Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Om that Got Away

Trying to hold onto that Om this holiday season is probably futile and against the whole philosophy of Om or this time of year- if any of that makes sense. The truth of the matter is I needed to do a small print for an upcoming show in Guatemala and had this idea for a small drypoint. Then I had some fun printing the plate various ways with chine colle, handmade paper, and monotypes. I like the way this one came out and plan on donating it to Young Audience of NJ's spring fundraiser which I will write more about when I know the details. In any event, always one to plug fabulous programs and people that support the arts here is their link http://www.yanj.org/

I received an email from a good friend today saying that she didn't know what my new address was to send me a holiday card. The truth is that I have not been good about giving anyone my new address or contact info. I come home and maybe there is one message on the machine, and most of my emails are from Dubai telling me that I have won the lottery (!) but for some strange reason that is fine with me. Just trying to get organized and settle in. Feeling a tad guilty about not being my normal highly motivated self- but not enough to do anything about it.

Johnny at yoga, as been talking alot about committment and I do know that I need to be and am committed in various places in my life beginning with my relationship to God/Spirit, followed by my health, family and art. Just for now art is not at the forefront, probably because connecting to my new home and helping my family settle in has been vying for my time and attention. And community. The Kennett Consolidated School district has some wonderful Adopt A Family programs at this time and I feel so blessed personally that this the best way for me to share my resources. HOWEVER, I do feel my creative soul chomping at the bit, and getting stronger everyday. My studio is set up, I have begun some new work and will update this site- though I can't promise when.

So until then.... HAPPY HOLIDAYS-PEACE to all Living Beings Everywhere. and LOVE

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I took Griffin out of school yesterday to meet my dear friend Poppy (Allison Hopper) and her daughter Elly to see Barack Obama speak at a rally at nearby Widerner University in Chester, PA It was cold, windy, rainy and a sea of umbrellas! The truth of the matter is that we could not SEE Obama (though with the help of strangers we lifted Griffin up so he could see him from a distance) and it was hard to hear much of what he was saying- moving closer to the speakers did help, but what I came away with the power and energy of the experience. In some ways it reminded me of concerts I have been to before video monitors enabled you to see performers rocking on stage, where the message or the music brings you to the event, but it is the connection with other people, total strangers that gives the experience its true meaning or value. That common bond that reminds us we are all connected and it is art or music or hope that brings us together.

As I got closer to home I saw this message on a board at Gateway Garden Center in Hockessin, DE that seemed to say it all.

Have Faith.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Day with Danny Garcia

Life, God, the Lord, Source, call it what you will... works in wonderful ways. I needed some help with my computer so I reached out to my friend Jeff Clapp who I call my Mac Guru. Jeff and I worked together a few years back when he initiated a mural project with Red Bank Elementary School. The initiative was titled "Where Art Lives" and was a group of artists led by Jeff working to create a vibrant colorful mural with the children and their families of Red Bank. Fast forward a few years later, and Jeff and his wife Donna have grown, expanded and developed their vision on a global level. visit their website www.wherepeacelives.org to see the inspiring work they are doing. Which brings me to how I met Danny Garcia.... so I called Jeff asking for some tech support and at the end he asks me if I know of anyone living in the DE/PA area because he is working with this guy named Danny Garcia who walks for peace, and is finishing up 12 years of walking 25,000 miles, etc. Danny walks for peace and for children and I guess anything else that touches his heart- or that God asks him to, because this Vietnam Vet, music promoter, teacher, husband, father, and grandfather is also an ordained minister so while he walks he prays. Heavy stuff, but apparently we were meant to meet so yesterday Danny and I walked in the Wilmington area. No heavy trucking, but a lot of heavy talking. wow.

Here is Danny's site, www.globalwalk.cc Check out what he is doing, see if it touches you, and maybe we, too, can be "Pilgrims on the Path of Peace." (from one of my favorite quotes on the walls of Kripalu up in Lenox, MA.

