Tuesday, December 15, 2015


I was going to theme this post using Tchaikovsky’s "December;" but, I was listening to Chester’s playlist coming home from the farm and Green Day’s "Holiday" came up. Sadly, punk rock seemed more a more appropriate theme than Tchaikovsky.

I’m completely stunned by the amount of prideful malevolence that I encounter every day. It’s almost a twisted contest. Presidential candidates, news commentators, and ordinary people all espousing hatred and division.

The reality is that we all live on a very small pile of rocks hurtling through space. This planet really isn’t big enough to divide into hateful territorial factions. Really. Very small planet. Stop it. Seriously. Stop it.

With each day comes a new opportunity to change for the better. I wish each and every reader peace and happiness. This is the dawning of the rest of our lives.

Green Day -- Holiday

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Effulgent Red

Red is effulgent -- shining brightly amidst the snow in December. There’s a dichotomy about red. It symbolizes death and birth. It is the color of life itself.

Mixed-media creation -- acrylic, watercolor on watercolor paper, on canvas.
Red has always decorated our world. The caves of Lascaux, the pyramids of Egypt, pre-Incan vessels, and barns around the world all showcase the easily found, and subsequently inexpensive, ferric oxide compound commonly called red ochre. This color of life is created in the end stages just before a red giant star dies. Turns out Joni Mitchell was right. We are stardust.

Fused glass pendant using Bullseye and Wasser glass, dichroic glass, and enamel.
When we bought our farm, it came with the quixotic white house and a red barn. Barns do come in other colors; but, I immediately think “red” when I think of a barn. I’m glad our barn is red. Not only is ferric oxide (aka rust) an inexpensive paint additive, it also inhibits the growth of fungi. Fungi trap moisture, so the red paint actually protects our barn from rotting due to moisture buildup. In addition, it makes a perfect watercolor study.

Our little red barn.
For me, red is a hard-to-sell color for jewelry. I started out making quite a bit of red jewelry, but found that it didn’t have the appeal of other colors. I still use touches of it here and there. It will probably never be the only color I use in a piece of jewelry other than earrings.
Bullseye and Wasser glass with enamel and fine silver embellishments.
Did you know that the inclusion of red in a fine art painting actually increases it’s value? This is in part because red is associated with stronger emotions than other colors (as in the expression “seeing red”). In addition, it is considered a lucky color in some countries. You can read more about this effulgent color in the art world in these articles. Enjoy.

How Red Boosts a Painting's Value

High-End Art Is One of the Most Manipulated Markets in the World