Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Creating Prosperity in the New Year

2009 has been a difficult year financially for many people, myself included. The US economy is in a strange place and what we have counted on previously we can no longer take for granted. (Perhaps a reminder to never take things or people in our lives for granted.)

As the year comes to an end
I find myself not reflecting on the past year as a continuation of things to come but as a jumping off place with gratitude for all that I do have, not focusing on what I don't have. In this same thought, creating a New Year through focused thought and positive action.

My girlfriends and I plan to celebrate together with a project to start the New Year with intentions to create prosperity and abundance in our lives. Below are the steps to this simple project if you wish to join us on this path.

The New Year is upon us! Make 2010 your Prosperity Year! What a fun, focused way to start off 2010 with great intentions to create prosperity, abundance, affluence and influence in your life.

From Michael's or your other favorite craft store:

1 - Red Box (be creative, buy or make one and decorate it)
1 - Square of red felt
1 - Mirror (Square, round, heart shaped)

From your local bank:

9 - Quarters
18 - New One Dollar Bills (consecutive, but not required)
9 - Twenty dollar Bands (Purple & White)
9 - Quarter Rolls, flat kind
9 - More One Dollar Bills to exchange (see below)

From Chinese Cultural Center or Amazon

2 - Red Envelopes also known as Feng Shui Envelopes


Place 9 One Dollar Bills in Red Envelop exchange with a friend, family or business associate. He or she will do the same. After exchanging the envelopes filled with the 9 One Dollar Bills, both individuals will put their intentions in the exchanged envelop. Each will place this important envelop in their own 2010 Prosperity Box which includes all the other items in it!

During the year new intentions can always be added.

Be creative, be specific with your intentions and let the Universe and Multi-verse provide the avenues to achieve your objectives and goals. Stay out of the outcome, so your income can "come in" to you!

Place the felt and the mirror under the box.

Place all the items in the box, including the red or Feng Shui envelope which contains the 9 one dollar bills and your intentions.

With your Prosperity Box ready for 2010, place it in the left prosperity corner of your home, office, cubicle or favorite room. Facing into your home, apartment, office, cubicle and/or favorite room, your prosperity corner is always in the left hand corner as you enter through the doorway.

From time to time throughout the year, check your list of intentions and see how many have come to fruition for you. Be positive, be affirming! Remember...where you place your consciousness and your heart is what powers your energy to manifest your intentions!

To Prosperity, Abundance, Affluence and Positive Influence for you in 2010!!!

Remember to have fun! (Prosperity Box Project from Quantum Pathic Center of Conciousness)

May you all have a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Coincidence and Serendipitous Paths

Serendipity: the effect by which one accidentally stumbles upon something fortunate, especially while looking for something entirely unrelated.

Coincidence: a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance.

Is it enough to acknowledge coincidence and or serendipity without taking action to benefit from this most gracious gift?

I very much enjoy reading books and have always believed that certain books are presented to us in a moment when we need to hear the message in the book, often an answer to a question we have pondered and put out into the universe. After my last post and discouragement with the marketing results I've had with my artwork, I thought my goal for the new year would be to seriously take action to put together a body of work, a professional portfolio and work to get into galleries (something that I've always found intimidating and therefore procrastinated with every excuse in the world to avoid doing).

Recently at an art group meeting my friend Rae brought the book "Starving To Successful" by Jason Horejs and although hadn't finished the book yet, recommended it to the group. When leaving the meeting, Rae had forgotten the book and although I knew I wouldn't see Rae for probably a week or more as we don't live near each other, I volunteered to take the book and return it to her. I read the book over the next 2 days and then mailed it back to Rae as she was anxious to finish it. In the book Jason provides the biography that he had written for an artist named Bob as an example of a quality biography for artists. A year prior, I was introduced to Bob when mutual friends brought him to my house for a New Year's Eve party. Bob is a quiet man of few words and I learned more from Jason's write up on Bob than I had from the past year's conversations with him directly. By reading Jason's book I now feel I know my friend Bob a little better. A few days after reading the book, my friend Lance from WA called to say he would be in Arizona soon to show his sculpture at the Tempe Festival of the Arts. I had planned to meet up with Lance prior to the festival. He mentioned that he had to meet with his gallery in Scottsdale but then we could meet for lunch after that and visit the galleries in the area. Turns out - guess what? Yes - the gallery was Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale which is owned by Jason Horejs who's book I had just read.

