Wednesday, February 17

Abandoned Art Project

Months ago I found this great website devoted to  Abandoned Art . I love the concept. It's called The Art Abandonment Project.The idea is to create art and leave it for an unsuspecting person to find. It could be anywhere, at the beach, on a park bench, in a food court, on the trolley, or left on the table at a cafe. Share a part of yourself and set your art free into the universe, just for the pure joy of it. 

Abandoned art at a soccer stadium in Gulu, Uganda  
How often have you created a piece that you're not able to finish? The creative juices stop, ideas fall away, you're sick of looking at it, your creativity turns to another piece, time runs out, whatever the reason, you are on the edge with this piece. And it haunts you. It gets lost under piles of other projects, and when you re-discover it, the same thoughts run through your head..."I have to finish this... what can I do with this thing...collage over it, splash acrylics on it, or just stuff it back under a pile until I am inspired to give it new life." Sound familiar? 

I have a feeling that my boat has struck, down there in the depths, against a great thing. And nothing happens! Nothing … Silence … Waves. Nothing happens? Or Has everything Happened and we are standing now, quietly, in the new life?”–    Juan Ramon Jimenez

I have unfinished projects that would find a good home with another appreciator of art... perhaps my art could inspire another. This is a way to recycle art, give it a fresh start through the eyes of someone else. I feel better about my piles of hidden art already.

The Abandoned Art movement began around 2012 by an artist, Michael deMeng. Abandoning art in random public places for others to discover, keep and enjoy, was something he had been practicing for years already. I summarized some of his tips and suggestions below.
A few of Michael's suggestions:
  • It's important to let one's art live a life beyond its creator. Imagine what becomes of your art after it is gone.
  • Some artists can't seem to let go of their work…even when they sell it.  This is a great way to learn to move on.
  • It's a generous way to share work with an unsuspecting human being. We all struggle to make ends meet, and this is a way to encourage people to stay involved in the arts.
  • This is good for the soul. A random kind act.
Here is how to play:
  1. All you have to do is create a piece of art.  (as simple or as elegant as you like)
  2. Write a little note explaining that the art is a gift. 
  3. Also mention that if the finder would like to share info about it's fate they can contact you via email. Then you can share the info with the Art Abandonment group if you wish. Its not a bad idea to leave you're web address contact info. You never know…you might have created a new patron.
  4. Also a good idea to photograph what you're leaving behind.
  5. Then leave it…walk away…run…try not to get caught.
  6. Then on Facebook share the location and photo of your gift with other art abandoners.Here's the group's address:
  7. Keep your fingers crossed that someone lets you know what became of it. A few artists have already been contacted by the "finders".

Here are some examples of notes that some artists have attached to their art:

"I am one of many artists who want to share a small slice of what we love to do. If you are so inclined, please leave a message to this address to inform us of it's fate."

(enter an email address here, where you can receive messages, then repost the message on the Art Abandonment page for all to enjoy)

Sounds simple enough! I'm going to give it a try too. Do I abandon art I already have that I need to let go of, or do I create something just for the project. I think I'll pick one from my "need to finish pile". Next I have to choose a spot... that could be a tough decision for me. But three spots come to mind... Balboa Park, the beach, or somewhere around the neighborhood. I will share my process as it happens. I would love to hear from you, please share your process right here!


Wednesday, October 7

Surviving Ecuador, Part 1

The Happy Crew in Lago Agrio
...and I packed too much! I am happy to say that turbo-traveling with four 20 year olds was a success. It began with an early morning flight, August 5th, out of San Diego to Atlanta. From Atlanta a flight straight to Quito, Ecuador. I saw the lights of Florida fade, as the islands of Cuba edged into view. Holding Josh's hand tightly, I was overwhelmed by how much I missed my country just at that moment. Even though it was nighttime, the view was breathtaking. At last, the continent of South America was below us, pulsing, sleeping, waiting. It was surreal. Explosive thoughts and sparking neurons transmitted messages to every cell of my being.. my other self was awakening.

We landed in the Mariscal Sucre International Airport, the busiest airport in Ecuador. We immediately had to get our luggage and go through customs. Really made me nervous, my first experience with a passport and customs. It was difficult to understand the Spanish... it was a snappy blend of Quichuan and Spanish, not my familiar Mexican-American-Spanglish dialect in Southern California. Next step, get a taxi to our first hotel, the Hotel Gran Quitumbe. As soon as we stepped outside there was a line of taxi's. We were shuffled into two small cabs. The taxi drivers carry no more than 4 people so we split up. It happened so fast we didn't even have time to check for the panic button! It was Mr. Toad's wild ride South American style!

