Sunday, May 31, 2009

'Emily's coming out party

The Dress of Etiquette (aka Emily) had her coming out party last night at the Danforth Museum. It was an elegant evening with champagne and chocolates. On Wednesday there will be the opening reception for the shows ~ I've put the information below ~ hope you all can come.

For those who might have missed the earlier post about Emily ~ this sculpture is exclusively made out of an Emily Post book that i received as a wedding present. Emily Post's Book of Etiquette was also a book of reference that I grew up with. To me it represents the world of appearances and 'ought to's , 'should's & 'obligated to's ~ a world with which I don't agree. So I put the book to good use ~ ripping it apart and creating this dress. It was quite a fascinating experience to rip a book ~ I hold books to an almost sacred standing, and to rip this one was distressing and yet cathartic at the same time. I was hoping that creating this dress would be therapeutic, however it seems to have stirred up more emotions then it seemed to settle. oh well....

I was excited to see the dress again ~ I finished it the day I submitted it to be juried and hadn't seen it since. The museum lite the piece beautifully, she looks stunning. It was fun to watch people read the dress & I enjoyed talking to people about all the different subjects that Emily Post covers. All in all it was a fine coming out party! And Wednesday eve should be fun!! If you can, come by because the shows are lovely ~ there is a wonderful collection of art, lots of mixed media, photography, printmaking,.... it was a feast for the eyes!! peace

Annual Members’ Juried Exhibition ~ Opening Reception ~Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 6 - 8 pm.
Danforth Museum ~ 123 Union Avenue, Framingham, MA 01702 - 508.620.0050
(click here for directions)
Join artists, family and friends in celebrating art and the creation of art in one of New England’s most exciting and fastest growing cultural organizations. This reception is free and open to the public.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


While keeping my husband company on the golf course I walked past some branches that had been crushed and i saw a skirt... so as the golfers continued I stopped to quickly collect pieces to finish out the dress. So on the sixteenth hole I left my mark ... voila!!! peace

Monday, May 25, 2009

a provocative poem

Today I rediscovered a book and stumbled upon a poem that resonated so strongly with me that I had to share!! The book is at our care ~ women writing about power by sandra haldeman martz. I got it a few years ago when i was researching poems for my Poetry Dress. This morning while getting dressed i caught sight of the book on the shelf. Remembering how much i enjoyed the works in there i took the book down and opened right to this poem. I read it and thought WOW! It truly speaks to me as a woman, mother of girls and as an artist working with feminist thoughts and imagery. So as i said before, I had to share. Hope you find it as thought provoking as i did~ peace.

Poem for the Woman Who Doesn't Want a Daughter

I want you to look at yourself in the mirror & say
“& God created Woman & she is good”

I want you to look at yourself in the mirror
& say “God is a Woman”

I want you to look at yourself in the mirror
& say “I am God’s Daughter”

I want you to look at yourself
with a lover’s eye
& write a poem about yourself that way

I want you to taste yourself & feel yourself & smell yourself
& study how to please yourself
the way you study
the way you were trained to study
to please men

I want you to study women walkin’ down the street
the way you study men
How their hips swing & their breasts sway
& their hair goes freeing the wind
& I want you to exult & sing
“I am one of them”

I want you to bathe yourself like a baby
with scented oil till you gleam

I want you to watch the muscles of women ripple
& say to yourself
how beautiful it is when women are strong

I want you to go to your hairdresser
& say “I want it natural
I like the way I am”

I want you to go through a hundred women’s magazines
& tear out every page on cosmetics & beauty care
& how to reduce yourself to a shadow
& make a fire & let them burn

I want you to boycott perfumed toilet paper
& use an outhouse for a week
in the heat of the summer
& sit there with the door hangin’ open
& look out at the trees

I want you to study proud woman
& character lines
in the faces of old women
& think on every women in your life
who did you good

I want you to find a portrait
of a great woman
& paste it over your television screen

I want you to ask for help from other women
& help them in return

& every time you feel turned on
I want you to close your eyes & say
“This is me
This comes from within”

By Karen Ethelsdattar
from at our core women writing about power
by sandra haldeman martz

P.S. I would put a picture of Gertrude Stein on my television screen!!! who would you put there??

Monday, May 18, 2009

Introducing my Creatures

The piece that i was going to send to Mandy Greer but decided not to is now officially finished. It sort of finished itself. My plan was to add layer upon layer of webbing but at a certain stage the piece reached a critical mass and told me that it was time to stop. I had so enjoyed working on the piece that i was sorry that the piece was completed.
I hung it on the wall to get a sense of what it really looked like & i suddenly saw this piece as a creature ~ it has an organic, visceral feeling. As I thought this I envisioned a series of these ‘creatures’ ~ in different shapes, colors & sizes. And I plan to keep the same approach toward these creatures as I did with the first piece – no expectations, no right or wrong way, I want to let the piece direct me. Today I realized that I am taking this attitude with many of the projects that I am currently working on. I am trying to listen to the different pieces, let them lead me ~ don’t think, just do, get out of my own way. We will see how this goes ~ but this is my journey at the present. So keep your eyes open for more creatures, I have already started a very curly, pinkish/orange creature…..
~ peace

Sunday, May 17, 2009

spring cleaning....

