Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May 31, 2011 SUN!!!!

would you believe that it rained more this month in Utah than ever on record? That said, yesterday..Memorial Day..was cold, wet, miserable.and still we had hikers to go to the cave tour. It was 38 degrees outside and 43 degrees in the cave! Morning tours had to be rescheduled since the rangers had to shovel 2 inches of snow off the trail. What should have started at 7am didn't start until 10:30 am. Going up to work was beautiful..snow at 5000 feet and wet everywhere. The American Fork River is as high as I have ever seen it..angry and brown..it is dangerous. The day before it rained so much they were thinking they might have to evacuate the monument..so we all had to read up on the panic files! Luckily the river did not flood. By the time I went home the sun had come out and everything looked cheery. A far cry from the rest of the day. The brave hikers were wet and tired but happy. I sold some items and answered phones. We had a pot luck for the holiday. I brought my easy peasy pasta salad. We made "Toasties", which were whole grain bread, ham, or roast beef slices, cheese..choice of three..and then toasted in a sandwich press. It was very good.
My feet were some better. I had soaked them in ice water the night before. Yes that sounds terrible..and it is but it helps with inflamation of the tendons.
I took some pics yesterday so I will post them for you to see where I work now. I am a "happy camper" there. Although I would rather be free to do art all of the time..if one has to work..which I do..this is a good way to go.

The new header photo is actually taken from a postcard we sell at the visitor's center. Taken by Alan and Sandy Carey. These are Mountain Goats. Not native to American Fork Canyon, they were introduced in the 1980's to expand their habitat. There were grumblings but they are wonderful to see. We saw one on Saturday way up the canyon wall. A very handsome, agile creature..they have added a lot to the area.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

May 28,2011 New Job

I started my new job officially Thursday. I really love the rangers and the everyone who comes in. There are volunteer cave guides, maintenance guys, rangers, the ranger gals who run the visitors center and the tourists. Already I have met people from Bristol, England, New Jersey, Ecuador, Wisconsin...and the cave trail only opened yesterday for the first time this year.
I have not sold too much out of the store but did spend a lot of time helping the rangers with the phone which rang constantly. People were trying to get reservations for the cave tour.
The biggest problem I have is my feet and legs really scream at me. I get very sore. Hopefully it will go away after a while. I do plan to start hiking the trail as soon as my legs and feet get better. It can be a daily thing. I know it will take me a while to get the whole trail done. It is 1 1/2 miles up and a total 1000 feet vertical. The cave itself is full of stalagtites and stalagmites. There is a lake in it and 3 areas connected by manmade tunnels. The poor tour guide rangers had to use flashlights on many parts of the trail yesterday as some of the lights were not working!!
I will find the website link and photos and show you more later. I feel very proprietary over my canyon and cave!
But it is off to work I go and hoping my fairly new Keen Hiking boots will help my feet feel happy. My son bought them for me last year and they are really comfy.
Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for your supportive comments. I do appreciate them all..even from people like Ryan who can only draw stick figures!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May 21,2011 Blackhole and Bogs

Yesterday I turned in my job paperwork. The Forest service people are all so nice and seem happy to have me on board. Monday I will train then Thursday I will start. I think this will be fun!
My art has taken a nosedive! I wonder why I sometimes go for 3 weeks at a time with no impetus to do art. Sometimes it is the foul weather that bogs me down, sometimes it can be having disagreements with the Hubby. It isn't fair to use him as an excuse..although somedays he seems like the blackhole of pessimism and insecurity. Not that he is that way on purpose. So why in 32 years have I not learned how to deal with that?
Some times I feel paralyzed in front of the TV! I have been way too sedentary..so starting the job should help. Also I need to start walking again..forcing myself out of bed early.
Will this help my art? I think so.
What do you do to get out of the doldrums?
I thought having many projects and deadlines would help and I think it will..once I get moving.
I think too I need to take a sketchbook with me to the canyon for slow times. If I force myself to do a page a day for a month will it become the habit I wanted to have?
I think I had hoped to have life all figured out by now. And that seems just as silly as anything I have ever thought!!!
So I have been reading a lot of art books and getting ideas for some experimental techniques to try.
Maybe I need to get the grass out of my little garden and give the iris a boost.
Sigh..seem to be circling that blackhole.

