Sunday, December 30, 2007

christmas time is here

to all of you good cheer, blessings and all the best that life has to offer.

Hayven says, "meow, meow, meow, shut up now."

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Interview with HOME section, Spokesman-Review

In a more narrative format:
Art form: Photography and Encaustic Painting
Best know for: Painting on X-Ray prints and hand-colored B/W infrared photography
Major art/professional influences/why: I was born and raised in Chicago; attended the School of the Art Institute and graduated from the University of Illinois. My working class background is a major influence. When I think of growing up in Chicago, I think of catching fireflies in the summertime, snow, and Carl Sandburg’s poem, “Chicago”.

HOG Butcher for the World, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler; Stormy, husky, brawling, City of the Big Shoulders:

Growing up in a city forever colors your soul. It profoundly affects your world view. I love cities; I love the vibration and the manic energy. I love Spokane and all the curious little shops and streets, the ever-changing views, and of course, the energy.

Two words stay with me from my art-school period in Chicago: obsession and passion. I have come to accept the belief that if you are not obsessed with something it’s tough to stick with it. Perseverance is the key for me, to persevere under any and all circumstances. The human spirit will prevail under stressful and dire circumstances, but you’ve got to be passionate about it, passionate about creating art and a little obsessive. I think there is a fine line between obsessiveness and just being annoying.

Passion—is the other thing I think that keeps me going. I have always worked in the creative arena, whether it was teaching computer graphics, working on films in post-production as a 2D artist in California, working in the art departments of newspapers, or working as freelance graphic designer, I have always held creative ‘day’ jobs while pursuing my own art.

Photographers/Professors at the School of Art & Architecture, University of Illinois such as Esther Parada, Joe Jachna and the Chicago surrealists Jim Nutt and Karl Wirsum were big influences.

When did you start making art/or what made you decided to do this art form: I have been making art as far back as I can remember. Once as a seventh grader at St. Maurice Catholic School in Chicago, I failed to complete my “art” homework. My teacher, a Roman Catholic nun, slapped me across the face while exclaiming, “Of all people, you should have finished it!” As corny as it sounds, I considered what she said and came to believe in myself as an artist from that point on. I wanted to attend the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, and ended up in the Fashion Design program. When I realized I couldn’t sew, I transferred to the University of Illinois and obtained a degree in Communications Design with a minor in photography. I loved photography from the moment I picked up a camera. I loved capturing the image, loved working in the darkroom, and was amazed by the magic of darkroom chemicals.

I was in a bad car accident in 1985, and when I saw my X-Rays, realized they were only large negatives, so I went into the darkroom and contact printed them, and started to paint on them with oils.

Process: I love texture and feeling as opposed to the slick smoothness of a black and white photographic print. Trying to go a bit deeper than superficial “decorative” art is what I’m after. A mood, a feeling, a thought captured. With photography-- time, space, and light are captured. That’s a great feeling. When it’s rare, it’s very rare. With painting, there is only one original and that is still special in our modern world of throw-away goods, disposable everything, and cheap mass-produced consumer products.

What's new: I have been painting with encaustics for the last two years, attempting to marry my photography with painting and intermixing the two media. Using collage and words have always been a factor in my art.

What keeps you creating: Passion. Without passion, it’s not going to happen. It also helps immensely to have an understanding mate—which my husband, Dave is. He is extremely supportive. Without that support, I think pursuing a creative livelihood is more difficult. Working as an artist is achievable, but much more difficult. Understanding and emotional support from family and friends is paramount.

What else/burning things you want to add:

I was chosen as the Lavender Festival artist for 2008, so I’ll be at the Lavender Festival in Cusick, Washington, July 6 and 7 taking photos, capturing images of the fields of lavender and getting that ethereal, hand-colored black and white image for next year’s Lavender Festival poster.

I’m inviting everyone to visit North Country Artist Trails this summer; it’s an open-ended artist studio tour of artists in Northeastern Washington, patterned after the Heritage Trails of North Carolina. Our next big studio tours are July 28 and 29, and August 25 and 26. Pick up a brochure at many hotels, visitor centers, and at the MAC in Spokane. Shop the Frontier is another artist-driven entrepreneurial website, All of the artists from North Country Artist Trails will be on the Shop the Frontier website very soon. Watch for it this web-event! We will also have a North Country Artist Trails Art Fest in Chewelah on September 15, so watch for news on that. Visit our website, for more information.

