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


'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!