Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Glogg and Guacamole - Happy New Year

This year has been quite a ride! I don't see time as linear but rather as a circle or wheel...around, up,down, slow or fast...a journey until a full circle is complete and that brings us to tonight! I'm optimistic, we have a new president and I believe new hope! We are truly a planet of one people!!
This blog has been a great experience for me and I want to thank everyone who has stopped by and those who have left has meant so much to me and I feel as if I have made the best of blog friends. My hope is that this continues and develops in wonderful ways!
Pablo and I will have a quiet night. I'll make a nice dinner (poached salmon) and for our Time's Square viewing, I'll serve this Swedish Glogg (apple juice, cherry juice and spices) warmed with a splash of wine and some chips and guacamole. You will all be in my best wishes for the next year! Happy New Year and Blessings! Mary Ann

Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Baby It's Cold Out There"

Massive walk in fireplace in Yosemite's Ahwahnee Lodge...truly a warm and cozy spot! Actually I'm being a big baby...It's been sunny and pleasant here but in the evening after dinner, I begin to apply the layers, socks and slippers, afghan and hot tea! I just can't warm up in the evening.
Here we are approaching the end of the year. I celebrate the new year in my spiritual life in the fall but now the calendar year and I plan on using it as a statement of intention concerning new art. I'll let this blog keep me honest as I'm vowing changes. My plan is to spend 3+days a week in studio...all day. I am focusing on 4-6 pieces of work each on my three subjects of interest: Restoration of the Soul.....Angel's Remarks.....Mapping the Unknowable. Late March or early April will be a time to re-evaluate but the plan is to work, research, write and work some more. This is a process that is best for me....I also plan on returning to writing in my journal everyday because I've found it fuels my creativity. Now I've done it! ha Now tell me blog friends about your New Year creative hopes, wishes, plans and intentions? Is there a big or little dream that just needs to be realized and this is the year? Please share here by this warm cozy fire, I'm all ears!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Third Night of Chanukah

The center candle is called the" shames "and it is lit first and then it lights the other three candles starting from the right. A prayer is chanted while lighting the candles. Friday we will take our menorah and candles to temple and all the families will light their menorahs...beautiful light....I will take my camera.
I am having trouble with my photos, ever so often they disappear and leave behind a little red x? I have no idea how to correct this problem and I don't know what I have done or haven't done to make this happen. A aggravating mystery.
I haven't had time in the studio all week and I can really feel the disconnect. I was just getting started on new work so I will need to begin again with more journaling, more drawing...oh well! I don't mean to complain as the holidays have also been fun....Pablo and I attended my families open house this weekend and it was a delight, good food, lively conversations, new babies, hugs and all. Our drive was a bit rugged....120 miles round trip in rain, crowded wet roads but we drove home full of sweet memories. On January 4th we are driving to his families open house....more fun, laughter and good food! Christmas morning my youngest son is driving over and will stay for four days so that will be great! No complaints, I'm so glad everyone is healthy!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Angel Speak

A very old oil painting on paper that I have dragged out of the files...meaures 22"x22", oil with stencil.

Happy Solstice Everyone! on this dark longest night, I believe in the mystical , magic and passion of this evening! For me , we will light our first candle of Chanukah. All over this planet at the same time, one candle for tonight.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bread for Everyone!

Last night Pablo and I attended a holiday dinner put on by the "
Grey Bears". This is Pablo's first year as a member of the Board of Directors so it gave us a chance to meet other members. Grey Bears is a grass roots non-profit community based group of 55 and over members dedicated to the principal of self help. This organization is amazing, they provide weekly grocery bags to members...annually they distribute 2 million pounds of food!! The organization is mostly volunteers, (500 strong, all 55+) they run a top-notch recycling center, thrift store, glean in the fields, pack and deliver the brown bags weekly etc... These brown bags really help fixed and low income elders..adding to their pantry a loaf of bread, vegetables, fruit, gathered from our local fields and some donated by our grocery stores. Pablo has been working in the area of recycling and has been seeing how the world economy has slowed down the sale of once lucrative cardboard, scrap metal and computer parts. It was nice to get out and for me to talk on other subjects rather than art...again I'm spreading my wings and mixing it up!! This weekend we will drive to Karen's home for a Holiday Open House...!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yosemite, Yosemite of my Dreams

My first memory of Yosemite was at age 6 standing on a western style wooden porch at the old Yosemite Lodge. Every summer after that one we (mother, sister, father and myself)camped in the month of August. Memories of the river, beach, evening "firefall" and later as a young girl, flirting with boys at the bridge and evening dances at Camp Curry. My parents continued to camp for many years after I left home, taking grandchildren and showing them the beauty of the valley. Later I returned as a wife and mom and recently Pablo and I spent the day as tourists with a long lunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel. Whenever I begin a visualization it starts with me in Yosemite...I believe the Yosemite Valley holds my heart and waits for my return. Do you have a place in nature that holds your heart?
The piece measures 10"x10" on canvas, photo transfer collage, plaster, screening and acrylic...the sides are painted black for a finished look.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Last of the Awards

