Friday, October 24, 2008
1. Drink morning coffee while soaking in the hot tub
2. Have afternoon tea while soaking in the hot tub
3. Drink after dinner tea/coffee while soaking in the hot tub
4. Gaze at stars while soaking in the hot tub, NAKED!
Give my total stress reduction plan a try. If it doesn't work for you I'll take another soak in the hot tub and think of your stress being reduced while the hot water and jets work their magic on me.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
My one and only sister is moving to Florida at the end of the month so I've been spending a lot of time over there helping her pack. I'm sad to see her go, but am excited that she's moving back to a place she loves so much and this time is doing it with the man of her dreams.
I've been busting my butt working in the gardens, cleaning and clearing out the house and generally getting things in order before winter sets in. It's a great feeling to de-clutter everything and start fresh.
In the past week I've made 2 journals, a cool set of wind chimes from found objects, a wood burned and painted Goddess image done on a wood slice, played with my dried herbs mixing up various remedies, made up a few batches of flower essences and harvested a bunch of produce from the garden.
Fall is a busy time of year, full of harvest activities like apple picking, canning tomatoes or reworking garden beds. It's a moist, fruitful time. A time for reaping what we've sowed and giving thanks for all our many blessings.
It's also a time of great change, as is evident in the color of the leaves, the migration of birds and the business of insane squirrels and chipmunks. Right now my life is full of changes, but it's all good. Different, challenging, a bit heart wrenching but good none the less. Living isn't always easy but it sure beats the alternative.
I'll be back soon with loads of photos of my new work. I can't wait to show off the wind chimes made from driftwood, copper wire, shell and beads. They are truly cool.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Like I said, I'd love to live back to nature and all but not with a bunch of fruitcakes for companions.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
There are also numerous you tube videos out there. Take this one for instance. It shows the goats in a total faint.
Even if you don't love goats (something I cannot fathom) you gotta love a farm animal that keels over when scared!
And if you don't, then maybe you'll like this collage I did instead. It has absolutely nothing to do with goats, but there are a couple of wolves in it:
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
The first and third ones were created by painting, stamping layering opaque and transparent images then using markers to highlight images and add text.
The second page has layered collage and paint on the left-hand page and decorative tape over paint on the right-hand page.
If there's one thing to remember about mixed-media it's layering cannot be faked! In order to have rich, interesting pages multiple materials are a must.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Personally, giant walking spiders and peeing while watching folks walk about the city has absolutely no appeal. But maybe that's just me.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
If you believe the end is near why waste time parading around town with a sign around your neck? Wouldn't you rather be out doing something you always wanted to do, like hang gliding, riding in a hot air balloon or walking on a tropical beach? I know I would. Seriously, if you only have a limited amount of time here make something of it. Live life to its fullest and stop spending all your time telling the rest of us that the end is near and we're going to hell in a hand basket for not believing it. Seems like a waste of energy and time to me.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Here are 5 things I did while in class with Kelly:
1. Made this journal:
2. Made These Postcards
4. Made these faux monoprint books:
5. Had my picture taken with Kelly:
Friday, September 5, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
However, I realize that posting only a few times a month or less is pretty lame. So, I vow to 5 minutes a day from now on. After all, what's 5 minutes in the grand scheme of things? Less time than it takes to make a cup of finely brewed tea. Less time than it takes me to walk to the bus stop or jump in the pool for one last swim before firing up the grill. If I can do those things in 5 minutes or less than I can do this in 5 or less too. At least I think I can. Time will tell. As long as the good weather holds out it will be tough to stay indoors for even 5 minutes, but I'll try.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
In all the years I've lived in Massachusetts (my entire life, in fact) not once have I spent the night in a hotel in Boston. Sure, we've gone into the city plenty of times and often stayed until the wee hours of the morning, but we've never checked into a hotel to do it.
After an uneventful ride on the T we disembarked in the North End and walked the few blocks to the Bulfinch Hotel
From there it was just a hop, skip and a jump through the drizzle to Faneuil Hall, a great place to grab a bite while wandering around people watching or kiosk shopping while listening to street musicians or watching an impromptu magic show.
