Category Archives: uncategorized

Best Wishes for 2014

You might have noticed that I haven’t posted in a while; I had a creative low for the past months. The reason being that I had to deal with some personal issues and I had surgery in November. But, not to worry, everything is fine. It has taken and still does take time to re-group though. While being in limbo, I discovered writing. It felt good to get my thoughts down on paper and I discovered an urge to write about my family history and life – so, I decided to do some research and started a family chronicle – to be continued.

I am looking forward to a busy and fun-filled year.

I am wishing all of you the best for 2014 – best of luck, good health, prosperity and love!

Seattle – Best of Gage 2013

To everyone who lives in the Seattle area:

Please join us this Friday, June 14th from 6 pm to 9 pm to celebrate the Best of Gage, showcasing drawings, paintings and sculptures by Gage student artists – at Gage Academy of Art in Capitol Hill.  There will be drinks and snacks.  Awards are given in seven categories.  I have submitted a sculptures this year, my first time, wish me luck   🙂

Here a link with details:

http://www.gageacademy.org/events/?page=current&type=16

Last year about 600 people visited the event.

Hope you will drop by and enjoy some art.

Mein Liebster

I – or rather my blog – got nominated for the Liebster Award. THANK YOU charcoalblue for nominating me. The whole thing caught me completely by surprise. I am still somewhat at a lack of words and it took me a few days to gather my thoughts.

liebster award

I have never been nominated for anything and I certainly did not expect to receive an award for my blog.  As I explain on my “about” page, I started this blog to document my journey into fine arts.  Writing about it for everyone to see was initially more of a psychological trick that I played on myself.  As Simone (charcoalblue) writes in one of her posts, I too have a relationship with Procrastin Ation (he seems to get around, the dog) and I thought making “things” public would help me stay focused.  In a way it did.  I still enjoy discovering fine arts in general and fell in love with sculpture in particular, just finishing my first year of a sculpting foundation program at Gage.  So, I feel especially honored that Simone named as her reason to nominate my blog, “Jutta has some beautiful art but I particularly love the sculptures.”  Thank you again, Simone.  Your kind words are encouraging and most appreciated.

Reading Simone’s blog it seems we have a few things in common; a love for learning and drawing for example.  Her drawings are beautiful.  I am not saying this to flatter, the drawing of the nude is so very sensual, emotional in a way, and the sleeve drawing shows a great deal of skill.  Seeing her art makes the Liebster Award that she sent my way all the more meaningful to me.

Now, there’s work to be done in order to really “own” this award and pass it on to others. It took some searching … and thinking … and editing … but I did it.  Here we go:

The First Step for the Liebster Award is to tell 11 things about yourself.

1.  Since everyone seems to start with a food related revelation – I have a soft spot for ice cream.  My dad and I bonded over eating tons of delicious ice cream when I was little. Unfortunately I can’t do this any more because over the years things have changed and …

2.   … I am now dairy intolerant – one more thing Simone and I have in common, it seems.

3.  As some might have gathered from my name, I’m originally from Germany.

BTW “liebster” is a German word and in this context it means “my dearest” or “favorite” – mein liebster Blog = my favorite blog.  I did some research and it seems the award was created by a German blogger a few years back.

4.  I have brown eyes.

5.  I am the youngest of five children. My oldest sister is 16 years older than I.

6.  I really don’t like shopping, especially shopping for cloths.

7.  One exception: I like shopping for shoes, especially those I really don’t need or that I will most likely never wear because the heels are too high and/or they are way too dressy for (my) daily life. I used to buy shoes just because I loved them so much. I took them home, never wore them, just looked at them once in a while. Hell, I have a book subtitled A Celebration of Pumps, Sandals, Slippers & More. Thank goodness I got older and wiser. Now, I look at them, try them on and put them back on the shelf.

8.  I love the sound of the piano.

9.  A few years back I studied voice and sang at Tula’s Jazz Club in Seattle a couple of times – it was great fun.

10.  I love going to the movies, especially during the day and when the theater is empty.

11.  I was super fascinated with Star Trek (the original with William Shatner) as a child, in particular the sounds they came up with (for doors opening, beaming, ring tones and so on). I used my mom’s powder box as a speaking device and pretended I was Lieutenant Uhura on a mission. BTW, isn’t it fantastic that their communication device looked just like a flip phone, they basically foresaw the cell phone.

The Second Step for the Liebster Award is to answer the 11 questions asked by the nominating blogger.

1.  What is a fond childhood memory?

It is summer. I am about 5 years old. I lounge in an oval tin laundry tub filled with water in our yard under a tree.  My lower legs and arms are hanging over the rim of the tub and my head is tilted back. The water is pleasantly warm (my mom had heated water for me and added it to the cold water that I had filled in with the hose). I stare up into the branches, watching the sun glare through the leaves – and time stands still.

2.  Your favourite movie?

I don’t have one favorite movie. There are so many great movies. Three that would be certainly in my top ten are:

  • Gosford Park – simply delicious.
  • The Godfather Trilogy (wait, that’s three already) – brilliant on so many levels.
  • Forest Gump – simply for Tom Hanks outstanding acting. He did not have one single tiny moment where he was not 100% in character in the whole movie, he was just unbelievable.

