Monday, September 30, 2013

Taking a Break

And so it has come to be, where I have arrived at a place in my life where it would be best for me to let go of all the business baggage that has, unforeseen, become an energy drainer, keeping me from doing what I once was able to do effortlessly.

It's curious how this has come to be - so gradually overtime, even unnoticed for the most part, until before I knew it (or was it until I paid attention?), my easy ability to paint passionately, and for myself, without any regard for the business side of it all, is no longer. I've tried scheduling in studio time, painting in the studio I love, but despite this attempt the passion has not reemerged and the arguing with the inner voice continues.

Thus, the following list is the business baggage I am going to take a break from. For by doing so, I will be accepting and embracing the path I am on right now. It is what I want to follow as it is where I will find my ability to tap into the energy of creative expression; to get back to what is in my heart, to the ability to paint for myself, to enjoy the process so much so, I lose all sense of time, myself, and the world around me.

This path is a hiatus if you will, but nothing takes forever  :)
So until next time, take good care - xo

And without further ado, as of September 30, 2013, I am giving myself permission to officially take a break from:
  1. Writing and sending out my e-news,
  2. posting on my blog,
  3. facebook,
  4. plus any other social media I haven't done.
  5. Applications and calls for art,
  6. dates, deadlines,
  7. lists of must dos and to dos,
  8. not to mention anything & everything else I haven't yet thought of in relation to.
  9. What my tax accountant will think of next year when he sees my income for this year,
  10. and what other people will think:
    1. when they look at my new work, 
    2. look at my old work, 
    3. when I'm not applying for shows or working towards shows or in shows, 
    4. if I'm not painting every day or every other day or every week, 
    5. if I'm not marketing or sharing any of my artistic thoughts, inspirations, ideas, progresses with anyone or everyone, through social media or not.
  11. Worrying about what's going to happen to the people who are on my mailing lists during this hiatus 
  12. and worrying about what to do with all of the artwork I've created.
  13. In general, any obligations and expectations that weigh upon my shoulders and fill up my head.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Over-the-Top Imagination

My summer read came to me in the airport bookstore while our flight was delayed. It had been a very long time since I had the pleasure of perusing through the recent arrivals in the bookstore and so I enjoyed the unexpected time and soaked up the words around me. Out of three books I wanted to read right then and there, one did accompany me out of the store and onto the plane.

"The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in 
a Ship of her own Making"

I feel in love with each wonderful visual that came to my mind as I read page after page. And because I was so delighted in this so very over-the-top imaginary story, I marked the selected page of inspiration with a turned  corner, either up or down, depending on where on the page my mind was caught. 

The other night before I went to bed, I went back through the recently finished book; back to those turned corner pages. I wanted to catalog those specific sentences or phrases so that I could enjoy these favorites a while longer, outside of the boundaries of the book.  I feel these phrases or sentences, in and of themselves, are a wonderful story all on their own! I find they conjure up such a strong image by themselves they aren't in need or in want of a supporting cast of additional words...... So with pen and paper in hand I wrote down the following:
  1. "Several small clouds skipped huffily out of their path."
  2. "A girl in want of a Leopard still has her feet."
  3. "She folded up the stirring very carefully and put it away at the bottom of her mind."
  4. "....a cauldron full of tomorrow."
  5. "The sun hitched up her trousers and soldiered on up into the sky."
  6. "...grief pack away for the duration of a bath."
  7. "....the ears of folk with legs and noses and eyebrows are not made to hearken to the weeping of those with inseams and button holes and lapels."
  8. "...past a moon like a bony knee."
  9. "...the movers of our tales."
  10. "...good grief and all gallows!"
  11. "....nothing but string and time."
Aren't these delightful? Which is your favorite?  I would love to know if you have one!

P.S. on the link above, you must watch the "trailer" at the bottom of the page. It does an excellent job of giving one the flavor of the story - not to mention share with you the talents of the illustrator.  :)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Recent Animated Inspiration

In the mood for a movie, I came across The Monster in Paris. From the French story (romantic, quirky, imaginative) to the beautiful colors (as shown above - the greens of Emile's outfit complimenting Maud's magenta against the moody Parisian backdrop (my 2 favorite color palettes!)), I couldn't get enough and have since ordered my own copy for my collection*. Isn't it divine when such a whim of a mood is so fully satisfied?
  (if you can't tell, I would highly recommend watching this!) 