When the answer to your question hits you right in the face - don't just take note - take action! Message received! I"m taking action on this message of Serendipity & Coincidence and purchasing the book, rereading it again and following all the steps to move forward with the business of art.

Monday, November 30, 2009

When All Else Fails . . . I'll Keep Making Art

Is it the economy or me? When I think I'm doing all that I can and its still not working, (referring to supporting myself via my art - or at least selling enough to purchase more art supplies) I stop and question myself, about everything. I've read the books, followed the blogs, done the work, produced the art, joined the groups, submitted to shows, etc. I feel like I'm doing everything right with my artwork and the marketing of it but after a 2 day outdoor art festival that left me covered in dirt & dust along with my artwork, business cards, tent and my car, both inside and out without a single sale, I start questioning myself. What am I doing wrong? Should I go get a real job? What do I need to change? Is it the wrong venue? Is it me? Does my art suck? Am I just not good enough? You know, all the self doubt starts bubbling up from that insecure place that seems to be in most artist, perhaps in most people at one time or another.

So my horoscope today reads:

"Instead of tying your happiness to the changing circumstances of your life, align your emotional satisfaction to your core beliefs. You can find outer peace if you are motivated by an inner awareness."

A core belief that I hold is that I am an artist and I have to make art. So when all else fails, I will keep making art.

"Make the art you love and seek its audience." Jackie Battenfeild from her book "The Artist's Guide"

Friday, September 25, 2009

Back On Track and The Last Road Trip

Feeling guilty that I've abandoned my blog for the summer so now that it is late October I really should get back on track. The summer was surprisingly busy and I feel the fall has booked up just as quickly. I was able to attend the International Encaustic Artists Retreat in Carmel Valley, CA and met some great people and even learned a few new things. The 2 days of driving each way was exhausting as I've had my fill of road trips recently but sometimes you make the best of it. In fact, on the way there, my artist friend and traveling partner Sherrie Posternak and I started making up stories based on things we had seen and experienced along the way and had such fun with it we cracked ourselves up to the point of tears. Now THAT'S how you enjoy a road trip.

Karon Leigh, Maria Arvayo, Kari Young, Diane Bailey-Haug, & Birgit Huttemann-Holz

Best part of the retreat for me - the BEACH of course!

Eileen Goldenberg & Pamela Blum @ retreat in CA

I very much enjoyed some of the presenters/speakers at the retreat, the philosophical, Tony Scherman and probably my favorite, Pamela Blum with her demo on working 3D.

Mari Marks

A highlight of the retreat for me was finally seeing everyone's work and having the art/gift exchange where I received this coveted piece by artist Mari Marks. I really scored on this one.

So now that the summer fun is over, well, its not that I haven't been working on new work - I have, but have also been pulled in all sorts of directions with other commitments and volunteer work. I did finish the first few pieces in my new series "the women that came before me" where I honor artists and other strong women, with these 2 pieces that include Frida Kahlo. Yes - I know - Frida's been done before but I had to start somewhere and she is just one in a large list of women I am including in this series - so stay tuned for further updates.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Art Opening in Seattle

This past weekend I had my opening at Local Color in Pike's Place Market area of Seattle. The show was hung well and many of my local art fiends came out to support me. I'm very happy with the new work that is showing there. The work will be at Local Color thru the month of June so please stop in if you are in the area.

"Peaks of Imagination"
Encaustic & Mixed Media

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Northern CA & Oregon

I was pleased to see all of the farm land in northern CA and to know that it is not all developed with strip malls and housing developments where every house looks alike. I wonder what type of markers people use to find their homes in those type of neighborhoods. When I lived in Henderson years ago, my neighbors had painted their house blue - the only one in the neighborhood so I was always able to tell people that I lived next door to the blue house.