Quito is nestled between the slopes of the Pichincha volcano, built on a long, narrow plateau. Our hotel was in the southern end of Quito and the road to the Hotel Gran Quitumbe was steep, wide and open. The driver reached speeds of 100! I know this because Joshua kept his eye on the speedometer. It was a race, from the north end of Quito, to the southern reaches! We arrived, heads spinning, but made it in less than an hour. It was almost midnight and I couldn't believe I was standing in front of our hotel. I survived the flight, the taxi ride, the malaria pills and now our first night in Ecuador. 
Our colorful room at the Hotel Gran Quitumbe

Saturday, July 25

Making lists and checking them a bunch of times

In preparation for the Big Scary Trip to Ecuador, I am checking and double-quadruple checking my lists. When doing my "travel research", I learned a few things about what to pack for my Ecuador journey. I discovered a great website called, Women on the Road . So far I have a Clothing List,  Travel First Aid Kit List, and a Travel Documents/Miscellaneous List. I visited the Goodwill and found a pair of cargo pants and scored a Lucky Brand red hoodie. The lodge at the Amazon will provide the rubber boots and ponchos. 

  • 2 Long sleeved cotton t-shirts
  • 2 long sleeve blouses for traveling
  • 2 pair of long pants that aren't jeans
  • 1 pair cute jeans (for Andes, or town)
  • Cargo pants, 2 pair two short, one long
  • 4-5 T-shirts
  • Cotton socks, a pair per day
  • Cotton underwear 
  • Comfortable walking shoes and sandals
  • 1 Comfy hoodie (Goodwill has great stuff)
  • 1 knit beanie for the Andes (brrr..)
  • Towel (really?)
  • Small day pack - other than backpack or suitcase
  • 2 tank tops
  • 1 sweater (for layering in the Andes)
travel first aid kit, including water tablets, deet, and selfie stick
I went to the Goodwill and found a great Lucky Brand hoodie, the olive purse with zippers inside and out, and the awesome red shoulder bag. I will use the red bag as a carry on purse, in which I'll stash my REAL purse. I want to avoid checking in luggage if possible. Traveling as light as I can. 

the hoodie will be my jacket for the Andes, which
I can also layer with a sweater and long sleeve t shirt.

To the right is my collection pile. When I think of something I might need, I add it to my "pile area". Notice the beige money belt, the olive light weight day pack, and my water-proof sketcher sandals with the anti-smell and bacteria feature. The purple make-up bag will carry the first aid stuff. And my malaria pills, extreme-traveling-diarrhea pills (god I hope I won't need those!)and altitude sickness pills. I have a waterproof map of Ecuador in my pile, too. And I won't forget my Moon travel guide to Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands, by Ben Westwood. It's been my bible lately. Lots of good info, and it was published more recently than other books I've seen. He lives there and I think he knows what he's talking about. I discovered his book on a website about traveling in Ecuador, listing the top 13 travel guidebooks. Click here to check it out.

Happy Gringo Travel is a great website for booking tours to the Amazon and various tours around the city of Quito. Our trip to the Amazon was booked through them. I will wrap up this session with the disclaimer posted on Happy Gringo's website:

NOTE - an unavoidable element of any visit to the rainforest is contact with bugs and creepy crawlies - this applies to both simple and luxury lodges alike, and may involve insects inside your room. If this does not sound like something you would like to sign up for then a trip to the rainforest is probably not for you.

What the bloody hell did I sign up for?

Tuesday, July 14

Who the Hell Goes to Ecuador...

Don't know if I'm scared or excited. One day I was prepared to have the usual, not too exciting, financially embarrassing, summer as always, and the next thing I knew I was sitting in an over-crowded post office for 4 hours waiting for my passport. My first passport. So now, I have to use it again. I can't just use it once and stuff it in my underwear drawer. When my son announced that he and his friends were planning a trip to Quito, Ecuador in August, I was shocked, and immediately went into protective mom-mode.... What the hell? Who goes to Ecuador? This was Tim's idea, wasn't it! It's a third world country, there's political unrest, an economic crisis, the red zone, El Nino!!! Ecuador is hella scary. No, you canNOT go! To put my mind at ease, Josh simply began to describe how very wonderful it would be to visit such a country, and perhaps I should go with him. Okay, I'm listening.

There are many reasons why they chose Quito, Ecuador.