*my collection contains the movies that move me, most often artistically (i.e. Mary and Max or Alice in Wonderland or Coraline (to name a few). Though there are a few that hit the spot with their romantic nature (Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day). And thus it appears my re-watching** of a movie dictates the mood I am in (according to my husband). Apparently he knows upon entry to a room....

**yes, re-watching a movie, in my opinion, only makes it get better and better. Yes, I know the story, but by knowing the story, I am able to better narrow in on and appreciate the details of the imagery when I watch it 100%. Though depending on my mood*, I find it can also be wonderful to have on in the background of the kitchen, as I bake or cook - whereas I don't need to know the visuals completely as I see it already in my mind - it is here I can appreciate and enjoy more of the language. Besides it is so delightful to revisit the imagery in my memory as I proceed through my days - a bit of escape, if you will.....

Monday, June 24, 2013

Say what your soul needs to say

I occasionally follow/read the words spoken by Danielle LaPorte, whom I came across a year or so ago. I originally fell in love with her blunt, say-it-like-it is approach to life and signed up to receive her "truthbombs" - I signed up for these to arrive in my inbox a few times a week. Some days I skip over them as they are unwanted. Some days they just don't hit home. But other days, the message, story or phrase will make perfect sense or give me an answer I wasn't aware that I was wanting. The latter of these keeps me coming back for more and holds me back from unsubscribing entirely.

This morning greeted me with the narrative titled, "Drama at the cafe...a tale of self expression". As you know (or perhaps you don't?), I love titles and was snagged. I took the time it took to read her story and was taken in with the moral of it all, "say what your soul needs to say".

How often, when I'm at home, and I have time, do I fret and worry about what to do with this free time. If I just instead ask myself "what does my soul need to say?", it might just be the kick-in-the-pants and self-love I need to pick up the paintbrush.....

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The balancing of details

As I may have referenced/suggested/hinted at in previous posts, I'm drawn to detail and most often, lots of it. I decided to explore in my current works in progress, paintings in abstractions, the combination of detail and no detail. 

Shown below are 2 of the 4 (actually the ones I am most pleased by, at least, in this stage of the game) paintings I'm working on - the latest layers of ideas from the other day. I'm liking the bit of small detail amidst the larger splotches of color and forms......
 What do you think?

The detail is somewhat leaf and fish like, I think  :)

 A portion of the larger painting, the detail (captured a bit too dark??) here reminds me of a bubbly waterfall.....

Though some may consider these complete, I know there are many layers yet to do - both in detail and in not. And because I have not been able to actually sit down and paint much lately, I have been instead painting in my mind (a curious idea and certainly one that is not messy!) so that I know how I will proceed next time I'm actually able to pick up my paintbrush and paint.

So as always, stay tuned. I am looking forward to seeing if what I see in my mind can translate on over to reality!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

I'm in love!

A couple of weeks ago I picked up my Tiny Little Houses from the Northfield Arts Guild. Before I departed I stopped into their Main Gallery and feel in love immediately with drawings completed in graphite by a local Northfield artist. 

Inner World by Mary Rose Gondeck

I was drawn to the so very intricate detail and beautiful organic forms, all in subtle and varying shades of warm grey. In some ways they reminded me of my own detailed oil paintings - full of creatures and stories waiting to be heard. They were indeed a world of their own. One I would absolutely love to visit and explore, wondering and wandering my way through....  I can almost imagine stepping into it all, but will need to instead be content with exploring these two-dimensional creations with my eyes only.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I had an idea and it involved a mock-up

I have found taking the time to do a mock-up certainly helps in the short and long run of things. I tend to, over the course of my day outside of the studio, noodle around my artistic ideas, checking it all out, seeing if what I'm thinking fits and figuring out how to next proceed. If I throw a mock-up into the mix, I can more accurately move into my next step. I'm finding it to be much more time efficient overall, plus it's a way for me to feel like I'm being productive as I have something to show for all of the noodles!  :)

Below shows case in point. I cut samples of different materials (see previous post) and combined them in their desired order, securing them at the top with a brad. Now having done this, I see I need to add another 1/8" to the overall length to give a bit more room for text under the samples. I passed this important tidbit onto my person who will begin formatting the booklet this next week.... Stay tuned!