Along the way to and from Faneuil Hall we walked through the Holocast Memorial. It is profoundly moving and serves as a reminder of what was and what could be again if we are not careful.
Being in the city is always an adventure and every time we go there it makes me wonder why we don't do it more often. The street musicians, the old buildings, the North End pastry, the steaming hot clam chowder and even the T are all things that get me jazzed (to be totally honest, it's mostly the pastry and the clam chowder). And, being able to spend the night in a fancy hotel just made the experience even better.
Taking our son to the New England Aquarium for the first time was definitely the crowning moment. Where else can you see a 3-D shark movie on a 65 ft. screen, watch penquins take a shower or pet sting rays and sharks?
Boston in the rain isn't a bad way to start a vacation. In fact, it was a great way to start one. Especially since it was spur of the moment but fell together as if we'd planned to do it all along.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
I will never be one of those people who posts every little thing, every deep, personal experience or every single emotional or physical struggle, for the world to see. As for my art, the majority of it is meant for me and me only. It's a part of me, a small piece of who I am, what I think and feel and I don't care to expose it to the world.
So, if anyone is paying attention (which I doubt) let it be known that I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. I just don't care to expose my soul to the world. I don't want to put it out there for others to delve into. I believe doing so gives away my power, my essence. It disperses it too far and weakens my Spirit overall.
I'm still here and I plan to share many things. But not all things. Doing so is just not who I am.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
The Cactus Gallery in L.A. is currently hosting an exhibit entitled "Found" that features art made from found objects. I wish I could attend the exhibit because I am sure it will not only be interesting but inspiring as well. Alas, a trip to L.A. is not in my immediate future though so I guess I'll have to make do with reading about the exhibit and perhaps begining work on a creation of my own Found art. It's a beautiful spring day so getting outside to canvas the area for found objects is a good idea. I think I'll go put on my walking shoes, grab a large basket and go wandering. Who knows what I might find.....
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
So why do some people have preconceived notions about what is acceptable in terms of art? For some, it isn't considered art unless it's hanging in a gallery or museum. For others, it isn't art unless it's one of the "fine arts" like painting or sculpting. So how did Ansel Adams' photographs become known as art? Who decided to let his photos into the "art category" and more importantly, why? I love Ansel Adams' work but want to know what it was about them that made the museum curators, gallery owners and art-snobs decide it was worthy of being called art.
In recent years there was a group of people protesting a Rockwell exhibit being held in a New York museum. To this particular group Rockwell was not an artist, but a lowly illustrator. But so was Maxfield Parrish and Alphonse Mucha yet they had no problem considering both of those men as artists. Why? where's the difference? To me all three are obviously artists. They create, they're artists. It's that simple. So why did an entire group of people get their knickers in a twist because Rockwell was being celebrated with a museum exhibition when the same group would've flocked to see Mucha or Parrish? I don't get it.
By the way, the photograph? It's not an Adams. It's one of mine taken on a trip to the Southwest and altered on the computer to be black and white. Knowing that, I ask you again: Is this art?
Saturday, April 5, 2008
For the past year I've been cataloging my books via LibraryThing The ability to tag books by genre, time period, series or whatever else you feel like tagging by is awesome. but the best part for me is being able to comment on the location of each individual book. No more hunting through multiple bookcases & boxes for a certain book. Now I just look on Library-Thing and because of my diligence in tagging I can tell at a glance exactly where a book is in relation to my multiple bookcases. Knowing that a certain book is on the top shelf, bookcase 1 or middle shelf, bookcase 2 allows me to lay my hands on a particular tome instantly. Oh joy! How did I ever live without Library-Thing?
