January photos


swans in the Skagit Valley
Here is yet another reason that I am a firm believer that I live in paradise.  When I moved here in 1991 swans could be seen north of my home starting in November.  Now, they fly by the front of our bluff.  I saw three flying fast and west just two days before Carolyn and I set out on our ladies's day off to take photos on the flats.  The universe was in alignment as that day was absolutely spectacular.

Swans were in every field north of the Skagit was incredible. They were close but on hearing the car door close they waddled away. Trying to get a good shot of them was very catch them landing or taking off proved even harder.  They are very cute running along just before takeoff....not graceful a all.

Thursday night John and I are heading out to see a special presentaion on swans in Everett at McCollum Park.  I'm going to learn some cool stuff about them and the best places to see them.  First it was it's swans.....I hear the Great Snowy owls are here this winter as that would be a photo!! 


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The printing press
The time has come...Gerty is off her nest and so am I. My printmaking class at Evcc is in full swing. There are going to be challenges for me in this class.  First,  figuring out all the equipment..lots of new tools and ways of doing.  Second, organization of materials..lots of ways to mess up if you don't keep your "process" in the front of your mind. And..the most daunting of all...we are to focus on the subtle.  Subtle is not my usual operating mode. However, after the wonderful demo on inking a background last night, I am starting to see just how cool this could be. My thought before this demo was you just ink it all up in one background color and run it're good to go. How hard can this be?  Why the fuss? Then...she showed us just how beautiful and fun it could be to do a very interesting....soft....background. I'm hooked!!! I had a hard time going to sleep last night because I was thinking of all the ways I might like to try.

 Our teacher is very organized and good at doing a step by step demo that really leaves you feeling.... Yes..I can do this!!  I'll be down there on Wednesday creating some really soft, subtle backgrounds....that's my expectation anyway....we'll see if I can really do it!! I'll have to have the subtle mantra going!!

Keep checking in to see my progress on the printing!!


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Yes, I'm a lot like my broody hen Gertrude. She's given up production and just sits on her nest and thinks.  Hens and thinking??? I'm sure all kinds of exciting ideas are zipping through her mind.  Just like me!! I've made lots of lists of new ideas for my art work...even started testing a few paperclay mini sculptures. I'm incubating..that's what I'm doing. So far these really cool ideas aren't ready to hatch.  Good ideas take time to grow into great finished projcts.  That is at least what I'm thinking about while I nestle into my Studio with my herb tea, cookies, and new Cds.  And then there is the rain, the wind, the short grey days and all those mysteries I can get on my tablet.  Unlike Gertrude I am being thoughly entertained through my broodiness!! Which means I have much less of a reason to snap out of it....she's going to win unless..... next Monday's printmaking class demands I get going again. Perhaps I need to set higher expectations of Gertrude as well??? So, 4 more days to drfit..I'm off to read and listen to the rain.





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All the beasties know how to follow the rhythms of the seasons and tis the season to hibernate, brood, and conserve our energies. So glad you are enjoying it!
-- Mary Saunders, 1/24/12

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Helen's Originals showcases abstract acrylic mixed media, printmaking with monotypes, dry point and gyotaku, figurative collage, and informative blog entries. 

 Helen SaundersCamano Island, WA360-320-0136