Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I was snowed in for a few days this week... who would have thought it possible in Arizona?  And the power was out.  So I worked on this set of envelopes going to a client in Japan.  I chose my "Fun and Fancy" style that needed no light table or lines since I had no electricity.  All was so peaceful and quiet, spring colors of lavender and sage in the midst of snowy drifts.

Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Pat's Day Greeting

Lettering for a Printery House card.

What we know about our Irish heritage is very limited.  The great famine that sent many Irish immigrants to our US shores was not just the result of a potato blight.  " Thomas Gallagher points out in Paddy's Lament, that during the first winter of famine, 1846-47, as perhaps 400,000 Irish peasants starved, landlords exported 17 million pounds sterling worth of grain, cattle, pigs, flour, eggs, and poultry -- food that could have prevented those deaths. Throughout the famine, as Gallagher notes, there was an abundance of food produced in Ireland, yet the landlords exported it to markets abroad. "
"More than a century and a half after the "Great Famine," we live with similar, perhaps even more glaring contradictions. Raj Patel opens his book, Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World's Food System: "Today, when we produce more food than ever before, more than one in ten people on Earth are hungry. The hunger of 800 million happens at the same time as another historical first: that they are outnumbered by the one billion people on this planet who are overweight." 
Read this article by Bill Bigelow in the Huffington Post here

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Grizzly Bear Project

This is a really great project I did in 2004, before I had started this blog.  I thought you might like to see how it developed.  The University of Montana selected 35 artists to paint large Grizzly bear fiberglass sculptures for the UM's Grizzly Scholarship Association.  The bears were each sponsored by different businesses and displayed by these businesses for 11 months.  They were then auctioned off and the proceeds given to the scholarship association. 

Bear grass, Xerophyllum tenax, is a flower unique to subalpine and low alpine regions in Montana and a few other western states. My family used to camp near fields of the tall, sweetly scented lilies, making it a favorite of all of us.  I had painted it before in watercolors and loved painting the reflective colors in the myriad of tiny white flowers bear grass has growing on its elongated stalk.  Bear grass seemed the perfect way to decorate my bear. 
3 Bear Grass, watercolor

 Once my bear arrived, I put it in the Sussex School art studio where I taught classes for 3rd through 8th grades during the school year.  I worked much of the summer with the large doors open to the Montana breeze, and the studio quiet and peaceful.  I spent over 200 hours painting my bear.  Each blossom was layered with several glazes of acrylic colors, and there were thousands of blossoms covering the black-bear-sized statue.  It was my first time working with acrylic paint, and I found it forgiving and the colors brilliant. Even though I knew it would be sold, I developed quite a camaraderie with my silent bear, and dreamed about her often over the weeks I worked on her. It was a wonderful summer project.
When the painting was complete, friends and I loaded it up for a photo shoot, and delivery to the auto shop that would give it a protective coating.

I don’t remember just who purchased my grizzly at the auction that October, or where she is now.  I do hope she is being admired and enjoyed!