Tuesday, December 28, 2010

One word.

As 2011 approaches (4890 minutes from now, give or take), I've been thinking about the one word that will guide me through the coming year and help me to live my best life. Okay, maybe I am watching a little too much Ellen, or reading more "O" magazine than is good for me, because that last phrase sounds like I stole it, for sure, but WTF. I am a true believer in the "power of attraction," "positive-thinking," "reap what you sow," "golden rule" ways of life, so it works for me.

The past couple of years have been a real journey for me...a journey back to who I am. I spent a very long time before this journey in a state of reacting... to another's thoughts, moods, whims, etc., and it is amazing how far off track this way of living can send a person. Combine this with the fact that I am sometimes too much of a peace-maker, and it is easy to lose who you are after awhile. So my word for 2011 was chosen to keep me honest, quite literally...

(dictionary definition: true to one's own personality, spirit or character' not false or imitation: real, actual.)

From the way I treat my loved ones, to the way I take care of myself, approach my artwork, and tell my stories, I want to do it with this in mind - authenticity. What do I know about who I am and how I perceive the world, and how do I make decisions every day that best represent who I am and what I believe in?

I would love to hear from those of you who practice choosing "one word" for the new year. Please share your word and/or your rationale in a comment or with a link to your own blog.

I wish you all a happy, authentic 2011.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I will leave you with a picture of Max, waiting for Santa (or, more likely, a squirrel).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sing it Tammy!

My D-I-V-O-R-C-E became final today (actually yesterday!!)

My divorce is official! The long-awaited paperwork with the official red seal arrived in the mail last evening! And per the New York State Supreme Court, I "may resume use of my premarital surname."

I want to thank you all for your notes of support, encouragement, and most of all, laughter. I am a very fortunate woman!!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Where did this year go???

I can hardly believe it's December already. Somewhere in between holiday decorating, shopping and celebrating, December is my time to take stock... of the year, my life, my art, my journey.
I am giving thought to my "word" for 2011. The one that will guide me for the next 12 months.
This year my word was BELIEVE, and while I am in a very good place in my life, and I think it is a magical word, I am not sure I took advantage of the power of this word as I should have during the year. I could have believed in myself more, taken more risks, trusted the Universe to provide.

So, on this first day of December, I will leave you all with another picture of snow people - these were created by my niece Avery on a recent visit. I should add that when I created my first bunch, with a group of friends, we spent an entire day choosing scarves, headgear and embellishments. Avery, on the other hand, with her youthful enthusiasm and total lack of creative inhibition, whipped these guys up in about thirty minutes and wanted to know "what's next?"


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanks, Take Ten!

Every now and then, I send some of my creations off to my favorite magazines for publication consideration. Sometimes they keep submissions until they have the right publication or "fit" for the submissions, and that must have been the case with these. I think I created these cards more than a year ago, and re-purposed a dollar-store box to contain them. So it was a pleasant surprise to see my cards in Stampington's Take Ten Winter 2011 issue (pgs 88-91).

It's always an honor to be included in their publications as the the quality of their publications and photography are unmatched.

Thanks again, Take Ten & Stampington!!

Monday, November 08, 2010

The best kind of snow day...

Not a flake fell from the sky, but it was still a great snow day... I spent much of the day Saturday with a few friends to try our hand at making some magical, glittery snowmen and women. Many thanks to artist Sue Pelletier, whose article (and cover art) in an issue of Cloth Paper Scissors inspired us. This was truly some of the most fun I've ever had with my clothes on!

There really is something about sharing a creative day with like-minded souls that is utterly satisfying. We enjoyed great food, lots of laughter, amazing creativity and an assortment of materials that would make any mixed media artist weak in the knees!!

The first two photos are "group shots" of our creations before we (reluctantly) left for the day. Due to drying time & transport issues, we all had to do our "glittering" at home, so these were taken pre-glitter. The glitter really makes them magical, as you can see in the last shot, which is a line up of my first (but definitely not last, snow people). It has been suggested that they make great gifts, but I do not see myself able to part with any of mine anytime soon!!!

...and as if on cue, today we had our first real snowfall!!! Somehow, looking forward to making more snow people makes an early November snowfall just a little more tolerable.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Post party depression

My incredibly fun and funny cousin Bonnie, (or Zondra, as I prefer to call her), came for an overnight and to accompany me to Halloween costume party on Saturday evening... There is just something (OKAY everything) about this picture that makes us both crack up...

