Monday, January 31, 2011

and out of the snow rises.....

Not sure what the weather is like where you live, but here in the Boston area we are living in a winter wonderland ~ and by that i mean SNOW!!! loads of SNOW!! I am now teaching art at a local high school and I have not had a week without a snow day since returning from winter break!!! And 'they' say another monster storm is forecasted for tonight!! With more snow pending the question on many folks minds is where will all this snow go?? we already are surrounded by mini mountains of the stuff, making getting out of driveways a bit of a leap of faith.

In front of my house our friendly plow guy, Louie, has created quite a pile around one of our trees. Between the plow and the elements, snow had collected up on to the trunk of the tree. Yesterday while I was cautiously backing out of our drive, one of my girls pointed out how it looked like a dress!! and lo' and behold she was right!! (see upper left photo) I just felt that it needed few 'alterations' here and there!! SO out I went, into the elements, butter knife in hand to start carving away. A little scrape here and another there & voila ~ a wedding dress fit for the snow queen herself. I love how this dress works ~ just rising out of the snowbank, like a phoenix. I love how the dress is composed of both the clean white snow and the dingy street snow ~ giving a sense of toile. And lastly I love how the undulating snowbanks gives this dress the feeling of movement ~ I see this dress is sashaying down the street or through the royal gardens, and I can hear the swishing of all the luscious fabrics as she floats by. Even though my fingers were not so happy about the activity, I was really enjoying carving the snow and with another forecasted 20 inches on its way I was wondering if I could build and carve a free standing, life sized dress out of snow?? one never knows.....
So I look to the possible snowstorm with mixed emotions. The idea of having enough good snow to sculpt a large dress makes me giddy with anticipation, yet the snow could affect an opening reception that I am truly excited about ~ the coming~out of my piece 'insatiable' in the show 'Insatiable'. The opening reception is this Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011, 5-7:30 p.m. We will just have to see how it all works out!!! Click here to see all the wonderful artists that are included in this show and the other events that are related to the show. One of these events will be ME working on 'insatiable' in the gallery at certain times during the show. Also visitors will be able to bring in material for 'insatiable' that i then will work into the piece. This is all very exciting for me!!!
So we will see what mother nature brings us and how we deal with it. If you are in the neighborhood of Brandeis University on Thursday please stop by ~ it should be a compelling show. Just remember to throw some kitty litter and a shovel in your car!!
Stay warm and peace!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Artist's Valentine!!!!

the time has come....
the time is now.....
It is time for the Artist's Valentine Party & Sale!!!! This year there will be two!!! one in Groton and one in Lowell. Hopefully you can make it to one of them!! This is an awesome organization/event!!! The Artist's Valentine is money for artists by artists. (*see more below) Here are some of the Valentines that i donated!!!

Party and Sale

The 2011 Artist's Valentine Groton Party and Sale will take place on Sunday, January 30th, 2011, 2-5 pm at Kalliroscope, 264 Main Street, Groton, Massachusetts, a deconsecrated Baptist church which is the home of Paul and Mimi Matisse.

A second 2011 Artist's Valentine Party and Sale will take place in Lowell on Saturday February 6, Noon - 3 pm at the Loading Dock, Western Avenue Studios, 122 Western Avenue, Lowell, MA 01851

peace & love

***Here is the official spiel:

Artists make Valentines and we offer them for sale.

Proceeds from the annual Valentine sales (which have been held every Feb. since 1996)are used to fund a juried grant competition for artists. Artists who have donated work to the Artist's Valentine are eligible to apply for an unrestricted grant to further their art. The awards are made through the jurying of digital images (of their professional work).

Since 1996 on average $4000 per year has been awarded to visual artists of every discipline: painters, fiber artists, printmakers, installation artists — the gamut. Every penny of these grants has come from the sale of artist-made valentines. All labor is volunteer, and all valentines are donated.

Happy Saturday!!!

just could not pass up this beautifully snow dusted 'canvas' on this beautiful sunny, snowy saturday morning!! peace

Friday, January 28, 2011

Now, on center stage... the Dress Project: origami style!!

this is a body of work that has been in the works for months!!!
And finally, it is ready for its 'close up!'
So here, on center stage, presented for your enjoyment... my origami dresses!!!

For many moons i have been folding anything that i get my hands on into a dress ~ parking stubs, museum maps, mailing labels, lollipop wrappers ~ truly ANYTHING!! I want to make a dress a day as a kind of diary of an event of the day, but alas, time.... I have really only been stock piling dresses with good intentions. But finally I got a series of dresses onto canvases and off to a gallery!!! Even with the mountains of snow that
have fallen on us up here in the Northeast, I got 7 pieces to
Nahcotta in Portsmouth, NH for their Enormous Tiny Art show 9 (ETA9). very exciting!

I am particularly delighted with this series because each piece was inspired by a 'fortune' that you can come across in your everyday life ~ from fortune cookies or tea bags. Each piece is titled after their particular 'fortune' and the original fortune is incorporated in the collage.

