Who Are You?

When I was young (er), what I wore was incredibly important to me. I saw my body as an extension of my creative self. I had a mohawk, dyed with bright henna and always had three black dots on the side of my face. I don’t know why, they just felt authentic. My clothes were baggy, military or black and red. British punk and new wave was my scene and I proudly wore all the pins from the concerts I had attended. I even pierced my nose, long before it was fashionable. A steel ring, some pliers and viola! I did the same to my ears, many times and still sport the “stick and poke” tattoos. I was PUNK!

Like any good punk, Doc Martens were the boot of choice and, at one time, I had at least 10 pairs. They hurt my feet, a lot, so the obvious second choice was America’s answer to punk footwear, Chucks.

I saw these shoes today on the Bloomingdales website, ironically while I was trying to find the value of my last pair of Chucks so I could sell them. I would have killed for these, plain and simple.

Chuck Taylor Converse high-tops were shoes of the gods! In the 80’s it was rare and expensive to find any that weren’t just a solid color. Kids in the know would only accept black or very specific colors. Wear white and we would truly pity you. Later, as the nineties encroached, painting your Chucks became very common. Previously, a sharpie, boredom and s few choice words might enhance their look but now we were cracking out the acrylics and going to town!

A little piece of my soul needs these shoes!!!!! Now that I can afford them, my feet cannot. So, here I am, on my blog, letting my inner child scream for a bit.

Aren’t we all pieces of who we were? Who are you and how do you express yourself in your daily life? I can’t answer this very well today. I need to find ME again.

Welcome to the New Year, AGAIN.

I know that I have said this before, but this time I mean it! 2019 will be a year of transition for me. A number of things transpired in 2018 that have drastically altered the landscape of both my business and personal lives.

My health and the health of my adult children have taken the front seat on this journey around the sun. My time is split between being a caregiver and finding unique ways to make money; mostly by selling what we don’t need. In between, there is art. There will ALWAYS be art.

Just like the dots on this apple, life is made up of uncountable moments.

What we do in those moments will shape who we are and how we impact others.

Being conscious of your actions and thoughts will help you reach your goal, even if you are not exactly sure what that looks like.

Every dot, every moment, every connection, every person, is required to make the idea a reality; a “Tangible Imagining” if you will.

My daughters and I are facing a somewhat difficult and unknown future. But, as it is with all things, if we focus on what we want from life and we execute each moment with care, eventually, it will become a reality.

I draw with dots because I cannot draw lines well anymore. We adapt, if we want to.

Here’s to a new year. I hope you can adapt and keep your eye on the goal!

Where the Magic Happens

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One major reason why I have been away from WordPress for so long is the long awaited finishing of my studio. Our 10th anniversary was in 2016 and my husband gifted me with this wonderful, little building. I told him that I wanted it to look like a Wild West mercantile. The wood is cedar that was milled by my father-in-law on a small, circular sawmill giving it an authentic, vintage look. The windows were salvaged from my sister-in-law’s house when she had all their windows replaced. My husband designed and built the entire thing including the garden which, soon after this photo was taken, was filled with wildflowers. He has two shops of his own and we turned my old porch shop (see previous posts) into a lapidary for the stones we have been collecting. I think it goes without saying, that I married into a pretty awesome family and I have a more than awesome spouse!

Dot Dot. Dot

This illustration has been sitting on my table for at least six months now. Every chance I get, I go and add a few thousand more dots to it and then set it aside for another day. I started using the most amazing erase-able pens about half way through. They are manufactured in Japan and use thermal ink. When you rub the ink with a piece of soft plastic, it creates enough heat that the ink completely disappears! It’s magic. Otherwise, the pens work nicely. It is an interesting solution for my unsteady hands. On the plus side, I can correct my mistakes. On the minus side, any extreme temperatures can either remove or replace the ink as well. I guess I will need to have a disclaimer on my work stating that it should never be stored or displayed in anything but a climate controlled dwelling. Put my artwork in an attic and you might just find out the truth!

Illustration

In my previous post, I mentioned that I have a separate site for my illustrations. My daughter is a graphic designer and we have teamed together to form a shop called Pronghorn Designs.

