Friday, April 23, 2010

Wrapping up in Mendocino

Spring is supposed to be here - and it has shown it's lovely face a few days, but April is proving to be both as unpredictable, wet, cold and windy as ever! Lots of days spent here in my little studio apartment painting while the elements rage outside and I can hear the surf pounding, even though I am about 1/3 mile from the ocean. In other words, no kayaking since my paddling buddy Jan came up to visit from Monterey at the end of March! However, a good walk every morning along the headlands with my friend Sharon, rain or shine! We have been persistent, and gotten drenched and blown about more than once! Since walking the Camino a bit of rain or wind doesn't stop me, and Sharon is not afraid of a bit of rain either!

I have finished several projects over the last few weeks - I finished and had my presentation of my Camino DVD at the Mendocino Recreation Center - it went really well, so I am planning on making a couple more about my other travels.

I finished writing and layout of my first book. It is a fairy tale "Princess Annabelle's Adventures" for my little Danish Princess Annabelle in Kuala Lumpur - I just got word that she received it - and loved it! It inspires me to think about new tales to write and illustrate! I have decided that if I have a niche in the children's book world it will be telling fun tales, nothing scary or spooky, nothing lecturing; but just fun and magic tales where the world is beautiful and people are kind! I think we need a break from all the disasters, it is a scary world we live in on so many levels!

A few weeks ago I painted on ceramic pitchers for a fund raiser here at the art center - what fun that was - the auction is next week, so I am curious to see how they are received! Earlier this week I made ceramic sake cups with some of the ceramist here for another fund raiser, so I have definitely been stretching myself as far as exploring new media. Watercolor is still my first love!

I took a weekend workshop here last weekend, learning to paint mandalas in watercolor - it is a bit like painting meditation - and I had a wonderful time ! So now I have added another painting style to my repertoire. Included in the class was a personal, natal chart - and I must say, I was blown away by how right on it was! According to the stars and planets, I am on the right track trying to switch my career from weddings to the creative, painting and teaching workshops, integrating it with travels and writing! So onwards and upwards I go, following my star - one step at the time, like the Camino.

I think it is one of the most important lessons I learned walking the Camino - that even the most daunting task is possible, one step at the time. - When you start out knowing your destination is 500 miles away, it seems impossible; but if you just take it step by step, and set yourself a goal for the day, it is very doable.

Today I have exactly one week left here in Mendocino, before I return to Truckee. I am looking very much forward to going home; but amazed at how quickly the time went, especially these last few weeks.

I will be hitting the ground running, as I have several exhibits coming up, so I am already busy planning what paintings go where, etc. I finally got my inventory computerized, and now have everything numbered and catalogued - a huge project, since I have well over 200 paintings!! This summer I will be doing the art festival circuit, so hopefully the inventory will shrink by the end of summer! In the meantime I have opened shop on Etzy - do check it out!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fresh AIR Show

After weeks of preparation our annual Artist In Residence show opened officially yesterday with an Opening Reception. I think we can be proud of our combined efforts, and cooperation - having a very diverse group of artists working together, is no easy task, but we did it! The show looks great, and we had lots of guests at the opening.
This morning Carol left the art center for good, and is heading up to Oregon, then down to Arizona, and I will see her again in Truckee, when I am back there in May. I will miss having her around the last few weeks here, but I have so many projects to finish, I know time will fly by!
Last week Janicke and Erik was here for a short visit - it was great to see them, and wonderful to show Erik around - he loves the ocean, and really enjoyed getting off the mountain and see spring flowers and green pastures!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Update from Mendocino

This past weekend my daughter Janicke and Otis - my beloved "Grand Poodle" came to visit, and get me a bit out and about! We went to Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, walks along the ocean, dinner in Mendocino, and watched the ice skating from the Olympics, which I had missed.
I am turning in to a painting recluse, I am afraid, but it suits me for the time being. I think and breathe painting day and night - if I am not painting, wandering around looking at my paintings in progress - I am reading about painting, or watching a DVD about painting! Some days I feel I get absolutely nowhere, and others I finish several paintings I am actually happy with. Today was such a day - it feels good, and maybe all the studying is paying of?
I always tell my students there is only one way to learn to paint - and that is to paint - so I am following my own advice.
Now back to the paint brushes!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Connecting in Mendocino