  • Ecuador is a very small country, about the size of Colorado. It's a great example of how many different landscapes can be packed into a small space. With the new roads,  you can eat breakfast in the Andes, and dinner in the Amazon. Everything is close.
  • Ecuador uses the U.S. dollar (awesome!!) No need to worry about exchange rates. Ecuador has been using the U.S. dollar as currency since 2000, when it retired the Sucre. And, prices are lower, so you get a lot for your buck.
  • Since Ecuador sits on the equator, mainland Ecuador stays at an average of about 66°F. An endless spring, so to speak. Except in the Amazon, then it's mosquito weather. Bring Deet! Locals say that the city can experience all four seasons in a single day. Hmmm, sounds very San Diego-ish.
  • The Andes and Cotopaxi National Park are just a bus ride north of Quito. The Cotopaxi volcano, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, has erupted more than 50 times since 1738. I don't think there's a sunscreen strong enough to help that.
  • We can visit the Amazon, canoe down the river, and soak up the mysteries of a hidden world. Maybe catch a glimpse of the pink freshwater dolphin. The Ecuadorian Amazon is one of the most bio-diverse areas on the planet. Home to an incredible array of plant and animal species, as well as extraordinary indigenous Indian cultures.
  • The cuisine is diverse, varying with altitude and agricultural conditions. Pork, chicken, beef and cuy are popular.
    Yup, Ecuadorians love them some roasted guinea pig, or cuy. I hear that it's very greasy and not a lot of meat, mostly skin and bones. The locals eat everything, including the small, crunchy paws and creamy brains. Didn't know they had brains. 
  • Quito is the largest preserved historic center in South America. Old Town Quito is known for its cathedrals, museums, and plazas. So, it's worth making time to wander the colonial cobbled streets amid the oldest monuments of the city.
  • AND... we can totally do the white-American-tourist move of all time...visit La Mitad del Mundo, (The Middle of the World), and stand with a foot in each hemisphere. Wow... that's how we gonna do it. After all, the country is named after the equator.

So, am I eager for a South American adventure? After some thought, and persuasive arguments, Josh convinced me to go, because he knew that deep down I wanted to be standing in rubber boots up to my knees, looking at the Amazon with him.We won't be this young again, he says. Oy. It's going down for real. I am going to Quito with my son and his friends, all in their 20's, and me at 60 something. How the hell do I keep up with that? This will be my first time leaving the continent of North America. The idea of going to a third world country scares the shit out of me. The horror stories frighten me. Getting my shots freaks me out. Yellow Fever? Typhoid? Seriously??? And may the Goddess help me on the long ass bus ride from Quito to Lago Agrio. And from there it's on to the Amazon.

But I'm going. I have my passport, my packing lists, and my water purification tablets. I hope to survive traveling in Ecuador with a bunch of 20 year olds, and live to use my passport again.

I want to see llamas! lots and lots of llamas!

Sunday, April 12

Let's Celebrate Poetry Month

I invite you all (whoever happens to stumble upon my blog...) to post a favorite poem, or talk about a favorite poet . Share how you celebrate poetry month.

Ways to Celebrate

  1. Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day: Select a poem  you love, carry it with you , then share it with co-workers, family and friends.
  2. Read a book of poetry: "Poetry is a response to the daily necessity of getting the world right."
  3. Memorize a poem
  4. Put poetry in an unexpected place
  5. Take a poem out to lunch: adding a poem to lunch puts some poetry in your day and gives you something great to read while you eat.

Monday, May 19

Whats new in my back yard...

Karina and Sage relaxing

Me, arranging stuff
My world has been pretty quiet since the Ocean Beach Kite Festival. It was a disappointment as far as sales, but it sure was fun hanging out with my friend Karina, Josh, Sage, and June. Karina brought a bottle of wine which made the afternoon even more enjoyable! I was inspired to finish painting my table, and worked on some new pieces.... so that was the most positive outcome. The weather was fantastic. However the Kites were way down on the other side of the park, which kinda screwed up the flow of traffic I think. Oh well. I haven't done an art fair for years and years. And I don't think I want to another one ever ever again. Maybe I'll open an Etsy shop. It just might be the way to go.

A Fresh Direction...

I discovered the most beautiful pieces of art on Etsy, called Earth Shards. The first time I saw one was in the mixed media magazine, Cloth, Paper, Scissors. These tribal ceramic faces have inspired me to do more. I stepped out of my comfort zone to spiral into a new creative zone. The expressions and colors are compelling, the holes placed for hanging charms, feathers, or whatever,s, are intriguing. The stories embedded in the faces slowly emerge as I paint and play on the canvas.

The Messenger                                       Night Eagle Wisdom
close up of buffalo fur and beads

I love being inspired. I love the idea of using another artist's art to be a part of my own. I love giving a voice to the stories. It is a process, of waking up the creative muse. It's easy for me to feel overwhelmed with life, and the monkey chatter that goes on in my own head. 

Thursday, March 27

Spirit Dolls of the Sea

“With her supple tail, bare breasts, and her home in the ocean, the ancient symbol 
of the feminine, the Mermaid symbolizes a woman’s connection to the Great Mother, 
archetype of change and changelessness, the womb of life and love, 
the numinous source of healing, the place of return in death.”

I love this blog. I love the mermaids. I love the colors. 
I am inspired. I am about to begin a new journey. 
A sacred endeavor.

beautiful spirits. beautiful texture. 
amazing energy and stories.

Calamity Kim - Dolls of the Sea