We have always been partners in crime, or if not crime, just general mischief, since we were kids... and Saturday night was no exception. Love you Bon Zon!! xo

Monday, October 25, 2010

The most fun I've ever had in a roomful of Lawyers...

Sometimes it's difficult to find the right words -- or words that seem adequate to express the myriad of emotions that this experience made me feel. Two months later, I have no better words, so here goes...

As some of you know, a year ago last August my niece Avery (then five years old) received a heart transplant. More than one year later, she is a happy, energetic six-year old, and regular biopsies report zero percent rejection of her new heart. Avery was critically ill for a long time before her transplant, so our family had a lot of time to think seriously about what it would mean for Avery to get a new heart -- not just for us, but for the donor family, whomever they might be.

In August of this year, while vacationing together on Martha's Vineyard, our family was able to personally thank the family of the little boy whose heart now beats in Avery. More than just an opportunity to thank them for making the decision that saved Avery's life (and the lives of several others), it was a chance for us to learn about and celebrate the life of their oldest son, Dalton Lawyer.

Spending time with his parents and three younger brothers was at once, poignant, comfortable, and quite simply, fun. I don't have many opportunities to be around "little boy" energy, which is much different and laid back than the "little girl" energy to which I am accustomed...

From the arcade: you need MORE quarters????
To the beach: closed for E-Coli????
To shopping: where are your shoes???? and, Was that Obama???
To Texas hold 'em: so you're a 6-year old card shark???
To arts & crafts: peace, love & Beadniks!!
To words of wisdom: "I just don't get her sometimes!" (and alas, you never will, Austin!)
...I think it's safe to say a good time was had by all.

Thank you Jim, Jeri, Ty, Miles & Austin. I think of you all, and of Dalton, whom I've never met, and yet feel like I knew, more often than you might imagine.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rockin' the Monoprint...

Marilyn and I had a fabulous time sharing our monoprint techniques with an incredible group of enthusiastic art lovers. Here is visual diary of the class, and the hundreds of monoprints that students created...

A special thank you, as always, to the Captured Moments family, and their fabulous workshop space & store.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday, October 08, 2010

A fall weekend...

These were taken on a recent visit to my sister's house Massachusetts. Max and I got out for a leisurely stroll at a nearby state park.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Another peak at a monoprint...

turned greeting card...
Another sample of the type of printmaking that Marilyn and I will be teaching on Oct. 17. See details on the sidebar at the right to sign up.

In addition to the Elastack printing plate that you will get to keep, you'll make dozens of prints on an assortment of paper substrates. We'll also be providing handouts that include printmaking tips.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Getting ready to teach monoprint class

Whenever I start to plan a new class, I like to do a little bit of research, followed by lots of experimentation. I love asking "What if...?" "What if" I use this instead of that?

The monoprinting class that I am preparing to teach with Marilyn (see sidebar on my blog for more info) is a perfect example. Monoprint techniques have been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, but there are always new materials and techniques, that when combined with -- or in place of -- age-old traditions, can yield some exciting results. I can't wait to share our discoveries in class on October 17. Sign up now! Space is limited!!

If you want to see a brief sneak peak, check out this link on Marilyn's blog.

Marilyn will also be giving a brief demo at the Captured Moments open house on Saturday, Oct 2, Her demo is just one of many that will take place that day, so stop by!! The Open house runs from 10 am - 3 pm, and Marilyn will be there from 10 to noon, just fyi!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

More monoprints...

..with some Pitt pen line art enhancements. I am working on a monoprint class (that I'll be teaching with my pal Marilyn). Stay tuned!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I am head over heels in LOVE!!!

... with the sexiest thing on the planet...

My camera broke in the spring, and I have finally replaced it with a new and improved version of the same one (in this fabulous green color!!!). I just took it out of the box and charged the battery, but lunch hour is just about up and I have to wait until work is over to read the manual(ugh)and figure out how to take panoramic images and video (oh, and just plain old pictures too!!)

PS -If you were expecting declarations of another kind, I apologize for the tease. That's just about the only thing off limits on my blog!

PPS - But I do have a post in progress to tell of my time on the Vineyard with some really amazing people (not the Obamas!)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

I'm the boss!!!

