Friday, August 30, 2013

Final Post on Blogger: Moving to a new Blog site

This will be my final blog post here on Blogger.  I have built a new website and have within it an integrated blog and from now on I will be posting exclusively on the blog located at www.doanart.com

I will keep the majority of my past posts archived here for the time being, but going forward, I hope you will follow me over to my new site and new blog.  I have and will always appreciate your support and interest in my work!

Antony
DoAn Art

Interested in seeing and learning about my exploration into tapestry weaving?
A monthly donation in an amount of your choosing will grant you access to my behind the scenes studio blog DoAnArt Studio where you will see tapestry and other works in progress and gain insights into my process and my inspirations. Your donation will help in the creation of art!

Just click on the link below:

Donate now!
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  
Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2013 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

American Goldfinch


I will be focusing a lot of my sculpture work for the fall season, in anticipation for a show and the holidays.  It may seem strange to begin preparing work for something so far away, but needle felting sculptures (as some may know) take quite a bit of time, especially if adding the amount of detail I like.   It is important to get started, so I will have a good assortment of wild creatures on display!

Here is my sculpture of an American Goldfinch. Now that the male bird's winter plumage have molted to its summer gold and black finery...I felt a compulsion to create a sculpture using those bold colors! I particularly enjoyed working on the details of the wings and tail.  While it is not the most complicated pattern a bird can have, it certainly gave me enough to focus on.  Each line and white spot is carefully felted in separately. It can be a tedious process, but it is well worth it for the end result.

I am looking forward to some future, more complex colors and patterns. More to come!

Antony

Weaving Update: 
I am well into my fifth sampler using my handmade copper pipe loom. My skills are improving and the results, I believe are evident.


Interested in seeing and learning about my exploration into tapestry weaving?
A monthly donation in an amount of your choosing will grant you access to my behind the scenes studio blog DoAnArt Studio where you will see tapestry and other works in progress and gain insights into my process and my inspirations. Your donation will help in the creation of art!

Just click on the link below:

Donate now!
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  
Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2013 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Local Media Coverage


Last Monday, I had the wonderful opportunity to be interviewed and show some of my felting work on Mohawk Vally Living, a show that explores the arts, entertainment, culture and heritage of the greater Mohawk Valley region of New York State.  I have attached the video here, but you can also view it on the Mohawk Valley Living website.  My interview is about eight minutes in, but I encourage you to listen to the other interviews, it is all very interesting!  Just after my spot is an interview with Shannon Crandall, an artist that lives just around the corner from me who will be co-teaching the Felted Bead Workshop in June.  

Course I: Felted Flower 
Additionally I have new classes beginning in May teaching how to make needle-felted flowers, butterflies and bluebirds.  If you missed the courses the first time or would like to strengthen your skills and take them again, now is your chance to sign up.   Click here for more information or to register. 
Course III: Felted Bluebird
Course II: Felted Butterfly

Weaving Update: I recently built my own copper pipe loom and I am now working on my fifth weaving sampler.

Interested in seeing and learning about my exploration into tapestry weaving?
A monthly donation in an amount of your choosing will grant you access to my behind the scenes studio blog DoAnArt Studio where you will see tapestry and other works in progress and gain insights into my process and my inspirations. Your donation will help in the creation of art!


Just click on the link below:

Donate now!
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  
Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2013 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Why Teaching Matters (To Me)

Last week I started offering classes and workshops on needle-felting techniques.  Just a week in and I am thoroughly enjoying sharing my skills with others.  It got me thinking, why is teaching art and crafts so important to me?

Teaching these classes and workshops support my overall goal of embracing the principles of Slow Living. I believe, with the speed of society and the over emphasis on technology and gadgets urging us to move faster and faster, the need to slow down and appreciate hand crafts and fine arts is greater than ever.

I believe, by offering arts and crafts courses, I can offer people a place to go, to step away from the hustle and bustle of today's stressful living. I teach out of my home in small groups, creating an environment that is comfortable, quiet and relaxing.  I even set up a mini cafe with coffee, tea and home baked goods (gluten free!) to further encourage the casual atmosphere as well as offer sustenance during long periods of creative work.  Students who take my classes and workshops get to experience a period of time that is focused on creating with a craft that requires patience and attention to detail, while also having the opportunity to explore and express their creative sides.  It is my hope that they can take these new skills home with them and make more room for quiet and creativity in their lives. However, If the only time they take advantage of this is during the classes, I believe it is still enriching.  

As a professional artist, teaching these classes also helps other people, who are not artists by vocation, to appreciate and better understand the process and work that goes into the artwork I create.  This is especially important in today's society where so little education in the arts is offered anymore. What better way to really understand art and craft than to have hands on experience? Some people will develop a greater appreciation, while others may find a new hobby or rekindle a long lost relationship to creativity. As an artist making a living through creativity, any of those outcomes pleases me.


In addition to the joy of teaching, I also feel strongly about creating community. I believe our society is seriously lacking in community. Our speed of living has lead us to believe that we have no time for connecting with others in a deeper and more meaningful way.  As we move from one task to another, many of us have our faces pointed to our smart phones, ipads, readers, or we are tuned out with headphones, or distracted in thoughts about all the tasks we must accomplish in the day.  At the same time, we follow the myth that we must do everything on our own and that relying on another is a weakness rather than a virtue.  

