Saturday, June 30, 2007

TEN

I spent most of last week herding cats.

It was Upper Arkansas TEN week, a week-long outdoor education workshop that I help organize and present for area teachers. Wrangling 30 teachers in a class during their summer recess can be great fun or a great trial, but this year it was sheer delight. We had a fabulous group of enthusiastic, engaged, thoughtful, and oh-so-flexible participants and it was a great week. I didn't get any sleep, mind you. But we had a good time.
Here's the gang... thanks again to all of you!

You can't go home again...

... Unless, perhaps, you go by a different route.

The last month has been absurdly busy, and in the past two weeks it all took on the quality of an uncontrolled steep descent on greased rollerblades. (Yes, that shrieking, flailing blur that shot past you might have been me.)

Strangely enough, a lot of this running around has taken me back to territories and people I haven't seen in 5, 7, even 10 years. Despite being tied to a local workshop this entire week, I made the run to Golden and back one evening (5 hours driving round-trip) to attend an event at the Foothills Art Center. (Organized for CultureHaus by my friend Michael.) I lived in Golden for 10 years, but hadn't set foot there in the last seven.

It was the third time in as many weeks that I had gone into once-familiar-but-long-abandoned territory. All of the places I have lately revisited have changed, of course-- some subtly and some startlingly. But going back has made it very clear that I have changed, too.

I'm not sure how to describe the feeling. In a strange way I felt as though I was in disguise. I recognized the places, but I was never certain that the places recognized me.

Is this how Rip Van Winkle felt when he came down from the mountain? It seems silly to be brought up short by the realization that life went on without me in places where I once belonged. But somehow the trajectories of these old stomping grounds seem to have been so linear, while my own path has been more like a stumbling drunk wearing one high heeled shoe in the dark on gravel near a cliff. (That I found my way back at all seems like proof of chaos theory.)

Still, there was something exciting about coming back to these places as a different person, via a different road. The view is different, the perspective is different, and the possibilities are endless. It's like the ultimate "do-over." I can build new relationships with old landscapes.

But they won't be home again. That's here. And now. Where I'm still wearing those skates and laughing maniacally as I rocket up and over the next hill.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A quick catching up

Ooph. Crazy few days. Have just returned from two days of teaching on the Front Range, where it was hot, hot, hot. I guess it IS about to be summer. We spent the morning at the Paint Mines Interpretive Park in El Paso County... one of the great hidden secrets of Colorado's eastern plains. Here's a little shot of some of our workshop participants making sketches of the "hoodoos."

And for Karine, because she wasn't here to see the carnage for herself, a few pics from the Hooligan Race. I actually don't know if they ever finished the race, since after the first 4 heats we got a crazy thunderstorm with big lightning and lots of water and I high-tailed it on home. The Mountain Mail's website seems to be down at the moment, so I can't check.

More when I've recovered from the last couple of days. (And sorry, Snail... no karaoke happened. Well, maybe as I sang loudly whilst trying to stay awake on the drive home.)

Friday, June 15, 2007

What's to come...

I am off this afternoon to the opening reception for the Business of Art Center show in Manitou Springs, after putting the final touches to the Salida Café show just a bit ago. The 59th (I think) Annual FIBArk is underway... every square foot of space downtown is littered with kayaks and their pilots. Whitewater racers from everywhere are in our little town, and it's pandemonium.

The pro races are fun to watch, but the REAL entertainment is tomorrow night at the Hooligan Race. Entry requirements? "If it floats and isn't a boat, it's an entry." You have to wear a PFD. They encourage helmets. And if you're too drunk, too bad-- no race for you. (Although I think for some of the "craft" I've seen, one would have to be a least a LITTLE drunk to think about riding down the river.) I'll try to get down there tomorrow night to watch, but in the meantime, here are a couple of shots from... hmmm... 2005, looks like.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Yikes, here it comes!

Annual FIBark craziness is looming.

We're a town of (depending on who you ask) about 6,000. Yesterday's paper says they're expecting 30,000 for the festival. Seems like a good time to stay home and get work done.

That, or leave town for a week.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Linos, linos everywhere

Painting, Prints, and Drawings
at
Bongo Billy's Salida Café
June 14-August 14

Salida Art Walk

June 22-24

Linocut Demo at the Salida Café
Saturday, June 23
1:00pm

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Summer weather pattern

Afternoon thunderstorms. Mount Ouray State Wildlife Area, Salida.

Gotcha!


Last year I waited all season for the wild iris to bloom along the river. Every day I walked past the little clumps of buds.... impatient for them to open.

Which they, of course, did while I was away.


Early last week I saw that this season's bloom was underway, but this morning was the first opportunity to eek out an hour to run down there and make a sketch. Some of the clusters have faded already (she who hesitates is lost)... but there are a few at their peak. And a few left to bloom.


I'm home for a bottle of water and a hair scrunchy... forget work, I'm gonna go draw. (Oh, wait. Drawing IS my work!)

Friday, June 1, 2007

Sleep? Who needs sleep?


I just got off the phone with a friend and colleague in Montana.

Friday 4:00pm phone calls should always be regarded as suspicious, and this one was no exception. (Read: great potential project, extremely short timeline for production thereof, requiring the engagement of mental gymnastics and calendar-shuffling.) Still, it's always nice to be thought of at the start of a weekend, by friends and by colleagues and by people who are both.


True to form, though, it was a multi-tasking sort of phone call: Bob in one ear and a block, a brayer, a baren, a spoon, and prints in my hands*. (*Of which I do only have two, but often seem to have or at least require more.) I hadn't planned to finish this little thing until tomorrow, but at 3:30 it seemed quiet. No email blips. Phone silent for at least an hour. East coast clients all headed home for the weekend. Surely it's safe to go ahead and roll out the ink.


Silly me.

But here's a little shot of the new linocut. Too wet for the scanner... I expect a better image will appear here in a couple of days.
Yikes! I just saw the little blip that said Blogger's going down for a "scheduled outage" in 7 minutes. Gotta run!

Update: Three cheers for cobalt dryer. After many last-minute panics over prints that weren't drying in time to get in a frame, I broke down and got a bottle of slightly-scary blue chemicals. (The label says: "Known to be carcinogenic in California," but since I'm not there I figure I'm safe.) One little drop in a pile of ink and voila! Dry print. So now a better scan for your blog-surfing pleasure.