I was recently reminded by a long-time friend (that would be you, Victor) whom I haven't seen in years that I was a totally bossy, uncompromising bully of a kid growing up. -- These are my words, by the way, not his (though I am fairly certain that he would not argue with my choice of adjectives). He merely reminded me that I was "the Boss" of the neighborhood "clubhouse" when we were kids. The "clubhouse" was actually a small shed that my dad erected at the far corner of our property. I believe his intention was to house wood & tools from the elements in the Northeast, but we quickly moved in little chairs and a rusty make-believe kitchen set, and, presto-change-o, we had a clubhouse. I think dad exercised his property rights in the winter, but for several summers, it was our little fiefdom in which to inflict childhood insults and injuries.

It could be that my take-charge attitude stemmed from the fact that the shed was built by my dad on our property, and that I was the oldest of our group of neighborhood kids, and I took full advantage of that esteemed position. But whatever the reasons, I remember now that I liked being the boss. I made and enforced rules, instituted dues, and changed them all to suit myself. I was a perfectly corrupt little dictator, to be sure, but I was also a confident. outspoken, take-charge individual, and this recollection surprised me.

Because somehow, slowly, over the years, in the process of becoming an adult (and a woman) I have frequently abandoned my obvious zest for leadership. In so many of my life's roles, I have taken on a passive or secondary position, even when I would have done well for myself and others to take the reins. Victor reminded me that I was once a force to be reckoned with, and as I (FINALLY) approach the signing of some very important papers that release me to the next chapter of my life, I needed that reminder.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Art Saves!

Hi there readers. I was recently invited by the talented and inexhaustible Jenny Doh to be guest curator at Crescendoh this week. Please visit. Her site is filled with artistic inspiration and each day I've selected some of my favorite online links for you to explore.

I am off to Martha's Vineyard for a very special family vacation, and I hope to have some photos and stories (as well as time to post them) when I return!!

Hope you are enjoying the second stretch of summer!!!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

On the one-year anniversary of Avery's new heart...

Excerpted from a letter written by Avery's mom... (I could not have said it better!)

Life, loss and new beginnings...

Hi everyone!!

A year ago today, (Aug 6) Avery received the gift that would save her life! At 2:00 am this morning we received the page we never thought would come to let us know "the perfect heart had been found!"
At 5:00 am she went into the operating room at Children's and 18 hours later at 11:30 pm she came out of the OR and into the cardiac ICU...bleeding and very very sick - to spend the following few months healing and recovering.

As you may remember - Avery was also 100% sensitized to her donor due to the 9 open heart surgeries (8 of which required CV bypass) , 4 ecmo runs and thousands of blood products in her 5 years life. This basically placed her at a VERY (the highest) risk for rejection within her first year especially.

On Monday - Avery had her 1 year biopsy and her results were 100% CLEAN !! No cellular or humoral rejection -- her heart function is perfect and for the first time in her entire life -- she has run , bounced, jumped and giggled as much as she can without turning blue...gasping for air or coughing to catch her breath.

She truly is celebrating a new "birth" (life) day and we are so incredibly fortunate for the miracles we have been blessed with!

What makes this year a DOUBLE gift for us...is something beyond anything we could hope for last year at this time.

A week from today - we will be meeting Avery's donor family for the first time. We have been fortunate to be in touch since last Thanksgiving -- having sent a letter through the New England Organ Bank.

Next week - we will meet his family. We will spend a week together...celebrating the life and getting to know more about the beautiful little boy who now "beats life" into Avery...as well as the extraordinary family who are beyond incredible to share what they have and will with us.

So - as we reflect on how fortunate we were to see Avery start the life she never had before this day last year...we are reminded intimately at what cost that came to another family and what they were able to gift to us at the most horrific time of their life.

They are and will always be our family...

(I will be joining them for part of this trip, and I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity.)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The next phase of my liberation!!!

Below, my recent horoscope. I think I loved this because of the phrase about my liberation, plus, I am so tired of seeing didactically.

