Entries from: March 2007

Weird and Wonderful World

March 31st, 2007, Comments (18)

gelatin print made last summer

I've been feeling a bit quiet the past few days. The fiansor has been sick and so I've been taking care of him and I think I might be catching what he has because today I'm downright exhausted. I'm loving, loving, loving all the sunny weather we've been having. It was a bit crisp today, but still sunny. I met a friend for breakfast and then walked through the little town center which has a plethora of toy stores and gift shops. I walked into most of them, touching the pillow shaped like a tiger, the miniature playing cards, the vintage jewelry and eventually stopped at a section of children's books. As part of one of the book's exercises, I read a bunch of them, they made me smile. I loved a book called The Dot. I brought a couple home, one for my best friend who is pregnant and one for me, just cause. I picked out a bilingual version of Puss in Boots. hehe.

This week with Finding Water has been about being more gentle, letting go, and enjoying the moment. Several times I have found myself smiling quietly. Life is good. Last night I was reading The Red Book by Sera Beak (which is fabulous), and I loved a section on intuition which read: "...The universe was winking, and all I had to do was shut off my logical brain (and drop the expectations I had...) and follow through...Being intuitive is not about trying real hard, it's about relaxing real soft." (my italics) And it's so true, it's true not just about intuition, but about everything. I learned this lesson over and over again in massage school. Once you start, you need to let go of that logical/technical side, get soft in your body and go with the flow. At least that's what made the massage a good one for me. It's also true in my art. I think that's why I like to give myself permission to make crap. That permission allows me to let go of trying to get it right and allows my subconscious to come through.

This week in Finding Water, there's an exercise about searching for the silver lining in our rejections. Sometimes it's not even about searching for a silver lining, it's just about knowing that some things happen for a reason, a reason we won't necessarily understand at the time. This happens in small and large ways and this week I had a small example of this laid at my feet. I've been searching for a studio space for awhile now and now that my nanny job has ended, I've been trying to figure out where I will settle. Last Saturday, I went to see a space that is opening up in a few months. I'd been corresponding with a women who is part of a cooperative of artists who share one floor in an old mill building. I had a left a flyer there with my email address saying I was looking for a space and she responded. So, I went in there, thinking I was just meeting her and seeing the space and found out I was there for an interview. Five of the artists on the floor were there. The head woman asked me if I had brought slides saying, "I know I didn't ask you to bring slides, but did you?" Um, no. I was seriously taken off guard and then thinking on my toes, I spotted her laptop and suggested that she could look at my art website. They told me about how the space was run, a floor divided up into about 20 spaces, with walls that only go up about 8 feet in a room with super high ceilings, so the air space is shared (therefore you have to be careful about sound and smells). That was ok with me. We all sat in a circle and the head woman grilled me with questions about how I work, when I work, what I do, how I would afford the space, etc. I got the feeling she didn't like me much. I hit it off well with two of the artists though, so that was nice. But I felt so intimidated. It reminded me a bit of being back in art school and I felt uncomfortable, like I just wasn't good enough. The woman in charge let me know that they were interviewing other people and she'd let me know in a week or so. When one of the women gave me a copy of the floor agreements so that I could look it over, the women in charge stiffly said, "This is not an invitation. We're interviewing other people." I said, "of course, I understand."

At home, I told the fiansor about the space and how it made me kind of anxious, but that I liked two of the women and it could work. A few days later, I got an email from the head woman telling me that they had chosen someone else. She asked if I was interested in a two-month sublet this summer (I'm not) and said she'd put me on a list of people to notify if another permanent space opened up. I told her I was disappointed, but understood and to keep me in mind for future spaces. When I told the fiansor that I wasn't chosen he was very angry, but I laughed and told him I wasn't angry at all. I was disappointed, but not angry. I told him, that it just was not meant to be, something else will come up. I decided not to take it personally, who knows what went into their decision.

