Archive for the ‘museums’ Category

East of the Mississippi!

Yet another gorgeous day! We were so worried about all the rain and tornadoes, but I’m thinking we’ve brought the good weather with us! We left Des Moines, gorgeous morning, and finally crossed the Mississippi. There is something mythic about this mighty river and it’s division of the country. Every time we cross the Continental Divide, I think about the water that flows to the Mississippi. And the gateway to the westward movement, with all its pros and cons. And Mark Twain, whose many books I have read. I always feel like I am entering or leaving a different country. The day was quiet, and very relaxing…Iowa is certainly “heartland.”

Illinois just seemed soft and green, lots of farms, not nearly the amount of sprinkle systems that we saw in Nebraska. It is SO NICE to see rivers with water in them! And I must say, Iowa has some of the nicest roadside stops!

We traveled through Illinois, past Regan’s  birthplace, into Wisconsin, and finally to Milwaukee. We weren’t  sure we’d head this far north, but I have always wanted to visit this city. Tomorrow we are doing a boat cruise around the lake and river.

Here’s a few shots from today.

A whole rest area devoted to quilting!

A whole rest area devoted to quilting!

Iowa rest area - patchwork. locks

Iowa rest area – patchwork. locks

Even the brickwork.....

Even the brickwork…..

The little picnic areas are identified by patchwork.

The little picnic areas are identified by patchwork.

We noticed in Illinois that the mile markers were in fractions…one-quart, half, and three-quarter.  Very cool…I’d like to know why….in Wisconsin the markers were in two-tenths….also cool!

Mile markers!

Mile markers!

image

 

Tomorrow on the water!

Some Ramblin’ Thoughts….

Ai, yi, yi….the brain is overflowing with thoughts about all kinds of things in life right now – some artistic, most not. First of all, we are having to move….again……..Since the new neighbors moved in the beginning of December, it has been horrible living under them. Stomping feet at all hours of the day or night, running/barking dog, absolutely no consideration for the people underneath them. Including a domestic dispute complaint one Sunday night that was so loud we had to go and stay in a motel.

So what does management say? There’s nothing they can do….dogs bark, that’s what they do. Dogs run, that’s what they do. It’s their apartment, they can vacuum when they want (including at 3 AM)……management has done nothing. We finally got “doctor’s notes” about the stress and inability to sleep, and we are out of here. Our days of apartment living are done. We drove through one neighborhood about a week ago and saw a “for rent” sign – we’ve never seen anything available in that neighborhood unless it’s the occasional home for sale. This is perfect, meets our three conditions: more space, better light, and a total price not over a set amount. So we’re set to move the 29th…..the same day we just found out that management is replacing carpet in the stairs near us, so we won’t be able to use the stairs for the movers. Between tomorrow and the 28th, we plan to move a lot of boxes and set up things that we can. So it will be a crazy two weeks….but that’s how our lives seem to go.

Why is it we are living in such a culture now of rudeness and incivility? Drivers in Tucson have got to be among the worst in the country. When we went cross-country two years ago, we got out of Arizona and saw none of this – no changing lanes unexpectedly, no creeping along. In fact, east of the Mississippi, it’s like we were in another country. All we are asking for is some peace and quiet to live our lives, do good when we can, and be kind to people we meet. We’ve lived in apartments long enough that we know how to walk with a soft step. Turns out laws – both state and federal – keep apartment managers from taking more action against tenants who create disturbances. Management has to be very careful not to violate any freedoms…like putting people with children – or pets – on bottom floors. That takes away their rights. Well, we’ve been in this complex over a year, perfectly content, until new people move in. And now we are the ones paying the penalty. Well, not when it affects our health.

And now to the news…..oy, so much there. Hearings on contraception, and nary a woman in sight to give her views. A photo of our soldiers with the symbol of the Nazi party. Trying to plead ignorance that they didn’t realize the symbol had other meanings. Well, that’s what comes from not being able to teach American history in any depth. History of any kind has lost ground since NCLB and having to teach to specific tests. And in Arizona, now the state legislature wants to make teaching anything “controversial” grounds for being fired as a teacher. Arizona is more and more the sewer of this country.

