Friday, April 30, 2010

Fun in England

What a great time I had teaching in England. This was a very fun group of students that are very good bead makers! There was lots of laughter which always makes the classes fun. Made many new friends that I hope to see again!

This is my view from the bed and breakfast I stayed at in the historic dockyards in Chatham. A wonderful place to stay with amazing breakfasts! If you ever need a recommendation for a place to stay just let me know.

I have arrived safe and sound in Switzerland. It is so beautiful here... very green and clean. I plan on heading into Zurich today to do some sight seeing and shopping of course. I am looking for a new watch, and of course I NEED some chocolates! I may even look for some cool glass frames since it is unfortunately getting close to the time of needing them, figure I might as well have some cool ones!
I will post more photos later, have a great day my friends!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! A day late..... but every day is Earth Day isn't it?

Well I hope the Volcano is kind to me today. I leave for London this evening. I am wondering just a bit how does the pilot know/see this ash cloud in the dark???? Sure hope we miss it!

I will talk to you all from Kent......
Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Eyjafjallajokull Volcano!

These photos of the volcano are amazing! I guess it is up to the volcano as to whether I can make it to England this Friday or not! I am scheduled to teach in England, Switzerland and Austria. The first flight in a week just landed in London from Vancouver.. so that is a good sign! It all depends on the latest ash cloud ... and where the winds decide to take it!

In the meantime I have been busy at work, both in glass and silver, trying to get ready for the Bead and Button Show that is coming up soon after I return home!

I will do my best to keep you up to date on my travels.... I am bringing my new Ipad with me.. this will make traveling so much easier than lugging around a laptop through the airports! And apparently you don't have to take it out to go through security! I hope that is true... will find out real soon! The Ipad also has a great app for updating your blog... of course, there is an app for that!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Artistic Timeline

I thought that this pretty much sums up how I feel about teaching. This is from Michael Demeng's Blog, his words.

Thank you Michael for your great words of wisdom!!! All teachers need to read this! "

"I have always held the FIRM belief that artistic ideas belong to no one single person. I have always held the firm belief that Art grows from the ideas of others. If it didnt' we would still be drawing in the mud. Ever single art that has ever existed comes from a gradual development of a concept or a technique. Art movements are about artists working on a similar theme, but from those themes come individuality. If you look at the Renaissance with blurred vision you it would seem that all the artists were sort of copying each other...and guess what, they were. Of course, I tend to think of it less of copying and more of "learning" from new ideas. If you look closely you start to notice subtleties in each artists work. Bosch and Bruegel are very similar...but look closer and they are not. That is the point, there is no possible way for them to be identical, no two minds will never be able to create exactly the same thing (unless you are a forger which is a different kind of thing altogether). Art movements are about trends that are interesting or pertinent to the time of the creations. If there wasn't a fair amount of "learning" from each other there would be no such thing as an art movement. Otherwise Raphael would be doing Renaissance painting while DaVinci would have invented Abstract Expressionism...its not what happens. Artists grow, and expand on the ideas of other Artists.

Now I'm going to pull out a quote from Picasso...well at least it has been attributed to him "Good artists borrow. Great artists steal." The reason this is important is that an artist's role is to move ideas forward. The way they do this is by paying attention to what's going on around them. I promise you that Michelangelo was well aware of what Raphael was doing and vice versa. I view art as a science. Like scientific discoveries, artistic discoveries are built on the bones of its predecessors. It seems ludicrous to me to have to reinvent something that has already been explored. All styles and techniques are worthy to be reexamined and rediscovered. It is what we as artist's do.

So the reason I have sort of a bee in my britches over this isssue is that I am amazed at how many of my students seem surprised that I am willing to share my ideas with them. Of course I'm going to share my ideas. Art MUST grow! It must move forward.

I have absolutely no fear that someone is going to "steal" my style and run with it. Let them, but it won't be my style. They may use my techniques but it will never be mine and anything I do will not be there's. It is probable that other artists using certain techniques of mine will grow in directions that I would have never thought of. In some cases perhaps better. So be it! That is a good thing. If nothing else it keeps me motivated to stay on top of my game.

So for those teachers worried about someone stealing you "secrets"...well you have the choice not to teach or share those secrets. Of course, by now, you know how I feel about that point of view.

The reason I am so avid about this position of sharing is that, to me, art is sacred and magical. It is perhaps one of the most sacred and magical things we have on this earth. The idea of keeping artistic ideas, techniques and thoughts hidden from other artists seems like an spit in the face of everything that I hold as divine in the Universe. It is sacrilegious to everything that I believe as an artist. I believe, as an artist I am here to explore this place through my eyes and hands. At some point I will have shuffled off this mortal coil. What greater honor is there than inspiring others and knowing you have contributed to the continuity of the artistic timeline. Before I die that is what I hope I can achieve, but I can't achieve it unless I am willing to share."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Afternoon Prayers in Turkey

Afternoon prayers while crossing the river near the school......

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Crazy Windy Day!

Just thought I would share the crazy weather we are having here today! It feels like winter is finally here! Maybe it is Global Freezing instead of Global Warming.......

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sharing and Friendships

I just returned home from Turkey and Israel. I was teaching in Turkey at The Glass Furnace and went to Israel to visit a wonderful friend and do a demo for some of the local beadmakers. It makes me very happy to be able to share my knowledge with people all over the world..... I don't hesitate to teach them anything I know. I believe as a teacher you should be as giving as possible. It gives me great pleasure to know that what I do is changing a persons world and helping them......
Through my teaching I have made many great friends all over the world. I feel very blessed doing what I love......

Here are some photos of friends from this trip....

This all leaves me with a huge smile on my face.......