It's time to think comprehensively, not defensively...to see futuristically, not didactically...to fantasize fantastically, not diplomatically. Your assignment is to stop reacting to every little blip that leaps into your field of vision, and start surveying the long-term cycles of your life from an expansive vista. Be a proactive visionary, Libra. Be a high-minded explorer. Weave all the disparate threads into a tapestry that reveals the big picture. The next phase of your liberation requires you to slough off petty concerns and trivial details.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


Words usually come easily to me. These days, I find myself choking on them. I suspect it’s because the thoughts and feelings I need to express are not pleasant, and I don’t want to put them on paper and make them real. Own them. Admit to them. I am an expert at pushing it all down and putting on a happy face, but if you don’t own the bad stuff along with the good, it comes up with a vengeance, like a projectile vomit of bad words and feelings that leave a horrid taste in the mouth and a feeling like a boulder pressing on my chest.
Wow. WTF? Did I just say that?
Someone made a comment over the weekend that really pissed me off.I am not sure if it was intentional and mean, or just stupid and thoughtless. Either way, I should have said something at the time, but the circumstances were such that I chose to put it off for too long. And now it's festering inside me. If I say something now, it seems like way too little too late. So instead, I take it out on canvas.

8 x 8 mixed media & collage on canvas

This is one of two pieces that will be in the next Art de Cure exhibit from July 19-Oct 15. The theme is "Make a Splash."

Thursday, June 24, 2010


13 party dresses ruined with tie dye--$585.
13 tie-dyed t-shirts--$130.
One grandmother in a rented shark costume--$82...
And the local police responding to the 9-1-1 call from a
terrified 5-year old at Avery's party--PRICELESS.

So this is how it went down. First, I told my sister that I saw no reason for the girls to wear smocks to do TIE DYE. (DYE being the operative word here folks). I had done it myself and didn't make a mess, so I had every confidence that a group of 13 little girls hopped up on sugar would also be perfectly neat and tidy. -- Oh, and I wanted to dress like a hippie in honor of the craft, but my headband made me look like much more like Pocahontas than Joni Mitchell. Meanwhile, the "theme" of the party was Avery's favorite cartoon - Charlie & Lola. And Avery also likes sharks, so grandma Gigi volunteered to sport the (very warm, on a summer day) shark suit. Any other ideas we can roll into one birthday??

So first, it was introductions, pretty party dresses, and pizza. Then tie dye, very messy party dresses, and tears from one little girl who actually cared that her dress was totally trashed.

And then there was a knock at the door! The shark arrived! Five little girls screamed, four little girls cried, three little girls laughed, AND one little girl calmly retreated to the home office and called 9-1-1... The police officer was very nice. He didn't handcuff Gigi the shark and he wished Avery a very happy birthday.

Happy Birthday Avery!! This one's going to be hard to top!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lost and found

I found this little girl's ballet slipper while walking Max the other day. We walk on a path that passes a local elementary school, so it's not entirely uncommon to find all sorts of things that kids lose along the way. In this case, it wasn't exactly lost as I had to wrestle it off the little ballerina's foot, and she put up quite a fuss for a seven-year old, but it was worth it!

Okay, I'm kidding.
Really. I would never do such a thing.
Ever. Almost never.
Not even for my art.
Well, maybe.

Anyway, it may be years before I find the perfect art piece in which to incorporate this well-worn little slipper. It's owner may well be starring in Swan Lake by that time. Or perhaps after our little altercation she has decided to play soccer instead!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

And the winners are...

It's serendipitous that it worked this way- but all three winners received their first choice, and the three winning names chose #1, #2, and #3, in that order.

--Mylyne, #1
-- Laura, #2
-- Annette, #3

Mylyne, please email me at kerristabile@gmail.com with your mailing address, and I'll get your collage in the mail right away. Laura, I have your address, so yours is coming soon, and Annette, if it's not too much trouble, I can save postage if you stop by my house!

Thank you all for your comments about the rain. You all reminded me that when I am not coercing my dog to walk or wiping my limp locks out of my face, there are dozens of reasons to love a rainy day. Now it's back to some much needed housework! I had a yard sale over the weekend, and while my rooms and closets are more spacious, I left utter chaos in my wake, and I have to clean it up before I go on to the next project!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

400th blog post - an an art giveaway

Normally, I hate rainy days. I don't like how dark and damp and cold my house gets. I hate venturing out through puddles, saddled with an umbrella that never works right. Walking Max is monumental chore in the rain, since he can't hold his own umbrella and he hates getting wet. And rainy days are synonymous with bad hair days in my world...