or stuck like this guy

Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 19,2011

Spray painted in the rain yesterday, still raining, glug, glug.
Here is what has been done so far on the Box. Now don't panic..I am really not going for a huge Easter egg effect! I am using these colors to cover up the dreaded white, (you know the feeling a huge sheet of white paper can do to some artists..it can strike fear in the best of us!) Also I learned to use a vibrant color as a background to murals ( a George Sisquieros trick). Once the actual design is painted over the background the painting has a glow imparted by bits of the base color showing through in spots and under transparent glazes. This is the hope that it will happen on this box! Normally I would use only one base color but I decided to try these 3 colors and see what happens! Always an experiment...
The next plan is transferring from drawings, figures to each side. I am placing desert animals indigenous to Utah, then rock art and a celestial cosmos type sky. I am hoping to stylize the animals so they are colorful but still recognizable as the animals they represent. This has me concerned. I have seen it done many times by other artists but never by me! I am wondering how to make a coyote, magpie and Hare colorful, geometric,stylized in a satisfactory way. The lizard is actually the one I am starting with since I have seen many examples of colorful lizards..especially in Latin American art. Any ideas?
But today..I get to run errands and grocery shop..yay for payday. The cupboards are bare and I was wanting to stock up the Ark.
My job is being postponed because of the weather..Thinking I will start next week but not sure when!
I signed up and paid my money to participate in the 12 by 12 show at the Hive Gallery in Salt Lake City. It is a funky little gallery in the Trolley Square complex ( the trolley barns were converted to a mall years ago). The paintings will be due in July and I am trying to think of what to do. I will do 3. Also still working on the interpretation of Isaac's work for September and then the Library show in Feb. I have my work cut out for me!! This is what I wanted..to have deadlines. Oh and

open studio in September and a Plein Air event in Spring City, Utah in September...busy!!!! Yay
Have a great day..don't float away
I am dropping anchor for a while.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May 18,2011

one and 1/2 inches of rain in my town yesterday and still coming down. Forget doing art..I am building a boat.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May 15, 2011

I posted some more work on Etsy.
Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments. I don't plan on spending much time on the computer today since it is 80 degrees and wonderful outside!!!!
Here are pics of what I posted for sale. My link to Etsy is at the bottom of my page.
Have a wonderful day today.

Friday, May 13, 2011

May 13,2011

Today I meet with Eric, the videographer for the City Weekly newspaper. He is keeping a video diary of the artists who are painting the newspaper boxes. Yikes.
Being in front of a camera is not my thing. As you notice..I have my pug, Jesse James as my avatar here! Maybe he could substitute Amy Lee for me.
Oh well..I will grin and bear it. I am including pics of the said box. I sanded and primed it. This way you can see what it is.
Nice day today. I go through periods of wishing I didn't need this job. I would love to be home and at the studio. But the lure of the paycheck will make me go! I know it will be a fun job and it is up my canyon..so that makes it so much more tolerable.
Have a great day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May 11,2011 good things happen in groups

I went today up the canyon to meet the forest service people that if I got the job I would be working with. They were all very nice and I thought it went well. An hour later I got the call offering me the job. I will be working as an information assistant..retail clerk for the Timpanogos Cave National Monument store. Selling guides and maps and other things that have to do with the area and the flora and fauna. It is seasonal..end of May to Sept. 4th. Tuesdays and Wednesdays off and 8+ hours a day. But hey a job, a paycheck and hopefully fun meeting with tourists and vacationers. Working in beautiful American Fork Canyon. Yes it is good.
Supposed to get to upper 70's today.
Got my new spectacles yesterday. No more contact lenses. They are now detrimental to my eyes. So cute new specs with progressive bifocal and transition lenses. Looking a bit stylish! Just trying not to trip over my feet!

