Events

Lansing Community Library Art Show

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Welcome to my first art show! It’s from now until the end of April at the Lansing Community Library. I had a lot of fun revisiting my past work for this show and also creating some new things. I hope people can see it in person but if you can’t, I’ve included images of everything on display. Plus, all prints are available in my online shop. The library had to reduce my long-winded artist’s bio so it fits onto their marketing materials so the following is the official bio that I wrote:

Jaime Hazard has been a wildlife enthusiast ever since she hatched with all the other tadpoles in her clutch. Paired with that was a love of all things arts and crafts. In high school she studied art, played in several bands, walked dogs at the SPCA and spent every free second at the zoo. When it came time to decide what to study in college she was torn between animals and art. Animals eventually won out and she went on to earn an associates degree in Veterinary Technology from SUNY Delhi and for a little while she actually worked at the zoo she’d practically lived in as a teenager. Being the lifelong learner she is, she went on to earn a bachelors degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University and a masters degree in Environmental Communication and Participatory Process from SUNY ESF. Jaime went on to work as a field biologist and biological technician in various locations all over the United States including Yellowstone National Park. And although her work focused mainly on threatened and endangered species of reptiles and amphibians, she’s not biased. She loves all animals equally (with the exception of crabs, of course).

Needless to say, art definitely became an afterthought until one day a friend commissioned her to create some recycled jewelry for her store. Wanting to put her own personal touch on things, Jaime decided to depict her own experiences working with animals into small jewelry-sized works of art. What she discovered through that process was that her once very precise technical style had turned into loose, haphazard scribbles and what would normally take her months of agonizing over every detail was a quick, extremely satisfying, worry-free process of creation. These works are on display here as well as many more that she’s done since.

When Jaime’s not drawing, she’s working at Cornell University where she helps diagnose parasitic infections in every imaginable creature that this universe has cooked up so they can live long, healthy lives. She also teaches private tai chi and qigong lessons, volunteers for Hospicare, is diligently writing a book on life and death care, takes every opportunity to dance with complete reckless abandon, is obsessed with all things paranormal, makes and sells soap, builds furniture (and is currently working on a teardrop camper), and happily cohabitates with her furry best friends. Jaime would also like to warmly invite you to visit her photography exhibit coming up in May at Hopshire Farm and Brewery which will showcase some of her favorite moments of being a field biologist.

 

Adventures

The Everson Museum

Last month my mother and I joined the hoards of others who enjoy all things artsy fartsy at Syracuse’s City Market. (I will leave out the part of her almost killing us by driving the wrong way down a one way road into oncoming traffic.) The market relocated this year to the Everson Museum‘s community plaza. So every second Sunday of each month, from May to October, there’s a craft fair with food trucks and live music and as an added bonus, there’s free admission to the museum. At the craft fair, I managed to pick up a few absolute gems including a set of four camping inspired salad plates, dinner plates and bowls for $10. They’ll be perfect for my future travels. In addition, I also found a $5.00 camping hammock which I’m dying to use. I’ve been wanting to ditch my tent for a lighter, more comfortable option.

Needless to say, that was a very worthwhile adventure so if you’re in the Syracuse area and looking for something fun to do, look no further. Sadly, I didn’t get any pictures of the market but I did manage to get a few pics of my favorite works of art at the museum. Enjoy!

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A very cool sculpture made with real knitting needles by Lois Hennessey.
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A profile shot of our busy little knitter.
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I love this wee little tea pot by Richard Notkin. It would probably hold a shot’s worth of tea so its practicality is in question but I doubt function matters when it comes to art.
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Emperor Moth by Michael Lucero.
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The flip-side of Emperor Moth by Michael Lucero. The wings are made out of plywood which gives me all sorts of creative ideas for future projects.
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Now this is my kind of fiestaware! Created by Michael Gross.
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This is called The Ego Cup & Saucer by Matt Nolen. Very detailed and pictures don’t do it justice. I don’t think my ego could squish itself into such a small vessel…just putting that out there.
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This is incredible! Sadly, I didn’t get the artist’s name because there was a tour group right in front of the info. Guess I’ll just have to go back another time…twist my arm!
Adventures