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
I've been undergoing a severe amount of pain the past week and a half. I threw my back out, doing something very simple and that, for a person who doesn't have back issues, should of been harmless. But, for me who has had multiple, serious back injuries it proved to be not simple at all, but the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I've been to my chiropractor's four times in the past 8 days and have two more appointments scheduled for this week. However, the pain is not lessening and I am showing all the signs of a herniated disk in my lower back. So an MRI is in in my future and who knows what else after that. It all depends upon what the MRI reveals. I for one hope that it reveals nothing more than severe muscle strain or pinched nerves because the idea of a herniated disk and what measures are needed to fix it are not pleasant.
My art has taken a back seat during this time, but I have been busy doing research on vintage clothing and the best place to sell off some of my collection providing my family with a much needed infusion of ready cash. I have two appointments set up for doing just that. The better of the two is in Cambridge, MA at a shop that pays outright for items they want. The other, in Worcester, MA is a consignment shop that specializes in vintage. The problem with consignment is the waiting for items to sell and the shop taking 60% of all sales. It makes it a bit more difficult to make serious money when more than half of it never makes it to your pocket.
I have managed to get some painting done on a pair of jeans and on a leather purse. All the painting has been done with my handy bed tray and my basket of fabric paints while I sit up in bed. Not the best way to work, but it keeps me in bed resting and helps my hands and mind stay busy.
Life is a funny thing. You never know what it will throw at you or when. Some people, when faced with adversity or challenging times focus on the negative and let the events suppress them. Others, like me, tend to look at each challenge as an opportunity to find the hidden blessings or reinvent the way things are done. Like the Pop's death. Instead of looking at it as a totally sad occasion I choose to look at it as a way of getting Andy out of Iraq for a while. Even if that time is short and has an element of sadness surrounding it. My back being thrown out is a chance for me to make phone calls, explore places to sell my vintage items and get a bit of art done.
I have an i-pod loaded up with music, a fresh cup of vanilla tea, my basket of paints and plenty of imagination. These are the things that will get me through these trying times. That and my wonderful, supportive family who picks up the slack and offers support during times of trouble and need.
Look around you and count your blessings. See the gifts every situation has to offer, even if those gifts are not easily discerned. Even the most difficult situations offer us some form of blessing. Some small gift to help us expand and grow. You just need to know how to look. See the glass as half full. See the blessing in each day, in each moment. It's either that or let life get you down. Let yourself be a victim of circumstance. For me the choice is easy. I'm going for the blessings for when you do they expand, grow, flourish and create abundance in every area of your life.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
As you can tell, I love vintage. The reason being it is art, plain and simple. The lines of a 20's dress, the shape and angle of a 40's hat speak of a time when clothing and the accompanying accessories were created as an art form. Unlike the cookie-cutter culture we have today where everything is the same and nothing is made for visual delight. Give me the artful fashions of the by-gone days where milliners and clothiers treated their work as high art.
I've often said that we need to release the old in order for the new to come into our lives and I find this to be especially true with clothing. It seems like every time I clean out my closets and drawers they end up being rather full again in no time. Am I a clothes horse? No, not really. I just love delectable, touchable, unique articles of clothing and the accessories that go along with them. Also, I love seeking out a bargain and enjoy the pursuit of fine vintage for affordable prices. Perhaps I'm a bit of a treasure hunter. One who lives for seeking out the treasures of the past. Why not? There could be worse things I could be doing.
Monday, March 17, 2008
I've been spending my time sorting through art supplies, doing the BIG PURGE once again. It was only a few months ago that I went through everything in my studio and amassed a pile of books, supplies, ephemera, etc that I felt I no longer needed. This time I was still able to come up with a few boxes of stuff I want to pass along. This constant purging leads to a much neater studio and also helps me to let go of that pack rat mentality that most artists have. For whatever reason, we amass stuff that we think we will later use in our art. And, yes, sometimes we do use these "must save" items, but I suspect that the majority of the time the things never get used. Perhaps it is because artists tend to be cyclic. What we love one day we may not the next. Therefore, what we once had to save for future use becomes less appealing to us over time. Our art evolves and grows so the items we hold on to loose their meaning.
