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Friday, November 30, 2007

Pressure point symbols

PONDERING THE ECONOMY. Quandry #1: I worry that the first thing to be cut when budgets get tight is art dollars. So in an act of Voodou- (did I tell about growing up in Haiti?)- I am actively putting my dollars in the art world. Perhaps it will be a contageous act? I have decided to buy each of my neices and nephews a holiday gift of a work of art. Artists who I think will grow stronger and will be interesting for these little kids to keep an eye on surround me in my local community and on the web. It has been a TON of fun to view art with the eyes of each individual child. So far (I hope they aren't reading) I bought Jamie W. Grossman's miniature oil painting on easel of Bannerman Castle for Natalie, the 3 year old princess of Texas.
Quandry#2: I haven't wanted to sell my latest work. I think I need to reapproach the daily painting, create faster work for that in addition to the work I am not ready to let go of. I have been looking through old sketches of the cows and chickens...

This small painting is called "Acupuncture" in reference to my first experience with it...I slept on a bed of crushed quartz and while my blood seemed to sweep through my limbs, my mind pondered the begining of life. Acrylic on panel 10.5 x 9.25 inches.

Clean sweep #3

I DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO POST THIS IMAGE YESTERDAY. It actually has been a piece in my studio that I have been coming back to over several weeks, sewing and painting, and tearing out, starting over. I really like it right now and think perhaps it is done...15 x 22 inches, acrylic, thread, collage

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On the Road

This is my 300th post! What a strange path to here. First a series of anxious chickens (look for upcoming book), then capturing time in a month of sundaes (limited posters still available), to this moment, this act of homage to a personal memory. On the Road is 12 x 8 inches sewn paper and paint with a few holes.
Words are sewn into the warp and weft of my journey, revealing plans and dreams I've come to terms with and that will eventually mark my passing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Spiritual tool #3- hammer

Inconclusiveness permeates this image. I don't know how this will end, and so I paint, grasping for clues. Acrylic on canvas, 10 x 8 x 2 inches

Monday, November 26, 2007

How to Drop Everything

acrylic and ink on paper 7 x 11 inches
Picture this artist, housewife, chauffeur, mother as... Atlas, with the sky on her shoulders. Picture yourself. In all fairness we are each given whole star systems to shoulder. Galaxies of lists, those nebulous relatives, pulsating health issues, global warming, orbiting chores, blight years, etc... Now Atlas is often depicted in art as a symbol of strength- yet really he should be far better known as a symbol for endurance. His task, to forever shoulder the heavens, was a punishment he didn't truly embrace, as seen when he tried to trick Heracles into taking the load. So when my yoga instructor breathes out the words, "Drop everything" it can really radically rock this artist's world. And spread panic.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Unravelled, to Wish or Knot

Still working with the Thanksgiving Ties. Acrylic on paper-

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Ties and Rituals

pen and ink and paint on paper...first stage and reworked ...
so many dishes.......FOOTBALL GAMES. My alma mater (CU) beat Nebraska in Folsom stadium! I loved watching the game, the fans..recalling memories of past games. Only a bit of sadness over the hieghtened importance of a game...affecting careers and lives. The Nebraska school zealots FIRE their coach after the game! What happened to sportsmanship and keeping a game in perspective? I am baffled.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Ties

It has been two days since I painted. This was a quick painting done near the potted plants by the televised football game at my brother-in-law's. I was thinking that rope, originally a product of twisted organic fiber echoes the sweeping broom heads, and is a beautiful symbol for the ties that bind families and friends together.
Of the wishbone, and the maple leaf...I'm not sure what it is about, but I need to try it again.
Hope everyone has had a gratitude brimming holiday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Some local scenery

I find having my husband off work, less daylight, and holiday chaos abounding that I am not painting every day now. Here are some of the works for sale at local venues. The Sharon Historical Society (SHS) has three or four of my sewn works, among them my sewn rose- which my son Max titled "Soft Landing". Liz Shapiro, the director of SHS, is very supportive of the arts and a magician at turning the museum into a community center. My "Paradise" depicts what I call the divorced hen- she has her own small pad, with TV dish and forgives the housework. Eight of my chicken paintings on wood are hanging near the window of the Riverwinds Gallery in Beacon. That gallery is run by four dynamic women who have a love of adventure and a tendency towards deep laughter. Also across the river from home at the GCCA gallery on mainstreet Catskill I have two of my February paintings of the farm.
Please support these places because they work hard to make art a center of the community, a part of the local economy, and a viable lifestyle for those creativly inclined. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2007

SPIritual tool #2- focus

To focus on what is important you sometimes need input from others as well as time alone. I just got back from a meeting with 7 other women artists (Women Artists @ Work). The 3 hours we spend together once a month really lends clarity to the vision of myself as an artist. We support, encourage, listen, share, critique and inspire each other's work. The time we take to gather together acts as a balance to the time we must spend in isolation creating new works. Our group is special in that every one of the twelve of us is completely different, in our work as well as in the rhthym of our lives. When I tell them about my latest paintings they each have something unique to add to the dialogue.
Spiritual focus is a paradox. Like walking through a dark room, you see shapes more clearly when you avoid directing your glance anywhere specific.
I hear Steve is painting!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Clean sweep

If you search Google for "clean sweep" you will get 2,010,000 entries. So check those out or just trust (like I do), that these paintings are taking me closer to finding out truths to our daily existence. On an artistic level I am inspired to paint the curves of form, the linear pattern of light and the flowing edge of the brush. On a gut level, the memory of the woods I just finished painting exists here in iconic microcosm, distilled to an organic tool. We spend our whole lives accumulating things to feel full and yet perhaps the best way to prepare for inevitable death entails the graceful removal of any sense of attachment...

Friday, November 16, 2007

spiritual tool #1- the broom

This tool is essential to showing up for the Muse. The broom is symbolic for much more than it's ability to sweep cobwebs out of the air and detritus off the ground. In the thesaurus, following the chord of thought, I got "TO TOUCH SOMETHING LIGHTLY AND BRIEFLY IN PASSING". Acrylic on canvas 10 x 8 x 2 inches.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Forest Guide

Acrylic and sewn paper, 11 x 7 inches SOLD
I am getting better at sitting still and doing nothing for 30 minutes a day. Amazingly, it seems to add time to the day! My favorite chair faces the woods and my thoughts wander to prayer, gratitude lists, following air to my lungs, and then on to silly questions like: what needs to be defrosted for dinner; will the rain short out the electric cord to the coop; how did my sister get the mumps? Food, energy, disease. Followed by prayer, gratitude, air, question, repeat. THEN PAINT.
This is the way I get through the forest.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


acrylic on paper, 7 x 11 inches
This just in from Achenblog: Genius, part II
Leon Botstein, the composer, says you can't plan your breakthroughs. You just have to keep plugging away, and wait, and hope.

"Breakthrough is not when you want it, it's not when you expect it. It's a function of the constant activity. It is only the constant activity that generates the breakthrough."

And what causes the constant activity? It's not money. It's not glory. It's an "inner necessity," he says. Unless you have this inner necessity to create, you'll probably never do anything of brilliance, Botstein believes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Getting in Touch

I've been very busy- on Friday I took down the paintings hanging in the Mountain Cow Cafe, and on Saturday I spent a delightful evening in Beacon for the Second Saturday opening parties. Linda H. and Mary Ann, and Jaimie Grossman, another Daily painter ( was celebrating with me at the Riverwinds gallery where several of my chicken paintings are on display until January. Over the weekend I also participated in a focus group for the arts at my son's school, attended an Art/East meeting to organize next year's county events, threw a dinner party for my husband's birthday, and delivered art to the GCAC Catskill Gallery Salon show.
It is when I stop being so busy and enjoy my family, my health, my friends, and my backyard- that I remember. This Painting is 11 x 7 inches acrylic and collage on paper and called "Getting in Touch".

