Preparing for Open Studios

It’s that time of year again. That time when I stop procrastinating (I mean it) and get ready for the Dorchester Arts Collaborative Open Studios weekend that takes place in October.

I’ve started by gearing up my jewelry making efforts. This weekend I made 10 necklaces (above is one of the new ones). I love being forced to focus on a deadline, well, not really, but looks like I need an ax over my head to get going.The Muse is stubborn sometimes.  🙂 I’m aiming to have at least 20 new designs to show by October, which is very doable. After I get to 20 I’ll switch to making my handcrafted greeting cards.

It’s really great to immerse myself. Once I get going, each project inspires the next. I’ll start going through my bead stash while working on one necklace and get ideas for three more before I can even get that one done. I love those bursts of creativity. If I could just win the lottery, I could do this every day.


This one will be at my Open Studios event with the Dorchester Arts Collaborative on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 22 and 23, from noon to 5 p.m., at First Parrish Church, 10 Parish Street, in Dorchester, Mass. Prints available here.


This one will be at my Open Studios event with the Dorchester Arts Collaborative on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 22 and 23, from noon to 5 p.m., at First Parrish Church in Dorchester, Mass. Prints available here.

Open Studios this weekend

I’m missing making art during the past two weeks. I’ve been too busy getting ready for the Dorchester Open Studios, which will be on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 23 and 24, from noon to 5 p.m. I’ll be at First Parish Church, 10 Parish Street, along with 20 or so other artists.

There will be an opening reception on Friday, Oct. 22, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Hancock 309 Gallery, located at 309 Hancock Street. One of my paintings is hanging in the gallery through November.

I’m really excited that the Boston Globe featured our event on the web and included one of my paintings. Check it out here.

Charged by cards

I’m enjoying my rapid pace card making this week as I get closer to the DAC Open Studios. This happens each year. I think I have all of this time to get ready and then suddenly, here it is! So I create in every spare moment each night, grabbing snippets of time between helping my son with homework, making dinner, doing dishes (well, finally my son is old enough to be bribed into doing the dishes for an allowance. YAY!) and talking myself in and out of going to the Y to work out.

This is the time when I can sit in my studio and get so lost (for a few minutes at a time) in cutting paper, splashing paint and designing. I really feel my heart rate increase when I create cards that I like. The process almost (almost) makes me forget that Craftland in Providence recently rejected my cards for their holiday season. Bah Humbug!

Oh well, here are two new ones they would have said no to. 🙂

DAC Open Studios

I’m working on more cards now, preparing for the Dorchester Arts Collaborative Open Studios. The event takes place on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 23 and 24, from noon to 5 p.m., at various locations throughout Dorchester, Mass. I will be at First Parish Church, 10 Parish Street (Meetinghouse Hill). If you are in the area, please stop by. In addition to the cards, I will be showing my beaded jewelry and artwork.

This top card fits the theme of “water” for the month of October for Creative Every Day. The ones below are part of my holiday series.


AngelsinprogressTonight I would continued to experiment with the painted paper I made and cut up for handmade cards. With the remaining piece I decided to work on a painting of a sketch I’ve had for a couple of weeks. The drawing is of ladies in long gowns holding hands. I tend to dress my ladies in long gowns in my artwork. There is an elegance and otherworldliness about the garb that appeals to me. It’s the influence of visiting Senegal and loving the colorful, flowing African fabric. The paint was hard to control on the paper so I ended up pouring paint over everything and smearing it around just to see what would happen. I don’t think I like the result. But we will see. I’ll wait a bit and come back to it. (The photo was taken at night on my craft table. The quality isn’t really that great, but you can get a sense of it.)

Red, Blue and Gold
Handmade card

I did make two more cards that I love. They will be added to the boxes and boxes of cards I’ll take with me to sell at the Holiday Fair on Saturday in Dorchester, Mass. Wish me luck. I always get nervous about these fairs. Will my work sell this time? Will people like it? Will it be a waste of time?


