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.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A prayer in spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

--Robert Frost

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


I recently finished reading Sonia Choquette's book, The Answer is Simple...Love Yourself, Live Your Spirit!, and I have just come across a quote that I love...

One of the problems that distances so many of us from our creative Spirit is the notion that being creative is synonymous with being a professional or aspiring artist. It's not. It simply means making something new out of something that presently exists.

When we look at creativity that way, who among us can say they're not creative? We are always altering our world. Anyone who has ever cooked a meal has made something new out of something that presently exists. Or anyone who has ever written a letter. Or wrapped a gift. Or torn a page out of a magazine. We are in the constant act creating and re-creating our world.

So go create something...
(I would like to create a nap right about now).

Above: Carborundum print-heart with wing on scrap paper.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Yikes, it's April 1 already...

And I did say I was going to get my act together and do my Ta Da list for March, so I am sure you're all holding your breath. So. exhale!

I co-taught the second in a three-part series of art journal classes with my friend Marilyn;
I took a class at the Troy Arts Center in carborundum printing;
I celebrated Marilyn's birthday, along with our friend Melanie, at The Pottery Place in Stuyvesant Plaza, where we made sterling silver jewelry pieces out of sterling silver clay (more on that in a future post);
I attended the opening of an art exhibit featuring work by my Art-Round-Town friends Marilyn and Carole Fults at the Jonesville Store;
I taught myself how to tie dye in preparation for teaching the birthday craft at Avery's sixth birthday later in April;
and I had dinner with my friend Debbie, and we brainstormed some ideas for greetings to go with her new line of illustrated postcards;

I also have a lot of half-finished canvasses and a lot of artful messes around my house right now. I am in a bit of a push to get some of them done for upcoming exhibits, and to get others done just because the sun is beginning to shine in upstate NY and as much as I love my art I also love my garden -- digging in the dirt, planting, and pruning; inhaling deeply the fresh fragrances of spring -- the grass & soil, lilacs & rainstorms. And just plain sitting out on my deck in the sunshine with a good book and a glass of wine.

Carborundum print #1, fyi.
A brief explanation Carborundum grit is a fine metal-like sand. Mixed with white gesso & spread onto a piece of matte board, you can "draw" into the surface. When dry, it is an extremely hard, strong and textural printing plate. Apply oil-based printing inks, lay the plate onto a heavy watercolor paper and run through a printing press. You can get several prints of different intensities before re-inking the plate.