Friday, May 23, 2014

SURTEX, the New York art show

This week was the annual trade show, Surtex, in Manhattan.
The best of America's product designers and artists and manufacturers got together for brainstorming and dreaming up new products and programs.

I hung my art as always, this year with a brighter, more intense palette of colors and some fresh new looks. 

Here's my booth as I found it… 
bare and bald.

Soon the art was going up and I began the familiar gulp every artist feels…
"Oh, my! I sure hope I don't become a colossal failure!"

But it all went just amazingly well; people were so kind and there was lots of interest in my work.

And then after the show, hunger pangs took hold.

Maison Kayser, a twin of the famous Parisian patisserie, is conveniently located near Central Park and Columbus Circle.

Choosing just one pastry is a somewhat daunting task.
The display cases are more beautiful than Tiffany's to me…

Jewel-like confections beckon irresistibly, each one more delicate and sparkling than its neighbor.
I'll take a raspberry tart.

No, make that the one with lemon curd.

Or a Rocher Coco…
perhaps that tiny taste abricot pistache?
Maybe the Succes?

I drank a cup of tea, munched a tiny pistachio goodie, downed a chocolate croissant and we were good to go.

And the fact that we were dining very near a Famous Movie Star added a dash of panache!

Late in the evening after work was the time to enjoy the city that never sleeps.

As a group of artists, we could not resist the signs and shop windows.
Paired with icons like the Empire State Building, yellow cabs, and all the bright lights of Manhattan, we stared and grinned at what we saw.

Shop windows always fascinate me and there are none better than those you see in New York.

A whirlwind tandem ride through Central Park finished up the week in the City.
I was whisked through the air homeward…

and now the blessedness of a summer at home,
ripe and full of creativity.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The flowers of spring: strawberry blossoms

Spring in the valley means it's time for the berries to bloom.

Strawberries call out the bees to dance in the fields and I love to carry my stash of sketching materials to the edge of the field by my house and give myself a stolen half hour to draw.

Even half an hour gives you time to pencil in the juiciest parts of the leaves and flowers
and dream of strawberry shortcake in the warm summer sun.


Next week I'll be in New York, showing my work at Surtex, the big art show where manufacturers select art for their product.

I'll be in booth #733 and can hardly wait.
If you're going, come by and see the new work up on my walls and stuffed into the portfolio.

But for today- a half hour among the berries is a sweet time out from the trade show preparations.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The flowers of spring: Dogwood

One of the nicest things about living in our little valley (probably in any smallish town) is the joy people take in their surroundings.

Have you ever noticed how the topic of conversation tends to run to "did you notice how early the strawberries are flowering?" and "going to be a good cherry year" and "when do you think the road will be clear to Artist Point so we can hike?"

So it makes sense that the dogwood blossoms have everyone outdoors admiring their bushes and trees.

And for good reason.

Oh, my, yes.

Which explains why we traipsed across Bev and Armin's garden this afternoon.
We had heard their dogwoods were the finest in the neighborhood.

Their bragging rights were well earned.

I know, I know... You're thinking I photoshopped these pictures.
But that's just it: I didn't.

Isn't this glorious?

Monday, May 5, 2014

O, Canada! A wilderness adventure

When Susan asked if I'd like to join in a women's outdoor adventure camp, I jumped at the chance.

Cave exploration. 
Cutting with chain saws.

Paddling on the lake.

As many fancy coffee drinks as you want
and scrumptious catered meals.


Which is how I ended up teaching wilderness journaling classes at Camp Imadene  on the shores of Lake Mesachie, on Vancouver Island.

I'm not sure who was more startled, the beaver or me when we met up by the shore but he slapped the water with his tail and I beat a hasty retreat.

Oh, the living beauty of that forest.
O, Canada!
Oh, the joy of rubbing shoulders with Canadian women.

Carpets of wildflowers at every turn...

I could have stayed outdoors sketching for days and never tired of it.

The women in my workshops seemed to feel the same.

I got to operate a chain saw, walk alone through a flowered meadow full of birdsong,
hold a falcon on my gloved arm.

Camp for grownups is a wonderful thing.

Oh, what refreshment!
We're missing out when we send just the kids to camp.

I can hardly wait for next year.
Carrie has decided to teach welding and Thelma's coming back for another session of healing plants.

And I get to teach wilderness journaling again.

Ahhhh. Wilderness.