Friday, December 30, 2011

Running Into the Wind

Here's one of my practice pieces for my upcoming Pastel-a-Day adventure. See progress from start to finish on my Facebook page. More to come here, too!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Following My Pastel-A-Day Progress...

I've been doing exercises to get in shape! Read more here on this blog, follow me on Twitter (@electrikolor), and also on Facebook.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Pastel a Day

Dear Edna,

You have the opportunity to enhance your artistic skills in a unique way during the month of January. Come rain, snow, sleet, or (apparently) 40-degree dry days, you are hereby challenged to create one pastel painting every day of the month.

You can choose the size of the painting, and whether it will be a soft pastel or an oil pastel composition -- or even a mixed media composition that uses pastel in a non-traditional manner.

You are encouraged to prepare well in advance for this adventure, or, in this case, make the decision just a few days before embarking.

You have been chosen for this activity because you are known to have supplies sufficient to take you through a month (or a year) of paintings, the desire to try new things, and the need to express yourself on paper and step away from the computer when you're not processing your digital photographs.

You are encouraged to attempt some plein air painting (perhaps from wind-protected insides of a car) and choose topics that you do not naturally gravitate towards (such as still life, for which you claim to have a certain distaste, but not an inability).

Since you have chosen to accept this challenge, be sure to do your warm up exercises for the next several days. We do not want you straining any creative part along the way.

Most of all, remember to enjoy, learn, and share your results.


Your right brain

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Letters to the Editor: Fostering A Safe Place to Recall Walker

Once upon a time, letters to the editor were published in newspapers when they represented a sincere opinion that affected the community. These days, of course, they have to meet the needs of editorial policy. Sometimes I agree with those policies, other times I don't. In this instance, I feel that not publishing something by a local business owner because she is running for a county office is not really a great policy.

On the other hand, this is MY blog, and I do not have the same editorial policy. Therefore, the letter below, originally sent to the Verona Press for publication, is being circulated here and on other blogs to illuminate why the shop is also allowing Recall Walker petitions to be circulated. Simply put, Erika Hotchksis believes in social justice...

Since the beginning of the recall effort in Verona I have received many messages and phone calls both in support and in opposition to Tuvalu’s participation in the recall effort. I would like to take a moment to clarify why I have made the decision to involve my local business in this issue.

Tuvalu Coffeehouse & Gallery has, since it’s opening, been all about social justice. Everything I do I do with the thought of how it will affect our community, our children, and quite honestly our world. I have set out to make a place in Verona that educates consumers and offers a family friendly environment and a socially conscious choice within our community.

I feel strongly that what is happening to the people of our state and the divisiveness that we see at the Capitol is, at its core, a social justice issue. I have, therefore, provided the recall Walker organizers in Verona a place to collect signatures where they can sit out of the cold at a table in the corner and be safe, and the people who want to sign the recall petition can sign it knowing that they are signing in a place where they and their signatures are also safe. The recall group has been very respectful of our business and our customers. They sit quietly at a table with their petitions waiting for people to come to them if they so choose.

As a customer recently wrote to me “Some might think that putting politics into your business is risky… Sometimes, separating the two is the least authentic choice. We must all go to bed at night knowing we are measured by the positions we take on a daily basis. I applaud the transparency and I know you sleep well.”

No matter the outcome, I wouldn’t change a thing. As a longtime resident of Verona, a mother to three wonderful kids, and a small business owner I have to make the best choices I am able to every day. I love that we have a safe place in Verona for people to sign. I love that I am able to stand up for what’s right with integrity and feel empowered and supported by this wonderful community! I have never been silent when I see injustice and misuse of power no matter the risk. I truly would walk away from anything where I was not able to be authentic to who I am and what I believe. This is what Tuvalu is at its core… it’s more than just a place to get a great cup of coffee.

Thank you all and Happy Holidays!

Erika Hotchkiss

Yes, I have signed the recall petitions for both Walker and Kleefish. I did it over at Tuvalu. Tuvalu has been the only place in Verona that literally reached out to me as a local artist and Verona resident to ever get involved in anything, which, in my world makes not only the business unique, but Erika's vision for the community something that I strongly support. I only wish more places in Verona would be more accepting and supportive of their respective beliefs.

It is because of who Erika is and what she believes in that I volunteered to help her campaign for Dane County Board Supervisor. Am I biased in my opinion? Yes, I am, and proud of it!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Winter Festival - Glacier Edge - Sat Dec 3 - 7 am till noon

Pancakes, books, and crafts! Saturday, December 3. 7 am to noon.

Glacier Edge Elementary School (800 Kimball Lane, Verona, WI, essentially down the street from Gray's Tied House) is hosting their Second Annual Winter Festival on Saturday, December 3rd from 7 am to noon.

Come and shop a huge Scholastic Book Fair, see and purchase crafts from local vendors and learn more about product lines available through small businesses.

A kid's craft and movie area will be staffed with adults so you can shop for the holidays. I'll be there with some goodies suitable as teacher gifts!
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