SFAI140 – a challenge, a joy, a connection

SFAI140* challenged me to step up to the plate. I have done speaking about my work before, but having to distill my thoughts down to 140 seconds and convey them succinctly with timed images, took it to a whole other level. It was fun and gave me a sense of accomplishment. I appreciated the opportunity to be on the stage with some real pros and to meet the other presenters.

It was a pleasure to discover that fellow speaker and historical preservation architect Shawn Evans was acutely interested in the Santa Fe Interment Camp. He took my 1951 map of the Casa Solana neighborhood that had the internment camp placement on it and layered it over a current map. The two of us walked through the area of where the camp once was, looking at trees that may have been planted there. It was a bittersweet experience wandering around with him and discussing his feelings about living in the area with this history. If I were to come back he thought he could help me with having talks in the Casa Solana schools and community.

Many Native people spoke with me about their experiences with the camps, including a young woman who was inspired to go see the marker and go to the other NM camps, and a man who said his Native uncle was picked up and put into the Santa Fe Camp because he was mistaken for being Japanese.

After hearing me speak a Santa Fe gallery invited me to be on a panel on healing war trauma with creativity.

Speaking from the heart, expressing  your thoughts and what is important to you, is a challenge to accept and seek out. You never know where it can lead you.

*SFAI140 is an event that Santa Fe Art Institute puts on a couple times a year. They invite their residents and leaders in the community to speak for 140 seconds with 6 timed slides.

Bees keep us alive


I’ve chosen to focus on bees in the piece on transformation for my art for the Coastside Drs Without Borders Art Auction. Here’s my in-progress piece – encaustic flora seed raviolis for bees!

The below film was instrumental in me making that decision.

Ask a question, get an answer

I stumbled upon http://vyou.com/ via twitter and found it fascinating.

I first experienced questions people asked Deepak Chopra and his video responses. By scrolling on the right I was able to see some of the questions and decide which video I wanted to watch. Check out his response to the question, “How do you access intuition?” by clicking here.

As I played around on the site I found I could even ask other people questions. Many of the people were not too entertaining or terribly articulate.

What I did like were the montages of different people’s answers to a question. For example, listen and see how a group of folks answered “Has America Won the War on Terror?” I realize that the montage may have been organized to give a specific view point, but I still found it interesting. Check out the montage here: http://vyou.com/montage/3

I imagine this could evolve into an interesting educational or corporate vehicle to get information out in an entertaining way.

Creative type

I remember taking typing in high school. I was horrible at it, too slow and too many typos. I used to type my reports on my mother’s typewriter. I always had a lot of white out around.

I am delighted to find out about British artist Keira Rathbone, who uses a typewriter to create her work and she does it in period garb too!

Spinning Joy!

“Spin Joy” conjures up memories of bicycling, wheel of fortune, playful pinwheels. It offers the viewer a chance at fun, a moment to smile, a little escape.

This newest piece of mine in totally made of recycled materials. The colored disks are plastic lids for drinks! I painted them with acrylic and they glow when the sun shines through them. I got a case of lids from a place for free because they are defective. I’ve been using them a lot for kids art. We’ve made sun catchers and used them for scales on a giant fish. I’ve also been putting them in the windows at my studio and they are like stained glass.

I hope to make a bunch of them for a public art space.

My kind of shows at Palo Alto Art Center

I just saw a most inspiring and innovative group of shows at the Palo Alto Art Center. They are having their Winter 2011 Exhibitions: Patrick Doughtery, a site specific installation; the Nature of Entanglements; and Architecture of Memory, Mildred Howard. I have to say I loved all three of them. If you have seen my art, you know I have an affinity for installation and organic materials and found objects. There is plenty of that here!

The Nature of Entanglements mixes an artist group show with basket and nest artifacts. I really enjoyed that tie in – the historic, cultural, and naturally created functional work with the artists’ interpretation of ‘entanglement’ through painting, drawing, and installation.

Mildred Howard’s constructions using different kinds and colors of bottles were beautiful and strange. For inspiration she tapped into ancient West African and Black Atlantic Southern bottle houses and their spiritual protection. It brought to mind a full size greenhouse made out of large pickle jars I saw during my travels to the Czech Republic.

And lastly, Patrick Doughtery has to be one of my heroes! His whimsical, alive feeling installations just delighted me, as well as the mother and son who ran around throughout the piece with me. He even used willow from Pescadero, near where I live. Go to the Palo Alto Art Center to experience it for yourself! I’ve included a video for your enjoyment.