Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Artomatic Frederick 2013 - So far so Good

I am displaying my handcrafted journals/books and mixed media at Artomatic Frederick.  (www.artomaticfrederick.org) Artomatic opened its doors September 4th and runs through October 5th.  My artwork is on display in building 115 E Chruch St, Frederick, MD room 16.  There are 350 artists displaying artwork, it is well worth the trip to Frederick to view.  It may even take more than 1 trip to soak it all up.  There were over 3500 guests this past Friday and Saturday alone!  I have already had some sales, journals and mixed media.  So I can say I am a happy camper.  It is always a warm feeling when someone makes a purchase.  It took me a long time to let go of some of my artwork - I call them my "favorites".  Seems the favorites sell right away.  I can say I am in a happy place right now, being retired and have the ability to work on my art every day or not at all.  It is a very nice luxury. 

I have met and become friends with some new artists - it is always nice to make new connections in the world of art.

I am quite busy with several custom orders, 2 journals, 5 "girls" (http://www.pinterest.com/artsybab/my-girls/)  and 2 "Friends".   I also have students signed up for my "Paper Design" class and "Polymer Clay - Coptic binding" class.  All classes are taught at the Artway in New Market, MD.  (www.polymerclayexpress.com)  Check it out!

Now back to my art. 

Until next time....

Monday, September 2, 2013

Day 6 & 7 - Glacier National Park - Montana

Day 6: Many Glacier
Up bright and early - cool morning - blue sky - few clouds - warm afternoon.  We were on our way by 8AM.  The drive to "Many Glacier" (east side of Glacier National Park) takes 2 to 3 hours depending on traffic and number of photo stops along the way. Since it was Saturday we did not have to stop for road work on the Road-to-the-Sun.  The first photo stop was for "Wild Goose Island".  This stop is always congested, but today we were early enough it wasn't a problem.  It is a definite photo moment - unfortunately pictures do not do justice.  The 2 pics below are from the early morning and late evening.
Photos along the way - prior to the Park entrance.  As usual the first stop you think "this is it", then a bit further up the road its "no this is it"  and on and on.

The Many Glacier area is known as the "American Alps".  The Many Glacier Hotel opened in 1915 and resembles a true chalet atmosphere for the décor and the alpine beauty surrounding it.  It is now a registered Historic Landmark.  The hotel has a large wrap-around lakeside balcony offering 180 degree views of Swiftcurrent Lake, surrounding rugged hillsides, three glaciers and incredible serrated peaks.  It is a great place to just sit in one of the many chairs and take in the scenery, which is what we did while having lunch. 

 Later we took a trip to Grinnell Lake, which consists of two wooden boat rides(the first on Swiftcurrent Lake) with a short hike from one boat (Chief Two Guns) to the next boat (Morning Eagle) which crosses Lake Josephine.  Then another 2 mile hike in the woods which includes crossing a suspension bridge to Lake Grinnell, with an optional short uphill climb to "Hidden Falls.

This is Swiftcurrent Lake and surrounding area.

Swiftcurrent Lake:
Hidden Falls: These butterflies are friendly - they land on you and visit for a while.  These were the only ones I saw in Montana.
Grinnell Lake:

Waiting for the boat for the return trip:

We stopped at "Two Sisters Café" for dinner.  The place was packed, excellent food and enough memorabilia, stickers, and a solitaire game on the table to keep you amused while waiting for dinner. I did not take a picture of the building, but it cannot be missed - it is painted purple and pink.

The ride back to Columbia Falls was uneventful and we were never in the right location to get a picture of a sunset.  The drive in the dark on the Road-to-the-Sun is a bit scary to say the least.

Day 7: Slow day - relax and enjoy the last day.  Went shopping in Whitefish for a bit and snapped a couple of pics - then hot tub and dinner.

Welcome to Whitefish:  This is ski resort area, has a beach, performing Arts Center, historic shopping area with lots of boutiques complete with an ACE Hardware.

These art mosaics were on the side of a building.  I thought they were quite unique.

Flower baskets in Montana:

Day 8: Home: Kalispell - Denver- Dulles - Damascus.  Very LONG day.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Day 5 – Glacier National Park

Day 5 – Glacier National Park

We were up bright and early to make our way to Polebridge, Bowman Lake and Kintla Lake.  The drive to the back door of the park is mostly on gravel roads.  By the end of the day the car was covered in dirt so much we had to stop and wash the windows, headlights and tail lights.   Polebridge is something else, consists of a small Mercantile with their own baked goods – really good!, The Northern Lights Saloon and a cute little outhouse with a window and air conditioning. 

On the way to our destination we stopped at the “Home Ranch Bottoms”, complete with internet and bar. 

