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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mary Oliver

As a gift to each other Michael and I started a day at sunrise reading from Mary Oliver’s Pulitzer Prize winning book of poems, A Thousand Mornings. I cannot recommend her poetry enough. As a writer in her 80's now, Oliver is full of wonder and praise. Her faith sings through clear observations of the natural world. In her poems she climbs trees, runs across fields, stands at the oceans edge, listens to the songs of reptiles and traces the flight of birds.

We ended the evening rereading each poem back to each other. It was such a gift of the day! 

Here are two of my favorites:
This morning
The beautiful white heron
Was floating along above the water

And then into the sky of this
The one world
We all belong to

Where everything
Sooner or later
Is part of everything else

Which thought made me feel
For a little while
Quite beautiful myself.

Every day I’m still looking for God
And I’m still finding him everywhere,
In the dust, in the flowerbeds.
Certainly in the oceans,
In the islands that lay in the distance
Continents of ice, countries of sand
Each with its own set of creatures
And God, by whatever name.
How perfect to be aboard a ship with
Maybe a hundred years still in my pocket.
But it’s late for us,
And in truth the only ship there is
Is the ship we are all on
Burning the world as we go.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter flocks

This isn’t the first Easter season Michael and I have collaborated on wings as an art expression for a "fresh start". Years ago, in 2009, we worked our first collaboration, a job for over the alter of the Poughkeepsie First Congregational Church, the Dove of New Life.
This Easter Michael helped me install a flock of birds on the wall above my studio painting board. He spotted the ladder, (though many times I saw him taking pictures instead). The birds are simple black silhouettes that can at times look like keyhole punctures in the surface. They symbolize freedom and flights of fancy while they play formally with the abstract markings of the roughly painted cinderblock wall.
Working with the height of the warehouse ceiling is a new sensation for me and there was a desire to interact with it, build a bridge up to it, and intentionally acknowledge the space.
In Indian traditions and others, birds carry messages and prayers up to heaven. Easter (Ostara or Eostre), is a day for the pagan festival of eggs, bunnies, and new beginnings and the Christian celebration of the miracle of Christ's resurrection. The Holy Ghost, the spirit of Life, is most often symbolized as a white dove. I put an image of one at the edge of the flock, on the wall, in honor of this holy day and my faith in God, the resurrection, and new beginnings.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

More pictures from the opening

Me, Martha, Patricia, Zanze and Mariana

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sign unveiling at Arthouse

Last night was big bash! Unfortunately I didn't take many pictures because, fortunately, there were dozens and dozens of people to talk to and share with! Fun night. Here is the sign, a collage media endeavor under the guidance of Martha!
Setting up, preparing the guestbook:
 Some of the first arrivals:

And, at the end of the night: the guy who has the patience of a saint... and a great sense of humor too.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Flurry of activity to get ready

It is the first opportunity to serve wine and snacks at our new warehouse studio! So come on over
this Friday- 7-10pm. (8893 SW 129th St, Miami, FL 33176). We are hoping to see some friends and family and meet some of the new neighbors. The Ceramic League is on one side of us, and Karla Caprali Art School is on the other side!

Friday, April 11, 2014

The new Studio Warehouse Move, My Son, My Chair

Feeling particularly hesitant about moving my studio practice out of the guestroom and into a warehouse full of ceramicists, I seized upon the idea that it would only work IF I found the right chair!
After all, I could easily envision, a chair  cushion was necessary to cradle moments of restful insight, for launching preparations, and presiding a seat for assessments. It had to have a soft back, upright enough not to let me slouch into a slumber and with smart head rest to hold in the daydreams. I needed the legs to have enough lift to sweep out the dust from underneath, and also arms wide enough to support a range of views and motions. I have painted this inspired chair from my imagination over and over and over the years... And this is what I showed my son Max over his spring break.

He is a wiz at finding and dragging home odd chairs. As a child he was bringing more things home from the dump than his original trash chore so I had to be careful sending him out. Once, just finding the right cushions for a free chair he dragged home cost us hundreds of dollars! So when I asked him this time to help me find the chair in the picture, I knew he would have some ideas. I was ready to scour Central avenue antique shops in St Pete.

Our first stop was a furniture shop on Treasure Island. We walked in and out in under ten minutes. The next place he drove me to (we had my mother's van) was the Goodwill superstore on 34th. There Max led me straight to a chair I hardly recognized. Yes, it was upright and clean and faded pinkish-tan, and it had the head rest with the clear legs, and was pretty comfortable... but, sitting in that store it looked pretty ugly. "This is it," came a voice that could have been Max's, or it could have been in my head. But even then I was unsure so I sat in it and made a phone call to Michael. "How much?" he asked, and when I told him $40, he encouraged me to go ahead and bring it home to try. "Paint it," said Max.

And so I have! Here is the chair in my corner space of the warehouse.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Michael is getting ready to make an ice plant sculpture

It should be installed around 4pm Saturday upstairs in the Stone House at the Deering Estate off Old Cutler Road, Miami. It is an event with about 59 other eco-minded artist's works on display!!!

Those are solid ice balloons, ribbon and an automobile headlamp!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014