Holding the classes and workshops, to me, is also a form of community building. Self-esteem is boosted by the support of other students encouraging each other as they develop new creative skills. Friendships are made or strengthened when people come together to learn in an open and friendly atmosphere.  Connections and future networks are formed as well.   I have already started a connection with an artist nearby because of the classes we are both offering, which has lead to our collaborating on a workshop together later this spring.  Community is so important to a healthy future in any society.  When we have the opportunity to come together for a shared purpose, the world becomes less filled with strangers.  A world with less strangers becomes less threatening and less overwhelming and more filled with friends.

We can all benefit for periods of living Slow, tapping into our creative selves and finding different modes of expression.  We certainly don't all need to become career artists, but I believe we all have room and a need for creative expression.  Getting lost in a creative activity for a period of time can be soul opening and regenerating. In our fractured society of insta-information and social isolation, coming together in a community of learning and creative expression can be just what the soul needs. 

I hope I get to see you soon, I have some tea, fresh baked scones and a creative project waiting for you!

Antony

PS: information on classes and workshops I am teaching can be found HERE.


Weaving update: I now have my own handmade Navajo-style looms!  With much help from a woodcrafter friend, I have a large and a smaller loom to suit various weaving projects in the future.  To learn more about how the looms came to be, you can offer a monthly donation in an amount of your choosing and gain access to my behind the scenes studio blog DoAnArt Studio. There you will see tapestry and other works in progress and gain insights into my process and my inspirations. Your donation will help in the creation of art! 

Just click on the link below:

Donate now!
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  
Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2013 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

About to Begin: Spring 2013 Classes

Spring 2013 Class Set Up
The spring courses for Needle-Felting Techniques are about to begin!  The first level afternoon class is full, but there is still room in the Saturday and Evening classes, as well as the 2nd and 3rd afternoon courses.  I invite you to come and learn a new skill in a cozy, home-setting.  

Are you a knitter or felted?  Needle felting is a great skill to learn for embellishing your hand made fiber goods.  Needle felting is a versatile craft that is limited only by your imagination (and patience!) in what you can make!  We'll start simple and gradually build on skills in the subsequent classes.  Every student will complete a course with a completed project to be proud of! Come fill one of the empty seats and have fun!

For more information about the courses offered and class times, please visit my website.

I hope to be teaching you soon!

Antony

Tapestry Update:

I have begun my fourth tapestry sampler.  Things are going smoothly so far, but I am about to start my first circular shape...a true tapestry weaving challenge!  



Interested in seeing and learning more about my exploration into tapestry weaving?
A monthly donation in an amount of your choosing will grant you access to my behind the scenes studio blog DoAnArt Studio where you will see tapestry and other works in progress and gain insights into my process and my inspirations. Your donation will help in the creation of art! 

Just click on the link below:

Donate now!
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  
Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2013 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Starting Slow


My Slow living room
Following my surgery, I was put on restricted activity for the six weeks in order to prevent developing a hernia in the insicion area.  This restriction gave me time to reflect on how I would incorporate the principles of Slow living into my life. Moving slow and contemplating how this would become a framework for my life was rather easy while recovering from surgery. However, now that I can resume my normal activities, the real challenge of Slow living comes in. 

I am not by nature a slow person.  I think fast, I learn fast, I read fast, my movements tend to be quick.   Over time, this became normal and as the speed of society increased, so did I. However, some time ago I began to recognize that living mindlessly at increasing speeds has not helped me very much.  Rushing to just get things done leaves a feeling of dissatisfaction at the end of the day and a lot of projects left in various stages of completion. Now that I have comprehended the need to slow down how do I do it?
"There is more to life than increasing its speed." -- Gandhi
I recognized that in order to begin shaping a Slow lifestyle I would need to begin with the following:

  • Restructuring my life and develop a schedule that supports Slow living while allowing me to meet my personal needs and responsibilities.
  • Introduce mindfulness, the sacred and sacred ritual into my life.
  • Include regular activities that reinforce the practice and principles of Slowness.

I will address each of the above points in separate blog posts, starting with the first item in this post.

Restructuring my life and develop a schedule that supports Slow living while allowing me to meet my personal needs and responsibilities.

I recalled my time of training at the Buddhist temple in New York City and how following the monastic schedule offered a sense of peace and focus that permeated my entire day. I found through mindfulness practice and staying focused on whatever task was before me, my life was simplified and stress was reduced.  The schedule also allowed for more time in silence and stillness, which was healing and also helped reduce stress.  After leaving the temple, the structure that had shaped my life gradually fell aside, like the way a fragrence slowly disappates. The busy, hectic life focused on production and multi-tasking re-asserted itself. There were moments when I recognized the pace I was moving was too fast and I would pull back, or an illness or injury forced me to slow down. The rhythm of my life became like a pendulum swinging from one extreme to the other. Fast, slow, fast, slow, etc.  I needed an equilibrium. 