From there we took a detour to "Red Meadow Lake" - supposedly moose were there - NOT.  It was a ride through the forest to the lake.  Once there the lake was calm and serene.  Quiet and peaceful.

Now on to Polebridge, Bowman Lake and Kintla Lake.  I wasn't sure what to expect at Polebridge but I was a bit surprised there were only a couple of buildings on the site.  The Northern Lights Saloon was recommended to us by locals for dinner.  It was quaint and layed back.  Turned out food there is excellent, but Friday night is Pizza and beer night with live entertainment.  After Bowman and Kinta Lakes we came back for pizza and beer.  I will say, the pizza was really good!
Polebridge is nestled between the Continental Divide and the Whitefish Range residing in the North Fork Valley.

Did I mention you do not want to run out of gas on this trek?  There was not one gas station once we left Columbia Falls until we returned.  Except, you could purchase gas in Polebridge for $6.50 a gallon.

Here's Brian having a beer and chatting with one of the locals while I perused the Mercantile and snapped photos.

Off to Bowman Lake (6 miles = 50 minutes).  The drive to Bowman Lake is a very slow, dusty, and bumpy ride on dirt roads, and passes through the tiny community of Polebridge and sections of the park that notably burned in 1988.   Gravel, narrow, winding, pot holes and rocks road not wide enough for 2 cars to pass at the same time. To say it was interesting when a truck pulling a camper was coming at you is an under statement.  Here is Bowman Lake.  The pictures do not do justice to the area.  The lake is surrounded by mountains, calm and a beautiful blue/green.  I failed to mention all of the lakes we have been to are crystal clear.  There are many strenuous trailheads one can take from this point.  We choose not to.  We still needed to get to Kintla Lake and back to Polebridge for pizza and beer.

Kintla Lake:  The clouds were rolling in, we heard thunder in the distance, rain was near  - so we did not stay long.  Kintla Lake is a lake in the northwestern portion of Glacier National Park in Montana. The lake is located in a rather remote portion of the park, close to the Canadian border (like 16 miles).

One way back to Columbia Falls we stopped to read the historic description on a log cabin.  Turns out there was a deer family grazing in the meadow and we didn't notice until we got out of the car.  They saw us but did not seem to care - at least the buck didn't.  I failed to snap the pic of the doe and fawn together.
Next.....  Many Glacier

Montana - Day 4

Continuing on…
Day 4: Today was another good day, the skies are blue, not many clouds, cool morning (46 degrees)and hot afternoon (High 80's).  We were up bright and early for a ½ day trail ride through the Great Bear Wilderness in Flathead National Forest.  U.S. Highway 2 separates this Wilderness and Glacier National park.  The Great Bear is located west of the Continental Divide which forms the eastern boundary.  The Great Northern Mountain (8,705 ft) is the highest peak in the wilderness which is dominated by dozens of other mountains, all part of the Rocky Mountain Front.  We were not allowed to take pictures while riding, it didn’t matter since we were among the trees, and we only saw a lone deer and some ground squirrels.  It was a nice and relaxing ride; it was just what we needed after two days of hiking.  Our guide was quite informative – she described the different pines: ponderosa, lark (this one I did not know about), Douglas fir, spruce and some more.  Aspen and birch trees are prevalent as well.  We saw remnants of fire along the trail.  Fire  plays a natural role in the Flathead National Forest ecosystem. It promotes vegetative and wildlife diversity and eliminates heavy fuel accumulations.  It also releases seeds from the pines for new growth. 

We stopped for lunch and could view National Glacier Forest from a distance.  Not much to see but a vast wilderness and trees.

Believe it or not, we then went on a short hike to Stanton Lake.  A local couple told us about this hike, said it was short (2.6 miles round trip) only strenuous for the first 1/4 mile - yeah right - it was strenuous for the first 1/4 and the first 1/4 mile coming back.  One must go down hill to get to the lake which means back up hill on the return.  I did not have my hiking shoes with me so I hiked in my faithful flipflops (I know not too smart).  Brian went part way and decided he was not going up any more hills. But I treked on with a partial bottle of water.  I made it to the lake with only one wrong turn where I had to back track.  I was hoping not to run into any bears.  On the trek back, I found a bottle of water Brian left for me with a note.  It was so sweet, I was rationing the little water I had left.  Enough hiking for the day. 

Off to have ice cream.  The café in the park entrance has delicious ice cream.  Then ending the day with a visit to the hot tub!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Montana - Glacier National Park - Day 1, 2 and 3

Day 1: Not much to say since this is our arrival day.  Left home at 6AM and arrived to final destination, Columbia Falls, Meadow Lake Resort around 4PM Mountain Time.  Thanks to TSA I had to find a suitcase to return home with.  They somehow broke the zipper to the point we could not unzip my suitcase, we had to cut it open.  Found one at a thrift store for $3.00.  Just need it long enough to get home.
Note: Pictures do not do justice to the beauty of this park.

