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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. 

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Winds, Rain, Sweat, and Tears

Posted on May 21, 2018 at 1:15 AM Comments comments (1)

Sometimes as an art vendor you go behind your tent and you cry a little... sometimes you cry a lot... and sometimes you sleep under your table while your exhausted boyfriend takes the first shift. If you have ever run a craft booth you know that nothing fits back in the car the way it came out... its almost as if the stuff expanded and your car shrunk. I always have to laugh as I see vendor with a car full of stuff and all these bins on the ground still just starring at their car like... " What happened here?". I have been there, done that and will probably have to do it many times again. Once the items are packed from the garage of your house to your trunk there is that feeling like you can rest for a minute. Which lasts actually until the car pulls up to the fair grounds and you sit in your car for a minute hoping that wild knomes will jump out and put up your tent for you. Then there is always that one thing your forgot.. it could be string, it could be scissors, it could be tape.... but there is always that one thing. This weekend at the Mermaid Festival had to top my charts of ultimate worse fair scenarios. Gail force winds were blowing small icy drops of rain into my eyes and face. I was trying to catch my breath as another wind swooped down from the mountains and picked up my tent and slammed it down. I heard a " MOTHERF***R" screamed from next door immediately followed by the sound of items crashing to the ground. This persons tent next to me had literally been half on top of mine, legs up for almost an hour but I was too scared to go over and move it, they had not yet arrived. I didn't want to make matters worse. When they did it arrive it was not the best, they ended up just packing and goin home. Two of the legs were snapped off the tent, product was laying soaked on the wet pavement, and you know the worst part? The embarrassment as people walk by and either stared or asked if they wanted help. I don't know about them, it is super kind for folks to ask to help, but sometimes you just want to be invisible while you bend down to collect your items like a beach comber. Needless to say sometimes running the fairs can be rough. However seeing the same old vendors is pretty cool. It's almost like seeing extended family and we get to ask " How was your year? and What have you been up to?". Some vendors are friendly, some rivals, but its all in good sport. If we didn't support each other we would not last long. It takes a village, a group of people willing to share monitary change, scissors, tape, and the occasional " It's all going to be okay". Doing the fairs is an adventure. From road snacks to tents breaking. Its so much work but it pays off to see the regulars who buy your items come back every year. Each year their children getting alittle taller. I have done craft fairs for the past eight years. The best ones are in Girdwood. I think that people who support the arts know how much work goes into products and do not argue too much about the price. When I do a fair that has alot of commercail items its alot harder to sell my work. Items that are made by hand are way more expensive then the $5 figurine that has made in china sanded off the bottom. Be careful what you buy and most of all be respectful of who you are buying it from.

We do make alot of memroies at the fairs... like that one time I bought a bicycle at a fair thinking it would fit in the back of the car with all the other stuff... boy was my boyfriend mad at me. The guy had a first series Schwinn bike that was red, new street tires, and a basket on the front with a for sale sign. To this day I hear about that bike. The guy rode past and my boyfriend just looked at me and said " Don't you dare...." haha, that made it even more tempting. Well his mistake was that he walked away. I told myself " okay if he rides back around it is just simply a sign" Well... he rode back around HA! I hide the bike in the back of the tent not wanting to fess up until after the fair was over. Well the end of the fair comes and the boyfriend goes behind the tent. I hear a " Babe.... I know this isnt the bike I told you not to purchase becasue we dont have room". I said " Well we sold alot it will definetly fit....." Well guess what... it didn't fit. In fact he had to find some rope from a neighbor and tie it to the roof in the rain. And as the rain is pouring down and he is muttering under his breath I'm just standing there thinking this poor guy didn't know what he signed up for! lol.

Katmai Sky High

Posted on February 26, 2018 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

  It's amazing the women you meet out there in the world. I am lucky my studio has allowed me to meet so many! I have met doctors, lawyers, pilots, all types of women doing what they love, taking care of families, and fighting through amazing lives. One such woman I have to say is just so much fun and I admire so much for her impressive career and for being so willing to share and enjoy life. She let me tag along this summer on a helicopter trip. She and her now husband own Alaska Ultimate Safaris. I never thought as a potter I would be able to go on a trip like that but she brought me along for the day just to fill a seat and it was such an amazing trip. You don't get many perks owning a small art business but it affords such awesome opportunities to meet and connect with people you would have never come across any other way. 

