I created the palm-size little eaglet as a fundraiser for Eaglemount in 2015. They named the limited edition solid bronze little sculpture"Soren." The little bugger found his way into many loving homes and even inspired chocolates molded from my sculpture (also raising funds for Eaglemount). Earlier this year they asked if I would make a big version of the eaglet for their new playground/garden. Soooooo - before and after the last trip to Bhutan, BIG Soren was created. He was delivered last month to the foundry to begin the process of becoming a bronze.
Passionate locals rallied to save the old Teslow grain elevator that is part of our town's history and landscape. Several birdhouses were made in the shape of the grain elevator using wood taken from the Teslow during the restoration process. Artists were asked to embellish the birdhouses which are currently around town collecting donations before they are raffled off.
I leapt into the project the morning after my arrival as if jet lag wouldn't catch me. The weather has been unseasonably COLD since my arrival in Bhutan. After two days at the job site finishing the panel with the snow leopard I carved last year, I got sick. But I continued carving the little rabbit cheered me up as I struggled to carve in the cold with a cold and very little good light. [embed]https://youtu.be/Hgv5N6RvwHU[/embed]
Two weeks have leapt, spun, crawled, tickled and tortured me since I left Montana to embark on the second chapter in the carving project for the king of Bhutan. Time is a trickster.
Can I just say...."PHEW?!" Today is my first day off since I arrived. Unseasonable cold, wet and snowy weather challenged me to the max since I am carving outdoors and have only natural light to see by (not because electricity and light don't exist in Bhutan but because the only artificial light source is florescent which doesn't work at all when carving relief - besides the fact that florescent light literally makes me crazy). I woke my third morning here with a nasty cold after two bone-chilling long carving days. Luckily the cold waited until after dinner with the governor in his home before it clutched my innards, clogged my lungs and zapped my bones.
But I kept carving. I even crammed two sawhorses into my room to carve with more warmth in near darkness next to the window while snow blew sideways outside.
Magic, happiness and soul food are fast friends in this magical kingdom. But a few days ago I found myself pushed to a tender edge - raw and emotional. Fragile. I desperately needed a break before I broke. My dear friend Dilu offered me refuge at the splendid Druk Hotel which he manages in Thimphu. After a breath-taking and life-threatening 3 hour steep narrow mountainous ride I arrived weary and teary in Thimphu to the delight of finding a claw foot TUB in my room. Sweetness and relief (tubs are rare here). I awoke early this morning cocooned in sumptuous comforting sheets, serenaded by city dogs enthusiastically barking their Sunday morning "revival meeting." I am calmed by the elegant beauty and healing tones in my spations well-lit warm room - full of gratitude. This gift of a room is like a light sponge cake slice of heaven. Pure delight.
The evening of the day I returned to sculpt the little owl, I went home and promptly got sick. Perhaps sickness walloped me because I actually bragged out loud the day before that I had managed the events, stress and long flights during the past year without getting sick. Not even once...
Then BAM. Crud. Couched.
Maybe it had something to do with returning to the owl?
While I have zillions to share and stories abound - my internet time is limited. Although internet is more accessible than one would think in this remote Himalyas valley, I am most often without the internet (which quite frankly is totally ok with me). Contradictions abound and astound - but rather than being frustrated, I am amused. For instance, plumbing in my room at this quaint resort freezes each night yet the beautiful staff girls who dote on guests who sing to themselvehave their own cell phones.
Today I completed the design for my carving. Phew! I say "Phew!" for several reasons. I am rather out-of-shape creatively since life events and PTSD from the dog pack attack last year have kept me from creating. Then too - EVERYTHING here is different. Even simple things which I take for granted back home (like paper) are cause for a convoluted treasure hunt. Don't get me started on tools....! Well just to give you an idea - back in Montana I pulled the aluminum framing square out of my suitcase at the last minute when Raymond insisted that certainly framing squares exist in Bhutan but it turns out "not so much" (the standard Bhutanese answer for many inquiries). But I love it.
I am slurping up the vivid culture like a hungry child. Total immersion (another reason why blog-time hasn't happened much). But I do manage Instagram and Facebook posts nearly daily so please follow me there. Even if you don't participate much in either Social Media worlds, everything I post is public so you can follow and look freely. The Bhutanese people are not slaves to time - "maybe after sometime" is also standard response - to everything.
I like it. Meanwhile, I will write another blog post sometime. Maybe. After. Some. Time.
