Thursday, October 31, 2013

Workshop Weekend, Sedona, AZ

AM, yes, an hour some of you never see. I'm very familiar

Maybe it was the anticipation, that kept me awake. Maybe it was the congestion. Either way, I could't sleep.

My iPhone alarm was set for 4:00, by then I was long awake – tossing and turning, watching the clock glow, blowing my nose, checking my email. How do you rest an ever running mind? "Have I forgotten to pack anything? Should I bring my Red Sox cap? (let's face it, I am a fair weather fan, born in Boston) Do I have enough business cards? Do I have enough to keep me busy in flight?"

You'd think I never did this before.

Today I am headed to the Sedona to teach a collage workshop at the Art Center, I've been doing this twice a year for going on three years, April and November. When booking the flight, I was trying to secure the lowest possible fare for the Art Center, overlooking the fact that I had signed on for an American Airlines Journey that included two layovers between Orlando and Phoenix. Two.

"What? WHAT?" I asked myself out loud while viewing my Expedia itinerary email which featured a very long and colorful list of flight numbers starting at 7:25am this morning and ended at 2:30pm this afternoon, INCLUDING gaining two-hours of time with the time change. Ugh. "How did that happen?" "Probably because you weren't paying attention when you booked it." was the reply from The Voice of Reason on the other side of the couch.


And then there's the two hour car ride through the dessert from Phoenix to Sedona. On 3.5 hours sleep. Sigh. Passion Tea sounded appealing to me on my arrival at OMA's Terminal A Starbucks, but when I get to Miami (yes, I am flying South first... ugh) I'm opting for some caffeine.

guess what? we cannot accommodate your carry-on luggage

And why is it that every flight you go on these days, they announce that they are ALREADY out of overhead bin space for your carry on during the boarding of Zone 1? So now they are fighting with me to check my roll aboard, which happens to include all the things I did not want to include in my checked luggage. Thank you very much.

A beautiful day in Miami

My husband set me up with the new MacBook Air 13" and I couldn't be happier. This new computer is MUCH lighter and more compact than my MacBook Pro was. It's also much less weight on my shoulders (can I just tell you that the computer bag slipped off my shoulders and dropped on more than one occasion? Yes, I can tell you that now because I finally came clean with my husband about it)

It's about having the right tools for the job. I would not have blogged on the go with the other computer, it was just too much effort. How spoiled does that sound? OMG.

30 min in the air didn't even give me time to log into GoGo inflight, just one of the few ways I entertain myself when sitting still. The other way I entertain myself is breaking out the collage supplies, but that didn't happen either. Im not big on sitting still, as you can imagine, so this was a bit of a squirmy 30 min. I thought about sleeping. I reclined, closed my eyes, and started counting sheep, but then I started thinking about how much fun it would be to collage sheep. "What would I use to create all the curls? would I paint white paper or just use text and type and sheet music? would I infuse colors? would they be warm or cool colors? Cool of course..."  and on and on like that. No rest for the wicked (witch in the purple tights) I tell you.

Miami did offer me some much needed grub. I am a big eater, so any airport that offers me the opportunity to sit down and eat eggs, potatoes and Cuban coffee, makes me happy. Even if it's totally off the direct path to Phoenix. Life is about the Journey though, and I am keeping that in the forefront of my mind today.  Right behind the pressure that's building up in my sinus cavity.

Sitting on the floor of Miami Airport tethered to a plug outlet

Next stop Dallas, TX. Side Note: I saw more than one person wearing cowboy boots in this huge airport. Somehow in all my travels, I've never been to Dallas. (and somewhere I too have cowboy boots) I took the tram from terminal B to terminal C (oddly, via D and E) which was pleasant enough, it was like a monorail track outside. Unlike Atlanta, you could not have walked it if you wanted to.

My in flight entertainment

This was a 3-hour jaunt so I managed to whip out the collage supplies and work on two small pieces. I always bring small pieces to work on my seat back tray table. I bring my collage glue in 3-oz. containers in one zip top, clear plastic bag. Since I ended up in a middle seat, this was quite the challenge, I usually have the isle as extra real estate to pull the travel bag of papers into as I dig through it to find my colors. Not today. Given the alternative of sitting still, I opted to figure out how to make it work, and I did. However, next time I will check in earlier and have the opportunity to choose an isle seat! Expedia is FIRED, they did not remind me to check in yesterday. What's up with that?

Upon arriving at Terminal C I immediately began looking for food options. Right across from Gate 30 was TGI Fridays where folks were lined up waiting to get in and a man in a candy striped tie handed me a menu to look at while I waited. Fried, Fried, Fried. Maybe that's the Fri in Friday. The soup of the day was broccoli cheddar. The healthy options on the menu boasted 750 calories or less. For lunch. hmmmm. There was not even a salad to be had for less than 749.

After much deliberation, I went with a grilled chicken salad, hold the cheese and the croutons and the dressing. (surely this might get me down to 650?) Out came the salad just as I was asking if there were any plug outlets under the table. Always tethered to the plug.

A metal fork and a plastic knife. Hmmm, "Can I get a real knife?" I asked my server. "Unfortunately, no." And then it dawned on me, security. Security? I mean I probably could to as much damage with metal fork tines as a butter knife, no? For me it was about the weight, one heavy utensil, one light. Strange.

