Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Seattle on Saturday

Note: This post was written Saturday 09-25 on the way to Singapore.  Poor internet connectivity at Seatac Airport prevented posting! 

Escaping the Island was filled with more than the usual amount of drama as a wind storm caused havoc Friday morning.  The jet was cancelled, and a good thing for me, too, since I was caught on the wrong side of a huge landslide across the road to town and the airport and would have missed my flight.  (No, I did not take any pictures of the slide – too torrential rainy to get out of my truck in my going-to-warmer-places clothes)!  Here is a drawing instead:

The south-bound jet did make it in and out of town with me aboard.  I woke up in Seattle, with the whole day stretched out before me like a festival.  Getting coffee at 3 Girls Bakery in the Public Market was the first thing of course.  I walked there through Seattle’s sculpture park along Eliot Bay.

Seattle waterfront - early morning

Claus Oldenburg's work in the Seattle Sculpture Park

Wandering around in the market as the vendors set up their wares is one of my favorite things to do.  Smells of fruit, herbs, vegetables, fresh fish, flowers, incense, bread, spices and frying food compete for my attention with the riot of colors and textures on display.  The noise is all traffic and people mixed with music coming from the earliest of the street musicians.  

View from my spot at the counter, 3 Girls Bakery

One of dozens of fresh flower stalls

Typical fruit and vegetable display - love the potato assortment, lower right!

A window display



Hello, All - from lovely Singapore!  Taking loads of photos, but not positng them because I ignorantly didn't bring a power cord converter for my laptop (sigh).  Please check back with me - will be home on Sunday and anxious to share all my visual adventures with you!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Water Color Workshop with Andie Thrams

Saturday I had the privilege and pleasure to spend the day with Andie Thrams at her water color workshop given in conjunction with the Tongass Rain Forest Festival.  About a dozen of us met at the Blind Slough picnic shelter mid-morning.

After introductions and a short contemplation exercise, we loaded our water color palettes with two different greens, yellows, reds, blues as well as a purple and a brown.  Soon everyone was happily mixing colors.

Everyone's approach to the color mixing play was unique and reflected out individuality.

Color study, approx. 10"x10:
In addition to her amazing art journals Andie is a generous and gifted teacher.  The demonstrations she gave were mesmerizing.

We worked on several exercises during the course of the day, including finding and using 'magic sticks'.

Water color and ink applied with stick, approx. 10"x10"
The time flew by.  I was reminded of how much I love water color painting...

My landscape studies...approx. 10"x10"

and vowed to continue painting out in our beautiful forest from time to time in the future.  Andie stressed that recording our rain forest environment is honorable and important work.  (It's also tons of fun)!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

An Interview

Today I’d like to introduce you to my mother, polymer clay artist Karen Sexton. We sat down during my recent visit and I asked her a few questions about her lifelong passion for art, color and design.  The photos in this post are of her recent creations.

Sus: What is your earliest creative memory?
Karen: A school project in second grade – the teacher was doing a unit on the circus, and we were allowed to use coping saws to cut our design out of wood.  I made a clown, painted apple green with red polka dots.  My clown was featured at the front of the class display.  I also remember loving the art teacher’s rolling cart of paint jars in every color.  My painting of an Indian village scene was put up in the main hallway of my elementary school.  

S: You were an excellent school teacher all your working life.  Did you ever consider another career?
K: I wanted to be a fashion designer!  However, in Des Moines Iowa in the 1930’s and 40’s that idea got no support from anyone.   I cut the Jane Arden paper dolls out of the newspaper, glued them to cardboard recycled from hosiery packaging, and designed for them.  Right around that time, the movie ‘Gone with the Wind’ came out and I was taken to the theater to see it on a trip downtown.  Before the movie, I got to buy a large tin of watercolors and could hardly concentrate on the movie in my excitement to get home and use those paints for my fashion designs.  My dad worked for Yonkers department store.  He brought me home a small mannequin doll about 12” tall.  I begged my mother to buy fabric, and taught myself to sew on my Grandmother’s treadle sewing machine, immediately sewing my finger during my first session! 

S: So art has always been a passion…
K: Yes.  Teaching, nursing, and secretarial careers were the only choices for women in those days, and primary teaching was a natural outlet for my creative drive.   

S: You work in series.  Talk a bit about your studio practice.
K: Messing around with no preconception, asking ‘what would happen if…’ is the way I usually get going.  I like to take a technique learned from another polymer clay artist and branch out from there, push it into a new place.  Lately I have been working with alcohol inks, texturing the clay with denim, and piecing the colors together.

S: Who and what are your artistic inspirations? 
K: I admire Tory Hughes, who has expanded her interests beyond polymer clay into creativity studies.  Laurie Mika’s use of surface treatment inspires me, and I am interested in Loretta Lam’s work.  There are so many fine polymer clay artists out there being featured on web sites and newsletters.   I also find that the medium itself is a muse.  I keep an inspiration journal with color and idea starters as well as a sketchbook journal.  Process is more important to me than product, and I feel lucky that no one has put pressure on me to sell my work in order to justify it.
 Thanks, Mother - you are an inspiration to me!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Book End to Summer

The studio floor is swept, the trash emptied; tools, paints, and supplies in their proper places...

 and several pieces in progress are awaiting my return in a week.  

I am off for a visit to The Parents.  You may recall, if you have been with me for awhile, that I started my summer there. Time spent with my family is more precious every day, it seems, and I am so lucky to have the opportunity make this trip - this book end - to summer.

Here is a piece I am leaving behind on the wall that may (or may not) be finished:

'Trouble in the Bone Yard' 11.5"x15.5"; procion and oil stick on cotton with machine stitching

 See you mid-week from Denver! 


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