Friday, December 31, 2010

Don't Let this Ball Drop

Carpe Diem
Live out Loud,
paint, love, peace to you and yours....
Daily Painting #9
5" round
Acrylic on canvas
Peace Sign Waialua, HI
Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Answering the Call

Hawaii Calls... always, - to me.

So, this past June when two friends and mentors in Hawaii had cause for celebration - I was on a plane as quickly as you can say Kama'aina

That was when and where I saw one of the best art shows in 2010.

The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu honored printmaker Allyn Bromley with a retrospective titled 
Finding Latitude: the Work of Allyn Bromley.  Allyn served as chair of the Printmaking Department when I was a graduate student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Always prolific and highly innovative,  the show included Allyn's ambitious, oversized screen prints that tackle issues such as aging, and the over development of her beloved paradise.
Green Piece
photo by Brad Goda

What Color is Invisible
Installation from Finding Latitude
The work from the last ten or so years, since her retirement from teaching is what resonates with me today.   We see the keen draughtsman that Allyn is, as well as her desire to address death, and homelessness in a contemporary conversation. Allyn moves off of the flat surface into sculpture and installation; recycling her old prints as she weaves them into mummy forms that are hauntingly beautiful.

The opening reception was a celebration of the work and of Allyn herself, who at the age of 82 is vibrant, active and engaged in her work and the community at large.

Truly an inspiration.
Allyn at her Opening

Artist Deb Nehmad, Allyn Bromly(with lei), me, Barbara Laustsen
on the grounds of The Contemporary Museum
June 2010
As you look back at on 2010, who or what has called to you and made a lasting impact on your life?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

From Where I Sit: Looking Back at 2010

Never underestimate the power in sitting.  I don't do enough of it, that's for sure. But when I do, either to meditate, journal or once in a while, even chill - there is often insight and a sense of calm that comes with it.

Favorite Places to sit

Now is a good time to do just that. sit. hmmm.  In the midst of this holidays frenzy when we are on the brink of a new year.  Take time to reflect on this past year and all that came to be.
Add caption

Along those lines, one of my accomplishments from 2010 was an installation titled Slowing Down to Catch Up . Using many of the objects from my Inherently Found Series the piece was exhibited in NYC at theFashionCenter in the garmant district.  Combining my love of working with paper, encaustic, netting, and various other textures and materials, the work hung in a store front window among the many shops that sold buttons, notions and fabrics. rritory. The line between past and present continue

Slowing Down to Catch Up (Details)
theFashionCenter, NYC

Looking for some guidelines to get yourself started on your annual review?
Check out ArtBiz Coach Alyson Stanfield's and Creative Impulse Coach Cynthia Morris' suggestions and let me know if you have any good ones you want to share!
Let's celebrate together!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Ho Ho and How

Red, 12/22/10
Acrylic on Canvas, 10"x10"

An Original Uglee by
Dorothy (Laurette's Mom- her
last name escapes me)

Have a Happy Holiday However you Do it!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

No Empty Promises Here

When I first began practicing yoga almost 20 years ago in Honolulu, my teacher, Rick Bernstein  promised that if we did 6 Sun Salutations on a regular basis we would soon feel better, have great sex, and more money.  That stuck with me. (Who doesn't want more of those things?!)
Marian's Gift
Acrylic on Canvas, 8" round
Now, almost 20 years later, I did still do them (almost) daily.   I would say he was right on all counts.
G for Great
Acrylic on Canvas, 10" x 10"
 So I get that doing anything on a consistent basis can create some major changes in your life.
In the short time since I committed to a Daily Painting practice I have noticed a few things:

1. Painting from life life brings a renewed energy to my work. I am having fun! yea.
2. iTunes Genius really is just that- Genius! Find a favorite song, click on Genius and you have a whole great playlist to listen while you work.
3. I am in love with color every day, all over again. Thank you Mary Buckley, Wayne Thiebaud, Pegge Hopper.
4. And as Andy Warhol, and Willie Cole have shown us - The Muse can wear some pretty inspiring Kicks!
5. You can do a lot of things in a day, but NOT everything, unless you lower your expectations. (tough one)
If the Boot Fits
Acrylic on canvas, 10" x 10"


What do you need to do on a daily basis?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Finding- and Painting Your Festive-Daily!