This is so pretty...San from A life with a View offered it to me...thank you San, I have so appreciated your straight forward comments on my art. One thing I need to mention from the last post on this subject of awards: "NO OBLIGATION", truly. I see it as a way to introduce new and interesting blogs but if it isn't your thing or the technical stuff is time consuming...forget about it! With that said, this award is my gift to you, yes you ,who has stopped by to visit's yours if you would like!
On the subject of receiving, my friend Deena, gave me such a fun and wonderful gift...a square punch!! It is large and punches out a 1 1/4" square and I can tell you I have been busy....I've punched squares out of everything around the studio...what a kick. She gave it to me as I've been involved lately in squares within squares as an important motif in the new work. Aren't friends great!! Now I've been to the art supply for a little something for her but I can't tell...she reads the blog!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pocket Full of Awards

This is a beautiful award! I received it from Suki awhile ago and now it's my turn to pass it on. This award is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing (art too)...that's the general idea.
*Show the award on your blog.
*Link back to the blog that gave the award.
*Nominate 15 other blogs deserving the same.
*Leave a message on the blog of those you've selected.
I'm not sure about 15 but I will do my best. I have chosen new blogs to me, even some blogs that I am using this award as a way to introduce here goes!
That's it, I made it to 12 and I need to contact everyone....this is hard for me as I'm a bit of a recluse. I actually like this award business but in my past I was the one to shove my ribbons and awards in a paper bag. I'm the one that the neighbors used to ring the bell to see if I was alive...because I wouldn't go out for days?? I'm changing but it's a slow process to stop living only in my world and get out of my cave and mix with others. I'll post the other award's a beauty.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fear Itself

So difficult to photograph this black box...I finally took it outside in the sunshine. This was my first box and it's made of cardboard, tape, acrylic black paint, collaged items include black feathers,assorted pieces of cloth. The inside is photo collage and painted sky and clouds. I am a great believer in looking inside for answers and realizing fear...dark fear of outside circumstances holds no solutions. I don't want to sound Pollyanna but holding to clear thoughts and not allowing fear to overcome is a way to go through situations. This box has been a sweet reminder of this philosophy. I will post one other box when the owner, Karen sends me a photo as she purchased it. I have no way of finding the owner of the last box, called prayer, it was silver leaf with wire. I would be interested in making more boxes someday but of course, very different in shape and vision.
We have been renting "Weeds" a series from Showtime. I like watching series and this one has some interesting characters...very quirky.
Also enjoying preparing hearty meals...last night was mushroom chili, tonight spaghetti squash with chicken sausage and I'm also going to try Willow's cabbage dish. I always add to these dishes a crusty bread or the bread part!
New work starting, can't let it be easy, always happiest with some angst. My working titles are: Restoration of the Soul or Angels Remarks or Mapping the Unknowable. This could be a bumpy ride!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"Forlorn" at the Met

This has been so much fun, thank you Willow for the link Modern Art Museum Effect
I have to be a little crazy to put this portrait up but I felt a little crazy this morning. Ever so often I review one of my favorite book shelf art books "Life, Paint and Passion" by Michell Cassou & Stewart Cubley. I took a weekend class with Stewart Cubley in San Francisco years and years ago and it was wonderful! I call this one "Forlorn" and it measures 20"x26" on paper with acrylic. I began this piece with a blue shape that looked like an eyebrow and that began paint stroke after paint stroke until this image was complete. The lesson is to keep painting, stay out of judgement, analysis, or correction...just message, no art, only the experience of painting. That said, I'm sharing it in just that mind set. I like her, she has two tear drops and an assortment of spiders in what looks like hair and a heart tattoo on her jugular vein? She has no real message for me nor am I asking, not like my muse, this is the experience of painting...the passion of mixing paint and application! I needed that! I've been writing about my next series and I've tied myself up in knots with too many choices and some confusion so this was a perfect time to just let loose and now I'm hanging it at the Met!! Pablo was so smart, he said nothing...the handyman this morning did the same! ha

Friday, December 5, 2008

Meditation 101

Meditation: constructed with foam core, tape, and gesso. acrylic, bamboo and photo collage. 11"x 5", interior black acrylic with quote written with gold ink: "Just remain in the center, watching and then forget that you are there." Lao Tzu. Also in the box, fragments of broken incense.
To fill in the holes about my move to this beach town alone: It was our dream to move to the beach after our youngest son moved out on his own. My husband of 26 years died suddenly at 51 and that is when I sold everything and moved here with a heart-full of "could haves" and "would haves" but with time and painting ,journaling, the grief was healed. When my mother became a widow, I moved her here at the beach and when she passed on, I then decided to meet, love, and marry again...enter Pablo! I was never really alone, as I had old friends, new friends, my studio and joined numerous study, book and art has all been good.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Half Moon Bay

I forgot all about this photo I took on our night away...I love the beach, love the rocks,even on a cold rainy day I'm just happy to be at the beach.
The Odd, Unusual and or Interesting facts about me? I'm borrowing this meme from Suki and giving out some bits of information about me. I'm private in so many ways so this is a stretch but why not?! It's a way to share myself a little and to allow others to get to know more about me. So here are my seven:
1. I'm afraid of escalators...actually hold up crowds during the holidays.
2. Never took a computer class...can you tell?
3. I've forgotten how to swim, lost my confidence, I can still float but I can barely paddle around?
4. Took my only cruise "Path of the Vikings" which began in England and included stops in France, Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, Newfoundland, Halifax and Boston. It was wonderful!
5. I met Tony Bennett in the Palm Springs airport and we had a pleasant conversation.
6.I moved alone to this beach town in 1995 and only knew the real estate agent, I would go to coffee houses every morning just to be around other people.
7. Pablo and I worked three blocks apart in SF in 1966. We both married New Yorkers and many years later met on Yahoo personals in 2004