I've also managed to paint two pairs of leather shoes while resting in bed. Both were purchased at the thrift store, cost me less than $3 a pair and are now far cooler and more unique when I brought them into the house a few weeks ago. One pair, a short styled paddock boot, I'm keeping. The other, a boxy looking heeled shoe, is off to Unique Boutik, a local consignment shop that deals in vintage and unusual items. Just last week this same store took my painted leather purse and a whole bunch of vintage hats, jewelry and clothing for their store. The prospect of making a few extra dollars on my vintage items is great, but even more thrilling was the fact that the owner wanted my painted purse and asked me to bring in more items like it! Proof that my new endeavor of painting or altering items for sale has potential. Also, proof that I need create a stockpile of such items, all unique and one of a kind of course, and get my Etsy shop set up.
And now I am off to bed where I'll create something new, while watching endless episodes of the West Wing on DVD and have a very snuggly kitty for company. Productive bed rest at it's finest....
Saturday, March 15, 2008
However, getting the desk into the studio is a major ordeal. You can't just pick up the desk, carry it upstairs and put it into place. In order to even get it in the studio a major overhaul is needed. I have a large bookcase filled with my art books and some supplies. Of course, the bookcase location prevents the studio door from opening all the way so it now needs to be completely unloaded and moved. If that weren't enough, I needed to clean off my old table and cart the things out of the room so the table can be dragged away from the wall, folded down and removed from the room.
If that weren't enough, all the items I have stored in clear plastic bins have to be moved and I have to find a new home for them because they won't fit beneath the desk. This is where the storage shelves come into play. We recently removed a shelving unit that has colored plastic bins from my son's room and put storage cubicles in their place. These will now be mine to use in the studio for the bins that formerly lived under my table.
However, before I can move the shelving unit and bins into the studio I have to first get the bookcase out, move all the supplies, bins and assorted things that I just have to have (like the large sheet of black plastic that I keep next to the studio table for those times I'm working on the floor painting fabric), remove the old table, my chair, my small rolling storage unit, my large toolbox full of polymer clay tools, the large moose thigh bone I keep in the studio (don't ask...), my phone that I never use because I don't want to answer it when I'm working and the pile of clothing I'm altering.
In the midst of all this shuffling about of items I collapsed onto the floor, spilling hot tea all over my bed, the supplies I'd just moved into my bedroom and myself. It seems I have a 101 fever and am actually rather ill.
So, the simple act of getting a free desk for use in my studio has led to a major amount of work, a mess far larger than what I had before and my collapsing on the floor and being ordered to bed. Obviously the ordering to bed part didn't take or I wouldn't be sitting here writing in this blog.
The point of all this? Change is good, but sometimes it leads to a lot of work you hadn't anticipated. However, once the work is done you can enjoy the changes and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Ages ago my mother gave me an old denim jacket that she'd painted a horse on the back of. Although I loved it I felt it needed something more. An updating and reinventing if you will. So I cut, sewed, dyed, bleached and enhanced it to create something new and totally different all the while retaining the work she had done on it. The result is an oh-so comfortable, vibrant piece of wearable art, or altered couture if you prefer. It's still denim and has that comforting feel to it, but it's a very different denim. Richer somehow and with a softer feel to it than it had before.
Monday, March 10, 2008
I'm really digging all this altering. My head is chock full of ideas and I cannot wait to see them all come to fruition.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
For her birthday I decided to create a multi-viewed collage of the Eiffel Tower. I scanned in a Paris street map for starters. Layered over it is a cropped photo of the Eiffel Tower that I took while standing at the base of it. I also used an image of French writing that I had gotten free from an art magazine web site (Alas, the site name alludes me. It was months ago...) Using various image editing techniques and playing with saturation levels I was able to come up with 3 images I really liked. I printed them on a decent weight paper, cropped them and arranged all on canvas. Once I had an arrangement I liked I glued them down using my all-time favorite glue: gel medium. I want to add some paint and other embellishments to the piece before handing it over to Mom, but I did let her get a good look at it today and she loved it! Now if I could just figure out a way to get back to Paris I'd truly be a happy camper.....
The first three images are the collages I created on Picasa. The last image is all of them arranged and pasted onto canvas.