Welcome and thankyou!

Thankyou to all of you friends and family that are taking the time to check this out. I know I am a BIG TIME NEWBIE in the world of blogging......well actually anything computer wise and otherwise on the big wide world of internet, so thanks for being patient, kind, loving and understanding. Please feel free to help me out with insights and instructions and even suggestions.........just as long as they are nice. (smile)

This is me...............

This is me...............
What a beautiful place I live.....see that lake and mountians behind me!

About Me

My photo
Shasta Lake/ Hayfork (always our real home), Northern California, United States
Love, love, love art. My favorite art theme is Jesters/Jokers, Gemini, Drama masks and gnomes/fairies. I Love my art friends. I Adore my hubby Bill, my 4 kids and my sweet doggie Uno. I love to read, travel, sports, music and most of all I LOVE TO LAUGH.....even at myself!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Person Who Can Laugh..................

OK, my last blog was kinda serious, and I try not to ever be serious...........so let's start with a quote .......................'The person who can make others laugh is blessed'.
I love that quote. the next one that is a favorite.....'Admit your errors before someone else exaggerates them' lol So I am sitting in front of my computer, which is located not in my art room, but my hubby's play room (kinda like my art room but a man's version) he has all his baseball collection, WW ll memorabilia and such and his own t.v. ...........oh yeah and his fish tank, big fish tank nut too, has three and would have more if I didn't threaten to move out if he does lol. I have two in my art room too, so we have enough fish in our family. My tanks are smaller by a long shot than his. I have a 10 gallon and a 2 gallon. the small one sits right next to my work desk and table and has a beautiful blue fighting fish called Blue Boy.....real original huh. My 10 gallon is full of guppies and mollies with beautiful colors. I decorated the tanks the total opposite of my hubbies, with white gravel and all kinds of beautiful colored rocks and marbles, and all of the plants are anything but natural looking. I love bright colors, so the plants and a castle are all pink, purple , blue, aqua etc. Drives my hubby nuts, because his are all 'natural'........lava and brown gravel, green plants only etc. how funny.............I always said we are ying and yang.......we fit well still, after 23 years of marriage and are almost totally opposite. He is watching his favorite oldie shows right this moment. He tapes every past episode of gun smoke,mash and the one with the ponderosa ranch...............not sure how anyone can watch things over and over ...........so I have my ipod earplugs in as usual and listening to my music, as I type. He puts up with my outbursts of awful singing now and then. you know how you can't sing a lick, just flat when you have earphones in.......sounds like a good excuse to me. My children often walk in the house and catch me singing and dancing to songs, while my back is turned and I can't hear or see them. They say I am a total dork (very lovingly of course) and one of their friends says that they think of me every time the song 'dontcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me' because they walked in and caught me singing out loud and dancing to it. lol good thing my kids are tough and don't embarrass easily. sooooooooo back to writing about my art, now that I have set the stage and the mood. those of you that know me are laughing I am sure, at the thought of my well rounded butt bouncing around to my ipod music. when I am not on the computer, I plug my ipod into the stereo in my art room. I love to listen to music while I create. I have spent the last few days cleaning my room and rearranging a few things, making more room for the 'stuff' I have still not unpacked since our move a year ago, sad huh. even though I hated the cleaning.........A LOT ( I would much rather make an art mess, then clean one up)......I kinda had fun, like your birthday.......found some treasures that I forgot I had. Bill changed the drawer handles on a cupboard and drawer and then threw the old ones out..............bad boy.......bad! I was wanting them for my altered art, of course he realized his mistake, never ever,ever through stuff away that I might be able to use one way or another someday in a project. That is why I still have boxes to unpack,because I can not throw things away! I can't help it though it is just me............you never know when some little piece of metal or wood might be the finishing item in a masterpiece. I know I can not be the only freak out there that is that way. Someone else must drive their family nuts by making them save everything before they throw it out, so you can see if it is possible art. I have my kids trained to save anything that have a vintage, old type look, or if it is miniature at all. I even hit my son's coin and paper money collection up, figured I could copy some of the paper money from other countries, or countries that no longer exist ( he has a pretty extensive collection that started as a very small kid) , and use them in some of my collages. Both my hubby and son proceeded to tell me that I would be arrested for counterfeiting. It never entered my mind that I would be copying money,may be breaking a law........it was just possible art to me! One of my kids said I would use chewed gum as an art project, if I thought it would work. I hate to say it, but it is probably true, I would use gloves though. Come on admit it, some of you would do it too! Go digging around in your garage, or attic and you never know what you might find that is a treasure. Or if you are like me and hate housework, try looking under the couch, in the back of your closet, on to of the frig, etc. I am too short to see the top of the frig , why should I have to clean it. If you can't see it, shouldn't have to clean it...........that is my new motto. lol And I am real short, so there are a lot of spots that I can not see.................I saw another funny quote that I plastered on my wall in my art wall with all the others I find and that make me laugh and smile every day when I see them. It says 'when there is an endless, insurmountable amount of housework, you just move!' I tell my hubby, who's wood shop is arranged and clean enough to eat off the work bench and has a spot for each tool, that my room is messily organized, but I am at least organized! I know where things are, even if no one else can tell...........lol One must be able to laugh at everything, even themselves...........and that is very easy for me to do. hope everyone takes a second to laugh today.............friends in art, sandy