3.  If you could do/be anything – what would it be?

I really don’t know. It’s been my big dilemma throughout my life that I just can’t make up my mind what I want to be or permanently do. As a result I’ve studied several different subjects and worked in at least three different fields in the past years.

4.  Most common item you buy that is under $10.00

I’ll have to say “food”. Lunch, to be more precise. Since my kids have moved out and my husband is usually not home during the day I treat myself almost every day to lunch. Nothing fancy though. I usually stop by Whole Foods and eat something from the hot bar – love their mango something sauce – that over rice, veggies and a little bit of chicken, mmhhh… healthy, yummie and always way below $10.

5.  Something that annoys you.

Sometimes when I chat with my son (on the computer) he gets side tracked (checking other things on the computer at the same time) and spaces out for a few moments. Then when I stop “talking” there is this “silence” which seems to last an eternity until he notices and responds – drives me nuts.

6.  Something that gives you pleasure.

Sneaky question.  I’ll have to go with the harmless answer – chocolate.

7.  Find your self daydreaming about ….

… the usual; sunny beaches, tons of money and what I would do with it, the unbearable lightness of being …

… mostly though, I am pretty content with my real life; we don’t starve, have clean water, a warm bed at night, cloths on our backs … do I have to keep going?

8.  Where do you get your ideas for your posts?

From my own day to day interaction with art, art students, teachers and artists – gaining new skills, making art, reading about art etc.

9.  Which do you enjoy most, pondering the possibilities or narrowing down the options?

Narrowing down the options – seems more productive and brings one closer to a decision.

10.  Favourite novel?

Again, I don’t have one favorite. There are so many good books and I usually like them for different reasons, two that I thought of right away are:

  • Dracula by Bram Stoker – I was not only fascinated by the story (it was not really what I expected) but also by Stokers writing, choice of words and the format; it’s told as a series of letters, diary entries and so on.
  • Ender’s Game – really well written story, enthralling with a great twist.

11.  Advice for a mum who will one day have 3 teenage sons – at the same time?

I raised two boys, now 21 and 23 years old. It was not always a pleasure cruise and it does not get easier when they get older, sorry. However, to use a short dialogue from “Shakespeare in Love”:

  • Philip Henslowe:  “… The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.”
  • Hugh Fennyman: “So what do we do?”
  • Philip Henslowe: “Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.”
  • Hugh Fennyman: “How?”
  • Philip Henslowe: “I don’t know. It’s a mystery.”

No, seriously – one way or the other it’ll all turn out well in the end. Here are some of my thoughts – mostly in hindsight, which is always 20/20, right?

  • Make a point of enjoying your kids (with open eyes) every day. In the midst of everything it’s all too easy to forget to “stop and smell the roses”.
  • Be in the moment and spend quality time with each one for at least a short time every day (e.g. the famous reading before bed time or just listening to their thoughts, you know). A focused short time means usually more than hours of “half attention”.
  • Try to get to know them as the unique beings that they are.
  • Good parents listen, the others preach.
  • Now that might sound stereotypical or cheesy but the bottom line is; if your kids feel loved and trusted unconditionally as well as understood when it’s crucial (which does not mean that you have to agree or condone) they will keep the conversation going.
  • And when they get older and once in a while seem monstrous and unrecognizable, take a deep breath and remember that these are the same kids you posted all these cute snapshots about – everything will turn out well in the end.

The Third Step for the Liebster Award is to nominate 11 bloggers with relatively few (less than 200) followers.

Here are my nominees, in no particular order:

jakobkielland – he is on a “Lunch Wrapping Art Quest” (his words), great idea. He makes me smile. I hope this award will encourage him to keep going, I want to see more of your creative wraps, Jakob.

Lady of the Cakes – what can I say, I just like her blog; it’s a mix of very interesting info (mostly about food), multicultural insights, good photos – very enjoyable.

taralynjaiyeola – Tara is a very talented artist, her illustrations are funny and touching – see also her website www.taralynjaiyeola.com

BLUEBRIGHTLY – is one of those rare combinations of beautiful photography and really good writing. I can’t decide which I like better, the writing or the photos. Lynn’s posts are beautiful, thoughtful, informative, relaxing … but never boring or meaningless.

Eva Tenter, Power of Positive Thoughts – her blog is authentic and inspiring.

Amanda’s Work in Progress – Amanda is a fellow student at Gage – so, I know her work first hand. She is a dedicated artist with a fine eye for detail and I appreciate her knowledgeable insights.

Tres Marias – a photography blog by three sisters ranging in age from 8 to 21 – what a cool idea. Their photos are unpretentious and very well done. Looking at the snapshot of the three (see “about” page) one can see a lot of love and happiness and I really appreciate that they let me into their world.

darcytozier and the anatomy of living – Darcy is an artist and teacher. I am very impressed with her felt sculptures, fascinating work.

ARTSTORMER – Now, this blog has more than 200 followers but still not so outrageously many that I think it’s okay to include her, I had to. Betsy finds the most fascinating art and blogs about it. Her posts are informative and inspiring. I love this blog.

