Sunday, December 31, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Children at Christmas

Wondering what to write, looking at art, seeing art, getting my son up at 5.30 am for high school!

Thinking of the painting show here that I gave away for the Colville Christmas Tree Extravaganza! What a wonder. I love to paint with encaustics.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Some Noted Pictures of Family Life - Thanksgiving

Thanks and Giving. A great combination of words.

Today, I am thankful. I am thankful every day for family, for friends, my toes, my hands, my tongue.

I'm grateful I live in America, I'm thankful that I have job serving others.

I'm thankful for my wonderful husband, who cooks like a dream!

Cooking with Dad

This is a picture of my husband cooking at Orient, Dylan's last year at that school. Dylan is the young man standing right next to him. The kids look on, the cook, Diana in the background. Very wonderful family event at the School. I'm so glad I have these pictures.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Terry Ross & Shoshana's Holiday Show

A Great Website to Check OUT: >> nothing to do with the article below, which will appear in the following publication in December, 2007:

Fabulous Felt—The Non-Woven Fabric
Fiber Artist Terry Ross
By Gloria J. Geary

What is felt? Although those flat colorful squares in Wal-Mart’s art supply aisle come to mind, felt is so much more. When I look at the perfectly round, yellow 4” ball of felt that my cat enjoys, I think of Terry Ross. Terry is the maker of all things felted. She is a “hand-felter”.
Hand-felted fabric is a wonder. It’s widely used around the world. The felting process has been around for eons and has ancient ties to Mongolia—where it is still used today for boots, clothing, yurts, and much more. The fabric can be made flexible, hard and stiff, or almost transparent, depending on the need. Felting is gaining new devotees, because of its waterproof quality and versatility. It’s also very malleable.
How It All Began
Ross always loved to work with her hands and learned to knit and sew as a girl from her grandmother. She hopes to have some quilts in Shoshana’s December art & craft show in Northport. (Additional information about Shoshana’s show is in the “Happenings” section.) Some years ago, a friend of Terry’s had a flock Karakul sheep, an ancient breed. Terry learned the process of harvesting the sheep’s wool from this friend and has continued ever since. The friends formed a community of women who would share a potluck dinner and felt together. With felt as the media, everyone created something unique to their sensibility. Ross began to make felted cat and dog play balls, pinwheel pin cushions, and other items.

Today, for her own felting endeavors, Ross maintains a small mixed flock of sheep which provide her with naturally colored wool in earthy tones--gray, creamy white, and tan. For her more colorful projects she buys colored wool. Ms. Ross has sold her work in shows like The Custer Show in Spokane and the Lavender Festival in Pend Oreille County. Terry explains, “I enjoy the proverbial two-way street, in that I’m not a commercial consumer and I like to buy things from people who actually make the product.” She elaborates, “I like to think we’re creating a community of like-minded people—I like to support that.”
If you have ever accidentally washed a wool sweater in the washing machine, you were felting by proxy (even though the outcome was not what you wanted!). Felting is created by pounding and scrubbing wool, using water which acts as a lubricant. With friction the fibers of the wool move back and forth, causing "barbs" to form in the fabric. Heat along with the water cause the outer scales in the fiber to open, and soap allows the fibers to slide easily over one another causing them to become entangled. The constant agitation of the material creates a tight bond between the fibers and the process is irreversible—hence the aforementioned sweater you washed that is two sizes too small, forever! Yet, in Terry’s masterful hands, the process is intentional, and so is the outcome.
In Terry’s felted world, it’s a multi-layered affair. She marries other fabrics with her hand-felted fabric to create unique dolls or other items. Father and Mother Christmoose are as you might guess, dressed like Santa and his wife, using recycled fabric. Terry’s “mooses” stand approximately 22”. There are Fishermooses, and other creations such as catnip mice and dangly-legged cone people. Her short, fat, felted cone people sometimes sit on shelves for relaxation. They arrive in Angel, Santa and Elf personas. Look for Terry’s unique perspective on all things rustic—the rustic look is her personal preference in her designs.
For more information, call Terry at 722-6482. Her work will be on display at Shoshana’s 11th Annual Christmas Show, Thursday, December 7th – Sunday, December 10th. Hours are: Thurs. 3 – 7 p.m., (preview), Fri. Noon- 5pm, Sat., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday noon- 4 p.m. Shoshana’s is located in Northport, one block off Center Street. In Northport, look for the signs right after the Matteson House B&B. Make a right turn on 6th street, a right on South and Shoshana’s is the 3rd house o n the right.
Gloria J. Geary is an artist, photographer and writer who recently received a grant to study in Jackson Hole, Wyoming at the Art Association of Jackson Hole.

To be Brash or NOT to be Brash

I just hate wimpy women. Just do. Just hate them. I've been called lots of things, and one thing I was called by my dear hubby was "brash". I guess that's what pissed off Michelle, who is ultra-sensitive, or hyper-sensitive. Not that I have a such a thick hide, but I'm not a wimpy, weak woman. I like to think of myself as strong and always have an opinion. It's tough to be around wimpy women.

