2010 April Archive | Amber Jean

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Monthly Archives: April 2010

Fur Ball Fundraiser

The Stafford Animal Shelter in Livingston is special.  The facilities are top notch.  The love and care of the community and staff is above and beyond the norm.  Every year they host the Fur Ball as a fundraiser at  Chico Hot Springs (Friday, May 21st).  “No boring sit down dinner, no long speeches! Exclusive  raffle tickets can be purchased before or at the event: only 100 $50 tickets will be sold and the winner chooses any auction item.”_DSC1418a
I will be in “Chocolate City USA”  that week working magic with chocolate but I always donate art.  Kris King selected two of my personal favorites for the auction. 

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“Austin” (the dog) and Dr Pepper (the cat) will be framed and “show-ready” for the event.
“At the Stafford Animal Shelter we house the homeless, feed the hungry, and on the side we run a matchmaking service.”

Moon shadows, delicate frost, pink sunrise

Phew!  I feel better.  I wish I had photos of rock climbing or mountain biking to share but I spent the glorious sunny spring weekend at home with the flu.  I’ve a “nap crack” in the corner of my mouth from sleeping (and drooling?)  egads!

Vivid dreams:  Beautiful glass art sculptures, a scary tippy moving toilet, a late night dinner date without any of my own clothes to wear.  I love seeing art in my dreams!  Art dreams are like a day at the spa for my mind -invigorating, relaxing, empowering, pampering, and revealing. 

I wake refreshed and eager.  The artworks have not been mine but they have been a beautiful inspiring blend of various materials – always 3-dimensional.

The sky is blue, the sun is shining – the morning beckons with a list of tasks: must finalize my contract with Nestle, package and ship art (sold 10 Works on Paper last week!), purchase airline tickets for the chocolate sculpture project, talk to my web guys, touch bases with the contractor for a commission project in Texas, drop a bronze off at the Museum of the Rockies…but first…another cup of tea.

Sunday Ride in the Park

Park Ride
Springtime in the Rockys has its usual smorgasbord of weather.  Sun. Snow. Sun. Rain. Sun.  Hail.
Last Sunday the sun beckoned.   I loaded bikes in my truck and took a jaunt with two lovely ladies down Paradise Valley to Yellowstone Park.  We rode our bikes over bumpy moose and elk tracks on a lovely loop of dirt road below Electric Peak and near the Yellowstone River.  We munched on ice cream bars at Mammoth, then crossed the 45th parallel as we zipped down the paved road to the Boiling River where we soaked in the hot springs beneath a blue sky.
Park Ride 2 Sami and I goofing off in the store at Mammoth.
Sami’s in the Coon Hat and I’m wearing…um…yes…that’s a stuffed moose.

The hot water flows down the falls into the Yellowstone River (murky from spring run-off – but soooo good for the body and soul!)
Park Ride 3
Karen and I at the Boiling River.

Love the smell of rain in the morning air…

Smells like rain on this spring morning. The birds are chirping outside eagerly – as if they want to “get their chirps in” before the storm.  Maya is purring right next to my laptop. I’m sipping tea and fighting the urge to crawl back under my cozy comforter for a nap.  I’ve zillions to do.  New artworks are being inventoried and uploaded to my website.  Patron Members just got their pre-view peek via e-mail of the new Works on Paper befoLog15-2re they go live on the web.  I’ve a newsletter to write, drawings of a commission to do, travel plans for the ChocolateFest to make, some donated artwork to drop off, a bronze to ship, some DVDs to burn and send, a poster to design, a vlog to edit –  and that’s just my pre-noon list. 
Phew!
Things are ramping up in the studio!  The rest of the week will be mostly devoted to the BIG mesquite logs.  Have you seen the latest video?  
 
