Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Stepping stones

I love hiking...I do it every weekend unless something prevents me from going. My dog Josie and I would leave early and be gone most of the morning, hiking high up in the mountains behind our home. She and I were soo connected and happy to be out there enjoying nature. But my sweet, beloved hiking buddy passed away over 3 years ago leaving me devastated. 

These days I hike with my new pup Indie, who to my disappointment is not a hiker...or even a walker...he's more of a sniffer. And when he gets onto a tasty smell there is no moving him...he is stubborn with a mind of his own. I use to get very impatient with him until I started going with his slow flow of things. So, hiking these days is not quite the same but neither am I, I guess. We don't conquer mountains in the wee hours of the morning like Josie and I did, now my hikes are laid back, relatively short, no more than 2-2.5 hours and fairly easy...but...incredibly beautiful just the same!! 

In the beginning I was hampered SO many times from actually hiking that while waiting for Indie to get in his sniffing, I just started looking down and observing the lovely stream we were trekking through, which lead me to taking a slew of photos with my phone and posting them to Instagram. One day my friend Lissa said I should draw those tiny snippets of nature...I said I was seriously thinking about it. Well, here I am over 2 years later finally doing just that!! I  don't know why it took me soo long, I guess I wasn't quite done drawing animals yet. 

It's been wondrous starting this new series of intimate portraits of nature taken from my exquisite town nestled in the mountains, just north of LA. I am enjoying the detailed layering of multiple colors in one piece...something I don't typically do, to this extent anyway with my animal portraits. It feels right and unique and fascinating to me. And I have SO many photographic reference images line up for this series that I hope to be creating these nature portraits for many years to come. This is all due to a crazy bull terror named Indie, who caused me to stop and pay attention to rocks, leaves and swirly abstract patterns in a sweet little stream along a beautiful hiking path!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Birds in Art 2018

The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum that houses the Birds in Art Exhibition is even more beautiful from the last time I saw it, before I moved to California in 1998. I snapped this photo on Sunday morning when it was so peaceful after all the hub bub from the activities of the past 3 days. They have an amazing sculpture garden surrounding the museum.

I don't think I'll ever be able to express just how thrilling it was to walk into the museum on Friday afternoon and see my drawing there!! This song kept going through my brain. I was feelng a bit overwhelmed until I spotted my art/drawing hero all by himself in another room looking at a I immediately went over to him like a donkey to a waffle!! Nope, I was not going to miss this opportunity of a lifetime to meet Terry Miller in the flesh!! I have been stalking following him and his work for more years then I can remember...I am one of his biggest fans. But he caught me off guard when he knew my!!! We then walked over to my artwork and we talked...well, I listened and hung onto every word he said!! Some of those things have resonated in my head since...I will never forget them. That was truly one of the best moments of my life!!! Can you tell how much of an art nerd I am yet?

Another thing that touched my heart deeply was that SOO many of my family and friends were there, from all over...CO, IL, MN and every corner of WI to see me and share in one of the biggest experiences of my life!! I am truly and amazingly blessed!! I didn't get pics of everyone but my heart grew 3 sizes that weekend from seeing everyone!!!♥ 

The 4 day event was FULL of after another so it totally zoomed by. At the luncheon I felt like I was at the Oscars for artists!! Each meal was delicious, each reception was SO fun, the staff and volunteers were above and beyond wonderful...especially Allison Slavick, who I ended up being with a lot at meal time...we had some very wonderful chats!

Check out the Master Artist of 2018, Cindy House's work, it's simply stunning...I've never seen pastel work like hers!! And she is very funny...gotta love that!

Part of the Sunday morning activity for the artists was joining Jane Weinke, the curator of the museum, in listening about and checking out the permanent art collection in the basement storage rooms...which I have to say was pretty darn awesome!! When do you ever get a sneak peek like that in a museum?!!!

For 2 1/2 solid days after I got home from my trip, I was SO inspired that I went through tons of reference photos for next years entry! It was such an amazing experience that I want to repeat it as many times as I possibly can...feeling more determined then ever to keep growing as an artist so I can do it all over again...for many, many years...if possible!!


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