Sunday, March 30, 2008

•Tempe Festival of the Arts•

Martin, this very tall leprachaun came by our booth yesterday. He's a street performer at the Tempe Festival of the Arts. A great sprarkly face and disposition to match!
Today is Sunday and I'm back in the room laying low with some sort of intestinal bug. Not able to be at the show, but Jon is there solo. It will be a long day for him, but he's wonderful and capable when I'm not. Good to not be alone.
He called to tell me we won best in 2-D Media. Not sure what this entails, but hopefully some dinero!
Lots of interest in the work, we tend to stand out here. We made two sales late yesterday and hopefully more to follow today.
A high energy 'event' much like Ann Arbor prior to the promoters sanitizing it. Work is of mixed quality and the show is loosly juried.

All from here in ginger-ale world!

Thursday, March 27, 2008


We've been around these gentle giants for the last week and they continue to amaze us.
Tonight we'll head over to the show site and set up around 8:30pm. The area for the show is not far from ASU campus and
looks nice.
Today we relaxed, did laundry and gave ourselves hair cuts. It's frightening how good we've gotten at the 'self inflicted haricut'! I mean, how bad can they look? It's hair...... it will grow.

Our time here has been so good for us both............we NEEDED sunlight! We have come to realize that winters are hard on us for numerous reasons. The change of income, lack of shows, alteration of routine and lack of light, take their toll. Having been born in Florida and having lived there for 23 years, the midwest is a huge change. We've lived in the midwest longer than planned. We love our home/ studio and the cultural diversity and liberal feel of Bloomington, but the weather and lack of light make us feel less than alive for several months of the year.
We know we have to make changes, and they will take time and money to implement, but are very necessary!

There's a fine line in ones life where you need to be greatful and settled where you are, and yet strive to be where you want to be. We've both come to realize the importance of sunlight!
To feel fully alive 12 months of the year is pretty darn important!
Life is shorter than we think!

Reporting from the sunny state of Arizona,

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Light • Color • Form • Texture

Todays entry was inspired by our visit to the Mesa Arts Center. We laid low during the high heat and allergy laden day to obtain the long shadows and cool of late afternoon. We walked among fountains and shadows and soaring architecture that graced the grounds of this local gem. Fountains, manmade streams and facades that danced with the wind encompassed these magnificent grounds. Textured esplanades of native plants and rough stone made this cavernous site a joy to explore.
Sadly we'll miss a performance by opera singer Paul Potts at the facility this week. Paul is a new talent whom I've come to admire.

Tonight we drove through the Arizona State University campus and not far from there where our booth will be this weekend. It looks nice and energetic. We'll set up there tomorrow night after LOST.

All for now,
Pat & Jon

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cosanti Bell Foundry

Today we had a great day! We began with a visit to the mermaid and breakfast in the room. Followed by making a picnic lunch to take with us, we were off!
First stop was Cosanti Foundation, 5 acres tucked away in suburban Scottsdale. Nestled amidst oak trees and potted plants ranging from prostrate rosemary to succulents, this magical site is where thousands of windbells are made. We arrived about 1/2 an hour before pouring and walked through and around the magnificent life pods this Italian architect built. Paolo Soleri and his crew of workers learning the hot but precise trade, work daily in this arid outdoor environment.

As artists who admire the working spaces of other artists, this space is beyond words. Hills were first created using rammed earth. On top and over these hills were cast the studio buildings and then the dirt dug out. This left behind the self-supporting structure that much resembles a skeletel shell. These 'carved' caverns and heavy awnings comprise the outdoor living studio that is Cosanti.

Our last visit here was 12 years ago and the work and imagination that intercede with fine crafted bronze poured bells continues. The daily visitors and worn paths are testament to the quiet crowds that witness 2200º molten bronze take shape daily.

The photos we're including today show the outdoor studio where bells and literature about this facsinating man and his lifelong work endure.
He's a strong advocate of building up rather than out and his guiding principle is his self-coined phrase "archology", which is architecture and ecology morphed into one.

To us, his philosophy is immense and our day was a gift unwrapped before our eyes.

Pat ♥ Jon

Monday, March 24, 2008


Today's Monday.
Yesterday was pretty hot out at the show. We spoke to a variety of interesting people from all walks of life and were graced by wonderful artist neighbors we'll meet up with again. This comraderie and support surpases the life I'd live if I worked in a cubicle.
I know, because I've been there and done that.

My brand new 5 foot piece 'Desert Dawn' was purchased yesterday by a wonderful self made woman. Technically it sold 15 minutes after the show closed.........It will reside in her home on Lake Erie and be delivered by us later in the year en route to another show in Ohio. She had such light in her smile as she said she too is self employed and understood what we do. She was proud of her independence and understood ours.
Wow, I return again to the importance of how much that simple sentence means to Jon and I.
To be understood!