The image here is "Evening Sun", and it's an encaustic painting that I sold -- it was a great one, I paint these little paintings, 5" X 5" X 3" deep, and they are so much fun. Many thanks to Constance, of Constant Creations, where I hope to have a show of my work in the new year.

"Evening Sun" was sold, and I must say, Constance is NOT a wimpy woman by any means. I hate wimpy women! Seems women are their own worst enemies. Live and let live, a cliche, for sure, but please, don't be so thin-skinned!

"Evening Sun" is one of my favorite paintings, and I'm glad it sold, and is adorning someone else's home now! for more of my work, to buy my photographs or paintings!

Friday, September 29, 2006

The Dis-Ease to Please!

I have this disease to please. I really do. It's not funny, but I'm into self-healing. I know there's a book by that title, and believe me, my husband told me, "BUY IT". I loaned it out from our local library, and did read some of it, but I do need to read it again.

Yesterday, when a parent-volunteer at the school where I work part-time said to me, "Someone told me you would know what to do with the cookbooks". These are cookbooks left over from the last parent-volunteer who ran the PTA--a not-well-thought-out-so-called-fundraiser! I said to this person we'll call Belinda, "What poor soul told you that?" She replied, "Ruann". I said, "well, where are they now?", (feeling that disease to please come upon me, I started to think: 'if you do something three times, it becomes your job'). With this in mind, I replied, "well, they (the cookbooks) can stay in the office, and if someone wants to buy them, Crianna can accept the money". All the time, walking up the stairs to the teacher's lounge where the cookbooks were, and talking to the back of Crianna's head. Crianna is the always-sick, always-complaining so-called secretary who uses the job to run her life (constantly yakking on the phone to friends, appointments, etc.). As Belinda and I discussed the cookbooks, I announced, "anyway it's against my religion to be in the PTA". One of the bus drivers was in the office as well, and Ruann and her husband were sitting taking a break in the adjoining room, and overheard me. Ruann's husband guffawed and said "what religion?" I replied, "the gloria religion". Knowing full well that I was talking to two fundamentalist Christians (Ruann and her hubby) plus a Seventh-Day adventist (Belinda). But hey, they always use that as an excuse, so why can't I? The bus driver, who is my neighbor, overheard me and laughed out loud! We all had a good chuckle, and so be it. It was a direct hit on the SDA Belinda, who always uses that as an excuse, she can't do anything on the Sabbath, and can't allow her kids do anything on the Sabbath, except when it suits them!!!

I need to take care of myself, my needs, and be a lot more selfish. It's paramount to everything about me. I have enough to do. One way is to do it with humor! Crianna needs to do some work anyway, yesterday, I gave her an order about some art supplies to get a P.O. for, and she refused to do it. Well, I'm not shelling out any more funds from my pocket and then having to wait a month for reimbursement. NO WAY!

I'm in the healing process from the DIS-EASE TO PLEASE!!! YES!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Thrill is Gone

Well, I have a lot to do, and a lot to say, but how to do it all? Is it keeping me up nights wondering? I have a Boy Scout function this weekend, and I have to get ready for that, after hearing last night that the Scoutmaster won't be there, as his business is taking him to Maui.

So, we'll get it together and hopefully be able to swing it somehow. The kids are getting to bed way too late, causing fitful and frightful mornings. Crying, tail-dragging, that sort of thing.

When I asked Hayven whether Calista was her best friend a last week, she replied, "only if she keeps things sanitary." I laughed so hard I thought I would burst!

This is a picture of Colville taken yesterday on a beautiful day from the car.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Violent Struggle Part B

This photo depicts the bloodbath. The skunk was wounded by our dog, and he did try to get away, poor thing! That terrible garlging/barking sound was enough to wake the dead!

Well, the aftermath is that the skunk was thrown over the hill. I felt like a detective searching for the signs of struggle and the blood trail. And believe me, there was a blood trail!

Grateful that Dylan was there and I didn't have to do the deed, I would have shot it, but would have closed my eyes while doing it!!!

Here are the "blood trail" pix! City folk may think we're cruel, my mom, for instance didn't want to see pix of the dead skunk! "EEEWWWWW!" she said!

But we country folk know that skunks will just make trouble for you. Methinks the skunk was on his way to the compost pile, filled high with corn cobs, moldy lettuce, and other goodies skunks love.

Kudos to my super dog, Bandit, who lost sleep and flushed the varmint out! I do wonder why the skunk thinks it needs to spray and why it has the most unusual colors in nature!

The Violent Struggle

Today at 5 a.m. a skunk visited our home; or rather, had a violent struggle with our dog, Bandit. A horrific dog/cat/animal strangling-barking noise awoke me at around 4:50 am, followed by Bandit barking non-stop. When I thought I'd better go down to see what was the matter, I shouted at Bandit to stop barking--this usually does the trick and I go back to bed. He didn't stop barking this time. Then he continued around to the front of the house, as if saying, "follow me" and barked at the meek little black Toyota Corolla parked in front of the house. In my sleep-fog, I realized he had cornered some kind of beast under the Toyota. The motion sensor lights were on. I rushed into the house to get a flashlight. Of course, the batteries were low, so I couldn't see much, and then I saw a tiny black head under the car, a skunk. It was hardly moving. I threw some rocks under the Toyota to scare it off, brushed rocks under the car with the broom, and still it wouldn't budge from under the car.