Other great websites: Megan Murphy has done a fabulous job creating affordable ORIGINAL art that is down-loadable, an excellent idea for 2D artists.

Another thing: I had a booth at ArtFest in Spokane this past June. An artist across the lane from me had a great banner, it said: Be Original. Buy Original. Invest in Original Art.

IN general, artists are the most educated and poorly paid folks amongst the general population. I think people have to realize that when a lawyer or doctor charges anywhere from $125.00 or $200.00 per hour no one blinks, but when an artist charges $25.00 per hour, everyone has a hissy fit! Artists are their own worst enemies. We have to believe in ourselves, in our value.

Also, art supplies have gone up at least 1000% since 1980 in my estimation. The trend now is for everyone to confirm themselves, believe in themselves, and “love what you do, the money will follow”. This has transpired into a glut of artists. Sometimes I think the only people attending art shows or gallery openings are other artists to see what’s selling and what’s not. When people ask how much a piece of work costs, it’s usually another artist trying to see if their prices for their own artwork are in the ballpark.

All that aside, being an artist is a job you NEVER retire from and I love it!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Virtual Frontier - Supporting Rural Entrepreneurs

Some people I know out here are great. That's just it. There are so many people who are just fantastic, and trying to really make a difference in their world. Betty Buckley and her staff are such folks out here in the Inland Northwest. Shop the is one such organization--they are trying to make a difference, and THEY ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

Go to:
Run by the non-profit, Stone Soup, and its director, Betty Buckley, I think it's a fantastic testimony of perseverance, attitude, and economic saavy. Betty and staff do a wonderful job promoting our tiny neck of the woods--and the artists, craftspeople, and artisans that live in this rural place.

Last Friday, I was invited by Betty to attend a meeting with a possible funder--a site visit. I was happy to do so. I hope the funder was receptive to all that Ferry County has to offer, and all that Stone Soup is doing for economic development in this ultra-rural community. If you don't know what Shop The Frontier is, please see their website
Here is some information from their website:

The Virtual Frontier evolved from Stone Soup, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1999 by sisters Jody and Betty Buckley to help rural women in the Pacific Northwest. They designed programs intended to boost rural communities and the women who reside in them. Stone Soup’s mission is to assist women through organizational, individual and community capacity-building projects. For seven years Stone Soup has been providing capacity building grants, training, and technical assistance to organizations and communities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. Stone Soup’s programs have reached nearly 250,000 men and women. Two invaluable lessons were learned through this extensive work in rural communities: The first is that in order to genuinely serve women in a rural community, one must serve the community as a whole. The second lesson is that entrepreneurial success is the key to moving individuals and communities out of poverty. These lessons have shaped Stone Soup’s focus all across the board--from grant making to the hands-on development of entrepreneurs and the systems that support their businesses. In 2001, Stone Soup began working in Ferry County, WA through a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This grant made it possible for Stone Soup to begin planning and promoting micro-enterprise in small communities. A team of Economic Development and community professionals was formed to brainstorm and solidify the project that became The Virtual Frontier.

To contact Shop the Frontier:
Shop the Frontier600 S Clark Ave #3PO Box 1019
Republic, WA 99166phone:
(877) 807-7278 or (509) 775-3217 for local calls

The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements

If you ever had the feeling that others do things because of you, please read "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. Excellent advice from a Toltec Wizard and Master. The Four Agreements are: 1.) Be Impeccable with Your Word -- Have integrity as to what you say 2.) Don't Take Anything Personally -- My interpretation is this: everyone is in their own world, their own dream! It's not about you, it's about them! 3.) Don't Make Assumptions 4.) Always do Your Best -- funny enough, this one is right from the Boy Scouts of America Cub Scout Manual and promise!

I love this book, and keep it at my bedside. Recently, a friend of mine was having a bit of a problem. She applied to be an artists' model from an artist in Spokane. The artist and my friend were corresponding via email nicely, and all was well, until she told him to look at her blog.
There, (OH HORRORS!) was her age - 43. He stopped writing to her, and she broke two of the agreements, No. 1 and No. 2 (see above).

