Jackson County Artists & Writers Exhibit

This is the second year I have had the privilege of coordinating the Jackson County Artists & Writers exhibit in Jackson County, Kentucky. This year we had 14 exhibitors for another beautiful exhibit. Doreen Main's fused glass "Starburst" is on view here. The albums for the 2006 and 2007 exhibits are in the Debbie's Album link or just click here http://picasaweb.google.com/redletterstudio


Blackberry Bliss

My favorite youngest son picked blackberries this morning and waving the bucket before my eyes said, "Blackberry cobbler!"...so I pulled up today's favorite recipe http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Blackberry-Cobbler-II/Detail.aspx and with pleading eyes looked at my favorite daughter and said "Blackberry cobbler!" I think she did a beautiful job!


Passover/Spring Cleaning

As I think about and study the subject of Passover, the symbolism of the removal of leaven from the home has intrigued me. Jesus speaks of the leaven as representing hypocrisy in Mark 8:15, Luke 12:1, and Matthew 16:6, 11,12. God says remove every trace of leaven from where you live. The message seems quite clear-remove and beware of hypocrisy. A kind of spring cleaning says a friend.

In primitive or old time Appalachian mountain religion churches, they yearly partake of the sacrament and foot washing or the Lord's Supper (after Leonardo's painting of the same name) only after "setting the church at peace." This is in reference to a time, usually the evening before, of confession, repentance and peace-making among the members. The church will not partake of the sacrament until this is accomplished. Old fashioned? I don't think so. Imagine if the humbleness of Christ truly reigned in our hearts and we washed each others feet with a church set at peace.

Spring cleaning takes on a whole new and challenging meaning!


Taking Responsibility for Our Own Health

I've been interested in and studied issues concerning health for over 20 years now. I've benefited from this interest greatly and so has my family. I've learned a lot from personal trial and error and experienced vegan, vegetarian, raw food, and the Standard American diets. I don't believe that there is one particular way of eating that can be prescribed as perfect for all, but I do believe that there are certain lifestyle habits that can benefit every person. Eating foods as close to their natural form as possible, a moderate amount of daily exercise, plenty of clean water, fresh air, sunshine, proper attitude, connection with God, time with encouraging people, work and other activities that engage you physically and mentally will go a long way in keeping you more fit, healthy and happy. A great site to visit with some great information in each of these areas is http://www.creationhealth.com/ or just click on Creation Health in the website list on the right.

I've also experienced great benefits from short fasts and cleansing programs. As spring approaches, we think about the spring cleaning of our homes and outdoor environments. It's also an ideal time to think about the cleansing of our internal, bodily environments as well. A short seven-day fast or cleanse can make a difference not only in energy and general health, but also help you sleep better and think more clearly. I highly recommend it as a great way to start spring. Sonne's website at http://sonnes.com/ has some great information and I've experienced great benefits from their products especially the #7 Detoxificant and #9 Intestinal Cleanser. I'm trying their 7 Day Cleansing Program this spring while I review a few good books and articles that remind of the benefits of being proactive in my own health care.


There are two ways to slice easily through life;

to believe everything or to doubt everything.

Both ways save us from thinking.

-Alfred Korzybski


Carrie Bloomston

This is from today's posting on Daily Poetics http://dailypoetics.typepad.com/daily_poetics/. She has so eloquently stated the process I often go through in creating my own work.

Carrie Bloomston

Artist Statement:"I usually start by screwing something up. The first marks don’t always matter, they’re just there so that I might begin. The first marks change the blankness, remove the preciousness so that I can move in. The rest is a conversation; a combination of intentions and mishaps, discoveries and accidents until I find what I want. It’s as if I don’t make paintings, but rather I find them. They become what they are through a series of exchanges (marks and cancellations) and then I find them there like that - with my conscious self and I think that I can stop. Phillip Guston said he painted because his images didn’t exist in the world and he wanted to see them. I think, in part, I paint worlds because they don’t exist and I want to go to them - each with a logic and a weather, an emotional temperature, a quality of light. Landscapes of the interior. These spaces become for me enduring visual mantras. The landscape is always present in my work - how things grow and live in context of each other, forms in space, living side by side. One mark can become mountain, tree, mist, unknown, figure or ground. The mark is objectified- sometimes alone, sometimes not. In a way, the mark becomes the emptiness - a place where we might put things or qualities, a place where we might go. I don’t want to confine the images, to signify a too exact meaning for the viewer or myself. There should be more work for us when the piece is finished. I want room in the work for mutability, association and play. I try to create enough space so that we can go into the images as though they were air, so that we don’t get hung up on any one thing- so that we don’t get stuck. One of my painting teachers, Holly Hughes, said that we have to paint things with full commitment and integrity to allow the viewer entrance into the work without having to stumble over a lot of technical questions before we can find meaning. I’m after that integrity."


