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Monday, February 29, 2016

Birthday leaper

My dad celebrates his birthday today... and makes the 80's look and feel like his 20's. What an amazing man. He is an inspiration. Here are three pictures from his last year... still in his teens.
Behind the shop, surrounded by projects and assistants
At an exhibition including his jewelry and sculptures

Consulting a patient in Haiti last year

The new classrooms at Lamecette


All the materials had to be walked in about a mile from the road on the heads of the transporters. Thank you to all who helped. The kids were so excited. Three concrete classrooms have been built and the foundation is ready for more.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Enticements of the Marketplace


Shopping day in the Haitian Market in Hinche is an acrylic painting on a mixed media collage. The young market-bound man has refurbished a couple bicycles and now pushes a loaded cart of imported plastic items. Behind him he passes a woman selling woven baskets and brooms made from raw materials next to her. A young child walks uo the road carrying a large tub on her head. Does she carry laundry? Dried goods or fruits? I wonder if she comes to sell, or to buy. Has she ever bought anything off the man's pushcart?

Friday, February 26, 2016

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Student to student lesson in stencil and printmaking

Sharing all the paint and ink, the paper and cardboard, the sponges and rollers, the glue and tape... and THEN showing them different techniques of how to use it all was a thrill for both my 8 students and the 300 students of Lamecette






Art is so important for everyone and especially students. It is another language to express themselves, and it is a place to take risks, play and discover. I hope the teachers at Lamecette are able to keep using the materials in innovative ways to keep the inspiration flowing. I think they will. It's in the Haitian blood to be creative and drawn to embellishment. The houses are painted with flowers and stripes. In fact the teachers were so rapt in the process they ignored the kids and stayed painting for the whole time we were there!

a world away...and yet

It is less than 2 hours from Miami to Haiti. So close and yet so far!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Making gift bags of art materials

Armed with stacks of sketchpads, brushes and color pencils, the students spend the first evening in Haiti compiling zip lock bags full of art supplies as gifts to the school children.


In addition to the assorted art materials, we added a granola bar and a balloon to each bag.
It was a hit! The point of the program is to build relationships and with these tools,(the gift bags and the materials, food,and toys, the children), my students and the students of Lamecette, played together.

sleeping arrangements

The Zika virus was every one's concern. So we slept under nets in the village. Up in the mountains at the school of Lamecette there were no mosquito's so we were fine sleeping on the floor.
my bed


Bedding down in the newest schoolroom

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Haiti: an island journey

I have only been back to the island 4 times since leaving in 1971 after living there for several years. I feel I grew up in Haiti and acquired my taste for color, for sounds and the smells of the Caribbean that have haunted me ever since. I felt privileged to be able to travel back with a group of 8 high school students and two other teachers. Everyone was excited. The students and I were wide awake...




No surprise, as we drove north out of Port-au-Prince, that I felt whiffs of "home". The road conditions, the further from the capital got more ludicrous and laughable! Switchbacks and hairpin turns with three vehicles vying for a single lane... we went over the mountains, rumbles up against cliffs, shot across valleys... The memories!





poultry in motion
rice fields

Is this even a road?

beautiful orange flower captured as we got stuck...
As I exclaimed over a yellow Suessical flower, aiming my camera at it, we became stuck. Our vehicle soon lost traction and became suspended half over a rock and a ledge, so we had to bail. We ended up having to walk in the drizzly rain the last mile to our destination. It took the village to pull the car out and get our 22 duffle bags and our 11 personal bags delivered to us.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bringing the art supplies to the kids of Haiti

A group of us from Miami are traveling to the countryside of Haiti to deliver paints and inks and facilitate a day of art in the lives of 300 young students. It is kind of like Frederic the Mouse in the book by Leo Lionni. It's a story about a mouse who loiters in the sunshine when all the other mice are scurrying to gather supplies for the winter hibernation. Frederic seems to be spacing out on all the beauty surrounding him. http://static1.squarespace.com/static/53319e08e4b0870ba2b53baa/533e3235e4b05778b6c9fe13/54762ba6e4b0e6d4c62f6357/1419436019598/?format=1000wWhen the winter supplies eventually run low, the mice turn on Frederic and demand that he share his portion of the gathering... and that is when Frederic composes poems and prose to describe the colors of spring, the warmth of summer and the miracles of fall... and it is in this way the community is sustained through the darkest times of winter.

Bringing art supplies to Haiti feels a little like this... bringing sunshine to the starving malnourished populace... hoping to hand them some inspirational tools and feed them beauty. We just must try to do the next right thing.
http://www.amazon.com/Frederick-Leo-Lionni/dp/0394826140http://www.amazon.com/Frederick-Leo-Lionni/dp/0394826140

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Can there be too many cooks in the kitchen?

Not in my opinion. Perhaps I am spoiled. I am more of an eater than a preparer. Mealtimes are sources of rest and communion. Food is such a wonderful media to work with... and this evening we had a virtual dance in the kitchen. Hot pepper soup, shrimp tacos and tequila-iced papaya in the works with Bolero jamming on the stereo! I basically had to get out of the way!
Thank you, thank you, thank you

Thursday, February 11, 2016

2016 Valentines

 One good thing about getting older is that winter seems shorter compared to when you were little. Now we are a month and a half into the new year and near the best celebration day of all- the day the majority of this planet's living species start their dances and rituals to celebrate love ... including a massive frolicking in the wild seas, forests, lakes and prairies!!! Just last night I watched the series of Blue Planet and saw the squid mating dance!!!! The males change colors as they perform a ballet for the females. Isn't that fabulous?
Inspired by the playfulness of the artist Jim Dine, I pushed the pigment as a squid dances and made this year's collection of outgoing cards.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Obsessively and quietly drawing with threads

This is for my son who has had issues with his hands this winter.




And this one is for my trip to Haiti next week...
I am trying to get these cliche images out of my head once and for all. I figure if I toil over them and put every single iconic heart image I think of in one blanket, I literally can wrap it up and move figuratively past the use of these trite valentines in my Art. Maybe. It's an exorcism of sorts.




Saturday, February 6, 2016

Deering Plein Aire event

In partnership with the Grovehouse artists this weekend, Deering is hosting the annual plein aire event on the grounds of the historic estate. I didn't feel well enough to participate fully, but I did swing by to check out the artists at work. They will be there tomorrow as well. It's fun to see how each artist frames their perspective of the place. Back at my studio I played with my own version on a 3 inch by 3 inch canvas. I've set it against a frame of splashy colors; all fun shapes in both pigment and pulp.
I added the evening flocks of birds going to Chicken key for the night, and hints of the mother and baby manatee in the foreground waters.

Patricia Cummins


Jacqueline Gopie's painting
Check out these two artists: Patricia Cummins and Jackie Gopie