Monday, September 9, 2013

Summer 2013 in review...

This was a particularly delicious summer in Western Washington.  The weather was perfect and our garden continues to produce the most abundant harvest we've ever experienced.  I have tomato plants in my greenhouse that grew to 10 feet, then fell over and kept growing (they are wound around supports, growing horizontally.)  The garage freezer is packed with berries and veggies and the countertops are piled with tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, with daily containers of beets, carrots, string beans, and more waiting to be used or preserved.  All of the farm animals are thriving on peels, seeds and foliage leftover from each day's harvest.  It's a lot of work, but it will pay off this winter when I only need to grab organic, homegrown food from the freezer instead of buying it from a store.

In the meantime, I have been reflecting on all of the art activities I participated in over the past three months. There was the invitational Bathers of the Sun, Bathers of the Moon 3-person show at B2 Fine Art Gallery in Tacoma.  The opening reception was very nice, with live Flamenco dancing and a lovely crowd.  I completed my re-working of the Blue Moon mosaic (mentioned in a spring post) in time for this show:
Blue Moon, stained glass on wedi, 16" x 22"
My mosaic portrait of my daughter eating an apple at Mardi Gras was featured in a juried exhibit called "Being Human" in Issaquah.
Fascinator - stained glass on wood cabinet door with Mardi Gras swag.
I led several mosaic activities over the summer.  The first was with a group of 60 participants at a Presbyterian church in Olympia.  I've never taught more than 10 people at once, so I was very nervous going in.  However, everyone had a blast and all of the little cross mosaic projects turned out great.  I most enjoyed the young children, who added glass pieces, found objects and beads with reckless abandon.  They didn't get hung up on composition or perfect placement, and the results were really fun.

The second event was at my daughter's 4H camp, where I put out wooden picture frames, scrap glass, and glue.  Kids from 3rd grade and up glued glass to their frames and filled the gaps with glitter.  (There was no time for grouting with either workshop.)  I forgot my camera that day, so no photos, unfortunately.

In August, I led an event through the City of Auburn Parks and Rec department, which I wrote about in its own blog recently.  I delivered that finished mural on Thursday, and they have decided to mount it on a wall inside of the General Administration Building at eye level.  They are very happy with their new artwork.

I had one commission over summer, which was also delivered recently to the new owner.  This will be the design for her upcoming book, which should be published for sale in time for the holidays.  I will post more about that when the publishing process is finalized, but here is a sneak peek of her mosaic:
4 dancing women with falling gifts for author Kay Christy
Finally, I had the pleasure of spending four days in Hillsboro, OR with Lynn Adamo.  For two days, I took a hammer & hardie workshop from her, learning to use the tool I had purchased over a year ago.  I look forward to breaking some of my salvaged stone tile, and collecting more organic materials for mosaic in the future.  After the workshop, Richard Davis arrived from Whidbey Island, and Lynn put us to work on her current public art project for Astoria.  It was a great experience to see how Lynn approached her project and to watch her work through some of the challenges faced while I was there.  You can read all about the project at her blog:

Those were all of my official summer art projects, but I also started cleaning out my studio, moving a huge pile of random salvaged tiles outside and thinsetting them to a concrete patio.  Progress has been slow because of other commitments, but if weather holds, I hope to get most of it done this month.  I have a lot of older artwork in storage that I would love to clear out of the studio, so I may do a major studio clearance sale later this Fall, after the studio is reorganized.  I also started a bottle wall, but had to stop to attend to other things.  I will continue work on that this month as well, and post a photo when it is completed.
The beginning of my patio mosaic.  I have a LONG way to go!
My September and October have been filling up fast, as well.  I have some exciting new projects in planning, but I'll write about those another time.