Clay Owen Studios

Center for lost art forms!


Hello Everyone. I own a small art studio in Anchorage Alaska. Our community is growing and so is the community of artists. There are so many artists that come into my studio. They have art rooms in their houses, apartments, shops, and garages. They have regular full time jobs but art is their sweet escape. The goal of my blog is to raise awareness of who these people are as artists. Support for an artist is not only given in a monitary sense but in support, recogntion and encouragement. Please join me in commenting, sharing, and offering artist words of encouragment. I am lucky enough to run my own art studio for the public but those who run an art studio in private should be celebrated too. This page is for all the artists who inspire me. 

view:  full / summary

Traveling to Chaing Mai Thailand

Posted on October 24, 2017 at 8:10 AM Comments comments (0)
So I have many tips for those traveling to Thailand so let's just start with the most basic. First of all if you sweat a lot in humid places I have something that is really going to save you... baby powder, bring it and use it. Unfortunately with all the walking around you will be doing your thighs are going to rub together and its going to very uncomfortable and painful, have this on to so that you can limit the friction, it will save you. Also just because things are cheaper does not mean you will spend less, in fact it means you will be compelled to do just the opposite. So be careful, get the Unis plus app on your phone it is free and it can convert any currency, distance, temp, etc. you will need it to keep track. Unfortunately there are no beaches in Chiang Mai but you know I asked other travelers here and they said they did not care for the beaches. Very little to do except play in the water and you can only do that for so long. It is also very overrun with drunk Westerns that are kind of obnoxious at times. Phone service. Turn Off that Data! Turn it off, don't make calls. If you have an IPhone and you can connect to Wifi you can text and facebook message from that, you can also call on facebook. Hotels do not generally let you make calls internationally. You can also purchase a SIM card that will allow you to call internationally, we did not go that route so I'm not sure how much it runs. There are so many wonderful places to go in Chiang Mai. I will tell you about all of them and let you decide. If you like the country side and you like nature it is worth a 30 minute trip out of Chiang Mia to visit the hot springs. It will cost you 100 baht to get it which is roughly $3 American. They have mineral baths which are private baths that you can submerge yourself in which cost a little extra but still are not that expensive. You have access to the smaller hot spring often only waste deep. Each section of the hot spring will be marked with the temperature, the ones closest to the gysers are the hottest. There is also a very fun tradition you can be a part of. You can purchase four eggs for 20 bath is a woven grass basket. You set the eggs is the designated hot spring to boil. The signs says 10 minute however it really depends where you place the eggs in the hot spring. We did no think it would be difficult to boil some eggs but after three failed attempts we got to split one fully cooked egg. We were not the only ones, the sign will lie to you haha it does not take ten minutes. However you can leave them and go about enjoying the hot springs. There are many families there and the grassy meadows that surround it are breath taking. Many families are there having picnics, older folks are chatting as they submerge their feet, and after you can get a thirty minute foot massage for 120 baht a person. There is also a very good restaurant on the grounds and a few gift shops. It is really hard not to want to take some of the stray dogs that run around there home, they are very sweet and will definetly let you pet them. This is no the only hot spring in the area, there is another down the road but it is more expensive and is more like a spa. This location is more of a cultural experience as it has many Thai people enjoying the park with their families. If you are in Chiang Mia and need transportation that best and perhaps scariest way to get around is a Tuk Tuk, its a motor bike with one wheel in front and two wheels in back. It will take you anywhere in the city within reason for 200 baht. This is only if you are comfortable with weaving and bobbing out of traffic, often going into the oncoming traffic line, and getting inches away from other cares and motorbike on all sides. Traffic lines are really just a suggestion and motor bikes make their own rules, they go between cars, ride on the side walk, and often carry small children and adults with little to no road protection. In fact we were told that Thailand is the number one place for organs transplants because of all the motor bike accidents. So that being send enjoy! Haha it really is good fun and if you like a little danger to spice it up than do it. The thing I loved about driving here is that even though you are constantly getting cut off and someone if an inch from touching your back tired, no one yells, no ones beeps ( unless in immediate danger) and everyone is pretty relaxed. Okay so here is the situation on the zoo. If you think you can walk all the way through it you are wrong, especially if you are not used to the humidity. The place is massive. A good thing to know if that the Panda Exhibit, Aquarium, and Zoo as well as the shuttle through the zoo ( which trust me you want) are all priced separately. You can go to the ticket office to get a package deal. We paid 460 baht to get into the zoo, tickets for the shuttle, and the panda exhibit. There was an option for more to add the aquarium on there but we were too cheap. However we helped up going to the aquarium to buy the tickets because we changed our minds and it was about 400 baht so we lost out on some money. The Aquarium does not look like much from the outside but trust me it is worth it, it has a lot of interested fish with full descriptions in English. We have some photos if you want to see the inside, it does not look like much from the outside. Okay so I went to the spa.. and I thought it would be relaxing. If you are a westerner let me give you a tip.... DO NOT GET A DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE THE FIRST TIME. I remember lying on the bed thinking oh man this is going to be so relaxing I am going to fall asleep. No no these four foot ladies are like hulk Hogan on steroids. They mean business and they will rub tissues you did not even know that you had. Also if you scream out in pain they will say " oh you fine, its good for you". I am one of those very timid people who really has a hard time speaking up but I yelled out a couple of times. At one point I was laying there thinking dear god why did I get the 2.5 hour massage. It was about $100 American ( there are other thai massage places outside the city who will do it for way less but his location is walking distance from most of the hotels. Anyway you have to work up to the massage and tell them to take it easy on you the first time. I marked down a six for pressure on a scale of 1 to 10 for the sheet they gave me before my visit when I should have put a two. At one point this woman climbed on top of me hands and feet basically jumping on me. It was very painful but the next day I had a range of motion that was unbelievable. A little tramatized and sore but still felt so good after a bit. I did walk in for an appointment but they are busy so I recommend making a reservation.