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Art........Hurt or Help?

I often hear people say that their artwork is their salvation, their getaway and even their sanity. I can honestly say that I probably fit each one of them and then some. Those that know me well know that I used to work on an ambulance......many, many OK.....way to many years ago. I was hurt while on the job and then was diagnosed with a soft tissue injury that I attempted to work through and continue working part time jobs for three years following that. After much pain and severe migraines that seemed to continue to get worse rather than better, it was found that I had severe bone damage and breakage in my neck, which was not what they thought I had injured......unfortunately I was diagnosed originally with just a lower back injury. Needless to say this was a very difficult time in my life and over the years I really struggled with the fact that I could not return to work and was put on permanent disability. I have had two neck surgeries and surgeries on both shoulders as well now. I was always a very active, independent and go,go go type person. So being told what I could and couldn't do was not easy for me, but even worse was the fact that my body betrayed me and I could not do a lot of the art forms that I had always able to do over the years. I could no longer sew, quilt by hand, wood working and even lots of painting forms are hard on me. But me being the rebellious type, I would move to another art form or other trying to at least hang on to the one thing left that was 'MINE' . Now any of you in my boat understand the mine thing, it is very similar I am sure to someone who is taken from the home, family and friends they know, to be whisked off to another country that does not speak their language and they are left to their own means basically. There are certain things that we hold to dearly when our life is turned upside down. Even when we have fabulous spouses,like me. Even when we have wonderful children, like me. Even when things are somewhat normal in their lives.......and yes like me, sorta anyway, we have our 'water wings', our training wheels etc. Mine has always been my art throughout my life. If I am having a bad day, I go into my art room and work on a project. If I am hurting to bad to work on my art, I may just go into the room and play my favorite music, while I admire my collection of other artist's mini masterpieces in my ever growing collection of Artist Trading Cards and such.
We often do not realize how much we rely on our comfort habits to help us through tough times. I was whammied with the loss of both in-laws, both grandmothers and my mother, as well as several family friends in a much too short span of time lately. I found myself shutting the art room door and trying to find a way to deal with the lose of my grandma and between many tears and just sitting still moments, I found myself resorting to one of my favorite high school art forms.....collage. I had done a tiny bit of scrap booking and had seen a lot of the new craze in 'altered art' in all the magazines.......so I combined my love of traditional collage, with a form of altered art to make a very large tribute to my grandmother. I used vintage buttons,ribbon,sewing items that were hers, old lace, tassels and combined everything in a very 3 dimensional art piece that was all a melting of pictures of her over the years. every picture had her in it, her wedding, with her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and even a few great greats. some of the pictures were very small, some very large, but it took me many, many hours to do. I had no idea til I was done how many days I had went into that room and worked on the project. I used lots of roses and glitter which she loved and antiqued everything to give it a warm and lovingly 'grandma' feel to it. Grieving is something that some might think is easy, but it is not. I am a pretty outspoken person, but grief is something that I found hard to deal with. I did not want lots of people around, or lots of condolences.........although they are always appreciated, I just wanted to 'FEEL' my grandma. When I lost my mother and other grandmother less than a year later, I had the same hard time. But this time I knew what I not only needed to do, but what I wanted to do. I made art that when I look at it, all I see is the spirit of the person I loved and lost. I wanted something that when I look upon it everyday.........I will smile, even if I still shed a tear or two also, I can feel them there in that item. Some might think I am weird or tilted a tad, but I think it is important to have things around us that remind us daily of the loved ones we lost. Even if it is not a huge art piece, it can be something as simple as what I did with a friend that passed. I used one of her refrigerator magnets on my frig. and now every day I see that and think of her. She was a wonderful person and is still a blessing in my life when I look at item, little as it is.
Our worlds are always going to be stressful, sad and hurtful at one time or another, and there really is no better way to deal with it than doing a little art. Those that knit, crochet,sing,compose music, play musical instruments, draw, paint, do photography,write poems,write stories, landscaping,I could go on and on..........really just ask my kids, if you have something that is making your world tilt a little, try doing those things that you love to do. If you used to have any of the art forms as a hobby and think you do not have the time, the money, the energy etc. to get back into it....................I say poooooppppyyy! There are so many groups on the Internet that you can hook up with, groups in your towns and cities. Many organizations and big craft stores hold FREE arts and crafts classes. You can also find many, many used or barely used art supplies for almost nothing on sites like ' Craig's List','eBay' and 'Etsy'. I am sure there are more. I often participate in swap on the www.atcsforall.com site and many times I have seen group swaps for art supplies and even people giving away free art supplies so that everyone that wants to, can try a new medium without spending a fortune. Those people that have no time or energy due to busy schedules...............I say, you got it pooooooppppyyy! I have a great friend who runs a business, works long hours, takes care of her beautiful house, and has a yard that is something out of home and garden. (kudos to her hubby too, because he is a sweetie and great guy) But regardless of how busy or tired she is , she finds time for her love of art. She makes amazing jewelry, altered art, paints, draws, does collage and every other form I am not saying.......a lot of her art she does for the love of it. She trades and swaps, which is out of love of collecting and love of giving too. She also has time to run an art gallery and sell on other sites and joins more art groups than I can read in one sitting and ohhh yeahhhh she blogs and award getting blog too. So if she can do it, so can you.
I think everyone would find their pain, stress, high blood pressure, grief and tiredness a little easier to deal with and maybe even getting a little better if we take just a little time to set aside each day for ourselves and our art. no matter what art form you choose. There are many therapists out there that get paid big bucks to do art therapy with people to learn to equal and balance out their lives. So there must be something in that philosophy..........and if not, at least you have fun anyway!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Trash or Art.........this is the question?

