Sunday, January 27, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
This journey started with the birth of my daughter, Sam — An inexplicably profound and joyful experience that was a catalyst, prompting a spiritual re-birth of sorts within myself... a desire to re-connect more deeply with myself and with the world around me. At about the same time, I was commissioned to do a piece for a family in India. And, as with all my art, I immersed myself into all things connected with the assignment. I wanted to "feel" the spirit of India, and capture it on canvas. This process gave birth to a series of paintings called "Passage to India" — And one painting in particular became a spiritually pivotal piece for me...
“ The Birth of Ohm ”Even as I was sketching the large lotus flower and Hindi Ohm symbol directly onto the canvas, the two became intertwined in my mind... and I began to wonder about the grand scheme of Lotus and Ohm — How did the two come to be? Which came first? It seemed like the beauty of the Lotus could only have given birth to Ohm, the hum, the silence, the eternal beauty of Ohm. By the time I started applying the colors, it became apparent to me that this piece of art must be vibrant — It must convey the mystery and openness of one's spirituality without uttering a single word. The ochre represents mass, and bright yellows the warmth around us. Grey is for the vastness of existence. The brilliant reds symbolize our birth. I layered on photographs of an early 20th century Hindi monk. And I also added mica, for what must be seen as we enter each life. While I sold this painting many months ago, it will always be one of my most cherished pieces — for its spirituality and to commemorate my daughter's birth.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
The eco movement has its "buy from local farmers", Al Gore, sustainable living, organic food and renewable energy. We in the Indie Arts/Crafts/DIY/Handmade movement have our own ideology that can easily be summed up as "Living the Indie Life(tm)".
Here are a few "un-written" (up until now) guidelines on how to live the indie life.
1) There is no way to avoid big box retailers in this day and age, but there are ways to minimize the dollars you spend at Wal-Mart, Target, Costco and others. Before you buy something in a big box store think about where to buy the same thing from an indie company or a small local business. Want to buy a book from Amazon? Instead visit one of the many independent online bookstores and buy the book there. Or, if you have a local independent book seller check to see if they have the book or if they can order the book.
Another great idea to huge publishers? Find small book publishers and indie artists who publish and some even bind their own books. There are wonderful options such as;
Bath & Body - After the Rayne
Clothing - Treehouse28 & willotoons.com
Baby Clothing - Stylized Pea
Baby Bath, Feeding & More - LilyPad Baby
Linens & Pillows - Flying Needle Gallery
Jewelry - Charming Sam Studio & eeni-ren Designs
Gifts - Savvy Skirts
Handbags - Daisy Janie
Art - Jaime Zollars & ZNEArt & talentdatabase.com & Monsoon Gallery & Hang Art
Perfume - Fragrant Soul
Toys - Melissa & Doug
Reading Indie Publications - Wickedly Chic, Vintage Indie, Scientific American, Good Magazine & Decor8
Home Decor - Laughing Moon
Mattresses - All but 3% of mattesses sold in the USA are MADE in the USA so just check the tag prior to purchase.
Still want more options, check out "Still Made in America"
Support other indie artists and crafters, buy handmade when possible. Visit Etsy for lots of great handmade products from thousands of artists and crafters.
2) Buy American Made. Truly, while we don't want to be exclusionary about the rest of the world there are good reasons for making a conscious effort in buying products that are made in America when possible.
- American Jobs = Better economic conditions = consumer confidence = economic stimulus = a strong dollar and more money in your pocket. We don't need tax breaks or other fancy congressional stimulus packages.
- Saving fuel costs and dependency on foreign oil by not having to ship products from over seas.
- You are not sending dollars to countries who do not have child labor laws , animal products trade laws, human trafficking laws or sweatshop laws.
- You are not supporting governments who support hatred, do not comply with the Geneva Convention, are terrorists, dictatorships, or support the suppression of human rights and/or animal rights.
- You are not supporting people who do not believe in women's rights, the right to an education and the right to speak freely without fear of repression.
When you buy products produced in whole or partially from the following countries (as an example) you are supporting and giving money to the following;
- China - You are supporting a Communist government with atheist views & poor human rights policies.
- Saudi Arabia - No due process, no political freedoms, public executions (beheading) and various other human rights issues. Additionally you are supporting a single royal family.
*Minor note - Don't forget that buying American Made doesn't just mean buying from an American company. For instance The Gap is based out of San Francisco but most if not all of its clothes are manufactured outside of the United States.
3) Give your dollars to small local businesses. Some businesses in your area may be franchises owned locally. HobbyTown is a great example of a franchise that is owned by entrepreneurs in your local area and run like a small business. In contrast eating at Panera is supporting a mid-size corporation who only franchises to "development groups" who are willing to buy into a region and commit to opening multiple locations.4) Buy from businesses and people who support indie crafters and artists. Local boutiques are a great place to look for small designers, artists and handmade goods. Not only are you supporting the indie artist you are supporting a local small business. Looking for a great, unique gift for your mom then walk down to the area(s) in your town where there are small galleries, boutiques, independent bookstores and locally owned restaurants.
5) Need gas for your car? Well, there is no way in the world to avoid multi-national corporations or repressive governments when it comes to buying gas for your car. However, you can make intelligent choices about where you buy your gas. Ask around your town to find out which stations are locally owned (franchises) or corporate owned. While your money is still going to Exxon or Mobile or whatever energy company at least if you buy from a local franchisee you are supporting the small business.
6) Food. Attend local farmers markets and if you are really lucky there may be a small grocer near you. There are also many small food companies online where you get great products and can partially avoid supporting large corporations. Here are a few to get you started
Kitchen Spices - SpiceHound
Cookies - Kits Cookies
Tea - Davidson's Teas
Pasta - The Pasta Shoppe
Hot Sauce/Salsa - El Fenix
BBQ Sauces - Sauce Goddess
Jams, Jellies & Fruit Butters - Clearbrook Farms
Confections - Coco-Luxe Confections
Tamales - Texas Tamale Company
Snacks - LesserEvil
Beef - Niman Ranch
Ice Cream & Sorbets - Mashti Malone's Ice Cream
Now you can truly start living the Indie Life with small changes in how you think about purchasing products for yourself, home and others.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
From Chel @ ZNEArt - Many thanks to both Barbe Saint John and Claudine Hellmuth for reminding me to post this:
To donate visit:
Friday, January 11, 2008
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Thursday, January 03, 2008