Entries from: June 2007

Summer in the City

June 30th, 2007, Comments (4)

The fiansor and I headed into the city today to feed the fiansor's craving for antique coins. He's become quite fascinated by them lately. We got a really yummy lunch and people watched. The tourists were out in full force. Boston was beautiful today and we got to glimpse the gorgeous combo of reflected fluffy clouds in glass buildings contrasted against the old brick of historic structures. We also got to glimpse some really overcrowded spaces. Walking into Haymarket was a bad, bad idea. It was wall to wall people and no way out. We just missed being hit by fruit and vedgies that some angry man was throwing at a vendor. Eeks! Later we walked into the North End, also swamped with people, saw a wedding party waiting outside an old church and got some gelato in a paper cup. I got an armful of magazines, quite a treat for me, and now we're home again.


I'm in the middle of two art pieces, so I'll post those later on, but I did come across this piece done awhile back that I stored away because I got frustrated with it. It's caran d'ache on watercolor paper and I'm calling it "Home Field." Again with the homes. Seems to be a theme along with the women with their hair blowing in the wind. I like this quote as it expresses how I often feel about making art. And I think my art makes more sense than my words most of the time. :-)

The joy of painting is the exploration of who you are, how you see and feel and how you think in paint. - Carole D Barnes

Sun, Sun, Sun, Sunshiney Day

June 29th, 2007, Comments (2)

Ah, the temps went down and it was just beautiful outside today. I took a nice walk to a local diner to have some lunch felt much more a part of the world than I have all week. Some random dudes honked at me on my walk and waved like they knew me. The local gas station attendant even came out to flirt. Nice weather seems to bring that out in people. I just smile and keep on going.

Back at home, the sun had my mind racing. Lots of stuff in the works. I'm working on an piece of art for a benefit auction, "Angels for Brianna", to raise money to help with a family's medical costs after their daughter passed away far too young. I read about Brianna and her story here after a reading about her family's loss on Ullabenulla's site. Her story reminds me a bit of my step-brother who died very suddenly at the age of 22 from a brain aneurysm. It was 8 years ago and it's still so tragic. It's so hard to understand when someone you love dies so young. But it seems that already, Brianna has touched many hearts in her passing and that's a beautiful thing. Plus, she's now inspired many artists to create a beautiful piece of art in her name. And that too is a beautiful thing. The auction will be set up in a couple weeks and I'll let you know when it's up.

In the meantime, I've put up a couple posts at the Blue Tree blog, so go check it out!

Wind in Her Hair

June 28th, 2007, Comments (8)

I woke up in such a funk this morning. Over-heated, blah, feeling sad for no apparent reason. I sat in this funk for awhile, but knew that I needed to move on and although it's tough to start, the best thing for a funk is to get to work. So, I set up at the kitchen table (I like to work in a different place everyday it seems and I don't think I've ever painted in the kitchen) surrounded myself with supplies and got to work. I had prepped a wood board with gesso earlier in the week and I'd also made a sketch on a scrap of paper next to the bed when I had an image of a woman with butterflies in her hair and words and other things, sort of like a tangle of thoughts caught in her hair which you can see when the wind blows. I sketched it out on the board and then thought for awhile about how I wanted to bring her to life. I pulled out some of the 195o's magazines I got in Seattle, some old sheet music, and some packing tape and made some quick transfers. I played around with the images I chose, I particularly loved the chair and the fish. Then I cut butterflies out of random patterns in an Oprah magazine and saved those for later. I started arranging the tape transfers on the board, glued them down and then started to paint, later collaging in the butterflies. I like how she came out, very summery and soft. I'll have her up in my store tonight or tomorrow. I thought I'd try and make it out to Mindy's Creative night (such a cool idea!), but I've got a migraine brewing and need to chill in the dark for a bit.

"Wind in Her Hair" is 8"x8" with mixed media on cradled wood board. I've still got lotus imagery in my head, so when I found a lotus image in one of the 1950's magazines I put it in her body. I was happy to have found the image, especially after seeing the most gorgeous jewelry today, one piece of which incorporates a lotus flower.


Oh, I love it. It's by Erin Dolman, who I found through Ullabenulla.

