Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Synergy Requires Sleep

I've been out at Valhalla with my UA sisters almost every day this week for the "Synergy" show. I've found it exhausting, and rather emotional for some reason; plus, it's been slow. On the up-side, we're learning how it works to show together. Our work compliments each other, and we're getting a positive response.
I managed to finish a collection of necklaces before the show, and added a few pairs of earrings (a trial thing) that I completed on the day it poured...I even finished my second and elusive "mantle" clock that I've been working on for almost a year. I'll post photos of those another time. Here are a few pics from the show...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Computer Hell

Every time I turn on my computer these days, it makes a VERY LOUD humming noise. And it's been turning itself off at random moments too. So, if I fail to blog as regularly as I've been doing, please know that I am in computer hell.

(Also, I'll be out at Valhalla all week, or at least most of it, for the Underground Artists show.)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Elusivity, Part ii

I'm not sure, but I may have done it again...
where I'm trying to improve on something I've done, but I actually make it more complicated than it needs to be.

Or not.

Maybe tomorrow morning I'll have a better idea of how I like these new necklaces. (I'd post photos, but my camera is up on a mountain somewhere, with my husband.)

Anyway, I was adding beads to the papier mache necklace pieces. This gives them a bit more visual "weight". I don't consider beading my strong point, but...I HAD FUN. I was going at it with my design training: shape, color, balance... Also, I squinted at them alot (really), and it got easier. I actually enjoyed myself enough to work through dinner time; not something I do often...

So, that is enough. If I like them, even better. And if others like them, and want to buy them, well, that'll be the best.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Artisans of the Karen Hill Tribe

I'm not really procrastinating; I'm waiting. (There's a difference.) I'm waiting for a package from, so I can finish up the necklaces. All of the these new necklaces will have toggle clasps made by the people of the Karen Hill Tribe in northern Thailand. So in the meantime, I googled them, and learned a bit about them. You can find out more here. I looked at the photos of the people making the actual beads; it's amazing to see that real people are crafting these tiny silver items...whole families working together on each item. I decided to go with these clasps because it felt good to use something handcrafted to compliment the recycled nature of the necklaces. It's nice to know it's helping to support these families as well. I'll try to post some photos when they're finished.

Sun! Sand! Art!

Just a quick reminder about the Underground Artists show this coming week. We'll be at the (variously named) Viking Gallery, new Twin Cabins Gallery, small building in front of the Grand Hall at Valhalla on the lovely shores of Lake Tahoe. One or all of us will be there each day from 10 am to 4 pm. The show runs from August 27th to September 3rd. Visit the UA blog for more details...
Hope to see you down there!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I have this bad habit of trying hard to improve upon something, and in the process, taking a step backwards. Sometimes the piece looks more "polished", but somehow it's missing something; those elements that make a piece "work" can get "polished" right out! Other times, the design didn't work for me, for some reason, and so I'll go off in a different direction. Then somebody will point out how much they liked the first ones I did. Or it's me, I'll realize that I like the original piece more. It's really a challenge for me to explore an idea, while retaining that sense of wonder that got it made in the first place.

Anyway, here are some of the new batch of necklaces I'm working on. They're not finished, just in process. And the same thing is happening; I am finding that there's something about that FIRST batch that I liked better! Although I really do like these. I couldn't sleep last night, and got up at midnight to play around with the little pieces and colors. It was actually alot of fun...hmm...maybe these DO work. But I still like the plain ones too.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Less is More

I thought I'd take a break from my busy schedule of screwing up every piece I touch bring you one word:


Okay, a few more words:
I had a weekend, the highlight of which was meeting this amazing artist and very nice turns out I went to nursery school in New York City with her son (who I don't remember), and lived one block away from them. Anyway, I got to talk to her for a long time, and I didn't realize she was THE Liz featured in an American Style article in the October 2005 issue... until I got home. I had read the article, been amazed, and wanted to visit her studio, but never made the call. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to meet her in person. I'm hoping to visit her Open Studio this fall.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Don't Panic

Just how many times can one person listen to the "Garden State" soundtrack? This is a very good question, but not as pressing as the question: "Will I be ready for our show next week?" I was having a tough time motivating until this week, and that didn't leave me alot of time to finish the pieces I'd started. Now I'm on fire with ideas, and unfortunately hitting the time of the month where I wake up at 2:00 am and can't sleep for a couple of hours. So I start thinking about what I'm going to do in the morning, only when morning comes, I'm exhausted!

