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December 2005

Welcome to my website! I would like to thank my husband Blake who did such a beautiful job. If it weren�t for him, I not only would have no website, I would know absolutely nothing about computers! While I am no expert, I was recently accused of being a techie by another artist. Go figure!

I expect to have a busy year in 2006...so, I have been working in the studio to produce work in anticipation. I plan to do a number of new shows and will be traveling a bit more than usual. (Check out my show schedule)

I�ve been doing art shows since 1978 and have seen many changes. Then the average show cost about $60. It cost nothing to apply. Most artists took their own slides. Few artists had canopies and booths consisted of crates and boards. Now, there are shows where the application fee is as much as a booth fee was in the 70�s. Artists are being juried through a new online process called Zapplication and booths look like miniature galleries.

It's hard to believe I�ve been doing this as long as I have. I�m grateful to have done something I love. Traveling to shows has given me the opportunity to meet interesting people, see places I probably never would have gone to and stay at hotels I�m still shaking my head over (Tip...never stay at the York Motel in Melbourne FL).

In the past couple of years, my work has changed dramatically. I�m not sure exactly what has caused this change. I know I felt I was getting a little stale and was casting about for something different. I had a lot of frustration with surface decoration...sometimes the technical aspects of working with fired underglazes, glazes and fired surfaces was exasperating. Interestingly enough, I�ve been talking to a number of ceramic artists who have experienced the same thing. I think because ceramics comes out of a background of functionality, there is this tendency to stay within the confines of that tradition. Now, artists are using all kinds of materials and techniques. I think this is a good thing. When I first started working seriously in clay, it seemed there were a lot of unspoken rules. High fire - good, low fire - bad. Earth colors - good, bright colors - bad. Mixing your own glazes - good, buying commercial glazes (like the kind your Aunt Sara used to make that ceramic Christmas tree) - bad. And forget about slip casting or using molds of any kind.

So I have been painting clay. It is not the sacrilege it once was. How wonderful to be able to use red, any shade of red. Or purple. Or neon orange. Paint something and dissatisfied with how it looks? You can do it over! (How many times have I refired or reglazed a piece? Countless times! How many times did it succeed? Oh, maybe twice, if that).

So it is a new world. And the big rule now is THERE ARE NO RULES! I am going to continue to treat my work as a three dimensional canvas.

February

         Just got back from doing my Florida tour�Mt. Dora and Artigras in Jupiter.  Both shows were good for me.  I had never been in Mt. Dora�really, a lovely and charming town and I would recommend stopping by if you are in the vicinity.  There really is a mountain region in Florida.  They�re just not as tall as most mountains.  The town itself reminds me of Blowing Rock with its shops, restaurants, and artsy atmosphere.

 The weather wasn�t cooperative Saturday morning.  Blake and I decided to set up the booth very early on Saturday. After we finished, the rain poured down.  I had 6 inches of rushing water in the back of the booth and I stood on my stepladder for awhile just to keep my shoes dry.  It�s at times like this I wonder why I do outdoor shows.  By noon, the skies cleared, the people came out and it was a good day.

                                                               

Mt Dora's lake                           Mt Dora's Lighthouse                Flowers in bloom in February

Artigras in Jupiter was bright and sunny.  Just the kind of weather you expect from southern Florida.  I had an interesting drive on I-95.  At about mile marker 120, there is a gigantic mountain of garbage.  Above, there were hundreds of buzzards circling this mountain.  And the smell!  It was a scene from the end of the world.  I wonder how the natives feel about it.  Is it just a landmark they use to direct people (OK, you�re going to come to a big, stinky humongous mountain of garbage.  Turn left at the next exit).  I bet this Mont Trashmore leaves a big impression on kids.  Jupiter itself though is beautiful.

March

            Went to the gallery opening at the Durham Arts Council.  This show was sponsored by the Durham Art Guild and featured four artists.  I�m really pleased they invited me and my thanks go to Lisa Morton for her hard work in putting the show together.  Durham has a great reputation for supporting the arts.

                                       

                        Vik at Durham Art Guild Opening

            Went north to do a show in Annandale, Maryland.  Thank goodness it was inside because this is March and it�s still winter up there.  Had a good show and look forward to going back next year.

 April

             The Dogwood Festival in Atlanta turned out to be very interesting.  This show is held in Piedmont Park with the beautiful Atlanta skyline as a backdrop.  At the Friday evening artists� reception, I was surprised and pleased to hear them announce that I had won "Best in Show, 3D Sculpture."  It really was an honor to get an award from such a great show. 

            Friday evening there were predictions of a major storm moving through the area.  Not something artists want to hear.  So we tied the booth down to a huge slab of rock and a picnic table.  Saturday morning, we awoke to reports of tornadoes during the night with buildings wrecked and a semi with sleeping occupant turned over in a parking lot.  When they asked the trucker if he had anything to say to the people of Atlanta, he deadpanned, �Goodbye!�  Thank goodness the storm stayed north of Atlanta and everything at the show, except for the obligatory ruined EZ-Up, was ok.

                                                                                                          

                 Atlanta's beautiful skyline                My booth with award ribbon               View of crowd, I'm 3rd booth from left

May

            May brings spring and Artsplosure in Raleigh.  Had two nice days at this outdoor show.  Lots of people and good music here.  I like doing this show since it�s nearby and I can be home in less than two hours.

Another May Show

            Charleston�s Picolo Spoleto Art Festival!  What better venue for a show than historic Wragg Square in the shade of huge live oak trees with Spanish moss providing the southern accent.  I enjoy doing this show because it�s in a small area and artists seem to visit with each other more than at other shows.  And it is Charleston.

                                    Middle path of show.  My booth on left.

            I also had the honor of receiving an award at this show.  As I was away from my booth buying some gourd artwork, Barbara Umbel came running up to me and said, �Get back to your booth right now!�  I thought something was wrong, but as I got closer I saw a bunch of people in front of my booth.  Turned out that I was being presented the �Mayor�s Purchase Award� by His Honor, Mayor Joe Riley, Jr.  Mayor Riley is in his eighth term as CEO of Charleston and is considered one of the most effective city leaders in the country and is a huge supporter of the arts.    http://www.charlestoncity.info/dept/content.aspx?nid=495

                                  

            My thanks to the Mayor, the show judge, and the show officials for this award.  I understand that the piece, �Frida Kahlo and the Tree of Life�, will be displayed in City Hall for the next year.  I didn�t get the name of the lady on the right, but she said she had actually visited Frida�s home in Mexico.  Wish I�d had more time to talk to her, but the event was kind of hectic.  Email me if you know her name.

            Later Saturday afternoon we were treated to some exciting weather.  I looked to the west and saw a large black cloud headed in our direction.  Just as I got most of my pieces safely off the shelves, the wind hit the show.  Everyone held on for dear life until the front passed through.  Not much rain, but lots of wind.  Show officials let us close early since more storms were forecast.  Two tornadoes were reported north of Charleston near Mt. Pleasant where we were staying, but we didn�t see any problems except the northbound lanes of the beautiful new bridge were closed after a crane was blown into it during the storm.  No damage though.

            Some strangely dressed people came through the booth one afternoon.  Blake got some pictures of their performance.  Someday I want to dress up and be in a parade. 

                                  

 

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