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Recap

It's all good! In the photo is my pumpkin soup which I now need to admit, I overloaded with cumin.... too smoky. The table setting looks like springtime but the sun was shining, I had the door open for air flow and too lazy to put out the good china for just the two of us. Also used a throw away roasting pan for the turkey breast so I wouldn't have the heavy clean up. Unfortunately, Pablo inserted the thermometer and unknowingly punctured the bottom of the pan. An hour later the pan was dry and the oven was smoking!! After all that I transferred the turkey to a real roasting pan and the turkey actually turned out tender and juicy. We drank champagne and carried over our gratitude throughout the dinner. My pie was good and thank goodness perfectly spiced. All in all I kept the dinner as traditional yet simple as possible.... Joyful for sure. Tell me about your dinners?
I've got to go now and clean the oven! ha Actually I'm going to do some framing the oven can wait. Happy Weekend.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Forgive me box

I created this and four other boxes awhile back...this one is about forgiveness and I thought I'd share...not exactly thankfulness in honor of this holiday but forgiveness is as close as I could get for today. I created this with foam core, tape and gesso. The top is a series of photos of Spanish tile with copper leaf and the sides are acrylic with the words "Forgive me" and "I Forgive you" in all different fonts, also copper wire and copper covered cork legs. The inside is wallpapered with red, purple and yellow photos of the human heart...very dark - just color. I sold two, "Death" and "Prayer" so I can only show two more, I didn't think to photograph the others before they sold. Making these with personal and important themes took me out of just crafty box making and I believe, back into art making.
I have the pumpkin soup prepared and I'll start the pie next. The rest of the cooking tomorrow. The house is clean and already smells of the holiday cooking. I have some Baileys Irish Cream, I'm not much of a drinker but it seems perfect to sip a little while in all this kitchen effort. I am so thankful for this year, it has been both light and dark but truly it has been life well lived and there lies my gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 24, 2008

Surprising Blooms

I've regularly neglected this plant, a little water now and then, some sun but in spite of my neglect it has bloomed itself with the prettiest pink blossoms. I think it is a cactus or a succulent?
I'm loving my new banner! Patrice of makinpeace offered to create a new banner. I believe she did an outstanding job...using my imagery against the night starlit sky with the romantic yellow type! She created a celestial/mysterious,dreamy quality and I'm so pleased. Patrice and I had an almost sell-out show together here at a local gallery. I'll put that story together and post our wonderful postcard sometime after the holidays.
Received a wonderful award from Suki this morning and I will do my best to post it later this week...Thank you Suki. I am starting to get busy with shopping, house cleaning so studio time is limited for sure. Great Monday to all!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Evening Tea

A romantic notion of mine...tea brewed on an ancient samovar, served on a hand woven carpet. An evening tea accompanied by sweet dates or figs before sleep and early morning departure back out into the desert...into the unknowable. Our dented and banged up samovar sits in the dining room as a reminder of such times. There are remains of charcoal inside and the brass teapot on top has long disappeared but the spigot still turns and once a year I shine it up with Brasso.
The piece measures 18"x18" and is on a foam core base, acrylic, silk fabric, photo collage. I plan on framing this one and the one before in black wood frames and the lighter ones in natural wood. I have a slide show in the side bar and if you click on the left corner Oasis Series it will show all the pieces together. With the series feeling complete for now, I'm going to play in the studio through Thanksgiving. I'll try out some exercises and revisit techniques so as to guide myself into the next vision. I know I'm pretty interested in continuing squares within squares and I think I'd like to get my sewing machine out again so we shall see out in the unknowable!
Looks like so many will have a white pretty to see the dusting of first snow. Pablo and I will have dinner alone and youngest son will come over on Saturday for his turkey dinner.(he has a remote on "black Friday"as it goes with his job... he is a disc jockey and the holiday sales are ON)) We have had sunshine and the awful winds and fire down south. I lived in LA for six years and we were caught in one of those awful fires years ago... packing the car, the thick smoke and seeing flames on nearby hills. We were lucky and spared but it was an awful experience. I have a site in my sidebar favorites The Big Picture and the photos of this year's fire are heartbreaking.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Inside the Walls

Back to the oasis and this time to the interior, the real rest recuperation. Represented by ancient markings, floor plans, secret windows, doorways with the palm tree views. Under it all crumbling tile flooring. This piece is on a foam core base, photo collage, acrylic, lace, joint compound and wire mesh. It measures 18"x18" and I like the mix. During this time of the oasis series, I have taken personal time to eat better, meditate, exercise and write. I've come to a peaceful place in my life...the past has it's place and the future doesn't seem so dark (not counting the times I look at my money situation) and I'm finding myself able to stay in the present for longer amounts of time..I've found a more manageable pace for my day. I've also been looking at what is next in art as I'm just about ready now to choose a new focus.
Weekend begins tonight...the weather is so warm and I've packed away all my light weight clothes? We are going to rent a few movies...last weekend we went to see the "Changeling" but left in the middle...upsetting asylum scenes that didn't sit well with us so if anyone has seen this movie...let me know how it ends. I just leave movies when they are too upsetting...I'm so visual that I can't shake the images.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Wedding Song

It was our day to remember always. The beauty of ancient rituals, chanting and friends and family reading prayers, signing marriage contracts...all to support us. So important to us were my two sons and Pablo's son and brother standing at each corner of the wedding canopy (chuppah) symbolizing the four corners of the Universe and the covering itself symbolizing Spiritual presence. Most important was my husband's poem:

Wedding Song
Be still and you will hear our song-
The song of an artist and a poet,
Of a woman and man who found

In each other new lyrics for loving

Late in life, two lights within a home

That summon all to come who know God.

