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Thursday, March 31, 2016

spring sprung inspiration

Almond blossoms like a Vincent (vanGogh) painting
View past the pool
Dandelions before the first cut surround the pool

in the valley, the Abbey hangs onto winter

up in the hills the sun pushes new greens
We visited Senanque Abbey, a Cistercian monastery from the 10th century, to listen to evening Vespers. The monk's chanting music carried out into the lilac gardens and was joined by the thrumming of mating toads. The next day we walked to an abandoned abbey (this area of France is littered with them), and frogs and bees and songbirds animated the sides of the path. My sister was gleeful about the prospect of a winter thaw.
Michael mowed the yard around the half drained pool and I painted the hills beyond the hedge.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Morning coffee

watercolor and ink on paper...these are meditations on spring break
Life in southern France. I am going to paint one painting (at least) a day.

My method is to sketch it all out in a light tone with my color pencils, and then follow with alternations of ink and watercolor washes. It's a fairly quick way to figure out the composition, perspective and the direction of light, but it still takes me about an hour!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

First thing at my sisters

 I wake up and find that spring is here! The almond trees are starting to bloom and the grass looks to need it's first cutting.
We start each day with our coffee outside and some time to reflect.
The house is so old and lived in that the large stone steps just inside the front door are worn uneven and smooth like river rocks. The stairs in the outside courtyard lead nowhere. If you look longer you will see signs of an old sill, and echoes of a doorway, now filled in, opaque with stone.

My sister is one of the creative spirits that I admire the most. She is disciplined and hedonistic. She balances hard work with great food, music, friends and intellectual investigation. Surrounded by art and artists, her life looks intentional, rich and witty. I couldn't help snapping a picture of her "Duchamp in the corner".  Looks pretty good?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter

There is such joy in a new day, a new beginning, and the end of winter. Hallelujah!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Spring break in France

What joy it is to travel!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Connie and the Peace corp

I am so happy for my dear friend Connie who has finished her term in the Peace Corps in Guatemala this week. (My, how time flies). Having had a vision of what she wanted to do with her life, she has found her course. Years ago we watched a 2008 documentary called The Business of being Born. Connie found the main character, a midwife, and spent her winter holiday from college following the woman around Brooklyn. That inspired her to travel the next summer to India, to a particular ashram, to learn about delivering babies. Needing money to help her go next to medical school, Connie signed up for the Peace corps and has been working in rural Guatemala carrying heath tips for all and teaching the local women how to care for their bodies and their families. She has just been accepted to Harvard's pre-Med school!!!!
I painted this picture from the cell phone image Connie sent to me of her first baby delivered in India!
My son Kent is so excited to have her back in his day to day life. The two of them have hopes to make the world a better place.
Painting of my son with his over sized heart. These are paintings from 5 years ago.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

This pea hen went to my school

What a great place to work. Even the birds want to join in.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Having a ball

I was showing off with a cake box in class.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

More student work

There are many student paintings in process, and I will post them soon. This assignment has been enthusiastically embraced. They had to use at least three ribbons, any colors, and a sphere. My favorite part is that, with the same ingredients, they all make different pictures. Their originality is unsuppressable!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Ribbons and Spheres

it's not enough to know color and be able to mix and copy another picture. The kids need to know how to blend and create the illusion of form. If they can paint a ribbon, they can paint drapery, or locks of hair... If they can paint a sphere they can paint and apple or a face...
There is nothing subtle about this. We are going for drama!!!

Amazingly, they are all invested in this!!! I love my students.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

More color theory

Students are loving this assignment- ever piece is a success.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Faith and an art show

The show at the Miami Dade library is open today from 10-6. I am amazed at the amount of enthusiasm I have been getting. Everybody relates to it. We all know somebody who is struggling, dying, or we have seen lives cut too short, dashing our hopes and dreams. Dealing with the sense of loss, it is easy to loose the big picture as well. We are all mortal. Our spirits may transcend our containers and transform into another form as both science and spiritual studies have witnessed. But truly!!!! it is all a great Mystery. Having the experiences first hand at being at the bedside of dying friends, (and the bedside of my grandpapa), I have faith in the spirit, in the power of love and in the God of creation. I am honored to try to use my art to express this.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

A little Irish snack

Corned Beef and cabbage
We are still loving the different cooking experiments in the kitchen. Did you know that over 90% of all the corned beef in the world today comes from Brazil?! The Irish didn't get to eat corned beef because the landowners were mostly absentee British ranchers, claiming all the best land for cow grazing and exporting the meat products to England. That left the Irish with only small parcels of the worst land- fit only for potato planting. The potato became the dominant crop and when it started to fail because of weevils, blight and bad weather, the British took the tough love route and let the chips fall as they would. My mother's family, way back, came to the United states during the Great Potato Famine. I believe I may be half Irish. But the French and German percentage (on my dad's side) completely overpowers the potato loving side of me. I am feeling sentimental... There were potatoes in with tonight's cabbage. Happy St. Patty's day everyone!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

mother's day and earth day is around the corner

Here is my Crane and Chick painting. It is 12 x 12 inches, acrylic on canvas.

Look closely, there is a lot going on. Life is not simple. Being a mom is about handling distractions and still being able to focus! An escape route is only a short-lived fantasy.

If you are interested in purchasing this painting, (and helping me get to my summer residency), send me an email! Thanks-

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Bird for Louis

Acrylic on paper! Going, going, Gone!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Mother's Day bird sale

Announcing a new sale to help fund my residency up north this summer. My usual methods of covering my costs are not working so I need to offer up a few pictures at great prices and hope to generate a flow.
Luckily I feel inspired. Keep a watch for my daily painting.
This one is going to Haiti next week:

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Miami vernacular

Last night I handed out at least 6 cards about my show  that just opened at the Hispanic branch of the public library with...THE WRONG ADDRESS!!!
I keep getting Miami streets and avenues, roads and places, etc, mixed up and it can make a BIG difference. You have to be clear down here, or you end up in the wrong quadrant staring across the expanse of the Everglades looking for a frame shop, or perched at the edge of the Biscayne surf contemplating the sinking feeling of having to make it through traffic in the other direction.
Luckily, my printed cards have not been sent to the printers, yet- so all is not lost. (Just 6 people).

entry poster
I'm so proud of how the show looks and of having the text in Spanish and English.

The Provider, a sculpture by Gellatly

Michael is perfecting the sculpture for the Tigertail party!
Sara Stites and her husband Bill, both fantastic visual artists, hosted a great party at their place on Miami Beach. Michael's sculpture of corn, ice, glass and styrofoam greeted guests at the top of the stairs.

I should have taken more pictures but I didn't want to be like a tourist gawking at all the great art.
See Sara's work at

Friday, March 11, 2016

Michael's ice and corn bouquet

Michael is perfecting a table top sculpture for the Tigertail party tonight! He is using Styrofoam, glass, corn, ice filled balloons, and a spigot to make a commentary on WATER....which is this year's theme for the Tigertail Company. I am always in awe of how Michael makes his art. Where does it come from? How does he come up with these ideas? I know he has been doing a lot of writing and is very concerned with the environment and the basic needs we have for food and water.
Recently Michael was a recipient of a grant for professional development by the organization. He received travel money for a workshop or residency. tonight kicks off a month long event-filled calendar of art, poetry readings, contemporary dance, chance orchestrations of music, films, and an art flotilla parade on the Miami river!!!They have helped over 900 artists from Miami and beyond realize their dreams and reach their goals.
Check it out:
the back side

My sister says it looks like a rooster!?
I will post more pictures of the sculpture at the event, as the sculpture transforms in the Miami heat.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

inspired blue bird

acrylic on paper, about 8 x 10 inches   SOLD

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I'm so freaking excited!

How to Bury a Friend (in the abbreviated version) is hanging at the Miami-Dade Public library today!
It took years to realize and now I know the whole series is a project on the road to becoming a book. The moment I saw the labels yesterday, in English AND Spanish, I was thrilled. (I want to get them done in Kreyol.)

Oscar Fuentes (the Biscayne Poet) did the installation. I assisted and, though we had two days, we finished it in one day, from 10 am to 5 pm... The library lent me the plexiglass and printed all the text. Oscar will go back tomorrow and patch up some holes and add the main signage, and perhaps a table of books... the ones Steve and I enjoyed, as his life came to closure.

To see the thirty two paintings lined up with their own space almost brought me to tears. While hanging it I shared stories with Oscar of Steve, Jen, my divorce, and the transformative process of wallowing in grief and coming to find the spirit too robust to stay sad forever. I'm convinced it is against our human nature to stay miserable. To do so, you have to work at it. You have to be blind to the small miracles and ungrateful for the continual blessings of Life.
 I'm so grateful for Oscar!
The gallery space is right off the lobby by the computer banks of the Hispanic branch of the public library. It's in "Little Havana". 1398 SW First Street. I guess I should mention that there will be an artist talk and art-making workshop on Saturday May 21st.
The show runs through August 12th.
It is so beautiful, I hope people can see it.