Who knows where this will all lead, but my lesson these days is to get that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, and as Johnny Gillepsie my yoga teacher here says, this is the time to "get into the rhythm of my life." http://www.empoweredyoga.com/index.html
I am grateful for all those who help me to remember that!
Check out his site for his schedules of great classes and his blog with some insightful Dharma talks.

Here is a picture of Danny in front of Francine's Organic Market in Hockessin, DE.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Autumn Inspirations

The leaves are turning, the air is crisp, and the days are still warm. It is Autumn at its finest. The air is also charged with politics and the economy. Trying to stay centered in this time of change and turmoil, I find myself returning to my work and my yoga and meditation practice.
I was out last week by the pond doing some monotypes with pastel. It was good to be outside, working from life and staying present. I also brought the colors, energy and energy of fish flopping about onto a larger piece with the same theme- Autumn Pond. My studio is still a work in progress, but more and more it feels like my space that I can return to.

This is also breast cancer awareness month. Ellen and I speak regularly cross country as we look for ways to continue moving forward with our book Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings and helping others in a more direct way. What I love is that the book has a life of its own. People are starting to find us and share our message with others, gifting it forward, visiting our website www.butterflykissesbook.com, or some other grace of God. Amazon, as well continues to sell the books on a regular basis through their website. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw_0_16?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=butterfly+kisses+and+wishes+on+wings&sprefix=Butterfly+Kisses

But I am especially excited that our book has been found by a wonderful new website and email newsletter. "StyleSubstanceSoul.com is a unique website whose mission is to inspire women to live a life of passion, compassion and action. Our tag line is \"Look good. Feel Good. Do Good,\" and we provide lots of great ways to accomplish those goals every week."
I am inspired that there are so many women whose mission is to inspire, support and celebrate each other. Thank you Amy Krause and Lois Alter Mark. I too, look forward to reading StyleSubstanceSoul for some Soul Food.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rolling hills and Pondside

Greetings from the Mushroom Capital of the World! We have been in our new home just over a month now and are settling in. It's great to be together as a family after Scott's dual residence in NJ and DE for a year.

Boys are in their new schools, Thunder our large lop eared rabbit, and PC, our feline have made the move quite well. In addition,we now have Griffin's roomie; Victoria, the Russian dwarf hamster, and Tuck, Nate's red eared slider (turtle).

My studio is a work in progress and I have visions of art in my head. But it is my pond stocked with beautiful fish of various sizes and water plants that has helped ease this transition and seems to be getting my creative juices bubbling up again.

The move to paper and canvas is imminent. As my friend Sally French on Kauai said in her recent video, " ...sometimes I need to "trick myself" into working.... then I can't keep myself away." something to that effect. so true. sometimes my series just land in my lap and others I need to do some probing . this feels like a probing period though I do "see " fish as a wonderful way to begin. hey I have had rabbits, and later, crows as my muse. Plus, I am having lots of fun hanging art on my walls here, there is plenty of wall space and I am enjoying my role as curator of the Okie Gallery!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lightening Up

Had our Moving Art Studio sale last weekend, had a great turnout of friends, old... and new, by the end of the weekend. Thanks for coming by everyone!

It has been a tremendous effort going through stuff, putting it out, sorting, and finding homes for stuff. I hate to throw things away from a green non wasteful point of view, and, as time goes on, I am less of a hoarder, need less stuff. It feels great to see space. Space in my house, space in my studio, just space. It also feels great that so much of my art has found a place in the homes of friends and family....also got me to look at what I have done over the years and think about what is next... actually not thinking too much about it, just trying to enjoy the process which is kind of funny because moving is very stressful. Kind of grouchy with my kids at times, though I did take Griffin to the movies today to see Space Chimp and we both giggled alot, and last night our family went to the Red Bulls Galaxy Game so we are making time to enjoy life.

Oh... and Friday night at Singer Songwriters in the Park sponsored by my favorite radio station, 90.5 The Night, Brookdale Public Radio, Sons of William opened and then played back up for Griffin House who is GREAT! http://www.myspace.com/griffinhouse
Griffin played songs from his new cd Flying Upside Down (great title!) and some from Lost and Found (Love- Tell Me a Lie, and Way) so life is good and I am feeling lighter!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Schools out and Surf's Up!

