Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Four Word Self Help" by Patti Digh

 I am very excited to share with you, my blogging friends, that, I have a piece of artwork in Patti Digh's latest book "Four Word Self Help", just released this month!!!  I have so admired Patti's writings and her wisdom, that this is extra special.  So, how do you know her, you ask?? Well, let me start at the beginning....

Patti Digh and Abby Nash @ Authors Club

Patti's bag

Patti and myself

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More Spirals

spiral found on a door of a city building in Pittsburgh, PA
  If you have followed my blog at all, you will remember that there are symbols that show up in my work repeatedly. I talked about the Ginkgo leaf in my last post. Competing for the number one spot in my personal symbology is the spiral. I literally "collect" them both in nature and man made. They are something that I truly enjoy looking for where ever I go.
  So, I will share the latest in my collection of spirals, all found in downtown Pittsburgh, PA.

There is a lot of  inspiration to be found here for me. The thing is, that, I don't really know why the spiral speaks to me. I know that it represents growth and continual change. Perhaps it is the fact that I am in the process of growth myself,( growth in my art work and in my career), that I am attracted to them. Just as with the ginkgo leaf, I will continue to dig deeper to uncover the roots of what the attraction is all about.

Do you have a personal list of favorite symbols? Do you know other meanings for what a spiral represents?   I'd love to hear what they are.

PS: below is my reward for a "hard" day walking and biking around Pittsburgh. We were lucky enough to find an Oktoberfest!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ginkgo Anyone?

  I have been asked numerous times as to why I frequently choose to use the ginkgo leaf in my work. Having spent some time exploring this question, I first thought about how I work intuitively....sometimes the work just needs a ginkgo leaf!   Right??    But WHY?    It goes much deeper than that.
 The picture above shows a very large ginkgo tree located on the campus of Ohio University. Back in the early 19060's, the course of the Hocking River was changed, for purposes of flood control. My Uncle Art Blickle, a botany professor, was instrumental in saving the above tree from destruction. Apparently it was an extremely old tree already.As a young person, this "fight" to save the tree captured my imagination. From that time on I became very aware of any ginkgo trees.

  Fast forward 40 some years and I am living in a house with a very large.....you guessed it.....ginkgo tree, in the front yard. I am an avid "season-er" and so, I pay a lot of attention to the changing of the seasons and how it effects the plant and animals around me.  This tree usually is completely bright yellow around the 22-23 of October. When it decides to drop it's leaves, it does so all at once! These leaves are very beautiful and leathery and heavy to rake.
 Considered a living fossil, the ginkgo tree has been around for many millions of years. The ginkgo is used as a symbol of longevity and strength over time. One can even find it in pill form to help the memory.                   

I will continue to attempt to figure out the significance of this special tree in my life. I do know that have have not grown tired of  it's beauty and versatility. Rest assured you will see more ginkgo art from me. 
Ginkgo biloba

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Fridays Celebration of the Arts

 This past Friday was our local artist colony's First Fridays Art Walk. The studio/gallery that I work from is Studio 202, as seen in the picture above. I share this amazing space with another artist and dear friend, Susan Stubbins.  Here we work alone and together, sharing ideas and dreams and even critiques. It is an amazing space with wonderful energy. We manage to get quite a bit accomplished when we are not procrastinating. But that is a subject for another blog post!
 We are fortunate here in Zanesville, Ohio to have such a vibrant artist colony. I believe it is so important to be able to network with other artists. We have a regular colony meeting once a month, but there is a standing lunch date every Thursday at noon for any artists in the area. The air is hot and heavy as we discuss many issues and events near and dear to our hearts.
 This month for the art walk, we had beautiful weather and much going on downtown. Susan Stubbins and I had a lot of new work to share, but we also sponsored photographer Mike Wisecarver in our downstairs space. Below are a few pictures taken during the evening. If you are ever in the area, please stop by and check us out. We have regular hours 10:30 to 5 through out the week, and by appointments any other time.
I feel very blessed to have a place away from home within which to create, but also, to have a group of like-minded friends to "hang out" with!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

  September has always been a month for new beginnings. It used to be the back-to-school ritual, but now, with my children out of the house, it is a time for me to reflect upon what goals, dreams and aspirations I have achieved or not achieved, for the year. We start out in January with "resolutions" and by now, we pretty much know whether or not we are on track. SO, with summer winding down, and a new season approaching, I am feeling quite contemplative. I will look back and see if I am indeed on track.
 This summer was a busy one for me with both work and fun. Mike and I managed to sneak away to spend time on one or another of the Great Lakes.  I am also, now an official "volunteer" for the state of Ohio. My "job" is to walk the trails at Black Hand Gorge State Nature Preserve, picking up trash and cutting back trees. Such a tough job, huh?
 I have a few art shows to share with you as well. I had 3 pieces accepted into the Dawes Arboretum show which ran most of August. The theme for this show was "Leaf It To Mother Nature". It was a collaboration of the members of Dawes and of the Licking County Arts group.
The picture to the right is me beside "Leaf Study", at the Dawes show.
I also have 2 pieces in the show "Post Expressions" which is a show containing all post card sized pieces. That show is going on now until September 17, and can be viewed at the LeFevre Hall Art Gallery, on the Ohio State/Newark Campus, Newark, Ohio.
I had one piece, "Perseverance" juried into the professional division of the Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Expo....and it sold!!
My intention here is not to be tooting my own horn, but rather, reflecting upon my summer, and yes, perhaps reveling in some of my achievements.