Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Keeping the focus

My ex used to warn me that I should be careful of what I wished for. Our Thanksgiving holidays were family food filled events that were the culmination of days of chaos, guts and water. Literally. We processed turkeys for the holidays and after 4-5 days straight of the herculean task, my parents or my in-laws would be kind enough to serve us dinner as we collapsed in their arms. We'd bundle up in turtle necks and boots and, if the weather cooperated, go for a walk between dinner and desert. Who knew that a few short years later I would be sleeveless in Miami without a relative or a turkey in sight!
I had options, and yet, leading up to the holiday I just wanted, as always, to be alone. The idea of waking alone, lingering over my breakfast, spending the day in my studio and perhaps seeing some friends for cocktails was enough to be called "a great time". I wanted to sleep. In the studio today, I had a hard time letting go to the nostalgia, the wistful memories, and the need to be hugged, so I made this sign/painting for the ArtHouse.
What is it... about family, (and I am blessed to have one), that grounds us? Without them, I miss them.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Yuri Tuma and the PTS Fall Art Walk

Lucky for us, PTS Grad Yuri Tuma was available to come and speak to the students today as we showcased their work, half way through the year. Yuri Tuma shared the story of his art journey with the AP and digital art students. Since graduating a dozen years ago, his lucky breaks and his working discipline have brought him to this point of living the creative dream. He currently has a solo exhibition opening in Wynwood at the Butter Gallery that will be up through the Miami art fair week into January. His work is photographic geometric abstractions created from his love of architecture and by using mobile apps (cell phone technology). He shared a lot of great insight with us today, and even his belief of taking risks. At the Butter gallery Yuri painted his first wall. It brought back all he learned in high school math class! Over all Yuri

set the tone for the Art walk- Positive, creative, and optimistic about the future! We had great crowds. At times it was standing room only. I was very proud of my students...
This girl has learned to paint with her left, non-dominant, hand. This boy has entered every competition available, learning to work the guidelines and deal with rejection. Both kids, if they can keep the positive attitude and the work ethic, will go far in life.

Below a screen shot of a listing of the top ten artists to see at Miami Basel this year. Yuri Tuma is #2

Monday, November 24, 2014

Avoid the mall and come paint a gift in my studio

artists at work

I love being surrounded by creative people. Last Friday I could count both Michael and my advisee Rodrigo. They were making pictures for other people. "Picture Orders", is how Michael calls it. Wish more people could see....

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Art Therapy for Dealing with Difficult Situations

I love my job. It has been a blessing in a thousand ways. It is a place where I learn and I teach. As in Life, some lessons are harder than others. There is a current cultural shift happening at work due to the new administration, and it can be difficult to accept. Recently, upon hearing a new decision mandated from above, I found my heart pounding and my emotions mired in a stew of negativity. My opinions hardly matter or even make a difference, so I went to the one place where I have a voice- my studio.
At the studio I started with a piece of paper that had been pressed into the paint filled art room sink, lifting off a print of fluid colors. It was kind of like a Rorschach's Blot.
The first thing I painted into the center cleared space, was an anatomical heart. It sat on the page like a face- so I added the shoulders, and more arteries and veins for hair. I felt as though in a dream, dealing with some momentous news, so I added another character- the bird on my shoulder whispering into the Inferior Vena Cava. The news kept revolving and churning through my heart/head, and I felt a series of emotions; anger, rage, sadness, despair, and exhaustion.
Just as I was cleaning the brushes, and turning off the lights, I realized that the day was beautiful...The skies outside were sparkly. There were so many more blessings I could feel, having given myself the space and the time to feel what needed to be felt, and then putting it aside.
There is a way to take information and accept what cannot be changed, change what can be changed, and like the al-anon Serenity Prayer: look for the wisdom to know the difference!
That is when I painted the blue bird shooting out the Pulmonary Artery. Blue for the sky, blue for hope, blue for peace... and the momentum is for courage and action!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Student face time

My drawing class and my painting classes have arrived at that magical time in the semester when they can look in the mirror and see who they are. I am trying to help them capture it.