It is officially summer. School ended last week for my boys, and my buddy Rick got me out in the water over the weekend! It was awesome for this surfer girl who doesn't get to do it much anymore, but with the imminent move to PA, a good two hours from the surf I figured get it while I can... and it was so much fun! Small pretty consistent waves, clear skies and water, with my guys on the beach - it was a perfect way to start the summer vacation. And a break from all my packing and puring, organizing and feelings of being a bit overwhelmed.

Going through my drawers and portfolios and finding all sorts of goodies for my Moving Art Studio sale.....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Art Studio Sale and helping a special girl

I had another fun day at the Freehold Apple Store with Marisa Maffia, my favorite techie. She helped me put together a flyer for a Moving Art Studio Sale that I am going to have next month. I would much rather see my work in the homes of friends, family and anyone else who wants to live with art, than pay the freight charges to PA and have it sit there. Art is to be shared - which leads me to something else.... my cousin Ellen McVicker, who is also my BFF and partner with Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings, introduced me to Cheryl McAllister years ago when Ellen and I first ventured on our path together. Cheryl is a gifted and I mean gifted, Angel Reader is with Ellen in Aurora, CO at the moment, and shared with her that she has someone special in her life who she loves - young girl named Macie,who is blind. Apparently, there is a very expensive procedure in China that has been very successful in restoring sight to others who have had her condition. That all said, I will be donating a portion of the proceeds of sales from my Art Studio Sale to benefit Macie so she can go to China to have her operation. For more information go to: http://www.maciesvisionquest.com/

Pay it forward my friends.....

Friday, June 6, 2008

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Went to the Apple Store in Freehold Mall today and had my One to One session with my favorite tech, Marisa Maffia, a very talented artist in her own right, and a wiz with imovie. Marisa's site is www.marisamaffia.com She makes it look easy, and maybe it is - after practice. Here is my first endeavor under the guidance of Marissa.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Studio & Garden in Progress

Looking at my home, studio, and gardens through the lens of 'works in progress,' and process as the journey... From that perspective I see that all that I do is part of being creative. In clearing out my studio I came across an email that a friend sent several years ago that I saved. The title of the email is 100 Hundred Ways to Survive as an Artist- Without Cutting off your Ear. (helpful, indeed!) Many of the reminders resonate- especially when at times I think that I am not "making enough art" whatever the heck that means. It's just one of the "squirrels in my head" (thank you Christian for that expression - along with so MANY other yogi lessons, on and off the mat!www.evenflowyoga.com) anyway, here's my quote from the email for the day....

#2 - The fact that you are making anything at all is a huge triumph!

Truly, with all that pulls at us in so many directions internally and externally- I can claim victory for at least another day!

By the way, that fabulous concrete Scottie Dog on my front walk way is by Hawaii based artist,
Jodi Endicott. www.jodiendicott.com/

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rambling through Manhattan and my mind

I have been making a point to get into the city at least once a week- I was in Chelsea with my art buddy Chris Twomey, caught the end of Jasper Johns exhibit at the Met the following week, and this past Friday I went in with my BFF, Marian Donohue with plans to see the Cai Guo-Qiang at the Guggenheim before that closes this month. Well, bad on me... apparently lots and I mean lots of other people had the same idea on that cold and rainy day. Long lines and the rain are not for me so off we went for some hot soup and some wandering... the Jewish Museum was closed (of course-Shabbat) so we wandered into the National Academy of Design for the juried student show, hung salon style with lots to look at. Mostly figurative, and much of it very skillful. Went down Fifth for another shot at the Guggenheim and by now the line was longer... went down a block or two and looked up to find ourselves in front of the Neue Galerie http://www.neuegalerie.org/ where I have wanted to go anyway... and found myself lingering in fron of Klimt's drawings. so beautiful, so elegant... his line, I would love to drape them over myself like an elegant wrap. On the wall, it said that he would spend hours in his study drawing like one would practice their scales.... so I am off to my studio... to glue bambooo!

Keep you posted.

