Friday, December 31, 2010

How I spent the last day of 2010

'Frozen Slough' digital photo; Kathleen Faulkner



We took our time and drove the Bayview road.  

The sun was shining and the air was cold.  We spent too much time in Edison.  It always happens.  There are people to see and time to spend. 
It was late when we left.  The cold winter sun was going down fast.  As we headed home we noticed the slough, frozen top layer left high and dry when the tide receded. I stood there listening to the groaning and cracking sounds of the ice giving it up to gravity.

Later, good food, good friends, hopeful toasts.

We can make this new year anything we want.   

Friday, December 24, 2010

'An eye for an eye will make us all blind' Mahatma Gandhi



This is the season of love and joy.  We are different:  as we wish our friends a Merry Christmas we are full of good cheer.  We give to charity and think of others.  We do good deeds.
Small things make us cry.   It seems as though we become the people that we've been waiting for.

Maybe this Solstice Full Moon Lunar Eclipse will have a hand in changing the time frame.  Maybe we will carry on the love and joy and peace from now until forever.  It is my wish for us all.


Happy Solstice, full moon lunar eclipse, Merry Christmas, Yule, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, HumanLight and Diwali to all   and to all a good life
 in Peace.







Monday, December 20, 2010

Solstice: full moon lunar eclipse


'Nightscape' 12x12" oil and soft pastel, charcoal;
Kathleen Faulkner


Winter Solstice:
Out of the darkness  we move toward the light

This 'holiday' really works for me.  Just knowing that we will now be moving away from the darkest hour gives me hope and brightens dark places.

This year, there is a full moon lunar eclipse during the Solstice, an event that we have never seen in our lifetime and will never see again.  A once in a lifetime opportunity to make it anything we want and a chance to move forward with a little help from the Universe.  That puts a smile on my face.

Happy Solstice, Friends!  May we move forward with love and peace and inspiration,  Cheers!





Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Winter of it

'The Winter of It' oil and soft pastel, charcoal; 8x8"
Kathleen Faulkner


It is the Winter of it.  Darkness, rain  and the mentally ill.  

I think about a painting I did.  Title:  'It's Good to Have a Running Start'.
It is hard to have a running start in the Winter of it.  Friends are falling and Life is challenging.  I'm giving things away.  It helps.

It will soon be the Solstice.  Then, the days will grow longer and we will move toward Spring,  the favored season.  Then we shall all carry on.


'The Winter of It III' oil and soft pastel, charcoal; 8x8"
Kathleen Faulkner

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Trees: 1 Neighbors: 0

'Morning' 23x21" oil pastel; Kathleen Faulkner

It's been pouring rain.  My property is soaked.  My walkway is underwater.  I live on a hill so flooding is not something I worry about too much.  The wind uprooting my trees when the ground is so saturated is the bigger concern. 

I live in a neighborhood that does not appreciate trees.  They distract from the potential view that some neighbors are intent upon having.  I've been begged, shamed, cajoled and threatened but to no avail.

There are two things that would do the trick.  My death and/or a major windstorm.  I've lived here through several wind storms of historic proportions but still the wind is always able to make me nervous.  In the end, though, it will probably be my demise that will seal their fate.  

So, for now, here's a toast to my excellent Tree Friends:  May you live and grow forever and may I live a very long life. 


Sunday, December 5, 2010

The morning after

digital photo; Kathleen Faulkner

I wake to winter sunshine.  The frost lingers.  I've been working for months, intensely,  but today I can breathe.  I am free, I can do anything.   

Should I clean my house, workshop, yard?  Should I go for a long walk and take photos?  Should I visit friends that I've neglected all this time?  For an instant, I feel at a loss for what to do: my focus is confused.  I could keep doing what I've been doing:  I have three panels ready to paint,  a couple commissions, some jewelry I could finish but it seems a waste to let a beautiful day slip by while I'm indoors.  I have time on my side for once.

I guess I'll go with the flow and see where it takes me.


'Near Edison'  digital photo;  Kathleen Faulkner




Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The story I told the tree


'False Pass'  oil and soft pastel, charcoal;
Kathleen Faulkner



There are several garbage islands out in the oceans. These are huge masses of plastic where nothing lives except previously owned stuff, re-morphed into garbage that will last forever and that the fish and birds and animals eat because it looks like food.

It's all made from oil and contributes to our potential doom.

Of course, there are other ingredients in the doom recipe: global warming, pesticides, radiation, clear cutting and the destruction of whole ecosystems to feed humans' need for stuff.   There are many more, too many to mention.


