Friday, April 30, 2010

save the arts please

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking to the middle school art classes here in my hometown about studying and working in the arts. I am from a SMALL town on the Oregon Coast where it seems opportunities, income and influence is limited and now with our current economic situation, this area (that often struggles anyway) has been hit hard. Visiting the middle school was a bittersweet experience because I went knowing that this was the last year of the art program- yep budget cuts. But I was grateful for the opportunity to talk about being an artist, show my art and answer questions about pursing an arts education with the hope of inspiring at least one young person to stick with their interest.

I am a TRUE example of a lifetime of education in the arts- both in school and outside of school. Thankfully my parents recognized my interest in art at an early age and nurtured that desire. My longing to learn as much as I could seemed to always be met- I took drawing lessons, I had supplies, there were opportunities to explore different mediums in school, I had good and bad art teachers but art was ALWAYS AN OPTION. By the time I got to high school I knew I wanted to be an artist, I identified myself as an artist and art was my ticket to college, to opportunities and out of a small town. I received a scholarship to college to study art and the rest is really history.

Yesterday after the happiness and high of talking about being an artist wore off- I found myself thinking about what I would have done if art programs would have been taken away from me, if my parents never recognized my passion, if nobody stepped in to help me find my creative voice, if I never had teachers or community members invest their time in supporting me and it made me sad, like really, really sad. While it frustrates me to no end that art seems to be expendable- right now this is the reality that we are living with. I say that it's up to the rest of us to step in where government and education are failing. It is up to us to save the arts and perhaps this means not only speaking out but getting involved, volunteering our time and creative skills, sharing our own stories, being proactive parents and mentors, investing in creativity, stepping outside ourselves and putting the things we believe into action.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

always tomorrow

I often find in my life that ideas, plans and decisions succeed- while others don't quite work out the way that I expect or envision. Today, some paper boats I made (while they did float) not only failed but were completely destroyed by strong winds and a rising tide- SO SAD! Sometimes things just don't go as expected but there is always tomorrow to try again!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

inspiration: oregon coast paths & trails

In 5th grade I had to memorize the poem The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost (not an easy poem!) and to this day it is one of my favorites AND I cannot walk by a trail or a path without repeating it to myself. The last few weeks in Oregon have been spent outside and something that is quite common in this area are little trails carved into wind swept sand dunes, up the sides of mountains, winding through forests, along side streams and in backyards. I couldn't resist photographing and sharing some of my favorites paths and trails.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim

Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same
And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.
-Robert Frost

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Despite getting completely drenched during my morning workout- I couldn't have asked for a better way to start the day!

Monday, April 26, 2010

rustic driftwood wreath

I am still here at the Oregon Coast and still challenging myself to create with the materials I have on hand! After I created my driftwood city tutorial I had a big pile of driftwood left over and I wanted to create a simple, rustic wreath from all the little pieces. I'm sure its pretty obvious by now that I LOVE making unique wreaths- they are the perfect little object to make with what you have on hand! This project (as simple as it looks) actually took me FOREVER to figure out- but I was finally able to make a wreath that worked!

I started by picking out pieces of wood that would fit together in the shape of a circle. If you don't live near driftwood- this project could also utilize tree branches, chunks of bark, dried grapevine, scraps of small wood, etc.

I began stacking the pieces and formed the shape of a wreath.
I used hot glue to get my pieces "tacked" down and went back with all purpose craft glue to secure everything permanently. (you could use wood glue or even stronger glue if you want to hang your wreath outdoors)

I layered more and more pieces of wood on top of each other- fitting corners and edges tightly into spaces.

And added even more layers until I was happy with the thickness and shape of the wreath.

Use the wreath to hang on the wall,

or use it as part of beach themed decor,

or even as a center piece!

I love this project! It is a small, simple and rustic reminder of my love of the outdoors and the Oregon Coast and I cannot wait to add it to my wall of wreaths!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

redefine creativity

What did I do this weekend with this giant colorful canvas painting that I spent hours creating?

I ripped it up and handed out the pieces to everyone who attended my lecture and demo at the local library.

It is the best way to share my creative philosophy when it comes to art...

To challenge others to think outside the box...

and the easiest way to demonstrate what it means to redefine creativity!

Don't be afraid to do something a little crazy!

Friday, April 23, 2010

the north oregon rock monster

There is something quite special about Oregon forests- the trees are tall, there is moss everywhere, miles of green stretching above and below, magic in the fresh air and a wonderful silence everywhere. Often it feels that you are not alone and there are moments when you think something could be watching you from the bushes and often... something is watching.

The best part of Oregon forests- particularly those that are located north and found near the coast- are creatures that are native to this area called the North Oregon Rock Monster. They are found near water, off of mountain trails, in trees and in little green pockets of moss and undergrowth. Legend is that they come from the depths of the ocean but after centuries of living beneath the chill of coastal waters, they migrated to land for a change of scenery.

While rock monsters are colorful, they are small and quite elusive- often emerging from the brush after your back is turned. They are known to toy with hikers on the trail, popping up in trees and hiding in the most obvious places but never being spotted.

Today my dad and I set out to track some rock monsters that were sighted in our area. After hours of searching, we came upon a pod of monsters that we followed deep into the forest and we were able to get some rare shots of this family in their environment.

please note- the forest was not damaged in creating this post and the rock monsters were packed up and taken home :)


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