Saturday, August 3, 2019

The Rose Cottage

Greetings Everyone!

So sorry for the long gap in adding new posts to this blog....I don't mean to be leaving my fans in the dark, it's just that I am making fewer posts here because I am posting more over on my new website. If you'd like to catch up with my latest blog entries over there, please come and visit me at:
 https://sallyjsmithart.com/

I have a new Faerie House that I've just completed, the Rose Cottage. My first blog post about it is HERE.

And I've also posted a new video about it on youtube which you can watch HERE 


And if you want to get all my latest blog posts, I hope you'll sign up over at my new blog... to get to the sign-up page, just click HERE.
The sign-up process has to be EU compliant so don't let the big form scare you off!  :-) It just means that your data is very safe with me and that I will never sell your data to another company or have 3rd party advertising on my website that might capture your data as you visit.

I'll try to continue to provide updates here for when I post over at my new blog, but as you can already see, I'm not always good at following thru on that process. 

Bright Blessings to All
 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

A rare opportunity to win one of my houses!!!

Greetings Everyone!
It is time now to reveal something I've been working on for a wee while...and this is your chance at something special!

I've been invited by the Sheldon Museum in Middlebury VT to exhibit my Fairy Houses in conjunction with a very special retrospective exhibition featuring the work of American Landscape Architect Dan Kiley. As part of this special exhibition, one of my best (and diminutive) fairy houses is being raffled off by and to benefit the Sheldon Museum. I've made a very short little video showing the little house from many angles and showing the TWO lighting options that will extend your enjoyment of the house should you be so lucky to win it. I've never made a house with white AND colored lights before so this makes it truly a one-of-a-kind....though to be fair, ALL of my fairy houses are one-of-a-kind!

Here is the video:

Here is the direct link to purchase raffle tickets: http://henrysheldonmuseum.org/events/the-dewdrop-bungalow-fairy-house-raffle/

Here is the link for more information on my show: http://henrysheldonmuseum.org/exhibits/whimsical-wonders-fairy-houses-from-nature-by-sally-j-smith/

If you happen to be traveling to the area, and Middlebury is a magical little Vermont village with LOADS of things to see and do, then be sure to stop by the museum to see all my houses that are on display AND catch the Kiley exhibition...it is extraordinary and well worth the visit. The photography alone is breathtaking. The images on the web page do not do justice to the clarity and beauty of the actual prints...they are mesmerizing! The museum also houses a great kids activity area so parents can stroll thru the collection while the kids are playing in the children's area. It's very sweet and cozy.

If you are unable to travel to the museum but would still like a detailed description of all my houses that are on display, you can download this PDF of the catalog of my works presently on exhibit. Please note - the highlighted links in the PDF do not work as links.
2019 Fairy Houses for Sheldon Museum Show_updated 5-22_

Anyone can purchase tickets for the raffle as the house is small enough to ship. I wish everyone the best of luck... someone WILL win this sweet little house! AND you'll get bragging rights too because it will be in the 2020 Amber Lotus calendar which will be available later this summer. When the calendar comes out, I'll show you what I mean. Until then, enjoy the video and give it a "like" if you can. It helps in the world of Youtube.
Bright Blessings Everyone!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Re-starting my art book project

 (This post is re-printed from my blog on my new website: https://sallyjsmithart.com/notes/news/re-starting-my-art-book-project/

I hope you will come over to my new website if you've not already visited before to see what I've made for you!)


Winter is the quiet time in this part of the world. But that does not mean work stops for anyone who is awake and needs to keep warm!  The daily rhythm of feeding the woodstove, the cats, the birds and then sitting down to do my work has a comforting and simple cadence. When warmer weather comes, it will be more of a speedy dash to just keep up with spring bursting forth, but for now, we who live close to the earth know that this is the time to take on important projects, dive deep into thoughtful reflection and if at all possible, finish creative efforts that were put on hold.

I have just such a project which has been on a back-burner for far too long. It began years ago with a Kickstarter fund-raiser and I've had to put the project on and off again so many times it's begun to sulk in the corner, feeling as if it will never have wings. I knew that when I said "Yes" to my Fairy Houses book with Quarto publishing, that my own personal book would have to take a back seat...but I never imagined it would take this long to bring back into active status once more.

Thankfully, the experience of working with my editor and all the production crew for the Fairy Houses book has taught me a lot. AND, what is also true is that my fairy house and environmental art-making never stopped, so there are literally hundreds of new images that need to be reviewed and considered for inclusion in my new book which I have titled "Enviramagination". This has meant basically going back and starting over...never a fun way to pick up an on-going project, but it was necessary this time.

