April/May Zines

May’s Zine was quite late this month. My printer broke the day I was going to print and send it. I have been anticipating my printer dying at some point and decided I would not replace it since I am not making fine art prints any longer. But, I thought I would be able to print at a local print and ship shop expediently and that did not work out. My first draft through MagCloud looked good but I hadn’t aligned things correctly so I had to reprint. I was happy to put it out for the post on Monday but they didn’t get picked up! Finally yesterday they went out! Thanks for you patience! Here is the poem:

Songs

Yesterday the mud on the trail around the lake was soft while the dusty, green trees held each passing conversation in confidence. I walked in the shadows under their boughs listening to the song sparrows hop about in the ferns and twigs. For once I did not have any complaints to mull over in the calm solitude of the woods.

I stopped on the bridge to watch the geese shifting about on the water, just blurry shapes in the distance until they all lifted off and flew overhead. The sunlight rippled across their wings like it ripples across waves in the lake. The songs of the geese rang through the first days of Spring like they ring through the last days of Autumn—staggered, harsh and magnetic.

May Postcard Delay

Hi! My printer broke and I can’t seem to fix it. I was planning to move on to having my work printed for me when this happened, but the timing was inconvenient since I was going to mail the May Poetry postcard today. I went to the local print and ship store and was stunned at how bad the color turned out. The shop keeper indicated that printing with laser printers wasn’t great for color matching. So I decided, rather than fiddle endlessly with adjustments, I would give MagCould a go since I like how my books print through their service. It will be a week or two before I receive the prints, fingers crossed it looks alright! Thanks for your patience!

– Alexandra

Independent Artists

11 Independent women artists have teamed up to share our work and thank our supporters. Artists, in order of appearance: Binta Thérèse, Carrie Tasman, Diana Ryan, Darlene Klister (Firelight Designs), Jennifer Lommers, Marianne Post, Sharon King, Alexandra Schaefers, Jan Maitland, Jan Roberts-Dominguez, and Louise Magno (Natural Moments Studio). Find links to us here: https://linktr.ee/independentartistso…

Jennifer Lommers made this amazing video. She is a full-time artist and this is one of the many things she’s doing to keep her art going through the pandemic, normally she would be at a lot of art fairs over the summer! I’m really honored to be included!

Little Books Explained

In The Slough, Greeting Card Book by Alexandra Schaefers

I picked up In the Slough from PaperJam Press yesterday, it is now available in my new WooCommerce shop under the “Books” tab. I’m really excited about making more Little Books. It seemed like a good way for me to be able to do what I love most—illustrate my own nature poems into short books—while also providing something useful to others by making them card size and providing a place to write a note to a loved one in it.

These days we are rightfully tired of clutter, wary of collecting and gifting unnecessary junk and we want to reduce our negative impact on the environment. Since Little Books house heartfelt, intimate poems they can be seen and felt as a special gift while using very little extra resources than a traditional greeting card. They are presents for people we love who really don’t want more stuff. They are for people who love to give gifts but want responsible options.

These are printed on 100% recycled paper. I rode my bike to the shop to look over the proof and took the bus to pick up the finished copies. I even rode my bike to the post-office this morning to send out my first orders. I am going to try my best to keep up the alternative transportation theme so these books can have a hint of environmental stewardship added to their value.

I have a 50% off sale to celebrate the opening of my shop and the completion of my second Little Book, it runs through May 14th. I’d love to know what you think of this idea!

Painting to Save the Trees

Last weekend I got to be part of the Elisabeth Jones’ Art Center’s Painting to Save the Trees. It was very rewarding. We spent 2 days painting trees that are threatened by development. I find it so backwards that we cut beautiful trees down to make way for development when human habitat is clearly improved by access to nature. Developments that preserve notable elements of the local landscape are more unique and inspiring. What keeps this from being standard protocol besides how deeply we have buried our heads in the bottom line.

There is so much more to life than profit. We know this, we see how many of us are depressed, sick and stressed out. We now have daily reminders on the news of how being rich doesn’t make someone admirable. It’s time for each of us, in some small way, to bring more nature back into our lives: visiting the park more often, planting a native species in our yard, planting a flower in a pot on our apartment window sill, talking to our friends and neighbors about how lucky we are to have the natural features nearby that we do, paying attention to developments in our neighborhoods and commenting on them, sending messages to our representatives to let them know we prioritize nature and equal access to nature.

I have made some small efforts in my personal life to preserve and prioritize nature but I’ve always wanted to use my art to this end also and have not been able to wrap my mind around how to do that without merely making art as commentary. Painting to Save the Trees was a great way for me to get involved on a deeper level and I hope it inspires me in new directions.

I painted the oaks twice because I had extra time and I thought I might like them better in a more illustrative style, which I do!