Friday, December 17, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Home Studio

Today we will rip up the floor in the studio. The sewer backed up and oh, what a mess I have on the floor. Or should I say, "under the floor".

This is how much stuff I have accumulated in the past three years in this studio:

That doesn't include the furniture:

But the floor I chose has to go away, ruined due to water running under it.

Gotta love the contractor who came to repair the floor. He is a great guy:

Jeff Reddan likes to do remodels where he jacks up the house and build a floor beneath the existing house. He did this remodel and will be here to fix the problem.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mom has Cancer

Here are my two nephews, running around and having a super fun time on Thanksgiving. I noticed they were anxious when they weren't rambunctiously playing every time they noticed their mom wasn't in plain sight. They would scream and cry out "mommmmmmm", when they noticed she wasn't around.

I feel the same way now that my mom has cancer. I went for years just seeing her every so often, knowing she was fine, and just "running around" living my life. Now I see her, struggling with cancer and the treatments and it makes me feel a little like these kids....

"Mom! ......."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tent City

Have you heard about tent city? Here is the exterior of the tent city located now on Capitol Hill in Seattle  on the Saint Mark's property. They seem to have patched it up more than once. They get food, and a safe place to sleep at night. It looks like they care for their surroundings as well.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Letter from a teacher at Seattle Public Schools

Dear Students and Parents,

There is a new system that is steamrolling into our school district,
into our classrooms, and into the relationships that I have with each
of my students.  This system, driven by standardized tests, will
change the classroom environment dramatically.  I am asking for you to
make your voices heard on this issue.

As you may already know, Seattle Public Schools is prioritizing its
focus and funding on ways to make teachers “more accountable” by
linking student test scores to teacher evaluation and compensation.
But the elephant in the room is: Are these high quality tests?  Do we
want teachers to give them highest priority?  Tests such as the
Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) test finite skills, which can
be useful for a teacher in designing instruction, but let’s not be
misled: it does not test how an individual child is developing skills
of critical thinking, creativity and problem solving, or independent
and teamwork skills—cornerstone qualities of the most successful
members of our society.

As a successful lifelong learner myself, I naturally need feedback in
many forms to evaluate my teaching so I can continuously improve.
However, this move to emphasize test results to evaluate and
compensate teachers is setting students up to be shortchanged.
Teachers will be forced to teach a narrower set of skills, focusing on
test-measured forms of “success”. Class time for music, arts, social
studies, science, research, and physical education will continue to
dwindle as long as the focus on testing is largely in reading and
math.  I have already seen this happen throughout the district at the
elementary level, especially in schools with higher poverty rates
where students tend to test poorly and the pressure to raise test
scores is intense.

Even testing logistics have a negative impact on learning. In
buildings throughout the
district, the entire school is denied access to precious library
resources for 9 weeks out of
the 36 weeks of the year to allow for MAP testing three times a year:
that’s 25% of the
year! On top of that, often teachers and principals decide that kids
need more practice with standardized test taking on the computers in
order to succeed on these high-stakes tests. Children will see
libraries as testing centers rather than as places to expand their
learning through research and be inspired by great books.

What about teacher evaluation?

All students deserve talented, effective, inspiring teachers. We need
an evaluation system that encourages teachers to engage children in
critical thinking and in creative problem solving, as opposed to a
system focused on multiple choice test taking.  A new evaluation
system was developed collaboratively over the last few years by the
Seattle Education Association and Seattle Public Schools and piloted
in several Seattle schools, and was shown to be a useful and effective
evaluation system to judge the effectiveness of teachers. It also gave
principals the power to put those teachers who demonstrated
ineffective teaching skills on probation. This system is an exciting
new development for our teachers and administrators, something that
many saw as a very promising step forward to building successful

But then Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson acted unilaterally in adding
the test based evaluation system to this new collaboratively-developed