Digital Imaging Tips

I attended a digital imaging workshop sponsored by Kentucky Arts Council at Spencerian College in Lexington, Kentucky and picked several tips on digital imaging for artists which I thought I would pass on.
  • Set your digital camera to shoot at the highest image resolution possible
  • Save your images at the highest resolution possible (300-600 ppi) in a file labeled "Original", this is your archive
  • IMPORTANT! Work only from copies made from the original
  • Use your camera software or a program such as Photoshop to work with you images
  • Know what you will be using the images for before determining resolution and size
  • A resolution of 72 ppi is considered a low resolution image and is used exclusively for web which can only display at 72 ppi-if you've ever lost patience with a slow loading web page, the images were probably too large
  • A resolution of 150-200 ppi is considered medium resolution and is used for low quality printing such as newspaper and small images on high rag content paper
  • A resolution of 300 ppi is considered high resolution and is used for high-end printing such as magazines, brochures, billboards, etc.
  • File format is determined by intended use
  • .jpg-JPEG, Joint Photographic Experts Group, lossy-loses quality every time you make changes, compressed, used mainly for Web
  • .TIFF-Tagged Image Format File, can be opened in any image editing software, no loss of data when you make changes
  • .psd-native file for Photoshop, must have Photoshop to open

The Kentucky Arts Council offers a variety of great workshops for artists. There are three others in this series for artists coming up on digital imaging, marketing yourself on the web, and promotional materials. For information here is the place to look http://artscouncil.ky.gov/wkshops.htm


Doing What We Can, Not Worrying About What We Cannot Do

One of my goals for 2007 is to read through the New Testament. In Mark 15:47, it says the women saw where Jesus' body was laid. It seems insignificant, and I have read over it often. In that time women were insignificant, but in Chapter 16, because they returned the next evening to do something they could do, these women were recorded as the first witnesses to the fact that the tomb was empty and to receive a message from an angel. The note for 15:47 was significant to me-maybe it will be to you as well.

These women could do very little. They could not speak before the high council in Jesus' defense; they couldn't appeal to Pilate; they couldn't stand against the crowds; they couldn't overpower the Roman guards. But they did what they could. They stayed at the cross when the disciples had fled; they followed Jesus' body to its tomb; and they prepared spices for his body. Because these women used the opportunities they had. they were the first to witness the resurrection. God blessed their devotion and diligence. As believers,we should take advantage of the opportunities we have and do what we can for Christ, instead of worrying about what we cannot do.-Life Application Study Bible, New Living Translation


Mixed Media Heart Box

This heart-themed wooden box top is painted and collaged. I used a magazine photo, torn papers, and acrylic paint and medium. The inside is paint and tissue papers. I love to visit thrift stores and pickup boxes and items which can be used for assemblage and collage. Now just finding the time and space for it all!


The Offering

Hearts, Hands, Stones...Stones, Hands, Hearts

I enjoy interesting stones. My oldest son, Matthew, found this heart-shaped stone and gave it to me. I've treasured it and often enjoy just holding it and looking at it. It has a few tiny embedded chips which I believe may be some type of gemstone. It reminds me that no matter how hard the heart, there is always a glimmer of hope or some hidden treasure within if you look close enough. My daughter Kathryn composed and took the photo.


Writing an Artist's Statement

Marketing materials become more necessasary as you become established as an artist. An artist statement gives you an opportunity to share why and how you do what you do.

Here are two sources on artist's statements which I found helpful in clarifying what an artist's statement is, the value in having one and how to write one.

Worksheets are useful for some people...

and a simple to understand blogsite on artist's statements.



I've been experimenting with layers of transparent acrylic paint and inks applied with recycled plastic cards. The effect is a luminous quality which reminds me of stained glass. Inspire Me Thursday's Weekly Challenge of Layers was a perfect opportunity to share this piece called Cardinals.

Marketing Your Art

I just picked up some great tips for marketing for artists who have very little money for advertising from this smARTist Telesummit link

This is an art career telesummit. They have very generously posted the 90-minute first day panel discussion recording. Hopefully it will be available for a few days at least. Here is the link if you want more information http://www.smartist-telesummit.com/