2017 International Conference on Maria Sybilla Merian

I attended this conference in Amsterdam this summer! And while the organizers did say the conference was for everybody, not just scholarly, I’m convinced that their “everybody” and my “everybody” is totally different. However, I am very glad I went.

I did learn a few things at this conference, nothing new about Maria Merian, however.

I learned more about the dangers in the rain forests of the world through an entertaining, though very serious, presentation by Redmond O’Hanlon who has actually trekked through rain forests throughout the world.

I learned that university professors apparently view things through a very narrow focus, so that if that focus was from a different field, they do not have that knowledge. Some of the questions asked clearly showed this.

I discovered that while their research was quite narrow, mine was very broad, encompassing everything I could find.

And finally, I reached the conclusion that based on the many years I have researched this amazing woman…I am an EXPERT on Maria Sybilla Merian!

My contribution to Tree Whispers

I am currently involved in learning a variety of methods used in hand papermaking. Our group was invited to participate in the next installation of Tree Whispers. This is my contribution.


The next installation is scheduled for the Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial in the emirate of Sharjah, UAE April 6 – June 6 2016.

[As of 11/30/15 it is showing on the Tree Whispers Blog.]

Escaped Art!

The Art Hunters have been called in to find, capture and return the escaped artworks back to the Springfield Art Museum. It seems as though one piece of artwork comes to life each week and “leaves.”

I am a member of the reserves, helping to locate the missing art each week. It is a lot of fun…not what I expected when I first started! We have to figure out clues which lead us to various places around town to gather up the needed phrase to relay to the two head Art Hunters.  It’s like a mystery, solving puzzles, similar to geocaching,….just plain fun.

I certainly hope they do it again next summer. : )



A library visit in Arlington Heights, Illinois, provided me with something new to try… Zentangles! It’s a form of meditation and art, I suppose. I just enjoy creating them. There are a few “rules” and named patterns. Some I like; some I don’t like——par for the course it seems. I’m learning, starting with pen and ink with a little pencil shading.

Official Art Museum Board Member!

Went to my first Springfield Art Museum board meeting this evening; everybody was very friendly and I enjoyed being there. It took about two months to become official. Of course first there was the interview with the assistant mayor and the director of the art museum. Then the city council had to approve my nomination, and finally I was sworn in at another city council meeting. Verrry Interrrresting…. 😛

Cloud Gate in Chicago

Cloud Gate, nicknamed The Bean

Cloud Gate, nicknamed The Bean

This piece of sculpture is officially called the Cloud Gate, but has been nicknamed The Bean.  It was designed by artist Anish Kapoor and draws thousands of tourists.  The reflections in some places are like funhouse mirrors.

Under the Bean

Under the Bean

Standing underneath the Bean provides funhouse type views of your reflections.

The last photo is one taken to prove I found the geocache that is there.

Me standing at the Bean

Me standing at the Bean