Have a great day everyone. That is Frankie in the photo..sunning himself

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Creature Comforts USA - Art

Thanks Debbie Clark for reminding me of this video..love it!

Monday, May 9, 2011

May 9,2011

So all my belly-aching over the past 2 years needs to stop..I got a show! I will have my very first one woman show in Feb. of 2012 at a really nice library in the Sugarhouse section of Salt Lake City. I heard tonight. Got a phone call from the head librarian and am signing a contract with her and the Sprague library in June. I have had a friend show there before and it is a decent venue. I am hoping someday to get into the Main Library which has actual galleries..but I am not complaining..I am way excited!!!!
I will be showing the watercolor/mixed media on paper things that I started recently based on the Hubble photos and Rock art. I will have to have at least 20 works. Framed and ready to hang. They do the hanging and the postcards and they contact most of the media. Wow..wow..wow...I am too excited...
Have you all who show regularly gotten really excited about your first show? Do you still get excited? I hope so..I love this feeling tonight. I am sure reality will kick in and the work will have to be better and have to get done..
I don't care..I am on cloud 9 or 10 right now ..so there..happiness on the little acre! Why I believe I am crowing like "The Rooster I Call Bob".

Sunday, May 8, 2011

May 8,2011

I am not big on manufactured holidays for commercial success of florists and Hallmark..but I love my Mom. So I am posting a painting I did of her from a photo I took on a hike with her a few years ago. Sadly her broken hip/replacement has kept her from doing hiking anymore..she fears falling. At 85 though she is active, still has get togethers with her high school chums, Reads piles of books and watches the news and baseball. At 82 she and her best friend June hiked all the hikes in Akron parks to win their hiking staffs and emblems. I couldn't even get that done back in the day when I was a girl scout! Mom loves people, she loves feeding people. She is a wonderful cook. I will not lie and tell you that we got along all of the time. I have learned over the years to speak up in my own defense with her. And it is difficult since Dad died..he was a buffer and a glue for our family. Mom tried her whole life to make memories for us all. I think because she lost her mother so young in life and had a lonely childhood. I think my siblings aren't as appreciative of her efforts as me since I raised my 2 sons so far away from family. Not an easy person..but a kind one..happy Mothers Day, Mom..Love you

Saturday, May 7, 2011

May 7,2011

went to the Tulip Festival today at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah. My son Shane, his girlfriend Alisa, her daughter Lily and friend Irene took me. Very warm and crowded. Kind of an unreal place. fake animals, fake rocks and caves, but lovely flowers.

Friday, May 6, 2011

May 6,2011

these got into the Utah County Show in Provo, Utah.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2,2011

I entered the annual Artists' magazine show today. We shall see how that goes!
I started 3 larger mixed media paintings in my studio yesterday. Found out my across the hall studio neighbor has found a house to rent with studio space..so she is out and my next door neighbor moved into her space and a new artist is next to me! Kind of sad about my friend but happy she is finally financially able to have a home for herself and her kittens!
I am working on 3 small..5" x5" paintings today.
I am hoping one of the new larger ones will be my interpretation of a young friends' artwork. He takes wood grain and makes faces from the boards by piecing the grain to resemble faces. He suggested to our studio complex that he would like us to each do an interpretation of his art in our own styles..should be fun. We will show our collection at our next open studio and he is shopping the idea around to galleries.
Still waiting to hear on the Salt Lake county library shows, and waiting for the Utah county art gallery show.
Played with Amy today..she loves her big stick!
The sun is out and now we just need a bit more heat.
Wishing I could get invited some day to participate in the 300 plates show that is at the Art Access once a year. These are metal plates that invited artists paint and they are auctioned off and the proceeds go to the Art Access non-profit. They help disabled artists and pair them with local artists to help them and then they have shows together.
Many people I know paint every year. Just hoping some day that they will invite me.
so here is a pic of Miss Amy Leelee and her stick!