 

Chocolate Project

Candy Creations
Over 10 years ago I stepped off a plane, rented a car and drove to Burlington, WI where I found myself immersed in Willy Wonka land at the Nestle Chocolate factory.  Using Swiss Made chisels, I carved over 1500 pounds of chocolate into a 14 foot totem pole for the city’s annual ChocolateFest.  Yum!
Next month I will return to Nestle to create this year’s ChocolateFest creation.  I had several conference calls with chocolate engineers and watched The Wizard of Oz many times before I designed the creation.
“There’s No Place Like Chocolate Land” is the theme for the festival this year .  I can’t tell you what the creation is going to be since it is traditionally kept a BIG secret until the unveiling Memorial weekend in May.  I will however…let you follow the process a bit via blog and vlog as the chips start flying. 
Stay tuned…

Gallery of Woodworking Greats

WOOD Magazine just put me in their Gallery of Woodworking Greats.

carving1I wrote that sentence then stared at my computer wondering if it should follow with “Wow!” or “Shucks.”

I’m pleased and honored.

Their editor posted quite a few photos along with a link to the 2002 feature article A Star Rises in the West.”

I can’t wait to share the next project with you.  Have you seen the latest little video clip about the logs I’m going to cut into this week? (Devil Woman Logs Arrive)

Stay tuned… 

“Fuzzy Chick”

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This cute little big-footed bugger was just selected by a Charter Patron who renewed her patron membership by selecting a new art piece for her collection.  She’ll be entered into a special drawing for Patrons later this month and will always get the “inside scoop” about new art and projects before the rest of the world (that’s the Patron…not the chick).

Faolan’s Finger Fund

Little one-year-old Faolan was born witl_fawn3[1]h an extra thumb.  A fun-filled fundraiser will be held this Friday at the Eagles in Bozeman (8 pm).  A friend of the family selected these two art works for the auction.

“Fawn”

_DSC1434 “Bird in a Bush”

A Special Blue Bird

Late last Fall, we kept vigil at Evelyn’s bedside.  I don’t remember stars that long dark night when Evelyn breathed her last.  I stroked her grey hair and held her hand while hovered over the hospital bed in her living room at the little house next to the Yellowstone river.  A few days earlier, she asked me to draw  a blue bird for her gravestone.  Evelyn loved birds. All birds.  The only thing in this world she loved more than birds was her family, her children, grandchildren and friends.  She was a sweet little dear who blue birdadopted me into her wide-armed fold.  A week or two later I was wheeled into surgery followed by a winter of healing.  I had not gotten into the space/place to draw the bird until a few weeks ago when the sun shown and the birds chirped spring greetings.  I brewed a cup of tea, lit a candle, and sat at a table in front of a window which overlooks the valley where Evelyn was born, raised a family, and where she is now buried.  The afternoon passed quickly while I drew in honor of a precious being who touched my life.  Evelyn was a gentle soul. 
The bird will be colored and the stone placed by Memorial Day.

What about those LOGS?

“The logs lie and wait.  My fingers itch and my mind tumbles over the possibilities.  Last week I visited the Devil Woman Saloon in Texas to get a feel for the place where the mesquite sculptures will reside once I’ve carved and completed them.  I’m excited, inspired and challenged. 

I’m also swamped. 

Never has such a long stretch kept me from creating in woodchips and sawdust.  The demons have engaged in battle, pushed me into the trenches and gained ground.  I’m struggling.  Post surgery hormone craziness has fried my nerves, unsettled my stomach, messed with my mind and clenched my heart within an iron fist of anxiety.  The Blue Funk unpacked its bags, crowded the shelves, claimed the drawers, rolled up the rugs, and pulled the shades.  I hunker in a dark corner of my mind under the unrelenting glare of the Blue Funk’s unblinking stare.   Unclothed.  Shivering.  Vulnerable.  Scared and sad.”
 

I actually wrote those words in February. 
 

I am happy to report that the Blue Funk is no longer a resident.  Unexpectedly the Blue Funk still plops down as an unwelcome guest now and then.  I feel the funk mostly in my chest – as if I swallowed a shoe.  The bugger makes me tired.  But between the naps and the long dream-filled nights, I am getting the studio ready.  Those logs sure smell good…I hear them calling…
Here’s a little peak at the Mesquite:  Devil Woman Logs Video
I’ll keep ya posted!  Stay tuned. 

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