Daily Painting 12/14/10
Acrylic on Canvas, 10" x 10"

You don't have to look far to Find Your Festive.  Maybe festive is in your closet, or on your feet. 

The point is, inspiration is everywhere. In your back yard, your closet, or as I recently learned, on Artists Helping Artists, a live talk radio show hosted by Leslie Saeta and Dreama Tolle Perry.  These two artists host a weekly live talk radio show. Their show is an informative conversation with helpful insight into everything from creativity to organization to marketing.   

One interesting show I listened to was an interview with the artist Carol Marine who committed over 4 years ago, to do a small painting every day.  Wow.  Now that is inspiring. 

For about 3-4 months last year I was doing a tea bag drawing every day and I loved watching the drawings evolve. While that series is on hold, I still have tea bags hanging everywhere and they often make their way into my work.

Altered Utensils, 2009
Wire, pulp, encaustic, collage

Committing to a daily practice, whether it be in the studio, or on or off the yoga mat is at the top of my list.

What are you committing to as we begin to welcome in 2011?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Big Fish, Little Pond

Big Fish, Little Pond, 2009
Acrylic, pastel, collage on paper, 29.5" x 41.5"
Big Fish, Little Pond is the title of my piece that was selected for a University of Hawaii Alumni calender this year.  Just got my copies in the mail.

I am honored to be April (think Spring...aahh) - but it's fun to think how the title may reflect how we see ourselves. Is it that we may be Big Fish in a Little Pond or maybe it's the other way around. It is a big pond out there and we are all really small fry (!)

Either way, we now have the tools to connect, share images and ideas quickly and easily where ever we are.  Fellow artist and blogger, Karen F. Rose gave us an intimate peek at a place near her home that speaks to her.   Karen is the one who told me about Artists Helping Artists a live talk radio show with two artists in two very different parts of the country (California & Kentucky, there's an interesting mix for you!) which I will write more about in a future post.

See, the backyard keeps getting smaller.

Only now how nice it would be if the Waialua Sugar Plantation was still my back yard,  when here in Landenberg, PA it is only 28 degrees! (brrr)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Art Treasures Found in Backyard- Part 1

I am a hunter and gatherer of ideas, images and materials for my art.  I am lucky. I don't have to go very far.

Usually, everything I need is in my own backyard.  I tend to use the term backyard loosely.
Sometimes it's literally in my back yard, like my the fish in my koi pond or like Mr. Santiago, my neighbor and part of the inspiration for my Ranch Camp Series in Hawaii.

My pond in warmer times! 

My yard is even bigger if you consider (which I like to do) that our backyard extends into Pennsylvania AND Delaware.  In fact, the street behind us is called Delpa for Delaware and Pennsylvania. (get it?  if not, don't feel bad, my kids pointed that out to me. hmmm.) That brings me to Doug Paul's backyard.

Doug Paul's award winning collection

Doug has huge beautiful koi, and award winning bonsai in his yard. A visual feast, truly, and lot's of inspiration.

Now it's cold.  The fish are hibernating- swimming slowly under a thin layer of ice. (brrr)

My Koi Pond series continues,
Changing Seasons, 2009
42" x 54", oil on canvas
but I have been finding lots of other inspirations in my "big" back yard.

Stay tuned for more local treasures uncovered...

How does your backyard inspire you?

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Other Big C's - Are you Checking in or Checking Out?

Creativity. Chanukah. Christmas. Charity. Connection.  So many C's, so little time...How many can you find or add?

Alyson Stanfield, artbiz coach asked the question in her blog yesterday, "Do you find it hard transitioning between studio and business/office time?"  It was great to see how other artists approach this dichotomy.  Many of the comments shared their practice of designating separate days for studio vs. business, others talk about the constant juggle of various responsibilities in addition to their studio time, be it a full time job, teaching, and family.  

It came be challenging to stay on on schedule with our studio and business tasks. The holidays add shopping, preparation, travel and other responsibilities to the mix. To avoid the
crazies it is imperative that we find some creative outlet and even better to Pay it Forward (one of my favorite movies!)  by sharing your artistic vision with others.

