Good Tidings

Follow me as I explore Alaska's vast coastline.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Natural Selection

Natural Selection                                                                                                                        Inez Dunn©2014
It was Darwin who coined the term "natural selection". It's about survival, about staying on top of ones' game. Eat or be eaten is the most simple comprehension of Darwin's theory. I think of what the Earth gives us in all its perfect forms, patterns, functions when I ponder natures beautiful bounty. I think of how some things especially rocks in all their various characterizations have and will survive us all. And I'm one of you, I see an unusual rock, shell, bone, or piece of wood and I just have to pick it up. For years I have been collecting beach Agates, wondrous, lustrous, and really, super old. Old as in millions, millions of years old which, makes me think of our snippet of evolutionary existence, and makes me think of Darwin. He was just trying to figure stuff out in order to make sense of his & our place in the general scheme of things, here on Earth. I'm crazy-curious about beach Agates, and they seem to always find me on most of my beach walks. These shinning marble-like structures are like free mini treasures in my hands. Lately, I've been playing at my soldering table (so much patience and practice) I'm truly determined to make sensible art from these glowing rock specimens. I feel like I'm giving back, maybe honoring the magical of this planet with my little known skills. I think I can relate to Darwin, maybe actually understand his drive, his mojo or maybe I too even at my age am just trying to make sense of my place in general, here in my little corner of Alaska. Whichever it is, I hope you'll stick around and continue to follow me on my journey. A new year is upon us, lets get there together!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Falling for beaches

My Kachemak Bay                                                                                                                            Inez Dunn©2014

Just 13 days ago winter arrived on the southern Kenai peninsula. And for the last few weeks winter disappeared and fall showed-up again. Late fall is definitely my favorite season with its stripped appearance and calm gesture. Of course the rain came too...but now the beaches are swept clean from those winter storms and now is the best time for collecting agates, fossils, and everything else kind of treasures.
The ebb & flow of things                                                                                                              Inez Dunn©2014

Alaska's beaches are rugged and active geologically. Land mass spills from the bluffs and adds to the thick glacial clay layers. Large tides take away the sandy soil and reveal huge rocks & boulders not present before. Happy fall again, and get out and do some beach combing today. Life is beautiful!
Alaskan Beach Agates                                                                                                                   Inez Dunn©2014                  
Alaskan Agate Pendants with 14kt Gold & Copper                                                                                Inez Dunn©2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Clay Mate

Clay Mate , circular clay bead.                                                                                                       Inez Dunn©2014

In my part of the world the days are getting shorter, colder, and darker. And that can only mean one thing: its time to start baking! No, I’m not talking cookies and bread; I’m talking about “CLAY”! Clay is ideal for this time of  year and for the simplest of reasons, working with clay requires long quite hours. It’s the perfect art project when waiting for the sun to come-up long after 8:30am!
(In the above photo) My inspiration for this necklace design began with the smaller golden (Lucite) bead. As I searched for a matching bead to complete my necklace I came-up dry, and that’s when I decided to stop looking, and make my own! I love this type of challenge and I challenge all of you “lovers of beads” to do just that, make your own!!!  Send me photos of your very best and I’ll include them in next months post.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Shell Game

Shell Game                                                                                                                                  Inez Dunn ©2014
Its fall in Alaska. From here on out...what you see is what you get. The long cool shadows that grace your effortless lawn now draw a blanket of sopping moisture furthering & suspending all and anything green into flux, into submission...waiting in apprehension for WINTER.
There is no cover here, as temperatures dip, the change in the air is undeniable. Winter is that darkened alley, that odd voice that calls out to you to come closer. Most of us always feel that winter sneaks up on us...but how could she? There are so many clues, so many signs, we
like to remain in denial, as if to act surprised. But winter is so awesome, beautiful, she
renews us with the cold hard facts that the sun will be further away but, only further away for a short time. Remember what becomes dormant actually sleeps, rests, only to become more gracious more fantastic for the spring season and that's pretty cool. Somethings in winter do die and that is the spectacular cycle of life as we know it.
So as we move deeper into the quite season let us follow her rules.
1. Give Thanks
2. Be Aware
3. Love each day
4. Be at peace with what is
5. Change what it is you what different
6. A Shell is that which protects you but, a shell also keeps you from what your hiding.
7. Winter is the heavy coat, it is the truth, its what keeps you close to the Earth. It is what keeps you real.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