The Herbert F. Johnson Museum

Yesterday was the mega controversial inauguration day of Donald Trump and today was the Women’s March on Washington. There were also local marches that I could have attended, but I’ve just been so conflicted about world issues of late that I just want to seek what little peace I can find. Despite being hung over, when a friend offered up the chance to go to the local museum, I jumped at it with full zeal. I’m so glad that I went. My heavy heart feels lighter thanks to the majesty of artistic expression.

I can’t recommend enough going out into your local community and discovering or rediscovering all the things it has to offer. Sometimes we need to be reminded of all the reasons we choose to live where we do. Today was one of those reinvigorating days for me.

The Herbert F. Johnson Museum is located on the beautiful Cornell University campus and is absolutely free to the public! I feel like a complete idiot for not going there all the time. I only live ten minutes away and I work right across campus. The 360° panoramic views of Ithaca from the 5th floor alone are worth going. I can imagine sitting there and either reading a good book or sketching.

Here’s just a taste of what you’ll enjoy when you visit:

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Health, Wellness & Enjoyment, Making Crafty Magic

More on Goals & Limiting Beliefs

owlsThis is a continuation of my last post on goal setting. I’d like to take this opportunity to delve further into Hunter Thompson’s idea of the decision between going with the flow by designing a life that accentuates your experiences and natural talents OR swimming against the current by re-inventing yourself in order to achieve a goal that may not reflect who you are now but instead reflects the person you’ll have to become in order to achieve that goal. (I hope this is making sense.) I can see the merits in both paths and it’s safe to say that I’ve sampled both.

Ever since grade school, I’ve focused heavily on cultivating my natural talents. I played guitar, was in various rock bands, took vocal lessons, wrote fantastic short stories and poetry and won awards for my artwork. Even before that though, I loved animals. I was born into this world with an affinity for and a kinship with animals. So in my senior year I was faced with a dilemma. Should I go to school for art, pursue a recording contract with my band or go to school for Veterinary Technology?

The veterinary work posed various exciting challenges. I was an honors student in remedial math, I wasn’t particularly scientific-minded, and blood & guts made me rather squeamish (a few months earlier I had fainted in front of my entire high school class when we took a tour of an embalming room at a local funeral home and when I toured SUNY Delhi I almost fainted when the guide began talking about analyzing blood samples). Basically, I was going to have to re-make my mind in order to succeed. Plus, it was the only career path that I deemed meaningful at the time. Thus, I enrolled at SUNY Delhi, I got over my squeamishness, and worked my butt off to be a Dean’s List scholar. I poured all my time and effort into swimming against the current, so to speak, at the expense of my creativity. My natural talents began to rust and after a while I was completely unable to write, play music or draw. I had sold my soul for a 3.9 GPA.

After college I began to realize my miscalculation. (Let me be very clear, I have no regrets about choosing that path. I would do it again in a heartbeat. It led me to my absolute best friends and for that I will always be indebted to SUNY Delhi.) It didn’t take long to realize that I had accomplished the only part of the goal that I found enticing: mastering those things that I completely sucked at such as math, playing with blood & guts, enjoying science, etc… When it came time to get a job, the only challenge there was for me was not accidentally killing something during my shift. And the meaning that I desired in my career was sadly lacking. Sure, I was helping some but not in the numbers I’d hoped. It all felt like a big, hollow letdown. And for many years I continued on this detrimental spiral of trying to find meaning in challenging myself to excel at the things I completely sucked at.