A Truly Unique Style- Devin Deuel

Posted on August 19, 2016 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (0)

When creating art in Anchorage it is not hard to become part of a particular socail circle of artists. They gather at the businesses that support the arts such as Brown Bag Sandwich Comany. One such artist even created a mural for them in their first business location and works for them currently. 

He has travled to many different states and created art in each of them. You may see his mural on the side of the Ak Alchemist coffee shop. His unqiue style in this work of art displays images native to alaska such as salmon and bears. However it is his portriats that truly give me the chills. I am not too prideful to admit that his portrayal of women's faces gives me goosebumps and I am alittle envious at times. 

You will see him at the music and art events around town. He is normally sporting a unique hair and/ or beard design which is very much his style as well as the uniquely ragged boots he wares. I only mention this becasue it paints the picture of his personality and unique artistic attributes. (Devin these are all compliments by the way). 

I visited him once when he was created a very detailed, pen drawn, work of art. It was HUGE! It was the largest piece of paper I have ever seen and it was mounted straight up and down on the wall, what looked like flood lights pointed straight at it. His forearm was rested on the wall and his nose was so close to the piece that it almost touched. The skeleton of the image was complete but he was adding in details  that would be hard to see without a magnifying glass. It is the patience this work of art had taken, even in it's beginning stages, that struck me most. 

He is now creating tatoos at the Vala Gallery on Schoon Street. Go say hello and check him out. If you like his work show the love and comment or subscribe to the blog to see more of other artists in Anchorage. 

An Artist I Love- Amy Mcvey

Posted on August 19, 2016 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Today is my first blog post. I am an artist and not always good with technology but I started this blog to learn and share. Your support as a subscriber is very helpful to me and will offer you the chance to learn about all the young talent that I see come through my studio and through the art world of Anchorage. 

This young artist is my age. A fresh 26 years old. She has helped me through hard times and has supported me when my business was young. Raising up a business is like raising up a child. I feel like you have to take love and care and energy and put everything into it. You can't leave it too long and you stress out when its in the hands of others. Now my business is no longer a baby but more a teenager. Amy was there for the pregnancy so to speak. 

When I met her she was a bartender in the service industry of downtown Anchorage. She often told me of all the wonderful people she met at her job but also of how taxing it was to be an attractive bar tender who listened to so many sad stories. I feel as an artist we are so much more effected by the emotions of those around us. If you have ever heard that artist are more emotional then other,  there is truth to that.  The emotions of others effects our art in ways we can not control but our own emotions experience more changes and effect our art more drastically. 

Amy lost her mother to cancer and during that time it was very hard on her, her family, and her friends.  She was so angry at times and when the anger subsided it was replace with sadness which is so much harder. Her paintings changed and her once bright colors turned to dark tones. Her art was still beautiful but it was diffferent. Everyone who knew her could see the her style had changed. She made it through her hard time though and was a stronger person because of it. Seeing her style change truly reminded me of how importnat art is to everyone. 

Whether you feel like your art is "good" or not it doesn't really matter. Art is an outward expression of yourself. I know this sounds like an overly emotional statement but it is very true. Its a wordless expression of where our emotions are on a day to day basis. 

For Amy art was her expression when she had  no words to describe how hard it was to lose someone. She is still a truly amazing artist and though her bright colors have returned her style is still diffferent then it was before. It has evolved in so many ways.  She is still my friend, my muse, and my Amy. 

Look her up and show the love. Amy McVey. or on facebook as she is still working on her website.