Thursday, March 19, 2009

Staying Focused

Relic of a Memory No.1 Copyright2009 DonnaBranch All Rights Reserved
Glass, cast, kilnformed, carved with battuto, sandblasteted, acid-etched

Maintaining focus is difficult for most of us at some time or other, so I wanted to share some interesting information that I came across while doing some reading because I thought it might be helpful to others.

One of the articles that I found helpful is Lori Woodward Simmons article "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" on Clint Watson's Fine Art Views (which I highly recommend). I thought Lori's method of staying focused should work well, particularly for artists. Lori discusses how most artists perform a lot of tasks during the day that are unrelated and that we often get sidetracked very easily. Her theme is that we, as artists, are visual; and if your work that you have to do that night or the next day is not right in front of your eyes, so that you can see it, it is completely out of your mind. I know this is true for me. She goes on to say that because we wear many hats as artists and business owners, we probably will not ever be able to "do it all", but that we can build powerful productivity habits if we get the "the real work out the night before, so that I see it first thing in the morning". Great article!

Most of us know the basic rules of how to stay focused and it is written about by Dave Cheong in his blog, but I don't think it hurts any of us to review these now and then, so here is another one at Michael Angier.

What did you think about these articles? I would love to hear in the comments.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Serenbe Project: Installed

Photograph: Copyright Robert Rausch GAS Design Center 2008, All Rights Reserved

The Serenbe Project, which was the building of a 12-foot white oak tree, graced with 175 cast glass leaves was installed on October 31, 2008. Robert Rausch of Gas Design Center, Tuscumbia, Alabama, designed the project, Jason Smith, a blacksmith from Decatur Georgia, created the iron tree blacksmith and I created the cast glass leaves. The project resulted in a beautiful installation and it is so gratifying to collaborate with two other very gifted artists! The project is permanently installed next door to The Hil Restaurant on Selbourne Lane and graces the entranceway leading to the Serenbe property offices.

Serenbe, is a nationally acclaimed sustainable community located 32 miles southwest of Atlanta in Palmetto Georgia. The New York Times featured Serenbe in its' Travel section on Sunday, March 1, 2009. Thank you to my good friend, Julian Hazlett, calling this to my attention. Cottage Living named Serenbe on of its' 2008 Top Ten Neighborhoods.

The beautiful glass leaves in the picture were made from Bullseye Glass of Portland, Oregon. Many thanks to them, especially Geraldine Gladden, for providing such a fine glass to cast, and great customer service. Thanks also to Olympic Color, who provided valuable information about the mold material. The process of making the leaves is shown here.

A funny thing happened during the installation. We had arrived in Serenbe the afternoon before the installation in order to preview the site and make sure we had all of the tools we needed. Since we were not familiar with the area, we thought we might stay at the Farmhouse at Serenbe, however, the F-350 (which was packed to the gills) would not make the turning radius between the split rail fences. This called to mind a quote from Henry Halem, one of the founders of the Glass Art Society, who says something to the effect that "you can always tell the glass artists, because they are the ones with trucks". Maybe, another time at the Farmhouse, because it is such a beautiful setting definitely worth returning to enjoy.

Copyright Robert Rausch Gas Design Center 2008, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I am grateful

I'm grateful for snow in Alabama...
Thank you to all who have expressed your prayers during my family illnesses. I am so grateful to have all of you who have remembered to call, write and think of my family at this time. My Mom is continuing her treatments with chemo and my husband will return to the hospital for his second round of nucleur treatments at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center in March. The doctors at the University of Alabama Birmingham have been so wonderful and commited and I am also grateful to each of them.

This is a short post and I hope to be able to stay in touch at least a couple of times per week. I will be posting pictures of the completed Serenbe Project very soon.

What are you grateful for today?