Thursday, December 13, 2012

The End of the world is Nigh. Not again!

 The world has threatened its own ending several times already in my life.
I was born somewhere near the Cuban Missile crisis, I remember gradeschool movies about what to do when they drop the bomb, which always seemed so abolutely futile in the face of global nuclear destruction.  I even remember being warned about scary killer bees, coming to get us, from a rather early age.
So perhaps you’ll forgive me if I am a bit skeptical of this latest doom and gloom attitude that seems so prevalent of late.
A second ice age, volcanoes. global warming, or continental drift,
 that’s even when you don’t count the really crazy stuff like
 Alien invasions and the Zombie apocalypse.
…nor the more likely options like car accidents, illness,
and the great equalizer: time.

Whatever our untimely, or timely end, I want to breathe deep of what is here and now.
I want to give thanks and express my gratitude for those people that I love, and who have shown me love, or kindness, or even how to be human.

So, with the end of the world coming and all, I thought I would send out my Christmas messages early, because I would hate to have it all end, without having told my friends and family how much I truly love them.
I decided I want to write a seperate note for each person I know.
This way I can tailor my notes to say in what way I have been inspired by them.
I want to tell each person what is unique and special about them.
All those things for which they don't get nearly enough appreciation.
So I start listing everyone: Mom, Dad, siblings, friends, coworkers.
I jot down feable notes as I go down the list, typing out a sentance or two to describe my kin, the ones I have known all my life.
This is harder than it sounds, once you sit down to write it.
I go back up to the top to start writing Dad's note,
" To me you have always been a bit of a hero. Not just because you're my Dad, but also because I respect you. You are honest and highly intelligent, and have a great sense of humor." Just as I am pondering how inadequately this describes him, a really great customer's name pops into my head and I have to go back down to the bottom of the list to add another name, and another.
Soon I have been writing for over an hour.
I notice some patterns emerging.
"Thank you ..."appears alot.  So do variations upon "Your faith has inspired me,"
as well as "impressed by your strength and intelligence." and "sweet and kind and gentle,"
How lucky I am to know such fine people!
I found I wanted to say to anyone younger (and that populaton keeps growing!) something like: "I still look forward to seeing what you make of your portion of this amazing thing called life."
 Of course there are some people who just stump me. I can't express how much I appreciate, love - there are no words. Or they seem sappy. My heart is bigger than my keyboard.

Then I lean back a bit and review it all again.  It's mostly just a list.
I start laughing.
 I have barely written anything at all.
But it was worth the time; thinking of all these amazing people...loving them for who and what they are. My mentors, my family, my best friends in life, thinking of the way they talk or listen, or smile, and feeling how it swells my heart  and enlarges my life simply to think of them!
Thank you ALL once again for reminding me to be grateful for my good fortune. You give me hope.
Whatever holiday you do (or do not) celebrate during this time of year:
 Happy (it).
Or better yet: Grateful it.
From my heart (and not intended to be offensive)
I wish you a very Grateful Christmas.
Chelsea Lindner
manager Artists' Mediums Inc.

A plea for the real world (duplicated from my work blog.)

In this day of digital everything, I'd like to make a plea for a little bit of the real world.

I've had several conversations lately with many customers about some interesting technological developments.
I've been told that in an effort to reduce the use of paper, many school systems will soon have children using a tablet for every bit of school work from an early age through high school. From now on kids will e-mail homework, and have the ability to access a huge variety of technology. In essence, I am not against this. I just wish there were a bit more balance.

Another complaint I have heard several times this summer, is that many of the upcoming generations can no longer read hand written cursive, or calligraphy. I know that some of it never was legible. Still it seems a shame. Some of you may be glad, if so I'd love to hear why.

There is this wonderful new world of digital art, which puts so many applications at your fingertips that you can paint, draw, airbrush, and animate images without even knowing how to hold a paint brush. You don't even need to know how any of it happens, and you can change colors without having to squeeze out another tube of paint.