   During our time in the studio together we talked alot about her life. Her dad was a teacher and her mom a stay at home mom. They put all their money into sending her to ground school. It all started when she went on a flight with her uncle, who was a pilot. She said it was at that age, around six or seven, that she learned what she wanted to do. She finished ground school and worked for Grant Aviation for a time. She then started Alaska Ultimate Safaris with her signifigant other after they had rented a helicopterr to get their training. Trips like the one she was offering to take me on ran upwards of $700.00 which seesm expensive however they have to lease their helicopters and pay for repairs as well as fuel.  The trip is well worth it, its a once in a life time change to witness bears in their nature habitat. 

   It was a cold morning in the summer that I arrived to their lauch pad. A small cabin with flower boxes sat locked next to the water. I watied in my car putting on my hat and mittens as I was told it would be a cold ride. The last time they had gone out for bear viewing a curious bear had dented in the side window, we would have to fly today without it. She was sure to let everyone on the flight know and even took us up for a test run just to make sure we were comfortable. The other passengers were up from Texas for a real estate conference. They were a very nice couple who were staying in Cooper Landing for the weekend. 

   It was an amazing trip. The helicopter lifted off the ground and it just felt like we were floating. It is weren't for the really loud hum of the propeller I wouldn't have even known we were in a machine. I felt like the good witch in the bubble in the Wizard of Oz. It was so effortless to move, the air was rushing in to the cabin. I did not realize my coat had a ripe where my dog had chewed it. Down feathers started swirling aroudnt the cabin and I quickly squezed my hand over the tear to stop the flow from my North Face jacket. It was rather embarssing but only made me worry about crashing, not very many pilots can navigate while breathing in feathers. They quickly exited the cabin, I smiled ackwardly at the woman sitting next to me. The ear phones I had on made it had to hear and my mike was too close to my face. I muttered a "sorry" but it just came out as white noise. 

   Its amazing what you can see from a helicopter. We got to get super close to the mountains and glaciers because with helicopters you didnt have to worry about wind currents as much as with planes. You could see where a rich layer of ash and soil had settled on top of the glacier and trees started growing from the rich soil. We flew up over the top of the ridge looking down to spot some bears. The only thing I could see was a small black speck. " Oh oh there!", I yelled and pointed down. I could see it moving up the grassy cliffs occasionally stopping at a bright orange and red set of rocks. We lowered down closer and the bear appeared much bigger. Down the hill one more bear, then two, and then tree. The black bear looked up at us as if to say what the hell is that thing. They were foraging for berries that grew near the peaks of the mountain. Kirsten explained we would be landing to view the grizzlies but black bears seemed to be more protective and it was not recommended to land that high up and get close to them. 

   We circled around and got closer to the water. The world below looked like a topograhpical map spotted with lines from animals trailing over the landscape. They almost looked like a childs scribble. The land closer to the beach was marshy, with bright yellow and green colors. Occasionally but not often a lonely tree interupted the flat landscape. Swans with their mates were nesting in the light green pounds of water scattered in an odd arrangement. As got closer we discovered the grizzlys. They were alot easier to spot being as large as they were. That was 900 lbs a piece of pure muscle and bushy auburn hair. We touched down on the beach and the helicopter landed with a thud. 

   We walked along the beach awhile waiting for the bears to get closer. Kirsten explained that these bears were very curious beings. They loved to come up the helicopter and chew on it, lick it, or even try to sit in it.  This land was pretty much untouched by anyone who did not have use of a plan in the folds of Katmai National Park. The bears were protected for hunting here and since they were not used to people they were generally more afraid of us than we were of them. Kirsten brought many tours out here in the summer including photographers for national geographic. She had names for her favoirte bears and the ones she would see most often. We were hoping to spot a momma bear with two new babies she had been seeing off and on the past several months. 