I got brave enough to jump into the Toyota to move the car, forcing the animal to get out from under the car. Moving the car back, it did--and almost went onto my front steps. I watched it in disbelief for awhile while Bandit continued to bark at it, keeping a safe distance so as not to get "sprayed". Finally, I went into the house and awoke my son to get up and help me. I realized by seeing the limping animal, that Bandit had somehow wounded it--that was the sound I had heard earlier. I told Dylan to shoot it (since it was already wounded) and he vanished into the garage to get the shotgun and ammunition for it--half asleep.

My mother got up, and said "he's half asleep". I said, "well, he better wake up". Dylan had no shoes on and peered out from the front door window slit with the gun in his hand. I was shouting at him from the front where I had a clear view--but he just peered out. I realized he couldn't see the skunk. I shouted at him, "it's right there at the foot of the stairs". He opened the door and shot it, but didn't get a good shot at it.

I rushed in to get my camera. I told him to go out from the kitchen door (on the side of the house) and shoot it from the front. I was in front and could see everything, having moved the Toyota. He complied, and rushed out in front while I was in the house trying to find batteries for the digital camera. When I came out, the skunk somehow managed to crawl under the Jeep, so I had to jump in the Jeep and move it! Then the smelly beast was finally exposed and half-dead. Dylan had got a shot it, but shot its butt.

Finally, Dylan had a clear shot, and the deed was done. Now I have to live with the god-awful smell of scared skunk in the house, the mud room, but worse, the Toyota! The smell was the worst thing I've ever smelled, onions and just infiltrated every fiber of my house. I gagged and tried to vomit, but couldn't. Not only that, but the insane smell of onions, skunk and horrible skunk poop is everywhere on me! Off the the shower for me! Or, is it my imagination?

I had some sweet orange essential oil and dropped a few drops everywhere, to no avail. Found some insense and put several burning sticks everywhere in the house. Dylan threw the dead skunk over the hillside, but with the smell, it's like it's still right in the house.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Swaneagle Harijian Tremblay

This is a story about a woman living here in Rural NE WA state. She's an activist, and I hope you enjoy her story and her art.

It was published in the September issue of the North Columbia Monthly.
Do Artists Have a Social Responsibility?
Swaneagle (Tremblay) Harijan

By Gloria J. Geary

Swaneagle Tremblay is an artist with a mission (pictured left with a crocheted mask she uses in her performance art). One might label her as an activist-artist, but labeling is something that transcends her persona; she’s not easily categorized. The Danish philosopher and theologian Soren Kierkegaard said, “Once you label me you negate me”. Yet, she is, by her own description, “an odd woman”. Swaneagle willingly lends her voice to disenfranchised people. Also, she is very passionate about being a force in the world for indigenous people. When she speaks about the atrocities in our world today, she is extremely articulate and knowledgeable about her subject.

Her art is a response to those atrocities and injustices she sees all around her. Other people and other artists may shy away from the tough issues of our times. They may look the other way when they encounter injustice or racism. Swaneagle does not. She faces the tough issues of our times. And, because of her multi-racial children, she has experienced racism first-hand, with her children teaching her many valuable lessons. Their courage and determination is commendable in the onslaught of unsound race relations that is the “norm” for our country today. Some might argue that racism is non-existent at best or subtle at worst. Swaneagle is cognizant of the dominant majority culture and how the world is shaped by the hand that rocks the cradle. The deeply xenophobic culture that is America today is disturbing to some people, but to this self-described “hippie”, it is especially disconcerting. As a mother, artist, and activist, she feels very deeply about the issues in our country. Our country is defined by how it treats the most marginalized and vulnerable citizens.

With the advent of the first wave of “back to nature” homesteaders from the idealist 60s era, many “hippies” moved to Northeastern Washington state in the 70s. Here they found cheap land, people of like-mindedness, and the freedom to live “alternative lifestyles”. As long as they weren’t bothering their neighbor, all was well. Swaneagle, born in Spokane, rejected her Christian name of “Mary Kay” and through a series of profound events in her life, which included a stint in jail for “civil disobedience.” She announced her new name, and with it, her new goal in life which was/is: “peace and justice for all living beings.”

Her art reflects her deep convictions and beliefs on women, children, Native Americans and racism. Much of the content of her art reflects the image of white mother/multi-racial child, or a woman alone surrounding by tipis. The art is auto-biographical, depicting a white mother/multi-racial child living in the eco-system of this region. Other artworks are directly influenced by her time living in the southwest with traditional elders such as Pauline Whitesinger and Roberta Blackgoat. One piece from this period depicts a lone Diné Woman headed from a tipi towards her hogan (The hogan is a sacred home for the Diné (Navajo) people who practice traditional religion. Every family -- even if they live most of the time in a newer home--must have the traditional hogan for ceremonies, and to keep themselves in balance) in the distance. At first glance it looks like a serene, typical Western Art Scene, until one looks a little closer to see the helicopters hovering in the background—signifying to the viewer an intense conflict. The name of the piece is: “Witness Peace Camp.”

