Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Letter from Rosie

The Wonder of the Internet!

I wrote my first blog post in October of 2007. I was just beginning my life as an artist with no other job except enjoying living in Hawaii. Living on an active volcano, I explored ways to express the wildness and unpredictability of this amazing part of our planet. Over the years we lived there, I painted and repainted this theme.

In 2011 an elementary art teacher in Maryland, Holly B., found this image on my blog and posted it on her blog: blog:http://linesdotsanddoodles.blogspot.com/ She shares her lesson ideas for connecting art to many different subjects. I found her blog by tracking the traffic statistics of my own blog.I get hits through "lines and doodles" on a regular basis. I also get viewers from around the world

My web presence frequently brings attention to my artwork, and I get emails from people inquiring about a particular piece or commissions.

But this email really grabbed me.

Hello Margaret,  my name is Rosie and l am seven and live in Haddenham in England . At school we are looking at your pictures of volcanoes and I really like them. Please could you tell me if you have seen a real one and how you did your pictures so I can make my own just like yours. Thank you very much. From Rosie 

My reply:

Dear Rosie,

For a couple of years I was lucky enough to live on the "Big Island" Hawaii. That island is actually made up of 5 volcanoes. Kilauea is currently active. When I lived there 7 years ago, we watched the hot red lava go right into the ocean, which made such a red steamy sky. Here is a painting based on what we might see on an evening hike.

For the painting I think you've seen of mine, I started with acrylic ink which I would place on good heavy watercolor paper in line with generous amounts here and there then blow on the wet ink to move it up into explosive lines. That makes the horizon line. After that was completely dry, I would begin painting the sky and landscape. You must know that my work is abstract, meaning that it is what I want to see--what's in my head--rather than a literal interpretation. Sometimes I will add other papers (collage) to my work or stamps I've made.

If you use this link to go to my blogspot, you will see some entries I made while in Hawaii.


Two things an artist needs to be: brave and experimental. Remember, it's only paper you are working on. You can always get another sheet of paper!

So the internet presence is there for the long haul. It is used for really good things like sharing and teaching art. A little girl in England can directly communicate with an artist almost 5,000 miles away, to talk about painting techniques!  Wow!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Christmas 2016: From Fine Art to Fun Art

First let me wish all my readers, viewers, followers, friends and family a very Happy New Year! My goal for 2016 is to have a fulfilling year full of art, family, and friends, with a sprinkling of adventure. I wish you all the same!

We were so fortunate to have our daughters, son-in-law and 4 grandchildren here to celebrate the holidays. We were missing our oldest granddaughter, who had been with us at Thanksgiving.

We really enjoyed the day that my sister Janice came up to visit before December 25th. She and Hannah got some good reading in!
One of the phrases that most tickled me when some of the family lived with us more than a year ago, was Hannah (the youngest) asking, "Mimi, can we do a cwaft?" So before the kids arrived, I spent some time on Pinterest (what a resource) looking for some crafty projects that would work for our wide age range. 

Here are some of the results.

Sharpie colored plastic cups, softened in the oven then flattened.

Pine cone owls.

Santa in the chimney
And then there was some thoughtful gift making.

Angelica and Marin filled jars with thoughts of appreciation for a couple of special people ( mom and BFFs)

The last project was making snowmen out of white socks. (Hannah has a lot of problems keeping her shirt on. I guess it was a hot project :)

We had no crew socks in our house, so we had to raid our neighbors. Luckily they had a drawer full of mismatched white socks.

After the kids had their snowmen, they made up some great scenarios for their new characters.
Snowmen visiting Lego Town.
Sock-snowmen playing checkers.

And finally, the family portrait. Have a wonderful January!