Other things I'm lovin today: wearing my hair in pig tails, taking a cold shower, "half baked" frozen yogurt by Ben & Jerry's, little sun dress from Old Navy, re-reading the 5th Harry Potter book before the movie comes out on the 11th, air conditioning in the bedroom.

Who? Who!

June 26th, 2007, Comments (2)

I think owls are totally adorable. This may be partly due to the fact that my kitty, Emma, looks so much like a big-eyed owl. Hehe. Anyways, I purchased a series of smaller canvases and I intend do do a bunch of smaller pieces this week and next for $100 each. "Purple Owl" will be up in my store shortly.

I took a side view shot, so you can see how it goes around the sides. It's about 6"x6" with acrylic and collage on canvas. Blue tissue paper has been collaged into the sky.

I heard from an old friend today and when I say old, I mean I've known her since I was teeny-tiny. We don't speak to eachother often, but it's nice to catch up. She was telling me about how her three cats are all different colors so she can't cheat and get furniture and clothes to match all the fur they shed. I wrote back about how my cat Tabbers, our fluffy orange boy cat, is the biggest shedding culprit and how it made me laugh to think about dressing and furnishing my space entirely in orange. I tried to picture it and it made me giggle. But it also made me think about how much orange I've been using in my art lately. In fact, my art website is currently based around an orange and blue theme.  I was never a huge fan of orange, but it seems lately that I've taken quite a liking to it. Then, I happened to click over to decor8 and was taken aback by all the orange. In a bit of synchronicity, Holly had posted a whole series on the color orange and its use in design on her blog today. I especially loved the orange pillows from Joom, and orange koi glasses from Anthropologie. I'm kinda crazy for pillows at the moment. Anyways, there's loads of orange inspiration! Yummy. It's making me crave an orange creamsicle.

Well, it seems like I may be slowly phasing out of the orange phase myself. I enjoyed working in dreamy purples last night. But one never knows. I follow my whims wherever they may lead (at least with color.) Ok, I've got loads of art to upload to the shop, so toodaloo for now!


June 23rd, 2007, Comments (17)

I've had this image in my head for a couple weeks now. Sometimes things need to percolate. I was sketching in my little moleskin book in bed, I had looked at the Inspire Me Thursday prompt which was "rooted" and it was making me think about my own roots. After doing a bit of traveling, the fiansor and I were talking about what (besides our family) was keeping us where we are. We're planning to buy a home in the next year or so and I guess with that decision looming it has us both wondering, thinking about other places and what that might be like. And then there's the town I grew up in. My mom had to sell her house, where I grew up, when my step-dad lost his job and got a new job out of state. They're back in Mass now, in a different house, in a neighboring town. My dad has also left the home he was in for an adult condo community with my step-mom. I have no more physical roots in the place where I grew up, the place I called home. So, I was thinking about how even though I no longer have a place, a location that is the center for my roots, my roots are still there. In my sketch that night I imagined a neighborhood where each house has roots grown deep into the ground and in the spot where a house used to be, the roots have grown into a tree.

I like the way this came out, so I'm glad I let it bubble out when it was ready to come. I went out today to get a board to make this image on because everything I had was the wrong shape. I ended up using some of the images from a "Today's Woman" magazine from the 1950's that I picked up in Seattle. I had a lot of fun flipping through those images. The final image, I'm calling "Rooted," is 14"x18" with collage and acrylic on board. I'll have it up on the art website next week.

Coincidentally, Holly at Decor 8 asked readers to write about "what makes a house a home." Before I got into the painting, I sat down and thought about it for awhile and this is what I wrote:

  What makes a house a home?

For me it’s all about the feeling of my shoulders descending from my ears to their proper place as I walk in the door. Where I live now is the first place since I left my childhood home 13 years ago that has felt like home to me. I wasn’t homeless in those thirteen years in between, no, I had apartments and rooms and places where I kept my stuff. But that’s all it was, a container. It had no soul.

Home is where you find your socks under the couch after an evening of sock wars with your honey. Home is where you strut in your underwear dancing to Scissor Sister songs without a care in the world. Home is where you curl up to have a good cry. Home is where you line the hallway with photos of your family: a baby picture with your mom, your grandpa mowing the lawn, your cats as kittens.