But it was drought-like in Upstate NY until the beginning of June, when it poured buckets, and for once I embraced a dark, damp day by curling up on my sofa with Max, a cup of coffee, an an overdose of HGTV. I also turned on my beeswax pot, and made a few little 5 x 5 beeswax collages...

Here they are:

Which brings me to my blog giveaway!

#1 my heart, thy heart
#2 twilight comes
#3 garden fairie

Just leave a comment telling me what you like about rainy days - and also rank from 1-3 which of these pieces you would like to receive if you win. On Monday, June 21, (the longest day of the year!!) I will pull three names at random as the recipients. The first name chosen will get their first choice, and I will try to honor your choice if you're second or third, based on what's left. I will announce the three winners on June 22, and ask you to contact me via email with your mailing address.

FYI, for those of you who've participated in past giveaways, I have learned a lot during my 400 blog posts - and one thing I've finally learned is to have the giveaway items wrapped & ready to go BEFORE offering the giveaway (I was not always so efficient!!). So these pieces are ready and waiting for mailing addresses and I promise you will not wait ages to receive them if you win.

I want to thank you all so much for visiting, and sharing your thoughts and support and inspiration with me.

Monday, June 14, 2010

And the winner is...

La Dolce Vita! Congratulations, Caterina. I've sent your email address to my contact at CSN stores and they will be sending you an online store gift certificate worth $50 toward any of their merchandise.

And, funny how things work - I promised that post number 400 would be a handmade giveaway... forgetting that the next post would be this announcement...BUT in a strange twist of fate, I didn't know that blogger counts blog "drafts" as posts...so this post is actually number 399, and my next post -- number 400 will be my handmade giveaway tomorrow... so stay tuned!!!

FYI - This digital collage was inspired by Caterina's favorite thing about summer (and definitly one of mine)...the color GREEN!!!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Post #399 - with a giveaway...

Hi there, friends!

Do you need a new sofa? dog bed? hammock? bar? I was recently contacted by CSN stores to offer a free $50 blog giveaway, and I thought that blog post number 399 would be a great time to say thanks to my faithful readers as well as new readers who may visit, by passing this offer on to you.*

Here's how it works.
Leave a comment telling me what you love best about summertime, between now and next Monday, June 14. On June 15, I will pick a name at random as the winner. I will need to contact the winner and provide CSN stores with your email address -- they will send you a $50 gift certificate via email for online shopping at one of their 200 online stores. If you do not wish to leave your email address in the comments section of my blog, then leave your comment on my blog and send your email address to me separately (at kerristabile@gmail.com).

Here are a few of my favorite CSN stores...


*Unfortunately, because this giveaway is being sponsored by an online store, it is only available to readers in the U.S. and Canada, where they ship their products. I do apologize for this limitation... but just fyi, I will be posting my own giveaway for blog post #400, and I have no shipping limitations, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Quote of the day...

I don't want to get to the end of my life an find I have lived just the length of it. I want to live the width of it as well.
-- Diane Ackerman

I am busy living the length and width of my life these days, so I've had little time to post. Okay, in truth, I've been playing in my garden and soaking up sunshine (and chardonnay) - that counts, right? It's been sunny and warm in Upstate NY these days, and I have no desire to be at a computer when the sun is shining.

Also, I have a new camera, but I am suffering from my typical new-technology inertia, and have yet to use it or load the software on my computer... and a blog without photos is, well, just words (duh!).

Happy June! I'll be back again when it rains!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Art Gone Wild 2010

I knew when I signed on for this exhibit that I would enjoy creating works for it. I don't think there exists a more powerful and endless source of creativity than we can find in nature. Last night, without much thought, I just decided I wanted to work with beeswax. I haven't done beeswax collage for awhile, and the little crock of hardened wax and quilting iron were calling to me (even before the glass of wine!). I stayed up way too late because once I started, I didn't want to stop. The result of my late night was these three beeswax collage canvasses. FYI, for those who may wonder, I used regular children's crayons to tint the wax. The process is so satisfying, from the aroma of hot beeswax to the flow of colors as they melt and move, to the composition, I just can't wait to make a few more tonight.

happiness once there
beeswax collage
6 x 6 deep set canvas

went away
beeswax collage
6 x 6 deep set canvas

they hold the key
beeswax collage
6 x 6 deep set canvas

Unfortunately, while my work will be on display with my fellow artists, I will miss the opening day event on June 5, which includes some very cool demos. I would encourage anyone who has some free time on June 5 and lives in the Albany, NY area to stop by. The Five Rivers nature preserve is worth the visit on any day, and the demos just add to a great day out for both kids and adults

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Please join us at First Friday in Albany...