Flash forward to nearly twenty years later (I can’t believe it’s been that long!), I still can’t pick up my guitar, I write this here blog but not to the level that I once could, and I have only just started to draw again. But let me tell you, revisiting my creative roots by making all of the things I do and devoting my time and effort to it has helped me to find meaning and it honestly doesn’t feel like work. I am not battling against a constant current and I’m not trying to be good at things that I’m frankly just not good at. I wish I had realized this several college degrees ago because it could have saved me a lot of time, energy, stress and money.Octopi & sea turtle

Now that I’m starting to appreciate the benefits of swimming with the current instead of against it, I want to address some of my limiting beliefs that have made my swim more choppy. I know now that my creative block during and after college stemmed from the belief that one side of your brain is always less developed than the other–the whole right brain, left brain concept. To me this meant that if I devote my time to building up that analytical, scientific side of my brain than my creative side must be sacrificed. As you can tell, I no longer feel this way. You can balance both efficiently by partnering with those who are good at the things you aren’t and just accept the fact that you can’t be a rock star at everything.

Another example is with drawing. I’ve been trying to draw for years and have walked away from all projects feeling completely and utterly defeated. As soon as I’d put the pen to paper my own judgemental monkey mind and internal chatter would overwhelm me. Some of the chatter was about not being as good as someone else which is ridiculous when it comes to art because it’s a subjective experience and therein lies it’s beauty. Some of it is asking if “wasting” my time on something like art is actually contributing to any greater good? Some of it is about goals again and my self-imposed limitations, the biggest one being that I could never make a living this way so why bother? Then a few days ago something changed. I was hired by my friend to make some jewelry for her store. Proof right there that I can make money doing something artistic.

For years, I’ve loathed making jewelry because I’ve never felt like it’s an individual expression of who I am. I would cringe whenever parents looked at my jewelry and said to their kids that they could go home and make the same thing. It made me feel embarrassed and ashamed because I knew I could do better. For the longest time I’ve tried to phase it out but in all honesty, it’s my best seller at craft shows so I can’t rightfully kill the cash cow. My vision was always to make jewelry that expressed my love for animals and art. I’ve been wanting to move in this direction for years but couldn’t get past my own judgements long enough to actually finish a single thing. (Okay, that’s not true, I’ve finished one drawing in the past 20 years and that is the Hazardous Materials skull graphic, which I love).

However, with the deadline approaching for the OC Local Mojo store, I knew I had to bite the bullet and either stay the rather unfulfilling course or tap into those talents that I gave up on so long ago. Last week, I purchased some Sharpie markers, grabbed a few sheets of printer paper and the dam immediately broke. No monkey mind. No peep of mental chatter to speak of. I just dove in and made up my mind to go with the flow by fully honoring my gifts. The drawings have been coming easily and effortlessly ever since and I can’t wait to incorporate them into my jewelry…

After having only completed one drawing in the past 20 years, I’d say these aren’t so bad. In fact, I really love them! Mistakes and all! And it’s absolutely strange because I was always a very precise technical drawer who specialized in extremely tight line-work and was never able to let loose despite my best efforts. Needless to say, I have no idea where this scribble style has come from. Perhaps it can best be explained by this TED talk. I can’t wait to see what some time away has done to my song writing!

So maybe this rant seems rather incoherent. I guess this is my way of saying that swimming against the current and drifting with it both can lead to great places but swimming against the current too far, too long will only leave you spent. I only recommend it in small, exciting bursts.

Making Crafty Magic

Exciting Times for The Treehouse

The Treehouse in New PaltzThe Treehouse is a small retail fine craft gallery in New Paltz, NY. Since 2012, owner/artist Kathy Preston has gone from representing eighteen Hudson Valley artists to over thirty-five artists in a variety of media, from emerging artists who have never sold their work before to established artists with decades of experience. Kathy is in the process of moving to a new space right around the corner that would allow The Treehouse to create a new community arts hub with over twice the retail space, room for a full-service tailor shop, and workshop space for adult and children’s art classes. Kathy will be partnering with Cindy Capraro in this new phase. Cindy has been a professional costume designer and tailor for television, theater and dance for the last 18 years. She is also an artist known for using found and discarded objects to create beautiful and unique art and home décor.