About 2 days later, I saw an ad on craigslist for brand new art studios in the same complex of buildings where I was last week. I corresponded by email with the woman who was helping out the landlord by posting the ad. She rented out space on a different floor from the one I visited and she was super friendly, telling me to come by for a visit. (There's also a really funny synchronicity in her being the one who responded...I saw a flyer of hers a few months ago in a Starbucks and wrote down the name of her website and loved her work.) I got in touch with the landlord and I'll be seeing the space on Monday. I can decide how much space I want, the windows and bathroom are brand new, it will be a floor of artist's studios, but sectioned off into individual spaces, I don't have to interview for the space, and this building will participate in the same open studios. Wowzers. I'm super excited about this and hopefully it will all come together beautifully. And I'm just so glad that I was able to see that the other space wasn't meant for me. For whatever reason, I trusted that something else would come. And I was right! There was something better waiting for me.

Sera Beak writes, "This is a mysteriously connected universe. We don't always consciously know how far our energy might reach and how intense its effect might be, but by doing what you intuitively feel you should be doing in this world...., you are actually, believe it or not, helping to infuse this planet...with deep soulful purpose as well as encouraging other beings to seek out and bravely live their own role." It is a mysteriously connected universe and I've always liked to think of these little synchronicities as winks from the universe. I have trouble trusting in these small coincidences, but either way, I love them. The blogging world is full of them, those crazy connections that bring us together. Just the other day, a new blogger let me know that on the same day I was taking pictures of jellies, she was doing the same on the other side of the continent. Life is weird and wonderful.

Small Wonders

March 28th, 2007, Comments (9)


One of the unexpected surprises for me this weekend was a trip to the Aquarium. My future sister-in-law wanted to go into the city and see a 3-D movie, so we headed in and got tickets to go into the aquarium before the movie. It just so happened that there was a super cool exhibit about Jellyfish. The exhibit explored the human influence on the ocean, why there are more jellyfish in the oceans now, and it had tanks of lots of different types of jellyfish to view. All the info was fascinating, including how long jellyfish have been around. Did you know that jellyfish have been around for 600 million years? That's 200 hundred million years before fish came along and nearly 400 million years before the dinosaur. Wow.


With all the great info, what I loved most, was just looking at the jellies up close. They are beautiful! I had left my bulky camera at home, so I took these quick pics with my cell phone. I was so inspired by these delicate creatures. The way they move, the way light moves through them. I could have stared at them all day! The ones below are super teeny tiny jellies. You can see my cell phone reflected in it. Heh.


The fiansor had mixed feelings about the exhibit. When he was a kid, visiting his father's family in Greece, he kicked a jellyfish thinking it was a beach ball and boy was he sorry. Ouch!

Some things I'm grateful for today: The sunshine! A little girl outside spinning around in the wind. Fresh lemonade. Tabbers, my big orange cat, sleeping upside down with paws in the air.

Beauty is everywhere, if we just look. Let yourself be inspired by the small wonders. Happy creating!

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Found Art!

March 27th, 2007, Comments (15)

I've been wanting to play along with Rosa Murillo's "Found Art Tuesday" project since I first came upon her website, but I had a bit too much on my plate. I still seem to enjoy taking on too many projects, but I was tickled by the idea of this week's theme (bird) and so I decided to just jump in. I made most of it last night, using one of my collected little boxes. I had a strong urge to carve the bird out of something. I tried molding a bird out of sculpy clay over the weekend, but wasn't too thrilled with it. And then last night, while thinking about going outside to find a bit of wood that maybe I could figure out how to carve with a steak knife, I came upon some old candles. One was melted all the way through the middle and it's edges were curled over. Aha! So, I broke off a couple chunks of old wax, grabbed a couple knives and set to work creating a bird.

I don't really work well in 3-D for whatever reason, my mind has trouble wrapping itself around three dimensional things and so the bird is only fully carved in the front, but that's ok. I made 2 birds and broke one by accident, so the second one became the bird you see here. I strung it on a bit of green wire, sticking the wire through each end of the box. Then I looked around, I kind of wanted to create a nest, maybe. I ended up scrunching up the bit of cotton stuff that was in the box and then broke up some old used matches (sometimes clutter comes in handy) which I glued to the cotton. I put some tape over the ends of the wire and wrapped it around the back. As I was making it, I had the They Might be Giants song stuck in my head, "Make a little birdhouse in your soul." I decided that would be the name of it.

