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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Things that make me watch my step

Took a walk today along the canals and saw this sign for the first time.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Canon balls for Memorial Day

These canon balls, the fruits of the Couroupita guianensis, are heavy and can knock you right out or kill you if they fall on your head. When they hit the ground they sound a loud bong, and often break open to reveal a smelly fruit full of seeds that animals eating it will spread.

The flowers are beautiful, intricate and hooded.
It is native to South America but common and revered in India.

I think of all the war heroes and all the war victims in our past, as well as current, and offer my own prayers for peace. My grandpa and grandmother's lives were altered by WW2, and were both ...heroic, and long suffering. My dad was in the parade today. He will always be my hero.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

reflections on stillness and flight

I'm anxious to pack for the painting residency that starts next weekend at #VSC. I feel on the move, with so many lists and too much to do in the next 5 days. Even in this moment of reflection there is a small jet scooting across the sky.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Dangers lurking in the bushes

Enjoyed an early morning walk with a girlfriend in the dewy wilderness that is part of what makes Miami suburbia such a fascinating place. Every backyard is brimming with scented blossoms, laden with juvenile mangos and,, adorned with the banana spider queens.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Launching new batch of sidewalk artists

Taking after the great Ruben Sadot Fernandez of Mexico City, the students created aerosol spray paint art while talking about politics and the frustrations of the current cultural conditions in Miami.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Workshop and talk at the library

I spent the muggy afternoon talking to library patrons about how a broken heart can be healed by embracing the grief and letting symbols, text and color guide the way to hope. ( I even tried my spiel in Spanish!) Everyone was given piles of symbols to make their own papel del lagrimas (paper tears).

 It fascinates me how the same ingredients can be mixed to produce such different results. The varying factor must be the human spirit.

There were some beautiful spirits! I am so thankful to everyone who came, and to my partner Michael for his steady support and great sense of humor.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Thespian drama

fabulous drama people

my trophy and flowers

I've always loved being around theater people- they are so dramatic! Tonight a new slate of officers were inducted into office and trophies were given to everyone. Michael is beside himself that he was mentioned, even called onto the stage, and then crestfallen not to have his own name be on the brass plaque. He truly is behind me, supporting me, coming up with solutions and not to mention always helping on the weekends. I could not have painted all those stage floors without him. I am sure if we peeled back the name plate you would see his name carved into the plastic stone base... I think he's going to use the Dremel tonight to add his name in the gold plastic swag above. (I should do it for him!)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Next Saturday discover how symbols and collage can uncover another language

How to Bury a Friend
Artist Talk and Art-making Workshop
Join artist Tilly Strauss in this transformative workshop exploring love, loss and the healing journey of time.
Saturday, May 21, 3‑5 p.m.
Hispanic Branch

March 11 - August 12, 2016
Hispanic Branch
Starting with a phone call one autumn day, Strauss, an artist and mother, embarked on a journey dealing with the impending and then actual death of her close friend. Painting a painting every single day for six months, Strauss navigated her way through the spiritual grief, the heart‑rending loss, and the personal transformation that followed. For this show, Strauss has paired paintings with excerpts from her manuscript. Her story is both personal and universal.
Tilly Strauss recently relocated to Miami after living and working for more than two decades in Dutchess County, NY. Having been a painter her whole life, (she exhibited in her first show at age 5), Strauss loves teaching the joy as well as the history of painting to others. She currently teaches at a private high school and paints regularly at her studio, the Arthouse in the Falls warehouse district in Miami. Last January Strauss won first place in a plein aire event at the Deering Estate and had her work nominated by students to be part of “Teachers who Paint,” a juried exhibition at the Miami International University of Art and Design. She has won two separate month‑long residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and five of the works created there last summer were taken by a curator for exhibition at the Akin Natural History Museum in Pawling, NY last fall.

Eye knew they could watercolor

After over a half dozen daily watercolor exercises inspired by the book, One Watercolor a Day: A six week Course Exploring Creativity Using Watercolor, Pattern and Design by Veronica Lawlor, it was time for a challenge. All my painting class students were asked to paint their eye. As the kids grimaced and groaned at the start, I encouraged them with hokey phrases, such as "Eye know you can do it" and "my eye is on you"!

one student went beyond her eyes to her lips!

I am really happy to see them try so hard.
Outside display cases

Sunday, May 15, 2016

mother and son

Love moments like this when my grown son comes to visit. Nothing gives me more pleasure than spending time with him and hearing all about his life, his thoughts, his dreams and aspirations.
Bill Baggs Park on Key Biscayne was pretty jumping today too. Being there meant leaving the phone and all my to-do lists behind. Living the Miami dream.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Goodbye seniors

About to be graduates tomorrow, my advisees and I exchanged last minutes gifts. We spent a day looking back at all their accomplishments. They stood in wonder in front of the mural they painted in 9th grade. As a gift I gave them each a bag of "advisory cards" with a portrait of each of them on one side of the cards and a quote of advice on the backsides. I added a card for me and a card for the home room in order to make it a dozen. All together each set is kept in a drawstring bag I purchase on sale at the Container store. they gave me a canvas painted by using their finger prints to make two hearts in multi-colors, with a legend for whose color was who on the bottom, and the saying "you've touched our hearts" on top. I love it. Plan to hang it near my closet where I get dressed every morning for work as inspiration.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Papel de las Lagrimas

I have been making small linoleum cuts of things I know to be true. Using each as a symbol within a vocabulary I am able, by altering the order and placement, to tell different stories. Lagrimas means tear in Spanish. These are pages telling a tearful story...

Thinking of my artist talk and workshop on the 21st at the Miami Dade Public Library. it runs from 3-5pm and I need an easy art project for those with an interest in transforming their loss into a work of art....

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Big ideas

Drawing students tackle Mortality and Vanity in graphite. Here are three examples.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Cubist still life

 These always turn out well. I have the students divide their paper into random sections and then fill in some of the spaces with music sheets. Then as they draw the still life they must skip to a new area every time they reach a dividing line. ( The still life was kept on a rolling cart that could be safely tucked into the closet during my other classes. I would rotate it every day so they saw a new section without leaving their desk). Staying in warm earth tones helps pull together the classical quality of the subject matter.

Monday, May 9, 2016

A time to be negative

There is a time to think negatively, and in the art room it is now! Looking at the negative space helps you see the object more clearly. I tell my students it is like training for a sport... You have to work the brain-eye-hand-muscle connection. At first it doesn't come easy, but with practice you get better at it, and then you can play the game!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's day heart prints

Have spent Mother's Day in my studio printing hearts (on delicate tissue papers) and musing on those who have imprinted themselves on my own working heart muscle. Shout out to my own sons Kent and Max, my nieces and nephews, my God children, Ben, my students, and my 10 advisees about to graduate. They all bring out the mother in me! Each one is such an interesting person, I feel blessed to know them.