Everyone that has something to sell hopes that someone will buy it.  I am an artist.  I create work because  it fulfills me and it supports me.  It's still stuff.  I often have conflicts about it all.  We all contribute to the doom recipe but less really is more and, as much as I can justify Art as a quality of life necessity, it still requires materials, some more destructive than others, to make it.  I wonder if I have any right to feel that what I do is worthwhile.  Maybe I'm just using resources for my own selfishness. 

Recently a friend read this story to me:  Global Warming and Art

It changed my perspective a bit and eased the angst.  








Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bounty

'Jack Island' necklace 20" sterling silver, slate;
Kathleen Faulkner


Thanksgiving 2010.

I am grateful for the snow I woke up to this morning even though it will alter my plans.
I am grateful for the people in my life.

memories are good, too.   




Jack Island. 

We took a small boat and circled.   I remember the north side: large weathered, living rocks,  entangled kelp along their base and the shade from the trees, water calm,  sunny day,  good light.  

Then to the beach and, while landing, I noticed a carpet made of slate and shells.   

Someone  said there was once a fox farm on the island and I was noticing the trees. 
Later,  sitting on the south side facing North Beach, on rocks warmed by the sun, eating lunch, playing with rocks and shells, I remember thinking how interesting life is.






and with that memory I look out my window 

photo: Kathleen Faulkner


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Change is good.

'Strategy is the Craft of the Warrior' 2.5x1.5" Belt Buckle, sterling silver overlay;
Kathleen Faulkner


Once upon a time, a long time ago and far away,  Artists were considered assets.  Anyone who was anyone was a Patron.  Artists worked on projects for years and were funded.  Real jobs, what a concept.

America is very young and so has very little respect or appreciation for the Arts.  Some might say that there are big collectors and that is true.  But, just like the wealthy, it's a small percentage. 

Artists just want to make art.  These days, that becomes more difficult.  Patrons are worried, keeping tight grip of their money, artists need money to live so they can create, materials used for creating are becoming more expensive and the general public doesn't understand any of it.   

Personally I've been doing some thinking about the materials I use.  On one hand, I want to do my part to leave a small footprint but on the other, I want to create.  This is an issue for me as all art is made from and becomes something.  

Silver is a natural resource. * Spot is at $26.01 per oz today.  Last year it was $17.00.  When I started working with silver in the early 90s it was around $4.00.  As you can see, price has become an issue.

This buckle consists of almost three ounces of silver.  At around $30 an ounce my cost, that's $90.  The formula for pricing is cost of materials times three which would be $270.  This price includes designing, materials shipping costs, electricity, heat, water, acetylene, solder, buffing materials, cleaning materials and solutions, polishing materials, boxes, pricing, advertising and a whole lot more.. including labor. I then take that price and double it because the gallery will take 50%.  Now this buckle is up to $540.00. Needless to say, I can't afford my own art.  

This piece took around 15 hours to design and create.  After deducting the cost of silver, I'm left with $180 to cover everything including labor.  I will make about $10.00 per hour on this. 
Since galleries do mostly consignment, artwork is not purchased, there is no money up front.  The artist must wait for the work to sell then, as is the usual, wait 30 days for payment.  

You will not see this much silver in future work.  I am re-thinking my designs - I have a new strategy.  Natural and recycled materials are calling.  I think it is a better way for me: less guilt, less cost and, hopefully, more creativity.

Any artwork takes materials, time, energy and inspiration and the result, if it works, is food for the soul.  I will always make art.

It's about quality of life. 


 *Spot is the unrefined price of precious metals.  Charges are added when ordering sheet, wire, tubing, etc.


Monday, November 8, 2010

My two cents

'Halibut' 2x1.5" brooch, sterling silver, fossilized walrus ivory, printer's ink;
Kathleen Faulkner


Art's Alive is over now.  It was a long yet inspiring weekend.  I heard a lot of comments  about many things..

As an artist and appreciator and, once in a blue moon curator, I get to see three different perspectives in the art world.

The Deciders
Three of this year's Art's Alive shows were invitational.  In this case it was mostly committee rather than a curator selecting a group of artists for each show.  They factored many things into their decisions: space, theme, compatibility and, most importantly,  artists whose work they had seen and knew about .

If an artist sits back and expects the world to find them, it may not happen.  This is one reason why exposure is a good thing.

