WanderArtists: Blog http://wanderartists.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) WanderArtists amanda@wanderartist.com (WanderArtists) Wed, 06 Aug 2014 02:52:00 GMT Wed, 06 Aug 2014 02:52:00 GMT http://wanderartists.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-5/u1013656477-o88498837-50.jpg WanderArtists: Blog http://wanderartists.zenfolio.com/blog 120 119 What a Relief! http://wanderartists.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/8/what-a-relief Since I can remember, I have loved to draw. Although I could sit for hours with a pencil as a kid, it’s even more fun now that I have been practicing for years and have the skills to put on paper what dwells in my imagination, or what is right in front of me. Drawing what you see is much more challenging than from the imagination. The more you draw, the more your skills improve. But, I’ll get back to drawing in a moment.


In my last year of high school we lived in Tokyo, Japan – which was an awesome experience on many, many levels. One of the coolest aspects of life in Tokyo was learning about Japanese culture, arts, traditions, foods. Another wonderful experience for me was a particular art teach at The American School in Japan, Ki Nimori. From Mr. Nimori I learned a great deal about making pottery. Although a short school year had me barely scratching the surface on all I had to learn in ceramics, I loved it.

Not to get too ‘artsy’ on my dear readers, but I really enjoy the process of creating art. I have often gravitated toward art media that require a lot of steps before the final product… Working in clay requires many steps – and I loved them all. One of the early steps is kneading the clay to remove air bubbles – which is a lot like kneading bread dough. I enjoyed getting my hands dirty and working to create something from seemingly nothing. A great teacher inspires, that is what Ki Nimori was for me.

When I returned to San Francisco to go to college I chose an Art major. At first I thought I would concentrate on ceramics after such a wonderful experience learning from Mr. Nimori. I cannot explain how my bubble was burst by the ceramics department (at that time) at San Francisco State University. Unfortunately, it was somewhat overrun with macho teachers who did little to inspire me. And so I gravitated back to an early and lasting love, drawing. Throughout my education at SFSU I continually explored new and untried realms, eventually settling into a groove with printmaking. This media offered lots of process – from untold number of steps required in lithography to create a final print – to the comparatively simple process of making a woodblock or linoleum block print.

With printmaking I could combine my love of drawing with the incredible process needed to make prints. And with the added benefit of the ability to make multiple final images of one exact design. When I graduated college I was deeply into etching, and learning to create photo-etchings. This was wonderful because it meant I could also incorporate another love – photography. The only difficulty I found to hours spent creating etchings and lithographs was the need for a printing press and especially the exposure to caustic and nasty chemicals.

Since my college days I have simplified my process by doing mainly woodblock printing… Partly because I did not wish to bring the intense chemicals required to create etchings into my home… And because I really enjoy the organic nature of cutting into wood to produce a drawing – and the combination of wood grain with drawing in the final print is the icing on the cake. Visits to Japan fed my love of block (or relief) printing through exposure to Japanese woodblock printing, which is incredible and detailed well beyond the prints I create. I may need to write more about Japanese prints later… Until then, I hope you enjoy some of my creations!

amanda@wanderartist.com (WanderArtists) art design drawing woodblock printing http://wanderartists.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/8/what-a-relief Wed, 06 Aug 2014 02:52:18 GMT
Sailing Hard Waters http://wanderartists.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/2/sailing-hard-waters I moved to the North Country about 20 years ago and rediscovered true winter weather. Over the years I have figured out how you dress when it’s 10 degrees out, and what else to put on when it is 20 below zero and windy. I’ve found that keeping active and hiking, running, cross country skiing, or simply walking throughout the winter really helps to stave off cabin fever.

About eleven years ago I saw something out on Lake Champlain that I had never seen before. A new way some people deal with, even embrace harsh winters. There was a DN class ice yacht race held here and, bundled and ready, we walked far out on the frozen lake and watched them fly over the ice around us! DN ice boats are small, single-person vessels with a 12 foot platform on three large runners supporting a sail measuring 60 square feet (about 16 feet long) that can achieve speeds from 40 up to maybe 60 miles an hour if the wind is right! The whole boat weighs only 100-150 pounds (without the human on board). This smaller class of ice boat is the most popular class in both Europe and North America for obvious reasons… They are relatively simple to build, and easy for one person to handle, transport, rig and race!

After that winter a few friends of ours even decided to build their own ice yachts. Although I thought it looked like a fun sport it held little allure for me. I have never learned to sail and have other interests to keep me busy. Once those racers all left, I did not see ice boats on the lake again until just a few days ago. With the bitter cold temperatures we’ve had this winter it is no surprise that the North American Championship Regatta is back in our neighborhood this year. After scouting North America for the best “plate” they get the word out through various networks and sailers converge on the chosen “hard water” for a few days of racing. Apparently the weather has not cooperated this year and the site has been moved a number of times due to changing ice conditions and drifting snow. Happily for us, the racers wound up here on Lake Champlain!

So, we again bundled up (6 degrees with a strong wind all day) and headed out on the frozen lake to watch them run races throughout the day. We met a few other brave souls who ventured out to experience the world of ice boat racing – many of them on ice skates. It was fun to watch, and very cool to be out in the middle of Lake Champlain in winter… Very cool.

amanda@wanderartist.com (WanderArtists) DN ice iceboat racing sailing sports winter http://wanderartists.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/2/sailing-hard-waters Sat, 15 Feb 2014 02:42:37 GMT