Monday, April 14, 2014


Art: 

there is no new art, no progress on WIP's or any other relevant comments and discussion regarding my art....

So where does that leave me for an update on the blog? Good Question.  In fact, one I have been pondering for days now without any real success.  Some artists and writers make this all seem so simple. For me the journey has been a minefield obstacles and insecurities. All the "articles' say be original, genuine and above all things be unique! Sure, no problem.....(sarcasm)* This most recent crossroad, of which, leaves me feeling unsettled, dissection and definition elude me, and then, failure threatens to translate into positive action.  

Trying not to forge ahead without using this time to analyze just where and what I want to be doing at this point with my blog is probably a good place to start. If someone out there has thoughts or opinions on what they like or do not like about my blog, my art, my style, or any other relevant opinions. 

I would love to hear from you. Use the 'contact me' to remain private. In the meantime I will continue to consider my options, directions and hopefully find the course I should be on. I have never been one to drift around aimlessly for very long. 


Peace,
Valerie 
                                                                                                    









Thursday, April 10, 2014


The judging has come and gone and after 13 and a half hours I was completely exhausted. Unfortunately, if my health problems do not improve, this year will be my last. I am sick, AGAIN.  And we all know what that means...missed, work, another doctor's office visit and more medicines. ugh.

Coal Fair Pikeville:
Some photos from the event and a few standouts pieces, IMO. Students do not know yet who won/did not win, so I can not share that information. 
The grand prize overall winner of the fair categories combined, will receive an all expense paid trip to Myrtle Beach, where they will be recognized for their entry, and scholarship money for points earned in judging. The winner will take home a gift package of over $3,000 dollars including his judging points that earn $. The other regional level top 3 winners in their categories also receive monetary gifts as well. Why wouldn't you want to participate in this event opportunity?

Enjoy the images.

Pay close attention to this entry.  At first it might not seem so impressive, but the creative and original  aspect is that the artist used screws to create the person in varying depths. Pretty cool. 


This piece is very impressive with only minor perspective issues. The major issues are that often these artists focus on the central part of the image they are creating and then get lazy with the backgrounds. And, the hardest lesson for all of us to learn with charcoal....when to quit, otherwise, you have a muddled disappointing piece. All artists struggle with these issues,  THESE are things we all learn along the way! 

If there is one piece of advice I could hand them to is PRESENTATION of their work. This particular piece has been smudged, in numerous places which are very visible even in this photograph. Why they didn't frame this piece behind plexi-glass is beyond me. 

Another great drawing, unfortunately a common image from google,
albeit only minor issues which time and practice will fix

Now this one, pleasantly surprised me
The artist's concept was great, the execution...meh. 

This is another non original image, but that being said, the artist was either 13 or 14 years old!
Pretty impressive, another overworked piece, but again, that is learned by practice.
I hesitated on how to judge this piece, why you wonder? Look at the curled up image in a too large mat.....sigh

This piece caught my eye right away. Not so much for the fantastic art, nor the impressive way they imbedded the story
but because of its uniqueness, great story, relevance to the fairs theme and the nice crisp presentation. 

At first glance this piece looks like someone covered Tonka toys in clay right? Not so. The young man came in and presented this piece of sculpting and when I questioned him on his creative process, he was very well spoken and told me he used chicken wire to create his forms to adhere the clay to.
Now are you more impressed? I was. 

This is a photo of most of the entries in our category
As you can see we must judge everything from crayon drawings, story boards, paintings, jewelry to quilts!
Not an easy task

I was never able to incorporate all of the images they stretch from one side
of the college gym to the other and down the left side. 


I really liked this lawn sculpture idea, it was fun, whimsical and greatly executed

I hope you enjoyed a short tour of the coal fair exhibits. If you have any questions or curiosity about CEDARINC.ORG click here for more information. If your area offers an opportunity to participate, encourage your children to do so. You can request educational packets from their site.

I will close here, but before I go, let me point out that a lot of these children do not even have access to art instruction. Some get to take a few classes when they are older, but are limited in opportunities. So, I am sure you can imagine that their art teachers are stretched thin, work on shoe string budgets, and are forced to handle classes larger than what is recommended. I realize all schools are undergoing budgetary cuts, but studies and applications of music and art and foreign language programs consistently prove that children who are exposed to arts out perform students who are not.

Whats to think about here?? For more information on this you can begin with this site. WWW.DOSOMETHING.ORG 

*steps down off soap box*

Peace,
Valerie 





Sunday, April 6, 2014

Art News:
I will be heading to Kentucky tomorrow, in order to judge in the coal fair art category for CEDAR (click link for more info). There are usually 125-175 art entries from ages 5 to 18 years and range from drawings to jewelry to quilts. Some children come in to speak to the judges about their entry, which is always fun. I am one of three judges representing the professional field, educational field and the coal industry.  It will be a 10+ hour night on concrete, no less. This is not a job for the wimpy.  I have missed the last couple years, and I hope I can hold out for the entire event. 

Ok Kentucky art students...I hope you are excited, motivated and show me lots of creativity & originality! 


Update on Lassie
painted second layers on the background area, grassy knoll, sky, and porch floor
starting to come together

Old Oak Freebie Cabinet that husband and I are refinishing
has original brass key holes, glass drawer knobs and great patina on the oak
can't wait to refinish this piece.
It looks a little splotchy in photo because he had just swiped the dust left from sanding the old varnish away
Unfortunately this piece had been sitting exposed on the porch of an old farm house or we might have been able to save the finish, without having to sand down to the bare wood. But on a good note, look at those details!


The two photos above are the results of when a cairn terrier (named Abraham)
who has lately decided he needs to express  his mischievous streak AND realizes that you didn't close your studio door all the way. I only wish this were the only damage he has wrought of late.
I lost another painting, and he has suddenly taken to chewing electrical cords, which he had never ever done before. We are afraid he is going to injure himself in his quest for revenge. He is not happy with being barred from the bed, I have developed more severe allergy problems and had to bar Abe and his brother Scruff to the couches or their own beds. Abraham is not taking it well, to say the least.
Meanwhile I am trying to get well, so that I don't have to find him a new home.
...you think he would cut me a little slack!!

Peace,
Valerie 

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