Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dream Catchers - or Not

Dreams are a vital part of my creative life.  I may wake up with an image, an object, or even a process that I bring into the studio with me.

Two Nets
Wire, pulp, encaustic, collage
The wire and pulp paper sculptures I am currently working on as part of my Inherently Found Series  are from a nocturnal muse as well.  These "nets" are a metaphor for what we catch, or what attaches itself to us as we move through life.

Shadow of drying Net

Presently, it is the process I am loving.  Dipping the wire mesh into a bucket of over beaten flax pulp repeatedly, and hanging them out to dry is like "wax on, wax off" of Karate Kid 1.

My nets are not the dreams catchers of Native American lore, and they may not keep away the nightmares, but they are certainly a way of noticing the moments of quiet and tranquility that can still be found in my life.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Magic in Philadelphia

As a 2010 Leeway Art & Change Grant recipient, I was given the opportunity to have a free portrait session with a photographer for The Leeway Foundation's upcoming Artist Book.  These sessions were offered on 3 different dates at 3 different locations in Philadelphia.  My session was this past Saturday at Philadelphia's Magic Gardens with artist, printmaker and photographer Kay Healey.  Kay is also the Education and Outreach Manager at the Gardens and a previous recipient of a Leeway Art and Change Grant.

It was hot, hot, hot... but I had a great time chatting with Kay as she took me to the different nooks of the Gardens for a variety of shots.  Have yet to see the outcome of our session but was happy to finally see this Magical Garden right in Philly which are the creations of one wildly creative mosaic artist named Isaiah Zagar.

Have you discovered any place magical this summer in your neighborhood?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Retail Therapy

Retail Therapy
from the Walks thru Life:Shoe Portraits Series
Acrylic on Canvas
10" x 10"

Shopping often overwhelms me - unless of course it is an art supply or hardware store.
Then I LOVE the choices, the materials, the possibilities- lurking in each item.

Worn sandals took me outside my comfort zone the other day.   While my Italian green and gold cork sandals were at the shoe maker for repair and my deliciously comfortable Naots (and yet to be painted) sandals are showing their wear, I took myself to a DSW for some retail therapy.

Short on time and so many choices, I decided to try on only what "shouted out my name."  Fortunately, the call quickly from a festive European flowery slip on sandal with a sleek & sexy heel.

My new muse  inspired me to pick up the brush again and  promises to take me out for a very fun adventure...

any ideas?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Made in Italy

Made in Italy 2
from the Walks thru Life: Shoe Portraits Series
Acrylic on Canvas
6"x 6"
Like these green and gold cork sandals, that were Made in Italy, the irregular cobblestone streets of Italy led me to new places on both sides of the Atlantic.

It was just 20 years (!) this summer that I spent 3 weeks studying printmaking at the Santa Reparate Graphic Art Center in Florence, Italy.  Not unlike Elizabeth Gilbert in her memoir, Eat, Pray, Love,  I embarked on an adventure to travel, study, and follow my passion.

Made in Italy
from the Walks thru Life: Shoe Portraits Series
Acrylic on Canvas
6"x 6"
 Those weeks were about all art; seeing, creating, and living it- with eating, walking, and some shopping in between.  Inspiration was everywhere and the time and distance also gave me clarity. Upon my return, I filed for divorce, finished the renovation of my plantation home in Hawaii, and began graduate school.

You just never know where a path may lead you.

What path have you taken that changed the direction of your life?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Coming up for Air

LBI #1, 2011
Watercolor pencils on paper

Recent down time at the beach gave me some much needed space.  I felt like I was finally coming up for air.  The weeks following Nate's accident were filled with doctors appointments for he and I, surgery, chemo, and just coping.  Beach - and water time were just what I needed to helped me remember to just be and experience the moment.

Cy Twombly passed away the day before I arrived on Long Beach Island and the New York Times featured a lengthy obituary on his long, and often misunderstood career.  What resonated most personally, was the following paragraph from the Times article:

In the only written statement Mr. Twombly ever made about his work, a short essay in an Italian art journal in 1957, he tried to make clear that his intentions were not subversive but elementally human. Each line he made, he said, was “the actual experience” of making the line, adding: “It does not illustrate. It is the sensation of its own realization.” Years later, he described this more plainly. “It’s more like I’m having an experience than making a picture,” he said. The process stood in stark contrast to the detached, effete image that often clung to Mr. Twombly. After completing a work, in a kind of ecstatic state, it was as if the painting existed but he himself barely did anymore: “I usually have to go to bed for a couple of days,” he said.

Art as experience. The joy, the beauty, and often the agony is in the process.  Exhausting as it can be, it is what makes us artists, and human.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Finding the BE in BEach

Taking a break and a breather from some challenging times took me to the beach last week.

Some time alone and some time with a childhood friend, helped me to remember it's ok to just BE and not always DO.