Saturday, August 21, 2010


I like the word variety and it's many definitions: absence of uniformity, quantity or collection of different things and my favorites: medley, mixture, range and diversity. I've done many series over the years and stayed with a theme with narrow variations.

With this project each piece (3)was begun differently and used different materials and had a different mood. I'm enjoying my tools, my process and I'm believing as a whole, at the completion of 40 pieces I will be able to recognize it all being my and line.

20"x20" Rives BFK, molding paste,handmade stencil, collage and acrylic. From the beginning I was responding to the words "a call to prayer" and feeling so upset about the flooding, landslides and general world suffering...I began working with this simple composition, I sanded, glazed, sanded until I had a feeling of a "call". Sorry about the tilted photo.

Tomato growing update: I picked the red ones...sliced them and took a bite...ugh...the worst tasting tomato of my life! We didn't get that much sun but I did water...awful texture and a bitter much for Topsy Turvey at the beach...I'm off to the Farmer's Market where one can get such a wild variety (that word again) heirloom, big, little and even an assortment of colors!


  1. Such warmth in your painting! I love the idea of going off in search of wild variety- heirlooms and all.

  2. and you always offer such 'variety'....too bad about your tomatoes...they're the best this year in michigan, although i haven't grown any.
    hmmmm, w/fresh basil, olive oil...balsamic.

  3. I think your work is always recognizable as yours. Am so interested to read about your new approach. Not a series, but the whole to express maybe a subconscious "series". My words of course, you may have meant differently. Call to prayer. I love the colors and textures.

    I am watching a two disc DVD series on Edvard Munch which is an oddly put together partly acted out and partly overvoiced with biographical info and diary excerpts film. They show him painting his first breakthrough painting in which he scraped and incised the paint, flattened the two women's features etc. They said it was one of the first if not the first expressionistic painting. That part of the film is most fascinating. Your picture reminds me of his painting, with the lines and incisions. Very expressionistic.

  4. Love your use of colours, and the thoughts that accompany your work, this one is great!

  5. Heirloom Toms. Yum. I am so far from my source now.

    Your age holds such depths and light. Love the little reds opening like fallen seed hearts.

  6. Very interesting piece. Open understanding, I think one could do a series based on those words. I love work that goes through the process, based on words. I think that the more work we do based on the same idea, while challenging ourselves to do something different, we grow..... I love tomatoes, and I think I've had that experience.

  7. I love the way it seems to glow from inside.

  8. Responding to "a call to prayer" .... I like that. I thought you had tilted the painting intentionally to give a feeling of instability. We do feel so helpless when it comes to natural disasters.... or any disasters for that matter, but a call to prayer soothes one.

  9. I enjoy reading your post and your lovely ART work ! It made me think.. that I should put lots of variety in my work as well !

  10. Sorry about the tomatoes. I am sure your mouth was all set for "homegrown" deliciousness. Tomatoes and I have had a long history of good and bad. There was the year when the rats (no more, thank God!) ate all of the tomatoes. They would wait until they were ready to pick and suck the life out of them.
    Love the Painting. Those are the colors that give me such peace and the subject reinforces that peaceful feeling. Over the years I realize that I am drawn to the exposed brass color and all the variation.

  11. Your wonderful creative spirit shines through in all you do. Very nice work and an inspiration.

  12. Wonderful rich organic color and textures here. Beautiful art and words!

  13. I agree that your work all has a cohesive, 'signature' quality about it, and I like reading your thoughts.
    I love the addition of the little red berry looking bits. I wonder if those are symbiotic for the wonderful tomatoes you didn't have?
    Tomatoes haven't been wonderful here this year. Nor plentiful. We used to buy them on the roadside between the lake and here. Very few this year,,,,but it's been so hot and dry.

