Weekend work

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Umbrella art

IMG_0382 IMG_0378Very busy lately with everything, including my latest love, Zumba, so art hasn’t been given its proper attention. Hope to find the right balance to fit everything into life soon. For now, here are some umbrellas that I hand painted for an art council fundraiser in Boston. It was a fun assignment and I love how they turned out. However, I do need to fight the impulsive side of myself that keeps taking on “assignments” that don’t include pay or enough publicity for the artists involved. I tend to get excited by these “calls for arts.” They do encourage me to create and complete things because of deadlines, but they also take me away from what I should be focusing on——my own work. Although I consider anything and everything creative “my own work.” See what I mean? Note to self: Stop it!

Spring flowers

Playing around with flowers for this month’s theme for Creative Every Day Challenge.

The beauty of what is

photoThis weekend was jam-packed with activities, including a wonderful birthday party at a friend’s house. It was such a great gathering outside on a slightly-chilly-but-sunny afternoon—plenty of food (including dishes I had never heard of like coo coo and fish) and lots of relaxation and fun. Good thing that my son, husband and I started the day off by working out at the Y. We collapsed into a pleasant food coma when we got home.

Sunday was another great weather day, so I started the morning by going out and finally, finally (don’t judge me) taking down the Christmas tree lights. Hey, I have a hard time letting go of Christmas. 🙂

I took my time soaking up the sun, loving the view of what remains of the tulips in my yard and just breathing. I didn’t get around to making any art this weekend, unless you count putting flowers into pots for the front steps. But sometimes it is important just to slow down and enjoy the beauty of what is.

This month’s theme for Creative Every Day Challenge is flowers, so this perfectly fits.

A playful Saturday

Oh, I’m loving today. I’ve spent the day focusing on being creative–finally. Didn’t have any major errands to run for once in a long time. So I filled the day with sushi making (not too pretty, but delicious), art making (love these papers, but not sure what I will do with them yet, and learning a new routine for Zumba. Now, that’s what I call a Saturday!

April exhibit opening

AZHL Art Open House Postcard 4_13I’m really excited about this exhibit at the Hope Lodge in Boston. Not only is it an opportunity to share my art, but it also is a chance to do what I always hope to do as an artist–lift the spirits of those who most need it.

The Hope Lodge is an inn for out-of-town cancer patients. Rather than having a single gallery space for the art, the entire building is used for display. I toured the inn when I dropped off my pieces (several paintings and two portfolios of works on paper) and was just floored by the tranquility and healing spirit created here.

The funny thing is that I never knew this place existed. The curator of the exhibit found me somehow—she doesn’t even remember where she learned of my work. Funny, huh? Meant to be…maybe. If you are in the Boston area, please come to the opening.2-AZHL Art Open House Postcard 4_13 A percentage of the sales go to the American Cancer Society.

The art of being social

1361828260I had a great day today! I spent the morning and part of the afternoon as a panelist at a workshop on social media for artists at the Dorchester Arts Collaborative.

The internet now offers us so many platforms to share our work and connect with each other–Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, and even LinkedIn, where you can upload a portfolio of your work. However,  sometimes it can become overwhelming to figure out how to effectively use it all (or any of it), while still finding the time to actually make art.

I remember before I joined Facebook I wondered what the hell it was for. It seemed silly. Now, I don’t know what I’d do without it. It is one of the most effective, efficient and inexpensive ways to engage and interact with people (other artists, gallery representatives and potential clients). And, no, Mark Zuckerberg is not paying me to say this. 🙂

So, what an honor to talk about the issue, share what I’ve learned so far, and to hear the great ideas of other artists at the workshop.

My main points for using Facebook as an artist:

  • Dive in and try things out; you will learn as you go.
  • Keep your audience in mind (is this for business? just personal? both?) and post accordingly.
  • Be authentic to make stronger connections; people want to see the real you. (Check your privacy settings; you might not want your mom to see the real you.)
  • Treat social media relationships like any other—be nice, smart, funny, giving.
  • Post often—once a day, if possible–but not too often. (Promote your events; celebrate your victories; share tips as well as your creative process; support other artists; collaborate.)

I would love to hear from you. What’s your favorite form of social media? How do you use it? Any tips on what you have found to be most successful? And I’d be happy to “friend” you.

In the stillness—inspiration

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.
Deepak Chopra

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Following along

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There’s an old saying that goes something like, “If you want to make God laugh, make plans.” I have to admit that I never really liked that saying. I think God is a lot nicer than that and more accommodating of our dreams. But, that’s another story.

The saying came to mind this weekend as I worked on a new mixed media painting that I had definite plans for. I knew exactly where I wanted it to go, spent all morning Saturday trying to drive it there. However, it laughed at me and went its own direction. So, I just had to follow along.

Here is where things are right now. I don’t know if this is where things will be next weekend when I revisit this “unplanned” painting. The repeated symbol is the Adinkra symbol for love, harmony and fidelity. I placed a circle between the two symbols to connect them. I may go back in and broaden the circle until it covers the entire painting, which is about 18 x 24.

So, here’s a new saying, “If you want to make the Muse laugh, plan your art.”

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