The Arizona legislature is debating the availability of guns on college campuses. Yeah, that’s going to help. Which brings me to the latest going round on Facebook and YouTube of this one father’s response to his daughter’s gripe about her parents. He proceeds to verbally rip her a new one, which she probably deserved. But when he takes the gun to the computer….well, I disagree with the message that sends. A brick would have accomplished the same thing.

The Personal Excellence blog has been running a fitness challenge that I have been participating in, in an attempt to ramp up my physiucal activity. It also has coincided with my beginning practice of yoga. I LOVE yoga. Working one-on-one with a trainer us really helping. Now I have to get over this cold so I don’t keep having to screw up my breathing. I have progresses enough in three weeks that I now have some flow patterns that I can do on my own at home. Celes, who runs Personal Excellence, has some great stuff available to peruse.

Check out Fathom Events. Last night we went to the local movie theater and saw a behind-the-scenes tour of the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit at the National Gallery in London. Absolutely amazing, with lots of in-depth analyses and looks at curating this type of exhibit. This is the second event we have been to, and we are looking forward to many more. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to Phantom of the Opera plays on February 28. You can believe we’ll be there – great seats, up close and personal, and way cheaper than theater tickets.

Reading a really interesting book, Quiet by Susan Cain, about introverts and extroverts. Explains a lot about me, and it’s very interesting to see that the amount of extrovertism expected in today’s society isn’t necessarily productive. I recommend the book. From the description:

“At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled “quiet,” it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society–from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.”

May you have a quiet weekend!!

 

 

 

 

 

Working on Goals – Revisited

  Retirement is amazing – all the time to create art and work on the art business.I’m very busy, one one of the things I let go was the notion of substitute teaching during retirement. Nope, don’t want to lose a day to the classroom and grief when I can be making art.

Spending the money to redo the studio was an excellent investment. It means we’re serious, plus the studio is so inviting – we WANT to be in there all the time. And once I started adding fresh flowers to the studio – well, the feng shui has been very conducive to creating.

I am certainly getting things done, but what I am finding is that I need to move to getting larger chunks of a goal done within a few days, rather than dragging it out over a couple of weeks, with just doing a piece here and there. I need to get it off my list, and I think this will work.

That said, one of my goals for this 100 days is three of the action plans in Alyson Stanfield‘s I’d Rather Be in the Studio! So as I was looking over Action Plan 1, I realized I have done pieces of this before, but not with these particular questions. I’ve looked at my target audience, my ideal customer, I’ve looked at overall goals, but never really defined success itself.

So that’s my task today. Alyson lists 20 areas to ruminate on concerning how you visualize success.

* Production of art: I want to make at least three major pieces (Gaia weavings) a year; spend time each week in the studio revising, finishing, working on at least a dozen smaller pieces. So far for this second half of the year, I think I am on track – I already have three smaller pieces just about completed, and one new major weaving sketched out.

* Quality of artwork: It’s very important to me, now that I have the time, to take some art classes, primarily studio art as opposed to art history (which I still would like to do). I want my work to be excellent and gallery-ready. I may still pursue a couple of show venues, but that’s not as important to me as it was. I want to continue to learn new techniques to include in new artwork. Both hubby and I are really looking to improve our marbling skills.

* Exhibition venues: As I said, not as important to me to enter juried shows. I want to find a couple of galleries to carry my work, beyond the website. I am entering a local show (not juried) for the possible connections, as well as seeing if I can make what is in my mind actually happen in the piece.

* Teaching venues and opportunities: hmmm, possibly, but not at this moment. I’ve done a number of local gigs over the years, but never really went prepared with stuff to sell. Maybe something to consider after I have all the other business pieces in place.