The photo Jon shot on Saturday and I have here today is this magnificent succulent. It was near our booth. Every time I see this plant I'm enamored by its sturdy presence and cool detail. Each frond unfolds from the core and leaves with it the imprint of the neighboring frond. I think we do that as people as well.
We have many lessons to learn from nature if we just slow our hearts and eyes to 'see' rather than just 'look'.

Love and later!


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Live from the Trenches......

A little art to share with my blog friends this sunny afternoon.......this is my newest creation.
It's 57" long, 26" high and is called 'Desert Dawn'.

My time here has generated a fair amount of interest. Met past collectors here today
who bought my HeckerDesign work and commissioned me to do work
( for his pediatric dental practice.
A wonderful couple that we may have dinner with during the week.

Life is good and we're here to make it better!


Friday, March 21, 2008

♥ The Human Connection ♥

Greetings from Arizona!
Today we had a beautiful day at the show. It was quiet, and we feel we connected with a few people. I did begin my day finding a heads up penny on the way into Starbucks, so that was a good sign! We got to know the sculptor near us. One of the best things about shows is the fellow artists. We realized we knew many of the same artists across the country. It's a small world for us street artists!
He spoke quite openly about losing his wife 6 years ago to a rare from of cancer. His candor was touching as he spoke of how deeply this elevated his love for this woman. The three of us, strangers prior to today, shared some deep thoughts about love and loss and the power of the two. It was cathartic for all of us and we also touched on the power of gratitude.
An amazing power to tap into!
Gratitude helps us find the core of what we know to be important and when finding it, can put so many things in perspective.
At a time in my life when so many things feel out of my control, I found this comforting.

Tonight is a full moon. In Wisconsin I have a dear friend performing a Full Moon ceremony. She is sending her good energy our way amidst a snowfall outdoors. In Virginia I have a dear friend whom I've just met in the last year sending us her good energy and wishes. In Michigan, another sweet friend directing her love and energy for good karma and sales. In Oregon, another great friend doing the same. In Florida my dear brother and his wife sending us good fortune. We are blessed with good friends who have wrapped us in love and have sent us on our way to bring home some sales!
We can feel it! To all, thank you! We are connecting!

We are staying in a wonderful Latino area of Mesa Arizona. Last night Jon found an awesome little Mexican restuarant and struck up conversation with the owner. He was explaning how recent government has forced out some Latino business in the area and he went from 16 employees down to 6. There was a genuine connection as Jon shared our view of the world as artists in todays economy. Tonight we returned to this fine mans establishment where we were treated like friends. The only gringos there! He recognized Jon instantly and genuinly appreciated our business. This man serves wonderful food and we'll eat there again!
Around the corner from our hotel there's a huge Holy Week service going on every night in a city park. It began on Holy Thursday and seems to draw bigger crowds each night. This will culminate with Easter services and is a solid reminder of the strong religious connection these Hispanic and Latino people draw on. It's inspiring and grounding.

Todays photo is from the area near my booth (on the left) looking toward the end of the street and the big fountain. The fountain turns on at the top of each hour, runs for 15 minutes and sends water 350 feet high.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mesa, Arizona

...we have arrived! The drive through the mountains yesterday was stirring. The terrain and colors mesmerizing. Snow capped the mountains in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. We saw steep red rocks, wide open plateau's and the finale was last nights drive through Oak Creek Canyon. One of the most magestic drives this country offers. Winding hills and mountains and pines and snow on the ground at this high elevation. Then we drop back down and the saguaro cactus appear swathed in dark but sillouetted against the ambiant night sky. These old giants of the desert are wise plants that seem to laugh with arms raised. I love their silent presence since unlike a tree or bush, they do not move in the wind. They stand watching and guarding!

Today we were bathed in warmth and sunshine and the exotic fragrance of orange blossoms and jasmine everywhere. It's intoxicating. With Easter so near, maybe I died and went to heaven! Such a treat after a long cold winter and bone chilling dampness. My bones are thawing out and my eyes happy to see things in bloom!
We set up our booth tonight on the street of the small town of Fountian HIlls. Aptly name for the huge fountain that sends water shooting way high every hour on the hour. We'll get a shot of this over the weekend. The booth was in place and work hung but it was too dark to get a shot of any of the new pieces. We'll do that tomorrow. We feel ready to have a stellar weekend and great sales.
Time to iron our clothes and hit the hay for a good nights sleep. Sorry no visuals for tonights entry. Today was a day of moving from one hotel and getting settled into another. I promise more visuals in the next entry!