  14. I love this piece too ..... the rich colours appear to sing. I would love to see your work "in the flesh".

  15. Mary Ann,
    It looks as if you have been busy! I think that it is great that you are responding to the world crisis with painting. What a great way to work things out and perpetuate some good vibrations in that direction. Sort of an affirmation of Truth. In church today, these words: "For it is simply our consent, our way of saying yes to the flow...". I believe that is what you are doing. Saying yes to the good, to the abundance that everyone deserves, to love, to light, to...

  16. Love the old world feel in this piece. It has a real sculptural feel and I love the lighting in the round roofed building. I get "a call to prayer" from this work, there is that ancient village feel to the piece as if we might be wandering toward a temple.

    "I began working with this simple composition, I sanded, glazed, sanded until I had a feeling of a "call"." I have been trying to work in this way too. There is a satisfying quality to it.

  17. Love your painting and the challenge you have set for yourself. Great idea! 40 paintings is really major undertaking, but I'm sure you will do it with style :O)
    My tomatoes didn't do so well both in the hanging bucket and in the ground, but the few I had were very tasty. Now I understand why they charge such outrageous prices at the farmers market

  18. I love all the elements you use Mary Ann....your work, for me, always has a joyous quality...that even though there are so many tragic events going on in the world, and so much suffering, there is always hope, love, beauty, and spirituality to turn to.

  19. I like the division of space in this piece, and simplicity of the shapes. The moon above and that checkerboard line to the side is what really pulls it together for me.

    Regarding the tomatoes--I recently was given one of the best tomatoes of my life. It was more red on the inside than it was on the outside, if that says anything. I ate it whole, slicing it into pieces and adding a little salt to each, like my grandpa does in the summer.

  20. Variety you grow art better than you do tomatoes..good for you!

  21. I think it is great to try so many different mediums and processes and yet end up with a body of work that is consistent and cohesive.

  22. Cynthia, I like the search part too!

    Neva, I have found tomato heaven at the farmer's market...sweet, colorful and yes, now with basil, olive oil and balsamic!

    Suki, Good to know my work is recognizable as mine...thank you.

    Regina, Thinking, feeling and days in the studio!

    Mansuetude, I see the red circles as the glass candle holders in California Missions...candles all lit as prayers.

    Annell, Mining the depth of an interesting subject creates a rich experience and series...I agree.

    Maggie, Thank you...lots of glazing!

    Robyn, I've been looking at the piece and the photo and I think there is a tilting going on in the image?!

    Regina, We are inspiration for one another...blogland is good for all of us artists!

    Pat, I will never complain of my tomato win hands down! See you at the Farmer's Market!

    Zappha, Thank you so much...inspiring words of yours!

    Lori-Saul, I'm so glad you visited and thank you for this admiration here!

    Babs, Interesting take on the red circles...I was seeing prayer candle holders but maybe tomatoes too!

    Mindful Musings, Your comment is so helpful... wasn't sure... I thought it might be too dark...thank you

    Teri, Thank you, beautiful words and quotes. As artists...we feel the currants of life and respond.

  23. ZDS, I am thrilled you see the ancient quality and that the 'call to prayer' is felt!

    Eva, A challenge of 40 feels do-able when I break it down to sets of 5 at 8 times...or 20 and then 20 more. My kind of math?!

    OTL, This is some wild planet...tragedy, suffering and as you wrote at the same time hope, love and beauty.

    Leslie C., I am loving these big heirloom tomatoes too and yes, with salt to bring out the flavor...ahhh summer!

    Lyn, What a wonderful twist...'I grow art better than tomatoes'!!

    Donna, I like every word you wrote! I especially like the part about mixing up the media...thank you.

  24. Mary Ann -- you work with such an array of materials and tools - it bowls me over! love the richness of tone and saturation, too!

  25. Thank you for sharing
    This fabulous work with us

  26. You are an inspiration - 40 paintings wow! I think I need to set myself some kind of goal like this -I have been thinking alot about the world suffering too and wondering about the my self indulgence as an artist - a dilemma that you seem to have solved for yourself - also I really like the new look to your blog and the header!