy grail of the typewriter, the piece I wanted. Now my nuckles are scraped and bleeding and I feel satisfied a sense of accomplishment. WD0-40 is my new best friend.

The raw ingredients have come together and my imagination is fired up, it is going to be a prayer machine/wailing wall of some kind. Check back with me this one is going to be flippin cool.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I did get out the other night!

Eric Deeter & Sharen Harris
At the Palmer Museum of History and Art, the board, artists, director, and others gathered to vote on the newest art acquisition. The artists that submitted art got a special invitation. It was an opportunity to schmoose with the Museum Board, Palmerites and other artists. And as my new BFF Sharen Harris reminded me it's a rule in Massachusetts we dress up after 7:00 p.m. Well up here in the frozen north we are in the habit of dressing for comfort and warmth, to us our newest fleece vest adorned with a pin, clean jeans and boots is dressing up and totally acceptable in Alaska. I took her advise however and put on some suitable evening attire. It turned out to be an excellent party, there was fancy h’ordeurves champagne, hot cider for me, a fruit centerpiece with pomegranates artfully arranged, it was very a nice gathering and I'm happy I dressed up a little for the ocassion.

My encaustic painting of Musk Oxen was not chosen but was well liked; Sharen’s Norman Rockwellesque depiction of downtown Palmer was chosen to be in the final five as was Eric Deeters work. Here is the link to the Anchorage Daily News story my name is mentioned and a picture of me sticking out my tongue, oh brother. Here is the article:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Is it Cabin Fever or just the classic SAD funk.

This year it hit me like a freight train it's Cabin Fever or the classic S.A.D. Seasonal Affect Disorder! I try to make jokes about it, like naming my business Cabin Fever In Alaska. Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, forgetfulness, excessive sleeping or eating a loaf of crusty bread. In years past I took various anti-depressants to ward of cabin fever this entails taking them months before the inevitable crash. In August when I am experiencing summer SAD with it symptoms of persistently elevated mood, increased social activity, hyperactivity and unbridled enthusiasm. this is when the doctor recommends i begin my anti-depressant regimen, before the other symptoms manifest. This year i did not consider falling under the train four months from then. Denial is one of the side effects.

I suspect i'm like alot of other people who secretly believe that to admit depression is like admitting defeat or mental or moral weakness. There is a certain stigma and shamefulness about not keeping your mental attitude healthy and not being able to manage your feelings.

But i will not go down without a fight: today i got out and took some art to Anchorage FireFly Gallery, and in spite of the sun setting i stopped off at Body Renewal and walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes, took my multivitamins heavy on the B complex, talked to my friends, and i monitored my thoughts carefully as to not allow "that first think" that always leads to the "second think" and before i know what hit me i'm drunk with the funk and it's not pretty.

The holidays are here so keep up the XMax Cheer! Let me know how you deal with it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Holy Shit! or where I will go and what I will do to get the good pictures

This was a day for the record books, a most excellent adventure. I had the brilliant idea to go see my blogger friend Jill Choate's dog yard to get some good dog pictures for my entry in the Idiadrod Show this year. So even tho we'd never met I asked,can I come to your remote cabin and take some dog pictures? She was very gracious and gave me directions. Now here in Alaska we don't so much go by street names as my mile markers and the odometer on the car's dashboard, it's like go down so-and-so road until you see the dog crossing sign and go another 5 tenths of a mile, turn left go 14.5 miles until the plowed part ends then go an another 8.5 miles until you see the dog trailer and turn left. Thank God for my all wheel drive Outlander it did good. My daughter Nicole drove back so I could get some more pictures. Denali was showing her lovely face today so we so fortunate indeed.
Once there I saw her studio and her art she is a great basket weaver.
I got so much more than ever I expected, Jill and her daughter Jenna hooked up a small team put me on a sled on the back of the snow machine and we took off to get ahead of her mom and the dog team to get the good pictures! It was a blast and of course it wouldn't be complete without me falling off the sled at least once and doing a face plant into the snow. We got back and had a cup of hot cup of chocolate and got to know each other a little better, then it was time for Jill to get back to work.
Jill, thank you and your cool daughter for a most excellent adventure and your warm Alaskan hospitality.

