Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Hanging Some StarsTonight"

What's on my walls? Another image from the archives of Blue Sky Dreaming. 61/2"x71/2" acrylic, silver, fabric and thread collage and graphite. The title is "Hanging Some Stars Tonight" a line from a Laurie Anderson song. I was seriously listening to her in the 90's and this particular song was about hanging stars of Marlyn Monroe, Kennedy and others of our time. As I had recently become a widow, I created this mixed media piece thinking of the deep meaning. I painted the silver ladder and because I am afraid of heights I attached silver ropes. Metaphorically I hung my husband's star and when I pass this little piece even to this day , I can't help but smile. For me, in this case, art heals and sweetens life.

I don't consider my self high maintenance but I barely manage two maybe three days a week in the studio and the rest of my days are spent on lifes little chores. This week, pedicure, hair cut, produce, groceries, car wash, lawyer appointment and ongoing exercise class...oh yes, laundry,. cooking, fun with Pablo, coffee dates and I'm retired! Not all the work flows...sometimes it takes days, weeks to connect with a piece and bring it to the real world. So because my ongoing work isn't ready, I will fill-in with my older work or hopefully something interesting. I like the blogging and staying connected so expect me here but just not always with new work!


  1. Hi Mary-Ann,

    Oh, but we also like stories like this! Not necessary (imho)to come up with new art every time. Your activities sound familiair to many of us, I suppose, and being retired too I am just glad that I finally have time to do it all, if not now... Lovely 'old' piece btw

  2. I know what you mean, Mary Ann; it's not always possible, for me either, to have new work to post on my blog. I really enjoy seeing your older work, though, because it's beautiful, but also because it allows me to get to know you better. Thanks for sharing this piece, along with this part of your life.

  3. Mary Ann--I, too, love to hear from you despite if you have new work or not. I think it is also fun to see what other bloggers lives are all about and we all know that we do get busy. But, it is fun to stay connected too, I agree. I just LOVE this piece Mary Ann! I am thinking that it just might be one of my favorite ones that you have shown. It is really hard to pick though because you do such great work that all of them are so great. Thanks for posting this. Sounds like a busy but fun week you have had.

  4. I liked getting to know you a bit more in this post. I have always been drawn to ladder symbology & like how it has become a connection to your mate for you. (Very nice piece!)
    Thanks for your comment over on my blog. Appreciation beaucoup!

  5. I really feel a connection with this piece Mary Ann. My first heartfelt loss was my Gram. Right away it came to me she was now a star...

    Its wonderful to see work from your archives. I can't get enough new art made to post frequently either. ;o)

  6. I so understand and relate to what you're saying. There seems to be this mania out there these days about having to produce a piece of art work on a daily basis. Artists are not factories. Down time, breathing time, being time, maintenance time, relationship time, thinking time, resting time...all these facets are part of life and must be listened to and lived. When we're in a very creative space of producing a concentrated body of work, perhaps a daily output would be the "norm." As individual artists we each need to find our own rhythm. It's just as valuable and interesting to see your older work, which is new to me, and to learn the history and meaning of it as it is to see what's fresh from your studio. I really appreciate and respect your desire to remain connected to those who visit your blog.

  7. Beautiful piece with the ladder, the silver ropes and the stars. Its like a homage. The title is like a song from John Lennon, it was his birthday today.

  8. Wonderful to see your work, old or new. Yes, when I could do nothing else, I could do my work. This is a beautiful piece and perhaps it is ageless. After all you are only speaking of when you created it. Thanks for sharing some of your daily life.

  9. Mary Ann,
    Since we "met" at Willow's Ball, I, too have begun getting to know you.... and I particularly love this post - and the art that accompanies it.

    A beautiful post!

    Hugs from San Francisco!

    ♥ Robin ♥

  10. I love seeing your work, old or new. Or just hearing about your life and thoughts right now. Lovely, the story of this piece.

  11. I, for one, do not always expect new work. I understand that it doesn't always flow. There are so many fits and starts (often way more fits).

    I loved hearing about the background of this piece. So much beautiful meaning -- that is what matters most.