As with most everyone, this committee works within a very limited budget.  The committee is volunteer and their goal is to pull off a good show and make some money.

The Creators
The artist strives for recognition and inclusion.  Some get it and some don't.  Sometimes, the ones that don't, get hurt feelings, wondering 'why not them'.   I've found that, if an artist is not invited to be in a show, 99% of the time it's for reasons that have nothing to do with emotion, that is if the curator is even aware of their work.  Artists, on the other hand, tend to take it personally.

The Viewers
Then there's the adoring public.  Absolutely handy to have around.  More would be better. There are those who know and appreciate the arts and there are those who don't understand art but 'know what they like' and then, there are those that have no interest.  A good percentage of the appreciators are other artists..  We would be great art collectors if we had money.  The largest percentage, I think,  are those who don't really understand art but 'know what they like'

Bottom Line
We need to educate the public about art and it's processes and why it is an important part of our  lives.   It is food for the soul but many never taste it.

There is a reason art is expensive.  Most people have no idea of the time and expense that goes into the creation of art.  Knowledge of the process helps people understand.

Artists need to toughen up.  Someone of importance once said that if you don't have a pile of rejection notices on your desk you're not trying hard enough.   Add invitational to that, as well.

The Deciders need to keep up on the art scene, think out of the box and take chances.

That's my two cents  just for the halibut.

Monday, November 1, 2010

R.I.P.

'The Long Walk' 17x17.5 mixed media; Kathleen Faulkner


My friend died.  She took her life.  She finally made it work after having tried a few times before.  The whole story is one that could happen to anyone and it's so very sad.  It makes my heart ache.
Struggles, strife: some are more sensitive than others  Some just can't take the rawness and ruthlessness that life dishes out. It is a cruel world that can leave us with nothing.

We tend to shun those that are different.  They scare us.  e don't know what to say, how to interact.  It's easier to be afraid, to run away, ignore or bully.

This is the day we celebrate the dead.  I will celebrate you, my friend, and I will miss you, sweet lady.  I'll always wonder if anything could have changed your outcome.  May you rest in peace.




Monday, October 25, 2010

Who is Coleman Barks?

I had planned to leave a comment on the last post explaining the Coleman Barks link but found that, somehow, I was not able to comment - maybe that post was too long?  another downside of the computer world

I first heard him read at the Museum of Northwest Art's annual Poetry Festival in LaConner, Washington, several years ago.  I then had the opportunity to hear him again in San Francisco.  This man can read a poem in a way that takes your breath away.  He writes his own poetry but he is mostly known for reading and translating the poems of Rumi.

In the video in the post 'Sacred Mountains' below, Coleman is the narrator through most of it.  For me, it adds to the spiritual quality of the piece.  I hope you enjoyed it.


www.puremusic.com/assets16/coleman.jpg

'Water From Your Spring'

What was that candle's light
that opened and consumed me so quickly?

Come back, my friend! The form of our love
is not a created form.

Nothing can help me but that beauty.
There was a dawn I remember

when my soul heard something
from your soul.  I drank water

from your spring and felt 
the current take me.