Monday, April 21, 2008

S.P.W.W. while selling a home

"Study endlessly, persevere always, work perpetually, and wait patiently. Time has a way of recognizing talent and integrity." Louise Nevelson

I am always jotting down memorable quotes that resonate with me. I found this one from Louise Nevelson on the inside of a back cover of a sketch book from '05.

The following quote was on the inside of the front cover:
"Accept whatever comes to you in the pattern of your destiny for what could more aptly fit your needs?" Marcus Aurelius

Both seem as meaningful to me as always. We have decided to list our house FOR SALE BY OWNER. We love this house, we love living here. The house has charm, and character, and a wonderful soul. It also fits our needs - and I have a fabulous studio above the detached garage up in the tree tops. We also love our neighborhood, community and our location near the river, beaches, parks and close to NYC. But, Scott has been working down in Delaware since June of last year... and we all need to be together. So, I have been clearing out - giving away, throwing away and just purging! It feels great. I love the space this creates. I am also trying to be disciplined to go into my studio and work or clean or doodle or dawdle, but at least show up so I remember that that is what I need to do.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Teaching as Inspiration

Last Monday I had the opportunity to work with another wonderful dedicated art teacher named Mady Soukis who teaches at the Forum School in Waldwick, NJ. The Forum school is a private school for "developmentally atypical children." Some of the children have been diagnosed with autism, while others have various psychological and/ or behavioral disorders. Last year I worked with Mady with the younger grades, through Young Audiences of NJ. This year I was fortunate to be invited back this year to work with the older students. We did block prints made from personal stamps the students created using foam shapes adhered onto cardboard squares, then inked up and hand stamped. The kids were wonderful as were all the teachers and aides that worked along side the students. The prints were all varied and unique and it was great to witness the power of art to involve and transport the children to a creative realm where ability is not defined by limitations they may face otherwise.

Later that evening, I worked with my high school students through the Middletown Arts Council's teen portfolio class. It was our final session and I hosted the teens in my studio behind my house. Nick Simko, a senior at Middletown High School North took the assignment of creating a personal stamp using the same foam that was available for the Forum School kids and rather than adhering it to the 3" square I provided for him, he stuck the foam shapes onto the 8" x 10" plexi glass I had out to be used as pallets for the ink. Apologizing for using the plexi rather than the cardboard (which was a royal pain to clean) I totally appreciate the fact that Nick thought outside the box (square) and created this beautifully simple and elegant image.

I went to sleep that night inspired by my students- those with various abilities physically, psychologically, and emotionally, but completely able to live creatively in the moment.
Thank you.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Parenting Venting

Parenting is not for the faint of heart. As much as I do remember what it is like to be a kid and the feelings of frustration, anger and being misunderstood- it doesn't make it any easier to be on the other side. Having a ten year old that seems to me like a 13 or 14 year old - I just wasn't ready. (are you ever?)

And why is it that rage is the outward expression of fear, sadness, anxiety?
And as a yogini in training - I am trying to take my yoga practice of letting go of ego and drama off the mat. It ain't easy...but like I said calmly to my son the other day...I feel like hitting you, so I am going to leave the room.
Is that zen?

Butterflies & more... from St. Martin

I did keep a sketchbook and did some watercolors as well. We spent a couple of hours at the Butterfly Farm on the French Side of St. Martin, www.thebutterflyfarm.com. I sat on a bench with butterflies fluttering by... and on us!! Griffin and Nate, also helped with adding their own butterflies in the drawing.

It was wonderful seeing Blue Morphos in flight, as my friend from Brearley School, Janice Marsili gifted me the most beautiful ring at the end of my residency. Designed by Barbara Bosco at www.bboscodesigns.com

these rings are made from butterfly wings - all butterfly wings used are from already deceased butterflies (which is a whole 'nother wild story - at the farm we learned that one type of butterfly is a chrysalis for 6 months only to live as a butterfly for 2 days! There must be some lesson for us in that....)