An awl is on of my favorite tools......

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Bright Day!

The day finally came when the new light system for my home studio was going to be installed. It was so very exciting watching the transformation take place in just a couple of hours!

First, the heavy looking and so-very-not-attractive fan light that I burnt out (I accidentally overheated the system with higher than ideal wattage - I was just trying to get more light!) had to come down.

Next came the assembly of the parts.

The curve of the rail was created next 
(I wanted a very soft organic like "s").

Requiring 4 hands the system was then put into place.

Final tweaks,


and then, there was light!

I absolutely love the end result. 
All the waiting was definitely well worth it!   :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I have been working on pulling together my portfolio of over 50 different Organic Digital Designs. It has been quite a process, but one I am enjoying. In addition to a new website (will be completed this month) and the master ODD portfolio I can share in person, I have also decided to have a substrate sample booklet that will go out to selected designers, upholsterers, and the like. I am looking forward to getting my work out into the world on a larger scale  :)

The booklet has been designed (is currently in the process of creation) and will house the different options of fabrics and wallcoverings to choose from. Each substrate will showcase my below pattern, Charm, which was created from my original oil, Grace of a Turnip.



Sunday, March 10, 2013

I don't know how to paint!

This is a thought I expressed the other day. My husband just shook his head at me in disbelief. But sometimes this is how it feels as I pick up the brush and look at my palette of color, somewhat doubtfully and undecidedly. But as with all thoughts (well, the majority!), I let go of this one, and dove in.

Each of the 4 paintings progressed nicely with the layers I added (see below). And I can see the path/direction that each will take me (well, to some extent. I'm sure there will be detours along the way as I work my way along.). Regardless, the feeling of intent, the idea of knowing what it is I'm going to do next, is quite welcome. I look forward to my next studio day!

So as always, stay tuned. I will keep you posted  :)

12" square, oil on panel (hanging on an old door to dry - thus the black handle on the right)

10" square, oil on panel (this is currently my favorite)

12" square, oil on canvas

8" square, oil on panel

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

First of the New Year

The beginning, there is always one....

....trying to recall what I learned, but still be in the moment of true expression.... 

....without a care in the world, and yet caring so much for a positive ending....

I finally took the time to paint the other morning. It had been months, but with an art show, a trip to Costa Rica, 2 holidays thrown in (hosting and being hosted), moving out of my NE studio, moving into/rearranging/organizing my home studio, plus life in the midst of it all, the stars and paintbrushes were finally aligned.

 I felt a bit like a fish out of water. Everything from figuring out the location of my palette in my new working space, to trying my new painting medium, to the messy oil painted mess I created (I was quickly covered with oil paint  - it covered paper towels, hands, camera, brushes - and thankfully, yes, canvas). It felt good though, and I was quite excited by having bridged the first painting session of the year.

I started 4 paintings, 3 on cradle board (so different than canvas to paint on! - obviously with no give and such a very smooth surface (unlike my previous wooden canvas of old doors and reclaimed wood)), and 1 on stretched canvas. I photographed as I went trying to find the balance in black and white tones despite painting in color.

There was the obvious pleasure of creating again, but I did walk away with a "what now?!" feeling. Granted more layers are to come for each of the above, but I felt the need for something more... something more like my other oil paintings. I wanted to see the details of a story, I wanted to tell a really good story to you, the viewer. 

I'm curious about this line of an idea..... and am noodling it around regularly....  trying to find the answers to the questions (i.e. how do I incorporate a bit of each style into one painting?) 
Hmmmmm..... so as always, stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Closet Transformed

This winter has been one of complete reorganization. Starting with my home studio, moving to the laundry room, the kitchen drawers, my personal closet, nearly all of these catch-alls are showing my touch. I think? the last of these is the large closet downstairs. A major catch-all for everything, I decided it would be better put to use for storing art. 

I brought my idea to my dad who has the talents of combining both scientific mathematical skills with creative ones. He thought it doable and I sent him my specifications (hopefully correct measurements, sitting up above the ground (in case of unwanted water), dividers to keep artwork upright, and carpet to protect frames as they are slid into place). This last weekend he brought the piece over and installed it.