My original image collection for the book was going to have to be reconfigured to make room for dozens and dozens of new images.
The first iteration looked like this in miniature:

I used hundreds of tiny thumbnail cut-outs to assist with the selecting process and to figure out how to piece them together to achieve the flow of images that I wanted. I had decided to use only two basic formats: either a large vertical or paired horizontals that would be on any page. But as I looked closer I realized that switching back and forth between only these two options made for choppy viewing...at least it felt that way to me.  I tried adding a third squarish frame option and that helped smooth the transitions between strong vertical and strong horizontal images.

Next I tackled the backgrounds. Here is an example of one of the backgrounds I had previously developed for the book:

I had made dozens of these patterned backgrounds to echo the subtle transitions across all the seasons.  While I loved the details and textures that went into making the various backgrounds, I made a sobering discovery: though they looked great on my monitor, when printed, the pages all became darker, muddied and the central images lost their power. This was very discouraging because I had invested a LOT of time in making over 2 dozen backgrounds that I thought were going to make a magical book. Instead, as watercolour painters will understand, I had too much "paint" in the visual mix and the results were a muddy mess. Production on the project halted while I assessed what to do. It was rather disheartening because I so wanted to complete the project, but it was a mess and I knew it.

Then Quarto approached me with their Fairy Houses how-to book concept, the contract deal was signed and I had to focus all my attention on that book.  My own book project would have to wait.  But waiting has brought many benefits.

With the new moon of last month I gave a serious review to all the old files and decided to send them all to the virtual shredder so I could begin with a fresh, clean slate.  I had an idea to use very faint whispers of design elements in simple, pearl greys which would appear behind some, but not all of the page spreads.



I set about making some test pages and seeing how they looked on the screen and printed on the page. I am pleased to say that this approach has proven to be fresh and exciting and I'm now forging ahead with new vigor and enthusiasm.


Here is an example of an old background (above) compared to the new background (below) :


Here is another example with multiple images:



 and here is the new layout with the fresh background:


I think this approach works much better as now all the color on the page is concentrated in the images which is where you want the eye to focus. And the subtle greyed design motifs will soften the overall presentation and add dream-like whispers to tie the pages together to follow the ebb and flow of the seasons in a more subtle way.

What is also of great benefit is that I have acquired some new photo-processing software by On1  which I have taken many months to learn how to use and it has enabled me to refine my images to a much higher degree and make them glow with depth and detail that I was unable to produce before.

So not only will there be better backgrounds, but there will be more images which are distinctly better in quality than what I would have been able to produce a few years ago. I know the wait has been too long, but I hope that with all these improvements, the wait will have been worth it.

Now I must get back to work.... I have a book to create!!!




Thursday, February 7, 2019

Of Ice Discs and Blood Moons

(Apologies in advance- this post was written earlier and did not get published immediately. Life got busy and the eclipse is long passed.)

As I write this, the full moon has begun her passage into the shadow of the earth and we, in this part of the country have just endured our fist big snowstorm in several years. It is bitterly cold outside and we thought we would still be enshrouded by the storm and miss the eclipse event, but it has passed and the velvety black of night holds the moon as she makes her way into the veil of the earth. Such magic this is!
Circling CirclesTotal Lunar Eclipse_NASA
I have been of few words here in my blog of late and to my readers, I apologize. Life in the north woods has been more challenging as I slowly relinquish the strength and vigor of my youth to advanced “middle” age. Things take longer to accomplish than they did a decade ago. The weather is not as reliable and predictable as it once was. And all the chores of winter still must be done. Heating with wood takes a great deal of time and effort but I enjoy most of the ritual. Preparing for winter requires many steps and tasks that cannot be overlooked or you will not do well once the deep cold hits. Fortunately there was just enough time to complete all the vital chores before the big snows came this week-end. Tomorrow will be the big dig-out, but for right now, the woodstove is pumping the heat of the sun which the trees stored in their limbs and trunks and I am very grateful to have the gift of that stored energy warming my home now.

Circling Circles
Pinecone fire in the woodstove
There have been a predominance of ice circles in the news these past weeks. If you are not familiar with the phenomenon,

 here is a link to a big one that formed in a river in Maine:

https://bangordailynews.com/2019/01/14/news/portland/giant-ice-disc-in-maine-river-attracts-attention/
and here is one of the earlier ones that was discovered in Scotland:
Ice pancake photo by Michael Traill

 https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-46757826
We had one too under the bridge that goes over the Boquet river just down the road from my house. Unfortunately, it had grown too big and the air had became too cold and it stopped spinning and froze up. I got to see it the next day and even though it was no longer spinning, it was still eerily magical. The lines you see in the snow were there when I took the photo….the last remnants of the flowing water was  just able to seep up the edge of the wheel to mark the snow above.