I don't know what has come over me lately but i have been cleaning - not my usual tendency. It must be this glorious Spring and a need to freshen I turned this new found energy onto my website giving it a new look. I went with a brighter, bolder look - any thoughts???
I have been wanting to do this for awhile but everything always takes time. There are more images & loads of information to add - but for now this should suffice. peace
p.s. if you are interested~lately I am addicted to a song from the Jerry Maguire soundtrack ~ We meet again by Nancy Wilson I can't get enough of it - just have my ipod on single repeat,repeat,repeat,...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

an evening of Magic

Tomorrow, May 14th
an Evening of Magic
the annual fund raiser for
Michael Dowling's Medicine Wheel Productions.
This is an amazing institution ~
'The mission of Medicine Wheel Productions is to enable individuals to access the hidden world through art. The organization invites people to gain awareness of themselves in their communities by participating in the creation of enduring, site specific public art projects in which they explore and share issues unique to their individual and collective experiences. '
(from their web site)
I have had many wonderful learning experiences with Michael and next month I will be installing a large eggshell wedding dress in the gallery with the help of the Medicine Wheel students, a project that i am very excited about!!

As well as the festivities there is going to be an auction of artwork. I donated a piece from my Strata series ~ Strata lll (let me rage). This is a series inside the Dress Project. I create these dresses using rubber stamps on wood then surrounding the dress with a variety of materials. With this piece the background was created with cheese cloth, dried rose petals and beeswax over a layer of tissue paper. The dress is made up of layers of words - each layer i use a different style of lettering and ink color. I like to think of these pieces as representing the depths of a woman/a person - the many layers that all people have in them. I have watched as each piece has changed ~ the density of the layers, the shape of the dress and the choice of words. With Strata lll I got into almost a stream of consciousness ~ as i was printing one word the next word would pop into my head. With the first two Strata I stuck to using adjectives but with number lll i tried not to limit myself. With the next one all bets are off. I hope to do many of these pieces - experimenting with different surfaces, colors and background materials. peace

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A 'Rose Colored' Helicopter dress

Once again, while walking the dog, I was struck by the color and unique shape of some of our local Spring foliage. Many of these helicopters have this lovely rose-colored blush on their tips and a unique curly shape. So, voila ..... a dress.
Happy Spring!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

how a day of 'rejection' was AMAZING

Well the Red Alert Cocktail Dress did NOT make the final cut for the Art of the Northeast USA at the Silvermine Guild Arts Center ~ meaning another 300 mile road trip to retrieve my piece.
Fortunately I was in good company because 'they' didn't accepted David Lang's wonderful piece either (their loss). So last Friday David and I once again drove down the Merrick Parkway, and honestly we were not the happiest of campers. But we figured we'd make the best of the day and on the way home we stopped at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT and we were BLOWN AWAY!!!!

The museum is full of many wonders!!! but here are a few highlights ~ first is the museum's newest acquisition : Georgia O'Keeffe's Slightly Open Clam Shell. This piece took my breathe away!!! it is exquisite. It is exhibited in a room all by itself and I could have camped out there all day and let myself fall into the depths of this amazing pastel. But there were more treats to be found...

There were some wonderful paintings in the show, Director's Choice: Abstract Expressionism to Color Field Painting. In the second room of the show there were two particularly striking paintings - a Robert Motherwell which consisted of 5 paintings of the most beautiful blues and De Kooning's Montauk I 1969. These paintings just slayed me, the De Kooning physically moved me. It reminded me about how Elizabeth Murray talks about learning about painting by studying De Kooning's painting, "Excavation" when she was studying at the school of the Art institute of Chicago. I love to learn about how artists work....

"I would go up everyday and I would look at this particular DeKooning painting called "Excavation" And I would do a dance with it. Like, oh, he went this way and oh he went that way, and oh he smudged this. Feeling the depth of that painting. When you look at it from a distance it looks like this roiling boiling pot of paint. Except the order is within it, is in that paint. And when you go up to it you begin to see the layers of it, how the yellow goes over this white and blue. And I realized he scraped that on, and then he did this over it. And I deconstructed the painting and I would go back down to my painting and I would try to do it. And eventually—I never got that good—but it made me start to feel my body and my mind. My mind letting my arm make the decision, like intentionally, like control. "

Another exciting find at the Wadsworth was a wall drawing by Sol LeWitt - there, in this 'classic architectural' hallway you see the brightly colored, swirling magic of Sol LeWitt. It was dazzling, especially to move around and view the work through the railings of the banister. These were just some of my personal favorites - but there were many exhibits to enjoy - the Ballet Russe, Folkert de Jong's installation, and so much more!!! And it was an extra joy to share this experience with a fellow creative mind. It was a terrific day - rejection and all! peace