My favorite part of the trip so far has been the winding roads thru Mt Shasta CA. There were very few cars on the road there Thursday afternoon so I was really able to enjoy the drive. I found myself cruising into "race car driver mode" able to slide easily back and forth into the inside lane around every curve. For a short distance I was the "lead car" setting pace for the mustang behind me. Then a gold honda civic appeared and became the best pace setting lead car I have ever journeyed with. We appeared to be a team, taking the curves at 80 mph with the grace of synchronized swimmers. The breathtaking view of Mt Shasta appearing around every corner - I was elated. He led me all the way to Medford and I so wanted to thank him and tell him what a great job he did - how I enjoyed our cruise together but I guess part of the fun of the event was that he was a stranger - and would remain one - just offering a moment in time - a memory shared.

As we came out of the mountains and a short ways before Medford we passed thru the Ashland area. I've never been to Ashland and will make it a destination on my return. Perhaps it was the time of day, the sunset reflecting pale peachy pinks off of the rolling green hills or the David Grey cd playing, or the high I was on after my "race car driver" experience, but this place felt magical. The colors in the sunset - hmm - another inspiration for a new encaustic color palette.

Speaking of encaustics - I was able to connect with another encaustic artist on my journey who I found via facebook and blogging sites, Rebecca Shapiro. Her abstract acrylic painting style has evolved into encaustic painting. I love her work. Check it out here. Rebecca graciously invited me, a stranger but fellow encaustic artist, to stop in and see her studio which of course I did. A new friend - thank you Rebecca.

My destination for the day was just north of Portland in Vancouver WA to stay with Robyn and Paul. I had met Robyn when we both lived up in Snohomish county. Last year we both moved. Robyn and Paul kindly welcomed me into their home where I have been able to lounge and recover from all the driving. Simple things like a comfortable bed to sleep in and a place to do a load of laundry while visiting with a friend is a great blessing. Thank you Robyn and Paul and all of the great people I've visited with and met on the road trip north.

And now to head out again for a short journey north to see my family, starting with my gorgeous grandson, Cameron.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Leaving San Francisco

Again we start our day at "Progressive Grounds", a coffee shop around the corner from Amber's place. The back patio area is inviting and a gentle space to enjoy our coffee and discuss life and our plans for the day. Beth will head to the airport to return to Phoenix and I will drive north with Medford, OR as my destination for the day.

One of the little treasures I found at the coffee shop was this old fire hydrant hidden in the patio gardens. I am drawn to weathered and worn, rusting metals, in fences, hydrants, old cars, you name it. The patterns and colors created by the elements and time are so beautiful. This hydrant is inspiring a new palette for my next encaustic work - hmmm. Recreating weathered metals in encaustic - now that's a challenge.

I'll head north on 101 across the Golden Gate Bridge again with a stop in Novato to look up another encaustic artist, Sandy Miot. From there I'll go north around the bay and catch I5 for the long day's drive to Medford.

After a few missed turns and an extra 45 minutes of driving I find the Hamilton Art Center in Novato. I should have mapped it before leaving SF but had shut down the computer and went from memory - always a bad thing.

I met Sandy Miot in her studio where she was working with a student, Barbara. Sandy has a beautiful well lit and huge studio space in the Hamilton bldg. Her work is facinating, very dimensional with a mix of embbedded metal objects. She is also working in encaustic monotypes and we had both learned this technique from Paula Roland. I love meeting other artists and especially encaustic artists. We always learn something from each other and find so much in common. Notice the book on the table - yup - that's my friend Trish's book, "Encaustic Workshop" which can be purchased via Amazon - the link is right here on my blog page. Seems Trish and Sandy both took Paula's workshop together. Hmm - small encaustic world - I just love it!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Day in the City - SF

Wednesday was a day in the city. We ended up on Haight Street checking out all the little shops - mostly vintage and second hand shops. Amber was looking for vintage cowboy boots - I was looking for jeans and Beth was mostly into tops & blouses. We ended spending most of our time & money at Goodwill - go figure - always the best deal but at least we experienced the ambiance of being in the city.