Growth does not happen without uncomfortable moments. PTSD after a traumatic event last spring kept me from creating in my studio. Months and months (and months) passed without inspiration, a hard protective shell within which frightening darkness enveloped me. Painstaking patience, persistance, faith and love from friends, sips and dips in the spiritual essence of Momma Nature and a disciplined determination to peck my way through the the shell that protected me when my innards crumpled...FINALLY a completed sculpture...! The little bronze hatched from an act of love for an inspiring community of people who consistently break through shells, honor boldness, embrace raw realness and nurture. HATCHing = Fragility and strength. Bold breakout. Vulnerable exposure. Tender warm feather nurture. Encouragement. Celebration. New chapter (after new chapter after new chapter) Life embraced. Community. Protection. Freedom. Love. Generousity. Happy Easter dear peeps (with lotsa love... )
At last.....! For the first time since the horrific dog pack attack last spring - I find myself actually inspired to create. Phew...!
Life has blessed me with inspiration - usually almost more than I can bear. My head most often overflowing with creative ideas like a room full of monkeys all wanting attention at once. Sometimes life shuts the door on the creative room but not often and never for long. The dog pack attack slammed that door shut for longer than I have ever experienced. I took disciplined steps toward busting the door back open. Patience is not my strongest suit but I had no choice. I simply could not forcibly push myself any sooner. I completed the sculpture for HATCH - months later than planned. But I did not have that excited "cannot-wait-to-get-to-work-in-the studio" feeling.
Yesterday I even blew off the demands of my desk and dedicated the day to the studio. I'm working on the drawing for our wedding invitations (which of course is more than just a drawing for an invite). I will post some progress photos for you (stay tuned for the finished drawing...)
Embarked on the new venture of selling original ink drawings from INKtober on eBay last month. Despite being too distracted by life to promote sales, 21 of the drawings found homes. I have 10 left and am simply taking offers. Just message me if you are interested in one. All of them are posted "sold" or "for sale" on the Facebook INKtober album:
I have never been detached from the actual mess-making part of studio life for such a long period of time. But then, I have never experienced such a wickedly difficult crumble-down as the past months have brought about since being attacked by the pack of dogs. A few weeks ago I grasped onto the Inktober challenge in a disciplined attempt to commit and carry-on, bit-by-bit pulling myself back toward the courageous self it takes to be creative. I haven't missed a day. Here are a few more drawings: (follow me on Facebook or Instagram to see the drawings daily)
[embed]https://youtu.be/5kXK9r01J6U[/embed] Near-and-dear-to-my-heart - "Festive Lady" has gone viral once again with more than 149,000 "shares" from the FB page "Horse Talk" who posted it recently. Pleases me to have the creation seen by so many people!!! Alas - somehow it was originally posted by someone on Facebook without giving me credit as the artist/creator. Hard to know where they got the image from, could have been one of the many publications who have featured the bed. But in honor of the energy spinning around the creation as it whirls around the world of Facebook, I encourage you to watch the short sweet video showing the creation of this signature piece.
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMQJYV4CRK0&feature=youtu.be[/embed] My goodness we have SO much catching up to do!!!! I would love to ramble all about the wonderful experience of this sweet little documentary - from being discovered (crazy story involving dinosaurs and cowboys) to being asked (what an honor to be included in a series about people inspired by their Montana surroundings). Then too - there is the day I spent with the young bright talented film makers. But l'll let this short sweet documentary "do the talking..."
The last three years began with a ritual of creating one palm-size woodland critter sculpture in clay to be cast in bronze. Each January the “critter project” has been a bit of a break from studio life - the sawdust, the BIG projects. Early mornings with tea at my dining room table, the sculptures came to life. The places they’ve traveled to their forever homes is a wondrous sweet thing. Affordable. Solid bronze. Made with love.
But this year I am making an extra little sculpture for a cause. Eaglemount is very near and dear to my heart. Any guesses as to what this lump of clay will become?
King Midas is known in Greek mythology for his "golden touch." Last year I was commissioned to paint a skull gold for a small reliquary sculpture and then asked to use gold for the reliquary to hold the golden skull. Honestly I was a bit frightened of the power of so much gold in a small sculpture. But of course I commission-to-please so; gold happened. I loved it. I have more exploring with gold to do but meanwhile here is the latest venture (not a commission):
Early one weekend morning I found myself in the studio before sunup with the intention of making a special birthday card. But often my energy can hardly be confined to such a small space (even at that time of day). BIGGER paper was more enticing, charcoal more wonderfully messy than ink and before I knew it a small drawing came into being just as the sun appeared for the day.
A few years ago while visiting the Denver Art Museum, one of the zillion treasures on view were a few "feather baskets" in the Native American collection. I thought one of my niches in the great big tree reliquary sculptures would be beautiful lined with feathers... So I stashed a note in my head that day. Early the next morning while drinking tea in a condo on the ski hill I scribbled a note "line with feathers" into my sketchbook. I have about as many ideas for art as the art museum has objects (yup - a zillion). Luckily this is one idea I have begun to explore in my art: