Thursday, February 06, 2014

Teaching and art

Art is Long and Time is Fleeting, --Longfellow This is certainly true. In our society, where we strive to be "the best", "be the biggest", "be all you can be", where does practice fit in? I just don't see it. Everyone is trying, striving to be all these things, but it takes time to get there. What happens in the meantime? I don't know if anyone ever talks about that. That is the 'struggle' and 'failure' time. The time where you wish you had not started. The time where you need to have a good talk with yourself, and talk yourself into moving forward and not giving up. Right around the corner there will be sunshine and unicorns. But you have to walk through that valley of death before you get there. The road is long, of which there might be no return. Art is not something you can do casually, or can you? Then, they call you a 'dilettante'. The dictionary describes this condition as: dil·et·tante ˌdiliˈtänt,-ˈtäntē/ noun 1. a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge. Well, that's not me, that's for sure. Even if the art I produce is bad, or good, or fabulous, there is a rich commitment. Do you have that commitment? It's something that grabs you and doesn't let go. Ever. Once, someone asked me in a bookstore as I was buying a book on Henri de Toulouse Lautrec,one of my favorite painters,"So, you do art?" I replied, "No, I don't do art, it does me".

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Celebrating President's Day with Pain!

Celebrating President's Day is fun...but is pain fun? I recently had a in-clinic medical procedure done that was extremely painful. Given a topical anesthetic but still very painful. What if there was no pain? Could we survive? The short answer is no. Pain is a messenger that something is wrong. Pain lets us know when there is no pain. Without pain we would not be human. Animals feel pain, but I often wonder if plants do. Are plants screaming in pain when we pick them? I don't think so but some people think so. We do what we can when we need to. Pain is a great motivator, and that's what I'm alluding to here. Without pain, we probably would never get on a great eating plan to lose weight. It's that pain we feel when we try on clothes that used to fit but don't anymore. That's painful. We then are motivated to really do something about it. Going through the painful-ness of a situation is perseverance. And perseverance produces results. Results make us happy and we travel to the planet of NO PAIN and that's where we want to be.

Pricing and Art

As time goes by, does art appreciate in value or depreciate like a car? One would hope it would appreciate in value. What to do when pricing your work? One adage that I adhere to is this: "You wouldn't have a job in America if your employer is not making money off of you". This is certainly true. In recent days, I've bumped into women business owners who are hearing from their mates: "when is this business going to make money?"-- describing their wives' businesses. It certainly is a daunting challenge and one that I've heard from my own mate! I keep trying to make it profitable and keep trying to win supporters and relish even an encouraging word. But it is a challenge. I'm not going to blame the economy, blame the president, blame America, or whomever is the financial boogey-woogey man that is taking my fame and fortune away. It's up to me to make it profitable and do the necessary work that will create a profitable art-related business. That is, ask the hard questions to yourself: would you buy this from you? That's the first question. And if the answer is "yes" then how much are you willing to pay? I have a couple of dilemmas I'm considering right now. One is: how much to charge for art-cards I create myself via cyanotypes and the other is to gently encourage a sale from a friend in another state who stated that he was very interested in purchasing a photographic print. The other thing is that I need to keep up with my website, keep updating, keep blogging, expand my presence on social media. The list is long. Are you willing to put in the time and effort?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Just returned from Spokane and what a trip it was! Stayed at the Burch dorms on the Gonzaga campus. Learned a lot about people and things and weather in June in the Northwest. Highlights included much self-reflection, much time alone which is always time well spent! I was thinking that there are no coincidences, and things happen for a reason. Maybe not the reason that you think it happens in the first place. I have a lot to consider from the Arts Impact Training. It was fun, engaging, and exciting. I learned a lot. I met a lot of wonderful people. This sounds like the typical conference. But it was not typical. It was above and beyond, something that gave me a lot of time to think and reflect on what I'm doing personally and professionally. When that happens, it's always time well spent. The rainstorm on Tuesday night was especially unusual for June weather here in the northern hemisphere. Quite stunning, that storm was. I was perplexed by mom nature, but she is always one to present exciting surprises. I have decided today that I wish my personal life to be dull and boring, without drama. I wish my art life to be exciting, tremendous, filled with extremely high-highs, and big, audacious, hairy goals THAT are REACHED! I wish my art life to be filled with high drama, and along with it, high value funding with high value people. I guess the words that stuck out for me at the conference were: conflict, the color yellow, Kek, immigrant and outsider. I think I learned more about me that anything...don't forget the power that is within. It's the greatest power there is.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

teaching math -- is it fun?