On the 1st Friday of every month, downtown Albany (NY) celebrates a "fun and funky" arts night, administered by the Upstate Artists Guild. Participating art galleries, museums, bars and clubs offer live music art exhibits, open houses and special events.

Along with my fellow artists and friends Marilyn Rock and Carole Fults, we will be exhibiting new works at the Albany Art Room, -- 457 Madison Avenue -- with an opening reception tomorrow night, May 7, from 5-7 pm, and we'd love it if you stopped by. (Technically, the opening is from 5-9 pm, but I am not sure that any of the artists are able to stay that late, so you may miss us if you arrive after 7 pm).

The title of our exhibit is Alternate Substrates and includes artworks created on fence posts, antique tools, cabinet doors and window screens to name a few. Here is one of my pieces that will be in the exhibit...

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

R.I.P. - SONY Cybershot - 2006-2010

At long last, I took my camera for repair, and the parts/labor will cost more than $120, so I will be shopping for a new digital camera very soon. If those of you reading this have any input, I welcome it. I am looking for something under $200, that can take rapid shots and is small/very portable (not quite like yours Marilyn!) The one thing I have never liked about my Cybershot is that unlike the original tv commercial that showed a woman leaping out of her restaurant chair to get a super-fast photo of Steven Tyler, it took forever for the camera to focus and shoot. It's amazing that I was able to capture nature or action of any kind, and I frequently missed the "moment."

Monday, May 03, 2010

Holy Toledo, it's ta da list time!!!!

Where did the month of April go? As usual, I have bitten off a bit more than I can chew these days, and I am looking at my calendar with feelings of both joyful anticipation and dread at the same time. Does this happen to everyone, or just me? I think I am going to have to get into the habit of actually penning onto my calendar some down time, and scheduling the act of doing nothing in the same way that I schedule everything else.

In spite of how daunting my calendar looks these days, I am really feeling exhilarated by life lately. I don't know exactly what has changed - me perhaps? Could that be? I just know that the more distance I put between me and my marriage, and life "before," the better I feel, about everything. I feel like I am becoming me, more and more. And truthfully, I had no idea how un-me I had become -- how much energy I invested in reacting to someone else, instead of living my own life.

So this is what's been keeping me busy this month...
I taught art journal class number three with Marilyn;
Designed a new logo for my friend Brenda's business..."Cleo's House of Crafts/Home Collection";
Experimented in monoprinting (and a flip video) using Elastack;
Made plans for a fabric-paper workshop with Marilyn coming in June;
Participated in an art exhibit called Art de Cure to benefit diabetes research (and sold two out of three pieces so far!!)
Enjoyed a wonderful art date with my friend Peggy to make heart paintings (super fun day!!);
Created a swap journal page for/with my friend Melanie;
Began a new web design with Melissa from Stampassion (it's coming, I swear!!);
Hung artwork for a new exhibit that opens Friday at the Albany Art Room (called Alternate Substrates)...

These are two of several pieces that will be in the show.
Fly Home

18 x 24, mixed media assemblage on window screen

Letters Home

9 x 12, mixed media assemblage on mailbox door

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Art connects us...

Late last week, I received word that another of my pieces in the Art de Cure exhibit had sold. This time, the note came from the person who purchased it, and I was truly moved that she had taken the time to write to me, and to share with me that she identified with this piece.

My art is an extension of myself - a visual expression of my ideas and beliefs, my experiences, my thoughts and feelings - and when someone wants to own a piece of it, I feel so connected to our source, to our common experiences.

And I feel so grateful for living my true life and doing what I know I was put here to do.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I was thrilled to learn that one of my pieces sold on opening night of an exhibit that benefits Art de Cure, a local charitable organization. I am usually pretty comfortable participating in art exhibits, but I was self-conscious as I left my pieces for this show, as my work is mixed media, and very non-traditional. When I looked around the room, most of the other work that I saw was very traditional --matted and framed paintings -- and I felt as though my pieces would stick out like a sore thumb and looked too casual and haphazard.

