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, 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

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.