When the wheel stopped turning – click on image to see full size

So as the moon dons her deep red cloak overhead and the formerly bright shadows on the snow dim and shudder in the howling cold, I am feeling humbled and blessed to simply be alive and able to witness these enchanting moments of haunting beauty.
As for my work, the making of Fairy Houses continues. I have a very special one I hope to photograph soon. I have been needing good snow for the image and so far our winter has been rather brown and drab. After this week-end and 16 inches of fresh, glittering powder I am eager to find just the right place to take the photos.
I am continuing to work on the Kickstarter book as that project has been way, way overdue.  There are so many great news images to put into the book that I’ve had to anguish over which images to let go of in order to bring the new ones in. It’s a bit like trying to freeze the river of time…you cannot, you can only make adjustments to each new bend in the river and keep doing your best.
There is another very large, long-term project that I am embarking on as well, but I am unable to discuss it right now but eventually I hope to share it all with you. My readers and supporters have been so kind and generous to support my work year after year… it means more than you know. Recently I learned that thanks to all of you, you have put my calendars in the #1 and #2 ranking in Amazon under the Architectural calendars category!  Thank you so much as this is a big honor and difficult to achieve, but your support has made it happen!

The moon is just about fully eclipsed now, so I am going to sign off for the moment and don my down coat and warm winter boots and go out and stand under the stars and bear witness to the Great Mystery; the spinning of wheels within wheel and circles within circles that hold us together and keep us expanding out with our curiosity and our creativity. May you continue to find and nurture yours and may you find yourself being surprised by something delightful and unusual in your world wherever you are. Magic is everywhere, you just have to be open to letting it reveal itself to you.

Bright Blessings to one and all

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Of Land art, other artists and dealing with criticism in perilous times

From my blog on my new website - https://sallyjsmithart.com/notes/

(warning this is a rather long post)
   spiral of leaves on slate Recently I had the misfortune of receiving a very hurtful email from someone I had previous thought of as a friend. Emails are slippery forms of communication and poor ones too, as I'm sure we've all come to experience at one time or another. Things get taken the wrong way. Or too much is said in a heated moment. We are instantly hit with regret the second AFTER we hit the "send" button.
 
   So it is entirely possible that the person who wrote to me may have been thinking she was being helpful by offering me "professional" advice about my work. But instead what I saw being offered was a series of cutting remarks, each one finding fault in my work from her supposedly vastly "superior" perspective .

   As artists who put their work out there for the public to view and see, we get these sorts of reviews from time to time. Frankly, they suck. Not because the person is right (though they sometimes may be) but mainly because (as in this case) such messages do nothing to acknowledge the true vulnerability it takes to bring one's work to the world and put it out for all to see. The act of being vulnerable is becoming more and more difficult these days as those with a loud and angry voice seem more bold and justified and speaking "their" truth without carefully considering how it feels to be on the receiving end of such speech.

 a spiral made from leaves and lfowers on a bed of moss
      For those of us who happen to be highly sensitive types  (see this movie trailer for a beautiful movie about the topic  HERE   ) the days of feeling the internet is a wonderfully magical world full of diversity and opportunity are coming up against the Dark side of humanity and we are seeing social media (and all media) grappling with a mean, ugly and dangerous force that appears to be getting unleashed upon us. My former friend's email was soaked in that energy.... the righteousness streak that so many now feel empowered to put forth without taking into account how much words can hurt.

   a spiral of leaves and flowers on slateHow do we deal with this anger and righteousness? How do we deal with painful remarks made from a place of pain, masked as empowerment and "free" speech?  For myself, I go first to seeking my own inner guidance system. How do the words make me feel? Good or bad? If good do I deserve to receive these words of praise and support? Have I made good effort over time or done something useful/helpful/meaningful that has helped another?  If so then I am grateful that my actions have been well-received and have brought something positive to someone's life.