Friday, November 9, 2007

Wolf and butterfly

the disease
11 x 7 in acrylic resist painting


The last sense to go, when dying, Steve tells me, is our hearing. I tried to make an image of piano keys and the gallaxy of stars...
11 x 7 in on paper- acrylic resist

Something tender on the platter

this is...well, i am not sure.
7 x 9 inches- acrylic resist painting

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Gray matter

When you dig, you have to consider the tools at hand. My inspiration, my dying friend and my paint palette, only succeeds at scraping a mole hill of beans. I feel as though, as I excavate the facts at hand, I sift air for meaning. Outside the realm of my brain, or at the very least outside the gray areas we "don't use", my heart is a pump. I feel it when I run. My spinal fluid shakes my bones into awareness when I try to sit still. My brain, my big, globular, overcast, gray brain, holds my emotions and ALL my realities. It scoops and burrows itself into colorful, acceptable, painful, iconic, small beginings. Who knows if my reality really is? Does it change for every brain? Am I making a mole hill out of a mountain? acrylic on paper 11 x 7 inches

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The measure of a friendship

The measure of a man, The measure of a heart. How can it be quantified? Is this what matters? Yesterday was another Tuesday with my father-in-law (and lessons on the price of oil and trucker highway etiquette). I went to bed early with a headache- forgetting to answer emails or post my daily painting. I am fortunate enough to be able to paint again today. I don't know why I am so lucky to have four hours of studio time. Or if I am, in fact, a failure. Shouldn't there be something to show for it? Why do I feel such pain and doubt? I did small things... sell a small painting, agree to be both on an arts grant panel as well as a school arts steering committee, and I spent time taking care of others:packaging the art of my senior students, cooking dinner, reading to my son. But none of it fills my heart very much. It all seems like busy work compared to the big question of "what is really important? How do we make the world a better place?" This painting is a spiritual painting. How do we measure ourselves? Our friends? Our loves?
11 x 7 inches, acrylic on paper 

Monday, November 5, 2007

Trek home...

This one had many titles as I worked on it- it started out as "the Cage", the "Carry-on luggage", but then I became more interested in the sky and the glimpse of the little house. Acrylic on paper 11 x 7 inches
Today I delivered a half dozen paintings of chickens for the Riverwinds Gallery's Small Works show.The opening is this Saturday, the 10th. Here is what I wrote int he statement:
My paintings reflect the world and inhabitants of our farm in the Berkshire hills of NY. Chickens in bright colors play out emotional sentiments. Painted on rough planks of wood, the pictures are thumb prints of something thoughful and essential to my life. I paint everyday unknowing what it will generate. It is the sheer act of doing it as a daily practice that gives me peace.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Gift of sitting still

I've thought about what is important...and try to sit still for 30 minutes a day. It's been the most challenging thing for me.
11 x 7 inches

Saturday, November 3, 2007


I had to work into this one a bit more. It's got layers of imagery-
acrylic, ink and collage on paper 7 3/4 x 11 inches

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Searching for a map

I wish there was a set of directions telling me how to handle grief and loss. At first I want to grab all that I hold dear. A suitcase in the sky is a terrible joke on how little we actually own the baggage we carry. The map of the rotating planet is all about Time. The image of the three ladies reminded me of my sisters. Then, later, I took one out and it became me and my mother- watching the water (made of maps) to see which way the boat comes in. Mom is fantastic at handling the worst. She has so much wisdom in this area, and I know I can call her at anytime. Paint and collage and ink on paper 7 x 11 inches.

Reading the signs

Now that I see this on the blog, I am not sure it is finished. I used to have a silk moth where the suitcase is...It really should be called "Exit Interview", which is what the dr.'s called the appiointment that they gave Steve yesterday. So many ways to exit a scene. Not enough ways to interpret the signs.