I started my career path as classic artist, earning a degree in fine art and, while I originally thought I would go into painting, I always seemed to drift back to drawing. I love the details. The above drawing of a dragonfly was done while looking through a magnifying glass. That is how much I love the details.

My drawings are almost always inspired by nature. I am not a big fan of architectural drawing or of portraiture although I have dabbled in both. I tend to gravitate towards individual subjects rather than busy scenes or layered compositions. My focus is rather intense.

My hands are badly arthritic now and I am not sure how many more drawings of this type I have in me. Lately, as in the above drawings, I have been working by stippling (drawing with dots) because my hands shake  too much to make a reliable line. I will eventually have both of my thumbs rebuilt but until then, I will focus more on the metal work.

 

It’s Been a Long Time!

As 2016 is drawing to a close, I realize that, while I did not manage to make it the year that my shop became successful, I DID manage to hone my skills and determine exactly what it is that I want to accomplish with my art. I have turned my jewelry design in a brand new direction and have settled in to metal smithing.

I have thus far, been working predominantly in copper. The colors I can achieve are really amazing but I have a very long way to go before I can say that I actually have any control over the outcome.

When I started, I was more interested in the shapes I could form and had not realized the full potential of the copper. I will be working more towards fold forming and color combined in one piece, There is still A LOT to learn,

My shop will go back into full sale mode beginning next year. I also have three other shops under my thumb: one for my illustrations, one for my personal journey and one for the extra supplies I have lying around that I no longer need. So busy is going to be my new name! Stay tuned!


Rock Hounding

We recently purchased our first travel trailer. I am not exactly sure how it happened. If you ask me, I will tell you that I just woke up one morning and decided that we needed one. I am sure it was more complicated than that, but I know that from the time the idea struck me until we were backing it into our driveway only about two weeks had passed.  I have a congenital condition that makes is impossible to sleep on the ground any more and perhaps I was just really missing camping. What ever it was, we are now the proud owners of a Jayco, Baja Edition trailer.Travel Trailer

The Baja Edition just means that it has extra clearance and truck tires; perfect for going off road. Maybe the idea started when my father sent us back to Oregon last year with boxes of mineral specimens that he and my mother had collected over the years. She is a geologist and he is a geophysicist, so I grew up with a deep curiosity surrounding all things “rock”. My husband introduced me to Oregon Sunstone a few years ago and we had always wanted to go and find some ourselves but hotel rooms are scarce in the middle of BLM land.

I am positive that my parents involvement with rocks is what has spurred my desire to make jewelry. Many moons ago, I was sure I would grow up to be a gemologist but life does not always dish out what you want. We had already done a day trip collecting Thunder Eggs which, for those of you who are unfamiliar, are volcanic burps that harden before they hit the ground and thus are very round. Over time, the centers turn to various forms of quartz. Geodes are relatively well known as are picture agate, but the ones we have here are mostly iron infused jasper. That is another story.

Our first trip with the trailer was to Glass Butte, Oregon where we picked up a tidy collection of obsidian. That is also another story as I have not managed to sort through those rocks yet.

So, I will show you pictures of our second trailer trip and third rock collecting excursion. This trip we went to Congleton Hollow.

Congleton Hollow

We chose this camp site because we could watch both the sunrise and the sunset. The goal of this trip was to find limb casts. Limb casts are not the same as petrified wood. They are formed when a volcano erupts sending hot ash into the air. This ash lands on the trees and quickly hardens into a cement like substance. Because it is hot, it also sets the tree on fire burning it away. What is left, is a hole in the shape of a tree. Over millennia, mineral laden water percolates through the castings, leaving behind, well, minerals which fill the castings. Then, over MORE time, the freezing and thawing of the ground, pushes these limb casts towards the surface where folks like us can wander around and, with hope, find them.

At first, we had NO idea what to look for, so we wandered around rather aimlessly, but then they started to reveal themselves and our eyes adjusted to focus better on our goal.

Limb Casts

So here they are. Most are agate, all are some form of quartz. I have yet to wash them and see how pretty they really are. The green is from copper, which you see everywhere there.

Now I need to turn one into a necklace.