Cindy will run the sewing studio and also offer sewing classes, full-service dressmaking and tailoring. Kathy has local artists committed to leading after school and weekend art and craft classes for children and teens, as well as teaching adult classes in drawing, illustration, paper marbling, knitting, crochet, mosaic, jewelry design, printmaking, and more. As The Treehouse grows, so will the breadth and scope of instruction. In this new location, they’ll also be able to offer affordable hourly rates for group meeting space, and free open studio sessions for people to come with projects and receive feedback and assistance. They are focusing on reuse, repurposing, self-sufficiency, and sustainability– building practical skills that also nurture an appreciation of fine art and handcraft.  Kathy is looking for new artists to sell their work in the expanded location, as well as artists interested in teaching classes. You can find out more at www.treehousenewpaltz.com or mail Kathy at treehousehandcraft@gmail.com. Anticipated opening dates are March 1 for the shop and April 1 for the workshop space.

♥ The Treehouse is also running an online campaign right now where donors can receive fantastic perks like tailoring, art, class discounts, and more here ♥

I’ve been lucky enough to be an artist at The Treehouse for more than a year now (it may actually be more like two years–I have no concept of time at this point). Through this experience I’ve had to the opportunity to meet many new customers, artisans and friends. I’m so excited that these two lovely ladies are pursuing their dreams to the fullest and taking the entire community along with them to help others do the same. I’m crossing my fingers and toes that this move will happen because I’ll be right there knocking on their door. Whatever you ladies need, count me in! For more pics of just what kind of crafty curation Kathy is capable of, even in the smallest of spaces, visit my post here.

Making Crafty Magic

The Treehouse: A Post to Drool Over

I’m in the process of spring cleaning everything, including my computer files, and came across these pictures I totally spaced on sharing. Doh! I took these a few months ago when Kathy (the wonderful owner of The Treehouse) allowed me to work in her store for the day. I’ve never wanted to work somewhere so much in my life! Usually, I have the opposite problem. Amazingly enough, I walked out at the end of the day and didn’t purchase a single thing. I was super proud of myself because as soon as I walk into that place I usually lose all impulse control. Although some things have changed since I took these pictures, at least you can get an idea of how gorgeous the space is and how thoughtfully Kathy curates the store. If you see something that you just can’t live without or if you want to visit, click here for more info.

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Here are a few photos from The Treehouse’s 1st Anniversary Party & Artists’ Reception:

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Helen (as in Helen of Memphis) is talking to another talented artist. Click on this photo to see what Helen is all about. You can catch her working in the store on Wednesdays.

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Last but not least, this adorable creature is named Erin and she has a brand-spankin’ new store called The Modern Dream in Saugerties. Click on her picture to learn more.

 

Adventures

Our visit to Olana

DSCF1730Here are photos from my visit to Olana, home of the famous Hudson River School painter, Frederic Edwin Church. It’s only a half hour drive from my house and in the off-season it’s free to roam around their 250 acres. The architecture is gorgeous and so is the view of the river. My housemate, Cassie and I took a quick trip out there to practice our landscape drawing skills (she doesn’t need any practice but I sure do). After failing to draw the house, I ended up sketching a fun little underwater carnival scene with a hammerhead as a lion, a shark balancing a ball on its nose, a mermaid as a sexy sideshow act and a mustached whale as the master of ceremonies. All this this action was happening beneath a serene lake with swans unknowingly swimming on the surface. Not sure what inspired such a quirky sketch. Cassie did a beautiful sketch of the house. Her work is amazing! I can’t wait to see what she unveils for her local art show in August. Among the photos of the house are a few of a very friendly chipmunk. Can chipmunks have rabies? This creature was extremely laid-back about us photographing it. It seemed to enjoy being the center of attention. If we are reincarnated, as some believe, I have a feeling we shared a few moments with Frederic Church’s chipmunked self. I couldn’t help but chuckle thinking about the ornate underground Olana that he may have created for himself.

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