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First paragraphs: I am back in the studio after a month break. My current project is an EcoMemory artwork commissioned by three families for a local Montessori school. This EcoMemory project was offered as a fundraising opportunity for families to donate money to the school and purchase a custom piece of art that will remain in the school. The subject matter of this EcoMemory project is to capture these 5 children’s favorite places in their nature playground. This school is fortunate enough to have a wooded area, a creek, wetlands and a prairie area. This is the last phase of my Artist-in-Residence at this same local Montessori school. You can read more about it HERE and HERE. It has been a great adventure working with the staff and students at the school. Big trees assembly in progress Phase 1 of this EcoMemory project was to meet the five children whose families bought the commission. It was truly a magical visit because they took me on a tour of their nature playground favorite places and shared fabulous details of what it’s like to be a child at recess at the school. I got to see it through their eyes. I felt like I was 10 years old again. I heard about their forts, how they take chestnut shells and use them to give water and food to the rust and black fuzzy caterpillars.
First paragraph: So our cat Koa is now two years old. As an update to my article Lessons from a Kitten, I can add another lesson, letting go of perfectionism. There are many sweet things about our two cats. But there are some annoying things too. I can handle these imperfections because of all the good they bring to our family. I can focus on the good qualities. It is ok that they are not perfectly behaved cats. Here is the original article. Lessons from a Kitten, June 14, 2016 We got a new Siberian kitten last Saturday. He is 11 weeks old and, of course, absolutely adorable. His name is Koa. We named him after the native Hawaiian wood Koa because he's an orange tabby and looks like the Koa wood's grain pattern. Needless to say, I have been spending a lot of time with him because he pretty much needs constant attention and supervision unless he is sleeping. Every time I try to get my laptop out and go through my to-do list or check Instagram, he's right there looking at me like “Hey! This is a new toy to play with. I'm gonna walk on it. I like your shiny phone because it's interesting and I am going to bite it." At first it made me feel bad that I was so frustrated trying to work in front of him. But then I realized he is so in the moment. That is the first lesson I learned. ⬇️To read the whole article and see the images, feel free to click the link in my profile😄
Our daughter Maggie @maggiewarrenstudio just created this video for her grad school project to help make a #BirdSafeHome. The link is in my profile. She walks you thru an easy project to make zen curtains and make sure no birds think they can fly through your windows. Please share to help birds during this spring migratory season.
First paragraph: My geology professor from college, Dr Palmquist (who I have written about before HERE) signed up as a subscriber to my weekly Studio Notes after I gave him one of my first EcoMemory prototypes as a gift. My EcoMemory is based on a rocky island in Lake Superior where I did field work with Dr. Palmquist for my senior project. He recently emailed me saying, "How did this interest in creativity start?" It got me thinking because when he knew me as a college student, I was all about the math and science. I wanted to be an environmentalist and geology, the study of the earth, seemed to be the closest major I could find. Later I realized I like knowing how things were formed. That’s what a lot of geology is about; how the earth formed, how rocks were formed. You tell a story based on the available science at the time of what happened, just like the volcanic action going on in Hawaii right now. Every geological event tells the story of what is happening in the earth. What I really like the most about geology are the minerals, the colors and the shapes of igneous rocks and metamorphic rocks. It really was the starting point of me noticing color and shapes. I had told myself I wasn’t creative because I was a scientist and good at math. ⬇️To read the whole article and see the images, feel free to click the link in my profile😄
First paragraph: For the first time in many months (sometimes it feels like years), my family and I had a Lazy Sunday this week. We woke up whenever we wanted to. We had no commitments. We did not need to be someplace at a certain time. We decided to go to our local Botanic Garden and see the blooming Corpse flower. This has been a big event at our Botanic Garden in Chicago when these things bloom because they are very rare, very weird-looking and very smelly. Hence the name Corpse flower. Then we just walked around to see some of the Bulb garden which was filled with daffodils. We had a leisurely lunch. It was fantastic. My goal for years has been to have a day like this once a week, a Lazy Sunday. For families sometimes this is impossible especially if the children are in sports. Coaches do not care about rest and relaxation. Our culture does not seem to value relaxation anymore. I’m not quite sure why because I think it is one of the most important things you can do to boost your creativity. ⬇️To read the whole article and see the images, feel free to click the link in my profile😄
First paragraph: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art just opened a David Hockney exhibit entitled 82 Portraits and 1 Still Life. Each person is someone he knows personally, like his dentist, Museum curators, etc. Each person sat for a "20 hour exposure" as Hockney says, which can be rather intimidating having someone study you for that long of a time. I heard about the exhibit through an interview with Hockney on the PBS Newshour. Read more about the interview HERE. The following exchange jumped out at me as I listened to the interview. Jeffrey Brown: A lot of people would think of this as an old-fashioned idea, right? Painting’s old-fashioned. Portrait painting even is old-fashioned. David Hockney: Well, yes, but it’s not really. I mean, I know the arguments about painting is dead. But painting can’t die, because photography is not good enough, actually. Not good enough. Jeffrey Brown: It’s not good enough? David Hockney: No. It’s just a snap. But, I mean, why not look longer at something? Look longer, and you maybe see more. So, photography is not good enough. This is a contrarian view given that everyone sees themselves as a photographer with a cell phone now a days. Hockney always gets me to think about assumptions we may have as a society. I thought I would share my article I wrote about him last year. ⬇️To read the whole article and see the images, feel free to click the link in my profile😄
First paragraph: As I wrote about last week, I decided to do the 100 Day Project at the very last minute. I decided I would use some of the lessons I’ve learned from the 100 Day Project over the past few years, basically that a daily challenge gets you to create stuff you may not otherwise create without that structure. So I thought about a project I had hidden away in my “do this sometime in the future” mental file. I’m always fascinated by transparent colors and overlays of different colors using watercolors probably because that is one thing I can not do with solid colors of fabric sewn together. After starting, I know there’s a big difference between appreciating something and deciding to do it. But I rationalized that this would be helpful for my EcoMemory commissions because many commissions so far involve sunsets and sunrises over beaches or lakes. So this might be an interesting option to use watercolor painted fabric for those sunsets and sunrises. ⬇️To read the whole article and see the images, feel free to click the link in my profile😄
7/100 #the100dayproject #100DaysOfWatercolorsOnFabric
6/100 #the100dayproject #100DaysOfWatercolorsOnFabric
5/100 Just finished painting a Monet “Sunrise” inspired fabric square with watercolors. The fabric is very wet so it looks darker than it will be as it dries. This is so fun!!!!🌅🎨👩🏻🎨#the100dayproject #100daysofwatercolorsonfabric