Green card for a blue ocean!
A quick self-intro for those who don't know me. I'm a color pencil artist who draws life underwater, the deeper the better. I'm a member of Artists For Conservation and committed to using my art to help the ocean everywhere, but especially around Hawaii, my home for 12 years, my son's birth-place and my heart-home ever since. I'm originally from Sweden and Norway, a Canadian citizen, lived in Japan for more than 15 years and am fluent in that language. I raised my son there. We crossed the Pacific 3 times on freighters between Japan and Canada. After all that I'm finally back in Hawaii.
For decades I have had 3 main income sources, what I call my JAM - Japan, Art & Music. I have taught and tutored both English and Japanese. I've sold my art. I've sung and entertained for many years. Turns out that the marketing opportunities for each of these in today's Hilo are far better than I could have hoped for: every month 15 or more cruise ships arrive here, each with 2-3000 passengers (as well as Japanese tours), all of whom wander and shop the blocks-long downtown Bayfront area. This means an endless stream of new potential customers for my JAM and my ocean conservation message. And that's just one small town in the islands.
So far: I have a new series of drawings from the reef zone ready for reproduction into cards and prints and a juried gallery and stores ready to show my work. I am giving free (for now) nature illustration classes and volunteering a 10-week Japanese class for kids at one of the elementary schools. I will be busking for the Tohoku victims (the tsunami-hit area of Japan) on March 11, the 2nd anniversary of that disaster. So Solveig's Studio is up and running, but still only in place, warming up. First I need to re-establish legal residency.
I've been told by immigration that based on my situation this could be approved within 3 months of application. The entire procedure costs about $2000, and that's what this request is for. This is the breakdown: application fee to regain my resident status ($985), biometric fee ($85), medical exam ($250), visa petition ($420) and required lab fees ($?).
If you like (or love!) Hawaii and its ocean, if you like where I'm going with this, if you'd like to come visit when I get settled in, I have gifts for your gifts:cards, prints:Any amount will be gratefully accepted, and if this is a bad time, as it sadly so often is for a lot of us, root for me anyway and have a big cyber-hug!
(By the way, you may have noticed that I downsized my request - did some juggling and fiddling and decided that the core $2000 is what's most critical. I'm out of my comfort zone doing this...I've been told it's OK to at least ask...anyway, thanks for at least reading my story, and wish me luck!)
The first picture is of my first acrylic painting done for a wall mural at De Silva Elementary School here in Hilo. It is a view of Hilo Bay and Mauna Kea from Liliuokalani Gardens, with a little artistic licence thrown in. The rainbow around the painting is made up of cut-outs of every student's hands, the idea being if we all lend a hand we can protect our home. It is mounted on the wall of their outdoor covered play area. Working in acrylics, large, is veeeery different from my usual color pencils! Not sure about the medium, but working large was fun!
In conjunction with this was the Ho'olaulea (May Day) Festival at the school. The theme was "Malama o ka aina, malama o ke kai" (care for the land, care for the ocean) I did two 4'x8' panels, one for the land, one for the ocean, in ovals draped in maile leis. To see images of these and the latest fish drawing (a partial collection of reef fish endangered by the home aquarium trade - buy only captive-bred!) in a falling drop of water, check my Facebook Page.
To all those who have supported me to date, thank you again. A reminder that I have both originals and prints for sale as well, for those who want more bang for their buck, so to speak...check me out on Facebook ( www.facebook.com/SolveigsStudio) or my site on Artists For Conservation ( www.natureart.com)
Also delighted to announce that I will be Artists For Conservation's ( http://www.natureartists.com/) featured Artist of the Day tomorrow! I have updated my site, added new images (this one is of the Firefly Squid) and information - come browse! Should anything catch your fancy, let me know - they are all for sale, either the originals or prints. Easy-peasy online purchasing!
In the meantime, for myself, I have finally succumbed to the lure of the twilight zone (that last seahorse will have to wait a bit...). I've been working in the sunlight zone since I got here and love it, but it's time to dive deeper. The first will be the dazzling phosphorescent firefly squid.
Thanks to all of you for supporting me, even if it's just in your hearts! I can feel you rooting for me!
Another exciting bit of news: the school has asked me to create a mural on the wall of their covered outdoor play area and they have accepted my design. We will start after spring break - I'll keep you posted as it grows!
I am also working on putting together a talk on my art and how it ties in with ocean conservation...in Japanese, to the J. tourists. I will meet with the tour guides to see if this might be included in their tour package. Since I love interacting with and entertaining the Japanese, I think there may be a little niche there for me to get my message out there. Since I cannot charge anything for this, they may be interested in a trial run...watch this space!