Or, the drawing with white mother/brown child in the forest, surrounded by trees that look like they were recently cut down/harvested, and the viewer realizes the scene is not a happy one. The forest is clearly a pine forest, and reflects clear-cutting practices. This artwork is titled, “What Will We Leave for Our Children?”

Another piece depicts a woman in the desert near a large Saguaro cactus, with a single teardrop falling from her eye, and her bleeding heart in one hand—this piece is titled “Border Agony”. Sugary Valentine hearts also form a type of fence in the background symbolizing the deaths of over 4,000 people attempting to cross the Mexican/U.S. border since the implementation of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) on January 1, 1994.

Drawing ever since she could hold a pencil, Swaneagle’s only formal art training consisted of several art classes she attended at Santa Barbara City College in the late 1960s. Swaneagle began doing political art in 1980 when she created a piece about he attempt of the AAMAX corporation to desecrate Mount Tolman near Keller, WA on the Colville Reservation by mining the mineral molybdenum, used in the formation of alloys.

Swaneagle met a woman named Noguns—a powerful frontline Hippie mother who told her about the Gandhian action against the Seabrook Nuclear power plant in New Hampshire. She explains, “Traveling east, I studied Gandhi for several months and then participated with two other people in the civil disobedience that put myself and the organizer, David Slesinger in jail for 4 months.”

In her own words, Swaneagle describes the processes that have shaped her life and ideals. “In l982, David Slesinger organized the nonviolent response to the Seabrook nuke after the citizens of Seabrook voted four times to stop it from being built. It was constructed anyway. I had just participated in voting to ban out-of-state nuclear waste from being imported to Hanford. It was an overwhelming “NO” vote, but the Supreme Court overturned the wishes of New Hampshire State citizens. I felt the need to participate in direct, nonviolent action. I did not bargain for a 6-month sentence (reduced to 4-months with good behavior). While incarcerated, my art became very political as I was witnessing the suffering of women from Haiti and El Salvador facing execution upon deportation. It was also during my confinement that I learned that 75% to 90% of uranium used for nuclear weapons and power came from Native American lands where the tailings piles were never covered. Then I learned about the struggle at Big Mountain, AZ from Noguns when she came to visit me in jail. The experience irrevocably altered my life. Before doing civil disobedience, I was shy, afraid to express my opinion. But when I was presented with a bouquet of a dozen microphones held by reporters as I prepared to commit my crime of conscience against the Public Service Company of New Hampshire, Seabrook's main share holder, I became uncorked and have had no trouble speaking truth as I know it to this day. Though I am silenced in many ways due to the positions I take, I no longer fear speaking out.”

Swaneagle elaborates, “Shortly after returning home to Onion Creek, I left the area with my two young children to attend Evergreen State College where I did further studies on nonviolence, enrolled in the Native American studies program as well as studied performance art. In l984, I began traveling to Big Mountain, Arizona in response to a call put out by traditional Hopi and Diné Elders for non-Indians to bear witness to their spiritual resistance to forced relocation enacted by the U. S. government and Peabody Coal Company. The human rights abuses were so blatant that I truly believed this would be the civil rights movement of the 80's, but I saw that the press participated in a blackout. When the mainstream media did report on this serious situation, it was called “The Hopi-Navajo Land Dispute”. But the truth was the dispute existed between the Federal Government, the Peabody Coal Company and the U.S.-backed tribal councils against the traditional peoples of both tribes. I have been doing what I can ever since to keep people educated, but the blackout is so successful that few people know that there are traditional people speaking their own language, herding sheep, growing corn, weaving rugs and living as self-sufficiently as possible. In retrospect, it will be seen as the greatest human rights violation of the 20th century within U.S. borders. Of 16,000 people already relocated, over 8,000 have died already. It is shameful. Yet, Pauline Whitesinger is still out there living her ancient way of life against all odds. She is my life’s greatest teacher.”

Swaneagle expounds on her ideas about art, “Artists have an obligation to make human conscience tangible and visible. Artists have always had a deep connection to conscience and are often among the first to be disappeared in dictatorships. Art transcends the barriers of language. It reaches people where words often fail. I call my art “spiritual” as it comes from my own experiences of extreme marginalization--because my family disowned me for never marrying and having mixed-race children. This has kept me in visceral contact with the suffering of other voiceless people as well as exposed me and my children to the cross-cultural plea for solution that is emerging in places of resistance all over the world. Writers such as Alice Walker, Anna Castillo, Leslie Marmon Silko, Barbara Kingsolver and others express these multi-cultural communities essential for survival in these fractious times. Our children need to be part of inclusion that contributes to healing of the planet and their very future. My children are part of this Rainbow reality in the diversity of their friends and the new cultures being shaped out of dire necessity. The damage being done continually by the invader dominant society is being reversed, thrown aside in very healthy and creative ways everywhere the human spirit rises above death and destruction to keep thriving. Hanging on to oppressive, vengeful methods only spells doom for all life. All of us have an obligation to instill compassion, kindness, love and responsibility in ourselves, our children and our communities. All of us, everyone, is hurt by war, culture, and greed. By remaining silent in the face of atrocity, we undermine our children's chances at a decent life. I have a right to define who I am as a human being. Though I have been accused of being a “cultural thief” because of my name, I maintain my efforts to reclaim my pre-Christian ancestry in Ireland that also honored the earth where people were named after the elements, flora and fauna. All names having meaning that dominant society strips away—this is a colonial attempt to demean those who do not conform to narrow structures that perpetrate abuse. In taking my name in a Wiccan ceremony where the old was thrown into a fire and the new taken on, I also made a lifetime commitment to human rights. I have no way of knowing my Irish culture directly, but I can shape what it means to live responsibly with integrity. Just in doing this I am attacked by a variety of people who really are in pain themselves. I must heed my heart in resisting war, genocide, ecocide and enacting a livable future. It is my sacred duty.”