From the day we met until today

When we exchange vows and rings,

It's like time has frozen, and all things

Measured have ceased: Only the lull and hum

We hear, only the strumming of distant stars.

Old, dark promises relinquished,

Now we are free to embrace

Tomorrow's brightest moments

--Truly uncommon hours--

When the pendulum stops

And our heartbeats begin.

Listen again, so strong our song

Sung to the tune of kindred spirits,

Played softly and sweetly and slowly,

A song of love like a blossoming flower

Foretelling of marvels as each petal opens,

A song of wonder--our wedding song!

The reception was champagne and refreshments in the Mediterranean style: dolmas, hummus, breads, olives, cheeses, persimmons, figs, dates and nuts. The three layer cake was a gift and the filling was lemon and ollalieberry! Music- piano. The scroll above was our guest book created by friend Florie. Deena was my angel throughout, photography, watchful eye and all other angel activities. One of my happiest days!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Wedding Invitation

This was a collaborative creation for sure. I painted and collaged the imagery and Pablo wrote the text. My dear friend Deena photographed and combined our efforts on her computer and worked her magic creating these 4"x9" invitations which fit perfectly in a packet type envelope. On the back of the invitation were two easy to follow maps for out of town guests. She used a program that created a jagged edge on the painting which I think looks great. I believe I was expressing young new love, the robes for me, signified the patchwork of memories and the wine for celebration. In the original you can make out the cardboard, nude drawings and favorite cloths and lace in their robes.The covered heads represent ritual and the moons are for cycle of life. Tomorrow is our anniversary and we will celebrate with a great dinner out! Also tomorrow I will post Pablo's Wedding poem. I'm surprising myself with this blog and all my sharing. Not like me, I'm usually content to reveal through my work...words, expressing in words to the big world is new to me! Never too late!
Can't seem to enlarge the invitation enough to read the text so here is the second paragraph.
You are invited to join us
when we marry the one
we laugh with, dream with,
and deeply love.
We have chosen to continue
our growth through marriage.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Shelter Me

Although I wanted to create more abstract pieces, I seem to be working out oasis as a metaphor with more imagery than I had expected. I had such pleasure putting this canopy (chupah) together using scraps of trims and lace with photo collage. I was married under a beautiful chupah but I think there was a little wish to have created my very I least in collage. This piece measures 18"x18" on a foam core base, potato print, added foam core, lace, acrylic, pencil, colored pencil, soft pastel and photo collage. I have two more large pieces and they are a little more abstract.
Pablo and I had our own journey yesterday, it was an hour drive through the mountains, crowded freeways to our destination...IKEA. Yes, with our cart rolling we picked up Lingonberry jam, mustard sauce, Swedish meatballs, dishtowels , picture frames and a new bread knife. We finished it all off with two $1 soft ice cream cones! On the picture frames...they carry a couple of sizes of square natural wood and black frames...perfect for these foam core pieces and the frames include matt and glass. My clever Pablo bought me two lovely grey metal mesh waste baskets for my computer area and work table. A long hard drive but Oh, the shopping!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

"Southwest Wall"

Entering the first oasis for me...placing the water jugs and walls with dark windows...a less than friendly stop but necessary when moving in the unknown wilderness. Metaphorically through my wilderness of regaining my uncharted area for me.
I started to do series with personal meaning years ago. I find a subject that draws me into research, historical, geographical as well as attracting my strong tie with myth, story and spiritual imagery. One series awhile ago had me visiting myth, planet info, also visited Mars...planet colors, textures, war God, endings and forgiveness. All this loaded into a few paintings...for me it's a rich experience. My best hope is the viewer of my work be fully engaged in their own story!
"Southwest Wall" measures 17"x17" and is on a foam core base. Photo and cloth collage, acrylic, joint compound, potato print and soft pastel.
Speaking of oasis...Pablo and I are setting off to travel about 50miles north along the coast to a small town, Half Moon Bay where we will take a few days to eat well, read, sleep and enjoy the scenery. We expect rain so that will make the trip even cozier. We will return in time to vote!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Open Studio Acquistition!

"Synchronicity" by Florie ...canvas measures 6"x6" acrylic. Florie is inspired by petraglyphs (sp) and has visited cave sites here and in Mexico. She teaches ESL in the evenings and paints as often as possible. Participating in Open Studio was a very big deal and it was my pleasure to visit and to buy one of her pieces. I've known Florie for years, we go to meditation together, we had a show together at a local gallery with another friend Deena entitled Sacred Vows, Sacred Visions. When we can manage it, we meet for a coffee date and time just flies!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Back to the Caravan

Enough with the birthdays, time to return to the dream images, the caravan. This is the 2nd of the small pieces dealing with dim light of night. I wanted to express the feeling of moving on sand in darkness. The sounds, smells of the slow movement past the sleeping structures. It measures 8"x8" on foam core, collage, acrylic, joint compound and lino cut stamp. I like using what I have and breaking some rules. Below is a photo of my small collection of plates for this series minus the potato cuts. I added wine corks for handles and made the stamps.

