Love, Peace and Goodwill

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I’ve been making things I want to share with you, but I have to wait until after Christmas or I’ll give the surprises away as some are gifts. But I wanted to share some inspiration with you that I found this week.

Sunday, I watched a documentary, A Man Named Pearl. Pearl Fryar and his story filled me with hope and energy to create art. In the early 1980’s, Pearl must have been in his early 40’s, he began to teach himself the art of topiary gardening.

His property, in the small town of Bishopville, South Carolina, is around 3 acres. Into the wee hours of the night Pearl has worked hard on his topiary garden. At first the neighbors would ask themselves, “What is he DOING?!” He’d also get dying plants from the local nursery and nurse them back to life for his garden. Paying attention to the lines the spaces, not sketching a gosh darn thing. He never took a class or studied with a book on topiary. No travels to England to see such artwork in famous gardens either. I love self taught artists, don’t you?

To know that he came upon these talents later in his life is very encouraging to me. His pastor told Pearl one day that blessings will come. Some find their talents and the blessings that come from them when they are young and some happen to come later in life. But when it comes, it’s always the right time.

Pearl has created a little piece of beauty on this earth. Now tourists in buses come for tours. Bishopville is just a small pass through town along a stretch of highway, much like where I live in Duvall, Washington. Now the reconstruction of their Main Street lines with Pearls’ topiary’s in the medians. He is so inspiring, so giving and just listening to his wise words filled me up with a spirit of happiness and an excitement to create.

So I know this is a long post, but stick with me. I have one more thing to share with you. Do any of you watch Work of Art, The Next Great Artist? They just finished airing their 2nd season on Bravo.

It’s a fun show. They had all sorts of creative types with all kinds of personalities on the show. This year they had an artist named The Sucklord. Yes, that’s right, The Sucklord. He was really funny and although his art didn’t always speak to me, I know my nephew’s, M3 & M4, would like it (he uses a lot of action figures, e.g. Han Solo, Storm Troopers, and bootleg action figures in his art).

And then there’s one of the hosts, China Chow, and her dresses went above and beyond last season’s. Think Bjork style. With Simon de Pury, the mentor, this is her canvas dress above, which the contestants sprayed an unknown color of spray paint to find what team they would be on.

Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t watched it yet and are planning to, please skip this part of the post.

And the winner is, Kymia Nawabi! I was happy with the choice. This piece above was my favorite of Kymia’s. Her father, who died in a jet skiing accident, was her inspiration. She’s a fantastic drawer and she really can apply her talents using many different mediums. The same can be said about all 3 final artists.

One of the runner up artists was Young Sun Han. His theme was inspired by his father, above, who passed away from cancer three years prior. Although Young didn’t win, he still won in many other ways. His artwork seemed to help him with the final grieving process. He even commented that now he felt he could move on.

The other runner up was Sara Jimenez. I was drawn to her final pieces. All throughout the season I seemed to be drawn to her style. Sara created a suit she could wear with a mask, as seen above, a sort of magical creature. Along the busy streets of New York City she gave paper to passerby’s and invited them to write down what worries them, offer it to the creature to, in a sense, carry for them. What a response she got from strangers!

This was one of my favorite installations Sara created. I’m not sure if it was intended to mean this, but this is what it said to me. Worries can often be kept in a cage that we carry around with us and are trapped by them each day. Imagine being able to take those serious worries and concerns and release them. You could sore.

Applying what some strangers offered up to the magical creature, imagine not having to worry any longer about your drug addiction, or the needles you shared and the possible diseases you could be infected with. Imagine not being afraid to try out for the lead in The Nutcracker, or finally submit that book you wrote to various editors. Imagine what it would feel like not to be afraid of anything. It would be very freeing, wouldn’t it?

Well, there’s my two main inspirations this week. I hope you enjoyed what I shared with you today. This will likely be my last post before Christmas. So I want to wish you all the happiest of Christmas’. May you try to feel some peace on that day and love one another. In the words designed into Pearls garden, Love, Peace & Goodwill to you all.

A Gift For You

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Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well. I’ve been busy getting ready for the holidays. Shopping, creating, working on my 2011 Christmas cards and wrapping.

