2009 April Archive | Amber Jean

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Monthly Archives: April 2009

Monday morning

Trees loom large, heavy laden with heavy wet white spring snow cloaks. Snow ghosts in the mist this morning. Burdon. Beauty. Mystery.

Six inches of fresh snow yesterday, actually was a blessing that kept me productive indoors. So much to do since I’ve a “normal” job for two weeks as a carpenter’s assistant. Eight hour days, one-hour commute each way…so that the art part/business part is early morning, late night, and…Sunday (punctuated with a much needed cozy nap with my cat in the late afternoon).

People packed into Elle’s Belles for “Birds, Bunnies, and Chainsaws.” Chairs were borrowed last minute from the bar next door and still the people kept coming. I was blown away…and thrilled to have a room-full and receptive audience. Still feel both plumb tuckered and energized at the same time from the performance, much like the mix I feel after a productive studio day or a climbing day. Different kind of tired…and maybe a subtle different kind of energized, but all good.
Really good.

Wicked week

Sleep goblins snatched much needed rest; left my insides coated with sticky muck and darkened my mood last week. Even my best intentions and less-than-lofty ideas got mired in the goo. Any attempts to clean up seemed futile. The more I rubbed and scrubbed, the messier and darker I felt. Many of the yummy things in life have messy moments (i.e. making art…making love) so why fight it? But I was frustrated to tears, frightened, and grumpy.
I took Sunday off. Indulged in an order of biscuits ‘n gravy AND a cinnamon scone served by the sweet ladies at Wheat Montana while on the way to Indian Creek Canyon for an afternoon of hot rock and good climbing. Despite the treats and the sunshine, the muck lingered. Fear flared as I took the “sharp end of the rope” and led a few climbs up the rock. I shook. I took deep breaths. I rolled my eyeballs when my partner tried to make jokes. Sometimes men are…well…MEN!! My lips tightened in a grimace more than once despite his best efforts. I could not sincerely grin. The rock was inviting and challenging. I climbed klutzy with hesitation but I did not quit. I accomplished one climb and then another, and another…and another. Here’s where I’d like to write that I climbed myself out of the bad mood. “The sunshine, the happy dogs, the good food, and the kind company polished that black gook into bright dazzling clean happy innards.”
My mood did not noticeably change. I didn’t kick, hit, spit or scream but felt like the goblins had taken those liberties with me. Pummeled and panting, I continued to climb. I wanted to be happy. I get mad at myself when grasped by the goblins. I told my climbing partner that I felt like a big zit that needed to be squeezed to release the foul fluid suffocating my soul. Perhaps if I could figure out the source of the infection, I could cure it. Many possibilities…but here’s where I’ll edit my journal writing so this remains a blog post and not a whole chapter. Simply said, life can be complicated.
You’ll never guess what finally blew my mood later that day from dark and dreary to light and fluffy! But I’ve run out of time and will have to leave you hanging until I can tell that part of the story.
Stay tuned!

Sleep “out”

Spring camping last night! Big fat round moon reflected in puddles of melted snow. Happy dogs trying to share sleeping bags and bedding. Sleep with a smile. Pink sky and sun-drunk moon linger bold and bright on the horizon. Hot tea and warm thoughts. Good company.

“Chic Chicken”

Part Poodle?

This fancy fashioned chicken struts the latest super model ensemble. Inspired by a photo in a coffee table book of Exotic Chickens…the goofy little long-lashed beauty is cute…and she KNOWS it!

She just shipped to Texas yesterday to join the art collection of the newest Patron Place member.

I’m gonna miss her!