I'll be picking up my four larger pieces on Wednesday from the photo lab...sounds silly but I've missed them!

Friday, October 24, 2008

"When I'm Sixty-Four"

When I get older losing my hair
many years from now
will you still be sending me a valentine
birthday greeting, bottle of wine
if I'd been out till quarter to three
would you lock the door
Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four

This was not my favorite Beatles song but for today it fits me! What was my mother thinking parting my hair down the middle? I remember school pictures and all the excitement. Weeks later ordering the packets which included small photos for trading with friends. The 50's were so simple, school pictures, milk money and weekly bank deposits on Friday. I also remember an art teacher and a music teacher visiting on a regular basis. Oh, and library day where we were marched over to pick out a was magical to me. There was recess, dodge ball, kickball, four-square and swings and slides but never in those years did I imagine my self reaching 64. I wonder if children are still sweet and excited by school? I'm not around children and it doesn't look promising with my two sons and Pablo's son...single, all three. What are your memories of grammar school?
I'm going to lunch with friend Deena and Pablo and I will go to the movies and dinner. Sunday my youngest son will visit as the 23rd was his birthday...cupcakes for everyone! Oldest son celebrates Nov. 3.
I'm okay at 64, healthy enough, grateful and peaceful....hardly ever lust after "things" anymore. Love creating in my studio, laugh everyday and generally okay with the regrets issue. Love my husband and friends and open to loving more. It's all still magical to me!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pool Closing

Our neighborhood pool is closing Friday with a BBQ lunch...should be fun. The photo is too dark but the chairs have brightly colored striped cushions and the umbrellas behind the camera are lime green. There was plenty of bickering but the board finally spent the money (our money)on these nice improvements and it's been resort like to go to the the pool this summer. We have a spa that stays open all year but around December it takes more courage than I have to go up there in my robe and flip flops...I guess once in and under the water but OH getting there! We don't have the fall color, just the lifeguard shacks are put away and the roller coaster is closed on weekdays...that is how we know fall is here! ha The pool reopens in April...fog or no fog!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I Just Want to Go Home!

That title is code for I want out for a time, a place to close the doors on current find comfort of sanctuary, restful sleep, good food, safety and natural beauty. I've mumbled or sometimes screamed those words when situations have been overwhelming such as my hospital stay in April. This has been the prayer for all time, our human desire to barricade the cave opening, tie the tent flap or move the ladder from the tree house...time out....a universal need. These first few pieces have become the literal journey to the oasis using the ancient desert themes. I know as in the past the imagery will eventually evolve into more abstraction. The "Little Night Journey" is collage, potato print on foam core. It measures 8"x8". I like the darkness.
Change of subject: I am thinking of beginning the HBO series of "John Adams". I have heard good reports and I believe it has won several awards. Great change of pace, history ,drama costumes etc....I need to separate myself from the nightly news shows that repeat and repeat the days political activities. Could there be anyone that is still undecided?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Two On The Aisle

Fun Day yesterday...we stopped off at a friend's Open Studio and Pablo bought greeting cards and I bought a small canvas. I'll pick it up in a week, after Open Studio closes.

We both enjoyed "Burn After Reading". Not as good as other Coen Brother's movies such as "Brother Where Art Thou" but the cast was sensational and I enjoyed those m&m"s.

Today was closet cleaning and sorting the summer clothes to my storage area. Three piles, one for keepers, one for consignment and one for Goodwill. It's fun to see at the end of the season what sells on consignment and receive a check too. I'm rarely at the stores but somehow I have managed to collect quite a few items. I admit to some catalog shopping once in awhile.
On the subject of cleaning, I also had the heater checked with new filter, water heater drained ,weatherized the doors and this week I'll have the large bushes and vines cut back. No time is now available!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"Japan" by Billy Collins

For several years it was Pablo's habit to read to me in the evening...mostly poetry and because our memories are fading or because we loved this poem...well anyway, he read "Japan" to me many nights and I later created these three small encaustics in reaction to "Japan". You'll want to read the whole poem but he starts out describing himself reading a favorite haiku and then he takes it all
to a much deeper and more beautiful place. (In my opinion) All three measure 4"x4" (something odd about my scanner) photo collage, silver leaf and layers of wax, mostly blue. I rarely work with encaustics because of my workspace...poor ventilation and I feel uneasy. What I do like about encaustics is the polishing and the sweet
scent of beeswax. I seem to be having trouble today organizing this post and I am sorry not to have a link to Billy Collins....this poem "Japan" is in his book "Sailing Alone Around the Room".