   If I feel bad by what has been said, I reflect: do the words have any basis in fact? Have I caused harm? Betrayed a boundary? Disrespected myself or another? If so, then I take stock. Ask forgiveness.  Make adjustments. If however their words do not apply to what I have done in the world, then their words must not be ABOUT me at all, but more, they must be about the pain that the speaker may be in. It is important to be able to take responsibility if that is appropriate for the feedback I am receiving....but equally important is to realize that the feedback may not have anything to do with me, except that I am a convenient mirror upon which to spit. But I am NOT the mirror. None of are. We are uniquely ourselves.
 a spiral of sunflower blossoms floating on a pond
    So when my former friend tried to cut down my work as an environmental artist, saying that I should try to find my own voice instead of emulating the works of far better land artists, it took me back a bit. I was very hurt. I looked within and took stock. And interestingly ended up reading some of my own words on the subject which I had just published on my new website: (link to page)
   ..." For those people who may feel that environmental/land artists like myself are merely copying other land artists who have come before I would say this: of course you are entitled to your opinion, however each person who piles up pinecones in a forest or seashells on the beach is expressing a primal desire which is enshrined in the human experience: humans want to make beauty with nature. We have been doing this since we started applying ground stones and berries  to cave walls. Certainly some artists are more gifted than others and some artists have had enormous commercial success with their work…which they deserve for all their cold, early mornings and frozen fingers when the rest of the world is snug and warm.
  But just because one land artist’s piece may remind you of another artist’s work, be assured, none of this is meant to be “copying”. It could never be actually because no two stones nor sticks are the same, therefore each artist has their own relationship to the environment and the materials that landscape presents…and we each have our own way of working with those materials that is a discovery process of its own. " ...
A circle made from dandilion seed heads in a green meadow at sunset
   So dear reader, if you have come this far in today's blog post, I am exceedingly grateful for your patience and perseverance in allowing me to share this moment of painful exposure, and my options on how to process the pain. 

    Some profound words also came thru today form one of my former astrology teachers and I would like to direct you to his "Cosmic Weather report" post...which you can find HERE.  Here is a snippet from his post that really spoke to me today:
"Though it can sometimes seem meaningless, your life has a purpose that is both uniquely specific to you and generic to the species. The generic part that we all share is that you came here to express the love packed into your soul. The personal part is that you have to find your own authentic way to do that, which will put your shoulder to the wheel." - Mark Borax

    For myself, as silly and fluffy as my environmental work may seem, it is the work I have been given to do... to create some sort of reminder that life on earth is meant to be a co-creative experience with and in honor of the earth herself. And that we as a species need to do much, much better at respecting the delicate balance that is provided to us here on this gorgeous planet we call home. We are out of balance with the natural eco-systems that have shaped and evolved the beauty we see. We must not ruin it further. Most land artists innately know this and their work is an expression of the deep love and respect they have for the natural world. We seek to raise up the collective awareness about the fragile beauty of the earth and our need as a species to be more diligent in using technology and resources more wisely and protecting what we have still from further damage. It is a big task. Let's get busy and each be the change we want to see.
a view of the earth from space

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Tiny Matters (from my new blog)

  
(re-printed from my new website: https://sallyjsmithart.com )

    It has been a strange summer so far. For us, it is now official; July 2018 has been the hottest month on record according to the local NOAA weather station. And it was very dry too. I know that weather is not climate, but I also know that things are trending in a direction that implies big changes are happening right in our own backyards. Anyone who has lived in this region for more than 20 years can see the changes themselves in the weather, the animals and even the plants. It is all unsettling for those of us who live close to the earth and love the diversity with which we like to track the seasonal rhythms.

   Here where I live, one of the things we'd look forward to in mid summer was the hatching of the toad population. This generally occurred in mid July. Sometimes the 3rd week but most often it was right in the middle of July that we'd see them appear....the tiniest of perfectly formed toads. So small that 2 could comfortably sit on a dime with space in-between them.

   It was a milestone we could always count on, like the arrival of the first ripe strawberries, or fireflies in June. Or hearing the Whip-o-will up on the corner by the deep forest, or the first song of the Tree Frogs in May. All harbingers of the cycle of summer. Just as the goldenrod starting to bloom and monarch butterflies signal the subtle shift in the tilt of the earth's axis towards autumn. But the toads were always a highlight. There would be scores of them all around the perimeter of the house....probably due to all the great toad holes all my gardens provided. There would be so many that I'd have to warn visitors to mind where they stepped because the tiny creatures could not get out from under a footfall in enough hops, so we needed to be careful.

   But this year was hotter than ever. And drier. And though I kept hoping to see them, the tiny toads remained elusive. I suspected it might be a "bad" year because I saw only 2 adult toads in my garden all spring/summer which was for me a record low number. Still, I was hopeful that perhaps the toads where just hiding deeper in their holes or under the leaves due to the scorching sun. And I waited. And waited. And began to give up hope.

