Friday, April 30, 2010


“Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is amazing to me the many life lessons out there if you just pay attention!! I am once again struggling to meet a deadline ~ the Danforth Museum member show. 'Submissions End ~ Saturday, May 1' ~ less than 24 hours and I am banging around trying to figure out what to submit and what i need to do to the pieces that i am going to submit. It reminds me of the time I had to pack up Black Widow to send to Chicago, the big difference is I was accepted to that show.... and with this one the wrong piece can equal rejection. So when I came across this quote in a friend's email I thought how timely & I wanted to share. Rejection is a large part of this artist's world. However I was told recently, if you are not getting rejected then you are not getting yourself out there enough!! So I am going to get myself out there ~ just need to figure out with WHAT!!!

I am truly excited about the jurors (as well as intimidated by) ~ Jen Mergel, Beal Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Helen Molesworth, Chief Curator at the Institute. Both have curated shows that I have enjoyed and studied!! So this seems to have raised the stakes a bit.
I am leaning toward Treacherous (detail shown above). It has only been shown once and I am tweaking it a bit and putting it on a black stand. I love many aspects about this dress and it seems to represent many of my emotions at this time in my life :). When exhibited this piece is over a mosaic of broken pieces of mirrors ~ however I am tempted to make it a pile of broken glass and mirrors - making the climb very treacherous!! Need to follow my gut. It will all be worked out when i dive in - I am just painfully aware on how I am not diving in. The word procrastination comes to mind.....helping remodel a kitchen, making the girls snacks, Illustration Friday, posting a blog, hmmmmm......
OK ~ back to sanding the black stand :)!!! peace

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

a creative lesson from a dress

my mermaid's gown

Last week was school vacation and since my husband decided to demolish and remodel the kitchen himself (go team), meaning we had NO kitchen ~ I took my girls to a friend's place on cape cod ~ a truly inspirational place for me!! We were only there for 5 days, however I proceeded to make at least 5 dresses ~ many on the beach!! So the next few posts will be cape inspired work.

This dress, my mermaid gown, came to me our first evening. It is a upshot of a silly mind game that haunts me. It is funny how much I catch myself talking myself out of my desire to make dresses. In fact as I was helping to take down the plaster in my kitchen I wanted to chisel out a dress form in the horse hair plaster ~ but i didn't :(. Now this beach dress is a good example of this because my creative desires won out over my unyielding critical voice.
It was our first night on the cape and i dragged the girls off to the beach (because I LOVE the beach). When we got there I thought 'oh, I want to make a dress! but (here comes the mind game) then that 'critic' voice chimes in saying, 'not another one', 'how cliché another beach dress', 'shouldn't you focus on your family and not be making dresses all the time'..... it is amazing how much this critic has to say!!!! So I gave into that voice, ignoring all this luscious dress 'material' staring me down (it was hard). But then Harriet showed me this snail with this delicate growth on it's shell and my creative urges overwhelmed my critic and I plunged in!!!
It wasn't a big dress ~ a petite little thing on the edge of the surf. Harriet's snail would be over the heart. The rest of the dress was made of this beautiful seaweed ~ making it by the water allowed the seaweed to stay wet & vibrant. When I started to really look around I found this curled up piece of seaweed that i felt was perfect for the belly area. And the tide helped me with the shape of the skirt ~ flowing outward to the ocean. And my girls didn't mind - Harriet helped, she even got into the water and talked to the water gods to help keep the dress wet!!! And who cares about making more beach dresses - the beach is so inspiring to me!!! (I have more to say about that, but that will be another post).
So my lesson from this dress is to NOT listen to that voice!!! or not let it edit me. Since my surgery I have been practicing meditation and i am hoping that practice will help me navigate that mind field of my creative mind :).
So more beach and other dresses to come!!! peace!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

illustration friday ~ detective

this week's topic for illustration friday is detective.
This illustration is done in scratch board.
Hope all have a good weekend ~ peace

Thursday, April 15, 2010

from the mouth of babes.....

