Sunday, July 29, 2012

Coming up next: Crested Butte Arts Festival

Apparently my summer hasn't been chaotic enough yet– there are several big adventures yet to come.

First up, the Crested Butte Arts Festival. This will be my first such event (other than a little booth at our local Farmers Market a couple of summers ago) and WOW! I still have so much to do.

If you're in the area this coming weekend, come on by booth #7. (Lucky Seven? I hope so!) I'll have lots of linocuts and a few woodcuts to share, and maybe I'll even be working on a print! Shocking!

Festival opens Friday, August 3, 5:00pm until dark, and continues Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 5:00pm.

Trying to sort out a booth display with a mock setup in the dining room.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Back from Hog Island

White Pine cones on the cross-island trail,
Hog Island.
On Thursday I stepped through my own front door after a spectacular sojourn off the coast of Maine. It was hot and dry when I arrived, as it was when I left, and I admit to being a bit depressed about it after experiencing a week of cool(er) and green. Of course there were plenty of moments on the trip when I thought I would collapse from the humidity. Tradeoffs, tradeoffs.

The purpose of the visit was Educator's Week at Hog Island Audubon Camp, where I was fortunate to have been invited as an instructor. Good fortune also smiled on our weather (no rain, not too hot, and a mere fraction of the mosquitos we had to contend with last year) and our campers, who were not only a hugely inspiring group of dedicated educators but also side-splittingly funny. Can you imagine... all 56 of them flash-mobbed the staff at the end of camp, and another large contingent created a water ballet in the cold, cold waters of Muscongus Bay. Thank you all for a great, great week.
Airport and in-flight sketches.
I took remarkably few photos this trip but I did manage to work a little in my journal, which almost never happens with a schedule like the one we keep at camp. Here are a few "beauty moments," though.

Farewell to campers, headed back to the mainland.
But who are those three in black on the dock?
They're puffins, of course.
Double rainbow over Hog Island.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Camp!

The slightly melancholy pile of camper gear headed back to the mainland
the last day of camp last year.

There was just enough time this weekend to unpack my suitcase, wash all my grubby field clothes, get the last of my workshop materials together, and repack. I'm still doing the "which shoes?" shuffle, but otherwise I think I'm RTG*.  (In a perfect world I'd be able to take hiking boots, sneakers, AND sandals, but I'm trying to travel carry-on only.)

I'm going to summer camp!

It's Educators' Week at Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine and, lucky me! I get to be part of the awesome instructional staff.

It's a long trek from Colorado to Maine, requiring oh-dark-hundred flight departures, so even though my first staff meeting isn't until Wednesday, my journey begins today. Three hours drive to Denver this afternoon, all day on planes tomorrow. Ugh. But once I arrive... well! Just look at these pix from last year and see what awaits us. 

 One has to stand in precisely the right spot to find cell service and score the WIFI from the island... so along with everything else we get to be blissfully unplugged this week. Good friends, happy campers, coastal discoveries and, of course, PUFFINS! I woke up this morning feeling just the sort of anticipation one WANTS to feel in the summer. I'm headed Down East, ya'll, see ya in about a week!

* RTG: Ready To Go!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Workshop season: Where am I?

Ah, summer! Remember how "they" used to tout summer as endless lazy days on the beach with a good book and a cold adult beverage? Who actually has summers like that? No one I know. And it's definitely not me this summer, which you've no doubt guessed since Brush and Baren has been so sadly neglected.

Even without its usual bounty of blooms the Gothic Road
is something to see.

Last week I was off teaching sketching workshops at the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival. Our persistent drought meant that the usually flower-lush valley floor was parched and blooms were thin on the ground this year, but we had fun anyway. Tuesday I unexpectedly experienced my most diverse workshop dynamic EVER: My students ranged in age from 10 to 90! Wow.

The monsoons have finally arrived, but the rain held off during
workshop hours!

On Monday I'm off again, this time headed east to Maine and Hog Island Audubon Camp, where I'll be an instructor for Educators' Week

I'm really pleased that I sat down and made a new journal when I did, since I've managed a few moments here and there to make some entries. The most difficult part is finding the book in the disaster that is my work area right now. I have piles of papers from last week, stacks of items for next week's workshops, stacks for an art festival the week after, AND another workshop the week after that. My drawing table feels like a "Where's Waldo?" book. Can you find: My phone bill, a linocut that needs to be shipped to a buyer, my paint box, workshop materials that need to go in my suitcase, a draft of a contract project, a checklist for an art festival, my "Square," my journal, my checkbook, a supply receipt, and... oh, gee... is that a bottle of aspirin? How do you suppose that got there?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Journals and Journal workshops

Yes, we're still at warp speed around here. Next week I'm off to teach field sketching workshops at the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, and the week after I'm headed to Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine as an instructor for Educators' Week. More field sketching and more illustrated journals.

But I'll let you in on a guilty secret. For reasons I haven't been able to sort out, I haven't personally had a designated field journal in service since the end of last year.

I have other journals. One for just making notes and lists about tasks. One that serves as a sort of personal grousing forum and occasional repository of sketches and image ideas. A tiny one that I stick in my pocket when I go for walks– I use it to record birds I've seen or ideas that pop into my head while I'm walking.

But no nature journal per se.


Journals in progress

Part of the problem has been that I like to make my own journals, and I've been undecided about format, page size, and paper type. There's no paper that I've found that's perfect for all applications in my journal. I like a bound book, but I also like the freedom of loose sheets. I just couldn't make up my mind.

So this past weekend I decided I didn't have to make up my mind. Exactly. Yes, I built a journal with a sewn binding, but I also used the "leftover" paper to create a set of loose sheets for those times when I don't want to lug my journal around. I used four different papers. Two different sizes. A non-decision decision. My best kind.

The impetus was the crazy, fire-plagued summer we're experiencing here in Colorado and most of the western US. Even though the largest fires are thankfully far from us, they're impacting everyone in ways large and small. Somehow it seemed wrong not to acknowledge these weeks, so even before I had the clasp built for the book I recorded an impression from the many photos and video clips of the many blazes.

Of course now that I have a book started, I can't wait to get out and fill it. Funny how that works. It's a good thing I've got all these workshops coming up, eh?

Linocut in Progress: (Lucky 13th) Final Step

 I am off next week to head up the Arts & Birding session at Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine , so I have been feeling the pressure to w...