  The bear we were spotting out near the water and walking inland, slowly being pushed our way by the rising tide. It was amazing because he was closer he looked right at me. He locked eyes with mine and I was amazed how similar it felt to making eye contact with another human. He knew I was there and he continued to walk closer. As he approached I just nervous and kept looking from our guide to the bear..Ummm... ummmm....Ummm. She just motioned me to crouch down in the rocky sand and to not make a sound. She was more afraid we would scare him off, I was more affraid I would be a snack. About ten feet in front of us he did a circle and sat down with a thump. His upper body was still off the ground and his nose was pointed straight up in the air. You could tell he was sniffing us out from a distance. All of a sudden he started rubbing his rear end back and forth and side to side, making a comfy place to sit. Then he layed down facing us and just let us watch him. He was so cute! For a 900 pound mass of teeth and fur. It kind of made you want to walk up and pet him but hopefully most would know better. Off in the distance we  heard a splash. 

   A female bear was standing in the water fishing. She had already catch one and had dragged it up on the sand bar to chow. It took all of three mintues before she was back at it again, ankle deep in the water. All of sudden she raised her head, her fur hung in dark strains dripping water. We looked in the direction she was looking and didnt see anything. We were shocked when she took off running. I was amazed how fast she was, it made me nervous for the next time I hiked because I know now that they is no way you can out run a bear for very long. She was running throug the water no less. About a hundred yards out she plucked up a salmon like she was plucking a berry from a bush. 


Stained Glass Pane in the A**

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I stepped off the plane and the air was silent. I leaned over and put my hands on my knees trying to get my barings before I blew chunks all over the runway. I just got off my third flight, each plane got smaller and smaller. I was toting about seventy pounds of glass and equipment with me to teach my class in a small village in Alaska. A town of about 50 only 15 of which ever came out of their homes in the winter. It was spring so things were still a little brown and the air smelled like mud. Before I could stand up straight to get some air I heard the buzz of the plane taking off behind me. Well okay.... I thought... just leave me here in the middle of nowhere. There was a large metal hanger that looked like it had not been opened in months. So I just sat on my bags and waited.... and waited... and waited.... Will I have to drink my own pee? Was my first thought on my mind, if that gives you any idea of my survival instincts. Finally I heard a loud back fire and a four wheel emerged from the trees. A small older man who looked too fragile to be driving a vechile was driving and a large man hung on the back with one hand and one knee, the rest of his appendages flaling around as they hit bump after bumpe. "You the art lady", he yelled out to me in a tired raspy voice. " Yes!", I yelled back, thinking oh dear god I'm saved. The bigger man was silent he walked right past to me as the four wheeler roared to a stop. He grabbed my big totes and exhaled sharply as he realized my tote full of glass sheets was heavier than it looked. He packed all the items on to the back of the four wheeler while me and the older man tried avoid ackward eye contact. " Okay lets go", said the taller man. I was thinking okay how the hell are all three of us getting on that... the answer was not in a comfortable way. Now I sound like a city girl but just keep in mind I just got off a plane that smelled like airplane fuel and slim jims while it bobbed like a rubber ducky through Lake Clark Pass. I jumped on the back of the four wheeler, hanging on with one hand and knee as that was the only space allowed. We took off with a jolt that nearly sent me backwards off the end. 

    Soon we were out of the woods, after a long and bumpy road, and I got my first view of Pedro Bay. It was really beautiful out here, I would give them that. There was a big lake and around it was freckled with small cabins. The town included a gas pump, not a gas station, a council house, and some other official looking buidlings. In the council house was a nurse who came out to Pedro Bay fifteen years ago and never left. She stood out from the rest of the village as she had pale white skin and round european eyes like mine. A lady in her fifties, she inhabited a small office in the council building where she treated any ailment that did not require flying to town.  The gentlemen who loaded me up, loaded me off the four wheeler twice as fast and took off down the road. I was left on the porch holding my things, shivering alittle because the wind was blowing across the surface of the lake and slapping me in the face. Soon another four wheel pulled up and a completely different host arrived. She had sharp pointed features, bright almost white blond hair and stood four foot nothing with a huge glock strapped to her leg. She wore dirty carhart pants and a carhart jacket, which made me feel like an idiot in my wimpy sweater. She took off her dark sun glasses and said in a high pitched voice, " Hey I'm Jesse." I introduced myself and we quickly starting loading my things. The plan was for me to stay in the council building but once I got a look at the cot and the cold hard floor the director who hired me asked;" There is a couple on the edge of town, the wife is alone alot and she said she is willing to let you stay in her cabin." I pretended to think about it to be polite and said " Oh sure, if it's not too much trouble." I was going to be out there for two weeks after all and a bed sounded better on my back than a cot. So that is how Jesse and I ended bunking together. She had a dog named Bruiser.. a husky who ran along side the four wheeler. We took off at light speed down the road, a dirt path that most have rolled over ten hills before we reached their cabin three miles out of town. Once we reached the woods near the cabins I started to see remanents of a life past. Old decaying sheds were sinking into the mossy bumps of the forest floor, old machine parts were a rusty orange standing out from the muddy skag land of low brush, and a bent airplane propeller lay near the entrance of their road. 

