Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama - the ticket, you betcha

I just finished watching the half an hour program that Obama aired on the seven channels. Needless to say, I was impressed by the alternative scenes that played, the down to earth reality of happenings shown in America; real families and their struggles, jobs and pensions lost, immigrants and the heart of America. Obama can be the thread that connects everyone in this country.

The other day I was having lunch with some elementary educators and one teacher expressed that she was voting for the McCain ticket because Palin was Alaskan and she was Alaskan. I verbally exploded and said "I don't believe it! Anyone except McCain. His politics are old politics and they do not fit with the 21st century." Of course I completed the total faux pas and was glared at for a good few minutes. I promptly left but felt deliciously happy that I expressed myself openly and honestly. It is not the time to regress!

I think if Obama gets elected, America will be looked upon as finally growing up. We need him and we need this change. Lately, I have been feeling very happy because maybe next week this country will turn paths, turn direction and head forward.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

albrecht durer

Albrecht Durer - a Renaissance master of the 15th century; master engraver and painter, was born from a family of goldsmiths, studied in Nuremberg, noted for being the most progressive city at the time, set up his own studio at the age of 29 is portrayed above as the thinking artist. This is a portrait done by the young Durer, wearing a fur lined coat of notability and looking very Christ like; the artist as a genius confronts you straight on believing that the most important of the five senses is sight. I am studying this artist with my class and decided to read his biography. Albrecht Durer, A Biography by Jane Campbell Hutchison, is an informative book and while it can be dry at times, my inquiry into his world has opened me up into a new genre of literature. In some of his chronicles, Durer embraces God as a cultural icon of liberal and conservative thought, is without denomination and is considered more of a humanist of his time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

between tenderness and rage

Sometimes I find myself thinking over my conversations with friends and people. At times seeing too much into casual talk and banter leads me into obsessive pondering and my mind spins and I start reviving past dialogs. I sometimes become inflamed or hyper sensitive about what people say or when they make general comments. I guess I take it too personally. Then, in retrospect, I start to understand that people just say what they say with little negative intent behind their comments. Perhaps I am submitting to politeness or being naive but by letting it go and not having the urge to control everything around me produces a lightness of spirit. The between feeling of tenderness and rage is an activity I try not to involve in my everyday living, but at the same time, I find people ridiculously contentious and maybe insensitive to what we utter, what we express. We all say silly things and often want to retract our talk or wished we hadn't said it, but still, I am torn between a tenderness and rage. Is it worth the battle to clear the air, to confront he person in charge? It depends on circumstance and the context at hand. Tenderness and simply allow people to be who they are is one of the greatest challenges; without judgment, without criticism, without scorn is ultimately the ideal act of charity.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

homage to kitsch

There is something about being sick that forces you to stop, pause and stay in one place; reflect and contemplate where you are. It can be a good time to catch up on your rest and let the world do it's own business. You realize that you can afford to do nothing and as the world buzzes on by, you really don't waste too much time at all until you realize that your insignificance starts to becomes enjoyable .

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday night boxes

I created another two boxes to be donated for this December exhibition. While this work took some time, I enjoyed playing with the materials but the process was difficult and proved challenging. In retrospect though, they were fun to do and great activity for in between projects; a breather, which is a good thing to do from time to time.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

on the subject of art

This is my newest painting. It is a mixed media piece; minimal in nature but considered an oil on canvas. I took my students to Alaska Pacific University to see art on Thursday night at two galleries. One artist drew these existential tree stumps - pastels on paper, and they felt alone and isolated. I felt her use of space was over indulgent and that it did not integrate with the rest of the drawing. The space was not active. However, her paintings are about the contemplative; how we sit with ourselves and examine our inner beings is a challenge in today's world. The paintings were successful in that notion. The next gallery we viewed was more decorative and full, animated and these pieces stirred conversation; industrial geometric assemblages are an easy lure to likability. Perhaps these assemblages were too accessible.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

small gifts

I get excited over small surprises but I call them gifts. Here are a few of my experiences and gifts that happened to me over the last 24 hours:

When you have waited for over an hour in line for a simple book of stamps at the post office because their automated postal center is out of order. I received a 42 cent book of Bierstadt landscape stamps. A small treat.......

When high schools usually get out at 2pm but today you have a different schedule and students leave at 1:30pm. You get to go too. A big gift!

Fretting over our visas (which included bank statements, $60.00, notarized applications, and not to mention your travel itinerary) to the Philippines that were sent out twice because we mailed them to the wrong embassy the first time and after resending them, our passports returned stamped with the wrong arrival and departure time. We dreaded calling the embassy but later found the passports are in working order. Not a gift, but a huge relief.....

Having Ken call the embassy.........a big help, a gift, a surprise and a treasure.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Golden leaves sprinkled gently on the dark streets as I drove to work this morning. The leaves left littered pieces of light on the ground. Our sunflowers sprouted to tall independent stalks supported by stakes that help erect their majesty. From a distance, these flowers guard our home, like a speckled band from a dotted design.