Day 2:  Hiked to Avalanche Lake (5 miles round trip) with ¾ all up hill and uphill it was!  But it is worth it.  There is a large beach area providing plenty of space to soak-in the scenery and have lunch.  The scenery is magnificent – many waterfalls.  The lake sits at the base of 8694-foot Bearhat Mountain, which rises almost 4800 feet above the lake. The mountain dominating the view towards the south is 7886-foot Little Matterhorn. There are several long waterfalls cascading hundreds of feet.  The first part of the trail parallels  Avalanche Creek which rushes powerfully  down a narrow gorge.  On the way back to Columbia Falls we stopped at a "whiskey tasting" establishment.  Small scale and made on site.  Owner decided one drunken night two things were needed to survive in Montana, whiskey and bullets. I tried 6 whiskeys and 2 liqueurs and naturally I made a purchase. The day ends with soaking in the hot tub to soothe aching legs and feet.
                           Avalanche Creek
                         Avalanche Lake
                            Whiskey Tasting

Day 3:  The primary reason to come back to Glacier National Park was to hike to Hidden Lake from Logan Pass.  This is a 6 mile round trip, where the first 1 ½ miles isn’t too bad and takes you to Hidden Lake Overlook then the trail continues for another 1 ½ miles to Hidden lake.  We saved this hike for last when we were here 2 years ago.  We were unable to complete it and actually it was a waste of time due to snow, rain and fog.  Could not see the lake if you tried, much less see the trail.  Much different this time, sunny, blue sky, no clouds.  Saw mountain goats, up close and personal along the way and Big horn sheep, along with ground squirrels (much cuter than the ones in Maryland) and marmots. 
                           Big Horn Sheep
                            Mountain Goats

The trail begins at Logan Pass (need to get there early to find a parking spot).  The trail begins as a paved surface for a short distance and then turns into a raised boardwalk which is about ½ mile long.  Then the trail goes through meadows and passes several small ponds.   Roughly 1.2 miles from the trailhead we reached the Continental Divide.   At 1.35 miles we reached the Hidden Lake Overlook where there are outstanding panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
Along the way....

Hidden Lake from Overlook
The trail continues for another 1.5 miles down to the shores of Hidden Lake, which sits at an elevation of 6375 feet. Along the way the trail drops almost 770 feet on a rough and steep decline with many switchbacks.  The way back up is exhausting to say the least.  We took several rest stops along the way.  We were glad we did the trail, but would not do the last 1 ½ miles down to the lake.  Actually the view is much more beautiful from above.  Ended the day again with ice cream and hot tub.
We arrived...
The trek back up (1.5 miles).  My feet hurt so bad I had to take my shoes off at the lake and walk in the cold water.  Once we made it to the Overlook my hiking shoes came off and flip flops went on for the remainder 1 1/2 miles.

Stay tuned for day 4 and 5.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Latest Going On's in the Studio

I can't believe another month has gone by.  The days are flying by.  I have been busy creating artwork, selling at art venue's and getting ready for Artomatic Frederick.  (http://www.artomaticfrederick.org/)  I reached my goal of 12 "girls" in my new girl series.  All can be viewed on Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/artsybab/my-girls/) .  The girl series is turning out to be quite popular.  I do take custom orders for a personalized girl as well.
 Here is a pic of some botanicals I did last month. 
These are on deli paper.  I was quite impressed on how well they turned out.  The middle one looks much better than the photo shows.

This is another piece of a UFA (Unfinished Artwork) which I finished.  It is waiting for my hubby to mount it in the frame.  This is a 12x12 Mixed Media on Canvas.
"Birds on a String" 

I took a one day class at the Queen's Ink with guest Artist Anna Dabrowska, a.k.a. Finnabair.  We made an 8x8 Mixed Media collage - not your average mixed media.  Here is a pic of mine (still needs some touch-up).  Lots and lots of layers with many different embellishments. 

Until next the next post ....
Enjoy your days and do something you love at least once a day!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Another successful Art Venue

Yesterday New Market, MD hosted "Second Sunday".  This was the first of many Second Sundays. (Second Sunday is an event every month where businesses are open an extra day to promote New Market's business's, owners, and the community. Each business will also have a special something for its visitors to do, see, taste, and buy only for that day.)  ArtWay hosted several local artists on their lawn to display, sell, and talk about their work. Two words describe yesterday: HOT and Successful.  I scored some nice sales, hence successful and I met some wonderful people.

 I have started a "girls" series - mixed media on 6x12 canvas. Within a day I sold three and have 4 custom orders.  You can see pics of the "girls" on Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/artsybab/art).  I am having fun making the 'girls' and have quite a list for new ones. 