And I have to say it's perfect! I'm quite excited to fill it with all of our mat board, foam core, unframed and framed artwork and photographs. But first, I'm inspired to patch the holes and paint the walls (is that really necessary for a closet?  will the artwork even know/appreciate this extra touch?)... and thus I feel the dishevelment in the outlining rooms will need to wait a bit longer until this inspiration is laid to rest.....

My dad on top of the backside of the cabinet -  he created 2 pieces
(currently face down, side by side)  in order to fit through the closet doorway.

He then screwed the 2 cabinets together in the back so
that the entire unit would be one.

Lifted and pushed back into place, my husband and dad put
the finishing touches also into place. Okay, artwork, here I come!

Friday, February 8, 2013


The below image almost looks like a strange sort of cocktail. I wouldn't recommend drinking it though.  As I measured and mixed together the ingredients for the selected oil painting medium recipe, I almost felt like a scientist or mixologist. I'm curious to see what this is like to work with. I doubled the recipe with the hopes that it is indeed what I'm wanting on all levels of sheen, drying time, viscosity, and cohesion. I guess time will tell (as it does for nearly everything else)..... Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Russian Iconography

Andrei Rublev, Trinity, c.1400
One of my favorite forms of art is that of Russian Iconography. I was only familiar and in love with the exquisite detail of their small oil paintings on wood (an example shown above). My relationship  grew and my appreciation deepened last week when I was introduced to a new exhibition of work at the Russian Art Museum. Just as exquisite in miniature detail, the imageries were not painted, but instead cast in copper alloys such as brass and bronze. A few were then decorated with gilding and enamel.   

While I learned about the history of Russia back then and the people who created these wonders, I also caught a glimpse of Artists' perspectives on creating their works. Not only did they embellish the fronts of a casted cross with detail and story, so they also paid attention to the backside with complimentary imagery. I loved being able to see some casts where both sides were exposed to me! And then knowing this unseen side existed, I loved the mystery to other casts throughout the exhibition where the backside was hidden.

This has gotten me thinking. As I have recently come across (in combining my studios) works in progress (specifically tri-fold paintings) where the story could so easily be suggested on the outside of the piece - complimenting what is going on within. I am eager to explore my works in progress further (perhaps this idea is what was needed for me to move a work in progress to completion?!) with what I have witnessed and learned from these 18th-20th century artists (thank you!). I look forward to sharing with you what comes about from this recent influence.......

What recipe?

I've been one to follow the recipe verbatim, each step as it is to be - especially when it comes to cooking. And through this process in the kitchen I have, more often than not, been successful in my creations ~ even becoming well-known in my circle of friends and family as an excellent baker.

I don't know if it is the influence of painting abstractly or if something else has shifted inside of me. I just know I am now suddenly more inclined to wing it. I'm finding the addition of a bit of something (not even called for as an optional ingredient) or the skip of a step or the substitution or the doubling of amounts are all much more exciting to do with a dish than before.....

The "why" (is this taking place?) and the "where" (is this coming from?) really doesn't matter. It is the enjoyment of the process + the slight thrill of what this means for the end product (and with really not a even concern there). The self-encouragement along the way - telling myself that it will just work out as it's meant to be and that this is a lot more fun - completes the new near-daily adventure.

(Let it be said: I do have to rein in this creative urge when it comes to baking (with it's exact nature) as there, there is more often than not, a scientific reason than a rhyme as to why you do what the recipe says).

So with all of that taking place in the kitchen, I have also begun experimenting in the studio. I have to say, so far the experimentation has only been in my mind based off of what I have been reading. Researching recipes of oil painting mediums, referring to blogs and websites pertaining to the intricacies of it all and talking with other artists has me writing up (in my mind) and down (on paper) the possible recipes that could work for me.

There appears to be no right or wrong answer. The question of what ratio of each ingredient (mediums and solvents) is dictated by what I want the concoction to do (be shiny or matte, sticky or smooth in application, dry quickly or slowly etc). Now I feel I have come up with 2 slightly different recipes worth trying. I just need to purchase the mediums and then measure and mix it all together.

I'm excited to have reached this step and even more eager to combine my new formulas with paint on canvas. I plan to work on 2 different canvases, one with each medium, so that I can see and feel the similarities and differences. The idea is, by my observations and note-taking, I will be able to fine-tune the ratios, creating for me a perfect combination of the two recipes...... So as always, stay tuned!