Very cool architecture - lots of detail and artistic touches throughout the city. As a county chick, I felt surprisingly very comfortable in San Francisco. I loved the variety - in everything, the people, the neighborhoods, the food - amazing!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Point Reyes

Karon @ Progressive Grounds

We start our days at Progressive Grounds, a pleasant little coffee shop a block from my niece's house in Bernal Heights. On Monday we headed north west over the Golden Gate Bridge and out to Point Reyes where my niece, Amber is working at a cafe/pizza joint. We stopped at the visitor's center and drove into Inverness for more coffee and discovered the local Artist's Studio Tour was taking place. I much prefer a studio tour to shopping or even hikes out to the beach. So we got the map and made our selections and off we went, discovering a wonderful woodblock printmaker - famous in the area named Tom Killion and also a fellow encaustic artist named Paula Fava.

Its been so nice to see green landscape and water again after being in the desert for the last 7 months. The rolling hills around Point Reyes are so relaxing. Its a farming area with cows roaming the hills. They say - happy cows are from California. they looked happy to me.
Amber at Cafe Reyes

Quick Stop in Vegas

We spent our first night at my brother's place in Vegas. Wow - look at the development that has happened here. Houses everywhere! The city has spread and grown probably 3 times since I lived there 14 years ago. Since I lived in Vegas for 6 years I saw and learned that gambling was a big "looser" thing to do and haven't gambled since. Can't stand to be in the casinos so for me, this was just a place to crash for the night.

The road trip from Vegas to San Francisco is very long and quite boring. Uneventful landscape.
Seems the Atlantis landed at Edwards Air Force Base on Saturday but we must have missed it. Didn't see any additional traffic in the area or things falling from the sky. Oh well.

Probably the best part of this section of the trip was the garlic fields southeast of San Jose. Big trucks of garlic and whiffs of garlic filling the air. A dark grey cloud hovered over San Francisco as we arrived - cold and a big change from our Arizona weather.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Leaving Phoenix - Road Trip Part 1

Beth & Karon - sisters

I left Phoenix with my sister, Beth this morning we headed to Vegas (Henderson really) to see our younger brother Scott. Scott is a helicopter pilot, living part time in LA, part time in Vegas where he flies tours over the Grand Canyon. Beth and I are 14 months apart and look so much alike - right? HA! Its rare that we get to spend this time together as the last 14 years I lived in Seattle and she in Phoenix so didn't have much time together. Beth is riding with me as far as San Francisco where we will visit her oldest daughter, my niece, Amber.

Stopped in a town called Wikkiup - no Starbucks but the ice cream parlor has coffee - but it really sucks. We spotted Elvis coming out of the AM/PM in Kingman. I don't know why people live in Kingman but they do. Maybe its because Elvis is there. We did find a Starbucks in Kingman but they don't pull long shots - didn't even know what they were. Beth thought perhaps living in Seattle so long that I had NW Starbucks lingo but I arguesd the point that it was common not only to Starbucks and in fact I hadn't discovered long shots until I was in Oro Valley.

We passed thru the Joshua Tree forest and had to listen to U2 of course. Beth posed in the tree - I guess just because she could. Helps to get perspective though. Overall, it was a pretty easy drive, especially with the company of my sister and all of her good tunes from her ipod. And then we got close to the dam and the traffic completely stopped. We thought there must be an accident as we were still quite a few miles from the dam, but after an hour of stop and go traffic where people actually got out of their cars to pee at the side of the road, we finally crossed the dam but the back up seemed to be just from people slowing to cross the dam. Just didn't seem right.

I was shocked at the change in the Las Vegas area since I had lived there back in the early 90's. The housing developments alone were overwhelming. Geez it has grown. Glad I don't live there anymore. Found our brother and settled in for the night. In the morning, we're heading to San Francisco. Yippie! The road trip continues.