Swaneagle’s politically-charged artwork is available for sale. She also sells the incredible weavings of the Diné women from Big Mountain, Arizona. Please contact her at 732-4875.

Freezing Corn

Corn is fun, corn is fun to freeze. When farmer Bill gives you 75 ears of corn, you've got to something with it. I froze it, like good old country women have been doing for eons. Something I heard in the movie "Runaway Bride" which played last night on NBC. The announcer/character of a radio program in the small upstate NY town, Corey Fleming said, "Thank God you have the sense to live in a small town." This says a lot about America. Small towns, I think are better in oh-so-many-ways. Some people, yes, all you city dwellers out there, don't understand, and that's OK. Maybe you never will. I'm not saying I don't miss the city, because I do. I have lived in the two biggest cities in the world, Los Angeles and Chicago, so I know whereof I speak!

But small towns are less stressful, even though, living out in the sticks, I cannot order in pizza or chinese food! But today, I'm proud to announce that I "put up" 75 ears of corn, sliced off the cob, fresh from Bill's farm, where he says, "I don't spray my corn with anything". So, that would make it organic around these parts!

Fresh, wholesome goodness, how many times have you heard those words?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

LA NANCY D Visits Orient

Ok, I know I'm biased, but I do think she took a great head shot! But then again, what can you expect from someone living in la-la-land so long? Of course, she took a great head shot. A great chick deserves a great head shot! I'm so glad she's coming to visit us here in the boonies! It will be so fun! Watching the documentary with the producer/writer, and being a part of something way bigger! Watching the film, and also celebrating my October people birthdays with my big sis will be lots of fun. Here is her pic and bio, hope you make it to Orient at the end of October for Lalo Guerrero: The Original Chicano!

The following is her bio, and yes, she looks a lot younger! But then again, so does everyone in LA!

Nancy De Los Santos is a Los Angeles-based writer with a number of credits including the MOW Gotta Kick It Up! for The Disney Channel, and scripts for both the Showtime drama series Resurrection Blvd. and the PBS series American Family. She’s co-writer and co-producer of The Bronze Screen: One Hundred Years of the Latin Image in Hollywood Cinema, a feature documentary that aired on Cinemax/HBO. She teaches a course based on the documentary at California State University, Fullerton.
She is the co-producer and co-writer with Dan Guerrero, of a documentary on the life of legendary Chicano troubadour and composer, Lalo Guerrero. Lalo Guerrero: The Original Chicano, will air on the PBS network this fall as part of the new series, Voces.
Nancy is the Associate Producer on the feature films Selena starring Jennifer Lopez and Edward James Olmos, and My Family, Mi Familia starring Jimmy Smits.
Born and raised in Chicago, Nancy began her career as Assistant Producer and continued as Producer for Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel’s film review program At The Movies. She received her degree in Radio, Television, and Film from the University of Texas at Austin. She holds a Masters in Communications from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
Nancy De Los Santos has written for Hispanic Magazine and Latina. She is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the Writer’s Guild of America, West and the Latino Writers Committee.

Los Angeles Documentary Producer Visits Orient Elementary School in October

Orient, Washington -- From October 23rd-26th, Nancy De Los Santos, producer and writer of the newly released documentary film, Lalo Guerrero, The Original Chicano, will be presenting an informational hands-on arts workshop on the Mexican cultural celebration, “Dia de los Muertos,” (translation: Day of the Dead) which is held every year on November 1st, for Orient Elementary School students as part of Orient’s arts and music program. Ms. De Los Santos’ visit is funded in part by a Washington State Arts Commission Grant. Lalo Guerrero, The Original Chicano, co-written and co-produced with Dan Guerrero, will also be screened on Friday evening October 27th at 7:00 pm, at the Orient Elementary School Gymnasium. (For more information on the documentary film and the filmmakers, visit their website as

The screening is free and open to the public, with a suggested donation of $2.00 for adults, and $1.00 for students under 17 years of age. Ms. De Los Santos will give a short talk on documentary production, and what skills are needed in filmmaking and careers in filmmaking today. She teaches a course based on the documentary at California State University, Fullerton. We are honored to have Nancy visit our school, and share her love for filmmaking. Orient Elementary wishes to invite the community and anyone interested in a career in documentary filmmaking to attend the screening and join us for this special visit.