When she told me the story, I told her, "don't worry, he'll call". Knowing it was not about her, her age, or anything like that.
Here is her email she wrote to me today:

Hi Gloria, I just thought it was funny that I was a bit touchy about feeling 'dropped'. (By that artist who wants to hire a model) I got on line and found a very nice letter from him and yes he is still interested but ran into some major, unexpected house costs (roof sprung leaks). I just wanted to tell you, "You were right" and I'm glad you were.I get back to you when I know my schedule. Looking forward to modeling again.
Love D_________________________________

I think the most satisfying thing about this encounter and the advice I gave my friend was that I was right, and I helped her--it's all about ME! I told her about "The Four Agreements". I'm definitely a big fan of Don Miguel Ruiz. I heard about this book when Ellen Degeneres had talked about it an aritcle I read about Ellen in some popular magazine I can't recall now.

Here is my reply to my friend:
Hi D,

Good to hear that. One book I would really recommend for you is: The four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I keep it by my bedside. It's a very short, good read. and very helpful.

One of the agreements you must make with yourself is: "don't take it personally". Here's what the jacket flap states about Agreement Number 2.) "Don't take ANYTHING personally":
"Nothing others say and do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, and their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering".

So many times, too numerous to count, I was guilty of this, and realized most folks are in their "own world" and really don't take notice of your world, (only if they must intersect somehow, or interact with your world!).

This is too true. IT's all about HIM, and HIS problems, not about you --- hence, don't take it personally!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

All About Me

Kettle Falls, WA – Kettle Falls artist, Gloria de los Santos’ encaustic painting entitled: “Pathos” was chosen for inclusion in the Boise State Women’s Center , Women’s History Month National Juried Exhibition, for the 2nd consecutive year. The artwork will be displayed during March 2007. The exhibit’s reception will be held Friday, March 22, 2007 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. in the Student Union Gallery. This year’s jurors, Jennie Myers, Laurie Blakeslee, and Julie Clemons said in a joint statement, “The quality of work submitted was exceptional, making this year’s selection process extremely competitive. From 92 entries submitted by 28 artists, we selected only 24 works by 15 artists for the final exhibition.”
de los Santos was recently awarded a PDAP 2007 (Professional Development Assistance Program) grant from Washington State Arts Commission to study encaustic painting and photographic processes at the Art Association of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

North Country Artist Trails

Professional artists and artisans are invited to be a part of the 3rd annual “North Country Artist Trails”.

“North Country Artist Trails”, a program of Colville Arts Foundation, is a folded 4” x 9” professionally designed brochure detailing artist’s studios and galleries located in Stevens and Ferry counties. The website is:
Mission StatementNorth Country Artist Trails, a CAF program, provides an alternative venue for artists & craftspeople residing in Colville & N. E. Washington State. Collectors & appreciators of fine art now have the unique opportunity of touring working studios & galleries, meeting the artists, while traveling through the spectacular scenery of Northeastern Washington.

North Country Artist Trails will include:
o 1-2 full-color photographs of each artist’s work along with a 3-4-line description, phone number and opening times, along with address, web site or any other pertinent information.
The guide will list studios and galleries stretching from Northport to Hunters, Colville to Republic, Orient, Kettle Falls and other towns via a full-color map.
The guide gives the artist an incredible opportunity to build up a clientele for their fine art & fine crafts—selling directly to art lovers, collectors and/or interior designers.
Membership in the Colville Chamber of Commerce and the International Selkirk Loop’s website

Over 158 hotel/motel sites throughout Spokane, including Museum of Arts & Culture, Felts Field Aviation, Executive Lounge, Westcoast Ridpath Hotel, and Service Stations.
Riverfront Park – IMAX Building in Spokane
AAA Auto Club Visitor Centers throughout Spokane
Service Stations in Spokane
Deer Park, Liberty Lake, Chewelah, Colfax, Green Acres, Mead, Clarkston, and Pullman, WA to name a few towns included in the distribution
Chewelah, Colville, and Ritzville Chambers of Commerce
Spokane International Airport
Many more sites to numerous to list!

Experts predict two significant travel trends will dominate the tourism market in the next decade:
Mass marketing is giving way to one-to-one marketing with travel being tailored to the interests of the individual consumer; i.e., the art lover and art collector.
A growing number of visitors are becoming special interest travelers who rank the arts, heritage and/or other cultural activities as one of the top five reasons for traveling.
The combination of these two trends is being fueled by technology, through the proliferation of online services and tools, making it easier for the traveler to choose destinations and customize their itineraries based on their interests— namely, ART!
If you are interested, please email for more information, or call 684-3002.
To provide an optimum experience for visitors on the Trail, participants must be committed to open their studios at least two days per week between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Opening your studio or gallery more days is encouraged but is, of course, up to the discretion of the individual Artist/Craftsperson.