New Art & A Road Trip

"Primordial Spaces of Being"
Encaustic Monotype/Mixed Media on Cradled Board
10" h x 30" w

In March I took a workshop in Tucson at the Conrad Wilde Gallery with Santa Fe artist, Paula Roland to learn her technique of encaustic monotypes. I had been a printmaker ever since I discovered printmaking at UNLV back in the early 90's. I got hooked on the sound of ink rolling out on the glass and the delicate feel of paper in my hands. Then about 3 years ago after admiring the mystery of encaustic for many years, I finally took a workshop in encaustic with my now bestest girlfriend, Trish Baldwin Seggebruch and was immediately hooked on encaustics. For the past few years, I have switched back and forth working in encaustic and then going back to printmaking. Back and forth, back and forth. WELL - at Paula's class something just clicked for me and I seemed to have found my niche. I am now working directly on paper with cold hard encaustic and a heated metal plate.

I have created a series of encaustic monotype paintings, of course inspired by my relocation to the southwest. Landscapes are my love and this "Aggregate Canyons" series just flowed out of me with little effort, an accumulation of a history of memories, dreams and life experiences, always with a deep question and awareness of who I am and how do I fit into this world.

The 9 pieces in the series are loaded into my car and I am heading out on a road trip from Arizona to Seattle where I will be showing this work at Local Color in the Pike's Place Market area of town for the month of June. If you are in the area, please stop by. The opening reception is on Sat June 6th from 6-9pm.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Inspired by Nature

There are special moments of time captured sometimes with a camera, sometimes just within our memories, an image, a smell, a sound and I find that nature is the most precious and inspiring of all.

As a newcomer to the Southwest I am still in awe of these little moments in the desert, the image from my yard of the moon in an afternoon sky cropped by blooming Ocotillo where the hummingbirds eat and play and the desert blooms under the mesquite tree outside my studio door.

Perhaps its the bright orange red of the Ocotillo blooms that will show up in my artwork, perhaps the blue of the spring southwestern sky, or perhaps just the feeling of complete calmness and joy that I feel from appreciating these precious moments around me that will allow me to be connected to the muse, the higher power or the creative force when I turn on the wax and pick up a brush to begin my next artistic creation.


I have a small studio in my home dedicated to encaustic and mixed media work - a messy space where spilling wax is allowed. No carpet on the floors to worry about, plenty of light with a back door that opens to the mesquite tree and a flower garden where I often watch hummingbirds at the feeder.

I find great joy and satisfaction in teaching workshops in encaustic here. The class size is kept to 4 maximum due to space and electricity and I find that this class size allows for an intimate exchange of instruction, creative work time and personal attention and interaction. A recent workshop I held included local accomplished artists from the area; a photographer, water colorist, oil painter, and pastel artist all together in a in my studio. Its exciting when we all realize that working in the same medium with the same color palette, the finished results are all so individual and completely different from each other. The Bisbee group was excited enough about encaustics that they spoke of creating their own encaustic studio spaces. Now THAT is inspiring.

info on workshops exPRESSive Arts Studio

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Unchartered Territories

My work was recently exhibited at The Drawing Studio in Tucson in a show called "Unchartered Territories" which was supposed to challenge the artist to step out of their boundaries whether in medium, structure or content. The 2 pieces I exhibited, "Another Birthday Celebration" and "Secret & Sacred Spaces" were mixed media and encaustic which included paper, wine corks, twigs, wire mesh, & ceramic. These were some of my attempts in moving from 2d to 3d work.

"Another Birthday Celebration"

"Secret & Sacred Places"

Sunday, April 12, 2009

little treasures

Easter Sunday 2009 - a beautiful day in Southeastern Arizona - blue skies and sunshine, a gentle breeze. Decided to take a walk down to the monastery and enjoy this beautiful day. The Holy Trinity Monastery is about a mile or so down highway 80 from my home.

In lieu of traditional Easter celebrations where I have always hosted the family dinner, now living alone and far from my children, I figured spending a little time at the monastery seemed like an appropriate way to spend Easter.

