Asbestos Awareness Week

I was surprised to learn that people are still suffering from exposure to asbestos. I thought asbestos was a thing of the past. We all know how bad it is for our health and that it has to be removed very carefully from old buildings. I assumed it was no longer used and that it likely only existed in a few old, abandoned buildings if it existed at all. Apparently that is not the case and asbestos is still being used in the U.S. to the tune of 30 million pounds per year. That shocked me! The other day I was listening to a news podcast when a story about Libby, Montana came on. The story highlighted a woman named Gayla Benefield and how for years she had tried to get people to pay attention to what was happening in her town. People were dyeing from asbestos related cancer at a rate that seemed statistically impossible. Entire families were developing this cancer. It was normal to see people in their fifties walking around with oxygen tanks. (source) After Benefield got the attention of the media and the government an investigation found that a local mine was responsible. Vermiculite had been mined for 40 years and over that time period the vermiculite, which was tainted with asbestos dust, was distributed all over the town, including playgrounds, baseball fields, and roads (source). People were being poisoned for years and from early childhood on. The EPA later conducted a massive cleanup … Continue Reading ››

Painting Until The Cows Come Home

I am getting ready to hole up in my art studio for a creative marathon.  I'll be painting until the cows come home! I should feel tired just thinking about it, but instead I am completely energized. I have so much gratitude right now.
Painting Until The Cows Come Home
Albuquerque Fish from our visit to the Aquarium.
  My kickstarter reached it's funding goal. I am hoping to double the pledges before it ends because the art display walls are super expensive, but I am so grateful for the help I have received. It's been an amazing experience so far. Asking for help and accepting it makes me feel vulnerable, but facing that fear and seeing the outpouring of support has been incredibly humbling. I appreciate everyone who had made a pledge, shared my project, and offered encouraging words of support. I totally jumped up and down for at least three minutes straight when I woke up and got the email saying my project would be funded. Woo hoo!
Painting Until The Cows Come Home
On The Way To Chaco Canyon
  I'm really excited about the art show in June.  I've been working hard planning and painting. I want my best work to be on display. The art show requires about 90% of your work be original pieces. I am going to be over-prepared because that is what I do. The hours I spend … Continue Reading ››

Stopping At A Rest Area When You Are Alone In The Dark

How do you feel about rest areas? How about if you are alone and it is dark? Do you stop? I've been thinking about how much I have changed since driving across the country from Connecticut to New Mexico. These weren't questions I asked myself or others when I was 28. Rest Areas I stopped at all sorts of rest areas in the middle of the night. I never thought much about it when I started on my journey from Connecticut to New Mexico.  While I was driving from state to state I was pretty carefree until my car broke down. I had to call AAA and this husband and wife team picked me up and brought me to get my car repaired. I had to spend the night in a local hotel and the husband and wife promised to pick me up the next day, to take me to my car, even though they weren't obligated too. The wife of the rescuing duo was shocked that I was traveling alone. She was obviously concerned and worried about me. She asked, "Do your parents know you are doing this?"  When I nodded yes she went on to ask, "Aren't you afraid to stop at rest areas at night?" I wasn't afraid. I'd been doing it without any problems for a day or so. I had no idea that I should be afraid. If my parents were worried they never expressed any of their concerns to me. … Continue Reading ››

Kickstarter: Abstract Tree Paintings For Art Lovers And Tree Huggers

I'm launching a kickstarter today! I know, it all seems so sudden. I was recently accepted into an art show in Albuquerque. It's at the end of June! In between fits of excitement that included bad dancing, sleepless nights, and a whole lot of crazy looking pseudo cheerleader moves I realized I didn't have a professional way to display my paintings. Displaying paintings is not an easy task. My last attempt to display them at the Harvest Festival on a wooden frame with plastic sleeves and Velcro got the job done, but it didn't exactly scream, "My professional art career has begun!" This art show in June is more serious. I had to be accepted. I couldn't just show up yelling, "Surprise!" like I usually do. This art show has rules and high expectations when it comes to art presentation.
After extensive research I decided I needed to invest in some Pro Panel art displays. The panels snap together in various configurations which seemed ideal for my situation. They also break down and can fit into a car which is another major priority for my business. Unfortunately they cost and arm and a leg, but on the bright side, I only need to purchase them once! This is where Kickstarter comes in! I need some help to go pro...or at least to look like a pro. I'll still be my practical, goofy self underneath all of the discreet black and very proper display items. I … Continue Reading ››

Jewelry Artist Heather Fleshman Featured on Art Wednesday

Heather makes beautiful jewelry and hair ornaments. She has them for sale in her Etsy Shop: Penny Joules. Please take a look when you finish reading her post. You'll love what she creates! -Lillian I am Heather the woman behind the scenes here at Penny Jules. I am an artist, and long time enthusiast of all things arts and crafty. As a mother of two young children I have found that my time for creating can be limited. I am fortunate that I am able to do what I love from my home and draw inspiration from my life, family, and friends.  Jewelry Artist Heather Fleshman Featured on Art Wednesday For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a paid artist. When I first thought of being a paid artist I had this vision that I would be a painter. Drawing, painting and the like were always my passion.  I heard from many people that it is very unlikely that I would have become successful at it. So I chose not to pursue that as my career. Now when I think back to all those times I realize that my dream has actually come true, and for that I couldn't be more grateful.  Jewelry Artist Heather Fleshman Featured on Art Wednesday I seem to always have several projects going on, or wanting to get going. Hair combs are always on my mind. … Continue Reading ››

Where art and family collide.