Goodnight from the beautiful west~

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tucumcari, New Mexico

Greetings All,
We arrived late last night in Tucumcari, NM..........the Land of Enchantment is upon us. We always feel better crossing into this state. The west and it's majestic horizon give us feelings of hope and possibilites. The vast open space and fresh air can clear the mind like nothing else! After 2 days of grey skies and blowing rain, we're free of the midwest!~

I would be remiss not mentioning that today is the 5th Anniversary of the Iraq war. When will this nightmare end?...........What a horrible mess this has become. I continue to pray for and support our troops but curse the narrow sighted leader who sent them into this war. I pray that with new leadership, the end will be near.
I question the use of the term 'anniversary' me that marks a date to celebrate.........this war and the politics behind it I will never celebrate.

We continue on in spite of the state of the world, making art and the quest to sell it. It's what we do and so we continue. Never have people needed the beauty that art brings to their lives more than they do now. These are pivotal times that can cause deep introspection. Perhaps that's the best thing to come out of all of this........the burning desire for change can ignite many fires in the soul!


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Westward Bound.........

♀ Sara's Box ♂

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{¸.*´ (¸.*`¤~This cute litle box was a commission I just completed for a friend who is gifting it to another friend.
Wonderful to know it's going to a fellow artist. Today it's sunny here in Bloomington. Sun means the world to this former Floridian.
Off to the studio today to finish a five foot long piece that will be part of the work I intend to sell in Arizona.
I can feel it living in someone's home and me not having in my collection for long.

If you feel the need for a little 'virtual' travel, stick around my blog. We head west on Monday........I'll chronicle our trip from
my blog and you can come along for the ride.
We're headed to Arizona!!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Potato & Spinach Enchiladas and Refried Beans

Hi All!
When you cook with your heart, people can taste it. This is the real secret of great cooking. No fancy techniques, just the willingness to give yourself wholeheartedly to what you do! Same way with making art. What comes from the soul cannot be denied.

☞Potato Enchiladas

1 1/2 c. vegetable broth (I mix a teaspoon of Vegetable Better Than Bullion into 1 1/2 c. hot water)
1 package of Spud Puppies (oraganic Tatter Tots) baked in oven according to package directions.
8 oz. stick of cream cheese, mushed
2-3 big handfuls of baby spinach chopped
Shred a few onces of Mexican Queso or a creamy white cheddar
a good pinch of cumin powder
a good sprinkling of adobo powder

Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl, add the warm bullion and chopped spinach and spices. Add the shredded cheese.When the puppies are done baking, toss them into the bowl. It looks weird, like you've killed the puppies, but that's okay. Mush it all around till it looks gloppy.

Make a simple white cream sauce:

3 c. milk
3 T. corn starch
5 T butter
season with a pinch of paprika and dill and white pepper

Bring milk and butter to a simmer, add cornstarch. Carefully bring this warmer while stirring till it thickens.

Line the shallow casserole pan you're about to use with a thin layer of the sauce.
Take your (corn or flour) toritilla's and place some of the potato mixture into each. Roll and place into sauced pan. Repeat. Put cream sauce on top.
Bake for abouut 35 minutes in a 375º oven.

☞Killer Refried Beans

2 c. dried pinto beans
bay leaves
3/4 c canola oil
1 bulb roasted garlic
2-3 tsp. kosher salt
cumin powder
1 can chopped tomatoes

Sort beans for any debris or stones. Rinse beans and add to pot with 8 c of water. Cook with cover ajar for 2 hours till soft. Add water if needed, but doubt that will be necessary.
Keep the water level about 2" above beans.
(Note:DO NOT SALT beans till they are fully cooked.)
In the meantime.......
Roast a bulb of garlic drizzled in olive oil with a pinch of thyme.
Remove bay leaves from the cooked beans.
When garlic is done roasting, remove cloves and mash them slightly and add to pot of beans. Mash beans in pot with a potato masher or big spoon.
Add the canola oil to the beans.
Drain the tomotes and add them to the pot.
Add tamari, salt and adobo.
Add a pinch of cumin too.

The longer you can cook this down with all the spices and things added, the better your beans will taste! Keep cooking them till they thicken a bit more and serve. You can add chopped jalapenoes and serve with shredded cheese or not.

The above goes great with chips, salsa, nopal cactus, and of course margarita's!!
••Oh, and this yummy recipe can be printed and safely tucked away in the cute little box above available from my etsy site.
How was that for a shameless plug!!

Okay, that's all from Purple Hill today.......gotta go switch hats and make art!


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's All About Color!