As I fell asleep I imagined the top, the curls of wire that could be used to secure a card to or even to hang the piece as wall art. Today I placed gold paper over the tape and wrote out the music lyric on it. I wanted people to know they could open the box, so I attached a small piece of paper with the word "open" on it. I liked how that looked. Inside the cover, I pasted another piece of paper with my website and a note saying to keep this piece of "found art" or pass it on for someone else to find. I haven't set it free yet. I've been stuck in the house waiting for a plumber and struggling through the creation of an e-commerce site for my artwork. Blarg. I'm glad I had this little art piece to make me smile during the day. It will be a little hard for me to let it go! Good practice in detachment I suppose.

The Woosh of Time

March 26th, 2007, Comments (9)

Acrobats, acrylic and colored pencil on acrylic paper, about 8"x10"

So, my secret was a surprise party I have been planning for the last month for the fiansor's 30th birthday (which was yesterday.) I had family and friends from NYC and here in Massachusetts visiting for 10 pin bowling and then dinner and ice cream cake around the corner. I have been SO anxious about it! All the little details that go into planning an affair like this and then not being able to share it with the person I share everything with was rediculously hard. The day of, I was nearly bursting. I told him we had plans for his birthday and that was all. I could tell he was anxious too with the anticipation of what I had planned. But I can say without a doubt that he was completely and totally surprised. Actually, I think he was in a state of shock for the first hour! Heh. But he eased into it, surrounded by family and friends all there to celebrate his birthday and have some fun. The next day some friends were still with us and we had brunch out and later went into the city. It was a busy, busy weekend. So very full. When everyone had left and we finally were home alone last night, we totally collapsed. My introverted self was on overload and I needed quiet and sleep. The fiansor said, it was definitely a birthday he'd never forget. And while I would never do something like this again (at least not in the near future), it was all worth it. I know the fiansor felt very loved (and he is.)

So, the party is over, but I'm still a bit anxious. I sat up at night thinking of all that needed to be done...a commission, wedding stuff, art stuff, website stuff and I felt so overwhelmed, plus there's this empty chasm of time in front of me that simultaneously holds so much promise and potential along with a lot of fear and lots of unknowns. Today is my first day at work for myself. I got up and did some straightening up around the house which looked like a tornado had passed through it, got dressed, wrote morning pages, pet kitties and then made a list. Actually, the list sort of came out in the morning pages and then I transferred it onto a separate piece of paper. I decided I needed to get out of the house to do some of the computer-ish work and I'm glad I did. I found this cafe last week that has free wireless and just a lovely feel to it. I got a latte and a sandwich and sat to do some work. Around 3 it got kind of busy and I found myself getting distracted, so I left for the library where it is much quieter.

I know it will take me a little while to get into a rhythm with my work. I need to keep my goals clear, so that I'm moving forward while also being careful not to beat myself up for what I don't accomplish. I want to celebrate what I do, no matter how small, otherwise I'll always feel unsettled. Easier said than done, especially for someone who has been told again and again that she's not enough. But it's a message I need to learn. I wrote about in my morning pages, read about it on Jamie's blog and mentioned it in a comment to Bee. So, hopefully all this repetition will help me learn. I need to focus on the joy and less on the fear. And breathe. I must remember to breathe.

I feel a bit like I've lept off the edge of a cliff. It's exhilirating and yet my heart won't stop racing. I need to trust that my outreaching hands will be met, so that I can soar like a trapeze artist. In the meantime, I need to close my eyes and feel the rush of air on my face, I need to eat the strawberry even though the tigers are above and below me. I trust that it will all come together beautifully, that I am doing exactly what I need to be doing, and everything is o.k.

p.s. A few people have asked if I sell my artwork and I do! I have sold pieces to bloggers who have enquired about them in the past. I have a website, but it's sadly outdated and I'm hard at work on a new fully updated site with a store attached where I will sell prints and originals. I hope to have it completed by the end of April and as it goes up, I'll keep you updated. In the meantime, if you are interested in a particular piece, feel free to email me about it.

