Friday, April 22, 2011

Favorite Things Friday: Canada!

Last week I was lucky enough to get out of the country with three friends to Vancouver, BC. It was lovely - there were long talks and longer walks, high tea in the middle of a park, lots of winegums and Cadbury Mini-Eggs consumed, and I added another Canadian - made sweatshirt to my growing collection. I think I have a bit of a problem. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Front Page News! (Etsy Wednesday)

This morning I was sitting here wracking my brain for a blog entry when one fell in my lap. My TV Thank You Cards were featured on the Etsy front page today! Totally ironic as I usually do an Etsy Wednesday feature. A big thanks to Wren Willow  for putting this awesome treasury together. My cards are in great company. And Hello! to any new friends who found my blog today via Etsy.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Favorite Things Friday: Sketchbook Style (again)!

I can't believe it is Friday. My kiddo was on spring break this week and we packed it full of fun (shopping, drawing, hanging out) and not so fun (dentist, vaccines, work) stuff. It went fast. I spent a large chunk of time trying to draw attractive corn stalks for an upcoming project but finally let it go, ate a donut and had a much better idea. I love when that happens. In other news, I'll be traveling to Holland in May to see my loved ones. Am I excited? Hell yes.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cherry Blossom Time

Living with a 3 year old girl, it goes without saying that there is a lot of pink in our lives - even though before she was born I swore my child would not be clothed in pink from head to toe. Right. The girl LOVES pink, and I've totally given in. This weekend we took her to see the Yoshino cherry trees on the University of Washington campus. Pink trees! Could there be anything more magical?

One of my favorite memories from art school was pulling spring time all nighters in the studio (those second story windows in the photo above) and watching the sun set and rise on the blooming cherry trees. It was so fun to see it through my kiddo's wide eyes, and to share the wonder with her.

The trees are beautiful this year, and people were out in droves - having picnics, playing instruments, taking wedding photos, lifting their babies up into the pink canopy. A totally magical afternoon.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Remembering Larry

Two years ago today my friend (and friend to so many others) Larry Sommers passed away suddenly. Larry was the Health and Safety Coordinator and the Printmaking Technician at the University of Washington where I got my BFA in Printmaking. He was always there in his office in the Printmaking department  - ready to answer any question, troubleshoot any problem, and most importantly have a good chat or a hearty laugh. He was extremely intelligent, politically passionate, and cared so much for the students he worked with. Did I mention he was funny? He was. I can still hear his laugh and picture that look he'd get on his face when you shocked him with some hilarious (or dirty) joke.

Larry had a way of bringing people together, through the information he shared with us as students or the warm atmosphere he created in the studio by just being there. The studio felt like a home away from home for so many of us, and a big part of that was due to Larry. We felt safe there - with him watching over us, and helping us make the art we loved without risking our heath to do it.  For many of us, it was a time that was shaping such an important part of our future - the decision to be artists or to make art a part of our lives forever.

After I graduated I took a position as a Printmaking and Painting Tech at a small, private art school in our town. When I walked into a huge heath and safety disaster on my first day (for one - the school had no way of disposing their mineral spirits, had been storing them in huge barrels over the years, and hinted that I might just dump them outside behind the school) I called Larry. I was in way over my head. With his guidance I was able to organize the school's first Heath and Safety Committee that still stands today. Without his help and encouragement that would have never happened.

The last time I saw Larry I had been asked to visit a UW printmaking class and show my current portfolio of work. Part of me felt a little ashamed, because what I was showing was graphic design and illustration, not Printmaking. Larry was always excited to share with students what exactly people did with their BFA's. He kept a running list on a yellow legal pad. Each year he'd catch up with former students, add to the list and read it to the graduating class. I remember feeling filled with hope the year he read it to us. But somehow, returning as one of the people on the list I felt like I was betraying my roots. When I opened my portfolio Larry said "Wow! You can really see that you have a Printmaking background." Knowing that he could see that in my work made me beam - it meant the world to me.

He is missed.

Here is a link to the Larry Sommers Memorial Art Fellowship (currently accepting calls for submissions) at Seattle Print Arts.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Favorite Things Friday: Sketchbook Style

Happy Friday! Here's a new twist on my Favorite Things Friday posts - a peek into my life and sketchbook this past week and some of the many things that made me happy. The most memorable moment this week? On Tuesday I witnessed 20 preschoolers devour 150 mini pancakes in about 60 minutes. It made an impression to say the least.