Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Gratitude and humility...

My friend Marilyn stopped by my office yesterday to hand-deliver a wonderful gift: a group of heart-themed ATCs made for my niece -- the timing is perfect, as I will be traveling with my dad tomorrow to see her. (Marilyn also collaged the house pictured here, in which the ATCs will reside.)

In addition to the beads, glitter, buttons and embellishments that any little girl would love, these very special ATCs also carry messages of hope, love, family, and strength (to name just a few) which brought tears to my eyes, and I am sure they will be treasured by Avery when I share them with her.

Thank you Marilyn, Melanie, Melissa, Lori, Fran, Laura, Sharon, Miriam, Peggy, Roberta, Pam, Linda, Ginger, Elaine, Helen, Tabitha, and Patti. I will carry your thoughts, prayers, wishes and friendship with me on this visit, and everyday.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Warning - I am ranting just a little bit here...

Control issue!? - Me?!

I've discovered recently (or is it again?) that I have one. Actually, I don't think it's an issue at all. I like to be in control - of MY life, MY art, MY decisions. That's all. Is that an issue? I don't think so. I can compromise, but I find that compromise comes easiest to me about things I don't care much about. The things about which I am really passionate and have strong opinions - like my art, my house, or my dog, for example - those are things about which I want to be the sole decision-maker. I don't want to compromise. I don't want to have to meet in the middle, or spend my time doing something out of obligation rather than something born of natural desire.

Of course, I've mentioned in previous posts that I am well aware that control of any sort is an illusion. How often do I get up in the morning and mentally plan how my day will unfold, only to find it doesn't work that way? To some extent, every day. I know that there are a billion details beyond my control - to me, this is another argument to hang on to as much of the illusion as I can.

All this, and yet I consider myself a pretty easy-going person. There are just a few things about which I have become very protective lately. My art - which is coming from a very personal place these days, so I am protective of the source and of the motivation. I want to share it, and I plan to -- but how and when? I just haven't decided yet. And my time - I never have enough to do all that I want. Does anyone??

In the meantime, here are some journal pages from my overnight in the country with Debbie. We also did a collaborative painting, but I forgot to take a photo. (FYI a collaborative painting is definitely a surrender of control!!!)

Footnote: It has been pointed out to me that my recent change in marital status could be part of my current control "thing." It is amazing how quickly one can get used to not having to consult with another human being when making decisions.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The art exhibit...

My friend Marilyn's exhibit opening at the Five Rivers Environmental Center on Saturday was a great beginning to the weekend. After taking in all of the exhibits(Marilyn was one of five artists whose work was on display), I made a nature print at Marilyn's demo table, and then painted a metal heart (for Avery, of course) that I was able to rivet onto a metal sculpture. I love exhibits that allow for some interaction. I would have liked to stay longer to enjoy the hiking trails and see the grounds more thoroughly, but I had lots to do, so I plan to visit again when I can just take some time to walk around with my camera and my journal.

After some much-needed yard work, I headed out to farm country to visit my friend Debbie. I'll be posting the artful results of that visit tomorrow.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Aries, art, artists, friends...

These images are of an owl named Aries, hooooo I may very well meet this weekend... I first learned about him in this blog post by my friend Marilyn, who is having an art exhibit which begins tomorrow at the Five Rivers Nature Preserve, where Aries resides.
When Marilyn first wrote about Aries, she offered a blog challenge to create an altered art image of him. At the time, I was busy with other projects, but I decided to create one today in anticipation of meeting him and seeing Marilyn's exhibit. Clearly, I can't improve on the art of Mother Nature. He's a beautiful and majestic creature.

After the exhibit, I will hit the road with my faithful sidekick Max, and head out to my friend Debbie's, for an overnight of art, food, friends and fun on the farm.

I hope to have pictures of art & adventures to share with you on Monday.
Enjoy the weekend, my friends!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

There's no place like home...

Tomorrow, my last heart in the "nine hearts" series (previous post) will be headed to Boston, so I created a new series. This one has an obvious theme. It will carry with it my wish (and all of yours) for Avery's full recovery so that she can go home and resume her normal five-year-old life, with friends, neighbors, swingset, goldfish, a fridge full of Pelligrino and stops by the ice cream man, to name just a few of her favorites. These are just simple pencil sketches on foam core, embellished with buttons & velvet rickrack.

I have also been busy with some new heart paintings, which will make their debut here soon. I need to add just a few finishing touches!

And speaking of Avery, just a quick update:
She continues to amaze her doctors and make progress. Her lungs are improving and her heart has been stable. She may be extubated in the next few days (again), and we hope this is the road to her return home for sure this time!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Nine hearts.

I made this series one night last week. They're just simple colored pencil sketches on black foam core. I began mailing them to my niece, one a day, with little notes attached to the back.

I used to mail things to my friends and family all the time, before email made it so easy to get in touch in a split second. But I think a little note or gift in the mail is a treat, and I should do it more often. I love to get mail that does not consist of junk and bills, but it's rare these days.

For those who are thinking of and praying for Avery, she's still having some issues with clotting in her lungs. Please continue to send your prayers her way. Thank you

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

That's what Avery would call an "Ow-y"

In a recent post, I ended with a note about how "I love to feel the earth beneath my feet. Cool, scratchy blades of grass make my toes happy." This is true. I love walking barefoot in summer, but it is not without its perils. A splinter from my deck, a sharp stone under foot - each year, I risk inevitable injury for the pleasure of romping around in shoeless bliss.

This year, my undoing -- yes, I've been undone and it wasn't even May yet! -- was the stump of a dying shrub I cut down late last summer. Now hidden under the grass that filled in around it, I stomped down on it, Max in tow, and promptly fell to the ground, cursing and in considerable pain, with Max tugging at his leash. I now have two sizable wounds in the arch of my right foot, and I'm stocked up on bacitracin and bandaids!

...but this is one lesson I refuse to learn. I will be romping around barefoot on my lawn again in no time. Who knows, maybe I'll find a ground hive!!!