Why would you ever want to buy all those art supplies, if one tablet can do it all? Why would you ever want to do more than just push buttons? Why would you want to have to put down a drop cloth, or make a mess?

Besides, digital art can be and often is - quite beautiful.
I just worry that something indescribable is lost here.
Do you remember the silky softness of finger paints squishing between your fingers.
Art can have a physical visceral edge to it, and that can be part of the process.
The sound of scissors munching through a creamy cotton paper, the soft deckled edge of watercolor paper, or the press of your hand into soft clay.
There is a magic to it.
Old masters mixed paint from the elements and were almost considered alchemists.
Like the block print with it's subtle variations for each pull of the print. The happy accident of a double print that gives new movement, magic, and life to an image.
Art has the vitality of life.
The element of surprise when the translucent watercolor flows into an unexpected and wonderful shape.

The more cynical folks (assuming anyone is even still reading at this point,) will say “Of course! She's just trying to make money selling her art supplies – she has a motive here!”

You're right. I do scratch out my living from a local art store. Art inspires me and keeps me sane. Also, I am honored to employ a few wonderful, kind and knowledgeable local artists. We try to encourage emerging artists and sell their work through the store. (The local Artists get 70% Artists' Mediums Inc. gets a 30% commission.)

Yes, I will encourage you to buy art, framing, or even art supplies. But the truth is, art supplies don't have to be expensive. You don't have to spend a lot of money to find your creativity.
Start simple.
First there is the pencil: It costs less than a cup of coffee, will write on most porous surfaces, it is easy to transport, and operates beautifully even in zero gravity. It will draw anywhere in the world, even when the power goes out, and if your pencil breaks, you still have the art!
Just sketch!

-Chelsea Lindner
Artists' Mediums Inc.

Monday, December 3, 2012


Another thing I did last spring that I forgot to mention, was that I finished the center piece of a quilt that I had started many moons ago.  I've given it to Leah now - so perhaps some day it will be of some use to someone. I think it is finished enough that with a big border, it might be worth quilting.

The castle built with 1" squares for  I'm trying to narrow down the number of project that I have going. Age makes me recognize that I should consider carefully where my time is most needed.
I took some photos so I would have a record of having done it. I love that with fabric (or with paper collage) you can more easily include images inside of the bee in the wall, or the gem in the doorway.

I feel like it gives an opportunity to tell stories. I guess that is one essential thing quilts do.

Designs for work signs.

This time of year, I am usually working a lot of hours.
Retail you know, and Art supplies. (
I do love my job and it often inspires me, although sometimes in many directions at once!

Artists' Mediums Inc. window sign painted acrylic on sheer trace paper
 As the winter grows cold and blustery I do tend to stay inside and paint more.

 Buttoning up for winter (and getting a car!) have taken up some of my time.
No more excuses though, for not doing art. (I just need to recognise the resistance and move on.)

Last spring I was at an impasse, and I was thinking of changing the direction of my art, landscapes seemed a little boring. I still hold a sliver of a painting idea which I still intend to explore. But after much inspiration from several sources, I am renewed with some new ways to look at the landscape, and frankly re-energised to paint.
I haven't been photographing the 3 oils I have going now, but I promise I will soon.
So until I get the ones in progress a little more presentable: here are the sketches I did while trying to design the window covering at the store.

We get great light in the front window, but don't want folks blinded by the rising and setting sun.
Signage allowances are slim and  not all creative folk even know we are tucked back in here, why not make something to block the sun and represent art, like our pallette logo?
Next time I think I will have to paint it on plexiglass though so it won't buckle...and I still need to backlight it!
I did some roudh sketches on paper which I scanned in, some thoroughly rough colorizations so we could judge what I should paint.

 (the first time I posted about this, I simply ahowed the results:

 Sometimes It could be helpful to share the process, otherwise how can one see how you arrrived at the final destination?
(they are not very good, but I intend this blog to show process, ideas good and bad and all.)

Suggestions for a future sing will be welcome at the store, since I think I have to do it over again on plexiglass.