        Rumi




Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sacred Mountains

'Kulshan'  24x36" oil pastel; Kathleen Faulkner

      
      'In the olden days, so the old folks tell us, Kulshan was a fair and handsome youth who grew apace to man's estate and then espoused two wives. One of these wives fully equaled her husband in beauty — she was the favorite wife and her name was Duh-hwahk. She bore Kulshan three fine sons. The other wife was no match for Duh-hwahk, in beauty but she was very amiable, very kind and very attractive in manner. This wife was named Whaht-kway. Eventually it came about that the kindness and consideration of Whaht-kway so completely won over her husband that she supplanted Duh-hwahk in the affections of Kulshan.
      This, of course, aroused furious fires of jealousy and resentment in the breast of Duh-hwahk, who constantly kept the entire household in dissension and strife by means of her temper and her jealousy. Finally Duh-hwahk resolved to regain Kulshan by artifice. Relying confidently on her beauty and on her former firm sway over her husband she conceived the plan of feigning to desert him. So, one day, when it happened that by chance she found Kulshan in amiable and mellow mood and more pliant to her purpose, she complained to him of the coldness and harshness with which she, Duh-hwahk, had been treated in the household, even more by Whaht-kway than by Kulshan. She assured her husband that she loved him but that the burden was more than even her great love for him could bear her all of her possessions.
      Kulshan resolved to be master of his own household and without hesitation informed Duh-hwahk that she could go as soon as chose and as far as she liked. Duh-hwahk was dumbfounded by this unexpected reply. She felt that she must make things appear to him in a more serious light. She felt confident of his love and sure that at the last Kulshan would relent. Indeed she could not believe that he would really permit her thus to desert him. Founding her faith in this imagination, she gathered up her possessions and made ready to go at once. She prepared her pack thoroughly, putting therein plentiful supplies of berries, fruit, sweet bulbs and even of beautiful flowering plants of many varieties.
      Thus amply provided with all that she desired she then said farewell and fared forth, leaving her three children behind. The children bewailed the going of their mother and with many lamentations besought her to remain. This greatly pleased Duh-hwahk at heart for she now felt assured of melting the indifference of Kulshan. She was sure that he would call her back before she had been able to go any very great distance. With this in mind she managed to set forth on a course that would take her the longest way. So also she traveled down the valley between the mountain ranges so as to be always in the sight of Kulshan as long as possible, thinking to give him ample opportunity to recall her.
      She had not gone far, however, before she realized her mistake and richly repented her hasty action. So, as she went along, she would ever and anon look anxiously back. Her heart surged tumultuously with a fond hoping and a vain longing to see Kulshan wildly signal for her return — how she hoped that he would do so! Alas, she had gone too far for that, perhaps, and, besides, many little hills and valleys now intervened between her and home where she had left Kulshan and the weeping children. Therefore she must needs climb the knolls and pick out the highest hills from which to gaze back with longing eyes and sinking heart.
      Standing on the very summits of these hills she would strain with all her might, up to the very tips of her toes, seeking some sign from her loved husband. Sometimes she fancied she was not quite high enough and she would raise to her tip-toes and stretch forth her head in anxious gaze, yearning all the while and striving all the while to be just a little taller. This oft-repeated wish and effort soon began to have its effect upon her and she forthwith began to grow taller. At last she had gone so far that she must of necessity make camp. She selected for her stopping place one that seemed most satisfactory to her because from it she could have a clear view of her dear home so foolishly and uselessly abandoned. Here she removed her packs and cast the contents broadcast, blessing the place with all the stores of fruit, of berries, bulbs, tubers and beautiful flowering plants of many wonderful varieties, all of which she had taken away from Kulshan.
      There, looking ever and longingly northward, Duh-hwahk remains to this day and you may see her if you wish — look to the south and east — it is Mount Rainier. Therefore we know why all these beautiful things abound about Mount Rainier where Duh-hwahk took with her. Look to the north and you will see him, but the white man calls him Mount Baker, not Kulshan! All about Kulshan too you may see the deserted and weeping children.
      In time the faithful Whaht-kway felt the premonitory pangs of childbirth. She yearned for the comfort and company of her people, and especially the advice and assistance of her old mother. None other than that old mother could give the needed care in the hour of trial. Kulshan listened to the pleadings of his faithful wife and yielded to them. Full well he knew, however, that the journey would be a hard one for Whaht-kway if she had to climb the mountains and journey over all the intervening heights and valleys. Therefore Kulshan engaged all of the animals with paws, from the lion to the mouse, to dig a long ditch from his home down to tidewater. This was done until the flow of water from his place was at last sufficient to enable a good-sized canoe to float down in safety. This stream we now know as the Nooksack River — adown it softly floated the canoe of Whaht-kway in these olden days when the river itself was new.
      At last she reached her beloved Hwulch or Puget Sound, her own country. Down between the many islands the canoe made its way and in passing each of these islets Whaht-kway made sure to leave here and there certain edible things — where they may be found to this day. When Whaht-kway at last reached home her parents greeted her fondly and asked her what position she chose to assume. She remembered how the jealous Duh-hwahk had reared herself up, up, up into the air until she became a mountain peak. Whaht-kway would not do so. She chose to lie down so that coming people would be able to reach her head without great trouble or without climbing — with Duh-hwahk, alas, it is different. Whaht-kway is now an island low lying, to the north of San Juan Island. Whaht-kway is now better known by the name of Spieden Island [also spelled Speiden] and just a little north of it is the baby island which was born after Whaht-kway reached this place. At present all of the small islands between Kulshan and Whaht-kway bear the names of fish or some of the other edible things that Whaht-kway placed there as she passed by on the journey home. Many have cause to this day to remember with gratitude the generous thoughtfulness of Whaht-kway.
      During all this time Kulshan was lonely indeed. Instead of having two wives he found himself with none. All the while he kept straining upward to see if he might not catch occasional glimpses of his departed wives. The children saw him and did likewise, profiting by the example of Kulshan. Today Kulshan and Duh-hwahk are mountains and the children are the mountains south and east of their father Kulshan. We have told you what the word means — but what does Duh-hwahk mean? It means, and how fittingly, "clear sky." So too Whaht-kway means a maiden who has just reached womanhood.
      This is the story of Kulshan, his two wives and his many children, and of how they came to be what they are and where they are.'