When I was in South Korea, I remember a particular Buddhist monk I spoke with. He had been excommunicated from the temple because of his insistence on leaving the temple to teach Buddhist practice to young adults. The elder monks believed this monk should stay at the temple and teach those who came. The monk believed he needed to go out and meet the people, especially the young adults who were rapidly being converted to Christianity. This monk told me over dinner that while he had been officially disrobed, he still saw himself as a monk. He lived his life like he was still at the temple, following the daily structure as it was practiced in the temple, living solely by the support and generosity of the people.  He told me that I could be a monk who lives in the world doing the work that is needed in the world rather than hiding away in a temple in the mountains.

Recalling this conversation I realized that one way to invite living Slow in my life is to create a structure that gives me the space to be slow, while still meeting the needs and responsibilities in my life. As a self-employed artist who's income is dependent on my ability to create the pressure to over work can be intense. Again I recalled my time in Buddhist training and how, despite the structure and many hours of meditation and prostrations I practiced, I still managed to be productive and meet my responsibilities and needs.  
"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop." -- Ovid
So I sat down and began to devise a schedule of practice, work and living that will help support living Slow. This is a work in progress and over the next few weeks I will adjust and make changes as necessary. Here is the schedule I came up with:

6:00am -- wake/morning prayer-cleansing
6:15 - 7:45 am -- yoga/stretching/walk time
7:45 - 8:30 am -- breakfast & prep work for lunch
8:30 - 9:00 am -- meditation/reading/journal time
9:00 - Noon -- work time (include a few minutes of light stretching)
Noon - 1:30 pm -- lunch (largest meal of the day)
1:30 - 6:00 pm -- work time (include a few minutes of light stretching)
6:00 - 6:15 pm -- walk/light stretching/meditation time
6:15 - 7:00 pm -- dinner (light meal)
7:00 - 8:00 pm -- meditation/reading/walk/quiet time
8:00-11:00 pm -- free time 
11:00 pm -- bedtime/lights out

Lian teaches Slow living
I will put this in practice and see how it works for me and make changes as necessary. This schedule is meant to be a guide, not a straight-jacket to confine me. There will be times when adjustments will be needed based on the particular situation at hand.  In fact, right now, my energies are still quite low and I am rarely capable of much after 8 or 9pm. I expect, when my health improves, this will change. However, I believe having a guiding structure that can be superimposed over the day will be beneficial in practicing my Slow goals, much in the way the temple structure aided me. 

It is important to keep in mind that living a Slow lifestyle doesn't mean sitting around doing nothing. It is just that one becomes more discerning about what activities to include and to what extent they take up space.  This schedule is custom designed to meet my personal needs and responsibilities, it is not meant to fit all people's needs. We each need to examine our own lives and make the adjustments necessary to encourage Slowness. The first step will be identifying what you need to embrace and what to eliminate. Of course, this is only one element in incorporating the principles of Slow living into my life. Next I will work on practicing mindfulness and introducting sacredness and sacred ritual.

Yours creatively,
Antony

Tapestry News
I have completed my third tapestry sampler and shared in my Patron blog what I have learned about weaving so far. 


Interested in seeing and learning about my exploration into tapestry weaving?
A monthly donation in an amount of your choosing will grant you access to my behind the scenes studio blog DoAnArt Studio where you will see tapestry and other works in progress and gain insights into my process and my inspirations. Your donation will help in the creation of art! 

Just click on the link below:

Donate now!
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2013 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Trip of Rabbits

I had to take a break from working on the mother cottontail rabbit and kittens in order to make some butterflies, flowers and birds for an upcoming series of courses and workshops I will be teaching starting in March. If you are interested in learning how to needle felt or in strengthening your skills there is still some spaces available in my Spring 2013 courses and workshops. To find out more about the courses or to sign up please visit my website.

Now that I am finished preparing for the Spring courses, I am back to working on  the rabbits.

This particular sculpture is really putting my mind to spring.  It seems, to me, an appropriate sculpture to be working on at this time of year with Rabbit's archetypal energy being connected to creativity, renewal, fertility and lunar energy.  There is nothing like baby bunny energy to get you geared up for spring!

By the way, the title of this post "A Trip of Rabbits" is one of the ways of referring to a group of rabbits.  I have always been fascinated by the naming of groups of animals.  Other ways of referring to a group of rabbits are a Warren, a Colony, a Trace, and a Bury.  Interesting isn't it?

Antony

Tapestry News:
I am about halfway through my third tapestry sampler.  In my Patron blog I share what I discovered about the complexity of tapestry weaving, despite its simple plain weave technique.  

Interested in learning about my exploration into tapestry weaving?
A monthly donation in an amount of your choosing will grant you access to my behind the scenes studio blog DoAnArt Studio where you will see tapestry and other works in progress and gain insights into my process and my inspirations. Your donation will help in the creation of art!


Click on the link below:

Donate now!
DoAn Art is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of DoAn Art must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.  
Subscribe in a reader
All artwork, photos and text © Copyright 2005-2013 DoAn Art (Antony Galbraith) unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Antony Galbraith.

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