Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Northern Exposure

Dear Diary

I have been in Golovin for 10 days now. My sleepover went pretty well considering 7 girls from 6 to 11. What are little girls make of of sugar and spice and piss and vinegar. To make art at the sleepover I purloined the classroom across the hall and set up art stations, I made a rule that each girl spend at least an hour in the art room making art, some of them stayed longer making some great childhood artwork. WOW
I made it through the whole long Memorial weekend mostly entertaining myself it's weird  being locked up in the school sleeping with the books, vaccuming up glitter instead of grilling steaks on the barbecue  and it's maddening the intense Northern Light coming through my window all night who can sleep?
I'm wondering how I would do in the winter  here when there is no sun? Can you say "The Shining"?  Not many people could do it.  The town was very quiet yesterday I took some walks. This is one memorial day that I will remember for the rest of my days.

My impressions and stories about this tiny little village on the Bering Straights Golovin, Alaska is still happening and I'm too overwhelmed to try and tell then here. However I have been keeping an Artists Journal three pages every morning and three pages every night and writing about everything  http://www.theartistsway.com/books. I pledged to continue it for the whole 12 weeks.

 One of my sleepover girls  was my tour guide today; Cameryon she took me from Baldy Mountain where the graveyard is all the way out to the point giving me the rundown on absolutely everything. Suffice to say this is a quirky little town in a forbidden land where Eskimo families have lived and died for generations in this vast unspoiled wilderness. It's flipping awesome.

I moved to Alaska to experience my own Northern Exposure http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Northern_Exposure_episodes  I found it! and at times I had to say to myself  "you asked for this."

In art class we have been working on self portraits the children are doing a great job! Tomorrow we are going to make a funky self portrait one.

Love You

p.s. I have found time to paint and have started another painting "Gods Painting" How I wish I had my oils acrylics suck. :(

Oxyies Grandmothers House
Yellow  Arctic Flowers

A Raven

Almost the whole town of Golivin
Haunted House
God's Painting

Friday, May 27, 2011

My Walkabout in Golivin, AK and Girlz Just Wanna Have Fun!

 Sunrise 4:57 am
 My Raven cousin
 Sunset about 1:30 am
 There is a humengeous bumblebee in this photo.
My favorite the trash burning monster

Suddenly It came to me in a shock awareness I have 4 days in Golivin to myself when I will not be teaching. So last night I started a painting of Dexters Roadhouse built in the late 1800's in the time of the gold rush. It should have historical landmark status.  Since I love to paint old and decaying ruins this is a haven for me I am taking tons of pictures of everything. Espically the children, I cannot or should not publish them without their parents permission.

I have no television and am so glad I don't know who won the Apprentice or many personalities Tara has split into. My collection of music on my computer is flipping awesome so I've got tunes.

My days have been bliss, every morning and every night I walk, I write three pages in  my journal and I found some time to paint. The most bestest part of this whole adventure is I have the priviledge to teach youngers art. The kick is they teach me so much, just when I thought it could not get any better I get to experience the joys of childhood again. They laugh and play kick the can till 12:00 am. We all play while the sun still shines in the land of the midnight sun. They call out "Hi Ms Judy" and visit with me for a while then off to play some more games. They leave their little bikes everywhere. The little dears, but because we are not having quite enough fun I am planning a ...
Girls Girls only Art Sleepover at the school library Sunday night.
Before you call me completly nuts it is for girls 6 to 11 only and 10 girls allowed (thats all in that age group) we ate going to have a BLAST!#$%
Wish me luck.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Beautiful Baby Raven Died Maliciously Yesterday

but the story is still unfolding and it is best not tell it until I get back. This song I will use in the ulogy.

This sad and beautiful Russian song seems to speak to my heartache. I choose this because where I am at you really can almost see Russia from where I am standing.

You bring the blooded cloth

to my beloved lady-love.

Tell her she is free

I have married another.

Hard arrow married us

in the fateful battle.

I see my dead is coming.

black raven, I am all yours.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I arrived in Golivin today around 4:00 on a very small aircraft Maude the teacher and her two children met me at the runway. For the rest of my stay I am making my Raven nest in the library of the school. I'm wondering how I will sleep with all the book energy around me. Being the only person in a big school all alone it feels strange the building makes unfamiliar noises.
I made myself some sweet potato soup with carmelized onions in the school kitchen it was yummy. Then I took a tiny walk to the end of town which sits on a small peninsula and talked to Dave about his beautiful dogs. After a bit I regretted not wearing my sunglasses out, even though it was around 6:30 pm the Northern Light was so intense it gave me a headache. Golivin is  peaceful and quiet and the people that I've met so far are warm and friendly. Tomorrow is my first day of teaching art to the children and I am very excited to get to know them and expore art with them. If possible I will take pictures of the kids but first must get a release from the parents to publish their images on the internet. Yes even though the sun will not set until 12:30 am I must try to sleep.
Dexter's Roadhouse
Golovin, Alaska
built in the late 1800s 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Into the Wild of ALASKA or Look Where My Art is Taking Me!

