Glorious weekend

What a glorious weekend! The weather was perfect, and the days were filled with family and friends.

I went on a wonderful bike ride with my husband and 10-year-old son, along a lovely bike path that had plenty of inspiration to offer in gentle breezes, nature’s music and beautiful scenery.

We took a friend out to dinner for her birthday at Bravo–our favorite spot in Providence. She really appreciated it, which warmed our hearts.

And I went to see “Sex and the City.” I love, loved the outrageous wardrobe and the brilliant colors of the dessert scenes. This 11 x 15 mixed media work on paper was inspired by the movie and all those glorious costumes. The background began as my attempt at intuitive painting for Creative Every Day.  I call it “Bejeweled.”

Going with the flow

So today I finally decided to take a deep breath, exhale and try some intuitive painting for this month’s intuition theme for Creative Every Day. For some reason, I’ve been resisting the letting go that painting intuitively requires. But better late than never.

I chose to just pick out a few colors–a brown, a bronze, a gold, a deep red and a blue. I apparently was feeling in touch with earth tones today. Perhaps it was the gloriously sunny weekend that makes you want to stay outdoors forever. I turned on some music and then just started swirling the colors across the paper with the flow of the music.

This is the result. I call this “Going With the Flow.”

Busy weekend

I had a wonderfully busy weekend. Here is a list of all I accomplished:

  • I visited a Rhode Island business surplus warehouse where I can get all the items I need for displaying paintings, jewelry and handmade cards. I felt like a little girl running loose in a candy shop! I owe thanks to the owner of the gallery where my work will be shown for this amazing find. This place has been around for 13 years and I had no idea. One conversation with a gallery owner and bingo! Funny how things work, huh? While I was there I got this eerie feeling like I was being guided on my artistic path.
  • I mailed the plate I designed for the REACH fundraiser, Reach for the Stars. I can’t wait to see how it comes out once they fire it.
  • I worked on the finishing touches for a painting that I’m hoping to get into a juried show at a local museum. Wish me luck. I will hand deliver it on Thursday.
  • I cooked collard greens and cornbread. Believe me this counts as art. There is a definite art in trying to match my Mama’s recipe for both.
  • I spent Sunday afternoon photographing jewelry that will be featured in the Rhodes Gallery and jewelry that I hope to get into a gallery in Boston. Again, I need your luck.
  • I put gesso on some paper in preparation for doing some intuitive painting in the coming week for Creative Every Day.

Now I need to rest up for my real job. Boy, wouldn’t it be great to do art full time? Next on my list…buy a lottery ticket. 🙂

More good news

Now that it is official I can announce that I was recently elected to the Dorchester Arts Collaborative’s board of directors. DAC supports and encourages the arts in Dorchester, one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Boston.

I’m honored to have been elected, and I’m very excited about making a contribution to such an important organization. I’ve been involved with the organization since 2005 when I attended my first Dorchester Open Studios, which DAC sponsors.

A local newspaper wrote about an upcoming event the organization will hold on Thursday, May 20. I’m mentioned and quoted in the article. Check it out here in the Dorchester Reporter.

So much to do

So much to do. That’s a good thing. I feel that I have momentum in getting some things done regarding my art business, so I’m trying to not slow down.

Meeting with the owner of a gallery that will show my work has me in high gear. I’ll be making more jewelry to offer, creating new paintings and going back through my artwork to put together a series of works that could get me considered for the gallery’s “Artist of the Month” exhibit space.

I’m also trying to keep up with the four business goals I set for myself. So far, I’m doing pretty well on those–except for the biggie of sizing all of my work and recording the names of each piece. Yikes. Wish I had been doing it all along.

I’ve also discovered how to do a slide show in flickr and embed it. I think that will come in very handy. Unfortunately I just discovered that Word Press doesn’t support flickr slideshows within blog entries. So I found out in the help forum that I needed to use So now I know how to do slide shows with both.

I love learning new things. Life is good!

YAY! A gallery

"Hat Ladies" at Rhodes GalleryI am so excited! I just returned from meeting with the owner of a new gallery in Cumberland, R.I.—Rhodes Gallery. She was interested in featuring this acrylic painting “Hat Ladies”, as well as some of my handmade greeting cards and jewelry.

Did I mention that I’m excited! This is the first time I’ve gotten artwork into an actual gallery. I can’t wait to write this on my artist resume.

It’s so amazing how once you make intentions and work toward goals things start happening. I’m determined to make many things happen this year regarding my art. This will be a great learning experience for me. The gallery owner loves bold colors. So we will get along very well.

I owe a great deal of my boldness in approaching a gallery to the inspiration of Leah’s Creative Every Day blog. Working on artwork every day nurtures me and reminds me of how much I have to offer. My confidence as an artist grows each day.

