Spread empathy each day. To grow empathy you need to lay the seeds of tolerance, acceptance and love. It is a practice like Buddhism, filled with self awareness of motive and action. I started writing SEED several years ago, but it is always topical as we face racism and mistrust in our unsettled world. I have decided to give the book away now like seeds scattered to the wind. I hope anyone who relates will further it to their friends and on beyond.
This is my effort to combat a deepening culture of anger,mistrust, arrogance and short sighted actions based in ego, greed and power to benefit a few rather than the many. Integrity has been eroded by opportunism. The idea of “Us” nowreflects various groups rather than everyone. This societal change has been festering for many years, forming anuncomfortable dark-minded normal. Empathy starts with each of us offering the light of consideration in our actions. It is my hope that this little book may act as a positve tool in themeditation of an open heart and listening mind. Thank you friends!
a little book to open hearts
I still believe the pen is mightier then the sword. Images can change minds. That is what my art has always been about. In giving away my art and words I hope they become weaponized in the loveliest way. This is the kind of book you can open anywhere in its pages, to snack on a story. I like to write books I hope are useful, like my book to create positive environmental change; Come Together . handbook to retool for the future. Available as an ebook or in print. (178 pages of easy, smart action)
Intricately detailed hand crafted folk art toy boats full of animals and engaging paintings whimsically pull viewers into a world where water has displaced animal habitat. In tippy canoe and migrants to?, several dozen white rabbits are crowded into a lushly carved canoe on wheels.
Another has a fox steering a forest nestled in a boat to safer harbor in parts unknown.
Story text accompanies each boat, explaining the predicament that will be faced by its passengers. The exhibit begins with the following words:
A long story has been written since the first bits of life began here on earth.
This is the chapter where we face ourselves.
“I created this exhibit in hopes of nudging people to look beyond themselves to not only what we will be facing in the future through climate change, but also the impacts we are responsible for affecting earth’s other living creatures.” -Dana Simson
There are 10 folk art boats on wheels in the exhibit at present, but more will be added. A boat on fire full of Koalas is in the works to decry the current horrible fires ravaging Australia. As habitats change, challenges rise for creatures living there.
I hope to create a video of the exhibit so it can travel worldwide to offer it’s message. Some of the paintings in the Animals are innocent are below:
The exhibit “the animals are innocent” can promote change.
I wrote Come Together . a handbook to retool for the future, to compliment this exhibit. The content offers easy changes to promote a healthier planet through daily choices we can make starting now. It is available through Green Writer’s press or on my website:
This leaky birdhouse badly needed fixing after being battered by many winters on the bay. I hate to toss out stuff that just needs a tweak to save it from the landfill. First slap some paint on it- color is nicer- but it and unequally derelict sister were to go up along the white trim of the newly painted barn. The roof was clearly a problem and would make for a pile of soggy birds wishing they lived at another address.
I created this video; Skyland last summer. It captures the magic I feel living on the Chesapeake Bay, sharing sky and water with my fellow creatures. It is a goal to include more videos on my blog, as I am fortunate to have lots of beauty to inspire me.
Earth day should be everyday. My handmade ceramic bird bowl is inspired by our beautiful living earth. My latest projects are children’s books based in nature and the need to protect and nurture it. When I work in clay it is like using mother earths herself sculpted into vessels, fired and preserved as a tool to use daily.
Spoon rests were requested by a customer and I realized that we needed one in our kitchen too!
Our spoon rests are fun, functional art work for your kitchen. The round handmade ceramic spoon rest has a notch for the spoon. Its shallow bowl shape catches any gloop from your culinary creation, keeping your stove tidy. A hand-painted raised image on a colorful background decorates the inside of our spoon rest.
Each spoon rest measures 5 inches in diameter and is glazed front and back. Every spoon rest is food safe. Just wipe clean with soapy dishwater. A spoon rest is a useful gift for anyone. It will brighten up your kitchen along with keeping it clean.
We have added a hole at the top of our spoon rests. You can hang it on the wall as a decoration when not in use. Several spoon rests hung in a group look great in any kitchen.
Our spoon rests are handmade & painted, food safe and functional.
Each spoon rest is made individually by me in my studio! I roll out clay and press it into reverse relief tiles that I made from a master tile. This process is like making a print, but using clay rather then paper. Next, I press the relief peace dove surrounded by raised waves into a shallow bowl so if the spoon has gloop on it, that will stay in the bowl. I cut a notch for the handle of the spoon. The spoon rest dries and is fired to bisque. Afterward, I paint in the details with underglazes, adding the aqua flow glaze that defines the back ground texture. Finally it is fired once more with clear coat that seals the clay body in a thin layer of glass. This guarantees it is food safe and durable. Below is my honey bee spoon rest: https://www.danasimson.com/product/honey-bee-spoon-rest/
I created this image- of the tortoise and the hare hanging together on their journey to illustrate- that no matter our differences-whether we race thru life or wander-if we can seek a common pace and work toward a greater good for all-joy is found in walking and talking together.
For years people have been requesting that I teach a class here at Chesapeake East. February was a test month to see how that might go. It was so wonderful and invigorating- I and the lovely people who came are now addicted to Clay studio night. New Friends creating together- Excellent! We have just remodeled and spruced up the PIY pottery painting studio to include space for my classes and more. Look for painting, drawing, poetry, writers workshops, quilling and more classes to be added with my wonderful artist friends as teachers as we go forward. PIY is now part of the ARTWORKS at Chesapeake East. Give yourself a treat and the freedom to enjoy making something just for the fun of it.
To request a PDF class list contact us at 410.546.1534. Best Wishes! Dana