In the Meantime, Poppies…

March 24th, 2007, Comments (15)

"Poppies" is acrylic paint on acrylic paper, about 8"x10".

I'm quiet right now because I can't keep a secret for very long (it's a fun one). I'll be back tomorrow with a fun story. In the meantime, some springy flowers for you.

I missed 2 days of mp's. Doh! But I did my artist's date, taking myself for a long, long, long, overdue haircut and shopping with a Christmas gift card, much fun. I walked a few times and I'm just loving the warm weather. It's supposed to snow tonight. Boo! But it shouldn't stick around for long, I hope. Hope your weekend is fun and full of wonderful surprises!


Up Spring!

March 21st, 2007, Comments (14)

More art from last week, this time playing with caran d'ache crayons on 8"x10" acrylic paper, just free-flow drawing with no plan in mind and this is what came out, an ode to Spring.


Wherever there is Death, there is Birth

March 21st, 2007, Comments (11)


Circles, circles, cycles. One circle ended for me today, my last day as a full time nanny after 6 years with one family. It was a bittersweet day. I got teary several times. I know I'm more than ready to move on, but I was still sad and I knew that was ok. It just occurred to me that today is the first day of Spring, a time for new beginnings! Seems like very appropriate timing indeed.


I celebrated by getting some pretty flowers for the house, red-orange ranunculus and purple hyacinth. After arranging them in my prettiest vases, I grabbed my camera and went for a walk. This walk was inspired by a divining rod in Finding Water which suggests taking a walk at a time of day that you normally wouldn't. It was nearly dusk when I went out, the sun was low in the sky, the shadows were longer, it was getting dark slowly. I was happy to be out on the day when there's officially more light than dark. It was nippy and I was bundled up, but it was a good temperature for walking.


It was rush hour, lots of cars zipping by on the main road I walked down. But it was also dinner time and as I approached the small grouping of restaurants, I got a whiff of lots of great smells. Greasy pizza, Chinese food, Italian food, all mixing up together. I passed the front window of one restaurant and saw a grandmother looking at pictures of a baby. I kept walking and came up to the bridge where a river rushes beneath. I love looking at the water rushing by. It's so calming. I took some pictures. A man walking by said, "Good view?" I said yes. I walked on to the cemetary and stood at the edge behind the stone wall and read the stones, some dating back to the 1700's. There was one stone that only said, "Mother and Father" and above that there was the engraving of a hand holding a branch. On the way back I stopped by the river again to take a picture of this thicket of tangled trees.


I felt so awake! It was a great walk. All these pics were taken on my walk this evening.

My Camera’s Batteries are Recharged

March 20th, 2007, Comments (12)

Now I just need to re-charge my batteries! I'm so tired! Time for bed.

I think I'll spread out the art from last week a little bit. So, here's the last piece I worked on. With each of these pieces I let myself start something and continue with it the next day. This is the one where the hollow tree turned up unexpectedly as I drew in the figure and then her surroundings, first with colored pencils and then going into it with acrylics. It's about 8"x10" on paper.

What? Speak a little louder Sonny!

March 20th, 2007, Comments (5)

Oh dear, my head is so clogged! Both ears have been blocked up for the past few days, first one, then the other, so that it sounds like I'm hearing everything underwater. I'm all fuzzy and my head ways about 50 pounds.

Sunday night we had a wonderful time at a friend's gorgeous new house with such yummy treats as moon cakes, flowering tea and Chinese beef noodle soup. Yum. Have you seen these flowering teas before? I saw them on t.v. once and they're just so pretty in person and the tea was delicious! The one I tried was a Jasmine tea from China. I did a little looking around online and found a site here that shows a little film clip on their homepage of the flowering process. Kinda neat eh? And then there's this site that says they offer a free sample, although I couldn't get it to work. I sent them an email, so I'll let you know how that goes. It was also just lovely to spend some time with the fiansor who I hadn't seen all week. By the time we got home I was exhausted and we went to bed. Yesterday after work, I had a lot of things that I wanted to get done, but all I managed was a trip to the grocery store, some dinner cooked up with the fiansor's help and then I went to snuggle the kitties who were being so cute in bed and passed out. The fiansor came in and shut the light off and I slept through the night (well, I mostly slept through the night, I was awoken by snuggly kitties several times, including one time where Tabbers sat on my head with his belly on my ear, so even through the blocked crap, I could still hear him purring away. It was too cute.) Despite all that sleep, I'm still exhausted, drained, and generally feeling like mud. Damn sinuses. I called the fiansor and asked him to bring home matzo ball soup (you've got to feed a cold!)

