You all know about best laid plans.  Shall I just say I’ve been super busy?  That is a good thing as it means I am doing what I love.  Just realized I spoke about my grandmother’s beading and I am working on a new piece, “Earthly Treasures” and have been sorting beads and faux pearls for weeks.  Thank you Gra’mare for all those old faux pearl strands you cut apart, beaded and pearl bags that were falling apart, broken jewelry.  She did magnificent bead work.  Spent one whole morning sorting everything into color and kind and stored each in a see through plastic storage box.  That was late last year.

For the sculpture, I am gluing each pearl, INDIVIDUALLY, using Industrial Strength E6000 adhesive over a rigid foam base.  The old faux pearls represent the substrata.  Next up will be assorted beads in pale pinks and mauves to represent sub-soil.  Top layer will be deeper pinks, bronzes, and antique golds for the top soil.  This “core” sample will be topped with feather snow on the mountain top around silvered trees.  Found a divine glass dome at Restoration Hardware that will house the whole sculpture.  At 20-inches high, it should show really well.

At the other extreme, my second piece for the CAEA-South Members Show is a small, only 7-inches high, sculpture called, “If It Walks Like a Duck.”  Made with an old child’s tennis shoe, an orange plastic mini baseball cap, old puzzle pieces, and wired wood for the puppet handle, it is a whimsical addition to my assortment of work.

Have begun working at Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in their after school children’s program and with their “Treasures” program for seniors aimed at low income groups.  It all helps round out my experiences with different age groups.  A highlight was when an aid with the kids asked if I had worked at Spurgeon Intermediate School.  Another former pupil who is almost finished with her student teaching as a secondary art teacher.  I was soooooo thrilled.  She told me all about how wonderful my classes had been and how they influenced her future.  Makes my heart feel full.  If you have never had the opportunity to visit Bowers Museum, it is one of the top cultural museums in the country.  Fabulous exhibits of art and artifacts from China, the near east, other regions of the world, jewels, costumes, you name it.  Their traveling exhibits are wonderful and their collection of Pacific Island artifacts is awesome.

This summer promises to be full.  As the Pacific Region Vice President for the National Art Education Association, I have a board meeting in Reston, Virginia in July.  Preceding that, I will be conducting a summer leadership conference for my region in Vancouver, British Columbia—Canada is part of our NAEA.  It is the first time one of these meetings has been held out of the country so everyone is super excited.  It will be my first visit there—three times to Victoria, but never on the mainland.  Vancouver is one of my Uncle Guy’s favorite cities.  He even contemplated retiring there but they opted for Hawaii instead.  Will have an extra three days to explore with my friend, Cindy Allen, president of Nevada Art Education Association.

Am in the process of planning a trip in October.  Will be going with my friend, Susan, to Paris where she is renting a small apartment.  We will also spend a few days in the south of France visiting some friends of hers.  Hope to have time to visit Arles, Avignon, and Les Beaux.  Sasha and I found Les Beaux in 1999 and fell in love with it.  A petite town built into the side of a limestone cliff.  At the very top are the remains of a Roman lookout.  Just below that, the remains of a feudal castle, and then the town.  Many of the buildings front old cave homes, in the same vein as Cappadoccia in Turkey.  After two weeks with Susan I will fly to Marrakesh where my sister, Trici, will be working on a commission for a London designer.  We will be staying in his staffed villa complete with chauffeur, cook, maid, and guide.  I am in seventh heaven.  Had originally planned to go to Istanbul to see her—it’s been six years—and then this came up.  Did I hesitate?  Hell, no.  Another new place to visit.  We should have a fabulous time even with her working on the drawings he has commissioned.  Will spend two weeks with her before returning home.

Once home, will attend the CAEA conference.  This year is a first.  Three simultaneous conferences will be held in the three areas of the state.  We will be on the campus of Idyllwild Arts Academy, one of my favorite places in the world.  Hope to be presenting one or two workshops—waiting to hear.  They are also hosting an art show for our members that will be up for the month.  We are hopeful that having shows of our members’ work will help educate the public that art teachers are artists, too.  I was amazed when in Ft. Worth at the national convention to find out that many states do not require a degree in art to teach it on the secondary level.

Reading a fascinating book for those who love history.  “A Short History of Byzantium” by John Julius Norwich, is a condensed version of his three volume tome on the same subject.  Am learning all kinds of things I had wondered about such as:  What the Holy Roman Emperor was and how it came about.  What caused the split between the western and eastern Roman Empire and eventually the church.  My, but it was a bloody period in history.  And those old church popes, patriarchs, and emperors.  Such a different approach to religion that espoused peace, love, and charity.  I had no idea that the eastern empire/church was all Greek!  Is giving me more understanding of what I see in Turkey.

Certainly hope I can be more consistent in posting.  Your patience is appreciated.  Until later.

 

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