Friday, July 20, 2012

All Day Walk!

On July 19th, I took a long walk to Beaver Island State Park. I like to take the long route, along the Niagara River, because I expected a more scenic walk than I would have experienced on roads that were actually a more direct route. I wasn't disappointed. Along the way, I saw herons, goldfinches, and redwing blackbirds. I found wild garlic that looked as if it had ripened. I saw a sailboat regatta in the river. I noticed that many people were out, enjoying a warm, yet overcast day. Later on, it started to drizzle, and the feeling of wetness was welcome. By then, I was on the Spaulding Trail in Beaver Island State Park. The ground was cracked and hard from the lack of sunlight.
I also enjoyed a delicious meal at the Village Inn, which is not far from Beaver Island State Park. I ate a yummy portabella mushroom sandwich. Mmmm!
At mid day, I had painting time at the Whitehaven Cemetery. This is what I painted in my visual journal:
At the Whitehaven Cemetery, I painted this chapel with watercolor. I have a nice little travel set and a bunch of paintbrushes and an old vitamin container for water. After I returned home, I added marker for a mixed media effect. The reason that I chose this structure to paint was the interesting arrangement of stones.
Here is a photograph of the building. I didn't add all of the trees or the telephone wires. I really love those stone buildings!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Turn Against War!

One of my personal goals for this May's Chicago at the Crossroads: Turn Against War walk from Madison, Wisconsin, to Chicago, Illinois, was to understand who Alice the activist and Alice the artist were and to try to find a way for these two to bond. How could I be both an activist and an artist? Could I experience both activism and art without sacrificing one for the other?
And so, I walked, carrying signs calling for the drones to be grounded and for peace to come to Afghanistan. I also brought with me a visual journal. There were many days when the miles of walking and the evening presentations on Afghanistan and NATO left me feeling too tired to draw and paint. But I still managed in the two and a half weeks of the walk to get out that visual journal and depict the world around me as I saw it.
Here are the pictures:
At the start of my journey, in Madison, I painted this picture. It is a depiction of one of Joy First's dolls. Joy designs and creates dolls that tell a story about her life and experiences. This one is of her future. She made this doll to depict her future aged self. The old lady that Joy sees herself as becoming is vibrant and energetic, with flowing white tresses and a glittery skirt. How I would love to become such an elderly lady!

This man, a wood gatherer, was part of a larger painting at the Milwaukee art museum. The architecture of that museum is stunning. The building actually looks like a giant bird. It is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, and, when you look out the back window, you can see the water, which looks as if it flows on and on, without any sign of another side. This one was done in colored pencil.

This picture was done in Jefferson, Wisconsin. We were invited to stay at a rectory there. Father Tom, who lives at the rectory, is the pastor of five churches in rural Wisconsin. This clock is one of Father Tom's most prized possessions. It was made for him by a man whose grandson was killed by a drunk driver. After the boy died, the family did not seek revenge, saying that the boy was all about love, not revenge. I did this picture in mixed media (watercolor paint and markers).

We spent a night at a Saint Mary Help of Christians church (in the church center, a separate building from the church). This is one of Father Tom's five parishes. The statue near the church's small cemetery is done in watercolor and marker.

It was a good walk, a good adventure. I saw murals in Milwaukee, with paintings of leaders of various causes, including labor and civil rights. They were big and on the sides of buildings. I was happy to see this display of the bond between art and activism. 
I'm still working at merging Alice the Artist and Alice the Activist. 
More to come later (future walks, maybe...)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My newest hat!

I just recently designed this hat. If I saw a bee of that size in real life, I would run fast enough to qualify for the Olympic team in the 100-meter dash (I need to experience terror in order to run fast!). This was a fun design, full of color and life. I hope that you like it!
I am hoping to have an etsy store... um... eventually!
This creation started its hatly life as a plain white baseball style hat.

I then drew a design on the hat, and began to embroider the large outlines.

After I finished embroidering the outlines, I painted with fabric paint. The last step was too add a clear but glittery fabric paint on top of the painted surfaces to give the hat a fun, glittery effect.