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.

In the stillness—inspiration

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

Dancer2

Welcome, fall

As I took an afternoon walk this weekend in the cooler air, it was such a pleasure to see the beautiful changing leaves of fall. And as I thought about fall, my mind began to wander, and I began to think about trees (the theme for October’s Creative Every Day Challenge) and how they let go of their leaves as the seasons change. That led me to think about how we all need to let go of things and let things that hold us back from change fall away. This image came to mind, so I created this in my sketchbook. It’s called “Falling.”

Constant change

The theme for September’s Creative Every Day Challenge is “time.” This piece,  “Constant/Change” (colored pencil on paper),  was inspired by the theme. I created it as I thought about the change of seasons as time goes by.

Paperwork

Emerging from my vacation coma of doing absolutely nothing all week, I finally pulled myself together and created this mixed media collage piece today. It’s on paper, about 18 x 22. I began by pouring one of my favorite colors in liquid acrylic paint on paper. While cleaning up my studio today I found the left over shells from mailing labels so I stuck those to the paper and then ripped them up after pouring the paint, which left some lines where the paper had been covered and also ripped up random sections of the paper. I then played with remnants of other papers I had laying around the studio, and here you have it.

Playing with textures

Golden Goddess

Most of my current work centers around this representative goddess figure in various forms. She is the central focus of attention, one, standing alone, strong, proud. The textures and layers indicate her complexity. She perfectly fits for the theme of “one” this month for the Creative Every Day Challenge. (Mixed media, paper collage, 3-D acrylic paint, on 8 x 10 canvas.)

My artist statement in the making

This week I took another major step forward in creating and revising my artist statement, with the help of other artists at Part 2 of the Artistic Cartel Meetup sponsored by the Artful Phoenix in North Attleboro, Mass.

Recently, it became even more clear how important a good artist statement is. I applied to get into a juried show and was rejected. When I got the general generic email about why my artwork didn’t make it, I emailed back asking for specifics. The exhibit’s coordinator told me that in addition to looking at the quality of the work and how well all the entries come together as a cohesive exhibit, jurors rely on the artist statement to truly comprehend what an artist is doing. The statement can make or break you when it comes to getting into a show, the person said.

Wow. Scary, huh?

I don’t know whether I’m done with my statement, but at least I feel that it is in better shape than the one I had before and better than the one I sent with my entry form for the show that rejected my work.

My struggle has been trying to nail down what I’m doing as an artist. If I had my choice I would just say something like–“I do what I want, when I want, depending on how I feel that day—kind of like a chef walking into a market, seeing what looks good that day and then deciding what she will cook.” But I don’t think that would do. So, here is what I have now as a statement. I would love your thoughts and feedback. What do you think?

ARTIST STATEMENT

I am driven by an unrelenting curiosity and a desire to play with a variety of mark-making materials and concepts revolving around the spirit of women. These givers of life are beautiful, powerful and mysterious beings, who deserve to be honored and explored in every medium possible.

As I create art, I leave open my journey, allowing myself to receive what comes to head, heart and hand. My aim is to immerse myself in the process of creating, to explore the colors, subjects and materials that most excite me in the moment. Opening myself often leads me to create acrylic-based mixed media collage pieces that showcase women.

The openness of being present also leads me to create artwork that reflects my fascination with the rejuvenative nature of circles as well as the unspoken language of patterns—from the Kente cloth of my unknown African ancestors to the patchwork quilts created by my Alabama grandmother.

Most of my pieces are imbued with a texture that invites viewers to come closer to see the work and possibly touch it, thus creating a connection between viewers and me.

(Above is a drawing from my sketchbook, Sharpie marker on paper, “Three Divided.” Click on the image to see it large.)

A paper weekend

I indulged my love of paper this weekend at Paper Connection International in Providence, R.I. The company mainly supplies commercial paper sellers, but opens its doors to the public three times a year. Saturday was one of those times. There were lots of lovely textured and patterned papers, many of them handcrafted. I created a greeting card using the paper I bought as well as a mixed media painting–acrylic paint on handmade bamboo paper with collaged pieces from handwritten letters. This piece was created for the “language” theme for the April Creative Every Day Challenge. Oh, how I love paper!

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!

SPARK 14: “Letting Go”

I participated in another round of Spark: Art from Writing; Writing from Art, in which artists are given written pieces as inspiration and writers are given artwork as inspiration. Each time I do it (this is my third time), I’m pushed in an unexpected direction in which I grow creatively–at least I think so. I usually end up with an image I might not have created or working in some new way. That’s the case for this piece “Letting Go,” a mixed media work on paper, which is based on the following poem. I spent several days just thinking about the words, which seemed angry at first, but slowly settled into a kind of peacefulness that I think comes when one lets go of something that has been hard to hold onto to begin with–especially relationships. There is anger, loss, longing, mourning and then release, letting go. If you look closely, you will see that I used ripped up pieces of the poem as the background. The next round of Spark happens in February, if you want to try it.

(Inspiration piece)

Shades of Gray 

By Ray Sharp

I wrote you a poem

in a small and even script

words like bird tracks

in wet sand

but I inked them out

with furious black smudges

and set it afire

dropped it and watched

words turn to ashes

and float across

your view of the moon.

Cremation, phoenix.

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