Thursday, July 29, 2010

Your Stories are Safe With Me My Friend

It's been hard on everyone learning our good friend and outstanding neighbor Jim was scheduled to depart this earth in two weeks time. The last weeks the trail along the lakeside between our homes got used alot.  In the ten or more years previous to this my beloved and I listened to all his stories the good, the bad and the ugly. Jim was born in Louisiana from Irish orgins, raised a Catholic, a brilliant inventor, married a beautiful and lively Mexican woman, had 2 kids of his and raised two from scandalous origins, invented the water reclamation systems for the hydrogen power plants, raced motocross, lived in the Mohave Desert swore that Amilla Airhart lived there also, spent the last years right here on our beautiful Meadow Lake.
He made millions, spent millions and packed as much life into his 80 years as possible.
Jim could spin a yarn like no other and talk your ear off.

Thank you for the message on the tee-shirt of the guy buying Irish Whiskey that read
I hope your are Space Truckin by now my friend thank you for letting us be of service to you in your last days.

Friends Forever
Judy and Peter

Monday, July 26, 2010


Moon Over Mat-Su
Judy Vars
Encaustic Wax Painting
W 24" X H 18" 2"
detail of the Woman in the Moon

Judy Vars: Is offering a 2 day Encaustic Wax Painting workshop.

Encaustic: Ancient technique of painting with layers of melted beeswax and pigment.

Participants will be given a thorough introduction of the encaustic medium and method - from the traditional to experimental. Artists with backgrounds in almost any medium will find this workshop an exciting opportunity to expand their visual vocabulary with wax. The dynamic created by a diverse mix of artists contributes to the learning experience.

Regularly scheduled demonstrations, slide show and lunch, leave plenty of time for hands-on-experience.  The classes will teach a

variety of methods of working with the wax and heat. Class size is limited to between 8-10 participants.

Date: August Friday August 13th and Saturday August 14th 2010

Times: 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. each day

Place: Madd Matters and the Alaska Gallery

105 E. Arctic Avenue, Palmer, AK 907.745.6045

Price: $235.00 includes materials fee, two substrates and lunch.

Pre-registration: By July 31st and $95.00 material fee is required at that time; leaving the $140.00 balance due on the day of the class.

Contact: 907.355.2219 -

Friday, July 09, 2010

On Pricing Artwork

When I mentioned to Greg Gusse, photographer, poet, owner of the Alaska Gallery in Palmer and collector of my artwork that I was lowering the prices on my art, he said to me, “how would you feel if you bought a piece of art from a particular artist and went somewhere else and found it for a lower price?”

That is a very dicey subject and always creates more questions than it answers. The price is based on many things; perceived value, location, providence of the artwork, artist recognition, whether the artist is alive or dead, time, materials, galleryist commissions (in some cases as much as 70% to them and a mere 30% to the artist) etc and so forth. You get the idea.

On the question of perceived value; that is if it does not cost as much as a small car it must not be worth owning. Gallery owners put a lot of money, time and energy into who they represent based on “whatever” “the Art World is fickle” “as they say” and nothing tickles the fickle as the need to possess something as rare and valuable as artwork.

If you bought the Self Portrait of Van Gogh (1853-1890) that sold for 71.5 million then you have a great treasure worth a fortune! The artist story is every bit as compelling as the art they create. This morning I listened to UPR and learned how valuable and collectable Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) is to people like George Lucas and Stephan Spielberg and their personal reasons why they love the artist and his work.

But what of the living artist? Do we create for the narcisstic need for recognition and fame while we are alive and immortality when we pass on? Do we create to express and communicate our talent and vision to the world? Do we create because NOT to create and express through our art is the same as cutting off an appendage? we would be lost. The answer is YES to all these statements. I would like to be one of Americas top 10 artists even one of Alaska's top artists like Jon Van Zyle or Sidney Lawrence 1865-1940. But honestly I have not reached that pinnacle in my career.

Yet each one of my art pieces are an original - special and unique in their own way and I think of them as my children and sometimes like our children they need to leave the nest. I am moving on with artwork I have simmering on the burner of my sub-conscious mind new ideas to explore for a great body of work. It's time to clear my space to let the new come in.

Sadly monetary gain is often the marker which we use to validate ourselves, the time, money, blood, sweat and tears we put into our work. I do not ascribe to that philosophy, while money is good, an affordable price does not devalue a good work of art, or the artist!

Because I am a member of an artists co-op:
Firefly Gallery
419 L. St.
Downtown Anchorage,
I have the freedom to reduce my prices and pass them on to collectors and future collectors of my art.  For a limited time at my discression my prices have been reduced. Who knows, when I become famous you would have an original piece of Judy Vars worth a small fortune. Did I word that right?.