Color on a Gray Day

I took this shot on of the boat just over a week ago on Ilet Pinel on the French side of St. Martin in the Caribbean. We were there for a family vacation. It was great to be in the warm sunshine... and surrounded by vibrant colors- the turquoise waters, brightly colored buildings and boats, and lush tropical beauty. All very seductive... especially as an artist and former beach bum. These days it is #30 sunscreen and a hat but it felt great to be warm surrounded by lushness. However, also as an artist and a "pilgrim on the path of love" (love that poster at Kripalu in Lenox, MA) it was hard to overlook the over building and gentrification you saw EVERYWHERE and also the shacks and poverty. There always seems to be that dichotomy... Tried to be generous where I could and remember gratitude and compassion as well.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Friday night - March 14 was the opening of Broadthinking at ABCNo Rio on Rivington Street.
A very funky space downtown in the Lower East Side... ABCNo Rio. www.abcnorio.org
"BROADTHINKING is an art collaborative founded by artists Chris Twomey and Peggy Cyphers, dedicated to the advancement of innovative ideas, and visually promotingconcepts for the continued existence of all living things on the planet and beyond. Production manager and co-curator of Cosmological Map is Alyssa Fanning."

It was a very visual feast of art, people, and then some yummy Cambodian food. Chris was one of the artists from the innaugural Art of Survival show at Herspace in West Long Branch in 1994 so it was nice reconnecting. She did a great job installing the "orbs".

Here was the theme:

Tracing the evolution of female consciousness through the millennia.
(Originally conceived in honor of the first female to run for president)
We will divide the work into general groupings of –
Geologic Past
Cultural Now
Future Celestial

The premise was to create a 2D orb, pod, cell, disc, or globe.
Basically, a circular or oval shaped 2D piece. It can be one sided or double sided
and in any media. The orb should respond to or be in conversation with this theme.
It could be representational, conceptual or abstract. Could even been a print of work you have already executed. www.broadthinking.com

Following up on my Tree Cookies of recent years, my orbs were made of bamboo trivets
(thank you Laurette Gnagy!) that I reconstructed and dipped into heavily beaten flax then collaged with encaustic and other materials. They were hanging and if Chris gets a good shot of the narrow hallway where all the orbs were installed I will post that.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Daylight Savings Time

I've been away... not really, I have been teaching- Teen Arts Festival in Union County on Friday, and with my teens on Monday Nights at the Middletown Art Center on Church St. They did some great large scale charcoal drawings from a still life that I set up for them. It is a portfolio class and most of them have not gotten any strong drawing skills from their school. However, we put a large roll of newsprint and these guys were awesome!

I am also loving this daylight savings time! Longer days... and the sun is out. In fact, having been in my studio this am, I am to meet Barb and Marian for a beach walk. Lucky me!

Monday, February 11, 2008

this cutlery thing

i have been a little lapse in my drawings a day, (don't you just hate resolutions?) but i did this one in my sketchbook last month and hadn't posted it yet....where am I going with these things. strangely enough forks, spoons and knives have been in my work for years for various reasons. and - my wire and pulp pieces look like little mummies! which is kind of what I am- ha. just delirious because it is 4:35 am and I here in front of my computer rather than in my warm cozy bed. both boys were sick during the night and even though they are both finally asleep I found myself thinking about my latest "what were you thinking...?" event. Scott is turning 50 this weekend and I am having a party for him at the house....the list of families seems to be growing and I haven't figured out yet where I am putting everyone and what I am feeding them.... oh well.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


I have a confession to make... I have been making these knives, forks, and spoons out of wire, heavily beaten plant fibers like flax and abaca, and then encaustic (wax). I am also doing drawings of cutlery as well. ... and I don't know what the heck I am going to do with them. I kind of know why I am using this imagery- my Nana Rose left me her sterling silver cutlery when she passed in 1984, and I certainly don't eat with them that often. But I started thinking about what gets passed down through generations and what we do with that "stuff" be it possessions, family traditions, family secrets, and genetic predispositions - like my BRCA 2 gene for breast cancer.

