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!

Calling all angels

Angel-blue3Dear God, we need some angels in our lives, now more than ever. May He help those Connecticut families through the horrendous tragedy that they are suffering. May He help this nation find solutions to this insanity.

Today I looked through baby photos of my 13-year-old. As an 8th grader, he and his classmates will have their baby photos published in the yearbook to show how much they have grown and changed.

How fast time goes by, I thought as I looked at these images with my now 5-foot-8 son.

How precious time.

How unimaginable that those 6- and 7-year-old murdered children in Connecticut no longer have any.

How blessed we are to still have our loved ones with us.

May we remember that each and every day.

Making a statement: Why?

“Why do I do what I do?”

I’m pondering this question this week, thanks to an upcoming workshop on writing an artist statement at The Artful Phoenix in North Attleboro, Mass. To prepare for the workshop artists are asked to do homework by thinking about a series of questions. The first one is a big one for me. In fact, writing an official artist statement has been something I haven’t quite pulled off yet. I think my work varies too much and my desire to play in any way that I want has kept me from nailing down exactly what I’m doing as an artist and why, which an artist statement seems to demand. I’ve come up with an UNstatement in the past, but I’m not sure it cuts it as a real statement:

I don’t always understand where I’m going when I sit down to create art. And I’m not sure I want to, for fear of chasing off or interrupting the Muse. I prefer to let things happen. I’ve been painting and drawing since childhood and consider art play. My goal is to explore and follow where the Muse leads as I respond to my own artistic voice. Often I create acrylic-based mixed media pieces that incorporate collage and showcase the beauty, power and mystery of women. But I also create works that reflect my fascination with pattern and bold color. Most pieces are imbued with a texture that invites viewers to want to move closer to see, and makes them wish to touch, thus creating a connection between artist and viewer.

Hopefully this workshop will help me develop this. So…why do I do what I do? The guide provided in the homework assignment suggests spending five minutes on this. Yeah, right, five minutes.

The why: I do this because I have to, whether I want to or not. I’m driven by some inner, inexplicable push to create things, to put pen to paper, paint to canvas, bead to string. I do this because I need to–to remain sane, to feel like I can breathe, to feel like I’m in touch with something beyond me, bigger than me (God), to feel like I have something to give, something someone else wants, something someone else needs. I do this because ideas flood my brain every second of the day and I have to pour them out somewhere or go crazier than I already am. I do this because I feel like I have been given something that I’m not supposed to keep to myself. I do this because I think one day I will express something so deep and so profound that it will move someone in a way that they desperately need. I do this for the surprise, for the adventure of not knowing what the hell I’m doing, where the hell I’m going, and never knowing whether I am there yet and realizing that I never will be there because its all about the journey. I do this because I want to create beautiful things. I want to touch color, play in its exuberance, wallow in its energy. I want to relax and rest in the quiet of that place where art allows time to disappear. I want to connect with people on a level that needs no words.

Wow. Why is a doozy.

Yummy art

Food and art. Two of my favorite things. I indulged both today at the Rhode Island Food Fights cupcake competition. Bakers from all Rhode Island competed to present the most delicious cupcake. And artists displayed cupcake related art for sale in a silent auction. My creation was this Sharpie marker work on paper, “Cupcake Goddess.” It didn’t sell, but I got to eat all the cupcakes I wanted for free. Sweet!

TGIM: Thank Goodness It’s Monday

Thank Goodness it’s Monday. I can finally get some rest after my very busy weekend. Friday I had a craft fair from 11 to 4 p.m. Saturday I had another craft fair from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Both required lots of loading and unloading. At least I got some exercise. The craft fair on Friday was a great success; the one on Saturday, not so much. Live and learn. It’s all about the venue and the perspective audience. Regardless, I enjoyed all of the wonderfully supportive comments about my jewelry and handcrafted cards. One of my favorite parts of doing a craft fair is the time between customers in which I create little pieces of quick art. It makes the time fly in a very productive way. This little Zentangle-lish drawing (Sharpie marker on paper) is my version of snowflakes in keeping with the winter theme of Creative Every Day Month.

On Saturday evening, I had dinner with friends in celebration of a birthday. We all had a great time. And it was so nice to see my friend’s reaction to the Shrinky Dink angel I made to decorate her gift box and then to the two pairs of earrings I made. My friends are so supportive. They keep me going.

Sunday morning after returning from my son’s swim class I had to rush off to bead stores to get supplies to design some custom necklaces. At one of my craft fairs, someone asked me whether I had any red necklaces to show her. I did not. So funny, I love red, but I don’t seem to design with it very much. So I took on the challenge of designing some red necklaces to show–three of them by TODAY, Monday. That meant that I spent most of last night designing. I felt like I was on Lifetime’s “Project Accessory,” which fascinates me (on the first show contestants were taken to a dilapidated building and given a few minutes to basically go through trash to find materials to design accessories. They came up with fabulous pieces). Art under the gun. Love it. What I love about this request is that  it pushed me to design in a color that I love, filling a gap in my line of jewelry. The jury is still out on whether this very stylish potential client will like any of the three necklaces. I love them and plan to do more.

Whew! I’m exhausted. Goodnight, art project waiting on my craft table. Goodnight, laundry still in the dryer. Goodnight, dishes. Goodnight, moon.

A month of art

Well, Art Every Day Month is coming to an end. I admit that I’m running out of stem. But it has been great trying to create something each day. I spent most of the month working on my version of Zentangles, which I have enjoyed. The best thing about Art Every Day Month is that is has kept me in the process of creating–whether I was actually making something or not. Staying in that state keeps the ideas flowing. And I’ve been writing them down in my sketchbook for when I have more time to do them. Getting ideas is half the battle, right? So here is a little sample of my month (created using the mosaic maker at bighugelab.com). I’m now taking a little break before my next challenge for Spark, where artists respond to written pieces and writers respond to art.

Thank you, Leah Piken Kolidas for another month of fun and challenge.

AEDM (Day 21): Feeling tired

I’ve been making art these past few days of Art Every Day Month, but I have been lazy about posting. I almost didn’t post this one today. Sometimes it’s easier to make the art than mustering up the energy to scan it in. For some reason, I feel wiped out today. But here it is.

AEDM (Day 17): Aha!

I’m noticing something very important about making art every day for Art Every Day Month. Art quickly becomes a habit once you really start doing it. At the start of this month, there was a lot of fretting on my part about what I would do, when I would do it, and whether I could do it everyday. Now making art each day is as natural as brushing my teeth. I don’t every wonder about whether I will brush my teeth or whether I’ll do a good job. I just do it. That’s what I’m doing with art each day (well, I do still worry whether I’m doing a good job). It’s the moments when the day slips away and I haven’t yet done my art that I begin to fret. (Fret? Jeeze, I’m even using different language now. I never use ‘fret’.) I know that this can’t last forever because, frankly, making something every day is exhilarating but exhausting. But, BUT, it’s good to know how easy it is to do art on a regular basis even with all the crazy busy-ness of life carrying on its craziness. Now…if only I could get exercise to become a habit. 🙂

Check out all of the wonderful work by other artists participating in Art Every Day Month here.

AEDM: Day 16

Two more Zentangles for Art Every Day Month. I’m really getting into these now after 16 days. I’m trying different things to to see which approach I like best. I keep thinking  these would make great quilting squares–if I knew how to get them transferred onto fabric, AND if I knew how to sew. I did not get the sewing gene from my Big Mama, who lived in the country and handmade her own clothes. Sorry, Big Mama. 🙂