  12. This one is a real "WOW". I love it. It is so coming from the dream world that it stopped me in my tracks. I understand about ladders. I make myself climb them, just so it won't control my life. But, really it does.
    don't you think that sometimes the thought to construct is just as much work as the time in the studio?
    Hanging some Stars is really, really amazing.

  13. I agree, art heals... and life has a way of getting in the way!! love seeing this piece and hearing the WHY'S
    I would have added strings too....

  14. This has a look of a print about it, almost like the colour plates I remember from fairy story books. I love it, old or recent. It's beautiful.

  15. you're beautiful.

    you gave me a bit of a tear in my eye with this one, is that a star running down my cheek.

    Its spring like here, and i agree, its all the daily living, loving, that our work comes from.

    the stars have been so vividly clear these nights, i will look up tonight and think of loved ones.

  16. It was really special to read this story Maryanne and see the work.
    And its really hard to be at the studio constantly ..... archives are great... they provide such a link for us as visitors!
    I take pressure off by finding the work of others to post... whatever way one goes...its hard to put out the new all the time... lovely to visit here today!

  17. I find all your work....older and more recent...very inspirational. Your stories resonate with my life as well. It seems the 'busyness' of life often slows our creative impulses.

  18. Thank you for sharing this story and some of you wonderful earlier work. I think it is interesting to step back and view our past creations. I don't paint everyday. I paint in cycles.I often wonder how people manage to take care of their chores and daily affairs and give their full attention to painting.

  19. What a an eternal light!
    And you seem busy enough, in the best way..

  20. Mary Ann,

    I like your honesty about life's business and posting different work, not necessarily current work in your blog posts. I have to remind myself frequently that although I may be familiar with my old work, most other people aren't--and the more we see of an artist, the more we can appreciate! Thank you for helping us get to know you better!

  21. This is beautiful, I love the shimmery night, and that you are hanging your husbands star. Very touching to me. roxanne

  22. Regina, Amazing how busy our lives get...going here, picking up this or that. Always grateful to have a full day for art making.

    Sharmon, Glad to slip in some older work now and then and yes the sharing of our 'real' lives is important.

    Teri, It's the sharing of our lives along with the work...isn't it?! Acceptance is always good.

    Marie, I so love the ladder symbol...from bibical to mean so much to me.

    Leslie, Once again we have similar views...this time on stars and dear ones...not a surprise.

    Louciao, Read and reread your comment...very understanding and supportive...thank you so much. Art making is demanding in time and heart...nice to share.

    cerulean, Yes, easily a homage and the timing of this post connects nicely with John Lennon birthday celebration.

    Annell, I like the word timeless...isn't all our work timeless?

    Robin, Thanks for stopping by!

  23. Suki, Thank you, glad you like this piece and the story.

    Kim, I'm pretty steady at art making but we both agree, finished work is another thing.

    Pat, I'm so glad you like "Hanging Some Stars Tonight" gave we the WOW factor! Thank you.

    LDV, Plenty of us are wobbly on the ladder...and what could be better than silver ropes! yes, art heals.

    Annie, Multiple layers on this piece...I remember I was trying for an archway to give distance. Nice to share this one.

    mansuetude, Your words are beautiful!
    With awful loss comes efforts to resolve the hurt and hanging stars helped me...thank you for understanding.

    Sophie, Kind words indeed. It's the sweet connections...this blog business.

    Zappha, Oh to all that busyness! It has a never ending quality. I'm glad you like the piece.

  24. Eva, The art making cycle is so different for each of us...yet the art spirit is easily shared.

    Lyn, I like that...tribute,I believe I was searching for closure to an unexpected loss.

    Hannah, So true, easy to forget our old work is fresh and new to others!

    Roxanne, Love, art, loss, healing, forgiving all wrapped into one little ladder on a dark night...the story has helped me throughout the years.

  25. Oh lordie, this is a favorite..I just love it..
    I've hung a few stars in my days too
    ...porch lights

  26. What wonderful, supportive comments about not needing to be part of the mania, as Iouciao said, of constant production. Art is to savour, and so is the making of it.

    Your story is such a poignant one, and the ropes on the ladder suggest a healthy and loving attitude of self preservation, even at a time of greatest loss.