   Then last week the weather turned and we had a few damp, grey days...and some vitally needed rains. And finally, today, nearly 2 weeks late, I spied 3 baby toads in the garden and was much relieved though I know that being 2 weeks late may mean they may not have the right kind of insects to eat, or they may face larger predators since the snakes and birds did not slow down their raising of young. So, when I find them, I rejoice and move the ones I find in the driveway over to the gardens, hoping that will help them survive a little better.

   I'm reminded of the story about the thousands of starfish washed up on the shore after a storm and how one person was tossing them back into the sea to save them. A passer-by stopped and commented about how futile the gesture was... how it ultimately could not make a difference because too many were washed up and would die anyways. The first person just stooped and picked up another starfish and threw it in the water. "Maybe" they said "But at least I can make a difference for THAT one".

What difference will you make this week, for the tiny things of this earth?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

I’ve been working a lot at my computer lately…. too much actually, as I try to learn and understand how to be a better content contributor to this world and as I learn how to manage and maintain this new cruise-ship of a website. However, eventually  the brain can only absorb so much new information and it becomes necessary to get up and MOVE the body.

Since I work at home, I have the great luxury of just stepping outside my door into my garden and doing a bit of garden maintenance. Like many parts of the country we’ve been suffering under unusually hot and dry conditions the past 6-8 weeks so there has been a lot of watering that has been needed just to keep the plants growing and prospering. I love watering… pouring water onto thirsty ground is a very satisfying endeavor especially when the plants so willingly reward the action with beauty, fragrance and fruit. I know that gardening-as-life metaphors are as abundant as weeds and blooms and most are better written than I could ever hope to accomplish given my skills as a writer. 

But the ability to appreciate, quietly in the moment, from a place of inner wonder and delight is something we all seem capable of doing. And the good news is that at any unexpected moment, we can be caught off guard and slip into a moment of reverie which is often followed by a feeling of gratitude for being alive. Pure and simple. This experience, of feeling gratitude seems to open us up, however slightly, or briefly (or permanently in those bigger experiences) and it allows us to feel connected to something greater than just ourselves…. even if we cannot define it, there is something inexplicable about how a simple delight can open the human heart up, allow us to take a deeper breath and for a moment, forget our troubles and sit in a state of contentment.

Watering finished, I was trimming out the spent blossoms of feathery Astilbe and cutting back the faded leaves of the Columbine plants when all of a sudden, my nose was tickled with a honey-sweet fragrance that filled the air with perfume. I stood upright trying to locate the source when it became rather obvious… the tall lily that my sister had given me last year was finally in bloom and it was glowing with magic and fragrance.

 I stood still, drinking it in, eyes closed. When I opened my eyes, a butterfly was trying to do the same but the bloom was huge and even though the butterfly was large, it was not easy for it to get to the sweet nectar. I watched as it pushed this way and that, trying to reach inside the large trumpet. Finally the geometry of wings and petals aligned and the butterfly was able to slip along the petal edges into the inside of the enormous bloom for its sweet reward.

That is us, I thought… just trying to find our way to the sweetness in life. And here it is all around us. We just have to work patiently and courageously and eventually the geometry of the Universe lines up and assists us in reaching our moment of delight.

“Sure,” I can hear you say… “easy for you to feel…in your garden…. with butterflies and blossoms all around. But what about me, stuck here in ______ ” (fill in the blank with your current situation right NOW). So here’s the thing, these moments are available to us all at any time. Just take a moment to look away from your screen…and observe your unique surroundings…in your office, in traffic, wherever you are…. pause, go ahead, look now… without trying to see anything in particular, just look. There will be something that catches your attention. Let it. Dust in sunlight. The color of a co-workers shirt, the shimmering air on a distant horizon, the smell of coffee brewing down the hall…. it does not matter what it is, just let yourself be captivated. Let your attention narrow to that one bit of attention-getting stimulation. Drink it in. And realize that no matter what it is that grabbed you, it has its origins in the earth.

Everything that we see, everything that we smell, everything we sense with our bodies comes from the earth. Even the concrete, steel and plastic of the modern built world all comes from the earth in one form or another. Let that part of you that is of this earth connect to these manifestations of earth and let the boundaries dissolve, just a little so you can feel the alchemical connection between you and the Earth-as-provider of all we see and need. Let that understanding in and let it fill your heart…close your eyes if it helps you sink into the awareness…. breath in the simplicity of you and the Earth, here as connected beings in this one, singular moment.