         Adornment                                                                                                                              Inez Dunn ©2014

Adornment.  A noun referring to "putting decorations on".  The term sings all things jewelry, doesn't it? In summer months wearing jewelry always seems so high lighted. Earrings are bigger, bolder, shinier and necklaces and bracelets appear to be statement pieces. Maybe its because in the summertime we tend to bare more skin and lighter fabric clothing, so jewelry just seems to pop! It used to be Sterling silver was the official metal of summer but, now those rules need not apply. Bold beads, mainly along the tribal vibe are very in and will take us far into the fall season. Mean while the single "object" earring has made its way to the runways of Paris & Milan. It definitely works just wear designs that are on the lighter side, as to avoid the heavy earlobe syndrome. Wearing jewelry for many of us is truly about our own individual "comfort zones". The modern day ritual of adornment now is about our rite of womanly "expression". Maybe we are carrying-on some ancestral pattern that dates back to the Sumerian's of southern Mesopotamia, or maybe our modern day expression of adornment is simply just about wanting to feel pretty. Either way its a deliberate act, an action of being female and something that none of us can do without!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Summer 2014

Summit Lake, Alaska                                                                                                                        Inez Dunn©2014
Summer is the beloved season to all Alaska's. It is the time of year when lawns and gardens explode in size. If you leave your yard for a long weekend you may not recognize it upon your return and secondly, you'll have to start all over again! The increasing light acts like a enormous grow lamp effecting all plant life to surge to maturity. Yes, that is why Alaska continues to hold the title to some of the largest veggies on earth. Just check out the Alaska State Fair and see for yourself and speaking of summer and fair events check this out:
The city of Palmer will be holding its annual Midsummer Garden & Art Faire on Saturday July 12th all day. I will be there with my handmade jewelry creations, all new and perfect for summer. Look for the Beach House Gallery tent, and stop by to say hello.  Last years event was so much fun, a day filled with fabulous food, live music, and amazing artists selling their wares.  Look for the signs and posters coming soon and don't miss out on this one day incredible ART fest!!! See you there.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Girls Of Summer                                                                Inez Dunn ©2014

Let's FACE it to capture facial features with pencil and chalk is really super difficult.  I study my own...with plenty of CoverGirl powder and foundation but its quite the mystery to put the likes of facial contour onto paper. None the less I kinda love my girls all large lipped and wide nosed, with eyes that are just pencil lines with a graphite smear.  I also picked-up an old art book of mine, a book I purchased for a class many, many, many years ago. The book is titled " Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards. Even though this book is quite dated it takes a interesting angle into the right approach when thinking about drawing the human face, and it takes the reader by the hand with some very productive drawing exercises. Try using a mirror, or even drawing your own sweet face, upside down! For me this artistic phase is all about challenge, pushing my boundaries, inhaling eraser dust, putting down pencil to paper, and tossing that paper into the garbage. And then doing it all over again! Either way facing my objective is a very good discipline, the goal is to put my best face forward, just like mom always said.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Facebook ,   Colored pencil & Pastel on paper , 8.5"x11"                                                              Inez Dunn©2014
Facebook or Face-off? I'm not quite sure but, I am definitely having a most pleasurable experience at re-connecting with the skill of drawing. I had no idea of the challenge, believe me I have not attempted to capture the expression of a face since I was in grade school! I challenged myself in the month of March to draw as many faces as I could. My discovery...simply not enough time in a day to unleash my creativity in this manner and secondly, just to complete an eye or nose took hours! The depiction of facial expression is red-hot right now, I mean the ex-president is doing it, and the designers at Prada. Art in the form of portraiture is nothing new, through-out history artists have been copying the human form in one way or another.  The human face is our first imprint as infants, its that one part of the anatomy we gauge our existence, who we belong to; and what sets us apart. If you haven't doodled a stick figure in some time or even a smiley face, I say give it a try and lets call it a face-off . Send me your best facial impressions and I'll post the ones with the most concentrated effort. Now go ahead and remember don't leave the house until you've put your best face forward.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Art Journaling

Face Book  Art Journal                                                                                                    Inez Dunn© 2014
Art Journaling.  Recently, I have taken-up a renewed interest in journaling. Although, I'm not filling the page with words of prose, intimate feelings, or sentimental encouragements, no I'm layering my pages with art work. I've been creating collaged pages of faces accompanied by exaggerated letters like handmade fonts of my own liking. This new artistic direction has reinforced my creative foundation. When I venture into new artistic  territory I also get the chance to view my "old" art with a new lens of appreciation, or constructive critique. I am also reconnecting with exercises of sketching, and drawing a subject I have never done before "faces"! There seems to be a growing interest in mixed media toward the depiction of faces. Faces created by hand and by computer that are either cartoonish or have dreamy haunting styles. This new interest has even made me revisit my old art supplies which, holds evidence of  me as a much different artist a long time ago. I recently sorted through crusty jars of antique paints, nubby pastels sticks, broken charcoals bits, and plastic watercolor compacts with skinny rims of brittle color. The plus is most of this buried treasure is still viable for how I  plan to use it,  "in my new journals". I've been very fortunate up to this point in my life to be able to access & harness my artistic imagination when I need it.  The art journal for me now is like harvesting all the loose change I've ever had in my back pockets. All I need to do is add it-up or let it spill-out haphazardly upon the page. Either way I'm on my way to making and  seeing art differently. And if your like me...making documentation of your expressive self is, well just something you gotta do.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Remembrance of things past

Unforgettable                                                                                                         Inez Dunn ©2014

Yes. It happened to me I forgot to sit down and write this post. My apology to all my faithful readers. I realize everyone forgets and the expression of being "too busy", is guaranteed acceptance to forget. Head in the clouds anyone? Spacey maybe? We'll that's a lifetime pass to fore go parts of your everyday experiences! Even though, in today's world we have countless electronic ways to remind us, not to forget. We still forget! I believe its easier to remember things when our head isn't so busy, the brain actually seeks out clarity; after all this is our sanity. As an avid beach walker, I walk to stretch my legs but more importantly; I walk to free-up my mind. There is something calming and meditative for my thought process to experience the unpredictable, with no presets of relying on a similar experience to guide me. The photo above was taken from one of my favorite beaches. The photo is a reminder of where I was at a certain time and what I was doing or feeling in that moment. Life is  pretty remarkable, we glide through each day either wrestling and dodging opponents or grabbing each moment courageously as its given. Our lives after all are only our memories woven together in a story line made up from what we can remember. And that's a lot of stuff when you really sit down to think about it. Just like I should have done a couple of days ago!

Inez Dunn

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mental Clay

Mental Clay                                                                                                     Inez Dunn@2014

Happy New Year Friends!
It's time to re-adjust our mental faculties and seek motivation and inspiration from right under our noses. Sometimes all we really need is to look just past our surroundings, stop focusing on the main thing as it were and really "see" the other stuff. This is how my artistic process with clay has evolved...I always begin with an idea to create some type of object and then my focus widens and I see "other" experimental possibilities!  Right now, I am attempting to make original polymer clay appear more like its really metal clay. Except, well, minus the expense and the kiln! Its totally a mental thing and a visual morphology, whereas what you see in my clay objects should really amuse you. Except, once you realize what it is, is not what you thought it was... well, that's when the splendid air of surprise goes out the door.  Its mental alright and every bit delightful and shameful that the mind has developed such an astute constitution to dismiss its first frivolous impression, only to remain faithful to its unsuspecting left hemisphere. Its true, I began working with clay believing all along it was not "Polymer". After a bit of research and reading Sue Heaser's, The Polymer Clay Techniques Book,  my findings were set straight, thanks Sue. Metal clay and or PMC clay is a prevalent medium for many artists. But, I for one won't be visiting that world anytime soon, cuz right now I'm mentally challenged by polymer clay and by all the glorious gifts in life. (even if I thought what I was working with, isn't what I'm working with). My new outlook this year is to sharpen-up mentally and visually, and to really "see" the greater landscape that makes-up my world.

With Gratitude,
Inez Dunn