Jesse and Nolan had moved out here after they got married. He was a small bush pilot who delivered supplies to local villages. Last year his plane had crashed and he had walked away without a scratch, which explained the bent propeller in the yard. His plane did not make it though and it was a miracel there was another plane passing by before he froze to death. This cabin was his parents cabin, elders of the village, who had since passed away. It was a charming place with a road path and a single tall pine tree in the yard. The cabin had a loft and one small bedroom, the wood stove in the basement heated the whole house and the water. I would laugh in the morning as Jesse put on her big girl boots and with all of her four foot might would chop wood in the morning. Nolan had taken a job working on the slope and was there two weeks on and two weeks off six months after they had moved out there. Jesse had lived in Seattle her whole life but she loved the simple life out here in remote Alaska. She said living her was like living inside a high school because gossip would spread quick and it was vicious but other than that they tried to keep to themselves. I was always impressed by her being out here all alone and taking care of herself. In this small community you really had to make the best of it with your neighbors despite what you thought because one day they could save your bacon. You especially didnt want to piss off the guy who had the key to the gas pump in town. 

  We went to the council house after I got all settled. I was teaching one class every night for the week. The council was wanting to order equipment so that the locals could come do stained glass together to get them out of the house. The way the teenagers looked at me you would think I was from Oz. They were really friendly, asking me all kinds of questions about "the big city" which made me laugh. It did make me realize how overwelming it must be to visit a city like Anchorage compared to a town of less than 50 just to visit let alone to start a life there, much as I can image it being an adjustment moving to a small community such as thing. The nice thing about this small place was there were very few expectations of how to look or how to dress. There was a lot more freedom to spend the day how you pleased when the work was done. The class was filled with men, women, and teenagers. I walked over to say hello to everyone, one particular student I was warned to approach with caution... no further explanation. I walked up to say hello and he yelled at me " Hey your from the big city huh? Yeah you won't come back here.. they never do," and he turned back around. I did know what to say at that point so I ackwardly turned around and went back to handing out patterns. 

  It wasn't until later that I learned the story behind that encounter. After the class was over Jesse and I went back to the cabin. It was pitch black at night. There was no light pollution from any street lamps so it was hard to see your hand in front of your face. The bright side was that when you looked up you felt like you were in a snow globe because their were so many stars. When we got in the door we started fixing dinner. Once we were cozied up in blankets and our cordoroy chairs we turned on a movie. There was a small radio in the corner of the room that all the houses in the village used in case of emergency. Half way through the show the radio buzzed to life, " I will burn all your houses down while you sleep." I did a double take and stopped mid chew. Did he just say what I thought he said? I stopped breathing just to hear what came on next. " I don't want these outsiders here," said the voice again. Jesse was so used to it she only realized it the second sentence. She jumped up so fast the springs on her recliner made a twag and it bobbed back and forth like a bobble head. As she ran to the raid the blanket that had dropped to her feet tripped her and she came to the ground with a crash. Use she belly crawled to the radio she slammed the off button. 