I am taking today off - putting my feet up and reading a book.  Tomorrow is my birthday, not sure what is in store for me - but as I always do on my birthday - (I usually take the day off from work, but since I am retired I am always off - LOL) - no house work - no cooking - just what ever I want, or what my hubby has planned.  I'm game.

Happy "arting" (if that is even a word) until the next post.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Busy, Busy Making Journals

For the past few weeks I have been making handcrafted journals/books - getting prepared for First and second Sundays. In between making books and jewelry I managed to attend a weekend long, multiple workshops with Dina Wakeley at the Queen's Ink in Savage, MD a few weeks ago.  Attended another 1 day workshop with Jess Green, Encaustics (Bare your Soul).  All workshops were fabulous.  Not to mention I am way behind in my online classes I signed up for.  I need to stop signing up. Pics below.

I am scheduled as a vendor at Second Sunday in New Market, MD July 14th.  Artist booths will be set-up on the lawn in front of the Artway Store.  I will also be a vendor for First Sunday in Annapolis. MD (http://firstsundayarts.com/home)  August 4th and October 6th.  I will be located in Whitmore Park.  Annapolis is a fabulous town.  Come check it out.

Pics from Jess Green's Encaustic Workshop:

Unfinished pieces

Pics from Dina Wakeley Workshops:
Dina's Silhouettes - to be used in a journal

Encaustic collaged tags

New Books/Journals:
Encased Round Back Journals
Polymer Clay Covers - Coptic Binding
Japanese Stab Binding
Left: Leather Wrapped Journal
Right: Book Board - leather spine

Etched Metal 4x6


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Art in the Park

"Art in the Park", sponsored by Carroll County Arts Council in Westminster, MD, was held last Saturday, June 1, 2013.  It was a beautiful, HOT, sunny day.  Admission was free and considering the heat there were many people who attended.  I must say I was very happy with the event, it was quite profitable for me.  I sold 3 mixed media pieces of art, handcrafted art journals, some jewelry (etched brass cuff bracelets with vintage pieces attached and some notecards representing my own paper designs.  This is a snapshot of the sold mixed media art work.
It appears people are coming out of the recession and are starting to make purchases once again.  I think this is good news for all Artists!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Workshop Overload

Day 3 & 4 - Trees
I returned last week from 2 solid weeks of art workshops.  I spent last week unpacking supplies and recovering.  My first week was in Raleigh, N.C. at Jerry's Artarama.  I took a 5 day workshop with Carol Nelson (http://carolnelsonfineart.com/) titled "Experimental Acrylics and Mixed Media".  It was a fantastic workshop.  We learned so many techniques.  Each day we explored different mixed media techniques  we used in our paintings.  We used foam plates, tyvek, lutador, aluminum foil, paper, custom patch, stucco, crackle, lots of fluid acrylics and much more.  Although I was familiar with most of the items used, I did learn new ways/techniques for using them.  No matter how much you may already know - there is so much more to learn.  Here are a few of my paintings from this amazing workshop.
Day 1 6x6 gessoboard abstract

Day 2 - Abstract (7 layers)
We had to choose 1 out of 5 or 6 different abstract layouts

I returned from Raleigh to spend 2 days with Seth Apter at the Queen's Ink for a 2-day Workshop.  I always wanted to take a class from Seth and had no idea what to expect.  Class was titled "Mixed Media Memoir".  We created our own Artist Book using an old hardbound book.  We used the front and back cover along with the original spine.  Inside we attached pages in a unique way and decorated the pages based on our own theme.  Mine turned into an African Theme using several photos and papers from a safari I went on a few years ago.

Then I was packing supplies for a week at Art & Soul in Virginia Beach.  I was able to meet up with several of my fellow artist "tribe" members.  It is a week packed with classes day and evening, lots of laughter and just plain fun.  The first day was a workshop with Chad Alice Hagen where we felted wool (by hand) and then dyed it.  This was a quite an arm workout.  (My personal trainer would have been proud).  Two evenings I was introduced to needle felting and fell in love with my felting machine.  I see making many book covers using this felt in my future.  Another day was with Lisa Kaus for "Gridlocked".  Love, love this class.  I was disappointed when this class was cancelled  last year and did not want to miss it.  This is my piece.

The last 3 days was with Sandra Duran Wilson.  These were all techniques classes.  You may already be familiar with her books, "Image Transfer Workshop", "Mixed Media Revolution" and "Surface Treatment Workshop".  One of the coolest techniques we did was faux encaustic.  This was pretty amazing - once the piece was dry it felt and looked like encaustic.  She is fantastic and hopefully will be back next year.

Now I just need to start creating - using my new skills I added to my repertoire.

Until next time....  Have a great day!