Monthly Archives: July 2013

My Day at “Meet the Artists” at Livingstone Studio, 2013

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I’d love to tell all about “Meet the Artists” at Livingstone Studio.

There were some extremely talented people there: musicians, craft-persons, artists…the ladies that put the food and wine together…

The planning and preparation alone is extraordinary, from coordinating schedules of dozens of artists and artisans, to gathering musicians for entertainment, to food and drink beautiful enough to stand in the company of all the lovely work displayed.

I wish I could show a selection of some of the outstanding work.

Unfortunately, the only photos I took were of my own display (and only after a sale left a hole in the arrangement). The only perspective that I can honestly give is from my own narrow point of view.

Nancy was on my left, with her glass beads and jewelry. Ruth was on my right, with her lovely ceramic ware. I was facing Larissa, who held her beautiful red-haired baby behind her table of stunning new work.

I made the rounds before the day was done, to visit with each of the artists, and to admire their work. If I tried, now, to relate the experience, I’m afraid I’d leave someone out, mix up a name, or misrepresent their work. Though we all display our work at Livingstone Studio, and many live here on Beaver Island, most of us are busy with other pursuits. We often have just this one day a year to come together – as artists – in mutual respect and admiration. It’s a good time to talk about process, technique and materials. It is wonderful to catch up on new media, fresh inspiration and changing directions. It’s a great day for artists talking about art.

It is also wonderful to be out meeting and talking to people as an artist. Many know and follow my work. Several have been grand supporters of me and my art over the years. With them, it’s fun to chat and catch up.

Every year I have people approach who know me from one restaurant or another, who have seen me in the grocery store or at the hardware store or walking my dogs down Fox Lake Road…but who did not know that I am an artist. I never try to hide it, but when I’m working at another job, it often doesn’t come up in conversation. When cutting pipe or making keys, taking orders or serving lunch, that’s the job I’m focused on, and that’s the person that I am. It’s nice to have a day where “the person that I am” is exactly the one I want to be.

From my perspective, it was a beautiful day!

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Summertime…

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“…and the livin’ is easy…”

I love that song. Every word, every sentiment.

It brings me, in my imagination, to a breezy screened room with a sturdy wicker chair and a tall, cool drink. Looking out, of course, on a perfectly groomed lawn and garden. The sun is shining. No obligations hang over me. Warm and comfortable, I may just doze right here.

Real life is a little more hectic, for me, here on Beaver Island in the summertime.

My granddaughter, Madeline, and I went to a concert last weekend.

Claudia Schmidt is a former employer and a dear friend of mine, as well as a wonderful musician and singer. She used to live here on Beaver Island, and it’s always lovely when she makes it back. She performed at the Community Center last Saturday evening.

We dressed for the occasion. Madeline chose the “very similar to the styles that Taylor Swift wears” dress that she’d worn for her own recital (she plays stand up bass). The sash was a bit frayed from the wash, but was elegant nonetheless. I wore the gauzy, tie-dyed “summer of love” dress that I’d purchased when visiting Florida with my sisters. Unaccustomed to wearing dresses of any kind, I managed to briefly flash the people in seats behind me while trying to disentangle my flowing dress from the folding theater seat. Fortunately, my grandmotherly underpants and sixty-year-old fanny caused only laughter, and the evening continued shamelessly.

Claudia intersperses her concerts with anecdotes, reminiscences and commentary. A poet at heart, these bits of information are generally heartfelt, thoughtful and thought-provoking.

One thing she spoke about this time was “Busy.”

That has become the stock answer to any questions regarding how things are going or what one is up to. It’s not an answer, really, but a definition of a condition.

“Busy.”

“Busy, busy, busy!”

“Bizzy!”

It starts to sound like gibberish after a while, she noted.

She avoids that answer, on principle.

To instead answer, “Nothing,” when asked, “What have you been up to?” has value for the looks of horror it evokes.

“What?! NOTHING??”

Generally, though, when activities seem overwhelming, her answer is, “I am living a rich and very full life.”

Wonderful!

So, as I look out from my messy desk on this Monday in July, onto a lawn that needs mowing and a garden that needs tending, trying to plan my week that involves three outside jobs, preparing for and attending an art event, finishing a commission piece for a very patient client, making some progress on housework and yard work, sending out resumes and letters of interest for possible employment, a trip to the mainland to visit the Secretary of State, paying bills that have been ignored too long, repairing my washing machine and finding time for some worthwhile and memory-making activities with my granddaughter, I say…

“This summer, I am living a rich and very full life!”

Happily Behind

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I have three Alpine Currants hanging out in pots by my back door, waiting for me to plant them.

The garden could use quite a bit more attention than it has been getting.

Inside, the same story.

There is a stack of papers on my desk, needing to be sorted and filed. There are letters to be written, and business to be taken care of.

I have artwork to finish, and pieces to frame.

I didn’t post any drawings last week.

I didn’t do any drawing last week.

I had four dead mosquitoes sitting on a little tray on my desk next to my sketch book, a magnifying glass ready to help with the details.

“Disgusting!”, my granddaughter, Madeline, pronounced. She was right!

Yesterday, Madeline and I planted a plum tree. We walked with the dogs. We went for ice cream. We spent four hours on the beach. We spent the evening with a group of lovely ladies. We came home and snuggled in with books and dogs.

I’m behind in everything…happily catching up on what’s important.