That is it. The secret of rejuvenation, centering and appreciation is rooted in being present in the moment and using our attention to consciously focus, for a small period of time, on our connection to this earth…our home, and let that connection resonate in our being for as long as we wish.

Bright Blessings to you

Friday, July 20, 2018

FLASH SALE 30% OFF!!!

I’ve just been notified that Amber Lotus is having a FLASH sale on my calendars with a huge discount of 30% off! 

The sale is an anniversary present from Amber Lotus to all their best customers in honor of their 30 years in business. However, this sale is very time sensitive…and it expires at 11:59 PM (Pacific time) on July 22nd.

You can see the calendars HERE on my NEW website, or if you already know what they look like, you can go HERE to purchase the Fairy Houses wall calendar and don’t forget the mini calendars too! 

You can use the coupon code below only once but it is good for any 2019 dated product in Amber Lotus.

Here is the code to use to get your great discount:
30YEARS


Happy Shopping Everyone!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Hemp Faerie House now showing at the Santa Fe Art Festival!

Greetings Everyone!

I'm so thrilled and honored to share that my very special Faerie House made of Hemp is now being shown at the prestigious Santa Fe Art Festival! If you are in the area this is a fabulous venue of amazing art. I am being represented by Mia Feroleto. Do check it out if you are planning to go to the festival.

HERE is a link to the Festival's website : http://www.artsantafe.com/

I won't be attending but the house will be there. If you want to read more about how it was created, HERE is the story.



Please visit my new website!

Hi Everyone!

I am thrilled to bits to be able to announce that my new website is now up and running!

Please come on over and take a look.... there is LOTS to see!

 https://sallyjsmithart.com/


 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

My New Website is about to Launch!!!!

Yes, folks, at long LONG last the doors are about to open!

My new website will be at:  www.sallyjsmithart.com

It will launch at 12:30pm EDT on Thursday (as long as I manage to push the right button!)  

I will still use this blog for awhile as I get to learn the tricks of using the one that is already built-in and part of my new website. That blog-feature is called "Notes" in my website and you will be able to subscribe to it as well if you like. Visually, the format will be different but we'll all get used to it together.

I've loved the simplicity and ease that blogger provides for creators and readers and it may just mean that I will want to keep both going for a few months....we shall see. But all the new announcements, news and stories will go up first on my new website as that is the place that I am now going to be (online).

Anyone who clicks on to my old website ( www.greenspiritarts.com ) will get automatically forwarded to the new website once it goes live.

So there are still a few more details for me to iron out, but I hope to see you there in just a few short hours!

Take care Everyone and Bright Blessings!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Unbelievable !

Greetings Everyone! 

   I cannot fathom that it has been:
1) nearly 2 months since I last posted and
2)  Eleven years, five months and some odd days since I started blogging about my work!
 3) that this blog has received nearly 250,000 visitors over that time.

This is hard to wrap my mind around! 

The last 6 months, as you know, I've been working very hard on my new website and we are getting close to launching, which is wonderful news because I can't wait to have you see the new site. Upon launching it will have 15 different galleries to look at, just for starters! You'll also find all my books, prints, puzzles, DVD, Calendars and goodness knows what else there, all easy to find and enjoy.

Eventually there will be more information about me, my life as an artist and various tid-bits like Q&A and add-a-testimonial.  One of the things I am most excited about is that there will be an opportunity (at long last) to participate in my "Secret Sale" events. This will be a by-invitation (but VERY easy to sign up for) sale where I will have a limited number of my Faerie houses for sale. These will be available for a limited time and this will be the first time any of these houses will be available for sale.

What I'm also very excited about is that at long last, I will have a new blog which will be a part of my new website. As you know, right now I have two separate places for people to visit who want to find out about my work. It's time for it all to be under one canopy, so to speak and I can't wait to have you come and visit that too.

But don't worry, I will still post the same posts here for awhile after the new site is open (I do know how to copy and paste! :-) 

What I'm also excited about is that the new blog will be a chance for me to speak more about how I see world events, my spiritual beliefs, making and sharing connections that you might find interesting and all that sort of thing. I'm not a big user of social media, unfortunately  (or some might say I'm smart to stay away from the lure of the small screens) but I do feel loyal to my readers and viewers and I know that many of us are feeling a variety of difficult emotions in these challenging times. I want to speak to that condition more directly and (hopefully) strengthen the connection with and to fellow sensitive types who may feel challenged in the current state of the world.

