Friday, May 21, 2010

My True Love

So here I sit in my room, in the peaceful mountains of Santa Cruz, with my little fluff ball of imagination by my side. It seems each time I have taken time to blog in the last few months I have grown. Which is a good thing. Just as a note to you, I will never let that little girl inside of me grow up. Keeping her alive, happy, and rambunctious keeps the imagination flowing and the pure awe of all those little things so alive every minute of my life. I am so thankful and grateful to be alive.

So with that said, and the title of this blog, My True Love, I have found just that. I received my degree in Public Art, my true love, I created a kelp forest mural for CSUMB as my graduate project. If I could relive any moment in my life it would be painting that large and making a change in the community I am in. My body and mind have such a strong reaction and connection to painting large. For me there is no greater joy.

Recently I have teamed up with muralist John Pugh. In the past few months and weeks I have been working with John on several different murals, all at different stages in their lives. Here are a few photographs of a few of the projects.

O, this project is in Grass Valley, CA and the Amgen Tour of California just so happened to ride down the same street the mural is on. How awesome! That was a fun day, the town was excited and everyone was out waiting for the bicyclist to ride by. Nothing like community spirit! It was fun to be a part of that.

The mural below is currently being installed in Madera, CA on the Madera Police station. This was my first time starting to learn the process of installing the non woven media that the acrylic murals are painted on. This portion of the mural work is grueling and takes a heavy dose of physical and mental energy.

I am learning so much. I am improving my life drawing skills and learning the style of trompe l'oeil. As for right now, Im gearing up for the fourth annual encaustic conference on the East coast in Massachusetts.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Honey Bees, Waxy Start

Some of you may know I have started to keep bees. This is an amazing human experience. I am learning so much about these little creatures. I have taken classes, watched videos and read the books. To actually see these creatures in person, doing their pollen dance, seeing worker bees eat their way through the wax to come into life to start collecting pollen and create a strong hive is just beyond words. I hope that you enjoy the photos and the development of the hives in the future months and years.
There are a few reason for why I have started to keep bees. I had to opportunity to keep bees, so I took it. I come from a long line of family farmers. My roots are from Iowa. My beloved Grandma Mullen was a farmer. I recently found out that the farm would rent bees to pollinate the crops. I also found out that one of my friends grandfathers used to rent his bees to farmers and he would travel from land to land with his bees and pollinate the crops, that in turn feeds us all and keeps us healthy, moving, productive humans. Very awesome. So here I am, helping out where I can and although I am not traveling from farm to farm, I will be helping out just a little with the crops that grow around the Santa Cruz mountains. An additional reason, is that I paint with bees wax. I'm excited to be able to produce my own wax from the honey bees.
The honeycomb that I have photographs of here, fell off of one of the frames. The bees built an additional section that attached to one of the frames. I left some space in between two of the frames and so they built an extra, home. Im learning so much along the way. So when I went to pick up that frame and lifted it in the air to check for the brood, the whole thing fell off. BOOM! Just like that, then all of a sudden all the bees started buzzing louder, I got a little nervous, but thank goodness for that bee suit. All of a sudden I had bees going for my face on my hands and this beginner bee keeper wasn't sure what to do. I remembered that I can not have the hive open for too long, so I scrapped off any additional wax and I placed the top back on to the hive and I watched the bees that fell of this additional comb do their thing. I crouched there with the pine trees looking over my shoulder, as we all watched and listened to the sweet honey bees.

So now I have my first set of wax, and I am very excited to create my first painting with my first wax!