Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween Birthday!

Fall is a delightfully colorful season. Traditional autumn activities of harvest include preparations for the upcoming winter months. Gathering provisions for warmth and sustenance dominated fall activities in the past. Despite the official beginning of fall in September, it is Halloween that seems to mark the actual change of seasons for us. Halloween is a festive day of tricks, treats and fun for young ones. In northern Illinois, the day can be a warm weather day of the very last of summer or one in which a full blown winter coat is needed, either way children delight in the day of fun and costumes.

I haven't always been a fan of the holiday, preferring a mellower acknowledgement of harvest and the change of season, but the birth of one of my babies on a chilly Halloween morning changed that. Our son, Asher, has naturally always loved having a Halloween birthday. Turning eighteen this year, (how can that be?) we celebrate our middle child and continue to enjoy the day as one of celebration and good fun. Here's wishing a delightful Halloween for you and yours as well, no matter how you celebrate.

Happy Birthday, Asher!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Meeting Arcy - Art at the Dunes

Living in the intensely urban area of Chicagoland, I am always looking for outdoor nature experiences to renew myself and share with my family.  As an artist, I am also interested in viewing the artistic expressions of fellow artists. One benefit of city living is the many opportunities to view art in galleries and museums. 

On occasion, there is even the chance to enjoy nature and art together. One such opportunity, to view art while surrounded by nature, presented itself at the Indiana Dunes this summer. Looking for a simple, close to home vacation, we headed to "the dunes" and were greeted at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center by the wonderful mural art of  Ryan Christenson. Despite being positioned directly in the sun and the mid-day heat, the mural was in process.

As my children will attest, I talk to everyone and the opportunity to meet a painter so visibly in process was simply irresistible. Fortunately, the painter was welcoming and accessible for questions and conversation.

Ryan Christensen lives in Connecticut and has been painting since 2003. Having done a bit of graffiti art, Ryan signs his work with his tag name of Arcy. His mural work is fabulous.  The application goes somewhat quickly and the image comes to life before ones eyes. 

Watching him work with the spray paint cans was fascinating.

The application goes somewhat quickly and the image comes to life before ones eyes.

Talented graffiti artist with mainstream appeal Arcy has become a for hire mural artist. He's found a calling and fortunately for himself and his young family, is earning a well deserved income doing mural commissions around the country. Visitors to the Indiana dunes were fortunate that at some point the cans came out of the shadows with Arcy.

Thanks, Arcy, for sharing your craft with dune visitors this summer!

We always welcome inspiration to create our own artistic responses.