FotoBazaar DC

I had a great time last weekend, looking at all the wonderful photos on display at FotoBazaar, a pop-up exhibition organized by FotoDC. I also got to show a bunch of my own photos and photos on tile, and to talk to lots of people about them. Many kind people took my business cards, which I’d rushed to get printed by the time FotoBazaar opened. But (horrors) I did not yet have a gallery of my photos up here; nor have I gotten a portfolio up elsewhere on the Web. So I’m quickly posting a small gallery of some of the work I showed at FotoBazaar here. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.

Making Changes — Bit by Bit

So tonight, I’ve made the change to a new theme. Though things don’t look so very different yet, I think they will soon. For one thing, I’ll be able to put in galleries showing my artist books, and photographs. Also, I get quite a number of widgets, with which to do nifty things. At this point, I’m not certain exactly what nifty things, but I’m sure I can begin to figure that out tomorrow.

So now I’m off to eat a very late dinner and watch another episode of London Hospital on my iPad.

On Gradual Changes

If you happen to be one of the very small number of people who have looked at my blog before, you will see that I’m edging into a different look for the blog. Which explains the new header photo. When I signed on today (for the first time in months) the kindly folks at WordPress suggested that I might want to update my Theme. so I looked at a bunch of themes. WordPress even has this cool bit of tech where you can see how the content already on your blog would look in another theme. I tried out a number of themes and concluded that I’m just not ready for so much change at once. However, there was still the obvious fact that the photo on my heading was looking dated.

I solved that problem by uploading a newer photo — the first cautious step in the revamping of my blog. Not to mention, bringing the blog back to life with actual reasonably frequent entries. As I’m having to relearn what I knew about WordPress and more, I thought that a complete design overhaul would be just too much.

The subject of my photo, though, is not the least bit cautious. The picture is a panorama shot I took at the spectacular Bascilica de la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. If you want to see more shots, take a visita virtual, or buy tickets to visit, check out the basica’s web site at http://www.sagradafamilia.cat. I just looked at it when I was checking to see that I’d spelled the name correctly. And I think it’s cool that the end of the domain name is “cat” as in Catalonia.

The basilica was designed by Antoni Gaudi whose unique, adventurous artistic and architectural vision can be seen all over Barcelona. When I was there last summer, I also visited a house he’d designed, and became extremely envious of the family who had lived there. I’ll try to post some of my pictures of the house soon, so you can become envious too.

Please Urge the Mayor to Increase Funding for the Arts in DC

There’s a petition up at Change.org that should be of concern to anyone who cares at all about the arts and/or the financial health of DC. The petition urges Mayor Gray to increase funding for the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities. Funding for the Commission has been cut 69.88% from FY 09 to FY 12.  That means that in three years the Commission has gone from getting $13,018,000 in local funds to on $3,920,000 in 2012.

In addition to depriving DC children and adults of opportunities to learn, participate in, and experience the arts, these cuts are bad for the DC government’s bottom line. Investing in the arts is good business for any city, and Washington is no exception.

Funding for the arts is 0.034% of the total DC budget for Fiscal Year 2012. Yet every year the arts pump more than $700 million into our city’s economy on top of almost $100 million in direct tax revenue. The amount of funding that goes to the budget of the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities generates the highest return on investment of any portion of the District’s Development budget.

Please take a look at this petition, sign it, and urge others to do so too. (Change.org makes it easy for you to share the petition on your Facebook page and with your contacts.) Thanks very much.

You’ll find the petition here:     http://tinyurl.com/7e7g7s3

Snow Falling On Bloggers

I just found out that WordPress has an option to let bloggers have snow falling on their blogs. Though only until January 4, which seems to me a bit early for winter to end. At any rate, I thought I’d try it, which is why you see those little white dots floating down the screen. Judging from their direction, I’d say the wind is Easterly.

Actually, I’m a bit disappointed with WordPress’ snow. When I was a child growing up in Vermont, I loved to go out in gentle snowstorms, look up, and imagine climbing from one snowflake to the next up to the clouds. Having stared at so many snowflakes, it was no surprise when I learned that every snowflake is different.

The discovery about snowflakes was made by Wilson”Snowflake” Bentley — another Vermonter, I’m proud to say. Check out the excellent web page on him put up by the Historical Society of Jericho, Vermont, Bentley’s home town. http://snowflakebentley.com/ Under Resources you’ll find a link to a site about the wonderful children’s book on Bentley, which won the 1999 Caldecott Award for yet another Vermonter, illustrator Mary Azarian.  http://www.jacquelinebriggsmartin.com/books/snowflak.html. (That page has much nicer snowflakes than the ones here.

The snow in the picture below is definitely the real thing. I know, because I’m the younger blond sister in the shot.

Hoping My Cranes Will Fly

This week, though, I’ve been focusing on the “brick and mortar” business world. Lately, I’ve been making tsuru, otherwise known as folded origami cranes designed to be garden ornaments. Here’s a picture of one in our garden, which has been sitting atop a bamboo pole, which a clematis vine has climbed up.

I took the picture on a rainy day, and those white spots are actually rain drops; the crane is solid red. Since she has been there long enough for the clematis vine to grow around her neck, I’m thinking it’s time to give this crane a name.

I folded the cranes from 36″ squares of aluminum screening and then painted them with outdoor paint. Folding large sheets of screening is a change from paper, and has its own special challenges, but also special possibilities.  Today I started showing my cranes to local garden stores to see if the stores will carry them.

I’ll have to see how it goes, though one crane is already on sale, along with other pieces of my work at Artspring, the wonderful craft shop and gallery in downtown Silver Spring associated with the Pyramid Atlantic Center.

The Business Of Being An Artist — 2010 Style

For a number of years, I’ve spend most of the summer teaching full time. This year, though, I’m concentrating on making art, writing and (hopefully) selling more of my work. I’m getting an education in the business side of being an artist, and all the new opportunities that the web has opened up for artists. Not to mention the opportunities for people who are interested in art to follow the progress of their favorite artists and craftspeople.

I do not think that in years past, arts and humanities councils would have been offering workshops for artists like one I attended recently. It was organized by the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County – a great outfit, by the way, worth checking out whatever your interest in the arts.  The workshop was on the business of being an artist. Among other things, we were advised that a portfolio includes your web page, and maybe a flash drive with pictures of your work.  So much for those fancy folders they sell in art supply stores.

I myself, feel like I’ve just put my toe in the water of the internet and am in awe of the work and business savvy of other artists and crafts people. But I’m making progress. I do have a shop on Zazzle, where people can buy (or even design their own) products using my photos. If you want postage stamps with a picture of a lovely violin on them, my shop is definitely the place to go. At least that seems to be the opinion of a number of violin postage stamp buyers.

And I’m working on setting up an Etsy shop where I can sell my unique origami papers, as well as unusual papers for scrapbookers and collage artists.