Friday, April 29, 2011

art show next saturday!

I don't think I've ever posted this late in the day! My goodness. It has been quite a trying week in my household. Both my husband and I have been so sick, I didn't leave my bed for 5 days (I need to go outside ASAP!) and my husband's grandmother passed away last night (bless her soul). Meanwhile, I have this ridiculous pile of work on my dining table that has been taunting me all week while I've been unable to move a muscle. 

Well, I am finally leaving the house today and will hopefully get crackin' on matting and framing my photos for the show, putting together my portrait portfolio display, writing up an artist statement and at the end of the week attempt to finally put this together on the blank wall's on my co-host's home. Yikes. 

I am quite excited for the show! I hope to see you there! As a reminder, the show will be held in West Hartford, CT on Saturday, May 7th from 12 noon- 4 pm. Please let me know if you are interested and I'll send you the address!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

mila's daydreams

My sister Nicole sent me an email about this AMAZING woman from Finland a few weeks ago……well, o. m. g. I cannot begin to even scratch the surface of compliments and inspiration I was overwhelmed by when I saw the incredible Adele Enersen's photos! 

HOW inspired are these photos? Adele tries to imagine what her baby, Mila, is dreaming about when she takes a nap and then tries to capture it by creating a whole world around the sleeping babe with every day items from around the house. For a girl with a wild imagination and a photography obsession, this is right up my alley! I have a total photography crush on this woman. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

tea cup wisdom

I've been in bed sick since Sunday, and begrudgingly that's where I'll stay today. I am, however, stubbornly insisting on writing a blog post today, because I committed myself to daily posting some time ago and up until yesterday I had not broken that commitment. 

Why the commitment? I have dreams of this blog leading me in the right direction, and of course, I have dreams of finding an audience that enjoys my writing! To boil it down to an even more simplistic level, I write this blog every day to honor myself exactly the way I am… feel free to be that person and share her with the world. This may not seem like a significant feat, but for me it is. Coming out of an alcoholic household, one of the most difficult struggles in my life has been figuring out who the heck I am, what I stand for, what I want, and what I have to give to the world. One of the unfortunate side effects of being an ACOA (adult child of an alcoholic) is a flimsy sense of identity. Coincidentally, my entire life has been a mad hunt for myself. 

I have always been deeply committed to figuring myself out. I can't say I'm completely cured of this issue, but I can say this blog is a testament to the steady ground my identity stands on today. And because I write with the freedom to be myself, no longer stymied by outside opinions or thrown off track by attempts to steer me into being someone else……I know I am walking the path of truth and that is where I'll find my success (whatever that success is). 

I admit, I did commit to writing every week day based on all the research I did awhile back on successful blogs (one prevailing axiom of successful blogs: post every day). But, taking that advice has actually helped me as an artist and as an individual in more ways that I had anticipated.  

Now….back to bed.


Monday, April 25, 2011

a tiny sneak peek

I'm really enjoying painting this piece for one of my favorite people….the wonderful Natalie Ann. I'm sorry to ruin the surprise for you Natalie, because I'm sure I'll post the final product long before your June birthday! What you see above is only a small section of the painting during a very wet process. We'll see where it goes….

Friday, April 22, 2011

nature paints and a magazine stool

Happy Earth Day everyone! If you haven't already seen my post from Monday dedicated to unique ways to be earth friendly, do check it out! 

In addition to adding some new eco-friendly practices to my life in honor of Earth Day, I also decided to try out two green projects from an amazing website I found the other day: The Way To Go. The first project was to make my own non-toxic paints! It seemed like the perfect project for me given all the painting I've been doing lately and my obvious love for nature. I had never thought too much about it, but when I read about this project I realized how possible it is to make your own paint given people have been painting on cave walls, tree bark, pottery and such for thousands of years….and they certainly didn't have Dick Blick to help them out.

The first step is to find objects in nature that can lend you some of their color. Examples from The Way To Go website include:

Red & Pink: crushed beets, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries
Purple: blueberries, blackberries
Yellow: onion skins, marigold petals, crushed dandelion flowers
Blue: sunflower seeds, alfalfa flowers
Green: spinach leaves

My choices were….