I would feel guilty melting the silver down for sculpture, and I am not ready to sell them so I see them as some sort of connection to my past, making something in the present, something fragile, etheral, skeletal... but what to do with them... heck I just don't know.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

BE-ing ALIVE: Love ... loss

Yesterday I went to the funeral of a childhood neighbor and friend. Beth Fendell grew up next to next to me with her sister Pam. Pam and I close in age, and Beth in the same grade as my brother Lenny. The four of us grew up on McEvoy Road in Edison playing house, school, tag, and sharing in each others birthday parties, bar and bat mitzvahs and graduations. The little Beth Mae Fendell that I knew with golden curls and chubby cheeks with dimples grew into a loving, caring wife and mother. Beth died suddenly of a brain aneurysm over the weekend at the age of 46.

Friends and family came from all over to pay their respects to Beth and her grieving family. The 90 something year old rabbi who had married Beth and Andy years before led the service. It was probably one of the most memorable services I have ever been to. Beth's sister, and my friend Pam led the long list of those who eulogized this beautiful person and loving soul, and at the beginning and end the rabbi spoke of the Kabbalistic teachings of love and life and loss all being part of our human experience. He reminded us that our souls live on beyond the house/ the shell/ the body. He asked all those who are not related to family to raise our right hands and bless the family as he recited a blessing for strength and healing. The Rabbi also shared with us the words of his Kabbalistic teacher that the word ALIVE holds the lessons for how we are to live THIS life:

A- awareness. Live each moment with awareness and presence.
L - love. unconditional love, give it, live it.
I- inspiring. Be inspiring to others with your thoughts and actions
V- victorious. Be victorious over negativity. Your thoughts become your reality. Do not give time or energy to negative thoughts.
E- excitement. Be excited about everything you do.... your job, your actions, what ever it is.

thoughts to live by, so that when it is our time to pass on, we will have touched so many as Beth Fendell did, indeed.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Brearely Studio Shots

We are nearing the end of my residency and I am really enjoying working with Janice Marisilli's students at Brearely. The kids are doing some beautiful work and it is so inspiring watching them become engaged in the process. It is still a constant touch and go of.... I hate this, I love this ... their work, the process, school, - life, that it keeps me totally present. I KNOW the power of their work and when I can get them to see it - well, that's what it's all about. Some of the kids have started to work with the poet and writer Penny Harter and are very excited about what they have done with her so far. I knew of her , but couldn't place her face... then I went to her website and realized that we have been in several NJSCA workshops together. Check out her site at:http://penhart.home.att.net/

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Clearing Out

It is hard to believe that today is already January 24th - 2008! Time is such a curious element in our lives. This week I have been up at Brearely High School and the kids are doing some wonderful monoprints - and what is great is that some of them, most of them are actually admitting that they LIKE their own work! Talk about life as a mirror! When I think about all the negative self talk I can admit to about my own studio practices at times, it is enlightening to see in others how destructive a habit that is. And where does that come from???? I have an appointment this afternoon with Joy Principe, a former yoga teacher of mine and a life coach who does this new practice using the The Rubenfeld Synergy Method. I am signing up for a 3 session package as a New Year's present to myself. I am curious to see what issues and emotions my body is holding on to so I can begin this new year and new adventure with an open heart.

Image above: Danielle Denson's Paper Prayer (Linocut Text to be added....)

In addition to teaching, I made time for myself in my studio- though I actually did this in my laundry room- dipping my wire cutlery into a 5 gallon bucket of heavily beaten abaca and flax pulp. As you can see I hung the wet and dripping pieces from an exposed pipe in the laundry room- dripping into a bucket- and sometimes on the floor when Thunder, my pet rabbit decided to play with the bucket! The pieces dried fairly quickly- with the help of a dehumidifier placed in the room. I will down load some of those pictures later. I also spent some time printing a silk aquatint collograph plate that I had made several months using an image that has been in my mind for quite some time. The first two proofs needed some work which I have since gone back into, and will print that again tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I have been in various schools the past couple of weeks. Printmaking with High School kids at Brearely in Kenilworth, Papermaking with 7th graders at Mountz in Spring Lake, and yesterday and today with K- 4 at Brookdale School in Verona. One little kindergarten boy exclaimed yesterday while block printing his own unique stamp . " This is MAGIC!"