Stereoskop – nominating this blog is bringing the Liebster award “home”. Julius is a 20 year old Germanics student (in Vienna) and an aspiring journalist. His professional resume is quite impressive already and I hope this nomination will encourage him to keep writing his blog.

ALANALA – Alan is self-taught (his words), I admire that. He mainly focuses on street photography in Hong Kong. One day I will travel there. For now, Alan gives me a glimpse into another world through his fascinating photos, thanks Alan.

The Fourth Step for the Liebster Award is to ask your nominees 11 questions:

1.  Do you play an instrument?  If yes, which one?

2.  It is quite possible that some company will offer commercial flights into outer space (or to the moon) within our life time. If you had the money would you do it?

3.  What sound or noise do you find pleasant?

4.  Do you cry at weddings?

5.  Restrictions aside, where would you rather live, big city or countryside? Why?

6.  Which other language than your mother tongue would you like to speak? Why?

7.  What profession would you absolutely not want to pursue?

8.  What makes you laugh?

9.  Do you have a bucket list? If not, have you thought of writing one? Name one thing that would be on it.

10.  Why do you think you have to tell 11 things about yourself, answer 11 questions, nominate 11 blogs and come up with 11 new questions for this award?  Isn’t 11 a rather strange number – and may be just a tad 🙂 excessive?  I asked myself that question but could not come up with an useful answer.  My hope is, that you can.

11.  What is your present state of mind?

Gage Academy – Seattle

The Gage Academy in Seattle is a school of fine arts. They focus “on classical training for contemporary artists”. All classes are taught by working artists. In many classes students work from a live model. Gage is a non-profit, classes are quite affordable or sometimes even free, e.g. the Art Talk Series. They focus on their mission to make high quality art education accessible to everyone (young or old) who is willing to learn, in many ways similar to the Art Students League in New York. Besides classes, workshops and lectures for adults and youth they offer Atelier for “the serious artist in training”. Atelier students study every day for many months (or even years) with a specific professional artist in a studio setting. Working side by side with an established artist in the atelier is how aspiring artists used to learn needed skills (and develop as artists) for many centuries. Another outstanding program they offer is Teen Art Studio, completely free art instruction (including material) for teens between 13 and 18 years of age. Gage Academy is located in Capitol Hill (on 10th Avenue) right next to St. Marks Cathedral. If you live in the Seattle area and you are interested in fine art drop by one of these days. It is a wonderful old brick building with just the right vibes. Sign in with the front office, walk up to the third floor and view the periodically changing exhibitions in the Entry, Rosen and Steel Gallery. May be you even get a peek in one of the studio classrooms. Get inspired – enjoy!

Workshop with Bev Jozwiak – 2nd day/afternoon

In the afternoon of the 2nd day Bev demonstrated how she paints faces: what colors she mixes to create skin tones varying from dark to light, placement of values, drawing of eyes etc.

Here a short overview in pictures:

 

This is the sketch she started with. See how she drew a value-shape map on the face.

 

She started by painting the darker side of the face. Contrasts of light and dark areas make the painting much more interesting. Also, building up values creates form.

 

Notice how she made her black (for the hair) “colorful”. In the morning (during the b&w dog demo) she said’ “make your blacks colorful” – fantastic advice. I’ve never thought of it that way.

 

 

Here the finished painting. See, how she kept some areas pure white (the white of the paper). Watching her paint I sometimes thought the dark would be too dark or the contrasts too strong but once the whole composition came together and the painting was dry everything turned out to be just right. Lesson: be bold with your colors (especially with watercolor because they fade a bit when dry). For the darkest areas she uses the paint very thick (almost the consistency of toothpaste), fresh out of the tube (colors are stronger when they come fresh from the tube) and minimal water and then moves on to the lighter areas. It’s quite unusual in watercolor painting to move from dark to light but she does it and it works fine.

 

 

 

 

 

Workshop with Bev Jozwiak, 2nd day/morning

Another great day. During the morning session she demonstrated how to paint blacks and whites.

Here is a great lesson to remember, she said, “you want your blacks to be colorful.” love it. Never thought about it like that before.

For the “how-to-paint-your-blacks-and-whites” lesson she chose a dog. Here are a few photos of Bev’s demo in progress:

… notice the difference in the left eye from photo #1 to photo #2

 

 

 

…and here the finished painting:

Workshop with Bev Jozwiak

Oh my – I made it through the first day. I am a bit exhausted. It was somewhat intimidating. All the other participants have been watercolor painting for years and I am right in the middle of all this having not even done a handful of decent paintings.

 

Bev was wonderful. She did two demonstrations and patiently answered all my questions and after a few hours I decided to loosen up and just do it. After all it’s just paint and water on paper, right? 🙂  Today’s fruit of hard work is still at my table at Cole Gallery, it needs to dry. I’ll post it later.

 

When I got home I checked my email and found the following quote in my inbox:

The only competition worthy of a wise man is with himself.      -Washington Allston

Isn’t that good advice!?!!

Have a great weekend!