Click here to see the pieces and see their titles.

I had so much fun making these ~ finding the appropriate material to capture the essence of the fortune.

With The Only Way to Have a Friend is to Be One I used telephone pages for the base of the collage, then added pieces of maps and stamps. When i was making it I was thinking of some dear friends that now live far away but are always close in my heart.
(Particularly a certain live-in mom :)

I also made some origami dresses for the Artist's Valentine and will shows those in the next post. And I plan to make more and MORE!!! I've got the making for an awesome crossword puzzle inspired 'frock'. So stay tuned!! & peace!!

info. about the show~
ETA 9 February 3- February 28; opening reception: Friday February 4, 5-8pm
stop by the gallery - it is a beautiful space with truly wonderful art and other treasures
OR if you are not nearby... you can shop ON LINE :)

110 congress street
portsmouth, nh 03801

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Illustration friday ~ chicken

The Illustration Friday's theme this week is CHICKEN!! what a great theme ~ i couldn't let this one pass without posting something!! however I feel although i am cheating a wee bit because the chicken is not the center of this piece ~ but if i tried to paint a new chicken illustration....well lets just say i doubt there would be a chicken illustration friday from moi!!! So I am going with this favorite illustration from a many moons ago!! I love this piece because I LOVE to dance!!! and these guys seems to be having a rip~roaring, hum~dinger of a time!!!

So here is to my chicken and his buddies cutting the rug under the stars!!! Dance on!! & peace!!

To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. ~Agnes De Mille

Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do any harm to the world.

Dance as though no one is watching you.
Love as though you have never been hurt before.
Sing as though no one can hear you.
Live as though heaven is on Earth.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

the countdown has begun!!!!!

This week in the mail I received the announcement for the upcoming show, Insatiable, in which i have a piece. And what a thrill it was ~ to see my name among all these other wonderful artists, and to know that this exciting show is just around the corner!! Not that I am not always excited about every show i am in (or most any art show in general :) It is just that I am truly gaga over the piece that is in this show ~ 'insatiable'.

I have been obsessed by this piece ever since its conception ~ gathering different yarns and twines, then moving into the more unique materials, such as old headphone, electrical wires, gardening twine and tattered plastic bags. As the time has passed i have gotten even more adventurous with what I can crochet into this beast ~ the ribbons from old balloons and the popped balloons themselves!! Also I was at a birthday
party with my girls where the girls at the party were taking off the plastic wrappers from their water bottles and pulling them into a long string!! I flipped when i saw this and asked the girls for all their wrappers and left the party with a roll of plastic 'yarn'. It is amazing how my eyes seemed trained to see more material ~ a bunch of gold streamers from a cheering pomp-pomp, cut rubber bands left over from creating a window-box, excess dental floss from an overly zealous pull. The mishmash of material that i am collecting is beguiling. As I scooping up the many pieces of flotsam and jetsam which is left behind by our everyday life, i feel that this piece is becoming a true illustration of our ever consuming appetite.
As 'insatiable' grows it seems to speak more and more to the subject of the show ~
Gluttony is the new status quo. Our appetite for food, power, wealth, sex, new experiences, and information is seemingly insatiable and poses increasingly greater risks to the welfare of our planet and its inhabitants. This juried exhibition will feat
ure work by 42 artists from the US and abroad that explores our ravenous craving for e
xcess and/or the consequences of indulging our endless desire for more.
I must confess that i am collecting more than i am crocheting. I keep hoping for that quiet moment where I can sit down and start 'spinning' this 'magic' into the piece. However another wonderful
element of this piece and the show, is that 'insatiable' was accepted as a performance piece!!! So it is going to grow during the show and i am going to have designated time that i need to be in the gallery crocheting. That alone is a gift - scheduled 'work' time!!! Especially since i have taken recently been given a teaching job I hardly see my studio ( But the teaching is wonderful (so far) great opportunity, great students and a regular income ~ WOW!!!) But for now the elation is with this coming show and my ever growing piece.

However also, for now there is also a great sadness. In the wake of the horrid news out of Arizona... may we resolve to open our minds and hearts to love and to embracing differences; to dynamic discussions of politics and ideas withOUT firearms and violence. My heart & prayers go out to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims and their families. Especially the family of the nearly 9 year old girl who was attending the event because she had just won a position in her school's student's government, and who is now dead ~ a victim of gunfire. In my busy day i had missed this event until I turned on my computer to finalize this post & once i saw the announcement my heart broke - on so many levels. so as i say every post ~
peace!!! peace !!! & peace i mean!!!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

wishing you the sweetest of new years!!!

happy 2011!!
wishing all an enchanting and 'sweet' new year ~ overflowing with creativity, joy, love, kindness, good health, good friends, strength & clarity, poetry, art, music, games, laughter, magic & peace! as well as a good cup of coffee now and then!!!
namaste & peace on earth!! ~ Virginia