Saturday, March 27, 2010

spring inspiration

"I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud"

William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed---and gazed---but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

I am part of a photography group where we try to post a photo a day. It is a wonderful exercise - it has gotten me to continually look at the world around me with a more inquisitive and critical eye. I posted this photo of daffodils a few days ago and one of the other photographers commented how this image reminded him of this poem by Wordsworth. I loved the poem, the imagery ~ dancing daffodils, a jocund company, and wanted to share this poem with more people ~ so voila!!! It is so inspiring to be involved with creative people!!
peace & happy spring!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

once upon a chair.... in Groton

Here is the chair that i painted for a fund raiser for the Groton Public Library. 10 artists participated, we each got an old library chairs and asked us to do something that related to children's literature. I was honored to be asked and excited to be thinking about children book ~ it is a passion of mine. I have a dream to illustrate a children's book some day ~ (I tried the free lance illustrator stint with a portfolio full of illustrations but i never seem to get my book on the right art director's desk at the right time ~ alas). So I enjoyed being back in that mind set again and I was also happy to be painting again.
The minute i heard the theme for the project I knew that i would be doing the frog prince.... this frog is a bit of a muse for me. He has appeared on my bottle cap jewelry, hand painted clothing and other hand painted furniture. To read more about this muse and the chair project you can go to the Groton Library site.
Also the project got written up in the Boston Globe today!!! click here to see the article ~ I am mentioned (always nice).
Here are the details of the event . I am planning to go to the artist's reception ~ should be fun!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

opening reception for 'table of content'

Today, from 4-6pm is the opening reception for Multiple Totalities@ the Student Union Art Gallery, UMass Amherst. The show runs from March 22 - April 2, 2010; Gallery Hours: M-Th 10-5, F 10-3, also open Saturday 3/27 1-5pm and Thursday 4/1 until 9pm.
if you are in the neighborhood - stop by!!! Peace

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

'table of content'

Naming my pieces is always hard for me .... I want the viewer to be able to have their own experience without me dictating it for them. But i also don't like 'untitled' which is the title that i had to use when I sent this installation off to Amherst. But two nights ago I finally got the title - 'table of content'.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Yesterday I successfully installed my most recent installation at the Student Union Art Gallery, UMass Amherst for their show, Multiple Totalities. The install went very well and everyone at the gallery, as well as myself, is very happy with the result. This experience was a little taunting as this piece did not involve a dress & I have realized that I have feel safe with my dresses. But i am excited to be branching out, pushing myself ~ while making this piece I kept thinking that i want to be more fearless in my work!!
This completed installation (untitled as of yet) turned out differently than what i had in my head. For one thing the space was not as I has imagined. That is an exciting aspect of site specific art ~ the ability to adapt to different spaces. I was hoping to have the table line up with the wall with the boxes but the gallery space didn't allow it. I was also hoping to have 5 shadowboxes, however because of time constraints
I have 2.
And I am super happy with those 2!!!!
I love the concept of the shadowbox and really enjoyed creating them!!! I really hope to make some more ~ especially the other 3 that I had planned for this installation. I say 'hope' because I realize how I ping-pong around to so many ideas and that a due date or show date can really motivate me to finish a certain project. It has something to do with that family/art 'gray' line that i bump up against over and over. How I feel like I never have enough time to do anything as fully as I want!!! Also in the face of so many ideas and projects I get to be a Whirling Dervish at times - not knowing where to settle. Now I am not complaining ~ I know having some many ideas and desires is a blessing ~ I just wish I either didn't have to sleep or that there were 36 hours in a day :)!!

This installation does feature my pink foam pieces which are shown in all their glory. Even during the install they were attracting attention and curiosity!! I am happy that this piece has an enigmatic quality (that is why it is still untitled) My aim to have people wonder ~ what is going on here??

It was great to be back ~ working!!!! The gallery people were so helpful and made sure I wasn't overextending myself. the space is welcoming & bright. It should be an exciting show - most of the other installations were set-up. Below is the press release and the dates ~ peace

March 8, 2010

Student Union Art Gallery
326 Student Union
UMass Amherst

Contact: Kerry O’Grady, Gallery Director
(413) 545-0792

Multiple Totalities

3/22/10 – 4/2/10
Reception: Tuesday, 3/23, 4-6pm
Gallery Hours: M-Th 10-5, F 10-3.
Also open Saturday 3/27 1-5pm and Thursday 4/1 until 9pm.

