Monday, February 28, 2011


So here's what I came up with for an artist statement (for the grant proposal.) It's really difficult to know what to say, but they suggest that you make it personal so that's what I attempted to do. Would love to here any comments or suggestions. I can use all the help I can get!
  I wake up, clear my head, grab the little notebook by the bed and write down an idea I have before it leaves me. Turn the radio on, pad into the kitchen where I drink some tea and give the cat her morning treat. I take a shower, maybe have some breakfast and then grab an arm full of wood and head upstairs to the gallery/ studio. After the fire is rip roaring I’ll organize a bit. Put some beads away that are colors I’ve used and am done with. The table usually looks like a messy palette. Then I’ll start sewing. The method is bead embroidery with an emphasis on the couching stitch. (A two-needle technique where you thread the beads on a double thread and then with a single thread you go over the double thread and lock down every two beads.) Right now I’m working on a commissioned piece for a patron from the Santa Fe gallery. It’s a little over half done and I am happy with the way it’s turning out. Arriving at the finished piece is not a straightforward task, simply following the design I’ve laid out. The relationship between my knowledge of the materials, 39 years of experience, and the desire to try something new, is what moves the piece to completion. The days/weeks go by, beadwork is very labor intensive.  I can feel intense happiness, simple contentment, minor annoyance, and full-blown angst all in the course of one project. I work 8 hours a day, sometimes more, and at night I take my beadwork downstairs and when I lay in bed before I fall asleep, I stare at it, whisked along on the adventure of creating, making mental notes of what I will do tomorrow. It’s all good.  So, who is the heavy in this little story? It’s the commissioned pieces. My next order is another; yes another, Our Lady of Guadalupe! It’s funny when I think about it, all the lean years of praying for sales and now I would like to get away from doing what is selling and onto the ideas that are experimental and have meaning to me, not to my patrons. I’m so grateful to have success in my artistic life but if the end to this story could be a fellowship grant that would give me the ability to do some of the projects from that little notebook by the side of the bed, it would be a happy ending indeed…

Sunday, February 6, 2011


First I'll just get this out of the way. I received the letter on Friday informing me that I will not be having a solo show at the anchorage museum. I was disappointed but not really surprised. Sometimes I think that beadwork is just not trendy or avaunt garde enough. But I want to keep some momentum going so I'm applying for a fellowship grant. I'll keep you posted on how that's going. I have to say that writing this blog has been useful in that I'm just bla blaing along, and when you have to write artist statements and such, it's good to be in practice. So I finished the Roses bag, I think the customer will be happy. She is from Chile and loves bright colors, flowers and butterflies so I think it fits the bill. I'll put it in the mail tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Tomorrow is the first day of the Chinese year of the rabbit. The predictions are not great, something about the rabbit being wood and that clashes with the fact that 2011 is a metal year. Could be some turmoil, seems like that might be true, but I choose to think more literal. It really is the year of the rabbit around here. The are so many of them, I've seen 9 of the cute little guys in the yard all at once hopping about. The shear numbers intimidate my cat which is highly unusual for her. Unfortunately I can't get a good picture because they don't come out until dusk and they are very white, so with the snow they just blend in. Here is  a picture of a trail. I was thinking about it and I believe I've only beaded one rabbit and he was a desert hare. I'll have to design a piece with one of our short eared inhabitants, they are so sweet!