Or at least I’m trying to wrap when Kosmo isn’t in need of some attention. Here he sat in my wrapping spot while I was trying to wrap my nieces, A’s, present. He’s so funny.

I’ve also been working on something for you! That’s right, just something extra to say thank you for taking the time to keep in touch with me here on my blog. My gift to you:

Here are some labels for your holiday gifts. I’ve got labels with Christmas colors and Hanukkah colors, as Hanukkah begins December 20th. You have three options.

For a full page of red & green labels click here.
For a full page of blue & green labels click here.
For a full page of navy & blue labels click here.

If you need to download the latest version of Adobe Reader click here.

Print these on some card stock, cut them out and enjoy!. If you use a circle punch, my 2&1/8″ punch works great for the circular labels. I hope you like them as much as I do.

Enjoy your weekend!

Feliz Cumpleaños A Ti

Feliz cumpleaños a ti
Feliz cumpleaños a ti
Feliz cumpleaños mi madre
Feliz cumpleaños a ti!

Happy Birthday Mom! I gotta say, that dress is pretty inspiring. Look at all those colors! I love you, Mom!

Oh! And a special Happy Birthday wish to Mr. D.A. Have a fun day!

Chalkboard Art

For a little more than six months now I’ve been interested and practicing a new art form, chalkboard art. You’ve seen some I’m sure, and at times may have not noticed it was a chalkboard done by hand, in cafes, pubs, some grocery stores and at farmers markets. A lot of weddings have added a little chalkboard art too.

From seating charts,

direction signs,

to menus for food at the reception and more.

There are a lot of options and it’s really fun to practice too. Here’s one of my first chalkboard signs:

What do you think? Please comment below above. I would love honest feedback.

I’m going to keep on practicing in order to offer the service locally come Spring 2012. So keep your eye out here for some more practice chalkboards.

If you have some time to read about some really inspiring chalkboard art check out Before I Die by artist, Candy Chang. It’s very moving.

image 1: found on Wedding Window from a wedding planned by Unscene; image 2: found on The Knot by Margaret Singer; image 3: found on Elizabeth Anne Designs, photographed by Catie Ronquillo; image 4: made & photographed by Tiffany Laws; image 5: found on Candy Chang’s web site

Man & Nature

Living in the Snoqualmie Valley country has its benefits. Fall, for one. Seeing the leaves change is so pretty, especially when it’s a warm, sunny, crisp, fall day.

Since last week there’s been a horrible eye sore in the valley. This is a normal Fall view (below) coming across the valley on the bridge over the Snoqualmie River (without the rain).

(Sorry for the poor cell phone picture quality. Trust me, it’s so much prettier.)

This last week the view has been ruined by this:

That’s right, a broken, busted up television set! On the side of the road, right on the bridge! Luckily it didn’t fall in the river! Either someone shoved it off their truck, or it fell off. Do you think they arrived to wherever they were going and realized now they needed to get a new TV? Well, that’s one way to get a new flat screen this holiday season. 🙂 Unfortunately, not cool for the environment.

When I thought of this idea, Man & Nature, I thought it would be candy wrappers and soda cans, but this is a pretty big find. So this is a sort of series I’ll try and do each week or two. Find something man made (the TV) and something nature made (the leaves) along side the road or the sidewalk when on my walks with Mr. Kosmo, remove it, photograph it, draw it, trash the trash and share the drawing with you (no matter how bad it is). Unfortunately, this TV was too big for me to pick up on my own to properly get rid of, but I think it’s gone now. I’m pretty sure it was gone this morning, or maybe I wasn’t paying close enough attention. If not, I’ll find some way to get rid of it tomorrow.

So this is the best drawing I could do with the time I had. I’m hoping to get quicker and better with time and I’ll try and take the photo’s in better daylight. At 4:30pm, it’s already getting dark here in the Seattle area. This is also a great way for me to practice. While this was just a pencil sketch, I want to use color, whether with colored pencils or watercolor paint. Hopefully, you’ll find some interesting creations, a little inspiration and a little less trash.