  It was later explained to me that I was not warned about this situation because they feared I would not come to teach class. You are dam right! I thought to myself. The teen boy in the class would regularly get on the radio and threaten the village. No one took his seriously but for two city girls living alone three miles out of town, was that really a risk we could take? Jesse had called the troopers multiple times. They said just to get the clearance to fly out there they needed an hour and it would take at least two to get to the village. It was quickly made clear to me that in order for anything to be done in the village something had to have already occured. We were on our own. She said it did scare her but everyone told her it would be fine. I had mixed feelings. Clearly this guy was reaching out for help and attention. I was told that phychiatrists and dentists only came out once a year and there was no way the family could afford to fly him into town for the help he needed. It was really unfortunate. In class he was smiling and participating but he had an air of sadness about him as well.  It made the rest of my stay uneasy but I tried to make the best of it. Jesse offered to have me sleep in the same room as her in the top of the cabin so I did. 

   Everything went smoothly for the most part for the rest of my class. I taught class the next day as if nothing had happened and I tried to not giving any weird looks though I was uncomfortable. On several occasions the voice I heard every night on the radio would ring out at an uncomfortable distance and I would do my best to help him. I did not want to offend anyone and everyone in the room seemed to except that this was the way it was. It had been going on for some time. I would leave the council house with cards and canned salmon and gifts. For the most part it was a very loving community with some undertones of dramas between its community members. Even though some had issues with each other, which believe me I was filled in on right away with accompaning stories,  they all acted civil when it was time to come togther. 

  Jesse and I would go on long hikes together and talk about her plans out here. Though she lived out here for about a year now she still felt like an outsider. She was excluded from many of the activities because they were paid for by the trive and she was not considered part of the tribe yet. They did not treat her badly but they did make it very clear that she was not part of the tribe and that was the way. I did not necessarily blame them. I talked with one of the older men in the village and got a better understanding. 

  He was about seventy with a weathered face and long black hair speckled with gray. His hair on his chin was sparse and stubbly. He said he felt that they were losing their heritage and that with every new inovation that came from the city it gave the people of the village more opportunity to sit in their houses. They no longer had to work so hard to survive, which was a positive and a negative. He told me that the youth had lost that sense of accomplishment and hard work. Now he said they were filled with anger, feeling as though they were missing out on something better in the city. The man also talked with me about those who had gone to the city and had not returned. He worried they were homeless or alone as those who went to the city had a hard time cooping with their expectations there. It made alot of sense to me and made me think about it in a whole new way. There was alot of metal illness in this village, some were slightly touched by it but others wore it on their sleeves. 

After my last class I decided to leave the village early. The threats on the radio were starting to get to me. I was worried for Jesse too and asked her to come with me. I did not want to leave her out here by herself and worry about something happening to her.  She ended up flying out with me, she called a family member of Nolan to fly out to get us. She was going to stay in Anchorage until Nolan was off the slope. When he was home with her the threats on the radio generally stopped. I was relieved she was coming with me. 

The Red Eye to Chiang Mai

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 Units 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. The hot spring is callled the Sankampaeng Hot Spring. You can not take a tuk tuk there you will need a car to drive you for use. As far as transporation goes most activities like the Zip Lining or Elephant Sanctuary include transportation. Since the hot spring runs more like a State Park you will have to find a ride but your hotel will help you. Everyone in Thailand is super helpful. 

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 said enjoy!

Our hotel was so beautiful. It was definetly one of the nicest I have ever stayed at. The hotel itself was just amazing in the inside and they had an bar that was open until 9pm that served the best Mai Tais for $1.50 to $2.00.  They also had awesome food you could order which was really conveient. Every morning we got to enjoy a free breakfast buffet. Its not like the hotel buffets here. You had the choice of fried rice, noodles, cakes, eggs, bacon, free fruit, juice, and coffee. Below is a meal we ordered for dinner. The fruit plate was $8 and the spring rolls $6. It may be much cheaper for food in the night market though. Despite the warnings we never got sick from the night market food. However if someone is selling food served in an old shoe just use your best judgment. 

We could have stayed at a cheaper hotel however at the time I was booking I did not realize what $54 a night was buying with. Plus it was alittle cheaper because Expedia bundled it with our flight. The hotel was called Viang Thapae Resort. They have two beautiful pools and most of the rooms back up right to them. You just have to slide open your patio doors and take a dip!

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 $75 American ( there are other thai massage places outside the city who will do it for way less but this 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 (1)

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 (2)

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.