Washington West of the Cascades, Herbert Hunt and Floyd C. Kaylor, 1917









Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nectar of the Gods

'Gyokuro' neckpiece, 30x1.5" sterling silver, tea bag images, mica
Kathleen Faulkner

I live on green tea.  I drink it throughout the day, every day.  It is my one necessity.  I prefer Japanese green tea for it's flavor and since I buy my tea loose, I have to travel to Seattle when I start running low.

I buy my green tea from the asian grocery store in Chinatown.  Uwajimaya is a wonderful place to shop.  It is a bit of visual overload, at times, with all the color and activity and a lot of the food is unknown to me which makes the experience all the more interesting.  My first stop is always the tea aisle.

There are many different kinds and grades of green tea.  Prices can range from $3 to $20 and up per package of about 3 ounces.

Back in the boom times, I'd buy Gyokuro now and again.  It is the finest green tea and was my reward for finishing difficult projects.  These days, I stick to the lesser priced, but still good,  Sensha and  lately, I've also developed a taste for Machagenmai-cha.  This tea is blended with roasted brown rice giving it a roasted, slightly meaty flavor.  mmmm!

Time for another cup of tea.  Cheers!






image: washokofood.blogspot
In Japan, one can get a cup of tea from the vending machine!







Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why I wear a hat



'Owl' 5x1.5", sterling and fine silver, glass, plastic, snakeskin,
fossilized walrus ivory, printer's ink; Kathleen Faulkner


Anacortes is home to the amazing Forest Lands Area.  Many miles and many assets: a lake, beaver, hundreds of birds, deer, coyotes, raccoons, porcupine, owl and every other small creature one could imagine.  Trees, moss, mushrooms, you name it, the Forest Lands has it.

I love to walk there:  it's in the middle of town yet a world unto itself and a good place to decompress.

There is a particular owl that lives there who has made a name for itself.  This owl may be a tad bit 'off'.  It thinks hair is potential food and has been known to attack walker's heads.  I've seen this owl because it doesn't try to hide and makes no bones about being seen.  It sits and watches, ready to strike when the moment is right.

This is why I always wear a hat in the Forest Lands.


'Anacortes Forest Lands' digital photo; Kathleen Faulkner



Monday, October 11, 2010

John's Trees

'John's Trees' 17x17" mixed media; Kathleen Faulkner


We walked for hours.  It was a grey day; the ground beneath our feet was spongy, muddy, wet.  No sound but the slosh of our feet and birds, birds everywhere.  Lost in the thoughts of this place, smelling the salt, the mud, the sea,  breathing it in deep, feeling the healing.  
The week had been tough, filled with deadlines, overextended commitments, drama and worries.  I had been looking forward to this day. 

We stopped for a minute when David said, 'Those are John's trees. He planted them.  His energy is still here'. 'I can feel it', I said, and it was true.  The wind suddenly swept up through the trees singing a song of long, lost memories..    Then we continued on our way.






Thursday, October 7, 2010

The business of staying alive

'Good Sound Quality' 21x23" oil pastel; Kathleen Faulkner


Here it is October and winter is close behind.  Time is slipping by.  I'm working constantly,  preparing for 'Arts Alive' coming up the first weekend in November with the opening on the evening of November 5th.

I am pleased to announce that I will be in the 'Emerging Artists Show' with my mixd media paintings and, new this year, the 'Jewelry Show' which I will be a part of, as well.
Shortly thereafter is Whatcom Museum's 'Art and All That Jazz' on November 12th.  Work for that is due the end of the month.
Then Christmas is right around the corner which means inventory for my galleries and a couple of Christmas shows.  whew.

I worry that I won't get it all finished. It's the same thing every year.  It's silly, really, since I always do manage to make it all work and I find that little breaks help.