After 15 meetings of the contract negotiation teams, Seattle Public
Schools introduced a new addition to the collaboratively developed
evaluation system, reducing the new system to 50% of a teacher’s
evaluation, and announcing 35-45% of the teacher’s evaluation would be
tied to student performance on standardized tests, most significantly
the new MAP test. This 11th hour addition to the contract negotiations
is called SERVE.  These are just a few of my concerns:

   * The MAP test was brought to the district in a no-bid contract.
Not having an alternate bid for many contracts is an embarrassing
critique outlined in the federal audit of SPS, recently published.
   * Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson sits on the board of the
company that makes the MAP test, and did not disclose that before the
contract was approved.
   * Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), the company that makes
the MAP test, states the test was never designed as a tool to evaluate
   * $4 million price tag to roll out this system includes money for
the test and for more administrators to oversee the program--- money
that won’t go to our children’s classrooms.
   * Honest and thoughtful evaluations can’t be that easy! The SERVE
plan hands teacher evaluation over to a computer.

Do we want computerized tests at the core of what our teachers teach
and what our children learn?

What Can You Do?
Members of the public who wish to address the board
may do so by e-mailing ( the School
Board Office or calling (206) 252-0040

Talk and write to everyone you know about your feelings.  Write to The
Seattle Times and neighborhood papers.  Email or call Superintendent
Goodloe-Johnson at or 206-252-0167

Contact the School Board members and tell them your concerns with the
SERVE proposal and the direction it would take our schools.  Seattle
School Board email addresses:

Thank you for participating in public education; it is the foundation
of our democratic society.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I just read a sweet article by

Cathleen Schine 

about napping which reminded me of so many things. I was recently napping on a summer afternoon, and thinking of being a child napping on a summer afternoon, with the lawn mower and the smell of grass and gasoline exhaust coming in the window, and cool cotton sheets. You can read the article here


I just recycled a tall stack of newspaper articles. I'd saved them because they were interesting to me, so I thought I'd share them on the blog. Too many weeks went by. I am not a writer. I assume that blogs are more fun for writers than for visual artists. Perhaps I'll just start posting images like I do on the art blogs.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Colorado River

Here is the video man, Matt Fahey, slipping off the boat for an underwater shot through Lava falls. This is what some people do to get the shot.

Had a great time on the trip.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shiny Objects

This is a snapshot of a panel I am working on. I am learning how to render reflective objects. The coffee can says "Bob's Coffee" on a strip of masking tape. It was Folgers. He liked his coffee strong, with a spoonful of sugar.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tell the Truth

Here the art group we call BRAART (bra means good in swedish).

We did a project with the theme "tell the truth".

Blog post here: BRAART

Ida Applebroog

Ida Applebroog, an artist who is 81. Check this out. I wonder why I am interested in women who make art well into their 80's...My auntie Karin has inspired me by starting to paint in midlife. She is 87 now, and still painting.
On vacation and looking for WiFi
I've been thinking of people all around, talking and texting, and not only while driving. It seems it's a problem for walking. Read this:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I dig Bob Brezsny...he's a great weirdo.
read about loving yourself here:

Plastic Boat to Sail the Seas

Here is an interesting article about sailing and recycling.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hungry: A young model's story...

Here's a book to read for anyone who's thought about the Fashion industry's idea of thin and beautiful.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Had a fabulous meal at the newly reopened Phoenicia at Alki, in West Seattle last night
(206) 935-6550 The family has refurbished the space, redone the menu and it is Fabulous. Gluten free fresh pasta!!! And the most amazing pizza. Yum.

2716 Alki Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Finally! A story about local economy that seems based on fact, not fantasy:
here is a self portrait in progress, a detail

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cameras and phones

Wow. I have relatives in Finland who own a photo shop. Times have changed since people went into the photo shop to get important photos done in the studio. I have several good friends who are professional photographers. Times are changing for them as well. Here, Chase Jarvis, a photographer talks about using your phone to take the picture and share it: