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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunflowers, eggs, teapot, and the house next door

There is a push pull to the look of all the clutter. Looks like the inside of my head. "Painting is just another way of keeping a diary"- said Pablo Picasso.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

EGG for today

6 x 6 inches paint and collage on paper.
Long day.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The income stream challenge

Does it have to be dark and soul searching?
Most of my work has been under priced when considering the time and energy that goes into making even a simple painting. Because I am spending this snow day crafting cover letters to acquire an additional job, I know that soon I will be painting less. Some of the new work in the studio is much larger and more time this one, which is still being worked on.
So, if we lighten up a bit and focus on accessibility...
A lot of people find that when they can't afford an original painting, they can afford prints and cards. does an excellent job creating custom order prints of my images. They can make matted and framed images or wrap around high quality prints on canvas. Please consider the selection of work I have on my site there. And if you see a work on my website or in this blog that you'd like a print of- let me know. I might be able to upload the file to FineArtAmerica and enable you to buy a less expensive version through them. Also- for the next couple months I will still be submitting old works to my ebay auction site. Search for me by name.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

my egg project and the growing dilemma

I just have been living in my night gown, away from my studio, facing mounting papers to deal with before tax deadlines, job searches, class starts. The egg seems so... unfathomable. MFK Fisher said "Probably one of the most private things in the world is an egg until it is broken".

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Remind me again and again

Nothing like trying to live in the moment. How easy to forget. Watch any Olympic event... and see how splitting nano-minute decisions can change fate. I'm trapped in a snowstorm, tethered to my cell phone. I have a disagreement. It seems like major "life, location, future" decision has to be made today. Making these eggs has become harder and harder. Enjoying a snowstorm seems impossible. UNLESS... unless I live in the moment. The cats, popcorn, music, one green plastic egg, a sharpie. Still, even still I can feel afraid of the future.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A nest egg

I took a day off yesterday. Some people don't count Sunday's in the 40 days of Lent. So I clung to that shred of a thought, and let myself off the hook. I cleaned my studio, and house, and polished my resume, and once I looked at the eggs again, I realized I was lacking "a nest egg".
Here she is. How crass is it to do art about wanting to make money? (save money?)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Intentional art inside the shell.

Yesterday and today's egg have yolks of faith and blessings. Festooned with sequins, gold "lace" and an image of a queen, one egg reminds me that I have riches at hand to feel special. Everyone should have days when they feel like royalty, like a Queen, like you are special. So that egg was yesterday. (I took off the later half of the day to eat well and watch a movie with a friend). Today's egg has a sheep in it... (and chickens and flowers)... and it is to remember to be faithful. Even though I am powerless over what life has to offer, I can have faith, like the sheep in his Shepard, that my needs will be met, that I will be guided, and that help will arrive when needed.
So the four eggs stand in a row: a little faith, more time, wakening powers, personal riches. The photography is hard. The craft is so-so. The intention is alive.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Marathon paint art-a-thon for Haiti

I am going to be in Providence RI the 12th of March, painting for 8 hours straight. Prolific and inspired, I'm sure there will be color and canvasses flying off the easel. It's a personal thing for me to be able to do what I do best and have that help out the country I called home for most of my childhood. What a fantastic blessing!
Check out the blog at Jerry's Art-arama. They are sponsoring several art-a-thon events and providing free canvasses! All types of Artists are encouraged to be a part of this. If you are a buyer, or at all interested, you can buy a $5 lottery-like ticket to pick a work of art and support Haiti 's rebuilding efforts! If you can't go to the Home show in Providence, where I will be painting- you can contact me as to how you can be a part of this exciting event! Perhaps I can be your purchasing agent?

I need to wake up

Am I framing my own life views on a dream? There's a part of me that fears I'm missing something. I know I am powerless over a lot, and it has come to my attention that I don't remember everything. At all or even "correctly"! I may have suppressed memories! And that scares me.
This Lenten egg, day two, is a seed idea that I wake up to my real life.
Instead of taking something away for the 40 day ritual of Lent, I am adding something... like an idea in an egg. Not great works of art- but a magical act in art.
My hope is that I can use this time to manifest a better world on a personal basis.
I made this last night- and so will post today's as soon as I can. Any other ideas, help, wisdom, memories, are welcome.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I want more time

Need more time to get everything done and need lots more to accomplish my loftier goals...
Lent is upon us and instead of taking something out of my life I am going to add something these next 40 days. Every day I am going to fill an "egg" with a seed of a thought.
This is todays egg.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A valentine box

