Tuesday, September 27, 2016

October 1st, 2016, 1st Saturday in Three Rivers, 11 AM to 5 PM.
Pick up Maps at Anne Lang's Emporium, 41651 Sierra Drive, Three Rivers to find participants in the days events.

Some of the features of this month are:
THE ART CENTER, 41905 No. Fork Drive.
1)  Deborah Dal Zuffo, artist, in person at the Art Center. She isn't always in Three Rivers so we are lucky to have her this month.
2) The Alta Acres Chapter of the Native Plant Society will be hosting their annual sale for the native plants they work on all year. They are located behind the Art Center, 10-3 PM. If you are CNP member, you may shop 9-10 AM.
3) New to 1st Saturday is Jerry Casey. He makes beautiful drawings.
4)  Jewelry, ceramics, handmade soaps, a strumming guitar player, fabric arts, are also presented at the Art Center.
5) Open studios, Historical Museum, gift shops and restaurants with original art to enjoy, good meals and snacks are all offered through out Three Rivers.

Be sure to pick a map at Anne Lang's Emporium or the Historical Museum.
Enjoy the day.

After the Debate

The debate is over and I've slept on it.

I am amazed how upset I got after reading Trump's threat about Jennifer Flowers. So I ranted on the post I did yesterday before the debate. A little embarrassed about how fearful I became. Well, I guess we carry fears from childhood and they pop up when poked. And mine was poked to be sure, not just from childhood but also adult experiences when young.

Hillary entered stage dressed full on red. Oh my. Tempting the bull was my first thought to go after her in a rage. And she had a genuine smile and kept it almost the whole debate even laughing and poking fun when appropriate. She was truly enjoying the whole event.

Trump was in blue and I think the impression was to be Presidential. And in anyone else it might have worked. But he gets angry so easily that the look meant nothing about 10 minutes into the debate.

What a relief I felt as I realized she really is tough in a way I could never be, and purposely poked, politely and with the biggest smile never leaving her face to show the difference in what leadership really looks like. And he threatened her. He was trying so hard to be nice and she was mean with ads that lie about him. He whined.  I was amazed.

She kept at facts. He tried to deflect. It didn't work. The focus group went from mostly favorable to Trump or at least open to him to 17 for Hillary and 3 for Trump at the end. The one black woman said his answers about race clinched her for Hillary.

Like one of the men in the focus group said, he was surprised at how hawkish she is and I too worry about that. She did vote for Irag war lie and I even knew just by reading papers and magazines it was a lie. But in my heart, I think if she had a way out of war she would take it. She has been a lifetime of work for women and children and in war, women and children especially suffer the most. She knows it. Seen it up close and personal. Terrorists are so needing to be stopped, and I cannot begin to think I know what paths to take. Jobs, schooling, good food, safe environments and democratic elections are what truly would prevent terrorism. But how do we get from here to that standard for the folks in Syria and elsewhere? She's been doing the work for  a long time and I am betting she will find a way. She will face Global Warming and Energy through the facts and encourage the scientists to find solutions and through the bully pulpit influence the jobs sectors to jump in with inventions and technology. And education, she whole heartedly believes in education for all and that it will answer so many problems we have in so many areas.

So I hope President Obama, Michele, Elizabeth, VP Biden and Bernie hit the trail for her now heavily. One debate isn't enough but it is a start. Bruce thinks Trump will not do debate's 2 & 3. He will find a way out of them. Getting people out to vote is the goal. The more the better. This needs to be landslide, not just squeaking by. A referendum on equal rights for all, message sent through out our country and across the globe. If that happens here, why not elsewhere? Does England really have to exit from European Union after it is all said and done? It is clear it will hurt them hugely and they began to see it and the Prime Minister seems to be slowing things down to a crawl to rethink things. Maybe if we have a landslide that will help them too.

Enough. Back to painting dots where I belong. It's a good thing no one reads this blog!!! :)

Monday, September 26, 2016


I have not used this blog to talk politics, nor have I used Facebook for that topic. My vote is private and mine to decide and really isn't anyones business. I have been a lifelong Democrat. Have voted once or twice for a Republican, or rooted for one who I couldn't vote for because I was not in their district or state. But mostly I vote straight ticket.

I live in a Republican county. Lot's of close friends who are Republican. We talk and share views, but we are respectful and careful. Friendships are valuable and worth more than party affiliations. I lived in the Bay Area, liberal heaven, is how I felt. I was raised in Los Angeles, a mixed bag. My family were very Progressive. So much so the FBI followed my folks for years and years. Even though the managers of their cases wrote in their yearly reports, these folks are not threatening the US. They are showing up at marches. They do stand for Civil Rights, but we see no sign of plotting against the country. J. Edgar Hoover signed off one more year to keep following them. 42 years he signed off on them. Talk about a waste of tax payers money.