 Frozen blueberries
 Pine needles…..  and kale stocks.
 Frozen raspberries
 The little yellow flowers that are falling off so many bushes this time of year.

The next step is to place each item in a jar (I used old pasta sauce, honey and coconut oil jars…recycling at its best!). Then pour hot water over the top and let them sit overnight. VoilĂ ! Nature paints! They have the consistency of watercolors so I'd suggest using them on watercolor paper (now I'm wondering how I could make thick nature paints similar to acrylics…hmm). My paints have been curing over night and I'm going to be experimenting with them later today. I'll post the results next week…

The next project, also from The Way To Go, was to assemble a flower stand out of old magazines. Yes, that's right! It was incredibly easy to make and I'm loving it!

Instructions: Open a magazine to the left, keeping the front cover open and flat. Fold 10 pages in half and tuck into the binding, including the back cover. Repeat until you've folded the entire magazine, then fold the front cover over the first 10 folded pages.

Repeat this on 1-3 more magazines, depending on the thickness of each magazine. When you are finished, place them back-to-back and you've got yourself a stool! 

Ideally, you would only use two moderately thick magazines so that you'd end up with two semi-circle fans that you could fit together (back-to-back) to form a circle. My magazines were much smaller, but they did the trick! 

Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

theme from the bottom

I've been having a very difficult time finishing paintings lately. It's not out of laziness or lack of time even, it's simply some creative struggle I'm experiencing at the moment. I am absolutely bubbling over with endless ideas and inspiration, and have so many projects in the works, yet I feel this "dead end" feeling and can't find that culminating sense of satisfaction that a piece is done. Ugh. Perhaps I need to find more balance between my laundry list of ideas and my crazy need to attack them all at once? Probably.

At any rate, I had planned so much for this painting inspired by Phish's Theme from the bottom (click here for more about this painting/song). As with most of Phish's music, the song is jam packed with a lot of confusing lyrics and is ripe with crazy visuals for me. I had imagined a great deal of that being expressed in my painting, but with SO many ideas I decided to just let loose on the canvas and try not to think or plan. I felt the need to simplify the complication found in the song. Perhaps it was the slight insanity of listening to the song repeatedly while painting that caused me to find myself sinking in this rainbow of blues, falling to the dark depths of the ocean. But, once I was down there on the black bottom, I couldn't help but look up toward the light of the surface. And wouldn't you know…...that's basically the theme of the song—this intertwined mirror between the bottom and the top (take that literally or figuratively).

Another project I started is hand painting these wooden letters I picked up at the art store a few weeks ago (I've only completed one pink one so far). I seem to be surrounded by children these days, which has inspired me to begin creating children's art. It started with a painting that I agreed to paint for my new little niece's nursery (you can see that painting here). I ended up really enjoying the childlike style that I began to discover in that piece. We'll see where that takes me. I certainly didn't anticipate diving into this much painting when I took a course for fun a couple of months ago….life is funny that way.  

To be honest, when it comes to painting (or really any of my many forms of art) I'm never really sure why I'm doing something or where it's taking me. It often feels silly to be following these impulses, but as an artist I try to simply listen to the creative voice whispering to me and trust my path.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

foggy day

A typical day at Ocean Beach, San Francisco by Lola Rain

Today is yet another foggy day in Southern Connecticut and it's really beginning to wear on me after a few weeks of fog. This is not something I'm accustomed to seeing so much of in Connecticut. And I wish it felt reminiscent of my days living in San Francisco…..but the fog isn't fluffy or rolling through the air in dances, in fact I fail to find any beauty in it here. I am just praying for the sun to come shining through to wake me up out of this foggy coma (pun intended) that I've been in. Yawn…..

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

spring in the park

I took a walk in my favorite (Southern CT) park yesterday afternoon to see if I could find any signs of Spring. Sadly, given the view out my 15th-story window is mostly concrete and high rises (with a meager sliver of ocean in the background), I don't get the full effect of any of the seasons. But, as I tromped around the soggy grass in the park I found plenty of budding trees and flowers in bloom.