Born and raised in Chicago, Nancy began her career as Assistant Producer and continued as Producer for Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel’s film review program At The Movies. She received her degree in Radio, Television, and Film from the University of Texas at Austin. She holds a Masters degree in Communications from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

The film will be aired on PBS stations throughout the country beginning in September. Ms. De Los Santos has extensive experience in writing and producing for television and feature films. Her filmography includes the TV series, "Go, Diego! Go!" “Gotta Kick It Up!” and “American Family.” She is the Associate Producer on the films Selena, and My Family. She also co-produced and co-wrote the documentary film, The Bronze Screen: 100 Years of the Latino Image in Hollywood Cinema, which aired on HBO.

Bobcat Boosters, Orient's PTA, is planning a Mexican-themed dinner that evening from 5 pm-7 pm, the cost for dinner is donation-based.

Time to Drive

Driving everywhere it seems these days, the hot, hot, dog days of summer. The Northeast Washington Fair is up and running, with cows, pigs, sheep, dogs and cats on display. Sometimes it seems a bit overwhelming! There is so much to see, and that's a good thing. The kids are back to school next week, and whew! What a summer it was. Beginning the administration job again at the school, and that will be a fun year, I hope. Seems I've been driving a lot, to town and back, and then to another town and back home. Pick up this child, drop off a child, go to a drawing class in Colville for six days. Whew! Glad that I have my old faithful Toyota. She is so great on gas, manuvers well, and is small! She fits in tight places and she'll always be a friend.
Well, got to go now, as it is my open house weekend! WHOPEE!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Letters I've Written

Never meaning to send... love that tune! Love art, and going to EUROPE! Still and all, Europe is the way to go, the best place to see the art of antiquity, the incredible paintings of the masters, and everything that is art.

This is where it all began, perspective included. The Fibonnacci sequence, Leonardo, all of it. I'm not really interested in Orca whales frolicking off the San Juan Islands, although that's very nice. In my lifetime, I hope to visit the Mona Lisa in person, soak in the culture, life, love, and ART that is Italy and France.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Drawing Again

Taking drawing seriously is a tough business. Try standing all day at an easel. It's not for the weak. Although you might get a nice drawing out of it. I felt like I was back in my college days. Whew! I'm really dating myself. It was good to really use charcoal to its greatest advantage. I don't much like the drawing, but the thing was, it was worth a lot more than $25.

That was quite insulting that the owners of the restauranat where we were drawing (they rent the space too!)--told us "kids" that he would buy a drawing the one he liked, the best one, for $25. Well, mine wasn't for sale. I told one woman, you know, if you pay yourself $10. per hr. that comes to at least $160. per hr. figuring on an 8-hr. day!

She replied, "well, not when you've got a barn full of paintings". I felt sorry for her, as women to tend to de-value themselves and their work. I thought it was quite demeaning, when the teacher stated so emphatically that some of her students sell their paintings for $20K.

It was kind of insulting. Like I really need a ZZ Top look-a-like with a baseball hat to judge my drawing and offend me by telling me that it was only worth $25.00.

I have to say something tomorrow to the class, as I thought it was a class, and NOT a competition. It was extremely rude to make the class into a competition. Not to mention the folks that came by with their inane comments and stupid photos of past paintings they did in the previous classes.

Talking to my friend Jane, I wondered out loud to her, "why do women de-value themselves and their work"? Me, included of course.

My faithful friend and husband, Dave always tells me this in so many ways. Sigh, that's why I love him. He always tells me that I'm better than I think I am, and I should charge accordingly!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Grand Forks Summer Showcase: "Crossing the Line"

NEWS RELEASEfor immediate releaseJuly 14, 2006Contact: Paul Crawford, Director / CuratorGrand Forks Art GalleryPhone: (250) 442-2211E-mail: gfagchin@direct.caWeb: Grand Forks Art Gallery Presents - Crossing the Line – A Regional SurveyExhibition Opening Saturday July 29th 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Artists will be in AttendanceExhibition Runs from July 29th through August 26th

The Grand Forks Art Gallery is proud to present the exhibition Crossing the Line, an exhibition featuring the work of 13 artists residing and working in the Boundary region of British Columbia and North Central Washington State. This annual exhibition is intended to act an ongoing survey of this regions diverse and varied visual arts community.
This year in an effort to better reflect our region the Grand Forks Art Gallery has extended an inviting to a selection of artists living and working in North Central Washington State exploring a wide variety of medium’s including painting, photography, sculpture and ceramics. The artists featured in this summer’s exhibition include:

From North Central Washington: Chris Kroupa from Curlew who is represented in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Ellen Picken from Republic, Gloria de los Santos from Kettle Falls, Charlene Payton-Holt from Republic, Gary Belcher from Orient and Elinor Distler from Colville – From Grand Forks and the Boundary: Ken Flagel, Shirlie MacLean, Doris Albert, Doolee MacDonnell, Ingunn Templeman, Melon Durrand and Dustin Lacroix a recent art school graduate and past winner of the Richard and Beverley Reid Scholarship for graduation students.
Our hope is to have this develop into an ongoing series of exhibitions and exchanges exploring the contemporary arts scenes of both Washington State and British Columbia and in doings so help build bridges between our two arts communities. It sad to think that this once strong and vibrant bilateral artistic relationship has become less and less over the past 20 years as the physical barrier between our two nations becomes that much more pronounced.