Recently, I went into my son's 5th grade class to make holiday cards for soldiers overseas.
In my bag of tricks I had colored card stock paper, glue stick, wrapping paper pieces, left over holiday napkins and everybody's favorite - Glitter Glue! One of the other fifth grade teachers has a nephew in Afghanistan so she was taking care of the mailing- but you can check out 
Army Mom Strong for guidelines to mailing to soldiers overseas- but hurry, deadline is coming up soon.

A sample of Ms. Carroll's Fifth Grade
Holiday Cardsfor the troops in Afghanistan

Afterwards, I felt inspired to go home and have some fun on my own...

Happy Collage Holiday Card! (detail)

How do you check in to your creativity when your Holiday To Do list has run amok?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

How to Find Your Festive

No sooner are the leftovers transformed into some nameless dish;  the holiday decorations are out of their bins and onto front lawns everywhere.
Table Setting (detail)
Monotype, pastel, collage

This can be challenging for some of us. Too much, too soon we cry!

My Favorite Kicks
Truly Festive!
If the art of elving is not part of your heritage or in your DNA, how can you find your festive this holiday season?

Notice where it already is, and say thank you for the fun and whimsy all around you.
Patsels Restaurant in Clark Summit, PA

Every nook is a work of art at Patsels

Create your own festive nook with art, objects, beauty and whimsy.
Ululani (detail)

Mixed media on mannequin
Collection of Harvey and Joan Vogel
Where do you find festive in your life? Is there a room, a corner, a shelf- that celebrates who you are and reminds you to smile, any time of year?

Let the fun begin!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This Holiday: Feast... off each other!

Share your creativity ... your ideas, your images, your words.
Perfect Pie, detail
Monoprint, gold embossed rubber stamp
with collage on handmade paper with inclusions.

Last night I attended a reception held at the Leeway Foundation's office in Philadelphia for recipients of this cycle's Leeway Foundation Art & Change Grant Recipients.

We introduced ourselves, shared our stories and interest and enthusiasm for each other's proposals.

There was truly an abundance of great ideas, energy, and proposals for Art & Social Change Projects.  For example, one artist I met Ayoka Quinones, author of I Hear Olofi's Song will be using her voice, combined with dance, music and words to preserve the Yoruba Tradition, which originated in Nigeria.  I look forward to following everyone else's projects and witnessing how art has to power to transform, to heal and create social change.

What a feast... who needs turkey?!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thank you note to the Big C

Dear C,

We had a bit of a rocky start.  You began as a diagnosis, not very fun, to say the least.  But I must admit-you grew on me.

Maybe it was the flowers, chocolate, and gifts I received;  that's one way to a girl's heart.  I found myself surrounded by loving, caring, and inspiring people. And, I continue to meet many more because of you.

Your ability to challenge me to dig deep, figure out what is important, go a little lighter on myself and value every day is greatly appreciated.

Oh, and I love how you inspire me.  Talk about the ΓΌber Muse!  That's you baby!  
The prints, photographs, collages, and more, came pouring out of me- even a book.  Who knew?

This note is long overdue (In fact 8 years (!) this month,) but, with Thanksgiving 3 days away, 
I figured no time like the present to say, thank you.

Gratitude, 2004
Digital Print with Colored Pencil
 And, I am grateful that...
I Still Look Good in Clothes, 2004
Encaustic, collage on wood

Often, the greatest gifts come in the forms of our biggest challenges.

To see more on life's challenges as a gift watch Stacey Kramer on TED.

What surprising gifts have you found in your personal challenges?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Celebrate like a Scout (or Not)

Celebrate your successes.  That seems to be the message this week that is coming in loud and clear.

I recently posted that I received a grant from the Leeway Foundation.  Cynthia Morris asked me how I was going to celebrate.  She commented that celebrating "is vital to building the trust we need in ourselves - reminders that we can go for it and succeed."  

Later that week I took my son Nate to a Scout Pack Meeting.  The scouts were celebrating their recent popcorn sales success.  As this was our first meeting, the den leader informed me that, as scouts, the boys learn new skills, work hard, and "always celebrate their successes!"  That evening, prizes were raffled off, pizza was served and boys took turns throwing pies in the leaders faces!

Pizza and Pie Throwing may not be at the top of My Celebrating "To Do" List. 
Flowers are always a favorite

What is at the top of your list?  

How do you celebrate?