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Monday, January 31, 2011

Driven Nuts for you

There is a nervous energy that seeps in on certain days, such as Mondays, or Octobers, or after an initial meeting with a lover. I feel like a squirrel leaping from tree to tree, focusing on multiple tasks at once. This Valentine is both painted and sewn with found letters and it is meant to nourish the soul of your inner squirrel.
For Michael G.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

bed of bones

New stage of "done" 2/7/11
The winter lethargy and my body seem to be having a reaction...
With all this SOUL SEARCHING I feel stripped to my bones. This small painting just captures a tiny part of it. It's not finished, or quiet right. I will keep trying...even though I should probably be scraping the snow off the roof so the foot of solid ice up there can try to thaw. Instead of worrying about the roof, I spend my days as an artist... conjuring my bed and I don't go near the front door except to admire the beauty just outside from it's perch.

In Winter's Jaw

I feel eaten up by the iced teeth!

To every thing there is a season

Last page of my hibernation journal is supposed to look a little hopeful. A bear, not reclining- but poised at the opening of a cave... Polar bears don't hibernate now do they?
Anyway... I used the lines from Ecclesiastics, Chapter 3, verses 1-8 How inspiring to remember that things change? It won't stay winter forever! Only two more days of January are left.

There is.. a time to every purpose under heaven.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Draining and Restoring Happens!

Interesting to speculate what factors into the ebb and flow of our moods, energy, and life force.

It's a good exercise to make a list of what drains you and a list of what restores your soul. I found a few things that I need to be aware of... and that I like feeding the birds (twice)!

Collage, ink and wax

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Roots and Dreams

There is a spiritual grounding that can happen when you hibernate. Today we are getting another snowstorm and it's an opportunity to hunker down and review my roots and list my dreams. Hibernating is not a passive lethargy! I am asking myself tough questions and taking inventory of my wishes. Inspired, I wrote long letters to each of my sons! I pray that my heart is in the right place.
This collage has layers of paint and found images. I was inspired by the idea that we bury our dead and plant our food in about the same strata of earth. A cycle happens. Nothing is ever static. Even those of us snowbound at home! This image is from MY HIBERNATION JOURNAL.
Good luck in your own cyclical manefestation of hibernation!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What I can do with my eyes closed?

I can pray. I can exude love. I can dream the dream of nocturnes or the dreams of purpose. I can listen. I can be completely vulnerable. I can let go and unfold. I can breathe.
With my eyes closed, I have to have faith. It is a pose of powerlessness.

Figuratively speaking I can live a whole life with my eyes closed. Such is the point of denial. How many times have I caught myself on some routine errand wondering how I actually got there? No awareness of my previous motions! I daydream. I leave the present and travel to nostalgic reveries of the past or hysterical speculations of the future. With my figurative eyes closed, I can't see where I am, the reality of the situation. It becomes a point of fear.

Second page of my Mixed Media Hibernation Journal is about the battle of faith and fear.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The bed as an alter:

Thinking of how important the bed is in our lives- as a place for rest, for healing, loving, and dying- I feel it should be embellished and approached with intent. I try to keep the foot of my bed clutter-free (supposedly that will help my mind be clutter-free) and have candles and good spiritual reading materials on both side tables. The quilts on the bed each have a story. I like weight- so there are three! In addition I have a wool blanket my parents had spun and dyed from their sheep as a wedding present, and fuzzy flannel sheets. The trees in this collage are painted after the actual view outside my window... Its a very special place.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Been Hibernating all day

Rosemary and I led 6 attendees (two were no-shows) in a day full of inspired crafting imagery and kitchen alchemy.

We worked on books and loaves of bread. Everyone kneaded, punched and braided their own. The recipe was from the Tassajara monks. As the batter rose we retreated to the studio and thought about the ways we can give up control, honor the bed as an alter, list what drains us and what renews our souls, and above all, see our place in time as a cyclical seasonal phenomena. The books used Golden soft gel medium, Modge Podge, and bees wax as the main collage media.

Joan's book focused on her father, Sayzie's was a tissue encaustic celebration, Vicki sought the ocean as her haven, Laura transferred her passion for the Hudson River into 5 pages of symbolic color, and Jonathan used mixed media to create a sculptural book the tied everything together!
Here are some pictures

Saturday, January 22, 2011

look what came in the mail!

Among the bills and junk mail and a check, came an unwrapped work of art.
I've got one of Martha Miller's 365 days of mail art!!!! The top half of the head has a collage of a woman reclining... looks like a Romare Beardon work... and the two sides, front and back, are stitched together along the silhouette edges. (Looking on her blog I see it's called "Beardon Dream Cap").
The other side is even more gorgeous and has an image of Martha at work in the studio as well as our addresses and stamps! I just love it! What a great day! What a sweet treasure to have received! THANK YOU MARTHA!!!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The race of our life captured in this chick's run against the clock. We know there is a finish line, but haven't a clue when we will arrive there. So much to do! Thank God for daily painting. It slows me down, stops time, reminds me that this is a life worth living.

4 x 5 inches, acrylic on unstretched canvas
SOLD- thanks Eva!

Monday, January 17, 2011

If only life were simple...

but it isn't. The puzzle of how we look at a chicken and her egg are unending! Which came first? (How did we get here? What are we to create?) There may be no answers. This sewn paper painting was put together as I contemplated the desire for simplicity and rationalized life's complexity.
7.5 x 5.5 inches mixed media $100

Sunday, January 16, 2011

At the door, a chicken puzzles her place

WHO am I- really? What do I truly want to do? Can I believe that I can be who I really am, and do what I really wish to do? If not, what's stopping me? To be true to myself, I need to look through the door.
Paradoxically I have spent the day looking out the window.
Black clay board, 5 x 3 inches.

after school art classes for pre-teens

I am collecting cigar boxes and any broken umbrellas for projects with my 11-14 year old artists. Starting in February on Monday afternoons I strike playful assignments with a variety of media for us to play with. If you think you know a kid int he Poughkeepsie area who could benefit from some good old creating time- have them check out the website- Thanks!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Painting one of the Hens standing in balance

...On the edge of her milk crate-turned-nest, I contemplate my own off-kilter existence. I am not at all balanced... in any realm!
I can't get all my picky lists done. There doesn't seem to be enough of me to please everybody. Could it be, in fact there doesn't seem to be enough of me for me? The inner judgement is an exhausting voice that tells me I am fat and lazy and should be calling so-and-so and getting those letters written and looking for that job and... I feel so empty yet my body seems a fragile thing with murmurs, eruptions, aches and so aside from balancing the outer world with all it's fast paced to-do-lists, there is an inner world that seems out of balance as well.
I am hoping this daily practice of painting again will help center me and gain me some... down home balance!
Sewn painted paper, 4.5 x 3 inches $35 plus shipping

Friday, January 14, 2011

Noa Noa Hesitating Hen

Going back into the studio is a little like going native. I am playing, trying new techniques and falling back on what comes easy--- the hen... Ah! look at her sniff the air- she hesitates and catches a fragrance. Is Paul Gauguin around the corner? She looks a little leery, or lost, I would say. Where is she? Where is she going? It's an exotic journey in paint!
4.5 x 7 inches on paper.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Trying to get thank you letters out

My studio is a mess and I feel like I have fallen short on the task. All about me are the nice gifts and remembered gestures that I am trying to sum up in appropriate missives. It seems impossible to sum my gratitude up in an image. I swear its easier to paint pain then to paint joy! Why is that?


With Peter Cascone and Michael Gellatly, our works will be up through the month. I've got 7 anxious chicken paintings from the years 2007-2009 on the walls. Here is a copy of my artist statement:

Ever since my marriage started failing and good friends started dying I have made a commitment to do things differently. I paint every single day. I love my chickens. Through these two realms I have found a voice for my sadness, my courage, and my faith. Within my daily practice I recall memories and visualize evocative tones that distill symbols into paintable vignettes. My work blends text and image in humorous, dissonant, and melding ways to explore security, panic, and the mortal experience. Because I feel transient as a species, the perpetual conflict between leaving and being is evident everywhere in my work. This duplicity is also captured in the whimsical palette, the playful brushwork and lightness of imagery that lay bare the anxieties of our time. Brushstrokes, text, and nature are strategies I explore in transforming the material to be spiritual and harvesting the spiritual to material.

I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from college with a BFA and a BA in painting, printmaking and art history from Colorado University in 1984. Born into a family of artists, curators, and spiritualists, I spent the first 20 years as a world traveler. I am the mother of two sons. The last two decades of my life I have lived in rural Dutchess county and been blessed with a network of artists that inspire my great love for roots with wings.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Horizon lines

Walking the beach every morning, I find myself breathing deeply along with the rhythm of the tide. Little bits of sea creatures are left at my feet and the sand, and every handful, seems to hold the history of far away places. A pleasure this week has been sharing the company and insight with my two sons. My youngest son says the world seems small when we look out at the horizon, and I feel the opposite. Like I'm small and the world is big. My other son looks at the horizon and wants to see what's on the other side- what lies beyond. Tomorrow we all separate. Each to their own horizon line.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Is any body hibernating?

My friend rosemary and I are offering a ONE day course from 10am-5pm, January 23rd, 2011, exploring winter's opportunity for healing and creativity, settling into and exploring our dreams from the oven to the studio.

Bake your own braided loaf of 100% whole wheat bread: big, beautiful and delicious. Share stories including the contributions of Tassajara monks while combining ingredients such as deliberate intention, faith, and fresh air(after punching the bread).

At the same time you will be guided to craft your personal book using collage,text,and imagery that explores the idea of hibernation and the effects of this on our families, friends and self. Discussion will touch on the cover and inner "page" contents we create for ourselves in terms of obligations, avoidance, time and permission to rest.

At the midday break, We will have a large pot of homemade root soup to share with each other. You are welcome to bring along your own lunch.

It is Rosemary and Tilly's hope that through expressions of bookmaking, food, and story, each participant will share unique viewpoints with inspired tips for gracefully living through this season. We promise that you will enjoy lots of laughs, and take home your own bread, a book, and memories of a good time.

Space is limited to 8, so confirm quickly. $50.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year, a new day

This holiday comes, as usual, with time made for travel. Families everywhere are returning home or journeying out. Luckily the snowstorms stayed to the west of me and I was able to make it to my mother's and see my youngest son before the ball dropped on the old year. Across the ocean, my french family will be traveling to Paris today for medical reasons and my heart is wrapped over theirs, praying the burdens of my cousin's are relieved. Hoping for a miracle.
Love this red suitcase.