I have a lot of fear when it comes to stirring things up. Friends fathers went to jail. My folks followed, our phones tapped, they showed up at my school even and harrassed my teacher. So I know where the fear comes from. And when I see how people treat one another on the internet it feeds into that fear, so mostly I stick to posting artwork I have made. And leave it at that.

This week, though, I posted a video of Meryl Strepp speaking about Hillary Clinton at the Woman's Conference, 2012, I believe. I think it was in NY. She tells of the women around the world whose lives were changed, even saved at times, because Hillary was present. I know she was present in the Civil Rights struggle. She showed up with Caesar Chavez when he needed backing at some point. She tried to get us real health care, not the kind that insurance companies dole out and we pay through the teeth for. It didn't work, but she sure tried. She attended a woman's conference in China, the first one in spite of all the men in power in the US, including Bill, telling her she cannot go. She is the First Lady. Unbecoming. Then they tried to tell her what she could and could not say. "Women's rights are human rights," Hillary Clinton.

Back to the video. My nephew writes a comment to me. He is part India/Pakistani from his father's side, and white Russian Jewish from his mothers side, my sister. He is a practising Muslim like his father and mother (may she rest in peace) who raised him and his siblings in that religion. All the women in that family cover their heads. The men have beards. They are all devote and raise their children the same, and they attend Muslim private schools.

So my nephew writes to convince me that I should vote for Jill Stein because she is Progressive. I know I should. That is how I was raised. My parents backed Charlotta Bass way back, when she ran as a Vice President on the Progressive ticket. She was a black woman, educator, and friend of our family. But, I cannot vote for Jill.  Jill may be the best person in the world. She might even be more qualified than Hillary, although that is doubtful. No one is more qualified than Hillary whether you like her or not. Jill is a thrown away vote. She won't even be on the ballot in many states.

Trump. Oh I wish I didn't have to write about him. I had to tell my nephew I cannot take a chance on this man becoming President. My Muslim Nephew will vote for Jill. One more vote for Trump in essence. He said, Shirley Auntie, lesser of two evils? That's why we are in the mess we are in? Well, nephew, I wish I could be idealistic but the stakes feel to high. I cannot allow a man in the White House who wants to threaten the lives of my Muslim family, saying they should not be allowed into the country, when my brother in law has siblings who come to visit, cousins who are coming back and forth to college, when my niece lives in London and might want to bring her family to visit us. I cannot stand watching Trump pander to African Americans while in fact really talking to undecided white people to prove he isn't racist, while he banned black people from his rentals. Part of my family is African American. My first husband and my children and my grandchildren all have African blood in their beautiful bodies. No. This man cannot be President. Or what about my hispanic family? My step daughter has birth family from El Salvador. Some legal, but maybe some not, I do not know. But the way he is talking rounding people up and deporting, I can see the grandmother in that family, who speaks little English be swept away without us knowing? The atmosphere Trump has trumped up is bringing the white racists out of the woodwork. They actually think they are main stream now!!! How did that happen?

So I told my nephew yes, I am voting for Hillary who has supported some things I don't like, the Iraq war lie, for one. Mistake. I knew it was a lie how could she not? But are we going to compound all the mistakes of the past and put a man like Trump in the White House? A vote for Jill is no vote. How is that going to help anybody?

I didn't say this part. I truly feel at the bottom of my heart that all the negatives against Hillary are really because she is a strong woman who would not break, even when her husband acted the ass, like many men do, but these two are front in center for all to see, berate, belittle. Trump felt he is free to threaten to put Jennifer Flowers in the front row of the debate tonight. I cannot even begin to express how horrible I feel about him doing that. Being a woman, one who was cheated upon in a marriage, I can easily put myself in Hillary's shoes, but at least my humiliation was only in front of family and friends, not the whole world. And for Trump to think it funny, or to try to threaten her with it, or just did it thoughtlessly until one of the women in his life told him to shut the fuck up, puts him in a catagory of folks who do not even belong at a dinner in the white house, let alone President of the United States.

The debates are in 45 minutes. My stomach is so upset. I feel so bad that this man has gotten this far and so many people are so behind him, even as he steals the money they give to his Foundation for Charity, and uses for his personal stuff, I just don't get it. I have never liked the idea of reality TV. All it seems to do is bring the worst out in people. That is not me. I like to find the good and I know it is there. George Bush for instance, didn't like his Iraq lie to start with, and the list is long, ending with his pick of Chaney as VP. But he honored Dorothy Haight, an African American woman who did a lifetime of good for lots of people and he gave her a medal. He signed the bill that made way for the building of the African American Museum on Washington Mall that opens this week. Good is in most if you look.