I love that because it reminds me of why I enjoy teaching and sharing what I do. It also speaks of the power of art to transform - those who create, and those who view it. It is a win -win situation when we are in that space or zone. As an artist. teacher, and mom, it is also a call to remember to make that time for myself to create.

Here is a short video of one of the seventh graders partnering with a senior citizen to make paper for a collaborative project.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

5 Year Anniversary!

It's all good! Today is my 5 year anniversary since my cancer surgery... and what a journey it has been. The past 5 years have been about the cancer one way or another it seems- the healing, the work- the Art of Survival, and collaborating with my cousin Ellen on our book, Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings, and above all the incredible people in my life: family, friends, doctors, artists..... And today it is all about GRATITUDE. 5 years later here I am alive and healthy with my husband and children, surrounded by family and friends AND it was a record setting warm day (how that makes my heart SING!) so off to yoga I went with my friend, neighbor and fellow yogi - Millie. As always, Christian's class is the perfect blend of butt-kicking challenge, heart opening inspiration and humor. As I practiced my asanas I focused on gratitude and will try and continue to hold that in my heart.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Book in the New Year

After a whole slew of book signings and events for our book Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings, Ellen and I took somewhat of a break over holidays. Now that the New Year is here it is time to regroup and see how we can get our message, book , and now blanket to those whose would benefit from its message. We did get a great review from ONF (Oncology Nursing Forum)... check it out at http://ons.metapress.com/content/1620572547718192/fulltext.html

Here is a great photo of Griffin snuggling with our blanket that Fran Waldmann our book designer and graphic design guru took for us.....

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Woodrow Wilson, Africa, & High School Students

" You are not here to merely make a living. You are here to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand."

Woodrow Wilson

Today was the first day back after the winter break with my students at David Brearley High School in Kenilworth. I am there doing a printmaking residency. The first half of the 20 day residency the students did some really wonderful drypoint etchings of restaurants and food stores from their town. The intention is to create a visual record of the town through food and tradition. These prints will be part of a community cook book along with recipes collected from seniors as well as family members. For the next part of the residency, Janice Marsili - their art teacher and I are interested in getting the students involved in art as social action. We showed our friend Eileen Foti's award winning documentary, which she created with Patty Piroh, titled "A Ripple in the Water."
This film is about Kim Berman and her work as an artist, teacher, founding director of the Artist Print Studio in South Africa. http://www.rippleinthewater.com/

We will be talking next week about ways that we can create work that will have a ripple effect....Most of the students seemed interested... as you can see by my drawing in my sketchbook- not everyone!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Day 2... and I am on track- though barely! Slept little last night for whatever reason, painted in the am, swam, and then did the Mommy track. The wind is howling and I can feel it through these old windows. My bed and book are beckoning me. But wanted to get this in. I am reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It is bleak and sparse and haunting.

I am thankful for my warm bed and house among so many other things.

hAppi nEw yEaR !?#

another year....and how great is that! I am feeling optimistic on a personal level and not so much as a citizen of the world, but maybe that'll come around,too. Made it through the holidays which is not always my favorite time of the year, the crowds, the pressure for to be festive when in reality I am feeling a little burnt out, a little overwhelmed and here in the northeast the weather is colder and more gray. but I am finding the beauty in even that. SO that said, my commitment to my yoga and meditation keeps me grounded as does my family and friends but it is my work through my art and teaching that I feel needs some tweaking, i.e. which in this case means infusing with some new energy and purpose - which is where the drawing a day comes from thanks to a quote in the local paper by Sid Godwin a professor of art at Brookdale Community College here....

"Making or leaving one's mark is not simple cliche, but a very concrete act. Drawing is probably the most fundamental of processes in the arts. It is probably one of the most natural ways of intereacting with the world." (just saw my typo there - I LIKE the word intereacting with with world!)

so here is my unofficial new year's resolution: a drawing a day....and for good measure here are 3 for today, which was actually yesterday...but whatever....its showing up that counts.