Sunday is the day I am flying to the Alaskan bush, not like Christopher Johnson McCandless (February 12, 1968 – August 1992) was an American itinerant who adopted the name Alexander Supertramp and hiked into the Alaskan wilderness with little food and equipment, hoping to live a period of solitude. Almost four months later, McCandless' remains were found, weighing only 67 pounds (30 kg; 4 st 11 lb); he died of starvation near Lake Wentitika Denali National Park and Preserve. wikipeda. He ate the wrong plant and died, it was very sad but any Alaskan knows you do not go into the wilderness being naive and unprepared.

I am taking lots of provisions a huge box of art supplies, groceries, books, computer, camera, sleeping bag, pillow, sketch book, and my journal. "I will boldly go where no man has gone before" (Star Trek reference) Well, yes a few intrepid souls have ventured into the Alaskan bush and now I can join the ranks of the few that have actually been to the remote parts and seen the real Alaska and meet the real Alaskan's.
Golivin is 90 miles east of Nome, Alaska.  There are three ways to get there fly in a tiny plane, grab a sled dog team or take a barge. To step outside the city limits is to step into the wild of Alaska, the bears are waking up from their long winters nap hungry and grumpy.

It is probably obvious but I am nervously excited to be going to a place that has up to now only lived in my imagination. I will meet the 10 children that I will teach art to, the teacher Maude, live at the school and be a part of an the community for two weeks. I want to take lots of pictures (note to self: get release forms for posting pictures of people on the Internet) otherwise I will photograph and paint the unimaginable beauty of virgin Alaska.

Here is a link to a blog written by the students at Martin L. Olsen school in Golivin http://golovin.bssd.org/blog/ this is all very helpful in reliving some of my anxiety.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

How Much Mess and Art Can Three Women Make?

Yesterday was the first half of my encaustic wax workshop and it was sooo much fun!
Ruth, Suzie and Me had a wonderful time making encaustic art and I did my part to spread the-cult-of-the- wax. Later on I went over to Turkey Reds for the last 30 minutes of my art show with Sharen AK Harris ok so only a few folks showed up it was sunny outside and in Alaska on the sunshiney days practically nobody comes inside, so for those other people who stopped by we are so grateful, Thank You for supporting the arts in the Valley.

 At 6:00 in the evening it was the For the Love of Dogs show at Madd Matters AKA the Alaska Gallery in Palmer. It was so much fun we ate good poppin hot brat hot dogs, looked at the dog art, and petted the honored guests the doggies.  The proceeds and donations went to the Humane Society.
Drat I have no pictures of this event cus I left my camera in the car.

So yesterday was an artful day and today Sunday I'm feeling a little tired and lazy.
I was taught it's not good to work on Sunday so it is a good excuse to laze about on the Lords day.
Next Saturday I am going to give the second part of my encaustic workshop. Next Sunday the 22nd I am flying to Golovin, Alaska to teach art to youngsters. Please send me your good wishe and please stay tuned, I will keep you updated with pictures and stories of life in the real Alaska.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ships and Icons
a joint show by
Judy Vars and Sharen AK Harris
presented by The Alaska Gallery @

550 S. Alaska Street, Palmer

**Ships and Icons** A joint art show by Judy Vars and Sharon AK Harris. 4-6pm.
See by appointment call: Gregg 745-6045

Sharen is my BFF and my best painting buddy we have so much in common it's like she is my doppleganger are artwork style could not be more different. That is what makes it interesting, don't you think? There was some (alot) of misscommunication about the times it is officially 4 to 6 pm.
Plan to come and then go to MADD MATTERS**For the Love of Dogs**. Original art by local artists, on display from May 14 through June 9. Artists’ reception from 6-8pm. Part of the proceeds of any sale will go to support a dog at a local shelter. Hot dogs will be served!

**Encaustic Beeswax Painting Workshop by Judy Vars**. 10:00am until 5:30pm. Course fee is $235, which includes substrates, materials and lunch. (This workshop will be repeated the next week, on June 21)

Saturday is a big day! We hope you can make it out to see us and the Art Scene all over the valley this Second Saturday.