I am having trouble with Trump. I see the hurt he has put on so many: the folks who did work for him and he never paid them, the foundation money donated for charity and he used it to pay off law suits against him. He bribed a Prosecutor who was looking into his so called University. And all the people who gave him money in good faith for some kind of education in his University, and it turned out to be a fraud. And all the white racists organizations that are rooting for him, and he has encouraged their support. Surreal. I watched Cruz, bow his head and say he will vote for Trump. How could he? Trump lied about his father and insulted his wife. Did Trump give him money? What in the world is worth selling out your father and wife for? McCain another one. When Donald insulted McCain's service that was it for me. I am not a Republican. I think McCain's policy are harmful to women, to poor people to the middle class. And his choice of VP was laughable. But the man served his country. That should be good enough. Then he was a POW, and when given a choice to leave because his father has connections, he stayed in prison camp with his comrades and was tortured for years. Trump had the nerve to diss this man. How could he have gone on to win the nomination after that? What is wrong with this country?

The debates. I fear for Hillary. How can they even debate issues? The man doesn't care about issues. He wants attention, period. So he will turn this into a circus and then the media will blame Hillary or Mr. Holt the moderator, and Trump will announce he is the winner. He started already: Holt is from the biased media. WE all know he is a Democrat. Wrong. Lester Holt is registered to the Republican party.

I do not know if I can watch. 100 million people are scheduled to watch. My hubby just came to get me. Thank God for Solitaire on my iPhone!!!! I am sending good thoughts Hillary's way. Instead of celebrating the 1st woman, wow!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Creative Play: Creative Play: SpiritHillArtStudio now on Etsy


Creative Play: SpiritHillArtStudio now on Etsy

Creative Play: SpiritHillArtStudio now on Etsy


Photo: Shirley Keller at the home of Nora Valencia, teacher of cooking class, 12/2014.

Many of the items in my new Esty Store named SpiritHillArtStudio, were inspired by Oaxacan artists. Long ago I saw wood carved critters painted in dots and I never forgot them. So when I began to paint old rusty items like horse shoes, or saw blades, or shovels, I had those animals in mind. Then a daughter of the heart sent me a piece of linen with Aborigini art, and I realized that in many ways what I was doing is old as the hills of Australia. Someone reminded me that Pointilism was also used as an art form. The painting "Breakfast in the Park" is an example. All of these folks came before me and I now actively search the wonders of the Internet to learn more about them and look at their work by the hours.

I do not compare what I do to any of the above. Most of my work is done upcycling objects that might be thrown on a junk pile, and repurposing them into art. Also, I came to art late in life, so I do not have certain skills that I have learned from childhood. I am now learning how to draw as I go along. Much of my work is inspired by children who hail from Omo Valley in Niger. They paint their faces and bodies with clay stained with colors of flowers, such talents at very young ages.

My art is like my family. Over a 50 year period, we pulled in people into our family circle that hailed from around the globe. Colors, religions, cultures, marriages, birth, adoptions, and just because the heart insisted, have integrated themselves into our clan. "There is always room for one more," insisted our elders, and so we have made it so. Thus, it makes sense to me that even in my ignorance of the influences, the art process I have been on managed to install itself from around the world. Now that I realize it, it makes me smile.

In December, 2016, I return to Oaxaca, to hopefully learn from Silvia Fuentes, painter and carver. I look forward to the experience. Everyone I met in Oaxaca did art in some form or another, what ever their day job was. It was inspiring to be in such an environment. I so look forward to more.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

SpiritHillArtStudio now on Etsy

Just opened a store on Etsy. I call it Spirit Hill Art Studio. You can find it at the following link: www.etsy.com/shop/SpiritHillArtStudio

Delia helped me begin the process of uploading items to sell. That was a five hour process just to upload 7 items. I spent another 4 hours the next day uploading the next 5 items. Today I made a banner, and added a photo of my studio. I fixed the policies of my studio, and set up links to this blog and facebook. It's a lot of work, but I have enjoyed every minute of it.

Lessons I have learned: Taking photographs of your art teaches you about quality of workmanship. Being persistent is the only way to get through the details. The first time rarely works. The third try is the charm! If it can go wrong it does, but not quiting is how you get around that. I love Delia's brain. Wish I had it. Must pack up stuff on Etsy and not try to sell elsewhere. As soon as I do someone will buy the item packed at the bottom of the box. The good thing about that is you sold it! HA!

The Banner I made for the Etsy Store

Picture of Spirit Hill Art Studio

Now on to painting another glorious hubcap!