* Travel: oh, yeah, and not necessarily for business (but we always visit galleries). I want to get at least one big trip in each year. We always visit museums and galleries, so outlets for our work, as well as new ideas, are always part of our travel. We even have promo literature to take with us.

* Home, Studio, Environment: The studio makeover was critical, and it will more than pay for itself in productivity. We’re happy with our apartment and locale, although eventually we will move East again.

* Spirituality: I am practicing the principles of the Laws of Attraction and Abundance and I have been extremely pleased with my whole attitude change. I am reading Native Wisdom for White Minds by Anne Wilson Shaef, as I love the saying of our indigenous people around the world. And nothing beats standing and wondering at some amazing site in nature.

 * Health: major goal here, as I want to be around for a long time. I am taking steps to do what I need to, and hopefully with this 100 days I will see some good success.

* Leadership Roles: kinda done with this. That’s why I retired. I’m leading myself to success.

* Published Work: hmmmm. Something to think about, just not sure how I can turn the marbling into a successful book. Seems like the books that have been written about marbling and projects haven’t lasted long. And I’m not sure I want the pressure and deadlines of a book contract. Been there, done that.

* Visits to the website and blog: Numbers for the blog have been steadily increasing since I got back to blogging. The website has stayed pretty static, but I am not doing significant marketing on that yet. I’ve done some small revisions on the website, I still need to add new work, and I need to think through the purpose of the website. I want to see the blog traffic translate into sales.

* Subscribers to the newsletter: I am so lacking in this. I thought I had it under control last summer, but school hit and my time was no longer my own. I have signed up with Mail Chimp and am busy importing the addresses of subscribers so far. I want a schedule of every three weeks, but I need to spend time seriously looking at the content for the newsletter, plus be VERY prepared for this year’s holiday season.

* Social Media  connections: you can read about this progress on tomorrow’s blog. The only thing I haven’t seemed to master dealing with is Twitter.

* Sales of my book: Nope, but I’m going to change “book” to “patterns.” This is an area for long-term development. Two quilt patterns art in progress, and I need to refine my Polynomial Quilt pattern.

* Sales of my art: Definitely a big goal. I want our art business to help provide for travel in retirement. My immediate two-year goal is $1000 a month from the business.

* Grants received: another hmmm. Something to think about on down the future. I do have experience writing grants, so on down the road I will look at this.

* Articles by me: I did get paid abut 4 years ago for a series of articles on a quilting site. This will go on the long-term list of things to explore, as I do enjoy writing.

* Commissions: just finished my first big one, and I certainly want more. To this end I need to develop and promote my contacts and collectors lists. I need to put on the long-term list to check with the local and state  arts council for both grants and commissions.

* Public or private collections: not quite sure about this – something to think about.

* Licensing: this is a major one, and I have already identified some collections. I need to begin fleshing these out till I have at least 10 developed, and then I’m going looking for an agent.

* Volunteer work: I added this one, as I want to donate time and art to a local organization called Ben’s Bells. Very worthy, and I want to help. Also, I want to continue the work for Art from the Heart (see top right of this page) to help promote peace.

If all of this intrigues you, you can pick up Alyson‘s book. WELL WORTH the investment in yourself and your art.

 

 

 

 

 

Art Shows and Galleries


One of the girls asked yesterday about going to an art gallery. None of these kids have ever been, and sometimes I am amazed that they haven’t had this experience. Then I remind myself of two things – they’re 12, and I never went gallery hopping or to museums until I was an adult. And I started by going to craft shows.

So I need to conspire with a few people at school to see if I can pull off a trip downtown to a few galleries and perhaps the Philabaum glass studio. We can probably get there by public bus, but the details will be massive. We have an art museum, a children’s museum, and a good number of kids have been to the Arizona Desert Sonora Museum – which is very different from an art museum and gallery. If we plan this very carefully, we can do some really good things for the kids.

PS – I have finally figured out how to put links in the blog!!

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