Sunday, February 28, 2010

Oh Canada


I'm sure I'm not the only one that has been walking around lately singing "Oh Canada"--literally, I've been walking around singing "Oh Canada" in my head. (It sounds better in my head than when I sing it out loud--trust me!)

I get caught up in the Olympics every few years (winter and summer games)...but this has been a wonderful Olympics on so many fronts. Vancouver has put on quite a show. The city itself looks so impressive--I'm sure many folks will want to visit now that they've gotten a sneak peak via the Olympics.

But it's more than that...the Olympic games are a great celebration of sporting events. I found myself watching events I have never before seen--and getting completely caught up in the event. Who knew a race on snowboards could be so riveting?

I enjoy watching and cheering on the American athletes...but am inspired by the challenges that athletes from all over the world face. Who did not feel the pain of Canadian Joannie Rochette...skating for a medal just days after losing her mother? Or who didn't feel the pressure Korean skater Ya-na Kim faced to bring home the gold? And yes, I was cheering on the U.S. to bring home the hockey gold, but even I understood how important that gold medal was to Canadians. (I still remember how special the 1980 hockey gold medal was!) I look forward to a rematch in 2014!

And geez, who knew half of Hollywood was Canadian?!?

Now that the Olympics are over, my evenings will return to normal...there will be movies to watch and chores to do. 

And in just 2 years there will be the summer Olympics--in London!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Back to work I go...

My late-winter mini-vacation is over. I am back to work. I so needed the break. A break from all the stresses of work--including winter driving to/from work, listening to my clients and helping them resolve their issues (I'm a social worker by day), and just the usual dramas of the workplace.

I spent oodles of time in the studio last week. It was my week to pretend for just a bit that I was a full-time artist. I got so much accomplished and had some new ideas. The wonderful thing about going to the studio every day is that it's so much easier to establish a flow in your work.

Plus my studio is a wonderful place to be in the dead of winter. Thanks to the sunlight streaming through the windows and the generous amount of heat pumped into the place, it is always a little tropical there. I like that. Alot.

So the week off accomplished its goal--I'm feeling refreshed. There's no doubt that I'll be missing my time at the studio, but soon the days will be longer (sunlight-wise) and I'll be spending some evenings in the studio after work. 

Spring is almost here, right?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pizza Farm


I was just paging through old blog posts and found this post I never published. These are pictures I took last summer when we went to Red Wing for our anniversary. One of our side trips was to a farm near Stockholm, Wisconsin to enjoy the best pizza ever. It's made fresh at the farm in their outdoor brick ovens--with locally raised/produced ingredients.

Even the farm cats are hoping to to steal a bite or two--

But back to the top pictures--

The first pic is of a rural church near the farm. I'm not sure if services are still held there, but it looked so inviting I made my hubby pull over so I could take a pic. We saw a few other similar churches along the way and I regret not taking pics of them as well. I guess these churches remind me of my childhood and the landscape that was a part of my youth. 

The three other pics were taken at the Pizza Farm. It was such a beautiful night. Again, it brought back childhood memories of the farms of relatives that we visited during the summer.  I liked the "fish" sculpture hanging on the side of one old least I think it's a fish. 
What do you see?

(I can't wait till it's summer and we can return to the Pizza Farm!)

And the winner is...


I used the random number generator and got #4! 
Seems I have a few things in common with AZviaTx--we're both 49 facing the big 5-0! AZviaTx once lived in the Twin Cities, but now calls Arizona home. At this point in the winter, I would love calling Arizona home too. AZviaTx is fairly new to blogging and is exploring the world of altered art. You can give her a little blog love here.

I enjoyed the magic carpet ride--I especially enjoyed finding some new blogs to follow. And I appreciate all the new folks who decided to follow me! I hope you will all visit often!

And now I'm off to the studio!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's!


Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

I decided to make something a little special for my valentine...


On an 18x24 board I created this very personal mixed media piece. I learned a lot doing it...and now I want to make a few more. Some of the special things I did include:  1) using a paper valentine doily to paint the design on the sides. I really liked how that turned out. 2) Using personal mementos from our life together (ticket stubs, pics...) to create the "patchwork" dress. You don't see much of it after I finished painting, but enough is there to make it a great keepsake...which got me thinking--these would be great pieces to create as custom works for anniversaries, weddings, valentines... 3) I added this special heart (see below) which could also be customized.


I'm sneaking away for a few days with my our favorite b&b. I will try to remember to pull the name of the giveaway winner, but if not, I will post on Wednesday!

Hope you all are enjoying a special Valentine's!

Friday, February 12, 2010

"Get-me-through-the-end-of-winter" vacation begins today!

Winter  (10x20, detail)

I am starting a brief "get-me-through-the-end-of-winter" vacation today. This winter has felt long...lots of cold and in my book, plenty of snow to make driving a pain.  I am ready for it to be over, but we still have a long ways to go. I know that. 

This winter I just want to hibernate. The days that I spend in my studio (where the sun streams through the windows and makes me forget winter) makes me happiest. But that is not what I do most days.

Thankfully, my day job as a social worker, at this great nonprofit agency, gives me plenty of time off. So I decided that's just what I'm going to do to get through the rest of this winter--take some time off so I could tend to some family matters, sleep in, not have to drive unless I wanted to, and spend mucho time in the studio. Vacation starts today.

So after breakfast, I'm heading over to the studio. I plan to be there all day. The sun is shining bright today. So as I'm painting, I will be soaking up the sun and dancing to some music.

Life is good.


Winter, 10x20 

(Winter is part of a series I completed earlier this fall. I wasn't very happy with "Winter" fact the day before the Art Crawl, I painted a new version of Winter...that I wasn't very happy with either. A few days ago I picked up the first "Winter" and worked on her a bit more. It's still not quite what I wanted, but I like her more. She is a reminder that we learn something from every painting we do...and that helps us with the next piece.) 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I SPY....


My painting at the Mpls Institute of Arts...this is a shot I found on twitpic ( of the Foot In the Door exhibit being hung. It's a little easier to spy my painting if the pic is's in the lower center, just over the carts...the one with the reddish-orange flower. Now I'm even more excited to see the show!

Here's another shot as they continue to hang over 4000 pieces of artwork.

 But before the artwork could be hung, lots of folks had to stand in line...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Foot is in the Door!


This morning I set off for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to register/drop off my Red Poppies painting for the Foot in the Door Exhibit. The Institute is my favorite art museum in town. It is one of my favorite places to spend an afternoon. This special exhibit takes place every 10 years and is open to any Minnesota artist. The biggest restriction is that the piece must fit inside a 12x12 box. 

The last time this show took place some 1700 pieces of art were exhibited. I think it might be even larger this time--they are estimating upwards of 3000 works. I decided to paint a simple piece, but something bold in color. For all I know, my piece may be hung 6 feet over everyone's head! The canvas is 12x12--painted sides, no frame (so it would fit inside the box).

Hubby went with me to register the piece. We got there early, before the line got long. We had a lovely conversation with 2 other artists waiting in line. It all went very smoothly. I got a purple "artist" ribbon to wear at the opening reception to be held on February 18th. I can't wait!

The show runs till the middle of June. I think I will be stopping by the Institute alot in the coming months. I'll let you know how the big opening goes!  

(just found this pic from MIA on twitpic...of my painting being photographed! This is a behind-the-scene shot that I wasn't able to witness. How cool is that!)

Oh ya, I almost forgot...I will have my Jax Studio open Friday night from 6-9 p.m. for February's First Friday...information on the sidebar. Stop by and see what I've been working on!