Leaping, waiting, thinking

Angel card
Handmade greeting card

I took a leap tonight as I continued to work on greeting cards for the Saturday holiday far, as part of my Art Every Day Month/Creative Every Day Challenge. A month ago I painted on paper and made this really beautiful sheet. It was so beautiful that my husband advised me not to cut it up. He loved it. I loved it. But tonight I cut it up to make handmade cards–partly because I think the rich textures and colors are perfect for my cards and partly because I was afraid to cut it up. I dared myself to believe that I can make something this lovely again. I will. I cut it up and used it just to prove that to myself. The card is above. So that is the leap of faith.

Lady in progress
Work in progress

The waiting and thinking involves my painting-in-progress lady. I keep looking at the painting each morning before work, thinking about about it, looking, wondering what I should do next. Waiting for the Muse to give me direction. Tonight I’m thinking that the colors I put on this weekend remind me of stained glass, which elevates all subject matter to a place of honor. This woman who loves her body should have that place of honor. So perhaps I will approach the pieces of color that way, as if they are glass in a stained glass window. Just thinking….

Preparing for holiday fair

Tonight I’m working on handmade cards for the holiday fair that is coming up on Saturday in Dorchester, Mass., at the First Parish Church. I have a lot of new holiday inspired ones that I’m very pleased with. That’s AEDM/Creative Every Day entry. After spending a good chunk of this weekend working on the “Lady in Waiting” painting, I’m taking a break from her to look at her and think about her a bit. I don’t want to rush the work this time. Stepping back will help me see a bit clearer as other artists wisely have pointed out. I really love the community that has developed through Leah’s blog. Each time I sit at my craft table or step to my easel to work, I can feel the connection of all of these artists everywhere doing the same thing, facing the same struggles. It is exhilarating.

Holiday fair

I’m now preparing for an upcoming holiday fair on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at First Parish Church in Dorchester, Mass. I participated last year and got a great response from those who came. I love the comments about my work more than anything else. I’ve been making lots of new cards as part of my continued effort to be creative every day.

Connecting at Open Studios

Glass and gray pearl necklaceWell, I’ve just wrapped up another weekend at the Dorchester Open Studios. This is my fifth year doing it, and I must say that the best part is connecting with other artists. I love seeing the work of other artists and seeing how their creative process and presentation changes over the years. I learn a lot in watching. And other artists get to see how I’m coming along as well. One told me that I’ve come a long way since she first saw me in this space five years ago. And it is true. My presentation is much stronger and my work has grown significantly. Each year I add more to my jewelry and card inventory and I create new works just for this event.

There were decent crowds for the two day event, but I think the economy prevented people from buying a lot. It was great just to have people come, look at my work and comment. I never know how to conduct myself at these open studios. I am an artist. I make work for people to look at. But at these events I don’t know what to say or do. Do I look at them when they come to my booth? Do I pretend I don’t see them and let them look and, hopefully, shop in peace. Do I scream, “hey, why didn’t you at least try on one of the necklaces!” when they walk pass  with only a glance at what I’ve spent all year working on? It’s so hard to put yourself out there as an artist. You never know what people are thinking. You want them to love everything and tell you so. My dream is to have someone be so enthusiastic about what I’ve created that they pass out from excitement. Won’t happen. But a girl can dream, can’t she?  I have friends who never really appreciate my art the way I want them to. Strangers seem much more enthusiastic. Why is that? I had people tell me that my cards are beautiful, which made me feel really good. Several people spent time really looking at the technique I put into my collage work and discussing it with me, which was great. All and all I feel really good about the event. I need the validation. I need to know what I’m doing means something to someone. Don’t we all?

Preparing for Open Studios

MovementI’m down to the wire preparing for Dorchester Open Studios. Tonight I’m packaging my cards—my one last task before loading everything in the car tomorrow. As I go through these, I’m falling in love with what I’ve done all over again—if I do say so myself. I love the diversity of the work that comes when I sit at the table each day and process through, letting one piece of scrap paper spark one idea after the other. There is something about cutting and tearing paper that I find very soothing. I’m not sure what that something is. Is it the simplicity of being able to tear or cut away what I do not want, which is not easily done in life away from the art table? Is it feeling the materials, handling them in a way that I don’t really do when I’m painting or drawing? Perhaps it is that  I just like transforming things into something all together different. I love  letting the colors and textures of various papers push my imagination and inspire shapes. Three of the cards below were inspired by—and feature—the work of my 10 year old son.