'when it all gets too heavy I go down to the sea'

There is nothing better than spending some time near water.  It clears my mind, is inspiring and I leave feeling like I can actually manage things.  I will be needing to head that way for about an hour then back to the business of staying alive.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Happy to be home

'Sauk Mountain' 17x23" oil pastel; Kathleen Faulkner

When I travel away from the Pacific Northwest I am always happy to be home.  Don't get me wrong.  I miss the friends I visit, I miss the excitement of traveling but, something about our little corner of the world has me  forever.
Yes, the winters are cold, wet, foggy;  a damp cold that chills to the bone.  The summers, especially this summer, less than satisfying with temperatures that compete with the winter temps of California, northern, that is.

There is a reason we are called the Evergreen state:  it's called rain. 

Rain is my inspiration.  It can be depressing at times but it is also a big part of the reason I create.  Art is what I taught myself to do at a very young age to keep the demons away.  It works well.


In the woods above Issaquah
near a grey farmhouse
we pick plums in the rain.
Another day, on Sauk Mountain,
we lie in a meadow.   A bird
jolts a stalk of fireweed
so the light seeds drift over us
     and down the slope.
Far below,  the Skagit River
winds toward the sea, turning
     like a pattern in old jade.
At home you put some tomatoes
on the window sill to ripen,
and I think of jade again.
Nights,
while a bird outside the window
begins to budge the night away
      with a single sound,
your breasts, your lips, your eyelids
are delicate as petals of
      winter poppies.
I don't know what happened,
One night, no use knocking on your door,
I stepped down from the front porch
as rain fell through big leaves and the grass woke up,
      and your face was
      a small round stone
      falling through dark water.


'In the Woods Above Issaquah'   Robert Sund




Sunday, September 26, 2010

Quality of life


'Every Dark Cloud' Shadowbox 12x10" brooches: sterling silver, graphite,
colored pencil, mica; photograph, wood, plastic; Kathleen Faulkner



Sometimes I wonder if we'll make it.  Mother has cancer, we are losing whole species everyday and there's a lot of fear and hate out there.  

Struggle, strife.. everyone I know is struggling.  The artists really have it tough.  You can't eat art.  There  is no barter system to pay for health insurance or the electric bill.  Some days it seems overwhelming.

It is a time when one has to decide on priorities. There's a fork in the road.  One path is smoother, easier,  the other path may not go all the way through and the terrain is steep and rocky.  The smooth path has it's downfalls, though.  Younger is better, college degrees help, and, of course, a stable partner.. still, it's not a given. The rough path really asks nothing except to be true to oneself. Older can be better, degrees don't matter but passion is a must. The rough path has absolutely no guarantees and it's steep terrain is dangerous. It is a precarious yet intensely inspiring path,  if you make it.

My silver lining is called freedom: the independence and the joy in doing what I do.  I'm not talking about Apple Pie here.  This isn't an American Dream,  far from it.  I have chosen the steep and rocky path  and it's hard and I get worried and wonder if I'll end up falling off the cliff but, I wouldn't have it any other way.  On my death bed I will not be filled with regret.  













Digital photo; Kathleen Faulkner


'I am interested in art as a means of living a life; not as a means of making a living'  Robert Henri




Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Welcome to the 'Fair Witness' store


'The View' 23x21, oil pastel; Kathleen Faulkner


It's mushroom season and the last day of summer.  Now everything is changing.  Soon, the nights will be as long as the days, grayer and grayer,  colder and colder.   So it goes, like old age,  the beginning is not so bad:  things start to make sense and life is still doable;  deep into it everything becomes aches and memories.

It is spitting rain as I hike around looking for those golden beauties.  I'm wet and hungry and find myself distracted,  lost in thought, thinking about a friend I used to know. He was a farrier who lived in the woods.  His uncle was Robert Heinlein so,  then I think about the book.  It always happens. 

 'Stranger in a Strange Land'  has become somewhat of a cult classic: popular during the sixties and an influence on that generation.  It's basically a story about a different perspective.  I read it years and years ago and bits of it have always stuck with me.

More than once I've found myself wishing for a Fair Witness.

The Fair Witness is trained to observe events and report the truth of the matter.  One requirement of the job is a photographic memory and the Fair Witness is prohibited from drawing conclusions.

This would be a very useful asset in our world today.  Imagine hiring a Fair Witness to review the week on the 6 o'clock news.  We could count on the Fair Witness to know and/or expose the truth.  It would curb the lying and cheating that abounds..
Maybe it could change the world.


 then suddenly, there they are: the little chanterelles in all their beauty!

