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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Watery City as a muse

Dr. George, the renowned historian, local author, Miami Dade professor, and fascinating story teller guided a boat tour through HistoryMiami from Bayfront out to Stiltsville. We got a perspective of the city from the coastline that layered all different eras on top of each other, and left us as breathless witnesses to the current transformation. The Brickel area buildings are rumored to be the densest outcropping of buildings anywhere in the USA. The open spaces all have cranes at work. Miami is skyrocketing up to the clouds at the edges of the water and creeping up the coast to the north. We saw where landfill from channel dredging for cruise ships has turned 3 acre islands into 120 acres, and where the earth scraped bare by Hurricane Andrew in the early nineties has been restored to a lush natural habitat.

The talk was fast and full of trivia and lore. He had us turning from side to side and riveted throughout the ride. I wish I had taken notes!
The seven Stiltsville homes are located in Biscayne National Park approximately one mile south of Cape Florida. These homes are the remaining structures of a community that dates back to the 1930’s. It started with a bait man selling bait out of a grounded vessel. Soon other grounded vessels were dragged out there and small businesses popped up to serve fishermen and recreational boaters... then additions of wooden structures to shelter the  vessels were built. Soon someone built a porch along his establishment to create a drinking club. In the 1950's The Bikini Club allowed free membership to women arriving in nothing but a bikini. Wild parties and lawlessness abounded. Today the Stiltsville Trust, a non-profit organization, manages public use and maintenance of the structures in accordance with a signed agreement with the National Park Service. I was surprised that only 7 of the maybe 30 at-one-time structures was still standing. One of the heirs, now called "caretakers" for the national park partnership, was on board and shared his experiences growing up with his family using the houses as recreational escapes (after the raciest of times were over). He spoke of how all the children had little skiffs and everyone was diving and snorkeling and at times it is so shallow you can stand.

The trip was inspiring and really got me to add a few more things to my Miami bucket list. I need to bike ride the backside of Key Biscayne, and experience a sailing trip leaving Miami way behind me.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

heart collage

Best day: 7 hours in the studio! Here are some samples of my collaborative cockroach collages...

I patched in new prints on top of the areas the cockroaches ate away. It was fun, and added a bit of color.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Wynwood is a little thin on the magic this year

Took my annual bike ride through Wynwood to see all the pre-Basel artists at work on the streets. Last year this time the place was hopping. Not so, this year. There were a few artists at work, more women than before, but many walls were behind fences and being prepped for "live action painting parties". Some walls were out and out selling... directing you to a gallery down the road, or advertizing a new brand of Italian spray paint.
Selling his brand of paint

Tati Suarez, a local girl and PTS grad!

New restaurant shout-out

yea, that's how I feel

What is he doing?
What was striking was all the construction going on. There is building everywhere. Empty spaces are being refurbished, and new buildings are squeezing in between lots. Most of the cherry picker lifts were for the construction, not the painters! The (over) development is getting crazy. I hear rents have skyrocketed. Artists and galleries serious about making a living have moved away.

There is a woman painting behind that fence
Unfortunately, I got a roofing nail in my tire crossing Miami avenue., aka Tony Goldman Way.
Mural from years past
Old offering...we loved how the tree and the wall had the same palette, a blending of art/city/nature.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I am blessed to have a studio

Love this place- the Arthouse. There is no other place I cared to be today, (if I could not be with my sons or my parents). Michael and I spent 6 hours working/playing in our studios. Just before I left to head home the landlord came in with two of his grand-kids and, as I toured them through the building and talked about my own art, the kids gave me another really cool idea! I have to get back there tomorrow.

Creative work is never done.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I know too much about turkeys

If I can't get a fresh small-farm raised bird, I'd rather not have one at all. 
It's like eating sawdust laced with antibiotics. 
Here is the Wild Turkey hen and her chicks, printed and hand painted by Audobon.

Finding peace and joy

Dusk and a light dinner on the porch

Bike ride in the rain to the farmers market

Siesta in the sun

sea oats spreading their love

a path to the shore

a discovery

investigation and wonder
best friends

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Contemplating a break in the schedule

How can I not be inspired? There are so many directions to go towards! Ideas merge and criss-cross. Some rise like clouds into the sky. I've turned off the alarm.

And packed a bag.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

another day in the studio

My son calls while I am printing. He has a head cold. So I print a stethoscope with a bed while giving him advise.  Art mirrors life mirrors art.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Healing my heart the art way

I went to my studio today and spent 6 hours carving, printing and painting the story of how I felt inside. All my family seems to be well (though in some shock, of course) having survived the night in Paris. My french niece reminds me that this night of bombing and shooting is an anomaly to us, yet we are part of a country that has, as policy, done this regularly to other less televised cities. Of course we are after "bad guys", yet good people are part of the "collateral damage". What she is saying is that we should be this distraught for others, and more often. The Syrian refugees are not traveling to Europe on a whim. They are fleeing consistent atrocities like the ones in Paris last night. It is really hard. I cannot put into words how I feel about where we are and what should happen next. I am so grateful to have the luxury of a studio and the time to work it out there.

This is what I ended up with-a three part linoleum print titled "My heart was far away last night". It is for my aunt Eva and uncle Michel.