Good Morning Groopies!
Seems I have a few folks wanting my Potato Enchilada recipe........I'll try to post that one tomorrow!
Suffice it to say, we had them last night along with my killer refried beans and we're still coming down from it.
It's one of our favs!

Todays entry is a quickie.... a splash of color. This is our kitchen window. As you can see, we like glass!
Some of these colorful gems are from our dear friend Holly. It was Holly that made her blog first and in doing so,
motivated me to do the same. I wasn't completely sure what I'd write about, but I feel my viewers and friends are guiding
my decisions on what this needs to contain.

My TattooDreams work entails using lots of black paint. My HeckerDesign ( work uses a full array of colors. Since I am back in show mode, I'm back to painting with colors and so sharing our colorful kitchen window seemed like a good idea.

Hi's off to the studio I go!

Have a most excellent day!

Monday, March 10, 2008

"Morning Coffee"

Peace can be found in many places.
I find mine in my studio making art and in my kitchen making something fun. Yesterday I shared with my blog readers a great soup recipe. I really hope you'll give it a try.
I've received numerous positive comments on including recipes here. I'll make it point to do so on a more frequent basis.
Today I'm making refried beans. I'll cook them slowly all day and I have to say, they rock! We'll have them tonight
along with my potato enchiladas. I'll make two pans. One for Jon which needs to be glute free and made with corn tortillas and one for me that is the done with flour tortillas. I'll serve them with a white sauce that is really good! I make up dishes as I go, so when someone asks me for an actual recipe, I really have to stop and think about how I made something!

Today I'm mentally changing gears in the studio to making my HeckerDesign work that I take to shows.
Gearing up for our trip west.........
Featuring here today "Morning Coffee"

Have a most excellent day and remember...........a day without art is like a day without coffee!
Go out and make it a good one!!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

★ The Best Black Bean Soup Recipe ★

2 c dried black beans (sorted to remove any stones)
8 1/2 c. water
5 bay leaves
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp groupd coriander
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
2 T olive or canola oil
1 large onion chopped
small can of tomatoe paste
1 bunch of chopped fresh cilantro
1 bulb of raosted garlic that has been taken out of the pod
3 T tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
optional additions.......chopped jalapeno peppers
sour cream dollops

Sort the beans of any stones and rinse them. Cover with water, bring to a boil and drain. Rinse again.
Add the 8 1/2 c of water and beans to a stock pot. Add the bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.

In a small dry skillet, toast the cumin seeds, coriander, and oregano over low heat for 2-3 minutes to highten the oil content. When the fragrance becomes strong, remove from heat and set aside. In the same pan heat the oil, add the chopped onions and cook till translucent or softens. Stir in the toasted herbs and cook for another minute or two.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook another few minutes. This makes a rue. Add this to the pot of beans and stir. Cook on low for another hour. Add the copped cilantro. Add the bulb of roasted garlic. Simmer and serve.

This goes great with some cornbread muffins or garlic bread.

A healthy soup to feed the tummy and making it feeds the soul!


Thursday, March 6, 2008

★ Affirmations Table ★

Sometimes projects come together in a wonderful way over a period of time! Objects find their destiny as do people.
This was one of them!
Pictured above is a table with some history! It was found 15 years ago along a busy Indianapolis road, cast away from people
that no longer wanted or needed it. Its foot was injured. We saved it! For a while we used it. Then we too stowed it away.
Last fall we brought it back to life by sanding it. Jon altered the damaged foot by reshaping it. It got stamped with loving words and I made beads to adorn the sides as fringe.
Last fall it became one of 3 tables in my Waldron Art Center exhibit and lived in a Bloomington gallery for 4 weeks.
Now it lives up in our guest loft where friends spend the night.
It seems to like its new home!
Jon photographed it last week and it's currently under consideration to be included in Lark Books 500 Tables.
Even if it's not selected..........'s come a long way baby!!


Monday, March 3, 2008

★ Artist TattooDream Box ★

¸,•´¸.•¤´¨} ¸.•*¨)
(¸.*´ (¸.*`¤~This is my Artist TattooDream Box. Here's to all artists who hone their craft and share themselves and think......outside the proverbial box!!! This box can hold your creative dreams, desires and future projects. It also 'works' for art collectors..........anyone with an afinity to the creative spirit!

It measures 6" wide and 6" deep and 7" high. Trimmed in bright red handpainted wood feet with sexy black fringe! Very boho and fun! A wonderful hinged lid that closes without a clasp. Inside the box it's lined on the bottom with sultry black velvet. A great box to enjoy as an art or conversation piece.

50.00 buys this box on my etsy site.

Patricia Hecker