An Outdoor Art Festival at Triinity U

Yesterday I did something that I haven’t done in 25 years- participate in a “live” outdoor art show. There’s always been a gallery or a web site or something else between me and the person looking at my art. It was a fun, instructive and humbling experience. Mostly fun!

The show was the annual Trinity Alumni invitational exhibit held in conjunction with alumni weekend. I am an alum, but not a very active one (probably because I teach there and feel more like faculty).

My fellow alumni artists exhibited all kinds of wonderful things, photography, fabulous jewelry, paintings, and screen prints. No other Kindle cover artists, thought – hmmmmm….. The show and sale (and alumni barbecue picnic) were held on the grounds of Trinity’s Holt Conference Center and it was a blessedly beautiful day except for a few annoying wind gusts. I got to experience set-up and take-down and talked to lots of people in between. A lot of people had no idea what a Kindle was!

I learned a lot from fellow artists, some of whom have little credit card machines that they carry to all of their sales events. One of the best tips was from visiting artist/alum Liz Walker from Portland, OR whose business cards were fabulous – she got them at Check them out!

Post-game score: I sold four Kindle covers, traded one for a friend Tina Barajas’ recycled paper earrings, and bought exactly enough jewelry to equal what I made. What a perfect show!
Here’s a look:

The 2010 Texas Gourd Festival

I don’t know what I expected at the Texas Gourd Festival when we drove up to Fredricksburg yesterday, but when I paid the $5 entry fee, the volunteer said,”You won’t see any birdhouses!” No kidding – there was an astonishing array of Things to Do with a Gourd. Some were quite beautiful, some were . . .not, but weirdly intriguing. There was also a huge display of tools with which to do these things – you can make quite an investment in gourd tools. Some of my favorite gourds involved the use of a simple tool – a sharpie pen (see the video) I purchased this gourd, above, from Jimmy Sublett from Wimberley and I think it’s one of the beautiful ones.

Saved by Tim’s Oriental Grocery and joss paper

I’d been in a creative slump, probably because my studio is so disrupted by construction outside (and a busy mid-term schedule at school) – until I remembered that my friend Jessie Voigts of Wandering Educators told me to find an Asian market and check out their joss paper. Then another friend I saw at the herb Market today mentioned Tim’s Oriental Grocery just outside of the city and said they had lots of such paper, so off I went. Well! In the far back corner of the store I found an amazing selection of packets of all kinds of joss paper with lovely prints, foils, incense and candles – beautifully printed and reverently put together in bundles. I brought home an armful of these lovely materials for less than $15. It’s inspiration time again!

And then there was the food – just the packages made me swoon. Tim’s was a great discovery – just when you think you know everything about your city, someone helps you discover something new!
Here’s an online review of Tim’s from one visitor:
Probably the only place in San Antonio for Asian groceries.. well, the biggest and most well known anyways. I love going here. On weekends, they have bbq pork, roast duck, and roast pork hanging for you to select and buy. Never tried the duck, but the bbq pork and esp roast pork is DELICIOUS! So crunchy. They have frozen dumplings that I would literally die if I could not buy every week. And of course the spicy dumpling sauce to go with it! They have fresh veggies not available at HEB such as Chinese brocolli and Hollow vegetable. Lots of candies and sweets and chips from all over Asia. Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, etc. Some days I just go in there and not buy anything. It’s just that fun.


Workshop on silk scarves and transformation

I’m giving a workshop tomorrow on personal transformation for a group of teachers at a great school where I used to teach. One of the things we’re doing is dyeing silk scarves and talking about silkworms as a symbol for transformation, etc. I had to practice the technique myself today since it’s not really in my “art repertoire” – it was fun and I think it will work as a metaphor for the group activity. First, we’ll write some favorite quotations on the silk about transformation, then do the dyeing project. Here are pictures from my experimenting this afternoon. I like doing workshops and am looking forward to this one, especially since it’s hard to make a mistake with abstract silk painting!

Studio space temporarily hard hat zone

Just as I got the studio reclaimed and organized, I had the bright idea to enhance it with a new artist-friendly half-bath off the front wall where the laundry room was. I’m sure the end results will be more than worth the current construction chaos, but at the moment, I’m sharing the space with plumbing devices, various incoming and outgoing appliances, and other assorted construction necessities. Target date for completion is around the first of November. I’m excited about the changes – stay tuned for progress report and occasional whiney comments when I don’t have a lot of room to work. The outside studio wall is in the top picture, and the toilet pump and I are sharing the inside space, below.