Chanterelle; photo: Chevalier





Thursday, September 16, 2010

The crows get it


'Pod' Brooch, sterling silver, pods, pigment; Kathleen Faulkner
photo: David Scherrer


I live in the middle of town:  Police station, hospital, elementary, middle and high school, pool, national guard all within two blocks.

The walk to old town is twenty minutes or so.  I go almost daily to check my 'good' mail at the Post Office.  I only receive art related mail there, hence the 'good'.

I enjoy the walk and usually find interesting things along the way that, sometimes, are incorporated into my work.
The journey is not as beautiful or peaceful as in the Anacortes Forest Lands but it can be just as interesting and sometimes more useful.

The 'pods' are dogwood fruit found over by the hospital and the 'sticks' were found within a  block from my house.

I guess that potential and opportunity are everywhere if one just looks.





'Stick Pins" various woods, manzanita berry, sterling silver; Kathleen Faulkner
photo: David Scherrer


The Pod brooch and other Stick Pins from this series will be on view at the Whatcom Museum's "Art and All that Jazz' show.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

in addition


'The View From Here' Kathleen Faulkner


Don't get me wrong.. Life is pretty good in my world. 

but, being that today is one of the few events that we haven't forgotten, all kinds of thoughts float through the air.   I could write all day.


Where's Gandhi when we need him?

'Gandhi's seven sins:

Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Knowledge without character
Commerce without morality
Science without humility
Worship without sacrifice
Politics without principle'


Thoughts on Wealth

'I Used to be a King' 18" sterling silver, seed beads, pottery shard, slate, copper, rocks;
Kathleen Faulkner


Fall is upon us.  Crisp mornings, great light.  They say it will be a hard winter.

I live and work in an old drafty house.  I keep the heat consumption low so as not to waste it.  I've learned how to dress for the upcoming season: long underwear, wool socks, wrist rockets and layers, layers, layers.
Up in my workroom, in the winter,  I work with a little portable heater at my feet.  I worry about getting by and wonder if I'll sell enough work.   Going the art route is a struggle.  Sometimes I dread the winter season.

If I were to be transported into a third world country with what I have today I would be considered a King.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Property Available

'Property Available: Humans Need Not Apply'  oil pastel; Kathleen Faulkner


What if there were realtors that worked for the Environment?

George Soros just donated a hundred million dollars to US based, Human Rights Watch. He stated that America has lost it's moral high ground and that our human rights record has basically gone into the toilet since Bush took office.  Now, with this donation, the organization can go international.

Well, that's good.  Now we need the billionaire that steps up to the environmental plate.  Any takers?





Friday, September 3, 2010

The Toast

'Spider Web' digital photo; Kathleen Faulkner


It is a wonderful time,  Autumn.

Light becomes the beautiful, moody, shadow producer.   Spiders are out in force and there is a feeling in the air:  crisp and clean.  Change is on the way.  

Summer is great for vegetables and hikes and eating outside  but Fall is when the real work begins. This year I want to produce heavily.  I have some new ideas and I'm finally feeling the inspiration.  

So, here is my toast to us:   

'I wish us inspiration in abundance, faith in ourselves, hope for our future, change for the better
and lots of patrons!'





'Robert's House' digital photo; Kathleen Faulkner


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hacked


'Bead Necklaces' sterling silver, Kathleen Faulkner


My blog was hacked today.  It was a strange feeling, as if I'd been violated.  Well, I guess I was. chuckle.  The good news was that it was good stuff but I deleted it immediately.

It's always amazing to me that people I don't know read/view this blog.  Somehow I have this silly notion that only my friends see what I post.  Recently I installed a map that shows where in the world my posts are being viewed:  Malaysia, Australia, Finland, South America, Canada:  I'd be offended if I never had any Canadian viewers.

It all reminds me that, even though I'm here in my little safe place writing this and that, the world can be  very large and yet, we're all connected.

THANK YOU ALL for viewing my blog.  I appreciate it! 


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ghosts

'Wildflower earrings' sterling silver; Kathleen Faulkner



When I was a child, my dad and I would hike deep into the wilderness.  He was an obsessed outdoors man, among other things, so I spent a lot of time in forests.  I saw many things during those times: lots of bear,  and one up close and personal,  elk all around me, many elk,  critters,  birds,  old growth forests,  billions of wildflowers and on and on and on.

One time, while hiking, we came upon Ghost Pipes.  Pale, dreamlike fairy tales from some other world.  I was fascinated.  My father said to me, "You'll probably never see these again, they're very rare."