These North-South artistic and cultural associations are not new and the exchange and flow of culture is as old as there have been people inhabiting these lands. From the early exchanges and the established trade routes used by the First Nations, to the movement and explorations of the Spanish and the fur trade through the move Northwards to the Gold Fields, this history of these cultural exchanges is well documented. It has only been in the last twenty years this bilateral exchange has slowed to a standstill and the barriers imposed by the arbitrary border along the 49th parallel have become more acute. It’s a shame to think that since 9-11 the barriers both physically and emotionally have made this division even greater and the border more impenetrable. Sadly it is the residents who inhabit the communities along the 49th parallel who suffer the most.

It is our hope that though exchanges such as these, the Grand Forks Art Gallery will come to represent a true snapshot of the history, development, uniqueness and diversity of this regions artistic vision, its past and though exhibitions such as this it future.
For further information, please call the Grand Forks Art Gallery at 442-2211
Or visit the Gallery at 7340 – 5th Street, Grand Forks, B.C. (Under the Blue Awning)

The Art Gallery

Grand Forks, B.C. is a great place. Love that town. Love it even more because I'm showing my work there now. Which is a lot of fun. Went to the opening, saw a lot of friends, met some nice people, and all was well. Met some folks from "Shop The Frontier". A great organization.

Paul Crawford and his staff at the Grand Forks Art Gallery were very nice and helpful. They had great food as well.

The gallery is great, great atmosphere. Wish the show didn't have to end, but all things must pass.

Looking forward to the next show. Here's a picture I took of a patron looking at my work on the wall. Don't know who she is, but she looks interested.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Art is THE WAY

I've been thinking that artists look at other artists' work, or do they? Do they consider other artists' works? Do they visit other artists' studios to see how they're doing, to see what they're selling? My studio is a pack-rat's haven. That's NOT a good thing. But I'm trying, at least you can see the beautiful paper-bag floor the hubby did a few years ago.

It's absolutely marvelous. But I've found I'm NOT my own best salesperson. I really have to psyche myself up to 'sell'. Not a natural born salesperson. Selling other people's work is fine, I have no problem with that.

Wish I could hire a manager/salesperson. Sigh.
Seems the only folks coming up to my studio are OTHER artists wanting to know how/why/what/ and how much she's selling it for???

North Country Artist Trails

Well, folks are stopping by to see the artwork, see the studio and get "stamped". That is, when someone visits a studio, they receive a unique stamp and if they can collect 6 unique stamps from six different studios, they'll be able to get their stamped card into a drawing for origina art. This wonderful feat will happen on September 1st at Studio Five!
It'll be fun, it'll be educational, and always a surprise.

This cyanotype here is from a collection that I began three years ago.

Cyanotypes are fun to make in the summertime, and summertime is not complete without producing a few cyanotypes. It's supposed to be BLUE not ORANGE. I just hope you're looking at a tru-blu Cyanotype.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Boy Scout Trip New Chapter

After witnessing a blowout on that rocky mountain road, I caravaned with some other Scout folks to Priest Lake, ID on Saturday. A long, hot drive, but it was relatively cool in the morning, with a lot more heat to come on Sunday, when I returned home. Going through beautiful Loon Lake, we took the shortcut to Priest River, locating ourselves at the Beaver Creek Campground on Priest Lake. There, Hayven squealed with delight as we swam in the lake. We setup our tents, with the help of the two oldest boy scouts, Eli and Cedar. Fun! The campground was completely filled up, so our tents would have to be right next to each other making for a familial coziness! We awaited the first boys scouts completing their 30-mile hike through grizzly and black bear territory. It was a long wait! Finally, at 5 pm, Dylan and Marshall showed up, Tim, Marshall's father having picked them up at the trailhead. The logistics of the trip were quite complicated to say the least.

Mary acted as camp cook for that first night at the Beaver Creek Campground in Nordman, ID and I was her helper. Finally, we heard that Jason had a flat tire on his boat trailer, and that some boys stayed with him. His wife, Laurie, had some blisters on her feet, but was OK. The boys straggled in: Jake, Justin, and Garrett. We waited and waited until at 7pm, as everyone wondered where the rest of the boys were, finally, Jerry showed up with his wife Ruth, and a very badly sprained wrist. Cary was with him. They had taken a wrong turn and ended up 1 1/2 miles down the wrong trail. Matt was with them.

All was well, everyone accounted for, and we could have our delicious spaghetti dinner, with chocolate cake for dessert!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Dave and the Drywall

Here's how Dave looked after drywalling our "mud room" two years ago! Look, hon, it's DONE! Remember your past projects and how much you've improved the place. IT looks great, and it's getting better all the time!

What a Wierd Strange Trip it WAS!

Driving the Boy Scouts. My son, Dylan is in a Boy Scout Troop, and that's nice, but sometimes, it requires the patience of Job and a lot of guesswork, emotional and physical stamina--on the part of the parents! I offered to drive them to the trailhead of the planned "50-mile hike". Getting there was an ordeal when I woke up, got the kids up, and the two boys (Dylan and his friend Derek) noticed the Jeep had a flat tire! They quickly changed it, with help from Dave via the telephone, and we were off, albeit one-half hour late!. Getting to the Union Hall in Kettle Falls, we sorted through the gear, got ready and off we went. Hayven went with Mary to spend the morning with her and her two daughters, one of which is Hayven's age: Cassie.