I believe strongly that we are all here to make this world a better place. I believe strongly that we must find a way to make smarter choices about how we live and what motivates us to remain a positive being who understands that we are all connected and there is only one Earth and we must do a better job of caring for it, each other and the future generations to come. Some may be surprised to hear me speak this way, after all, don't I just make cute little faerie houses? Well, yes, I do but that is not all of who I am.

It is time now that we all start becoming our authentic selves and silly as it may sound, this new website that I've been pouring my heart and soul into for the past long stretch will be my way of celebrating this joyous, glorious experience we can all have, here on this beautiful earth. This will be my small contribution and I can't wait to share it all with you....stay tuned!

Meanwhile, the Amber Lotus calendars are being shipped to the warehouse as I write and will be available soon. Here are the covers and a link to the Amber Lotus feature page if you'd like to see more next years images!
 
 



 Also, if anyone collects these calendars and is missing a year from their collection DO contact me as I may be able to help you....I have some stock from previous years and I have made some customers very happy by helping them fill in their collections. Just drop me an email and I'll see if I can help.

And this final note.... I was recently told by my publisher that my Fairy House building book was co-published in France...I'm still trying to track that down to see if it is true and if it is, was it translated and can my French readers get a copy... I'll keep you posted!  

Cheers!!!
 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Underground

Greetings Everyone and Happy Spring to you!

  People have been wondering where I've disappeared to and like a bear emerging from hibernation, eyes blinking in the bright, March sun, I feel as if I've been journeying in some underground dream-time. In actual fact, I've been creating a new website and I had NO IDEA how much work would be involved in such a venture! But there is good news to report....we are getting much, MUCH closer to getting this behemoth off the ground soon!

Since I can't show you any actual, live pages, I can only share some mock-ups and tell you about what's been cooking here in the underground cave the last few months. First, there are going to be TONS of slideshow galleries to look at!  The technical challenge was to figure out how to do this in a way that would not bog down the visitor with too much waiting around for images to load. I've been blessed with some web-savvy angels and am getting clear and professional guidance on how to make this happen so visitors should be very pleased with the results.

Here is a mock-up of the new Home page just so you can see what the new look will be:





The big window section at the top will have a revolving slide show that will feature all the major areas of coverage for the website. The juiciest, best images will be featured in this short show. Below that are 6 buttons to take the visitor deeper into the website.
The Greenspirit Arts button will take the visitor to over 10 different galleries featuring images made using both my Faerie house works and my Environmental Art pieces. Just for fun, here is Faerie House gallery page:


Here you can see how the pages are blocked in and how changes that need to be made are indicated (in red) as I go along. Space for text is accounted for, but may not actually written ( as the top and bottom paragraphs this this example) just yet. The point is to get an over-all feel that is fresh, clean and welcoming. But it has been a LOT of work as every image had to be refined and prepared for web delivery which is very different from the paper/print world I am used to and have all my images prepared for, generally speaking. This translating of my images for web is what has taken such a large chunk of time to get accomplished.

  The 6 buttons on the original HOME page will take the visitor to the following sections:

GREENSPIRIT ARTS- will take you to all the Faerie houses and Environmental Art galleries

PAINTINGS- will take you to 3 galleries featuring my painting works. I am so very excited to share this part of my creative life with my visitors because up till now most folks did not know my life as an artist had a whole previous incarnation! It will be such fun to share this with you now.

NOTES- will be my NEW blog...yes, finally my blog will be a part of my website, not separate destinations like I have now. While the transition process is in effect, I will still post here however...and you, loyal readers, will still find me here with updates and news located in both places while we all get used to the new location.

ARTIST- button will take you to information about me as an artist and offer up some unusual opportunities.

SHOP- will be a big make-over...many things on offer here both directly (my own shopping cart feature) and also giving you updates and links every time a new product using my work becomes available.  A big new feature is going to be my ability to offer my images as custom-made prints for my collectors. (more on that below)

NEWS- will be the announcements section where I post updates on what is happening on all fronts having to do with my work as an artist.


As mentioned above, the CUSTOM Prints feature has me very excited. Here is that page mock-up so you can get a taste:



There will be three different galleries to go to for inspiration...Corporate/Office environments that are imaginal ways to use my work in professional settings, A Home gallery to show how my prints could bring a fresh new impulse into the home environment and a gift-giving gallery that shows how small prints can be tailor-made for special occasions or smaller spaces.

Here are some examples:








 
 So there will be lots of new content and places to explore on this new website and I can't wait for it to be done so I can share all this work (both the images and the actual website as a work of love) with you. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, please take note: I am now retiring my greeting card line of products. If you have any desire to get some of these cards, I would recommend doing so soon. I will give final warning when the website is about to switch over, but the greeting cards will no longer be offered online once the new website is up. Also, card sales now are limited to what stock I have on hand. I will make substitutions if needed to keep within similar content/themes, but my supply is getting low so order now if you've been wanting to get cards.