Take some time to check out her web site:
Quote from Jill, "only Alaskans aren't impressed with other Alaskans." I understand what she means, we live in a huge state with a relatively small population we all run into the celebrities like songbird Jewel, Governor Hammond (when he was still alive), Tom Bodet, the artists, Ididarod Champions like Martin Buser and Lance Mackey, hell even Sarah Palin at the P.T.A. meeting or hockey game, no big deal.
We live in a place that defines us as individualists, the original pioneers are still alive with stories to tell, we are folks that for one reason or another came to be a part of this great land and have earned our pride because Alaska doesn't cut anyone any slack!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another Reason To Love President elect Obama

Get your own "Yes We Did" poster from

This was borrowed from Robert Glenns bi-weekly letter...
Of interest is Obama's cultural program. He's apparently been working on it for a couple of years, since long before his nomination. For a guy who writes poetry and consults with Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z, it probably came naturally to form that panel of active professional artists to advise him.

Obama wants to increase funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and change the Federal Tax Code for artists. He has ideas like sending out "Artists Corps" to underprivileged schools and communities, expansion of public-private partnerships to increase cultural education programs, cultural diplomacy and the inclusion of foreign talent, less inward-looking xenophobia all 'round, as well as health care for artists. Obama also backs Senator Patrick Leahy's "Artist-Museum Partnership Act," allowing artists to deduct the fair market value of work given to charitable institutions. We might hope that this enlightenment may shine on fundraisers too.

It's my prayer that in this time in our history that enlightenment may shine on us all.
Sign me up for the Artist Corps!
"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." Barack Obama
Word of the day: Xenophobia - fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign.
p.s. It's real hard not to get all political n shit. I'm so proud of America!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

It's Been A Long Day

This is the Cook Inlet about 9:30 a.m. a two hour drive up
This is Alyeska when I was leaving about 6:00 p.m. a two hour drive back. It was a beautiful day inbetween. After a long day at The Girdwood Center for the Visual Arts (where I show my art). If you are a skier it's the greatest snow on earth! If you visit Alaska stop into the gallery and see some good Alaskan artists and did I mention I am there also. Girdwood Center For the Visual Arts next to the Bake Shop.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Nature Walk

Title: Musk Ox in a Blizzard
Medium: Encaustic Wax
Size 20" X 24"
Price: 2$225.00
Artist: Judy Vars

I've been so busy this week and accomplished alot.
  • Entered this Musk Ox painting for Palmer Museum art accuisition.

  • Joined a stable of artists at the Madd Madders Gallery in Palmer, AK and took them three peices of art. Now I am in a gallery where I am not required to work!

  • Worked at Firefly Gallery in Anchorage today and changed my wall to a bigger better wall. The space is 1.00 per inch floor to ceiling.

  • Almost finished a application for the Alaksa Council on the Arts Artists in Residence program. It's very good if I do say so myself.

  • And painted this Musk Ox painting and an "outhouse painting" oh no I forgot to take a picture of it!
    1. Well here is it real tiny but the folks that I showed my wall to just loved it! I call it: Nature Walk, get it? nature walk.

      Wednesday, November 05, 2008

      Monday, November 03, 2008

      Saturday, November 01, 2008

      One of Anchorages McMansions and the "B" List

      Well because 90% of Mr. Money Bags east coast guests did not RSVP on short notice for his Halloween Party we were invited at the last minute. Although we had never met this guy or his wife before still they were gracious hosts and we had a lot of fun. I asked if I could take pictures, and she said, go ahead but my camera failed me by running out of batteries. Upon entering there were two life sized animatronics figures a witch and a butler motion activated, they started moving and talking smack about your soul going to hell etc.
      There was a fog machine and a hanging decomposing pirate over the landing.
      This house was about 14,000sf with about 7 bedrooms and bathrooms, 7 fireplaces, WII and plasma TV in every room, cameras everywhere! wine cellar, media room with 10 leather recliners you felt the movie in your butt, popcorn machine, casino room with roulette, slot machines, pool table, pinball machines, full size sauna, a recording studio, grand piano, Porches, Hummers and toys too numerous to mention. Every light and every fireplace every TV in the house was on and there was plenty of high class booze and food.

      One older man was dressed like a fancy hunter with a rifle over his arm, so I said, who are you supposed to be Dick Cheney? He said; no I’m the Lord of the Manor and proceeded to show me his 150 year old $30,000 Austrian gun.
      Later they got back at me by saying the hanging pirate was Barrack OBama. Yikes! Everyone was getting blitzed so it was time for us to go. When I thanked Tammy for the party she asked "did you get some good pictures? and if you get anything incriminating then." I interrupted her and said: "I’ll put it on my Blog". She said,"there you go" although she couldn't sense if I was serious or not. Lucky for them my batteries failed me.

      When I got home I noticed my son had left some lights on and I felt irritated knowing that the wasted electricity is costing me money. Where the equity?
      It was a late party night and today I'm doing nothing and being totally unproductive.