Anyway, I am working, and having fun with these bowls, and new colors, and some new ideas. I've got to figure out some display ideas, but other than that, I'll be fine....I've got enough work, even if I don't finish everything I wanted to...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Well-Spoken by Robert Genn

This is a direct quote from Robert Genn's newsletter.

"Imagine developing skills so profound and distinct that no one else comes near. It may be difficult, but it just might be worth it. Here are a few possibilities:

Identify weak areas and self-workshop them.
Repeat unique methodologies until they are mastered.
Explore personal nuances and make them yours.
Push on when you're pushing your limits.
Trust in ideas and follow your intuition.
Find out where your new strengths are.
Learn to be your own challenger and advocate.
Know that quality is always in style.
Don't worry if things turn out to be commercial.
Laugh on the way to the bank."

Robert publishes a twice-weekly newsletter and has a great website with lots of resources for artists. The focus is on painters, but it's really more than that. Plus, he seems like a super-nice guy. Thanks, Robert!

Update Update

I finally got it together to mail (okay, well, I haven't actually mailed the snail-mail letters yet....but they are printed out and ready to go, and the emails have gone out...) an update (you forgot what I was saying, didn't you?) for all the folks on my mailing list, whether they remember who I am or not! If you'd like to be on my mailing list (obviously I'm not going to send you alot of mail...this one's been so long overdue that I really think some recipients will respond with a resounding "who?!") you can contact me at

And, Julie Douglass has just opened a new shop in Reno, NV, called Artisans International. She is featuring my work, along with a staggering array of beautiful art and other fair trade items. I think my art sorta fits, as it's been described as folk art. You can visit the store at 3368 Lakeside Court, off of Lakeside, at Moana. Or visit her website for more information!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Get Dumb

Here's a quote from Cynthia Morris's website:

"If you have been cursed by your own success, please don't let it stop you. Reconnect with your original impulse for creating. Forget the ego, who loves the accolades and who also reminds you not to blow it. ... forget the praise, get dumb and become interested in the materials of your art. Don't let the curse of success stop the creative flow!"

I almost didn't read this because of the word "success" in the title. She's not talking about Success (capital "S") but success in the sense of completing work that you're happy with and maybe others have praised.

I was glad to hear that this morning. I'm working on three new, larger pieces; one each of three new forms... with a show coming up. That doesn't leave a lot of room for play, and hence error. "The Committee" (those voices in my head; can't remember who I stole that from...) is saying: "Don't blow it." But it must be as she said: get dumb, and become interested. Luckily this show is a group effort, so if they don't work out, I can hide behind the productivity of my friends!

(ironically, the other post in which I quote Cynthia is titled "Idiot Zone" here for her newsletter.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Inspiration at Your Fingertips

I recently subscribed to a newsletter (thanks to Luann Udell!) by a painter named Robert Genn. This is a link to a page on his site containing an impossibly huge collection of quotations related to art. Every week I'm posting a new quote on the Underground Artists blog; this will definitely help! That, or I"ll waste alot of time reading quotes.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

What is Going On?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I have never felt less motivated in my life. I have a group show coming up in a few weeks, and lots of work to be done. And I haven't done a bloomin' thing all weekend. Except read "Harry Potter"...which at this point, I don't feel like doing either. I don't even feel like eating! (although I have been...)

It's uncomfortable, but I don't feel bad. I just feel...well, it's frustrating, with all the things I could, and should be doing. And normally, I'd force myself to do SOMETHING. But I'm trusting that I'll feel differently tomorrow. And I know that if I force myself to do something, anything, now, it won't change a thing. I'll still go to sleep tonight feeling vaguely unfulfilled...

So here, go to this link instead of listening to my mind wander...