The trees are all in bloom this time of year and my favorite tree in town is this giant cottonwood. It reminds me of the cottonwood that Georgia O'Keefe often painted with its twisty curvy branches. I definitely have to paint this tree.

During my walks I am often on the look out for little treasures and today was no exception. At the side of the road I found a dead but fully intact butterfly and carried him with me to the monastery and home with a little damage due to the wind and the sweat of my hand. I also found these wonderful gourds on a vine I had passed.

Of course I stopped to visit with my neighbors on the way home.

Happy Easter my friends.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Fear and the Creative Genius

For years I have struggled with the my true passion of needing to create art while also trying to make a living and be the responsible grown up because being an "artist" certainly isn't responsible in a culture that values financial and material wealth as true success. The reputation of the artistic creative type doesn't seem to hold the same value in our corporate American society as other professions and artists are often considered to be lazy or mentally unstable. I received an email from a dear friend with a link to this video the other day. Elizabeth Gilbert, a very talented author and speaker discusses the "Creative Genius" and it struck me as being so timely and powerful, I needed to hear this NOW. Listening to her speak was like a gift for me. It was so relevant for me that I had to share it with all of you.

Elizabeth's personal experience of now having to live up to her own great success as a writer and how the fear of success or failure about one's work is assumed if one is a creative type. Her statement, "should anybody be expected to be afraid of the work they feel they were put on this earth to do" validates my own knowing that this is what I was put on this earth to do and whether or not I experience the "genius" or "daemons" in my artistic endeavors, I will continue to show up and do my job of creating my art. Thank you for that, Elizabeth.

Please take the time to enjoy this video as Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses:

Encaustic Group Show in Tucson

Our encaustic group, Tucson Encaustic Artists had an opening reception at Details Art & Design last night in Tucson. We had a great turnout and I was very pleased with the presentation of our work. The 10 member group presented a wide variety of work including encaustic monotype, photo transfer, 3 dimensional and sculpted pieces representing the versatility of working in encaustic. I had my encaustic monotype sell and leave the gallery before I arrived. Yippie! The lesson on that one though is to photograph your work before framing and making available for sale.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Artistic Integrity

For the last week I have been working on an ecaustic painting that includes a photograph of my son and daughter in law for their upcoming wedding gift. For the last 3 days I added, then scraped, walked away, went back, changed palette, added some more, added some more, and kept finding it was never right and probably would never be right by the time I had to pack it into my suitcase and head for Seattle. In fact, I don't even like the painting because it is so not me - I don't do hearts or cutesy, but that's what it ended up being.

detail of encaustic painting

If I don't like the painting, am I compromising my artistic integrity by then accepting it as is and giving as a gift?

I decided that they would like it, or at least appreciate the thought/effort as opposed to a purchase from the Target gift list, which I just couldn't bring myself to do seeing that I was "the artist" .

I also decided that I liked parts of the painting, the way the copper colored oil pastel melted over the wax, the way the titanium white oil paint breaks with direct heat from the heat gun, and so I learned something in the process - what I liked and what I didn't like, what works and what doesn't - for me at least. And I learned that I need to make my art based on what I like, letting a true creative process come from me and not compromise myself for what others may want or what I think they may want. Be true to oneself.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Getting Started or Starting From Scratch

A new home and life in Arizona and a new direction with my art has inspired me to get started or start from scratch with this new blog. When we take a break from our art or are lacking inspiration, its best to just "get started" or even "start from scratch" throwing out our previous expectations about our work and even the direction of our lives. So with a new direction and expectations, here I will update my artistic journeys with "Little Art Notes".

The new direction started when I moved to southeastern Arizona outside of Tucson in October 2008 and my palette obviously changed by the influence of my new environment. I continue to make landscapes, mostly in encaustic but now after a workshop with Paula Roland out of Santa Fe who visited Tucson last month, I am combining my love of printmaking with my passion for encaustic by working in "Encaustic Monotypes" on paper. More to follow.