Wow, teaching math was never so much fun. Coefficients and mixed number coefficients and order of operation exponents algebra and squared and cubed numbers. what happens when you multiply a number by its coefficient? What is a coefficient? a Cooefficient as the number hat is multiplied by a variable in an algebraic term.
Well, it's a substitute teaching with the 5th-8th grade multi-level classroom. It's a good day. I will strive to give out positive energy to the students so all will be well in this world. It's funny how perceptions are not truth. Students at the middle-school age, one of which is my daughter, are so ultra-sensitive. When we are young, we are so sensitive it hurts. That youthful energy and questioning. Everything is being questioned, our hearts are soft and fresh. Teachers of students at this age (pre-teen and early teen) are confronted with a myriad of problems, questions, and pseudo-realities. Perceptions at this age in life are skewed and seen through a glass that is so foggy. Leadership skills are found wanting. Self-reflection and who we are at this stage in life is only at the beginning of formation.

Monday, April 02, 2012

MAC Art Auction Spokane

MAC Art Auction Spokane

Click on the link above to see the online catalog of this annual event held as a benefit for the Museum of Arts and Culture, Spokane Washington.

Also -- a great thing happened last Saturday. There was a field trip to the MAC and we had just visited the Spokane Falls Community College's new Planetarium building. It was fantastic--more about that later!

I had remembered reading that there was going to be a showing of all the art auction art at the museum, but had forgotten about it. I was stunned to see all three pieces of my art displayed at this venerable Spokane institution! What a thrill for any artist. The students, chaperones and parents were impressed. It was a great show. Thanks to Jerry Smith and all his staff and volunteers at the MAC for installing a nice display of all the work. See you at the Davenport on Saturday, April 21st.

A Moral Dilemma

Coming back from a field trip with my 12-year-old daughter, looking forward to a quiet evening at home on a Saturday night. The early spring weather is unsettled and cloudy. I see an older blue Ford Taurus stuck in the muddy hillside on a back country road -- a primitive road -- this means an unpaved road. With only one house nearby that no one lives in; the exhaust pipe is still spitting out its contents. I pull over to see if I can offer assistance, which is the norm in our neck of these woods. The smell of cheap apple wine comes wafting out of the passenger side door as I approach. It's someone I know, a man of about 60 years of age named Chester who is quite drunk. I crack open the passenger front door of the car and ask him if he is all right. It becomes quite evident that he is fine, but totally drunk. I know Chester is almost indigent, and lacks any type of job. I know he is a veteran and has crippling rheumatoid arthritis in his mal-formed fingers. He has an old prospector's hat on and fuzzy-with-dog-hair black clothes.

There is no cell service in these woods so my phone is useless. I get Chester out of his car and he is reluctant to accept my help. After accusing me of being several things: an FBI agent, a cop, and other things, I assure him I am none of those things. Fifteen minutes of arguing ensue. I assure him that his dogs are not in his car, he gets into my Jeep and I tell him I will take him home--that this is his only option. I assure him I do not want a "twenty spot" to try and drag his car out of the ditch. I specifically tell him "I'm not dragging your piece of shit car out of the ditch."

He begins to get ornery. He is enebriated after all. He tell me that "You fucked me up". and "I have stuff to do tomorrow". This is after he asks me if I have some beer or wine on hand. When I reply "Normal people don't drink and drive", he becomes belligerant and tells me that I need to smoke a joint.

I drop him off at the rural heavily treed property where he has his trailer. I knock on the woman's door who owns the property, as I know she'll be home. When I explain to her what happened, she is non-plussed and all she will say is "That sounds like him". "Just leave him there, and he'll walk on up through the cow pasture up to his trailer".

I apologize for bothering her, and get Chester out of my Jeep after some reluctance on his part. He tells me from her driveway "My car better be there tomorrow". I assured him a with half belief "Oh, it will be there, you can get it tomorrow when you are sober". If he is sober ten minutes out of 24 hours.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

walking up to the cabin in the woods

a friend of mine has a very remote cabin and we went to have a peek today. So rustic, so remote, and very quiet and beautiful. It's certainly a haven for the forest animals, and for him. Cedars lovingly caress the hand-crafted log cabin and obscure the sky; their needles cover the forest floor.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

So-called Christian takes over the job of JUDGING FROM GOD!

Yes, I was upset, yes I was mad, over something trivial, and hey, that's my personality! So if you don't like it, I'm sorry, Let's NOT be friends. I said something on FB that offended this person...oh well, if I cannot be me, who can I be?

Here is her response to me saying F____ bomb! on Facebook!

Just want you to know that I am deleting you from my friends list. Your language is atrocious.....look it up. I certainly hope you don't speak that gutter language in front of your children ....or mine. I thought you were such a peaceful soul. Only when everyone agrees with you? If you love your art, it shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks. Just sayin'

So this so-called Christian will now take the place of God and JUDGE me. So be it. I can't be anyone but myself. Sometimes I drop the F bomb! So sorry, let's not be friends.