Friday, October 3, 2008

"Flying Fearless Freyja"

October is here...for me that represents the new year as recorded in Viking history. Spiritually it's our new year (Pablo and me)and October is my birthday (Suki too) which begins yet another new year!
I've just ended working with my coach Shannon, she has been so supportive and has directed me to some hard questions concerning new work. I have been able to set new goals in subject as well as marketing goals. The coaching course was offered by Eric Maisel and it's the second time I've participated in the program.
I also began the new series with a surprise! Since last spring my illness left me shaken and unsure about my energy and what I could expect from myself in the way of new work. I still love a challenge, exploration, research, mixing materials and methods but do I have the strength both physical and emotional to see a series through?I created a muse by creating what I needed most...fearlessness. Her title is "Flying Fearless Freyja", she like the others wears a helmet and this time goggles. Her hair is made of cloth, feathers and her braid of ribbon, cloth and satin. acrylic paint. After framing her I took to my journal and wrote from her perspective: Make yourself an oasis, a plan to rest, to heal, to lay down smell sweet perfume, drink cool water and taste honeyed dates, spiced olives and warm bread. Sleep with the stars and moon circling your soul and awaken to bird song and sunshine. Go, go and rest your body, mind and soul. You have further to go and you've been through an unexpected, smile again, fill your eyes with grateful tears.....The subject of oasis has come up for me on and off and so it is now fascinating me enough to begin work! I begin with mixed media stories or narratives of oasis. I plan on 6-8 pieces. I have taken four to be photographed and I must admit I've struggled within my spirit. I believe they are a prelude to more abstract work...we shall see. It is so helpful having this blog to clarify where I am in this process ...thank you for your presence.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thank My Lucky Star!

Sacred Vessel Series

My neighbor and friend (she owns two of my pieces) called the other day to bring over a friend visiting from NY for a studio visit. We had a great time and Richard decided on these two prints. This one on the left is a gelatin print (yes, Knox gelatin) with pencil and acrylic paint and ink. It measures 18"x18" framed and the title is "Baptism of Dreams" The second one, on the right also measures 18"x18" framed and is a gelatin print. It's title is "Faith, Being & Necessity". It has collage, pencil and soft pastel. I shipped it off to him via UPS and he sent me a note to say all went well and he is very happy! I am so awful at marketing, I wish it all could be this easy.

Pablo is out of town and I'm working on new work...what a fine mess I've made...I will clean up late tomorrow. I'm also eating all the foods he doesn't like...eggplant, sundried tomatoes...I'm really putting on the feedbag...I have trouble with limits sometime!ha
A little explaining:" Making Monotypes "Using a Gelatin Plate by Nancy Marculewicz was a book that began this series. I have been a printmaker for years but was looking for a cleaner, less toxic way to make monotypes and the fun of using my cooking talents (boiling gelatin)with art making! The direction of the series Sacred Vessels came about after brain storming with my friend Deena in various coffee houses around town. It was extremely helpful having a direction when working with a short lived element such as gelatin. We worked together one evening making the plate and another evening printing our drawings of vessels. I can tell you, Pablo came home to a floor covered (drying time) in monotypes! We later developed these images at our own studios but it was great fun having one another for the basic production.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Back in the Studio

I'm starting a new series so I'm doing some play, exploring and some not knowing. I'm actually feeling curious, fresh outlook and just plain ready to see what will develop. I sometimes set up challenges such as: include block printing, some fabric collage and maybe limit to three colors. Once I get going I can expand or narrow the list but it's fun to have beginning direction. My most recent piece included potato print, magazine and cloth collage and I stayed away from the joint squares within squares! I have been using high quality gessoed foam core which is nice because I can cut in the surface and it is a strong support for collage. I created a new muse to infuse the spirit of exploration and I will share her image with you next. All this to keep the magic going!!
Good news, my oldest son is much better...his potassium levels have improved and he is home and on the mend. It was a prescription of steroid that the doctors feel caused the out of whackness!
Youngest son is visiting this weekend and we are going to see "Burn After Reading" by the Coen Brothers...hope it's great.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm Home!

The car is in the driveway and we are all unpacked! We had a lovely day sunny and one day overcast. Too cool for swimming but we drove down towards Big Sur and stopped at a roadside place for lunch and spectacular view. Our room included a picnic breakfast, coffee, fruit, yogurt, cereal and bagel delivered at the door in a basket with newspaper. We ate light throughout the weekend and in places with great music, flowers and service! I had plenty of time to read and write and truly smell the flowers. As we were leaving Carmel we stopped in at a Farmer's Market and bought a nice selection of fruits and vegetables and the sweet orchid to the right. It was $7 and has several buds so we should have great pleasure for several weeks or more.
The day before we left, my friend Deena came over and we had a "studio day"! We transferred photo images onto cloth, used Clorox pens, machine sewing and adding things to our art pieces....generally had fun and made a huge mess!! It opened ideas up for both of us...I can see some of these methods used in my new series and she too has new ideas.
I received a phone call minutes after walking in the door from Carmel.son is in the hospital in Southern California and they are not sure but he had dangerously low potassium?!We are waiting for more test the middle of peace there can also be chaos. He has always been strong and healthy so we will wait.

Friday, September 12, 2008

"Hit the Road Jack errrr Me"

Yes, finally we are moving down the road...for two days in beautiful Carmel. Our hotel is within walking distance of downtown so plenty of cafes and strolling. Pablo and I will celebrate our second year married this November so this is the stuff of our in the sun or fun in the fog! We will return Tuesday!

Monday, September 8, 2008

An Award to Remember

*post the above logo to your blog
*link to the blogger you received it from
*award at least 7 blogs
*link to those blogs
*leave those bloggers a comment about receiving the BrillianteWeblog Premio 2008

Bridgette Guerzon Mills of Contemplating the Moon awarded me this award and I am so pleased. She is a very expressive artist and I enjoy visiting her blog.