I turned the cardboard package of yesterday's painting- with razor knives and black paint-into a landscape of dark woods. My heart feels in a dark forest... It dangles inside, decorated with sequins, colored rocks, and a cluster of red hearts... with wolves at the edges, a white dove flies overhead. I know I am not alone. Like most of my soul this has no price on it. It has to be given away...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Package and letters

How do we squeeze everything we have into tiny spaces... speaking of such as a gift from our heart held in a pair of hands? It must be about distilling things down to their essence. That is, for me, what challenges the artist. Often it doesn't work to try to put too much into a blog post or a painting or a package. Things have to be added and edited, swirled about, and sifted.
This package arrived unannounced and without fan fair and sat on my desk for a few days. I was struck by it's promise. A bit hesitant to break the spell. And when I finally opened it, there was the most incredible gift. A nest! Imagine a clay nest arriving in the mail. Empty but for an image of a house and the word, "if". (Thank you Krisse!)
This is a sewn and painted piece of heavy Arches paper. The photo shows a glare from the camera flash. The sewn words are a bit glossy from the magazine finish. Measures 6 x 7.5 inches.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mysterious package

The concept of containment and surprise. A good valentine theme. This gift idea actually came with 30 fuzzy yellow chicks.
I have been thinking a bit about how Valentine's day and Christmas and other holidays can be a time of alchemy. The spirit of intention seems to transform the humble materials (or waning bank accounts).
A Valentine, a home made mother's day card, a thoughtful Christmas gift... these objects are often manifestations of a spirit outside ourselves. Why can't this happen everyday in the studio? What makes us so observant of the power of miracles one moment and not the next? Is it something to do with the power of multitudes praying? Just think of the miracles that happen in the Xmas season, or in creative response to global tragedy. The arts are then so completely uplifting. It's more than the material, the glue, sequin, wax, lyrics, paper, spices. It's a manifestation of the singing soul. Don't you agree?
My little painting is on torn paper, 5 x 7 inches outside, 3 x 5 inside border.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Auction bird picture

SOLD- thank you!
In support of a very great place, the Mill Street Loft, I have donated this mixed media picture for a juried silent auction. The paper was created by painting with dyed pulp and the birds were silk-screened onto maps and glued into the wet paper before the ferns were painted in.
The auction is on the internet for now, and then ends at the Poughkeepsie Grandview March 4th at 5:30pm. This is the Mill Street Loft's 30th anniversary! Please consider supporting them buy bidding on my picture. All the money will go to help kids make art. The bidding can take place online anytime until midnight the 3rd of March and then will resume at the event at 5:30 pm the 4th. AUCTION LINK

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Weather alert

Buying a new belt for the furnace, I glanced the racks of startling cheerful seed packets lining the tractor supply check-out line. Can it be that time again? Time to dream? Thank goodness I brought home paints from the studio... this acrylic painting on heavy arches paper measures 5.5 x 7.5 inches. The inspiration might be the seed packets...We woke to a region wide snow-day... enjoy purring cats, fresh eggs, and a roaring fire while I fret over the heating system and pack a suitcase up. I am supposed to be going to DC tomorrow but hear I95 is closed in Maryland. Think I have to rethink this.

Monday, February 8, 2010

wow! Space ships and ground control.

I sort of expected the rocket to shoot straight up over my head, but instead it headed to the moon, low on the horizon. Standing outside in the cool crisp clear night you could see an orange fast moving light cut from south to north low in the eastern horizon. The 4:15 shuttle STS130 Endeavor launch rocket contained on board 6 brave astronauts, as well as the tranquility cupola, a bay window living room for the international space station. When that piece gets attached the station will be 98% complete.

This morning’s launch was the last nighttime launch scheduled by NASA. The astronauts have spent more than a year training for their jobs, which include three upcoming space walks, and the ability to strap themselves into their seats upside down without hitting a single of the 2002 switches and buttons in the cabin.

The 4 and a half million pound shuttle erupted off the platform at 1100 miles per hour. At 4 minutes you hear the radio confirm they are past the point of no return and within 7 minutes reached 12000 miles per hour speed. Live NASATV records the communication and live footage. They are moving at faster than 5miles per second, circling the earth 15 times a 24-hour period. Tuesday night they will reach the international space station and join the international team already up there. The shuttle is expected to re-enter our atmosphere and fly to the ground like a jet in two weeks.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I deserve to be

I have a problem with the word "deserve". I wrote 50 times today "I deserve to be happy and comfortable today"- was going to write it 100 times but took a nap instead. (to be comfortable) I was extremely tired because I got up early 3:50am for the shuttle launch, and even after they scrubbed the launch with 9 minutes to countdown, I couldn't get back to sleep. Spent half the day walking around with my head hanging down. (How are those astronauts right now?) Tonight I am going out to a party. An art party. (No superbowl for me). That should lift me even if I just pretend.
Here are two strange "valentines" of mine found in the collection. Done a few years ago, they tell my story these days...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The passionate holiday

For however your heart, it’s time again to embrace those jars of sequins and glue.
Pull out the satin and lace, the spices and inks. My dearest friends do it. My parents do it. The most crazy and the mostly sane among us do it. We will celebrate Valentine’s Day next weekend. Whether we succumb to Hallmark commercialism, or a craving for sweet chocolates, we culturally commemorate nature’s fertility, and embrace Christian sainthood by cutting, folding editing, creating and crating our hearts through mixed media cards, poetic letters (the first real valentine), fancy meals, and promising packages.
The valentine making tradition has fascinated me for years. I have put together a (heart shaped) book about its history. The holiday mixes Greek gods, Roman rituals, Christian martyrs, and offers us a chance to connect to others with a sappy and an emotional weight that comes from the heart.
It’s time to start making this year’s fresh batch of hearts. I used to do workshops and presentations at my son’s schools. This year I am hard pressed and burdened to make anything authentic when my heart feels broken. This has happened before and I know I can channel the emotional angst into a line of “penny dreadfuls”, wickedly mean cards in the Victorian tradition. So you better watch out, and know even if you get a nasty card from me, I still love you in a very special way!
A handful of friends have been exchanging valentines with me for several years. I am blessed with a collection… Some of my favorites are the unique creations from Erica Crofut since 2000, Steve Diekhoff since 1984, Catherine Trott since 2002, Michael Hoefling since 1980, Krisse Pasternack since 1981, and Betsy Strauss since I was a kid. How sweet is that!?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Two wings change the message

Last night I kept considering the one winged woman... and, so, using the paint leftover on my palette, en-route to clean my brushes, I launched in and drew another wing for her. Now she can fly! I also added more "roads" down by her feet. Unfortunately, today I see that the word "message" that was prominent across the sky now reads simply as "mess". Ain't that the truth. Once she starts to move there are messes to consider.
This painting has unfolded as my inner psych revealed itself. I started it just praying for a message. Reading and praying and painting. Searching for signs, paths, and answers. It's kind of awful as a work of art that way... I personally hate looking at self centered self absorbed self portraits... This just had to come out. I couldn't hold it in. I will probably hang it in the bathroom, somewhere private...

Thursday, February 4, 2010


What are our responsibilities as artists?
And I am asking Socially, Politically, Spiritually, as well as Personally.
We all know Art can create change. Art can heal. Art can explain. Art can inspire. Art can give hope. Art can be miraculous. At a time when so many are asking for help, there is a Haiti art-a-thon developing through Jerrys Artarama. Should I get involved? Can I organize a local fundraiser? Will painting for 24 hours straight be an inspired way to raise money? Is that what I should do? Artist are always asked to volunteer their time or donate their work. I have to pay my own bills and supply the basic living needs for my kids and myself and not rely others. But basically I am incredibly lucky... I live in the USA, I have a roof over my head and family nearby. I have a few gifts. I want to share my talent. Why is it so many people in our society are afraid of art? Why are so many galleries sterile depressing confusing places? What role do artist's play in keeping them that way? (Just thinking of my recent attempts to write my "artist statement" and fill it with airy fairy intellectual mind boggling incredibly important sounding descriptions!) I'm not cut out for all of this. Is working outside the galleries more in line with my artistic responsibilities? Can my studio be a center for hope and instruction? I love revealing my adult student's talents. This week there have been two young visitors to my studio. One came to see how I work and another to share her art development. I want to be approachable, inspiring, encouraging, and appear as an adult whose life is full of promise, adventure, awareness.
My friend, and artist, Moira K. points out that if you have a talent you have a responsibility to be true to it. To listen to it and not paint for a market or sell yourself for a profit. Is that the responsibility? Could it be that simple?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My heart is walking

Not sure whether this painting should go feet up and wings aloft or feet down and running.
I appreciate all the comments and shared insights artist friends have been posting. My studio has also been a crossroads of friendly traffic these last few days. I love it. THANK YOU ALL for being there even when I feel so yucky. Thank you for sharing why you paint and making me feel sane again.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A couple new things

I am shutting off the phone and working on a couple new things. Just "showing up for the Muse" to get me through these complex times. I paint for a clue as to how to live my life. Often I start with a dream image and respond to it with what I have leftover from my last work... its a continual dialogue within a private vocabulary.

I am working slower than ever! This January was the lowest number of posting days on the blog than the last three years. I am disturbed by this... I started and finished SIX paintings last month.
In 2007 I started and finished 30 paintings!!!! And, honestly, I can't saythe quality is any better in these six.