I've thought about them much over the years, how lucky I was to see something so rare and the impression they left,  as if they had become attached to my very being.

One day, while walking in Washington Park,  there they were:  Ghost Pipes!  I was stopped in my tracks, my mind bursting with memories and emotion.  I wanted to shout out, "Hey, Dad,  Look!  Ghost Pipes!  After all these years I finally see them again!"  Instead I only thought it.

Maybe ghosts see and hear everything, even thoughts if we want them to..




Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Living on the Salish

'Rock Brooch' sterling silver, beach rocks; Kathleen Faulkner



Another full moon... 'The moon when all things happen'


I head down to the water's edge where I look for rocks.  The place where I go has every color except for blue.  While there I can see across to the Olympics and over to Lopez.  Sometimes, if I'm lucky, I see the  graceful little otter family, a seal or two and maybe a woodpecker, eagle or owl.  I always see the deer.

This is the place where the madrones hang out discussing dance moves and the cedars watch over everything.  On a warm day the mix of cedar, pine and fir cooks up a heady aroma that is addictive.  I can never get enough.  

I look back on my life and thank myself for moving here.  It is one of the moves I would not change.  I am grateful every day.

The Salish Sea is a magic place that is rich with life and deserves our respect.  I hope we manage to keep it thriving.

 Things are happening.   I'm paying attention.






Thursday, August 19, 2010

You get the Picture

'The Original Sentinels' 23x22" oil pastel; Kathleen Faulkner


When looking at trees, what do we see?  

I love trees.  I see a magic in them:  having been born in the Northwest,  they're family.  I've given them a life with personality,  a higher consciousness.  I consider them Enlightened Beings:

but, who knows of the life of a tree

Usually trees are considered resources.  Viewed from an objective point of view, they're useful.  If damaged or disabled in some way, their value decreases.  There is no emotion attached to the harvesting. A tree's value to nature is seldom taken into account and this is generally how we consider most natural things.

Often, throughout history, we have regarded other humans this way.  Considerations as to value have been and still are:  financial worth, color, religion, sexual orientation, political views and on and on.  The value of persons to their people is seldom taken into account.

Resources, value and worth




Saturday, August 14, 2010

Recurring Dream

'Untitled' 60" fine and sterling silver, hematite; Kathleen Faulkner


There it is again:  my recurring dream.  

Instead of images it is more about a feeling,  an energy,  a movement.   The giant mass of swirling tendrils moving, becoming faster and faster until a total anxiety is born out of the tightness.

Then, just as quickly, this 'thing' starts to unravel loose and slow,  slower,  until it comes to a point of anxiety once again.

Then, again, the whole process over and over until I wake being unable to sleep the rest of the night.

While making this necklace the memory of that dream re-appears.



Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tribe

*'Birds of a Feather', Shadowbox with Brooch; Kathleen Faulkner


There are many thoughts among artists regarding the art community and what that means.  

Some see it as one nonstop, cutthroat competition.  Everyone wanting what someone else has/gets, congratulating, but feeling pangs of jealousy as the words come out.  Wondering out loud why one gets into a show but someone else doesn't, who deserves it and who doesn't. 

Then there are those who see this community as a 'tribe' that all artists belong to.  Most artists I know think like this.

We are all just trying to survive.  We, in the art community, all want the same things:  to be able to survive while having the time and inspiration to make art.  

That tells me that we are all on the same side and, like 'birds of a feather',  we should think about sticking together.


*Brooch: sterling silver, wood, paper, ink, colored pencil

This shadowbox is in the 'Birds' show at Smith & Vallee Gallery in Edison, WA







Sunday, August 1, 2010

Process




Although I made an effort to clean things up..  

This is the 'dirty' room and this is where sawing and filing happen. I've spent many an hour at this worktable 
sawing  sawing  sawing

filing   filing   filing.




It's also the room where I solder and buff,  hence the word, 'dirty'



A little further over to the right is the area where drilling happens.  
It is all done with a hand drill because I don't like noise.




Now we're in one of three miscellaneous rooms where all kinds of things get done.  

Here I'm set up to work on the scrimshaw neckpiece that I was planning to enter in the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial exhibition, ' Journey's End'.  

It is a documentation of the flora and fauna found along their journey to the Pacific Ocean starting and ending at their point of origin. 



That particular piece was accepted into the show and it won first place in 'Other Mediums'.


'The Journals', sterling silver, fossilized walrus ivory,
 oil and printer's ink; Kathleen Faulkner