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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Scene on my desk, last day of classes

A yellow rose from Ms. DV, my mentor, arrived to mark the end of the year. It sits in a vase made by a student, pins a bill from the art store, and is in front of a spray-painted piece of art reminding me to have peace in my life. I need reminders today! Teachers need summer.

word prompt: my desk
6 x 6 inches acrylic on paper panel.
Camera is starting to act strange and PINK... holey moley!! I guess I will take it BACK to the repair shop for the third time tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

when pigs roamed

I'm missing the old days back on the farm. My son Max, my niece Sophie, and Einstein

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Spirits: a glass of wine

Criminy! Sorry for the WHINEY blogging drivel. Even though alcoholism runs in the family, I have been able to enjoy the relaxing feeling I get from a single glass of wine after a day's work. It can bring inspiration and subtle mellowness. Ya! I know, taken to the extreme, drinking can ruin lives, bodies, and families. Many religions outlaw it for the heedlessness consumption can cause. Others incorporate it into the service as a way of opening oneself to the Spirit.
I had to put it on my the list of 50 ways to find joy because I am getting burnt out at work... and when I get home, and have finished my chores, I reward myself with a glass of wine and a pause. It brings me joy.
5 x 4 inches: canvas, paint and collage SOLD

Monday, May 28, 2012

Blooming Joy

I love waking up, throwing open the curtains and finding the plants have bloomed. I have Hibiscus, Bougainvillea, Begonia, palms and mother-in-law tongues... all the favorites from my childhood. It's hard to paint it justice. But I am thrilled. This gives me joy. Will try to get a better photo of the 5 x 4 inch painting soon, but for now I am off to enjoy the memorial day holiday heat. SOLD

End of the year students show off

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Money can be part of my Joy

I love earning a paycheck. I like being able to take care of things. So '"money" has to be on the list. Living without it can be miserable. Money makes us feel secure in the storms, and it certainly enhances the celebrations.

Lately I have had to spend more than I hoped just taking care of what I have, (see the eroding coastline in the painting). There is a finite amount of money left over (see the bills and coins). School ends soon, and many of my co-workers are getting temporary summer jobs. If I weren't so darn tired, I'd consider it. (Where is the hammock between the palm trees?)

So here is where I have to be careful to remember the joy of money is in passing on the dollars, and not gripping them tight in fear. I want to do more for my kids and my parents, who never ask for anything.  I don't have all the money I wish I had, but I do have enough to make peace with and spread some joy. What about you?

Money in the Brewing Storm, 5 x 4 inches mixed media on canvas panel,  sold!

Saturday, May 26, 2012


6 x 6 inches paint on paper panel

63 ways to find Joy in pen and ink

After the big move to Miami last fall, I put away my datebook, dropped my list making habit, and started the uneven practice of staying in the current day. It is either because my life has simplified drastically, or because I have just emptied myself of my juices, but now when I make a list it contains 2 or 3 items for me to do, gather, search out in the next few minutes.
when the word prompt for my 26th of 30 paintings was "list", I felt stumped for days. My students gave me all sorts of good suggestions. Ideas I might have used in the past, like a collage of old lists, etc. But I had no lists! What a revelation.

Am I beyond list making?

Not completely.

Working in series is a painted visual list. And the series I am doing at school- the 30 word prompts, and at home, the 50 ways to find JOY, are visual lists. In this work I combine the two, making a list of 63 ways to find joy in pen and ink.

Saturday student spray sampler

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Is spray paint a lethal weapon?

 Before I let my 30 upper school students even touch the cans of paint they have to sign the school honor code about acting and expecting honesty and integrity with the additional statement I've added about promising no intent to alter school, classroom, or peer property. Then I socked them with a grading rubric

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It's killer time to dye in class

 Well, I have held off and saved all my messy art projects for the end of the year and now the proverbial fat lady is starting to sing. The kids are wound up for summer. What better way to harness the attention deficiencies than by preparing a unique and festive T shirt?
 The results look much better than the process. Kids who refused gloves regretted their stained hands while I fretted over a flooded art room full of puddles and rubber bands whizzing by, filling the air.
 My art trailer is looking like camp.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

tropical hedge, acrylic on canvas, 10 x 20 inches

$580. plus shipping

See where the artists roamed during class

Battling mosquitos and blinding sunshine, half the class started painting under the mango trees on the walled property that has been cleared for construction. Like prisoners, some students focused on the wall that kept them in school, and on the skies over them. The other half of my students placed themselves near more formally planted gardens or lingered at the edges of playing fields.

 Those who started with their backgrounds first actually got to a level of completion, versus those who insisted on painting the details before the backdrop.
Several of my students arguably defended their right to abstract the landscape. Of these I think only one or two are reasonably successful. Four of the above paintings were painted of the same scene and from nearly the same seat. Can you tell?

Student found face down in the markers

"Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward." Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Camera is back

After the second attempt at fixing the lens in this disposable-don't-repair-it world.

Here are shots from the technician inside the repair store. They also sell vitamins, iguanas and RV's.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Plenty more reasons to celebrate

This painting celebrates the attitude of abundance. There is plenty more, plenty more! 5 x 4 canvas panel SOLD

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Heart and the necessity of loss

It is the kind of thing Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor talk about in Traveling with Pomegranates, a book I just finished. Sue is just turning 51 and going through changes while adjusting to a new role in her adult child's life. Ann is dealing with rejection from graduate school and uncertainty with her purpose in life. The characters totally resonated with me and my experience of having to let go before I can continue on and to have faith in the face of uncertainty. I guess that is how we grow... we have to let go of expectations, the past, and our youth.
I do have faith that everything will work out.

Another thing about the book- it was a nice story woven in the voices of mother and daughter, and through their musings, it revealed how they came to strength by appealing to the divine wisdom of Women. It started by paralleling the myths of Persephone and Demeter, then appreciating, through art, the sacrifices and gifts of Athena and Hestia, and then through pilgrimage and supplication, both writers culminated their transformative insights through the love of Christ's mother, the Madonna.

You have to empty the cup to fill it.
This is part of my series of 50 days of Finding Joy, 4 x 5 inches paint on panel. SOLD

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

He said and then she said ...and it was called conversation

It's seems to be all about the noise level. These few remaining days of school seem off the charts with gossip, screams, and other hilarity... Will someone please make art? (A mad art teacher's plea)
6 x 6 inches on cardboard.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

mother's day should be every day

There were roses on my doorstep... with this poem:
Today is your day
celebrate in any way
Sorry this might be late
things get better with a wait
A dozen roses to make you smile
feel our love from a mile.
--signed love from my two sons.

Seriously- this is my favorite holiday.
painting 5 x 4 inches canvas panel

Connecting through the yearbook

Everyone is so excited to get the yearbook, after the initial scramble, the students surprised the faculty by being singularly engrossed in the could almost hear a peacock flutter by! Imagine a whole gym of kids with heads together, in clusters, all viewing the same book! It was a nice 15 minutes.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Feeling screwed?

After thinking I had negotiated an art sale, the buyer said "Hello Elizabeth
            Price is very Fine With Me payment is very comfortable with me through certified check and my shipping agent would be responsible for pick up please let me know if that's fine  by you..." I explained that the 6 x 6 inch unframed panel could be mailed through US mail (domestic) for about $3. He insisted. I said alright, "mail me your check, though this feels like a scam", and the response I got later that evening was, "forget the deal".

Now I wonder... Do real buyers of small works of art (this was $92) use shipping agents? Did I just blow off a good patron? I don't feel good about this, and yet, my gut told me it was probably a screwy deal to begin with. So many of my artist friends have been scammed, I've got to be wary. But I feel damned if I do and damned if I don't. Mostly I feel sorry for the state of the communication at hand. I'd love to see the art lovers face to face. Imagine that!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Finished mural!

We packed up the paints and proudly made the Friday deadline. The wall will remain up until elevator is complete in early August. It was painted by one 6th, two 7th and four (one not shown) 8th graders.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Making their marks

This mural has become all about the tools we have to express ourselves. The hand tree blossoms out from a garden stone rake handle, palettes and hearts shape shift across a spectrum of warm and cool colors, and a giant paint brush looms as the focal point before turning a corner to the sight of music. I am the happy teacher, sitting back and watching the decisions and the group dynamic resolve and prosper! These eighth graders are talking, listening, touching and painting... a lot is happening that is visible and invisible. (ndp)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Creativity wields the brush

Painting is a powerful tool for manifesting beauty and truth... so the painter's brush is the logical subject of my small 6 x 6 inch painting and the large 12 x 10 foot middle school mural. It is magical seeing what comes out of a paintbrush. Music and elements of the natural world soon will have their due. Here is both the maquette and the mural in progress.

Monday, May 7, 2012

On the spot clock

Countdown to the end of the year has begun and there seems not enough time to get the student projects done. My middle school students are painting landscapes in the pointillist style, and have inspired me...

to paint this alarm clock. 6 x 6 inches.
 Some student work showing aerial perspective
 distant vistas
 distant lands
 This piece reminds me of my brother and father's recent adventures.
 Students capture different moods: from poppy fields to volcanoes
to the Florida coastline. Painted with Q tips and acrylic paints on canvas boards.