(Amherst, MA) - The Student Union Art Gallery proudly presents a juried exhibition of installation works by nine artists from across Massachusetts.

Curated by gallery director Kerry O’Grady, Multiple Totalities incorporates eight installations into one cohesive show. Building from the all-encompassing possibilities of installation as a medium, the show presents each installation as an autonomous whole while simultaneously combining all eight to present the transitions and peripheral relationships analogous to our daily lives.

UMass Amherst student Kim Carlino, recent Skidmore College alum Lea Chiara, recent UMass Amherst alum Michael Childress, Hampshire College student Christopher Cole, Boston-area artists Denise Driscoll and Tom Driscoll, Boston-based artist Virginia Fitzgerald, Northampton-based artist Chris Millette, and Charlotte Sullivan, currently based in Northampton.

The Student Union Art Gallery is located in the Student Union Building in the center of the UMass Amherst campus. It is accessible via the Campus Center Garage. All events are free and open to the public.

This exhibit is made possible by the UMass Arts Council, the Student Government Association, and the Graduate Student Senate, and by an ECSA (Engage, Connect, Serve, Achieve) grant, which is funded the Center for Student Development and the Division of Student Affairs & Campus Life.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

the anything is possible phase!!!

Yesterday I received the exciting news that I was going to be part of the Juried Installation Show at the Student Union Art Gallery at UMass Amherst. (the show runs from March 22 -April 2, 2010). I am so thrilled to be creating another installation. The challenging thing about this news is that the installation needs to be 'delivered' next week ~ nothing like a deadline!!! I should note that this installation is going to be on a much smaller scale than my first installation, 'this comes from within'. It is also going to be one of a collection of installations. An intriguing aspect is that this installation does not involve a dress!!!! (yes, you read right). This installation is going to revolve around a table covered with these pieces of pink foam that I have been sewing together FOREVER!!! I began sewing them together to make a big pink foam dress - but for whatever reason they have not gone in that direction. They have a wonderful presence of their own - organic, visceral and mysterious ~ so I am excited to showcase them ( I LOVE my pink foam pieces).
So I have been getting my head back in the game & I must confess it has been awesome to be back, immersed in art!! I mean I always have art on the brain but a show or deadline gives me some sense of purpose; or definitely some sense of boundaries when it comes to my work and my role as a mother & wife ~ "Mom needs to go to her studio now because this is DUE!" one concern is that my energy level is still not at its 'normal' state which will add to the challenge but I have faith~ a little at a

But this time of a project is my favorite time - the brainstorming, the conceptualizing, the anything is possible phase!!! And a main part of this phase for me is a trip to the library!!! So with a child in tow I headed out to 'research' ~ I LOVE to research, always have!!! My daughter was so shocked by all the books that i had collected to review she took a picture. I had books on some of my favorite muses ~ Gertrude Stein, Ann Hamilton, Mary Oliver & Nikki Giovanni, to name a few. There were some books on symbols, myths and insects ~ as i mentioned before this is the time that anything is possible!!!! I am in heaven leafing thru these books absorbing everything!!
Also today I worked on perusing different words to help me work on a title and help create the sense of emotion that i want the piece to have. As I hop~scotched from one word to the next I was struck by my attraction to words, their many different meanings and also their physical appearance!!! (In fact to keep myself sane during my month of recovery I have been playing many word games ~ many games of scrabble were played in the hospital.) Words have found their way into much of my work ~ particularly the Strata series which I hope to continue. Here is a picture of Strata II with a detail. They are a stream of consciousness in the form of a dress. For the first three that i have executed I have printed the words with rubber stamps directly on wood, then built up the surrounding area with lace, wax, seeds, rope and other organic materials. For me this series represent the emotional & spiritual depth of women especially, and all of humankind in general. It reminds me of a quote from Plato that i keep with me always ~
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.