Thursday, February 25, 2010

Now it's Summer!

The Tree of Life is almost done. All the leaves with words and without words are soldered and wired on. The beads are on, although, I may be tempted to add a few more. There's still some patina work to do and a few places to polish up. And I have a few branches to 'prune'. Then it will be ready for delivery.

My biggest challenge right now is stopping. I'm in that 'futzy' phase where I tend to get bogged down with adding and subtracting elements that, in the end, I realize I really don't need. I've loved working on this project and it's hard to see it end. But what I really need to do is face up to the finish line and acknowledge the that the project is done.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

From Winter to Spring in just two days!

Here's the latest photo of the Tree of Life project. All the words that the children pushed into the copper sheeting are up and soldered on. Half of them have beads and wire as well.

There's more to come...more leaves, beads and wire, too! I'll post more photos after my studio session tomorrow.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Leaves are bursting out in my studio.

The Tree of Life grew leaves today. The picture today shows some of the leaves with words attached to the ends of the branches. It's only about 1/2 the leaves with words and then, there are the leaves that are textured and smaller. And then, there are beads and wire to add. And then? I guess I'll know when I get there.

This Tree of Life is a lot like life, of course, a process that requires passion, hope, faith, courage, and love. Look closely and you'll see all those words and more up on those branches now.

Stay tuned. More to come!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A tree grows in my studio.

You can see it here in process. The large copper tree will be adorned with copper leaves and beads.

The project is called, Tree of Life, and just like life, it’s a creative adventure. The trunk has many layers of spiraling copper that twist, turn as they grow upward a symbol of how we all grow in many different directions. The branches are heavy and light reaching outward, again, like life; there is a need for strength and delicacy. The base has three main roots symbolizing the body, heart and soul.

The leaves were given to the children in the class to repousse’ with words and textures. I had a great time working with them and found their word choices fascinating. The most popular words were peace, wisdom, faith and life. In second place were the words, dream strength, courage, joy hope and grace. Five children chose these words; friends, vision, thrive, passion and energy. No one chose the word, love.

So I added my own leaf with the word, love. Because, this tree project is certainly been a labor of love for me. I’ll keep you posted on further progress and pics of the finished piece.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Celebrating Love before and after Valentine's Day.

I'm lucky to do what I and writing and teaching. But it's not always easy. It's very easy to get side tracked, blind sided and disappointed by things that happen in life. So I don't take it for granted when life delivers me a weekend of what I love and sharing in what the people in my life love as well.

I went to congratulate friends on their new gallery shows. My husband did what he loves to do as well. The next day, we had time together walking, napping and watching the Olympics. Then later, we both got to share our daughter's performance doing what she loves to do, singing. And we enjoyed a delicious meal of salmon, salad and bread.

Sunday was restful and relaxing as we took turns cooking up a storm in the kitchen. We both love to cook and cooking together in the kitchen is always a labor of love and a way to connect and create. It was harder when the kids were little, but we still made time to make these heart shaped cookies(in the picture above) that the 'Valentine Fairy' magically hung on their bedroom doors just in time for Valentine's Day.

This weekend, we were childless...something new to us. Caitlin has a home of her own now and Kyle was out of town snowboarding with his friends.

Alone in the house, Michael and I made a puff pancake for breakfast, spinach Parmesan omelet for lunch but we saved the big adventure for dinner. We cooked a live lobster! It isn't as hard as you might think, you just steam that lobster in a big pot for about 20 minutes, crack it open, clean it out and serve. It was delicious with the fresh asparagus and hollandase sauce. We shared one of our heart shaped cookies for dessert.

Love comes in many ways in life and I'm very grateful that this weekend, I got the chance to cook up ways to connect and share it.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Hanging out with art and artists.

What could be better than two days of fun friends and family, great art and tasty food?

I feel honored to be chosen as one of over 100 Oregon artists for the 28th Annual Visual Arts Showcase. What made it even better was celebrating with so many artist friends. I love Joni and Cynthia’s sculptures. Brenda’s pastels are always so beautiful. And Christy, Christine, Tupper, Gretha and Sunny’s paintings were treasures for the eyes and the soul.

The food on Friday was absolutely delicious. Catered by Ava in Beaverton, there was a dazzling selection of cheeses, fruit, focaccia sandwiches, salads and little bite size desserts. Saturday, I enjoyed chocolate covered strawberries, dessert bars and cheeses. Yum!

The exhibit included a wide range of fine art and craft including paintings, pastels, mixed media, photography and sculpture. I enjoyed seeing all the pieces and meeting many new artists.

I had two pieces accepted this year. My ‘Ocean Elements’ triptych and ‘Reflection’ are two very different and yet, very similar pieces. Both are ‘bas’ relief pieces out of metal.

The ‘Reflection’ piece is copper sheeting sculpted using my version of the age old technique of copper repouss√©.

I sculpted the ‘Ocean Elements’ piece using my fingers, hands and arms, then painted the aluminum mesh with many, many layers of acrylic paints. It’s the biggest piece I’ve ever attempted in aluminum mesh. After it was done, it hung on my studio walls for quite a while. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, actually. I knew I wanted to frame or mount it somehow, but, the question was…how? I know I didn’t want the edges tucked or matted. My husband made the frames and we figured out a way to ‘float’ the mesh pieces inside the frame.

It’s always a little nerve-racking wondering how your art will be displayed. The triptych was hung at the entrance to the show on the brick wall and it really worked against the red brick.

I was so happy to see it there in the show and to spend the weekend hanging out with friends, family and art…well, life doesn’t get much better than that.