hi gang.........
hope all is well in every one's world. As always, I seem to be doing a lot of nothing, OK not enough of what I want to be doing anyway. I was recently talking to someone, which I will not mention names.......I am not that kind of girl. OK.....yes I am , but not this time OK! anyway , this person was discussing with another person an experience they had. They were talking about a trip they had to make (as a truck driver) to deliver a piece of 'art' and they were elaborating on their opinion of 'art' and what they felt this particular piece of 'art' really was............a piece of s..t , something that a kid could make........I am sure you have all heard someone say it. Of course the topic of art is always one I am interested in and had to butt into the conversation, in my quiet polite way.........quit laughing, those of you that know me, I know you are laughing! I asked Mr. X what was the reason he was not impressed with this recently trucked piece of art. He went on to inform me through his great knowledge and insight of the art world and what it was and should be, and how this piece was just a big blob of metal basically that the 'artist' had welded or melded together, and how in god's name could that be art. He seemed pretty sure that he could do the same type of project with his eyes closed. Even worse was the fact that someone had paid a huge amount of money for it. Not wanting to go to deep into the delving of the art world and what art is to each person, but wanting to at least point out something............I mean, those of my friends and family would be very disappointed if I did not point out something of an opinion ,even if it is unwanted and unsolicited. I gave him the example of Van Gogh and the fact that the artist who now is so impressive and worthy , and his art pieces are impossible to purchase by us little minions. How those of us in the 'real' world by inexpensive prints of the famous artist's work and tack them in our art rooms or frame them and decorate our space with them. And I could not resist the desire to inform this person that this famous artist that, even he knew.........had never made a dime in his lifetime on one single piece of his art work. That I was pretty sure that someone in his time called it junk, s..t etc. I also gave the famous Salvador Dali who many, many thought was a fruit loop when he first started and all of sudden his quite 'unique' art took off. Now at least he was lucky enough to make a dollar or two in his lifetime, but there are many I think that make little or at least not enough trying to make and sell what makes their heart sing.
My son also gave me another reason to pause and then decide to write on this topic. He is the youngest of all 4 children and I admit is often the apple of his mothers eye. But he is also the one child out of all of my children, that I think was put on this earth for the sole purpose of keeping me humble. He does not hesitate to say what he 'really' thinks of an art piece , and often uses words that he knows will irritate me to no end ( and he always seems to be smiling while doing it), while looking through one of my chunky page books that I did in a swap (those that don't know what a chunky page is, it is basically a 4x4 page that is made on a thick piece of board and then done in whatever the theme of the swap is, using mixed mediums and lots of goodies to adorn it) he proceeded to go into a outpouring of knowledge on the level of art and talent of each of the artists, including mine. He proceeded to point out each page and a quote to go with each, 'this one I could have done in kindergarten, this one I could have done with my eyes shut......etc. etc. His girlfriend , whom like myself I might point out received an art scholarship when graduating from high