I have been visiting these blogs and find each one fascinating. A few I've yet to leave a comment so it is also my way of introducing myself: Artsortments Catherine Carter's Art Blog
My Marrakesh Spirit Cloth Studio View sfgirlbybay Marja-Leena Rathje February 07,2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

Yes, It's Time

This little red Viking muse has her own life and story...I can hardly remember putting her together with paint, crayon and collage. She measures 14"x14". I know I started with a red background and just stayed with red...adding the clock placed as a balloon with remind again it's time. I was trying to access the seven year old of me. The one that felt strong and confident with a box of crayons, watercolor tin, colored pencils and paste jar. She has always reminded me of that pure joy of artmaking....with simple tools and materials equals a fun place to play and create. Her expression is for me a straight ahead annoucement....It's time, time to keep the promise, time to get to the easel, the table and paint.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Woman Wise Muse

1. In the center core of my body packed with the binding of my hips is the art of my life. The place of being rooted from beginning time. The place of my spirit...the match of the Universe the DNA that claims who I am and my artistic gifts, my purpose and my agreements. From this deep rich dark place art springs forward with blind passion towards the surface, towards the new old road....the familiar and surprising route of my spirit. Ready now to begin my integration into the mature work. What is different about this journey? It is no longer the youthful random exploration but growing up and the enjoyment of the learned art lessons.
2. How to integrate and combine the youthful artist to the mature soul? I'm outfitted for this journey not with fanciful flights and materials but rather with the gift of my river, my boat and my sturdy oars. I will row through troubled or confusing waters. Also joining me are the ranks of others gone before...other artists that have found their earned state of "nothing to prove". This is the journey of the seasoned artist, woman wise with skilled hands and eyes. No longer looking for signs but knowing them, recognizing curves and lines. The flow, the juice the vibration all still there but at the same time simplification, clear steps and knowing when and what needs to die. Letting it be dead and moving on.
The Vision
3. She stands by the river near the boat and oars. The moon is bright and the "others" echo best wishes. No longer the young fool's quest but the well earned woman wise indeed. She sets out on her soulful journey with a quiet smile of knowing resolve. The integration will be a welcomed connection and until that moment they ride side by side.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Take Me Home"

Yet another muse painted when I needed her most...she was lighting my way to a new home. I was a sudden widow and everyone advised me against making the move to Santa Cruz, CA. Family, friends and financial guys, who predicted I'd become a bag lady. I placed a map of the Monterey Bay on top of my blue earth as my target. My Viking muse stands firm holding her lantern. Her braid is made of collaged satin ribbons and her lantern.... a strawberry basket! The piece measures "24 x 28", acrylic. To make a long story short, I did sell everything, I did move alone and not knowing a single person and I did find a home perfect for me. Courage seems to be the gift or maybe the gift of standing firm.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Muse I Have Known

I have been creating my own brand of personal muse on and off for years. She always is outfitted with a helmet according to Norse mythology, sometimes wings and her age and gift is always different. They have been as an icon for me and although I have hung them in shows, I have never marketed them because of my personal attachment.
"The Necessity of Light" is my red haired girl with her pie tin helmet, she flies through the cosmos on her yellow wings. At the time I painted her I needed clarification and direction in my work and this image was helpful. I wrote in my journal from her perspective and gained a special and deeper insight. Even now years later her image makes me smile...Holding her little candle lantern giving her own light to an already large well lit Universe. The piece is on paper and measures 22"x36" acrylic with some collage.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Shared Birthday

A double birthday...a date I hold in my heart and as long as I can...I'll remember. She gave me dreaming, imagination, story and creative play...actually they both did, my mom and sister. So added to that mix my father's strong golden hands and I'm an artist...what a lovely legacy. Happy Birthday, in memory , mom and sister, Caroline.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Time in Four Parts IV

This is my fourth in a series on time. I've been examining time in my art for years but officially this is my four. "Tower of Song" by L. Cohen rings for me on this piece. We have a clock tower downtown and everything important happens there...New Year's Eve, war protests...etc. I've enjoyed clocks on buildings even when they are running slow or fast or not at all. A reminder
of time to the community. All four pieces have an orange material collaged in each one...I made it by painting layers of acrylic on Plexiglas and then peeling it away. I have these pieces hung in a long row on a wall and see them as dark dreamlike thoughts of time (memory?).
On a personal note - I've been going to rehab and using the gym. I can't believe how sore I am from using the treadmill.
August is usually sunny but lately the fog burns off late and returns after just a few hours...drives the tourists crazy!
Tonight, is my Project Runway, I'll juggle it with the Olympics and then soon the political conventions. I remember playing outside in the evening on the lawn while my aunt and uncle were glued to the TV watching the long ago!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Time in Four Parts III

Big fat clock, child's clock, I remember thinking summer vacation would last forever. Thoughts of not enough time, going to be late time, time flying, and my favorite...Right on time! Now as I'm older and I've lost so many, I see time as a gift. I make decisions now on what wastes my time. This is the third canvas in the Time in Four Parts...acrylic and collage measuring as the others 16"x16". I have a blue bar with red markings running through all way of marking time.

Starting new work. I've narrowed down subjects, materials and support. The coaching has been very helpful, I have a tendency to wander with my work so I do much better with a focus. To mark the beginning of new work I have been painting personal muses. I am no Frieda Kahlo and my muse (self portrait) reflects my less painful life as well as my humor. I'm attached to the lady Viking image! I have one (painted a couple of years ago) that has wings (helmet made from a pie tin) and is flying through the cosmos holding a lantern with a candle. She gives me a smile and I believe lights my way. I will try to post a photo..she measures 22"x 36". Todays muse is also a Viking gal and wearing 3-D glasses and braids... guiding myself through this maze called art.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Time in Four Parts II

A blue heart with a clock...I never thought I'd paint a heart but I surprised myself on this one. In reviewing my writing, it seems I was focused on relationships of the heart and the ongoing ticking of allotted time in matters of the heart. With this one, I painted fast and with my eyes almost closed...never easy dealing with the heart. Mostly acrylic and some collage.