This year, we’re focusing on the last weekends of June, July and August for all studios to be open. The exact dates are: June 29, 30, July 1st, and July 27, 28, and 29, and August 24, 25, and 26.

Tomorrow is another day

Tomorrow A. is coming to tan hides and I'm a little apprehensive, but not much. Also, I have finished my taxes. That is a sweet relief. Wonderful. Tomorrow a visit to the Fed-X man and that's it. It's done--taxes are completed for 2006.

Now I can relax and make that art project out of the dead skunk I found at the dump. So cool. Bones and all. Dave said, "Leave it in the shop". It still kind of stank. There was black and white hair still stuck to the bones. I'm going to take some pix and post them here.

Tuesday I go to Spokane, and I'm glad for that. Gotta get it together. D. has his first track meet on Tuesday. I tried to tell him that it's OK to be nervous. He said he wasn't ready, but I assured him to go on and try it. You've got to see the lay of the land, his father told him.

Today was a good day. I try every day to make the best of it, even when I'm loading tons of garbage into bags and smelling the stink of a landfill. H. was sick, she got sick from something yesterday, probably not washing her hands enough. Don't know.

I'm tired of going somewhere every single freaking day. Staying home sounds real good right about now. A good book, and my bed.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you don't win YET!

Went to the Boy Scouts clean-up at the landfill today when I could have been doing a million other things. Oh well, such is life. The paintings aren't selling at Constant Creations, through no fault of anyone.

There is no blame. Now my knees, back and butt hurt from bending down to pick up trash, piles and piles of trash, plastic bags, papers, styrofoam, cardboard, a dead red-tailed hawk, x-rays, which I kept, a dead skunk's bones, which I kept, and will become an art project of some sort.

I guess this is all avoidance, as I don't want to clean my studio and I'm listening to a singer from Seattle named Flora McGill I found on Very, very good. Nice, clean lovely voice. Beautiful voice. Nice music. I was looking for something a little fresh-- I was getting tired of the same old 'sensual world' that I usually listen to.

Getting ready to do some painting, trying to fight tiredness, which is boring, and going to do some painting.

Bags and bags of garbage will infiltrate my dreams tonight. Huge stinking bags of garbage. AT least it's a lot better now, if we don't have another 'event', which is government-speak for windstorm! Landfill, but I call it a dump.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Appeared in the Statesman Examiner February 27 07

PO Box 375 Colville WA 99114

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dear Editor,

I disagree with the letter from Evelyn Romo of CVPAA who claimed their organization was the only organization to “sponsor professional artists”. She should have stated “sponsor professional performing artists”. Colville Arts Foundation has strived to present many professional visual artists in our community, and worthwhile visual arts exhibits and displays. Working with the Colville Chamber of Commerce, who has been extremely supportive, we have worthwhile programs such as “Art Around Town” placing art in different business venues to give more visibility to our local PROFESSIONAL VISUAL artists. Also, the only 3-county self-guided arts tour, “North Country Artist Trails” presents a dazzling compilation of professional visual artists in the 3-county area to tourists and locals alike.

In its 5-year existence, Colville Arts Foundation has garnered very little support, yet we continue to believe in the arts, continue to support artists and performing artists. I beg to differ with Ms. Romo about the performing artists. Recently, a blues concert was held at Orient Elementary School with over 200 people in attendance. The Fat Tones were clearly professionals. Last year there were professional performing artists from The Blue Door Theatre in Spokane, (improvisational artists and actors), at Colville’s now defunct “Art Burst” (its demise due to a lack of attendance and support!). Art Burst’s performing and visual arts venue was an incredible effort by Dot Javorka and Jan Beardsley and many others, but its demise is a sad reflection of the lack of support. In 2004, Colville Arts Foundation sponsored Jason Webley, a professional musician from Seattle.

As the administrator of a generous Washington State Arts Commission grant, we are pleased to have “Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre” from Bellevue visit Orient and Valley Schools. This event is sponsored by Orient/Inchelium/Valley Arts Consortium. There are professional visual and performing artists in and around Colville but they are tough to find out about. This particular visit is sponsored by the Washington State Arts Commission.

I support all the arts, as an artist myself, but have found it necessary to go outside this community to present my own art, as the Bible states, “a prophet is not honored in his own hometown”. I hope we (as supporters of the arts) are growing in number and will have a voice--someday. Maybe we’re just a bit ahead of the curve.