Later, we made several stops, picked up a boy, dropped off a car, and made our way to Colville National Forest's Sullivan Lake Campground. At the Ranger station, we sorted through the meals and placed them in bear-proof plastic traveling bins. On to the trailhead. Connie was driving in her big white Chevrolet Van, with eight adults, and Jerry with himself and two other scouts, Marshall and Garrett. Another hour into the woods on a very narrow forest service road and we were there. The sheer dropoff was quite stunning, the scenery extraordinary.

After eating a brown bag lunch prepared by Mary, THANKS MARY--Connie headed off with her daughter, Johanna, and I in Jerry's Chevy pickup. A little more than one-half of a mile down the narrow mountain road, Connie's tire back left tire hissed and BLEW! She kept driving, unbeknownst to her. I beeped and beeped the horn behind her to no avail, she kept driving--oblivious to it all, as the tire got lower and lower and started to shred. Why didn't I flash the lights? Because I didn't know where they were! IT wasn't my vehicle, and not having driven manual transmission for three years, had to re-familiarize myself with the process!

I kept beeping the horn. I thought, "either they know they have a flat and she's trying to make it down the mountain to the ranger's office, or they can't hear me". It was the latter. The music her teen daughter was playing was so loud, she couldn't hear me beeping. Finally a piece of the tire shredded and flew off and she saw a piece of blackness fly up, and thought it was mud!

She finally stopped as the tire started to smoke. She had felt the bump, but thought it was the rough mountain road. I stopped the pickup behind her, but didn't know where the hand-brake was. I started to roll into the back of her van--not good, as her daughter screamed "put the brake on!". I couldn't find it! Finally, somehow I stopped, right before I went in a ditch and hit the back of her van.

The Chevy Pick-up was inches away, I had already got the lug nuts off the rim of the shredded tire (after much heaving and hoing!), and we were in the midst of reading directions, when suddenly--another car came up behind ME! A white car from Idaho. Two good-looking guys stopped, got out, helped us change the shredded tire to the spare "donut" tire and also moved the truck--that was almost in the ditch. They were on their way to Canada, and their wives were teed off that they took this mountain road, as you had to travel soooo slow and probably they were as petrified driving on the 'edge' as I was!

Fortunately through a lot of prayer and positivity, we made it back to COLVILLE AND LES SCHWAB!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Some of my Favorite Quotes

Psychotherapist Anthony de Mello puts the responsibility squarely where it belongs: "It's an illusion that external events have the power to hurt you, that other people have the power to hurt you. They don't. It's you who gives this power to them."

or, how about:

"Painting isn't a question of sensibility; it's a matter of seizing the power, taking over from nature, not expecting her to supply you with information and good advice." (Pablo Picasso)


Just wondering if the CPC and the ADWORD I created for the "trail" will work--who knows? It's quite a puzzlement. Living is a puzzle, it seems you figure it all out (one aspect that is!) to find another aspect of your life is shutting down.

Wierd...just wondering if others have that same experience. Maybe it's all a wash--in the end we all end up with the same faculties, the same everything.

Feeling quite diabolical today, and have to force to get out of this funk...but I do have a lot to be grateful about. No one is going to read this stuff anyway, so it's kind of therapeutic for me. Also helps me to realize what a great speller and typist I am!

Wonderful Day

Today, just regular stuff. Getting ready to hit the "trail". Clean up the studio, get everything out of the studio, THROW IT ALL OUT. My pack-rat-i-tis is coming on strong today, but I'm fighting it.
At least I got my website cleaned up. Dylan's going canoeing with Boy Scouts tomorrow, and Dave is leaving. Tomorrow will be busy, but manageable. Just have to remember to use the Hamilton on-ramp when driving Dave to the airport!

Tried and tried to 'ftp' this blog, but it didn't help -- so I've resorted to using's free blogspot. Who knows? Maybe I'll be the next blogger on TV. An e-celebrity! Fine, big, audacious hairy GOALS!

That's me, always on to the next dream!
Hi world,

all is well.

no, it's not.

A friend kind of day

It was a great day today, just enjoying July, set up and playing her tune, like Cat Stevens used to sing. Enjoyed having some friends over, who I've been meaning to invite for six years! Yes, folks, it's been six years since we've moved to the great Pacific Northwest from LA. I had told a friend that we moved on Independence Day, July the fourth, and he replied, "Yeah, your independence from LA!"

Yes, my thoughts exactly. Making art is a full-time job, but I just read a great quote from our crazed friend, Vincent Van Gogh, "I have realized that loving people is the greatest art". (I'm paraphrasing here!

Little Hayven enjoys having friends over and so do we. We had au-gratin potatoes, two kinds of pies, Apple and Cherry-Peach, and delicious Chicken, roasted on the grill and cooked to perfection! Gary and Cher brought over a great salad with red, ripe raspberries in it!