Confession: I watch "Project Runway" on Bravo, Wednesday nights. I'm not all that interested in the contestants or the emotional flare-ups. What fascinates me are the challenges and the burst of creative resolution...not always successful but I so enjoy the effort. Lately I've been getting ready to begin new work and a personal challenge is what I need. Also some boundaries and a timetable. These lazy summer days have my mind and heart buzzing on what's next!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lucky Day Yesterday

I received this award from San at A Life with a View...she said, "The Blog whose title is Just Plain Fun to Read. And the blog is every bit as beautiful." Thank you San! I have enjoyed having this blog and feel it has enriched my life. I welcome all visitors to take the time to click on each site at my Favorite Blogs. I believe you will find a great collection of blogs created by unique,smart,talented and humorous women who have sites that are Just Plain Fun to Read!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I'm loving this summer but can't help but notice the calendar...July 17th already!!
The canvas to the right is part of a four part series on personal time...time issues I've written about over the years. It is difficult to read the collaged words:
On this dark sky night
Relinquishing Living Promises
I placed the words as to be falling, a letting go. These words came from writing about my marriage vows...I was a widow and clearly having difficulty accepting that the vows had ended.
On a different note...I bought a metal rolling cart with drawers and I've been organizing my small art supplies, pencils, ink, charcoal etc.... what a great feeling of accomplishment! I can't believe how I hold on to unnecessary things, just junk! I come by this problem from both my parents. When I was cleaning out their house, I found such stuff! There were unimportant receipts way back to the time of my birth! The house never looked bad but underneath and in the closets were boxes and files of PAPER! I have found moving as a great way to clear out the unwanted collections or in this case buying a really great looking cart!

Monday, July 7, 2008


A garden complete with tile, palm tree, windows and a singing duet. A place to stop, pure pleasure, soft morning light or afternoon breeze...a place to come back to, yard, patio, home. The song is also simple, not looking forward or back but timeless serenade. This is the beginning and ending this is the call, this is the sanctuary of needed rest, available heart, available song.
Writing is a big part of my art making. It leads me to the imagery and sometimes defines the images. I'm in a place in my life where I still love painting but I'm no longer as interested in building a career. I have kept a journal well over 25 years...almost daily writing. It has served as my true sanctuary, my mentor and my learning tool. I wrote the above piece shortly after gluing down the two yellow birds. It gives me joy.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Evening prayers

This is the last piece using machine stitching collage, silver leaf, stones, wire and acrylic. I will always come back to the subject of the human and divine connection but not in this way with these materials. I'll come back later to this process when it feels I might have more to develop, otherwise to continue would feel like manufacturing rather than fresh in my hands and heart. There are 9 pieces in the set, each measuring 4"x4" and they can be hung in a variety of ways. The silver leaf is left shiny and two pieces have angel images. The printing is copy of code used in the Cosmic Call to nearby stars.
What's next? I've looked over my notes, poetry, folders of saved papers and I've signed up to be a client in a creative coaching program by Eric Maisel. The coach I've been assigned, lives in Missouri and so far we have sent email introductions. We will conduct our coaching client relationship via email for the next several weeks. The new coach will get the benefit of hands on experience coaching a working artist and I, working artist, hope to reap the rewards of support and direction for my next creative journey. I'm looking forward to this so much...!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

one moment please.....

The photo lab has been slow on completing the copies of my most recent work so I thought I'd share my workspace. The best money spent was on installing a sun lights up my work area with lovely light. To the left is a rolling cart with brushes and supplies as well as a large easel. The studio is in the center of the house with bedrooms and bathrooms on one side and kitchen, living room and dining room on the other side of the house. The floor is a Pergo laminate and I have interlocking rubber type mat at the work table. On the left is an old
offset press which I use for monotypes. The rest of the shelves are packed with supplies, supplies. In the corner is a mobile I made out of Cd's which are covered on both sides with a variety of photographed fish eyes and collaged way of having an aquarium. Right now the studio needs a good cleaning because I really can't find any space on the table to start work.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I'm not sure but it might have been the Discovery Channel...I remember seeing drawings of ancient lighthouses and descriptions of towers and bonfires to light the way on dark rocky coastlines. I became so fascinated with the vision of these fires and the glowing light. "Lighthouse" is canvas and measures 12"x12". There are many layers of cheesecloth, with a fabric machine stitched circle collage under the grate( the grate being a bottom of a strawberry basket in another life)The silver leaf shines which helps the oranges and reds glow like fire light.
Hot,hot, hot here at the fog...spectacular. Today was my maiden voyage to drive, shop all by myself since my hospital stay. I made my stops, bank, art supply, drug store and then called Pablo (he was on call in case I fell on my face) and invited him for coffee. We drank down delicious iced Chai and shared a BIG cookie and I felt pretty proud of myself. I didn't walk for those ten days in the hospital and lost enormous strength. In July I go to rehab (Pulmonary) and really get some muscles.