Here I sit at gate C waiting for the last leg of this trip to Phoenix. The plane has been delayed by a half hour. "Blah, blah, blah," I already forgot why. In a way I am happy, as I am currently tethered to the power tower along with everyone else around me. Half an hour will charge my devices.

The tower may be constantly plugged into, but it's never cleaned. Maybe that's because it's in 24-hour demand.

And we are off, from Dallas to Phoenix! The pressure in my ears and sinus cavity continues to mount with the altitude adjustments in flight. Note to self: find a walk-in clinic in Sedona. Which by the way is at 5000 feet elevation. Florida is ZERO. My ears are going to kill me all weekend.

If you are not familiar, Sedona is a small town that can only be accessed by a two hour drive through the dessert from Phoenix. Upon arriving in Phoenix, I gathered my bags, took the rental car shuttle bus and headed to Alamo. At this point, I cannot hear anymore.


headed out of Phoenix, once through the traffic the landscape and lighting were fantastic! You can see the Saguaro at the top of the hill.

I rented my car, hooked up my Google Maps and hit the road. Let me say that I have been to Sedona about six times before, so I do have a general idea of where I am headed. I rolled up onto the ramp of Route 17 only to hit rush hour (really?) traffic at 4:30pm getting out of Phoenix. Oh boy do I wish I could use the HOV lane about now. Oh well, it's about the journey, the Journey!

The drive was spectacular because of the daylight as the sun set. It changed everything. Usually I get into town much earlier in the day (no, really? OMG there are direct flights) And I end up driving through the dessert smack in the middle of the day. That lighting does not flatter the Saguaro cacti or the landscape very much. The Saguaro is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and the blossom is the State Wildflower of Arizona. A little tidbit of useful information for you.

the pink mountains in the distance, maybe it's the red sand reflecting the sun

Getting close, I can feel the red rocks coming, but I'm losing daylight

So the Journey was different for me this time, and I appreciated very much the color of the dessert at dusk. It's been a very long day getting to Sedona from Orlando. By the time I had my "ah ha" moment when I come around the corner on 179 headed into uptown (I know right where this is on the road) and I see the red rock outcropping for the very first time... it was dark, I missed the sun by about 20 min.

Open your heart and your mind, you never know where the Journey will take you

But no fear, the sunrise is almost as glorious as the sunset and I am an early riser. I have to be, because the Urgent Care clinic closed at 6pm. What? They open up again at 8am tomorrow morning. I'll get my sinuses checked and then make my way to the Chapel of the Holy Cross if I have time before class.

I always go there to light candles for my SU roommates who perished in the bombing. And I sit (still, yes I do sit still) and reflect on how much of an amazing place Sedona truly is to me.

This trip I have another candle to light, and another special ritual to perform. For Jared and his mother Nancy. I think the early morning light might just be a perfect variation.

click to enlarge any image

Thank You
for being a part of my
Art Journey,

and PS it's COLD here!

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Gallery recently moved into a new space

Many thanks to the Art Gallery of Viera for inviting me to judge this years annual juried exhibit. Yesterday morning I hit the highway around 8:30 am out of Orlando and headed South on 95 down the coast of FL about an hour until I arrived in Viera. It was really nice to see Susan, Helen, and Jerry again. 

Art Gallery of Viera hosted a Paper Paintings workshop about two years ago, it was a very well attended class and we had an excellent weekend. Ironically, Amanda from that class popped up in my Houston class again this year! You just never know...

The new gallery space is stunning, as is the plaza in which they are located

Jerry told me that this year they turned away 35 pieces and kept 48, much higher numbers than they had in last year's show, and the quality of the work represented this. 

I took my time looking at every piece individually and making notes on my favorites in no particular order. I revisited my favorites and intently considered what it was that I liked about each and every one of them, it's a very difficult decision to narrow things down.

some examples of the work in the show

As a juror and a viewer, it is impossible to disregard the personal experience and preference that you bring with you to a piece of art. I am someone who appreciates unique technique and bright colors, as a result, work of this genre is most interesting and appealing to me. I was drawn to the liberal use of color in some of the landscapes as well as the creativity of technique in some of the photos and mixed media pieces. Making art is much about honoring creativity, conceptual thinking, and technique; some of the most creative pieces in this show were the ones that pushed their medium and execution way outside of the typical “box.” 

Check out The Gallery online if you are in the area and are interested in showing your work or taking a class, this is a great group of people. 

I know who won, but I can't say anything! Winners will be announced on Sunday, stay tuned and in the mean time, visit the Gallery on Facebook.

After a nice lunch with Susan, I hit the road another hour South to visit Cherie in Vero Beach. Only to witness her in a STANDING FRAME upright and vertical. She's doing amazingly well and in her new room (she moved to a bigger house!) are framed Art Cards from her days in the spinal cord rehab center. For all of you who sent notes and cards, she still talks about how much it meant to her.

Cherie and I posing for the camera, pulled out all the family jewels this morning!

Learn more about Cherie's Story Here

Thank You
for being a part of my
Art Journey