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A New Year, Feminist recovery and 135.6 years to Gender Parity

Going through my annual ritual of goal-setting for the year ahead and considering the lessons learned from 2021 has been different with the unpredictable surge of Covid-19 and trying to guesstimate the impact it will have when I’m trying to grow a business.

An article written* in 2021 by Ciara Nugent for Time referenced a World Economic Forum report that concluded that the pandemic extended the estimated time to close the global gender gap by 36 years meaning parity (economic opportunity, political power, education and health) between women and men will be reached in approximately 135.6 years!

These are sobering numbers and the statistics do not improve when taking into account women of color for whom jobs have returned more slowly. This is an opportunity to boost feminist recovery, prioritize women-led businesses and create infrastructure and industries that support women’s economic security.

Caregiving and care-work – whether to children, the sick or the elderly – is still largely undertaken by women and therefore not adequately supported or recognized. The pandemic has provided new perspectives on work-life balance, on the need for flexible working conditions, affordable childcare and insight into what makes us most productive at work.

We must persist in finding workable and probably novel solutions. We owe it to ourselves and the economy needs us!

Let us continue to work against what Bonnie Hammer has called the “she-cession”. I wish you well in your endeavors in 2022!

raindrops on red berries
“After the Rain” by Vanessa Thomas

*Nugent, Ciara. Time. April 2021. After a Terrible Year for Women in the Economy, These Places Are Working Toward a Feminist Recovery From COVID-19


Happy first day of Spring to the Northern Hemisphere!

Spring touches each tree and flower with the magic of renewal after winter’s slumber.

Here are some local Spring sights that caught my attention that I hope will bring you a moment to breathe and enjoy!

Photo 1: Orange Daisies Awaiting the Spring Sunshine

to visually demonstrate the beauty of spring
Orange Daisies in Spring

Photo 2: Yellow Daisies Greet the Day

Yellow Daisies in Spring

Photo 3: Spring Colors in the Meadow

Blue Meadow Flower on a backdrop of orange daisies

A Gift of Poetry inspired by Flowers and Floral photography

Photographing flowers is how I like to share moments of beauty in nature. When these photographs inspire others to create it brings deep joy to my being!

Spring to Life by Vanessa Thomas

As Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman said in her recent interview with Trevor Noah – “some cleanse with water but I cleanse with words.”

These words from my yoga-loving friend Danai Christelis speak to the joy that the wonder and beauty of flowers bring to our lives and I am grateful for her gift.

This is the message I received from her…

Your beautiful photography inspired me to write this poem..enjoy!

Those Seeds We Need to Sow.

By Danai Christelis

“Like petals of a flower
What is the intent?
To brighten someone’s sorrow
Apologies not said?
Carnivals and canopies
Fading in the snow
Those petals of the flower
Are they just for show?

Like petals of a flower
What is it all meant?
Words not written by a loved one
Memories of time spent?
Wedding bells and baby showers
Celebrations far and near
Those petals of the flower
Serene and oh so dear

Scattered in a milk bath
Pressed inside a book
Sketched onto a canvas
Left wild to create that look
A pocket full of fantasies
Nature at its best
Ladybirds and dragon flies
Looking for a nest
Like petals of a flower
Where does it all go?
When all things said are forgotten
Those seeds we need to sow!”

Poppy Spring Magic by Vanessa Thomas

VOLUNTEER RECOGNITION: Joyce Moulden Retires after several years as LAA Secretary

The pandemic has not stopped milestone events in the lives of volunteers for our arts organizations and one that needs to be celebrated is that of Joyce Moulden.

Joyce has served the Livermore Arts Association (LAA) community as a dedicated secretarial administrator for several years and has decided it’s time for a change. However, it does not mean that Joyce has ended her support of the arts community and lockdown ushered in new connections and opportunities for her to share her expertise and one example is the Online Tech Team Group consisting of members of the Pleasanton Art League (PAL), Livermore Arts Association (LAA) and Dublin Arts Collective (DAC).

The Group is an off-shoot of a larger collaborative effort between the three Tri-Valley Arts nonprofits (PAL, LAA and DAC) to address technical challenges faced by visual artists as they pivot in the pandemic. PAL President Beth Okurowski initiated the larger Tech Group meetings and the sub-group is led by Christine Watters, Vice President of LAA.

Transitions like these can be intimidating but delving into new ways of doing things and approaching novel problems with courage is not new to Joyce.

“Her attention to detail, willingness to learn and caring and considerate approach has made her a valuable team member as well as a delight to work with,” said Vanessa Thomas, DAC Co-Founder and Fables and Flora Owner. “It has been a joy getting to know her and great to discover that we share an interest in science and literature.”

“It’s been great to get to know Joyce through this process.  She quietly makes corrections and keeps track of us as we have worked at finding our way through new (for us) online processes.  Thank you, Joyce.” – Lorraine Wells, PAL and DAC Board Member.

“Joyce, thanks for your steady support on the board and now with the tech adventures. I always looked forward to meetings at your house. Glad you are along for the tech ride!” – Christine Watters, Vice President and longstanding colleague at LAA

“I have known Joyce for only a couple of months now, but we hit it off immediately; it feels as if we’ve known each for a long time! I have always heard about Joyce and her academic & scientific accomplishments from a common friend, which was exciting coming from a family of scientists myself! Joyce’s expertise & experience keeps the Tech Team on track, encouraged, calm and composed. It has been such a pleasure to know you, dear Joyce, you’re not off the hook yet – you are stuck with us now!! I wish you all the best and look forward to working with you on new and exciting projects!” – Meghana Mitragotri, PAL Board Member and LAA and DAC Member.

We would like to extend the heartiest thank you to Joyce for all that she has done and continues to do for artists in the Tri-Valley.

Merit award for pal members show

In trying times when it’s not always possible to focus on my art – it was a joyful moment to receive a Merit Award by Pleasanton Art League Members’ Show judge Paul Kratter for my photograph, “Morning Revival”.

Merit Award Winning Image

There were several other participants in the show and the full gallery can be viewed online on the Pleasanton Art League website.

Congratulations to all the winners especially “Four Seasons” theme winner Chandana Srinath for “RUTHU-Life Cycle In Seasons”!

Where do we go from here? Which option should I paint?

Which option would you like to see me paint 🎨?

Thanks to the multi-talented Anne Giancola I have my next public art project for the Livermore Artwalk Light on Oct 10.

I’m stuck on which of these options to paint for the “Where do we go from here?” Theme.

Your feedback would be appreciated – please rank the options in order of preference starting with your favorite e.g. 2,3,4,1,5

Thanks a bunch! 💐 😊

Vote 🗳 for your favorite option for me to paint!

Look closer

The closer you look, the more you see.

I often marvel at the intricate details of nature. You don’t have to go far to see beauty close-up. Since it has been raining heavily this week I have been going through my archives of floral photos and found these.

Photo 1: Poppy Central


Photo 2: Black-eyed Susan


Photo 3: Dahlia details


Photo 4: Fern frond



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