Common Core Standards

Friday, May 1, 2009

BEAR Den Life!

What a wild week after our wild open house. We did have wild "pine needle tea" and garlic mustard pesto as promised. Eat your invasive species is my motto! Everyone who visited the gallery enjoyed the wild eats and wild art. Then came a wild storm or two and that made things even more exciting. You never know with nature!

Upcoming Bear Den Gallery Events:
Thursday and Friday, May 21 & 22 (9:30 am - 3 pm) "Once upon a Collage!"
This workshop is geared for beginners in the wonderful world of mixed media. We will explore different mediums, make papers, and how to use and apply them to illustrate.
Bring a sack lunch, watercolors or acrylics, a story or idea/theme to work on. Materials provided.
Fee: $100
Call to register: 734-223-8612.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bear Track Studio Open Den! OPEN HOUSE!

Come celebrate!

The grand opening of Bear Track Studios is slated for Saturday, April 25 from 10 am to 4 pm. Wild art, wild refreshments, a wild good time in the Bear Den Gallery/Studio 7477 Farley Rd., Pinckney. Three artists, three mediums celebrate the season and Earth Day with this special open house.
Come out to see art, talk art, talk nature, or simply visit.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

On Finding Wildness...

I just found a site, Illustration Friday, that interests me. A sketch each week is posted to a new theme. This week's theme is "Intuition". Now as an illustrator and naturalist I find this fun and challenging on how to interpret "intuition".

At the time I decided to take part in this weekly scramble of illustrating a topic I pondered the idea of posting an illustration a day on this site. It may be too much to do one sketch a day, (although it's been done before by many artists online). So I will attempt one a week and then may-y-ybe move to one a day.

Yesterday I began my quest of a unique thing to share on my blog and find something to draw. But as the life of a mother and busy artist, I started off in the nature-filled county park in Clarkston delivering work and ended up in Detroit tending to my sick daughter around noon.

As I drove my thoughts turned to: "What will I see and possibly draw on such a busy day?"

Out my daughter's back window on Beaubien Street, in the heart of Detroit, grew an island of true wildness. Nature managed to find here a place to hide, to grab on, taking hold amid the helter skelter of city life. This was perfect for my first sketch; "Detroit Wilderness".
Staghorn sumac holds a crow nest, box elders cradle a leafy squirrel nest not far above a jumble of brick and cement. The color in this drab scene was pink insulation topping off the scraped together pile like icing on a wild urban cake. I wish now that I had had more time to invesitgate the scene and find more artifacts.
And as I drove away and headed back home to deer, fox, and pines, I remembered the scene and was remined of this week's Illustration Friday's theme of "INTUITION"!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Migizi-giizis Eagle Moon

Eagle Moon,February,a time of cold, biting winds yet you know the promise of spring is around the corner---hiding behind each tree.

On the day of the Backyard Bird Count I sat for all of maybe 15 minutes. Cardinals and finches hopped in and out of the wind. Then---time's up. We all go back to work. With the cold and gloominess of the weather it is easy to get alot of work done. OK I need to do better than that for crying out loud!

So the day when the temps soared last week, we ran outside excitedly with jugs and spiles and looked for that tree hiding spring. There it was, a red maple. The sap poured from the hole in the tree waist high. Spring in a bottle! It flowed with gust until the sun set.

Cranes dance in the field by day and geese honk by night overhead. Spring brought in on wings whether by sunlight or starlight, it comes. Open water nearby brings bay ducks it looks like, or is it wishful thinking? Then today bitter winds and gray sky shroud the world and we all drop back into hibernation, seeing our shadow again, we nibble on crackers and chocolate and plan warm Florida trips.

For art, I try to get projects started finished up so that there is more time outdoors and adventure. All the year's plans are put in place. With workshops approaching I fill my head with color, textures, and line, gathering inspiration to share with others.

Color, texture, warm cocoa, nuts, and working in flannel and hoody, drinking coffee watching snowflakes spin, spring can wait a little longer because I need more time. Because right now I am a snug dormant seed that will all too soon peek out.

Friday, February 6, 2009

February is For the Birds

As I go about my day from studio to work space I walk past windows of birds. Waiting to be noticed. Lately there has been a procession of cardinals and strings of juncos. Chickadee sings a spring song and nuthatches on tree trunks honk their horns as if caught in tiny traffic jams.
Michigan Audubon's conference theme is "Michigan's Magnificent Birds" this year. I am excited to go and fill my head with avian knowledge. But what I need more is to get out more to enjoy our marvelous Michigan birds more. Not just for knowledge, but to purely enjoy their being---their song, color, and behavior.
My favorite bird story was about a blue jay that I watched in Mio one day. It ate corn from a deer feeder my father had set up. But the feeder attracted more birds and plenty of squirrels. The jay soon learned that after it made a hawk cry sound, the squirrels and birds would scatter. Then the clever jay hopped down to the feeder to dine.
Join in the Great Backyard count. Do it for yourself and the birds! Maybe they are waiting to see if anyone is noticing. And if you have a great bird tale to tell, let me know.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

January Ice Art

What do you do when the temps drop below,
WAY below freezing?
Make icy watercolor art ... OUTSIDE!

Step 1---Dress warmly and pack your

water, brushes, and paints outside.

Step 2---QUICKLY do a watery wash

(while the paper is elevated at an angle...)

Step 3---Drop vibrant color (I use a triad of

pthalo blue red shade and violet and turquoise blue)

Step 4---Watch the wonder of ice crystals
form in the color and spread out.

Step 5---Let dry and get inside to warm up!

This art was done while
it was 14 degrees inside
my studio.
Happy January painting!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Porky Art Thoughts...

“In Wildness is the preservation of the world” is a quote from Henry David Thoreau.In this quote, Thoreau is saying that wildness preserves, not that we must preserve wildness. Wildness was a task for Thoreau to touch and express. “The wild was a project of the self” Jack Turner writes about HDT.
Thoreau understood wildness as a quality, wild men, wild nature, wild friends, wild dreams, wild house cats, wild lieterature. Wildness was associated with other qualities–the good, the holy, the free.
The human connection, the human as nature, you and I, has been largely forgotten I feel. We humans as nature, are a part of the wild. In my own way, I have lived as Thoreau speaks–Wild thoughts, wild laughter, wild song. “Wandering in the wild”, means intuition is at work guidiing you, being free from plans, expectations, duty and more. Being in the moment, wildly in the moment.
For 2009 and beyond there is a need to practice wild self! To preserve the world.

This all I read after the painting developed. As with most art work, the art takes shape before the true meaning sets in and is revealed.

"for the love of nature & art!"

"Wilderness...Preservation of the World" mixed media donation (work in progress) to the Friends of the Porkies.
The 2008 Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park Artist-in-Residence 20x 24"
Watercolor, gold gesso, charcoal, graphite, fern, on canvas and masonite with the quotes from the public during the Sept. 2008 presentation on "Wilderness" as well as the famed Thoreau quote: "In wildness, is the preservation of the world".
Signed Limited Edition Prints
AVAILABLE in Feb. 2009!

frog on a BLOG

Mixed Media Work in progress from October 2008 on the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park artist-in-residence stay in August 2008. You can see how the forest is layered and begins to become altered and decays as the human and wildlife elements appear.