school, spoke up before I could lam blast him , and said 'then you try doing it yourself, let's see what they look like'. I know now why I love her! then I lam blasted him anyway, just like I always do. So many people in this world really do not get it that the old saying 'art is in the eye of the beholder', 'one man's trash is another man's treasure' .....and so the sayings go are really famous quotes for a reason. I have always felt that if you look hard enough you can find art talent in everything and everyone. My family always looks at me strange when I pick up a rusty piece of metal off the ground and put it in my pocket..........'you never know what project I might need it for some day, I say when they laugh'...........or there is the many, many times while suffering through the hours of standing in the tool store, or 'whatever' store with the hubby (because I torture him in art stores and art departments, he says) and my brain starts doing it's own thing and I see an item that is used in mending a something or other as something that would be perfect in my art project. I love to go treasure hunting and look for goodies at yard sales, flea markets, antique stores and second hand stores just to look for that little something that I might find useful someday. All of you out there that are getting caught up in the 'Altered Art' world, myself included..........just hang in there, someday the rest of the world will catch up and catch on too, and it will be priceless to everyone, not just the few. Nothing is more exciting to me than to see how the simple collage work I did in high school and college has transformed and changed into the amazing beautiful art form that it is now.
So the moral of my madness I guess is this..........everyone is armed with the Art Gene, we just have to learn to look for it and enhance it. Many people show their talent in the way they decorate their house, their garden, their yard etc. How they arrange the dishes in the china hutch or on the knick knack shelf. Many show it in the way they wrap a package, or arrange the ornaments on the Christmas tree. Some show it in the way they paint their cars, their walls and how they hang their tools in the the garage. If something does not tickle your fancy, it just usually means you are unsure and unfamiliar with it. Try squinting hard and maybe just maybe you might see what the artist saw when making the piece of art. Art should not be just about the money, although money is nice, and it should not just be about what the public thinks is popular, although popular is nice, it should be about what emotion and feelings it brings out in the artist and the person looking at it for the first time. I tend to be one of those 'sentimental' type artists that loves to make things that make me smile or laugh. I am sure some psychologist will tell you it is the 'inner' child in me that has always wanted to show up, and took a few years to feel safe doing it. But I really don't care why I make it, as long as I love making it. There are so many artists out there that I can not hold a candle to, and I am sure there are some that have just started and may say the same about mine, but the reality is...........art is not what you think it is, it is what the maker and the admirer think it is. Maybe if we all tried to stop and see a little art in everything there is out there in the world, we could be a tad more tolerant of those that are different than ourselves. Maybe the 'Art Feeling' could over flow into our home lives, our work lives and all of our worlds as well. So to my son and anyone else that thinks that some little art piece is so easy they could do it.............I SAY DO IT, AND DO IT NOW, WHAT BETTER DAY THAN TODAY! friends in art, sandy

'lady jester' ATC

'lady jester' ATC
pen/marker pigment ink drawing