The days are flying by, sometimes slowly, but most times quickly - I have already been her for 4 weeks today! New paintings are emerging - I have finished quite a few painted mostly from previous sketches from the Camino - and once in a while I paint something completely different, to keep it fresh!
I have spent a lot of time on the computer, working on flyers, postcards, applications, teaching materials and all that stuff that keeps me from painting! Today I just set up shop online at Another project that took many hours. However, it has to get done, and I have to accept it is part of being a working artist.
I am in the process of putting my Camino presentation on iDVD, a whole new process so I have to learn as I go - as with so many things it takes a lot of time! Once it's done, I look very much forward to the first presentation on March 20th at the Mendocino Rec Center. I am also working on finding Camino artists to collaborate with for an art exhibit, and I am beginning to have some success.
I just finished 2 dot paintings that are going to be exhibited at Racines in Fort Bragg, where I will give a "Story Painting" workshop next Saturday - I have a few signed up already, and hope to get a few more.
Monday I start with my Arts and Crafts class for the kids in the After School program at the Mendocino Rec Center - I am looking forward to meeting the kids, and plan on starting them out with some dot paintings and story telling about Dream Time. If it is a hit, I have found the creation stories of some of the Native American tribes, and I think it can be a lot fun painting and creating from these wonderful legends.
I am spending a lot of time in my own head, so to speak, as I am working alone in the studio, and in my apartment most days, and it has given me lots of time to think and put down ideas that come to me on paper, so I don't forget.
I even wrote a poem of sorts, that came to me one early morning:

"Dancing with the Muses"

The Muses are dancing on long sleepless nights,
when the mind wanders aimlessly between past, present and future,
searching for answers.
From hidden treasures deep in the soul,
answers are whispered from divine places.
Faint melodies reach you,
soon you are dancing with the Muses
to the tones of imagination.

The weather has been pretty grey, with a few sunny days, but I have yet to put my kayak in the water -I promised myself to go paddling next time we have a nice, sunny day!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mendocino Revisited

I have taken a break from writing my blog since I finished my Camino in October 2009. Now it's time to update you on what I am doing now that I am back in Mendocino after a couple of wonderful months in the snow-covered mountains around Truckee.
I returned from Spain on the tails of the first major snow storm, and I left for Mendocino in a small window between snowstorms 2 weeks ago. Albeit 5 days later than planned, but winter is king in the mountains, and you got to adjust. Something I have definitely become better at since walking the Camino.
I enjoyed the winter and snow, and it helped me keep the pace down, and stay focused on taking one day at a time.
I will admit the last few weeks before I left for Mendocino, I did "fall off the wagon" a bit, but the extra 5 days king winter dictated actually saved the day! And I left feeling ready, and was pleased with having most of my paintings exhibited somewhere! Anywhere is better than in storage, and at the US Bank in Truckee and Tahoe City, River Gallery in Reno, North Tahoe Arts in Tahoe City, Squaw Valley and Northstar are all great venues to be in - and I am in! Well, my paintings are in. It was a big push, but I got it done!
Driving to Mendocino was a white-knuckle drive over the mountains - it had started snowing before I left the house in Glenshire, but I took it slow, and got here safe - enjoying beautiful rainbows as I drove through the coastal mountains. I took that as a good omen for my stay here. There is supposed to be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, right?
It stayed dry while I unloaded my car with the help of Carol, who had also brought a homemade salad and soup, I had the wine, and we had a great evening catching up. We are sharing a studio here this time, and my little studio apartment is cosy, I do a lot of my painting here, and have all my mat cutting and framing equipment in the art studio.
I have been out for a couple of good long walks at Russian Gulch SP, and around the Headlands, enjoying the crashing waves, and the fresh sea breeze. It's rainy and windy on and off, but the sun does come out and brighten everything up now and again. I don't mind the rain, I brought my rain gear from the Camino.
I am beginning to get into a good "zone" for painting, and I have made some good contacts this week, so I am scheduled to teach art classes at the Mendocino Rec center, next week I am going to Fort Bragg to teach a couple of art classes at an elementary school, paid! Not much, but it helps!