I have art to post and other things I wanted to talk about, but my energy is at negative 20 right now, so in the meantime, stay warm, enjoy some hot tea, and I shall return shortly with pics.

Update: Primula Tea (the tea I mentioned above) emailed me back right away and asked for my address so they could send a sample (and that's without the shipping!) So feel free to email them if the form doesn't work. Or try Full Bloom Tea which also offers a free sample. I'll let you know which kind I prefer when I receive them. Now, I just need a glass tea pot!

Week 4 Check In

March 17th, 2007, Comments (8)

This week was a good one, time flies when you're having fun, right? This one seemed to zoom by. Zip, Zam, Zoooooom. I'll be home tomorrow and I can post some of the art I've been playin' with this week.

I did my morning pages every day this week, although it wasn't always first thing. I feel better when I'm doing them. I have more clarity during the day. I already talked about my artist's date. I wasn't sure really where I wanted to go for the sanctuary divining rod, well, I know where I wanted to go, but it wasn't a good time for it. The first thing that came to mind when I thought of sanctuary was the woods near the house where I grew up (which is no longer in my family). We spent hours and hours playing in the woods behind everyone's houses on my street, but there was one particular spot that seemed so magical. You had to sneak through someone's yard to get there, but behind there it was state forest. You'd then cross a babbling brook, either by taking a running jump or stepping on rocks that stuck out of the water. Then climing an incline thick with trees, you will find the hollow tree. I'm not sure how the tree became hollow (we had a lot of theories), but no matter how it came to be, it was a magical tree. The hollowness of the tree was like a doorway, you could step in and stand inside it. From this, all the wild imaginations of a group of kids used this tree as everything from a hiding spot from monsters to a time machine. I still visited regularly though, through my college years because the magic there simply remained. Does the magical always have a taste of the scary in it? If you looked straight up when you were inside the tree, these pointy bits of wood criss-crossed all the way up, making the tree look like a big, dark mouth that would certainly eat you if it could. At a certain point you couldn't see any further, so again, the imaginations run wild about what could be up there. I liked to imagine an owl lived up there, although it's unlikely.

So this spot was not ideal this week where I'm spending all my time at work, and my mom no longer lives there and it was a very, very muddy week. But I think I'd like to go visit again soon with a camera, when it gets warmer and drier. I went for my walk, which was really interesting. I found a slide on the side of the road. It wasn't near anyone's house, just on a stretch of trees. It was a slide of an x-ray of someone's pelvis and hip joints. At the top in pencil it said, osteochondromitosis, I think. The writing was unclear. I stuck it in my pocket. Later in the walk I was drawn by the sound of water, I looked into the woods and saw the prettiest stream weaving its way through these islands of mossy green. When I saw it, I felt so nostalgic for where I grew up and I realized that as much as I want a great town not too far from the city with a fun town center, I also really want the woods. I want my children to be able to play and run and hide amongst big tall trees. The hollow tree showed up again last night while doing some daily art, I let me hand just go with the flow and I was surprised to see a woman sitting crosslegged with the hollow tree at her back.

One of my favorite exercises this week was the sketchbook exercise. I got a small moleskin and periodically I would draw my surroundings or something imaginary. I ended up drawing my feet a lot, socked feet in front of my laptop, one bare foot, 2 naked feet in the bathtub, etc.

All in all a good week. This week will be busy. The fiansor's  30th birthday is  next weekend,  my last day of work is Wednesday, and I'm finally getting a much needed haircut on Thursday.  Ok, I think that was a long drawn out check-in, so there you go!