Also, I had some glitches with Paypal invoices last year. If you ordered cards but did not get them, PLEASE contact me so I can correct this oversight. Due to technical issues, I may have missed some orders and don't know it. I want everyone who ordered cards to get them....so if you did not, please do contact me. Thanks!

Also, for my Kickstarter Patrons....please know that the book project is still in progress. In the process of developing my website I have also been sorting thru and processing a DECADE of environmental art images and so this was an excellent time to continue work on the Kickstarter book. Once this website goes live I will be able to get back to that long-over-due project onto a "front burner" and off "back burner" status and I hope to bring it to completions soon.

I'll be wading thru this web-site building process a bit longer as I put all the pieces in place and get the whole thing up and running. It's just as complicated as writing a book...so please have patience!

Happy Spring Everyone!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Happy International Women's Day and a catch up

Greetings Everyone!

In honor of International Women's Day I share with you two images from my work as a watercolor painter: Brigid and Ceremony of the New Day.






You may be wondering if this is the right blog, where are the Faerie Houses? Where is the Environmental art you may be saying...well as I've often mentioned in my bio (when I've had to write one) before my life as an Environmental Sculptor, I had a flourishing career as a watercolor painter. These two images are from that time.

What is very exciting for me is that finally, at long last, it is almost time to present both aspects of my creative life online under one banner, on one website! The reason you've not heard a peep from me for the past 2 months is because I've had my head down working very hard on my new website. It is going to be gorgeous. A whole new website where I finally bring my two "halves" together under one tent, so to speak. I'll have more details to share as the launch date gets closer but as of last night I have finished processing all the images for all the galleries...there are over a dozen galleries with tons of images in each one and at long last my watercolor and digital painting works will be included along with my environmental art. It's going to be a lot of fun for my visitors!

So to celebrate this very special day, International Women's Day it felt fitting to share these two images with you. Brigid is of course the Celtic Goddess of the hearth, the Forge, spring, agriculture and new beginnings. In my image she wears a crown of Snowdrops and carries Brigid crosses made from grain stems. The edge of her cloak has flames and Snowdrops and in the background we see objects associated with her areas of expertise. She's a complicated archetype (aren't we all?) as she is also often associated with Sacred wells and pools so the spiral paths are representing those elements as well.

In Ceremony of the New Day, we see an Indigenous Woman who could have roamed the North American landscape at one time. She is of no particular Nation, but represents Indigenous women of all Nations. She holds a Sacred Pipe and Abalone shell filled with smoldering White Sage, along with tobacco the traditional offerings made in Sacred Ceremonies. The Four directions are represented by the four animals: Eagle (East), Buffalo (South), Bear (West) and Wolf (North)....can you find them all? Her braids are wrapped in Otter fur, one of the many Sacred totem animals particularly related to women, for they are enduring, family-oriented and playful.

So this day is a day to celebrate all women everywhere for their courage, creativity, endurance, bravery and power. The soft power of women is rising up now. The inclusive power of the circle and the spiral. My gratitude goes out to all the women and men who read these posts. Let your creative spirits soar and get ready for a busy and bright spring! 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year to YOU!



Greetings Everyone!

Sending each of you the very best wishes for a fabulous 2018! May your year be blessed with delightful connections, surprises, achievements and adventures. May you find new ways to express your unique inner creativity and the natural delight that we've all known since childhood. May you find your way up and out of any former restrictions that had you feeling discouraged and may your inner Light shine bigger and brighter than ever before to let the whole world know that EVERY day is filled with Magic and Joy and that we each are here to celebrate this simple truth: we each can make the world a better place for all and that our greatest moment of inspiration may just be around the next corner. Let's make 2018 a year to remember for the best possible reasons!
Shine, baby, SHINE!!!


As for what will be new with Greenspirit Arts, there is a LOT in the front burner at the moment, but for now, this moment is a chance for me to say a deep and sincere "Thank You" to all who have visited here in the past and to all who continue to be curious about and supportive of my work as an evolving artist. May our journey together continue to blossom and unfold.

May the Blessings of the Light fill all our days ahead!

Welcome to the enchanted world of Environmental art and Faerie Houses sculptures created by Sally J Smith. Here you will find photos of the artist's unique art-forms and hear some of the stories from behind the scenes as she shares with you her creative process.