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SEED. spread empathy each day

logo for Seed spread empathy each day

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.

simply request a PDF at [email protected] or you can view it through this link:

Danasimsoncom Matted art card with envelope, Love blooms image, text love grows love.

SEED. spread empathy each day 

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” now reflects various groups rather than everyone. This societal change has been festering for many years, forming an uncomfortable 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 the meditation of an open heart and listening mind.  Thank you friends!

Danasimson.com Matted art card with envelope, "Live in peace and peace will live in you" quote, peace dove over earth image.

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)

Thanks for your interest.

Stay safe . health & happiness.

-Dana

 

 


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My colorful ceramic sea creatures cover a villa in Spain!!

handmade ceramic sea creatures and fish on the Villa's exterior

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.

colorful ceramic starfish
colorful ceramic starfish

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!

handmade ceramic octopus

The client was so pleased he reordered twice as many more! 20 crabs, 10 octopus, 4 turtles, 10 star fish and  30 more fish!

outside of villa with ceramic fish

fish on wall looking toward the sea

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.

clay sea creature crabs
sculpting and imprinting designs on crabs
colorful handmade ceramic crabs
colorful handmade ceramic crabs

blue and green handmade ceramic crabs

The other sea creatures presented other challenges but were fun to figure out and create!

ceramic squid sculptures
ceramic squid sculptures

a variety of handmade ceramic octopus

handmade green aqua crab

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. 


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the animals are innocent . an exhibit to lament climate change

exhibit at Henry Sheldon Museum

the animals are innocent . Digital exhibit available for Museum websites or video showings. 

The folkart boats and paintings in this exhibit may be loaned to Museums but would need a benefactor to facilitate shipping and insurance. 

the animals are innocent . an exhibit to lament climate change

https://henrysheldonmuseum.org/exhibits/the-animals-are-innocent-ceramics-by-dana-simson/

   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.

abbits in a folkart boat on wheels depict the issue of migration
Rising seas, weather extremes leading to political unrest will compel both animals and people to seek new homes. In using animals to illustrate this issue I hope to open a channel of empathy that racism or territorial disputes might block otherwise.

Another has a fox steering a forest nestled in a boat to safer harbor in parts unknown.

fox floats a forest in his boat
Trees are precious, restoring the correct carbon balance to earth’s atmosphere. Deforestation, as human populations harvest or remove trees to plant crops, diminishes earth’s capacity to rebound from climate change. The disappearance of forested areas threatens animal and plant habitat providing food sources and wild areas.

close up of fox steering boat

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

a boat full of happy rats
Three rats figure out their next move.
One of the most adaptable and intelligent animals, rats have
traveled by ship for centuries and are adept at helping themselves to whatever food they might pilfer while aboard.

detail rat with cheese flag

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.

A polar bear looks backward and a penguin searches the future
A polar bear and penguin search for new home to sustain them.
Their boat is filled with broken safety glass as chunks of ice.
While both are endangered, the Polar Bear will have a much harder time.
He looks to the past to what was. The penguin looks forward hopefully.

detail of polar bear in boatI 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:

bear and cat in a boat
Animals are set adrift with little to sustain them.

Bare Boat

a deer with birds confronts us
The animals need our voices to be heard.

The Messenger

Love is symmetrical. Love the earth and she will love you in return.

 

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:

https://www.danasimson.com/product/come-together-a-climate-change-guide-to-retool-for-the-future/

You can reach me through my website. Thank you for your comments or for sharing this post!

best wishes for a greener 2020,

Dana

I will be posting easy ways to “walk the walk” and my upcoming adventures working for bottom up change for a happy planet.

 


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Come Together . A handbook for daily action to stem Climate Change

handbook-for-individual-action-to stem-climate-change

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.

page-samples-showing-market-bag-tricks-fro shopping
interior spread . Little things add up!

 

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.

interior-spread-from-book-Come-Together-on greener-travel
interior pages on greener travel . 

 

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. 

how-to-recycle-hazardous-materials-commonly-found-in -your-home
how to recycle hazardous materials . things to avoid if possible

 

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.


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Fix a leaky birdhouse so it lasts

 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.

fix a wooden birdhouse

 

Continue reading Fix a leaky birdhouse so it lasts


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Skyland, the magic that inspires

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. 

Hurrah it worked!

Continue reading Skyland, the magic that inspires


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Earth day everyday

Danasimson.com Handmade ceramic bird bowls in bright jewel tone colors.

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.

A set of four different colored Bird Bowls looking down to see the daisy and vine design painted on each interior.

Continue reading Earth day everyday


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The earth is our ark

danasimson.com art print of Noah's ark in the shape of earth full of animals

My thoughts are in Paris at the climate change summit. Thanks to Jerry Brown, Al Gore, Paul Hawken and those that are working proactively independent of the irresponsible Trump administration deniers.

Purchase any Earth Ark product on Danasimson.com and I will donate 25% to The Chesapeake Bay Foundation or the Climate Reality Project.

art print of Noah's ark in the shape of earth full of animals

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!


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Spoon Rests, Great Hostess Kitchen gift

Danasimson.com Handmade ceramic spoon rest with raised image of peace dove.

Spoon rests were requested by a customer and I realized that we needed one in our kitchen too!

peace dove spoon rest

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/

honey bee spoon rest

 

Check out more neat spoon rests at https://www.danasimson.com/product-category/ceramics/spoon-rests/

handmade ceramic spoon rests


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Farmer’s Markets Pride & Produce; Integrity, Sweat & the Labor of Love

farmer's market organic black berries in a wooden box

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.

Support your local organic farmers! https://www.danasimson.com/product/carart-eat-local-organic/


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