Dinner Outside

Wednesday already? The week is clipping along a bit out of control…not unlike my attempt to ski downhill last night on fast crusty snow while wearing my “skinny skis.” Cross-country skis are just not meant for fast turns and steep hills. Well…at least not while strapped to my feet anyway. I’m a total klutz on skinny skis…pretty funny. I laugh, scream and tumble my way down hills. If you were to sit in a vehicle with a pen in each hand resting on a pad of paper while riding on a bumpy country road, my erratic tracks might resemble the marks left on the paper, punctuated with the occasional big “splat” where I fell. No kidding.
But I had been busy inside all day. The sun was shining, the snow slinking away, and the big white saddle on the ridge east of my cabin where the elk roam beckoned me out for a quick whacky dose of spring madness. Zaydee and I skied past Granny’s cabin, down a drainage, and then climbed the elk-tracked slopes to the ridge for a breathtaking view of the Bridger Mountains. I got back huffing and puffing in one piece just in time to greet Felicia, pour some wine, and set plates outside for a steak dinner with her and Cliff. The sun serenaded us until it dipped behind the ridge, and quietly left us to the subtle spring evening sky. We bundled up in coats and relished the ability to sit outside.

Unplugged Weekend


April 6, 2009

Two whole scrumptious sunny days without turning on the computer! Enjoyed the springtime fresh snow (12 inches!), sunshine (almost burnt), creative thoughts (lordy!), art making (lots of sparkles), toddy-drinking (hee hee), NOVA café treats (yum!)…AND…friendship deepening soul-licking connections with deeply kind, fun, and funny friends.
A spring blizzard dumped over a foot of fresh snow. Sunday morning I got stuck…then Cliff got stuck. I honestly did not mind one bit since I hadn’t really felt like leaving the mountain. Crawling around on my knees with a shovel to dig out my truck wasn’t a big deal since I was dressed to ski (had plans to use free ski passes at Big Sky Ski Resort). The sky was deep blue, the trees were laden with thick white snow, and Zaydee was leaping around and rolling in the fluff while trying to “herd” the stuck trucks. Luckily my ski partner was game to explore the deep snow here so he drove over the pass and up the mountain to my place. Paul arrived with yummy baked (wheat-free) treats, diesel fuel for the skid steer, his big dog Blaze, and a few good steaks for the grill later. He got stuck too. (Recurring theme…? Or….a scheme?)
After the truck/snow rodeo, Paul and I put skins on our skis and climbed up the mountain behind my cabin. The sun beamed with fresh spring strength. I pulled off my coat, then my shirt…and climbed up the mountain in my bra. A few feet of snow beneath me, a foot of snow in the branches of trees above me, and bare skin between…truly springtime in the Rockies! The top of the mountain was beyond any scene in a Hollywood movie. Magical. The richly textured landscape was patterned from small pocks of snow; a wonderfully woven blanket of white. Tall stark trees stood still and stoic; soldier-like. Everything from one direction was white. The dark trees were smocked in white snow…not soft powder but rather little snow globs stuck to every exposed surface from one direction. Awestruck, we skied through the magical lunar landscape with snow-plastered to trees; huge grins beaming in the bright sunlight. The dogs plowed through deep snow, working hard but loving it.




View from on top, Yellowstone River, Paradise Valley, Absaroka/Beartooth Mountains

Pine Creek Winter Writer Series Performance

April 2, 2009

Warm fuzzies linger from the gracious audience at last night’s performance. Honestly I feel a bit awe-stuck from the beauty and intensity of an instant connection…the feedback…laughing… gasps…tears…and warm community. Definitely is a departure from the “hermitude” of studio life. Emboldened from previous performances, I continue to experiment and grow. Last night was no exception…yet…exceptional given the audience and the carefully woven colorful and meaningful elixir shared.

I am inspired to do more.

“Bird Blue Laughing”


SOLD – to the newest Patron Place Member (just before midnight last night)



Great Start to the Week

March 30, 2009

Stuffed today with kooky creativity, burly business, house-keeping (even scrubbed the bathroom), family care (took my father home from the hospital, visited with Flynn’s parents at ICU, and climbed 3 pitches of ice in the evening until 8pm…should I mention the scrumptious dinner out…the big margarita…the soothing soak…the fine companionship?
Awesome start to the week!

Rapelling off of the falls in the late evening…fresh snow falling…





Known as the most painterly method among the printmaking techniques, monotypes are essentially printed paintings. The spontaneous characteristic of monotypes is that no two prints are alike. Although images can be similar, making an edition using a printing press is not possible. I use an antique printing press (named Junior) and often combine ink, pastels, colored pencils and a variety of media in each original artwork.
"Shasta" can be viewed/purchased at: