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Friday, January 20, 2017

Women have to do this

If we ignore the science and what we can see with our bare eyes and living memory...
If we aren't afraid for this planet, and the species we must co-exist with...
Then we are damning our kids to a bleak future and early deaths.

I think it is time the women, the daughters, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, wives and mothers all gather together and insist we pay attention and clean up the mess. So I am getting my lazy butt out of bed and flying to Washington.

God may have given us this planet, but we have done evil. We have raped the oceans and forests and are wiping out the creatures that make life glorious and diverse.
There is no help but to help ourselves.
While there is still time.

No one in the powerful new administration is going to do this on their own. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Black and White

Tomorrow is our 44th US President's last day in office and I am sorry to see him, his staff and his family go. I shudder to think about what we are in for next. There have been more scandals in the last 6 weeks of the PEOTUS than in all the 8 years of the POTUS. So I have made a little tribute, and gathered all my love to surround President Obama and his wife Michelle as they move on to become a regular citizens.

I think he did a pretty good job, though I know he wasn't perfect. I especially am concerned about the drone attacks that went on without any congressional oversight, and the surveillance that seems to have increased under his leadership. But I do appreciate that he cleaned up the huge economic collapse he inherited on day one from ex-President GW Bush and he improved our relations around the globe, got us in the Paris climate accord, tried to bridge the gap between parties and was a class act.

The difference between Obama and the president elect is really a difference so clearly black and white. I am not talking race... but the difference between generosity and egomania, between intellect and idiocy, between love and hate.

I am terribly sad and fearful for the future of our democracy, and blame myself first for my years of complacency.The best thing about this turn of events is that it has galvanized the lazy people, the people like me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Damages done, more work ahead

Every time I get a new batch of students, I am aware that they may be scarred. Most of them look guarded upon entry into the classroom. They shuffle to their seats and cringe when I tell them to loosen up and focus. I really mean for them to learn how to look. To use their eyes and let go of their mental need to label and symbolize everything they see. The art will follow if they are even a little bit curious. Yet they start off too poised, too tired, too distracted and stressed to be genuinely curious.
I know they might have been told that they aren't good enough, or they shouldn't even try because they will surely fail, or that they haven't a creative bone in their body... I have heard it all. I have even heard about an art teacher who ripped up their picture over the trash can, (this happened to my son), in front of the whole class.
We all have work to do to silence the critics and be as powerful as we are meant to be. I love my old art teachers. They encouraged me and gave me the tools to express myself. When I was in third grade I was given the honor of painting the Christmas tree on a large holiday mural for the classroom. We were living in Haiti with tropical plants galore, but I painted a zig-zag caricature of a pine tree, filling it in with a solid green. I have never forgotten the I stepped back and stood next to my teacher to admire the work, when she leaned towards me and said, "you really can't paint trees, can you!?" My mind blurs on the memory right bad was it? I really can't tell you. Maybe it was the brush stroke direction? I think I was hoping for texture... but I don't know.
That moment has lived on and haunted my every attempt at a landscape. It is 47 years later and ... I love trees, but I don't think I can paint them very well.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Group abstraction

Started all my new painting classes this week. We are working with long, long, long handled brushes, ink, tempera, and only the basic elements of art.
 Give me a line! A circle! How about twelve dots?...etc...
Mattias work, upside down
Then the greatest challenge of my teaching that day was to hug the excitement back into a workable state of mind. I needed the kids to calm a frenzy and pull back for reflection. In a bit of silence and giggles, I ask them to listen to the voices of suggestion in our intuitive minds. What needs to be done to pull the whole work together? (Filled in some white shapes)
Always glad to part with art tips, I told them about the rule of thirds and finding the "sweet spot". Now when they work on their own smaller individual pieces, they know just where to add the bit of color.
                                             Artists should be masters at moving and holding the eye of the viewer!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Pretty in Pink#pussyhat

#pussyhat project
 My dear friend Ruthanne is knitting me a cap for the Million Woman March! I am so thankful because I am sure my Miami blood will be freezing on the mall of D.C. this winter. She just started it today and shared the pattern with me in a text. The design of the "Pussy Power Hat" was made by Kat Coyle in California who started last Thanksgiving, urging people to crochet caps in support of the women marching for solidarity, equal rights and in protest of Trump in the January shadow of his inauguration.
I am tickled pink. And ever thankful. Hope to see a lot of other cool pink cats when I get there!!!