Friday, October 09, 2015

Persistence revisited.

So, persistence has been my one-word resolution for 2015.

I am an expert flitter and a quitter -- flitting from one project to the next, one art form to another, and then just losing interest. And this tendency goes way beyond art -- I do the same with exercise. And cooking. I start a lot of things, very enthusiastically, and then, I somehow lose momentum.

But it occurred to me last week that I had completely forgotten my yearly word. I had to look through old blog posts to even find it. So much for 2015 and persistence, I thought. But I took stock of this year, and I realized that persistence was working its ass off for me.

I had been thinking of persistence in relation to my art and all of the projects and techniques I abandon just around the time I should be pushing through for some kind of creative breakthrough. But in the rare, quiet times when I took an honest look at my life, I knew the really challenge didn’t start with my art. My lack of follow-through was a symptom of a much bigger issue in my life. My bad habits all stemmed from the same place. The bottom of a wine glass.

So, on August 30, I stopped. 

How is that persistence, you may wonder? Well, anyone who has quit a bad habit knows that usually, prior to quitting are many, many false starts -- or more accurately, stops, and a lot of soul-searching, and promises to oneself before one succeeds. And that is big-ass persistence. 

Of course, clarity of mind brings with it a whole shitload of new issues. My mind is a pain in the ass, truth be told. It won’t shut up. So right now I am doing a lot of reading and listening and hopefully learning, always learning.

Xo Peace and love.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

We are not good OR bad...

We are good AND bad…

Did I blog about this already? Because if I did, I apologize. I am not getting old OR forgetful, I am getting old AND forgetful. 

So if you get a feeling of de ja vu when you read this, that is why. I was introduced to this concept of duality by an artist I've admired for a long time, and it really resonated with me. It has, in fact, stuck with me enough that I want to write about it, possibly for the second time.

In her case, I vaguely recall that she was lamenting to her therapist that she was not good… at several things…she was a bad mother, etc. Sidebar: this artist is ridiculously good at everything, and I mean everything: art, motherhood, business, writing, fencing, boxing, violin, sewing..the list is truly endless (I swear, I am not making any of these up – she does them ALL, very well) -- so after this revelation, I stopped listening for awhile to what she had to say, because being excellent at everything (she is also incredibly disciplined and really works hard at all of these things, by the way) but being awesome at everything and still thinking you’re bad is just annoying.

But back to the subject…
We are not good OR bad. We are good AND bad. What I love about this, is the reminder that both goodness and badness can co-exist within us. Being bad (sometimes), does not negate the good we have done. We are always learning and hopefully growing from our experiences, and hopefully, at the end of it all, if our deeds are sorted into good AND bad, the good list is a lot longer. 

Now where did I leave my pitchfork?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Eternal life

I have been painting again. It started with a “kind of” commissioned piece. For a woman I’ve never met, but who, through this amazing cyber universe we now inhabit, I feel like I have known for years. We have friends in common, and we will get to meet this summer, when she comes up from Florida to visit those friends. And I will get to give her this painting in person. 

I love how it turned out. She chose the words, and the color, and the little butterfly, which is a symbol of someone she lost, and I was surprised at the feelings this painting evokes for me, so I hope that she is equally moved.

This connection to people through art is really an amazing thing. I am so grateful for the creative process and all that it brings with it. 


It is finally here. Spring has truly become my new favorite season. I used to love fall best, but as it is the precursor to seemingly endless winters in the Northeast, all that spring has to do is show up, to become my new favorite. And while I am not fond of extreme heat, the summer is too fleeting for me to grow to despise.

I spent this past Sunday doing garden clean-up. The first day outside after a long winter is always the very best – even the inevitable blister between thumb and forefinger from raking too vigorously.

For one thing, a few hours of work yields such noticeable improvement. Outdoor furniture is dusted off and set up; the last fall leaves are bagged, revealing little green shoots and buds; sticks are bundled in neat little piles for pick-up; all of the ugliness of late winter is gone in one lovely, sunny afternoon.

For another thing, spring is all about the promise of potential fulfilled -- beauty and growth and abundance. The air smells fresh and the earth, loamy; birdsong fills the cool air -- robins chirp angrily at my presence as they use their instinctual artistry to turn sticks and mud and string and bits of paper into a perfect little round nest, hidden in a nearby tree.

The grass is still the color of straw, but just the absence of snow makes its crunch and rustle welcome beneath my feet. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

More digital toe touches

I am clearly ready for summer, with these abstract flowers and vibrant summer hues...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Artistic calisthenics

Sometimes, as I get ready to tackle a new creative project, my brain needs a warm up to get the creative juices flowing. For me, digital collage has been a great way to stretch my creative muscles.

These summer-inspired postcards are the result of my recent calisthenics. It reached 43 degrees in Upstate NY yesterday, and it made my mind wander affectionately to dandelions, which I will no doubt be cursing in just a couple of months. 

Monday, March 09, 2015

The finished pieces

These are the mini canvasses that I started last week and showed in progress in my last post. 

Plaster, collage & acrylics on canvas

Thursday, March 05, 2015

90 Degrees.

No. It is most certainly not the weather. But last week I glanced at my art table, which had been tucked against a wall in the corner of my living room for a few years now, and decided it was facing the wrong way. I don't like facing the wall. So I turned it...90 degrees to the left, and I  am making art again. Now my table faces into the living room, instead of into a wall. Sometimes that is all it takes. A 90 degree turn.  A new perspective.

In progress...