Two years ago, Colville Arts Foundation lost its art gallery space, and if not for Colville Woodworking and Stained Glass and the library, there is NO community venue to display local PROFESSIONAL Visual artists’ work. Hence, the aforementioned, “Art Around Town” which valiantly conspires to display local professional visual artists’ works.

Please support the arts in any way that you can! In general, artists are the most educated and underpaid of the population. As Stuart Wilde, a metaphysical writer stated his book, The Little Money Bible, “We don’t remember the businessmen of Rome or the various generals that fought the Trojan wars. Even the kings and queens of old are fairly uninteresting. What we value is the art, the architecture, and the feelings of bygone societies. What they believed in, what they did, the art they left behind—the Colosseum, Versailles, paintings, books—those are the things that have meaning, and so they last.”

We have the Spokane Symphony’s Woodwind section visiting Orient and Kettle Falls Elementary Schools. It doesn’t get any more professional than that.

What Stevens County needs is an arts council, a clearing house for performing and visual artists, a clear indication of its support for the arts. A local arts agency that can attract performing and visual artists, and support the local artists performing in and around Colville and the whole of Stevens County—providing venues and exhibition halls for dancers, actors, musicians and visual artists. It’s sad that we do not have such an entity.

Sincerely Yours,

Gloria de los Santos
Colville Arts Foundation Director
Visual Artist

Jackson Hole, Wyoming The Cowboy State

Jackson Hole is amazing. I loved it there, lots of good energy. I hope to go back real soon. This is an encaustic I completed at the class I took at the Art Association there. It's an amazing town. Although it was so cold, -25 F at night, and -10 during the day. I saw elk, bald eagles, and the Tetons are amazing. That's only on the way to the airport. Wonderful place.

Student Art Show Set at Stevens County Historical Society

A May Student Art Show is set for May 1st at the Stevens County Historical Society. The art work is by students only in the Orient/Inchelium/Valley Arts Consortium. It will be on view for the month of May. May is proving to be a busy month, as MCT is at Orient the first week of May so I'm going to need help on this. They want the show installed by May 1st.

I will have more details later, but suffice it to say that it will be up for a month, and we can schedule a reception for the students probably on May 10th or May 11th.

Ideally, all 2D work will be mounted and/or framed or matted. 3D work, I'm not sure of the setup yet. Their board of directors met, and it is sure thing.

Another request I received is from the Grand Forks Art Gallery in B.C., which would like some student work for a student show beginning March 15th. If you have anything for this show, let me know.

If you would like to help out with any of these two projects, please let me know. All art by consortium students is valid to be in the show, whether they have completed it at school or not.

Bad Weather - February 28 Winter holding on

I'm not kidding, a lot more snow last night and the channel 6 isn't even putting the Today Show on cuz they want to report all the traffic accidents, roll-offs and trecherous driving conditions. Glad I don't have to go to Spokane today, and praying tomorrow will be better. The temp is around 35 in spokane. The weather is freaky. Winter holding on strong.

A Wonderful View

Well, I do write when I'm upset with someone, that's for sure. Recently, I got an email from an acquaintance that told me to please accept an apology for pulling down a posting about an art class. I don't know if he pulled it down, because he doesn't like the teacher, and there is some kind of lawsuit going on between the two parties.

A long time ago, an acquaintance told me, "I'm like Tess, I don't mess."

I think that's a good way to be. Never get into the middle of someone else's mess, unless you are ready to get messy too!

Up Late At Night

Working on my show at Constant Creations, in Spokane, here are the details.

NEXT SHOW: Constant Creations, located at 524 W. 1st Avenue, Spokane, WA
Please come to the opening reception on Friday, March 2nd, from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Spokane, WA – Kettle Falls artist Gloria de los Santos’ encaustic paintings and hand-colored photography will be on display for the month of March at Constant Creations, 524 W 1st Avenue, Spokane 99201. Phone number at the gallery: (509) 747-8600.

A reception for the artist will be held Friday, March 2nd from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Her show at Constant Creations is titled, “Encaustic Musings and Other Works”. The show is part of Spokane’s First Friday Visual Arts Tour.

de los Santos has displayed her work nationally and her encaustic painting titled, “Pathos” was chosen for inclusion in the Boise State Women’s Center, Women’s History Month National Juried Exhibition, for the 2nd consecutive year.
She was recently awarded a PDAP 2007 (Professional Development Assistance Program) grant from Washington State Arts Commission to study encaustic and photographic processes at the Art Association of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.