So it's nice to know that someone "got me" so to speak.
See the listing at the right if you are interested in visiting this exhibit, which will be on display until mid-June.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Cutes!!!

"A whole circle" older!

My niece Avery turns six years old today. During a recent conversation about her time in the hospital from 2008 to 2009, she commented that it was "a whole circle!"

I love the way kids -- and this one in particular -- look at life and make observations. I've done 45 circles myself, and I'm suddenly feeling dizzy!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The voices in my head...

Those who know me well know that I can talk alot. A LOT. A really, really lot. But if you could hear the inner dialogue, the one in my head that virtually never shuts up, you'd wonder how I could ever have a coherent thought or idea. And you'd no doubt be grateful that for all that I talk about, there is so much that I don't share. Because, in fact, a lot of it is imaginary.

Imaginary conversations, imaginary arguments, little scenarios that I run through my mind when things are bothering me but I have yet to act on them. Sometimes I am trying certain ideas on for size, and seeing what might or might not work. And sometimes this is good, but often, I think it's just a very big waste of mental energy on what-ifs. On problems that don't even really exist, but that I make up in my overactive imagination. I don't think I am alone in this. Or maybe I am. I am told that meditation helps, but it may come as no surprise that I am not very good at meditation BECAUSE I CAN'T SHUT MY MIND UP!!

For me, art is my best form of meditation. It anchors me in the here and now. It quiets my overactive mind. Instead of mulling over the I should haves and the I wish I hadn'ts and the what ifs, I engage my eyes and hands and mind in a form of creation. Art is real. It is now.

Monday, April 12, 2010

We've flipped!!!

My amazing friend and artist Marilyn recorded me doing a demo last Thursday night with her flip video. We're preparing for an exhibit and demos at the 5 Rivers Nature Preserve in Delmar, NY in June, and Marilyn has a new toy... a Flip video recorder.

The link is below, if you're interested, but I feel the need to preface it with a few explanations:

1. I am not endorsing Bandaids, although I should, and I recommend the flexible fabric kind. Prior to this video, I had been working outdoors and ended up with blisters on both hands. I think it's a great look when doing an art demo.

2. I am not bleeding in the video. That's acrylic paint all over my hands. I have no idea how I became covered in acrylic paint 40 seconds into the recording, but why should I be any neater on film than I usually am?

3. I am not using acrylic "ink" as I repeatedly say in the video. I am using acrylic paint - regular inexpensive craft store acrylic paint.

4. I was doing okay up until the 4-minute mark, where I forgot a step -- and turned a perfectly good monoprint into a complete mess. I actually knew when I messed up, and I should have yelled "CUT," but I was mesmerized by the fact that it was being filmed and I didn't want to mess up the flow, so I just acted as though I totally intended to smoosh all that paint over a perfectly good monoprint and obliterate it.

5. FYI...this is a very early sneak peak of a class on printmaking that I will be doing in the fall. By then, I'll have new bandaids in new places!

6. I do mumble a bit in spots. I apologize. I thought I was speaking out loud, but the video doesn't lie!

In spite of the flaws, I had fun with this, and Marilyn and I plan to offer more techniques & sneak peeks in the future.

So, if, after that intro, you are still interested, here it is!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Journal swap page...

My friend Melanie and I began a swap journal TEN years ago, which we never finished. A number of circumstances in our lives at the time made us set aside our journals, and new opportunities in life and art kept us from resuming our swap...until this year, when my friend Marilyn and I began teaching a new art journal class. So Mel and I decided to pick up where we left off. This swap is unique in that we both started with an expandable "scrapbook" type of journal, where the pages can be removed. It's a great way to swap because we can work on pages and then just give the pages to one another to insert into our own journals. Although we each designed our own covers, the insides of our journals are essentially the same because when we swap pages, we also make one for ourselves. So (in theory) at the end of this swap, we will each have a very similar, if not identical journal with a personalized cover. I say "in theory" because in this case, I have finished Mel's page, but not the one for my own journal. And I have so many projects on my plate these days that I fear I will never get to it. So for the sake of remembering what the page looks like before I pass it on, here it is. We went with a spring time theme, since we've been enjoying some wonderful springtime weather lately --and also because, by April in upstate NY, we are sooooo ready for spring, even if it takes its time getting here.

I may still add just a few additional details, but I was pretty pleased with the overall composition.