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)
I was commissioned to create handmade ceramic sea creature wall decor for the exterior of a villa on the sea in Spain. This was quite an undertaking requiring months to create. I had to design each piece so that it could be attached to the exterior wall, look fabulous and survive being shipped to Europe. My client requested 35 fish all different some swimming in one direction- others in the opposite.
Each sea creature must be exciting and different.
When I create my wall sculptures; whether fish, turtles, owls or other wonderful animals, my intention is use textures and color to make a piece of art that interests any viewer. I use stamps that I have shaped and sculpted, jewelry, zippers, and odd bits of things with useful textures to cover the animal in a way that enhances their structure. Usually people purchase a single wall sculpture to add zip to a room-inside or outside, others will group several on a wall. This was my first commission using sea creature decor as architectural ornamentation. And it turned out great!
The client was so pleased he reordered twice as many more! 20 crabs, 10 octopus, 4 turtles, 10 star fish and 30 more fish!
Figuring out how to make delicate sea creatures like crabs and octopus so they would be durable, meant some engineering improvements like clay slab backing.
The other sea creatures presented other challenges but were fun to figure out and create!
I love doing commissions, whether is tile, sculpture or paintings. Your ideas are a spring board offering me an opportunity to design and discover. If you would like sea creatures to hang on your wall, or to use as architectural detail give me a call. I am happy to work with you to determine colors, subject matter and construction. Prices will vary depending on the level of labor and complexity. We will quote the price based on each job.
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:
Out Fall 2019 . order now for a pre-print discount and I will sign your book. Green Writer’s Press . 170 pages . ships by Oct 1, 2019
Come Together is a useful handbook for a greener future is full of things you can do now to help stem climate change. It is an engaging handbook to launch a movement of individuals to tackle global warming by simply retooling our daily actions. Take easy proactive steps develop a long term perspective based in civility, integrity and an invigorating love for our earth. Save money, lose clutter, live well, feel happy and healthier as you pull for the planet.
A useful handbook for a greener future
Make smart changes through a bottoms up strategy for now where each of us is empowered to make a difference in little ways that trend to big solutions.The Movement of One is both the individual and all of us connected in this common goal. Pass this book on. We are the change.
We need to Come Together to stem climate change
Find actions you can take to reach out to others in a positive way to go forward together. We can agree on one common goal. That we must address the health of the earth and take steps to live more mindfully on a daily basis. Come Together addresses how to tackle areas in both your home or office to simplify, declutter and create greener, healthier spaces. All areas of your day, from travel to shopping and eating better are covered. Learn to make your own personal care products and about the health benefits of essential oils. Save money and remove toxic products from your home by using simple ingredients to create better cleaning supplies then chemical leaden commercial ones.
Take control of what you expose yourself and your family to
Learn about toxins that are not only bad for you, but can easily flow from your home into water supplies and the water we drink. It is as easy as changing your mindset to care. Pro-active practices make it easy to avoid buying into our addiction to plastic and false conveniences.
Read this book and pass it on- the earth will thank you. Earth day should be every day!
Out Fall 2019 . order now for a pre-print discount and I will sign your book.
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.
Art Print: Earth Ark. I believe the earth is our ark.
We are all in this together and our ship is precious. The archival art print; Earth Ark is a 10×13.5 image area centered on 13×19 cover stock paper. Backed with foam core & shipped in a plastic sleeve. Hand signed by Dana Simson.
The earth is our ark carrying all creatures as her precious cargo. The original oil painting for this image is 4.5’x5′ and hangs in an eye surgery clinic. Patients that have had surgery tell me how pleased they are post surgery to see this painting with its delicate detail.
All my images are available in archival prints. While I have specified a size, you may speak with me if you need a larger or smaller version. It is also possible to have the image you want printed on canvas. I can give you a price based on size. This popular ark image is available as a clock– all types, ornament,gift card and more.
Visit our Gallery/ gift store on the Wicomico River in Salisbury, MD full of original paintings, prints, handmade jewelry and gifts by Dana. There is also always something new to discover in unique finds, “green products” or fair trade items. It is a renovated hotel – now with 4 artfully decorated lofts upstairs available to rent. (Loft Links: Grande Luxe / Chic Sunny / Retro Loft / Spacious& Gracious)Downstairs is yummy Riverwalk Cafe and the Ugly Pie Bakery. Well worth a road trip!
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/
Farmer’s markets showcase hard work, integrity and the labor of love. Tuesday’s organic Farmer’s Market here in Salisbury is always such a treat. Smiling people stroll from booth to booth filling baskets and bags with carefully nurtured produce as if they are gathering treasure. The farmers, bakers, CSA’s, and chefs proudly display their goods, ready to add a word of cooking advice. The shared positive energy of appreciation for the efforts of producers and support of buyers is palatable.
Farmer’s market tables full of culinary inspiration!
I picked up my sister’s Blades Orchard CSA box full of peaches, corn, lettuce, squash and peppers. As a lovely woman showed me round her “eightball” squash, I imagined row upon row-bursting with interesting vegetables. “You must have a magnificent garden!” I said. “I do,” she grinned back. Next door, I sprung for a loaf of multiseed sourdough bread – as beautifully made as it was tasty.
Beyond that, Butch, who has maintained a farm in Mardela for many years, had a table full of massive blackberries in little wooden berry boxes. I found myself standing in front of the table eyeing the berries, while he regarded me hopefully. “How much?” I asked. “Five dollars.” It occurred to me that we had a bunch of black berries in the field at home, but I couldn’t just walk off now. So I said; “I always get so torn up by flies when I pick black berries at our house.” “No flies at my farm,” the farmer shrugged pleasantly. Of course I bought the berries. He got a bag and nestled the berries in their wooden box into it. “Don’t you want to keep the nice box?” I asked. He shook his head- “No they look nice in these boxes, even though each one costs me thirty cents. I do use the paper ones for my blueberries because sometimes they get wedged in the slot at the corners.”
Those blackberries were jewels. Each one possessing a different burst of sweet and sour sprinkled with a bit of pride.
Why not declare your love for locally grown produce!
Car art stickers go anywhere-on your car’s back window, the gas tank cover, car body… or on anywhere! Define your laptop, or carry case! Decorate a door or window, book bags, bike helmets, school binders, luggage, mailboxes, instrument cases, skateboards, or wherever you want a little burst of art. Each Sticker is made of very DURABLE non-fade vinyl. (what they wrap cars & buses in!) tough stuff.