I have always been fascinated with ancient Egypt. When I was a child I wanted to be an Egyptologist. That was until a teacher told me that everything had already been discovered so I couldn’t be one. Looking back I realize what a terrible (and totally untrue) thing that was to tell a child. Despite her discouragement I held onto my curiosity and fascination. The city I live in has one of the best Egyptian museums in the country with beautiful grounds including a walking labyrinth, alchemy and peace gardens and much more. It also houses one of the largest collections of artifacts in the Western US.
I think my love of all things Egyptian is in DNA. My Grandmother was a member of the Rosicrucian order. I have an old box of her study materials from the 50’s & 60’s. My Mother would bring us the museum often when we were growing up. She always told us it was her sanctuary. I feel the same way about the space as well. There is something very peaceful and calming about it.
They currently have a special alchemy exhibit. It is a really fascinating subject that I am enjoying learning about. Both physical and spiritual alchemy are fascinating to me. Recently I have been exploring some the aspects and symbolism of alchemy and Egyptian mythology in my artwork.
I just finished the piece below. It’s a 24x36 mixed media encaustic piece that includes 18k gold. It is titled “Blessings for the Living “and is inspired by Ra, the Egyptian Sun God.
Blessings for the Living
At the end of each year I like to look back and reflect on everything that has happened. I usually write a year end wrap up blog post sharing and reflecting on all of my experiences and accomplishments of the past year. This year it just didn’t feel right, the post felt forced and trite. My year was amazing; I traveled, experienced and accomplished many wonderful things. My year was awful; I lost my Father after a long battle with many health issues - just a year after I lost my Mother. It can be perplexing to be happy and sad at the same time.
I am looking forward to a new year filled with lots of adventures and new experiences.
I wish you a Happy New Year filled with health, happiness, and creativity. I thought I would share a passage of the Tao Te Ching that really speaks to me. Its a section of verse 16. (Note, there are 100's of translations of the Tao Te Ching, this one is by Dr. Wayne Dyer)
Become totally empty. Let your heart be at peace. Amidst the rush of worldly comings and goings, observe how endings become beginnings. Things flourish, each by each, only to return to the source… To what is and what is to be.
Every year I commission a different artist to paint a family portrait for us. This year Kim Christman Smith painted this beautiful piece with a 1920's theme. I love how she even added Sabine's favorite teddy bear that she rarely parts with.
I Am absolutely thrilled to share that I have been selected for the 2015 Leigh Weimers Emerging Artist Award for visual arts. Receiving this award is such an honor and an affirmation of my contributions to the visual arts community. The support reinforces my artistic direction and will have a positive impact on my future projects. Leigh Weimers, the beloved writer whose column ran in the San Jose Mercury News for more than 40 years, was a life-long champion and eloquent supporter of the arts in Silicon Valley. He and his wife Geri were ubiquitous at the theatre, ballet, symphony, art gallery openings, fundraisers and literary events. In his memory and honor, the Rotary Club of San Jose has established the Leigh Weimers Emerging Artists Awards.
These awards, first given in July, 2013, are presented to outstanding artists who have yet to be widely recognized for their talent, vision and artistic accomplishments.
Unfortunately I was not able to attend the awards luncheon on Wed 23rd due to a family emergency. Soon they will post a video of the ceremony that I will share.
Here is a little write up in the Mercury News
I want to thank everyone who came out to the opening reception of Diary of a Naturalist. It was such a great evening. I met and talked with so many wonderful people. Its always great to be able to talk to strangers about your art and give them a little insight and background into your process. I have really enjoyed my residency at TechShop, it has opened up a whole new world for me and I cant wait to experiment and try other areas of the shop.
If you didn't get a chance to come out to the opening the exhibit will be up until Sept. 26th.
Here are some images from the exhibit and opening.
There is only 2 weeks until the opening of my exhibit at TechShop. I am in the final stretch of prepping everything. This is the time where all of the behind the scenes stuff happens - titling, labeling, pricing, figuring out the hanging configuration, etc. You can learn more about the exhibit here. I am very excited about the show. I have learned so much and had a lot of fun during my TechShop residency. There is so much more I want to learn and try out too. For those of you who don’t know about the TechShop it is an amazing place. Their tag line is “Build your Dreams Here” and boy can you. Imagine a place with every tool you can ever want; laser cutters, 3D printers, full wood and metal shops, sewing, embroider and quilting machines, vacuum formers, water jets, a variety of software and so so much more. They teach classes on how to use all of the equipment and are open 24 hours. So needless to say it’s pretty fantastic and I have had access to everything during my residency.
I had a great time last week teaching a book arts workshop to teens at the Sunnyvale Public library. I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I have taught small workshops with adults and young children but never young teens and never more than 10 students. It turned out to be a really cool experience. There were about 18 students mostly young women but a few creative young men as well. I started by telling them about the anatomy of a book, talked about how to check if a book is first edition or valuable and then showed them different things they can make with old books. Then we made a bunch of paper feathers to get comfortable with cutting, gluing and shaping. Then we jumped right in and started making the hanging book mobiles. This is where they had a chance to get really creative picking out the book they wanted to use, how they wanted the pages to hang and the finished piece to look. Some got through the project really quickly while others took their time and were more meticulous. One fun thing that I didn’t anticipate was that several of them decided to use the feathers they made to decorate the outside of their mobile.
The staff and facilities at the Sunnyvale library were fantastic too. I appreciated all of their help. I am really glad I had the opportunity to teach the workshop and hope I can do more in the future.
I officially started my artist residency at the Tech Shop, it’s a 3 month residency that includes a membership, a couple of classes and a featured art exhibit. On Wednesday I had a tour of the facilities including all of the cool equipment and just a few hours after that I was in my first class, laser cutting and etching. That machine is really cool, you can cut and etch everything from wood and metal to chocolate and pumpkin.
Practicing some etching on a small piece of metal
My featured exhibit is the first Friday in August (not that far off) and to be honest I don’t have a clear idea of what I am going to create for it. That’s a little scary and exciting. Sometimes I can be an over planner so when I don’t get to do that I am thrown out of my comfort zone which I think is good (at times).I have some ideas bouncing around in my head but I have to get in and learn and practice the equipment before I can really start creating.
My Tech Shop membership badge
Oh what a year 2014 has been, lots of ups and downs - a very transformative year to say the least. It began with an inspiring trip to Joshua Tree. There is something so beautiful and tranquil about the desert. One of the highlights of the trip was the Noah Purifoy Art Site; you can see some of the pictures from the art site here.
One of the highlights of the year was a trip to Eastern Canada for my solo exhibition at theNathaniel Hughson Art Gallery. It was a really fun and inspiring trip, everyone was incredibly friendly and kind. You can read all about my adventure here.
I am excited to share that I will be having a solo exhibit in April at KALEID Gallery. I will be showing a whole new body of work.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!