Monday, April 30, 2012

I am working it is Saturday...Arbor Day

I am not sure how this is coming back to you my faithful readers and patrons.  Pretend it is now Saturday! I arrived at Dawes around 8 AM and got myself registered and began the day's set-up for stenciling on my "Two Sisters" panel.  This is a name I gave to the two trees that inspired me and will be exhibited as you come into the arboretum for the conference.  My young artist Courtney arrived next with her mother Kim to set up a real fun exercise with melting crayons and creating an abstract work by heating the crayons with a hair dryer.  This is not only colorful but on a day like we were experiencing ...cold, damp 44 degrees...the artists were warmed by the hairdryer and delighted by this experience.  Chris Lang came out all bundled up with her warm woolen felting tools and demonstrated her passion for her completely unique Nature inspired landscapes and designs.  Then my dear friend Priscilla Rink arrived with her Art in photography and watercolors to set up her own personal exhibit.  She shared her cards and wisdom for restoring old vintage photographs of family memories or create a disk of your child's growth as he or she graduates from high school or college.  Now these special artists are my real and true friends to arrive and sit in a small tent exposed to the elements and possibility of a severe storm threats.  My words are inadequate when it comes to expressing how much it meant to me and the children visiting Dawes for Arbor Day to meet, see a real artist creating in their own medium and have their own try at the new medium.  Dawes provided pots of hot coffee and hot chocolate to ward off the almost winter chill in the air.  Hot dogs and popped caramel corn were also being prepared and the aromas were wafting through the trees. 

I have attended many of these day celebrations at Dawes but I finally got to meet Abe Winters who drove up from Georgia for the eleventh year to set up the tree climbing experience for all  who are ready to see the trees and their view from the tree tops.  GOTC is a global organization of tree climbers found at .  The children of all ages despite the cool temperatures were there to explore the tree tops and Abe made me feel so special ...he loves the idea of hanging the fiber panels into the trees for a summer exhibition.  He took a pile of my cards and will share the Good News about this special collaboration.  I can not tell you how his words wrapped around my heart and passion for creation in the arboretum.  Abe I know we will meet again soon!

Around two o'clock the storm we had dreaded hit us but with a determined spirit we huddled close until it was evident the storm was going to win this afternoon.  My children came out despite the weather with Cole, Morgan and little Lyndon.  We met up in the visitor's center and participated in the Flumpa musical science presentation learning about reptiles, amphibians and every kind of frogs you can imagine.  The children had fun and so did I!!! It was warm and captured the spirit of the day.  When we settled in for the day and packed away my design elements in my Dawes studio.  I came home took a hot shower and had flat bread pizza with Ken and feel quickly asleep.  I needed all day Sunday to re-cooperate from the excitement of celebrating the magic of the living beauty of the trees.  By the way, the weather on Sunday was sunny and warm....who knew?  I hope you enjoy the happy faces.  Imagine and Live in Peace,  Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday night after the Dawes Arboretum celebration....

I have spent the day resting from a very exciting and busy weekend.  I attended the opening for Made by Hand...hand felted works create from the same medium and yet the visions explored were so diverse.  The sic participants create from their heart and Lyn Logan-Grimes and Chris Lang skillfully installed this wonderful exhibit with loving hands and the viewers were drawn into a much closer examination of this miraculous and soft fiber medium.  Renee Harris has been creating for over 25 years and her works always seem to tell a story and her details were impeccable both with wools and her stitches.  Chris Lang has been a personal friend for over 20 years and has graced my life with her generosity of mind, body and spirit.  Sharon Parker and Yiling Tien were new artists to my personal experience but I plan to return to the gallery and study their processes.  Megan Henderson is a young and exciting young artist and I am delighted to have be included in her circle of creation.  I will post some photos in the morning...Ken is already asleep and I forgot to get the new instructions for this new blog format.  Imagine and Live in Peace,  Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart