Learning to Appreciate City Life Through Live Music


Tulsa’s 3rd Annual Hop Jam (in the Brady Arts District downtown) Festival Map — Sunday, May 21, 2016

A block up the street from my north-facing window is a freeway with a billboard promoting all the art and music support in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  (Believe it or not, there are 40 art organizations in Tulsa with only a population of 200k.)  In large letters the billboard reads something like “A pART town” etc. etc… After living downtown in the Brady Arts District for the past five months, where there’s art throughout and live music 6 days/ week, I truly feel a “y” ought to be added with down right acknowledgement and no shame, so it reads like this:  “A pARTy town!”  How does a country-girl artist like myself who does quiet, meditative art, survive living smack dab in the middle of a pARTying city!?  Well, there’s the old saying that in my case is past tense:  it’s way bigger than me to beat, so I joined ‘em!   I am not interested in beer, or alcohol for that matter; but the music?  Well, there’s nothing like really good, live, danceable music!  The Hop Jam provided just that!


Early morning volunteers haul big coolers to the designated tents of beer vendors on Main Street of Tulsa’s 3rd Annual Hops Jam

Yesterday was Sunday.  I woke up to the sounds of semi-trucks being unloaded; just after the crack of dawn at 6:30, volunteers began setting up for Tulsa’s 3rd annual Hop Jam.  Three blocks down Main Street and a block over have been blocked off for this big street party.  I’m glad I had one day’s notice to prepare my work day for a distracting day of beer vendors from all over the country and beyond, with live music blasting through layers of cement like only sound can do.  There’s no way I can Chilkat weave on days like yesterday.  So I set up my printing/shrinkwrapping area and got down on it!  I have learned to adapt to the consistent noise of city living.  Here’s how:

In downtown Tulsa, Sunday is one of two days that is fairly quiet; I’ll let you guess the other.  This past week, the outdoor stage venue across the street hosted 3 full nights of 3 different bands per night; and they were pretty dang good in comparison to what I’ve heard the past 5 months!  They play until 1:30am, sometimes 2am.  How have I adapted my work/sleep schedule?  I have learned that no matter how hard I try to sleep in, I am awake by 6, no later than 7am.  I work from 8am to about midnight, with a cat nap in mid-afternoon, after which I am good to go for another 6 to 9 hours.  With all the active pARTy-ers outside hanging to the grooving bands, the only way I can go to sleep is to work, work, work late until I can no longer think, and I drop exhausted with the blasting music finally drifting off into my subconscious dream time where I don’t care whether or not the band sounds good any more!  I calculate I get 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night from 2 to 6am on Tuesdays through Saturdays.   On Sunday and Monday nights, I get 6 hours.  That’s good enough; I ain’t complainin’.


Same street as the above photo…just a few hours later…

Growing up in rural Alaska, there are many things we miss out on, especially those of us born and bred in small, land-locked communities, which is most of the state except Anchorage and Fairbanks.   Concerts of big name musicians/singers are one of those things we don’t experience so what we don’t experience won’t hurt us, right?  We don’t know any better.  Well, not until we grow up and actually go to a concert by a real famous person(s)!   In less than two months, just before my 60th birthday, I have gone to two concerts, one by intention, Van Morrison, and the other I stumbled across last night, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, right here in the Brady Arts District of downtown Tulsa.   I am spending a year doing things, I have NEVER done!  Attending concerts of big-name musicians is one of them!


Tulsa’s Hop Jam program guide lists all the beer vendors

We’ve been told that during the Spring/Summer/Fall time in Tulsa’s Brady Arts District, there is live music every weekend at the Guthrie Green (just a block over) and even throughout the week in various bars or restaurants.  During this past month, all of us artists-in-residents are getting an earful, and from what we’ve been told, we haven’t heard nothing yet!   The “pARTy” is just getting warmed up along with the weather!


From the top of the northerly part of Main Strait looking 3 blocks to the band stand (in the distance shown in turquoise.).

After a productive day indoors printing the last of my edition of “An Ocean Runs Through Us”, I decided it was time to go mingle amongst the beer-drinking crowd; there were a few thousand people out there by mid-afternoon!  I took photos intended for this blog post, if nothing else.  And then I listened to a couple of bands.  I thought the bands were local boys, like most of the bands I’ve heard in this part of town.  I even thought “wow, these dudes act and sound like they are professionals…”  And then funny me, I discovered they ARE professionals!  Hello!?!?

The two bands I totally enjoyed were the “X Ambassadors” and (especially) “Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.”  I gravitate towards bands that have great vocals and harmonies of which both bands employed.  Edward’s Sharpe’s band has 12 musicians; more than half of them sing which adds to a wonderful listening experience.  If you guys don’t know the sounds of Edward Sharpe and his band, then get onto YouTube, and introduce yourself to a great band — you’ll recognize their sound cuz the’ve been on the radio the past several years.   I’m a new fan!  They have combined the sounds of Appalachia, gospel, rock and roll, jazz with that touch of spiritual sharing of the human heart blasted with the energy of youth!  Here’s a link from KEXP radio station in Seattle where they play a bit subdued cuz they’re in a radio station studio, though nevertheless with heart and soul; please listen through the last song they play on this video clip; it’s so sweet:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Qvi9gjRwKk  


Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros closing song on stage at Tulsa’s Hop Jam Beer and Music Festival 2016

Last night, after Edward Sharpe’s band ended, I walked with great appreciation back through the dwindling thickness of the crowd and I noticed I was amongst people who were no where near my age; they were all younger than my youngest daughter!!!  LOL.  In the dark, we all look the same age, but when we are out in the light,…hahahaha!  If anything, I think I have just started to enjoy my city life surroundings.  With all this music everywhere, I am reminded that I totally enjoy live music no matter what genre.  It is in this enjoyment that allows me to make the best of my city living conditions.  I have to adapt so I can survive, so I can continue doing what I damn well love doing!  It’s all good…I’m getting into the groove of city living via live music!  Halleluia!





Calling All Chilkat and Ravenstail Weavers

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Invitational design specifications for the “patchwork quilt” or “Granny Square” Chilkat/Ravenstail Robe Project — Collaborative community design concept by Clarissa Rizal; Canoe Community concept by Suzi Vaara Williams

Dear Northwest Coast Chilkat and Ravenstail Weavers:

We invite you to participate in a very unique project which will provide a Chilkat/Ravenstail ceremonial robe to be worn by a dignitary of a hosting community for NWC Canoe Gatherings and/or also to be worn in ceremony during the maiden launch of a traditional dugout canoe.  Imagine this robe will be worn for many generations of canoe gatherings and maiden voyages!  When the robe is not traveling, it will be housed in its own private, glass case in the new “Weavers’ Studio” at the Evergreen Longhouse campus in Olympia, Washington State.  Longhouse Executive Director Tina Kuckkhan-Miller, and Assistant Director Laura Grabhorn are very excited about this project.

If you are interested in participating and donating your time to weave a 5″ x 5″ square, the above illustration provides you with the visual concept.  The information below provides you with clear instructions:


Project:  A  NWC Weavers’ Invitational  to create a collaborative and unique Chilkat/Ravenstail robe for the NWC communities who host Canoe Gatherings and/or are launching the maiden voyage of a traditional dugout canoe in Washington State, British Columbia, Southeast Alaska and Yukon Territory.

Who is Invited:  This invitational is open to all Indigenous Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers representing all the distinctive tribes of the Northwest Coast.  The invitational is also open to non-Indigenous weavers who are clan members of a NWC tribe via adoption and/or marriage.  Weavers of all levels of experience, from beginner to expert, are invited to contribute!  There are only 54 sections on this unique, one-of-a-kind, Chilkat/Ravenstail robe; if you want to be a part of this historical event, jump in now while you can and commit via email, text or Facebook to Clarissa Rizal by May 15, 2016!   Email address:  clarissa@clarissarizal.com   or text her at:  (970)903-8386   or Facebook:  Clarissa Rizal

Limited number of weavers:  There will be 54 5-inch squares which = 54 separate weavers.  45 of the 54 squares will have 1″ fringe at the bottom.  9 of the 54 squares will have 18″ fringe; these 9 squares will be placed at the very bottom edge of the robe.  If you want to be one of the 9 squares with the 18″ fringe, let me know.  Please refer to the illustration for visual image.  The borders of the entire robe will be woven by Clarissa Rizal after she has laid out the entire 54 squares and sewn them together.  Total approximately measurements of the robe will be 68″ wide x 56″ high (includes fringe)

The Warp:  You will need approximately 12 yards of Chilkat warp.   To keep the thickness and body of the robe consistent, use only Chilkat warp (w/bark), natural color and spun to size 10 e.p.i.  Please DO NOT USE Ravenstail warp.

The Heading Cord:  Instead of a leather cord (like we use in Chilkat weaving), use two strands of your Chilkat warp, this 2-strands of warp instead of leather cord is a technique used in Ravenstail weaving.  The Chilkat warp heading cord will then become a part of your weaving so in this way we avoid any tied knots on the top left and right of your heading cord.

The Weft:  merino or mountain goat wool, size 2/6 fingering weight, in any shades of the traditional colors of black, natural, yellow and blue

The Design:  Weave anything to do with the canoe world; suggestions are to weave symbols of nature, animals, mankind (i.e. mountains, ocean, rivers, lakes, canoes, paddles, faces, claws (though no human hands:  Instead of four fingers, weave three fingers and a thumb)

In addition with your weaving, please provide two things:  1) a brief 100-word max Bio in Word Document and, 2) a photo of yourself with your weaving either finished or in progress  (200 d.p.i./5″ x 7″) —-  I will be providing this information to the Evergreen Longhouse who will be housing this robe when it is not traveling.  I also imagine there may be a small publication (of the robe with all the weavers ) someday printed for each one of us; and why not!?  It would be fun!

DEADLINE to commit:  Extended to May 15, 2016  Email Clarissa with your commitment (suggestions, etc. are welcome too, especially at this time):  clarissa@clarissarizal.com or text her:  970-903-8386 (yes, area code is 970)

DEADLINE for completion:  Postmarked by July 15, 2016   Remember:  Along with your weaving, please include the brief bio and a photo of you and your weaving. (see specs above) If you complete your weaving by the dates of “Celebration” and you are in Juneau, you may hand-deliver your weaving to Clarissa anytime during the month of June, otherwise mail your weaving insured to Clarissa’s address:

Clarissa Rizal, 40 East Cameron St #207, Tulsa, OK   74103


“TOUR” SCHEDULE (for the robe) 2016:  

1).  Hoonah, Alaska:  Master carver of dugout canoes, Wayne Price from Haines, Alaska is carving two dugout canoes for the Hoonah Indian Association.  The opening ceremonies will be the maiden voyage of both canoes from Hoonah to Glacier Bay for the dedication of the recently built longhouse on the shores of Glacier Bay on Wednesday, August 24th.

2).  Sitka, Alaska:  Master carver Steve Brown and the Gallanin Brothers are carving a dugout in Sitka, Alaska.

3).  Vancouver, B.C.:  Robe will be part of an exhibit for four months at Sho Sho Esquiro and Clarissa Rizal’s exhibit called “Worth Our Wait In Gold” at the Bill Reid Gallery, Vancouver, B.C., opening Tuesday, October 18th

If you have any information on definite dates for canoe gatherings and maiden voyage of a traditional dugout canoe, please contact Clarissa or Evergreen Longhouse in Olympia, Washington.

NAME OF THIS ROBE:   “Weavers Across the Water” — Thank you, Catrina Mitchell…!

THE ROBE’S HOME:   As I mentioned above, when the robe is not traveling, it will be housed in its own private, glass case in the new “Weavers’ Studio” at the Evergreen Longhouse campus in Olympia, Washington State.  Longhouse Executive Director Tina Kuckkhan-Miller, and Assistant Director Laura Grabhorn will be the travel coordinator’s for this special robe.

COMPENSATION:   As of May 2nd, nearly 40 weavers have committed to this project.  Not one of them asked about compensation.  This is remarkable; it shows the purity of our weavers’ intentions and commitment to our identity and cultural heritage.  Though, I am looking into finding a benefactor who is willing to help support this project.  I’ll keep everyone posted.

SUGGESTIONS, COMMENTS, IDEAS, ETC.:  I encourage and solicit your input.  Please be brave and just communicate with me; no worries.  AND if you want to partake, this is “our” robe! 

How did this idea sprout?  Well you gotta know about Suzi and Clarissa chats:  This project was an idea which stemmed from a chat between Suzi Vaara Williams and I on March 4th.  I mentioned that I  kept seeing everything in “Chilkat”; and Suzi was talking about all the knitting and weaving projects she has got going and asked if I remembered the crocheted “Granny Square” blankets from the 60’s.  Immediately instead of crocheted colors of yarn, I saw a different kind of “Granny Square” blanket — I saw the Chilkat and Ravenstail woven ceremonial blanket!  And when I exclaimed to Suzi my vision, right away she added with glee:  “Oh, oh, ohhhh!  And the robe will be worn during the canoe gatherings up and down the coast!”

We hope you join us in creating this one-of-a-kind ceremonial robe woven by present-day weavers for our present-day canoe gatherings and traditional dugout canoe maiden launches.  This robe will travel for many generations.  Please represent your community and be a part of this historical project.  We appreciate your time, energy and talent!  Truly, Gunalcheesh!

Creating Living Legacies


Gusts of wind at Monument Valley, near Kayenta, New Mexico — March 2016 — photo by Rene Sioui Labelle

When we are young, many of us do not think in terms of the legacy we leave behind for our children, friends, family, community and the world.  When we are young we are looking forward to all that life has to offer and we make choices based on our desires; this is natural way to think and be.  Then one day, when we are much older than young (and for each individual that age varies), we reflect upon our lives; all those who we have come to love, the places we have lived, the work we have done, and our basic yet evolving character.  We think about our pending mortality.  We think about what we will do, and where we will be with whatever time we have left.  We think about who we have become and what we have accomplished and the who, what, and where these things will be when we pass.  Yesterday my daughter, Lily wrote me a touching letter of gratitude for showing her the way and life of Chilkat weaving.  The following is my response to her:

My Lily Lalanya:

With each of my children and their children, I leave a part of my legacy; it’s the who and what I am about.

With Kahlil, I leave a variety of my artwork:  painting, collage, weaving

With Ursala, I leave my home, studio, garden

With you, I leave my teachings of spirituality, values and technique of  the spiritual/artistic life in Chilkat weaving

Know and come to understand fully all these things are rooted in love.  Everything I co-create is created from love and the best of these creations are my children; my children are my greatest legacy.   In love you were created and creation continues to create you in love.  Look about you and all that you are and be; look at all that you have co-created as you will never create any of what you are and have by yourself — all of creation is co-created…we never create alone. 

We are a culmination of all that has been before, what is now and the future all at once in one small creation:  the I of who we are in this very moment.  All of us are legacies of everyone who has come before us.

It is well you, my dear Lily, are in the love and power of Chilkat; let it continue to guide you in goodness and wellness for many, many years to come.  

Yo Mamma love

Skirting the Saguaros


Red Ocotillo blossoms amongst Saguaros — all photos by Rene Sioui LaBelle and Clarissa Rizal– copyright 2016 — (photograph hint::  all photos with depth of field are Rene’s)

Even two days ago I did not know I would be amongst these amazing “people”…the Saguaros of Southern Arizona.  I was planning on taking my friend, Rene to the Sonoran desert so he can take photos of the flowering desert, alas, but once we arrived here we found out from the Visitor’s Center that the cactus flowers did not bloom as profusely this mid-March because the area had a warm spell back in February.  So instead, since we were in the area, we visited the Saguaro National Park.  Being amongst these “people” was a happy experience.  It’s only obvious these “people” welcome us with open (upward swing) arms!  Like what does that say to us:  “Welcome to our land…!”


“Welcome to our country!  Let us direct you this way…!”

The saguaro has been called monarch of the Sonoran Desert, supreme symbol of the American Southwest, and a plant with personality.  It is renowned for the variety of odd, all-too-human shapes it assumes—shapes that inspire wild and fanciful imaginings.  Since 1933 this extraordinary giant cactus has been protected within Saguaro National Park.  Preserved within it are other members of the Sonoran Desert community:  other cacti, desert trees and shrubs, and animals.  In lushness and variety of life, the Sonoran Desert far surpasses all other North American deserts.  And yet it is one of the hottest and driest regions on the continent.


Rene takes a moment to pose for the sunset

Summer midday temperatures commonly climb above 100 degrees, although our visit was a mild 75 degrees in late March.  Less than 12 inches of rain falls in a typical year.  Between the summer and wintery seasons it’s not unusual for months to pass without a drop of rain.  Plants and animals able to survive in this environment, with adaptations specially designed for desert survival, make up one of the most interesting and unusual ecosystems in the United States.


Smokey Blue Tucson Mountains

This world awaits you in the desert plains, mountains and foothills of Saguaro National Park.  So what are you waiting for!?!?!  After 24 years of living in the Four Corners area of the U.S., how come it has taken me that long to finally visit these people and their land!?  Readers, if you are in the Phoenix/Tuscon area, please take a day and get your boost of happiness and peace!  Forget paying a shrink for your emotional problems; just get out on the land and run, sit, relax, have a picnic, play music, take photos and hymn with the silence.  It is here you can bury any sorrows or unpleasant memories.  The Saguaro are a happy and people; allow them to be your compassionate hosts!


First real outing with the CX-90 Volvo

There are two parts to the Saguaro National Park:  Saguaro East–Rincon Mountain District and Saguaro West–Tucson Mountain District.  We visited the latter with the background of the Tucson Mountains.  The park is open daily except Christmas Day.  It’s a normal park with its Visitor Center, self-guiding trails, picnic tables, pit toilets, campground and even back-country campsites (only in the East Rincon District).  If you are a star gazer such as I, hanging out here during the full moon would be exquisite, however, the park closes their gates directly after sunset (no matter what time of year).  Other than your camera(s), make sure you bring plenty of water (for you, your pet, your vehicle, etc.), first aid kit, food, flashlight and a blanket (just in case you break park rules and spend the night under the stars!).


Rene scopes

Rene and I spent the day here.   I took a few photos upon arrival, but I was compelled to play my flute, sing chants and then run amongst the rock, variety of cactus and the sun to my west, leaving Rene to several hours to himself and his camera.  All photos posted are by Rene Sioui LaBelle and myself.   Let these images inspire you to visit the famous Saguaro soon; they live no where else on this planet!


Families catch the last rays of the day


Cholla cactus blossoms


Clarissa runs



More Cholla cactus blossoms


Golden land






Good night!  Buenas Noches!  Bon Soir!

Visiting 1000’s at the Botanical Gardens


Checking out the most delicate of trees — photos by Rene Sioui LaBelle and Clarissa Rizal — copyright March 2016

Nature naturally inspires the human being to become more than cave folk, huddlums and geeks.  The Great Creator God wanted to speed up all of creativity because God was impatient to experience more of what is and will become and needed more “hands” so voile’, humans were born!   Everything we create is God-born and bred, even our messes, catastrophes, and you name it, violent.  Nature is consistently violated, yet nature too is violent.   Nature and God work hand in hand; we have one born of another, the Great Creator.  The duality of the glorified magnificence and the degenerating demise of Nature, mankind and all of creation is the IS.   Let’s experiment with our perceptions:  The eyes in which we see our Creator are the same eyes our Creator sees us.  If we were to think this upon everything we see, then how would we be perceived by every plant, bug, animal, human and the Creator?

The following photographs are mine and Rene’s photos taken during our day trip to the Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, Arizona.  As we saw all that we saw, how was it for the rest of this creation to see us?

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Artists-in-Residence Have Officially Landed in Tulsa


Nine of the 12 chosen for the inaugural Tulsa Artists Fellowships during a reception at 108 Contemporary in the Brady District in Tulsa, OK, Jan. 8, 2016. (front, from left) Molly Dilworth, Chris Ramsay, Alice Leora Briggs, Nick Vaughan (back, from left) Clarissa Rizal, Eric Sall, Akiko Jackson, Rena Detrixhe and Crystal Z. Campbell. Not pictured are Gary Kachadourian, Monty Little and Nathan Young. Photo courtesy: Michael Wyke/Tulsa World

Now that we have been caught on camera and advertised in the local newspaper “Tulsa World”, everyone can agree that we have officially landed in Tulsa!  Click here to read about the inaugural Tulsa Artist Residency 2016

Checking Out the Philbrook Museum


We rode the trolley to the Phibrook Museum

Only recently in the past few years have I come to appreciate museums.  We must understand that I was not born to a culture who kept old objects staging stagnant in an old building.  In fact, when I was a child, I literally thought museums were haunted houses.  They were dark, windowless, lifeless nooks and crannies where all the objects collected dust which made the pieces even look older and scarier!


The ceiling of the Philbrook entry

Fortunately, with every generation of new directors and curators, we have evolved to where we are today with museums being much more active, inviting locals and visitors alike to partake in rotating exhibits and special events in spaces that have included much more light!

The Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma is an art museum housed in part in a 1920s villa, situated on 23 acres of formal and informal gardens.  The original structure is the former home of Oklahoma oil pioneer Waite Phillips and his wife Genevieve (Elliott) Phillips.

The museum opened October 25, 1939. It was known as the Philbrook Art Center until 1987, when the name was changed to Philbrook Museum of Art.[2] The collection housed at the Philbrook Museum of Art includes works fromGiovanni Bellini,[3] William-Adolphe Bouguereau, William Merritt Chase, Leonardo Drew, Arturo Herrera, Charles Loloma,Maria Martinez, Thomas Moran, Pablo Picasso, Fritz Scholder, Tanzio da Varallo, Rachel Whiteread, and Andrew Wyeth. A satellite facility, Philbrook Downtown, opened on June 14, 2013 in Tulsa’s Brady Arts District.


Curator of Modern Art at the Philbrook, Sienna Brown, introduces the “Camoflauge” hand-silkscreened prints by Andy Warhol

The Philbrook Museum is beautiful.  How come; did anyone warn me about its beauty?  I don’t remember.  The history of this museum is just as fascinating as the Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa too (of which I will include a blog post about when I go visit the Gilcrease (http://www.legendsofamerica.com/ok-gilcreasemuseum.html).


The outdoor garden of the Philbrook Museum, Tulsa, OK — the fountains were fantastic!

I am always fascinated by the design of buildings.  I especially enjoy old architecture influenced by Europe, especially Italy.  Instead of posting photos of some of the beautiful art in the Philbrook Collection, I have posted a few shots of this building.  You must visit the collection of art in the Philbrook.

Click here to read about the fascinating history of the Philbrook Museum


The Italian-style architecture of the Philbrook

In the near future, I intend on doing a couple of presentations/demonstrations in Chilkat weaving both at the Gilcrease and at the Philbrook.  I just have to get settled into the vibe of Tulsa, talk to the directors, and set the date(s).


Christina Burke explains the old dance floor that changed colors every few seconds in the Philbrook Museum

Notice the dance floor colors in these three photos.  Golly, I’d love to design and build a home/studio/ballroom that has a dance floor with changing colors!

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Making That Move


The U-Haul was packed by a team of movers under the guidance of musician Eric Wade (the tall one)…

It’s not a rumor; I am moving to Tulsa, Oklahoma for a “job” for the entire year of 2016.   Selected as 1 of 12 inaugural artists from across the nation, the newly-formed Tulsa Artist Residency provides me a one-bedroom apartment which also serves as my studio and TAR provides me a monthly stipend that pretty much pays all my personal bills.  I call TAR my modern-day “sugar daddy” — total support while I do my art and living my life!


With a landmark like this, know we’re in Texas !

Yes, I actually hired movers to pack my U-Haul for me; this is the very first time I’ve ever hired help to do the heavy lifting.  All the times I have moved across this continent and have never thought of hiring out.  Being too old to move heavy objects is what got my mind to think properly:  hire someone else to do the heavy work!


The contractors did not have the elevator completely installed yet, so the movers hauled everything up two flights of stairs…!

These three guys at “Two Guys and a Truck” were my movers.  Very professional, efficient and cordial; check them out on Facebook!  Left to Right:  Jacob, Jerry, and Cory…


“Two Guys & A Truck” Moving Company — The owner Jerry (Center) with his two guys Jacob (L) and Cory (R) — For a tip, I gave them each one of my prints of their choosing…!

I’ve officially landed in Tulsa!


“Two Men and a Truck” — Tulsa, Oklahoma—The three guys took 3.5 hours to unload…!


Grandma Leaves Home at 60


The beginning of a White Christmas


She places white teacups into incubation

For two


Good omen: A single raven flies over the house towards me as I snap this shot

22 years I have lived and worked in this home away from home.   The U-Haul is packed.  Getting the last remnants of possessions tucked into the cabby.  Cleaning up the studio that will be used by my daughter and her husband.  I leave this studio with no intentions of ever living here again.  I go to Tulsa for at least a year to live and work being totally supported by the Tulsa Artist Residency program.  Like awesome Alaska, it is not easy to leave beautiful Colorado.  The hardest part is leaving behind my young grand-daughters and my kids.


Clarissa’s favorite trellised walkway


Clarissa’s Winter Wonderland


Clarissa’s Colorado Studio out back has served her well especially for the past 4.5 years


The View Out Back


From the back yard Looking North to the San Juan Mountains first hard frost, Pagosa Springs, Colorado – October 2015

Every day (that I am not in Alaska), the past 22 years I look to these Mountains out back.

I look at them as if they will move.

In a way they do move.

They move me.


First snow of the year, the view out back looking North to the San Juan Mountains, Pagosa Springs, Colorado – moving into December 2015

Hard to imagine living anywhere without the mountains.  I am about to do that for at least a year in Oklahoma.  How will I manage without these pillars of grounded strength?  We’ll see….