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.