Rain and remembrance

I awoke to rain today. The sound of it–the music of it–made me think of my grandmother, who died many years ago. She lived in the country in Sumter County, Ala., and had a tin roof on her house. Oh, I can smell the red clay of that area right now.

It is so funny how a sound can trigger memories that instantly jet you back over decades.

I spent summers with my grandmother. We called her Big Mama. (Just about every southern family has a “Big Mama.”) I couldn’t have realize it at the time, but I think that’s where my artistic interests began.

I’ve always wondered where my artsy side comes from. No one is an artist in my family, I always say. But thinking back to my grandmother, I know that is not true. She was an artist in the truest sense of the word. She was a natural artist who created something out of not much of anything all the time.

Because she didn’t have much money and no one in the country went into town to fancy stores for wallpaper, she made her own. She took the pages of magazines and made glue (flour and water) to plaster  the walls—floor to ceiling. Every room was covered in faces, words and random parts of overlapping images. There was always something new to find each time you walked into a room because you likely missed this spot or that spot the last time you had been there.

She made her own clothes. God, right now I would kill for one of those “simple” dresses that she made by hand (no sewing machine). A few years ago, I saw the exact style in Macy’s and was so tempted to buy it, until I saw the price (yikes). Big Mama would have rocked “Project Runway.”

From the scraps of material left over from sewing her dresses and “britches” for others, she would sit on her front porch and make quilts. Luckily, I have one of her quilts in my closet. It is one of my most precious possessions.

She made her own peanut brittle. She took berries from the fields and made blackberries and dumplings. She raised her own chickens. She was constantly in motion–doing something, making something. It was all so effortless and natural for her. She inhaled life, took what it gave her and made what she could of it.

I think that’s why I’m drawn to collage. Those little pieces of paper–ripped apart and reassembled into patchwork creations aimed at offering some new perspective–give me such pleasure. Perhaps it is my own form of quilting, sewing and picking sweet berries from my field of imagination.

I just hope I can be half as creative as Big Mama.

Intuition lesson via GPS

Island Girl

This month’s theme for Creative Every Day is “intuition.” This week, I learned a lesson about intuition from, of all things, my GPS (a lovely gift from my husband). Driving from Worcester, Mass., back to my office in Norton, Mass., after interviewing an artist for a story that I’m writing a profile on, I decided to ignore my GPS’s directive that I take a particular direction.  I knew where I was going. So GPS woman had to be wrong.

Over and over, the persistent voice insisted that I get off at this exit. I didn’t. The voice kept “recalculating” and encouraging me to get off at the next and the next, as I ignored her–still certain I knew where I was going. Guess what? I did not know where the hell I was. I was driving through Massachusetts towns I had never heard of and ended up on one lane scenic roads where I swear I could hear the banjo from Deliverance.

So after about 30, maybe 40 minutes of this, I decided to yield to the voice. I had no choice because I was completely lost. So I surrendered. I let it take me to places I had never been, trusting that in the end I would land where I was supposed to be and find my way back.

I imagine that intuition is like this. As an artist I am often very set on where I’m going when I sit down to create something. I may not know how it will end up but I take the same ways, thinking I know where to go. This month, I want to listen to the voice more, even when it feels like it’s not leading me the right way. I want to trust that I will end up in a good place.

This painting (above) is a start. I dug it out of my attic. The canvas has been sitting there for years with a poorly executed and unfinished woman sitting in a chair. I decided to take it, pop Sade into the boom box and let the music take me out of myself so that I could follow my intuition (inner GPS) about what to create. Sade’s soothing vocals made me feel warm and mellow. So lots of yellow came out on my canvas. I covered everything but the woman’s face that was on the previous canvas. I really liked the face, so much so that I was afraid to touch it because I might mess it up. And just because I was afraid, I began to paint right into it to resist that feeling.

I had no intention of ending up with this painting, which I will call “Island Girl.” But here it is. Just as I had no intention of going past an area called Purgatory Chasm State Reservation (don’t you just love that name?) during my GPS tour. But I did. And the ride wasn’t so bad once I let go and listened to the voice. (Of course, I realize that there are news stories about people ending up in snow banks on dead end roads because they solely rely on GPS. Let’s hope I stay clear of snowbanks. 🙂  )

May goals

I stumbled upon this wonderful artists’ blog from a comment she left about my work, which lead me to this web site about setting business goals. Since I have so many goals that don’t seem to be getting met, I thought it would be great to join this blog group to see whether it would push me forward by having a group of artists who are seeking the same thing.

So here are my goals for the month of May (I’ll keep it short. I know how I am with the biting off more than I can chew–wish that were true with food! 🙂 :

1. Measure, size and name all paintings (five each night).

2. Enter work for a South End juried exhibition and for a Rhode Island gallery.

3. Pay for copyright for wording that will be on the back of my handmade greeting cards.

4. Buy calendar to help track of expenses.

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