I needed to write a quick bio of myself as an artist and my 6th grade daughter, Maya, was hoovering around because she wanted to play. I needed to get the write up done so to 'distract' her I asked her to edit my writing (she is a very good writer). She read what i wrote, said grammatically it was ok but it was dry ~ didn't really represent me as an artist.... interesting comments & not too surprising since my strengths are more in the visual world. But i had a deadline and so i continued my dry commentary. Maya quietly disappeared, i figured she felt that i was a lost cause. But soon she reappeared, with her write-up of the artist Virginia Fitzgerald. I was blown away - not only that she went and wrote this, but she REALLY got me and my work. It was such a gift ~ as an artist and her mother. I was so touched that she sees & understands the work that i am doing. And I think she really expressed it well, so from the mouth of a tween (totally unedited by me).....
Virginia Fitzgerald is inspired by the world around her, current events, mother nature and the activities she does with her family. Each sculpture makes the viewer feel a different emotion. Each dress has a different meaning woven through the unexpected materials she uses to make these works of art. They go from toothpicks to dog tags to poems to anything in reach. Virginia Fitzgerald is a great artist.
~ Maya
(& a very proud mom!!!)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

when i don't get enough time in my studio....

this was done on a cocktail napkin with the crayons that the restaurant gave my girls.

Friday, April 9, 2010

illustration friday ~ linked

I have discovered this wonderful web site ~ Illustration Friday. It is 'a weekly creative outlet/participatory art exhibit for illustrators and artists of all skill levels. It was designed to challenge participants creatively.' So I, of course, couldn't pass it up. So I am not sure how many time I will be able to post but when i read the topic for this week I thought of this instration that i did awhile back and thought i'd post it. So voila! This painting is a watercolor.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fun with Eggs!!!

Wishing everyone a Happy Spring, Easter, Passover or whatever you celebrate when this season of rebirth and renewal approaches. At my house we could not pass up the tradition of dying eggs so we invited over some friends and made a mess!! the girls experimented with all combinations of color mixing. I was able to convince them to let me decorate one egg and got my white crayon and preformed a bit of magic ~ did my scribbling, showed them the 'blank' egg then popped it is the blue dye to watch a dress appear. there were some oo's and ah's!! We also had the straight food coloring so I tried to accentuate the inside of the dress by dropping some color right on the egg. i am not sure if it really made a difference in the end ~ but it looked cool in the bowl!

Once the dress dried I had some fun photographing it ~ this egg found itself in many a place!! My favorite was with the porcelain lady!!! It balanced quite well. Now my youngest wants to save all the shells from the colored eggs and do something with them ~ wonder where she would get such an idea?!? :)

Also I wanted to thank everyone who has been sending me good wishes and thoughts during my hand surgery and recovery. Just a quick update ~ things are healing well!!! I am finally off my IV antibiotics :) and out of a 'cast'. Now i am working on getting the hand back to its old strength and flexibility!!! The best thing is that I seem to have finally gotten my old energy back!!!! I feel like my old self - and she was MIA for many of the past months. I am sure the newly arrived beautiful weather has helped, however since the initial incident i have just not had my 'umph' and i missed it SO!!! I know I still need to watch my qi (as my acupuncturist tells me ~ 'watch out for super woman' ~ one of my life lessons) But it feels so good to feel like me again!!!
This hand image is one of my favorites ~ tea on watercolor paper. With all the medical doings and my low energy there have been times when my internal critics/my monkeys had been getting quite vocal. A favorite topic of theirs is the legitimacy of me being an artist. I love this hand because it is physical proof to my critic that I am an artist and in fact live and breathe art. why this hand u may ask.... well I was just having a cup of tea when i looked at the tea bag and thought I want to make a hand with tea!!! It just helps me to calm the critics when I realize I must do art or I will die. In fact one of my idols, Kiki Smith, was written up in the NYT last Sunday and I had to smile when she was molding clay during the interview and said "If I don't do something, I'll faint,".