In the next year, my fiancé and I will be looking for our first house. The apartment we’ve lived in for the past four years has been home to me though. I think what made it home, even though I don’t own it, is that it’s so full of love. It’s run down, the shower clogs up easily, the dishwasher leaks, and the plaster chips away from the walls, but I can overlook these things as this is where I’ve loved the most deeply and felt the most loved. I think that energy stays in a place, swirling around and giving off a vibe to people who enter. I’m always happy to go home. I miss it when I’m away. It’s where my heart is kept. I guess that’s where that cliché comes from; home is where my heart is.


In Boston, It’s Summa!

June 22nd, 2007, Comments (9)

Summer Solstice - About 10"x15", acrylic, ink, and sequins.

Ok, so much for daytime art-making. Whatever, it comes when it comes I suppose. The first day of summer was lovely for me. I woke up with an unexplained spring in my step, followed by the realization that I got my period. It's amazing how much going from pms to day 1 makes such a difference. I feel lighter already.

It was a good and busy day. I got some errands done and made some sales from my website. Yay! And I also got my new blog, specifically for my art website, up and running, the Blue Tree Blog. Check it out here.  I've just started adding links, a time consuming business. For starters I've been working on a list of artists that blog. But I also plan to include lists of other things that inspire me, such as books, poetry, movies, places, etc. I've also been adding links on the main art website. Phew. Lots of linking!

I have other art projects in my brain, but I had an urge to create something specifically for the summer solstice, which is what I did above. I was reading today that the summer solstice is a time when the veil between worlds thins and this was what I was portraying here, a sort of dusk time, with sparkly fireflies (I glued on some sequins. hehe!) and used light watercolors to portray the light and purty colors that I'm seeing all around me. Everything is so full of life here, the trees have just expanded, like they're pregnant with green. This is my favorite time of year. 

Weddingy Stuff

June 21st, 2007, Comments (6)

Although, I've been procrastinating lately, my wedding is sneaking up closer and closer all the time. The fiansor's brother's wedding in NYC was Saturday (and it was ridiculous and fun...there were impersonators...nuff said) and so there were tons of relatives asking about our wedding, how plans were going, etc... It put me into a temporary panic for a moment because I've been putting things off and yeah, those save the dates, there still in my hands. So, I kicked it into a gear a bit this week, got envelopes addressed (still missing some, but I don't have to hold up the rest because of a few missing addresses, right? right.) and here's a pic (paper is more blue in person):


I edited a bunch of it out just in case some crazy people decided to try and crash it. Sounds weird, but I've heard of stranger things happening. Anyways, so we designed the magnet with a piece of my art featuring a fall tree and then I used clear photo corners to affix it to the back of the invite I put together in Photoshop using Paper Source's pretty "bluebell" paper. Don't ask about actual invites yet, I have no clue.

And the most fun wedding update I have is a gorgeous pair of wedding earrings, that I spotted in a local jewelry store and the fiansor bought up for me because he's a sweetheart. The blue topaz at the bottom will be my something blue and it looks so nice with my eyes. Aww, I sound so girly! I have my first fitting coming up in a couple weeks. (Ahhhh!!!) and I kinda, no I really need to find wedding shoes so that the seamstress will know what length to make my dress. I guess that's important.


We've got another wedding this weekend. This one's in Boston thankfully, so we won't have to travel far. And my best friend is due to have her first baby any day now. I'm so excited for her. Lots and lots of good things swirling around. More later, I've got some errands to run off to.


June 20th, 2007, Comments (10)

The lovely YogaGlamGirl tagged me for a fun meme, so here we go!

“INSTRUCTIONS: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so.”

TeaTime Ramblings
I Still See A Spark In You
Creative Every Day

Next select five people to tag:

Sunflower Studio
When I Finally Decided To Get It
Diary of a Self Portrait
Sticking to the Point

Now for the hard part — the questions:

“What were you doing 10 years ago?”

Goodness gracious. Ten years ago, I was a month away from turning 21. I was attending art school, studying art history, living in an apartment with my then boyfriend in Boston and 2 cats. I was working as a museum guide at a local contemporary art museum and recovering from a serious bout of depression.

“What were you doing 1 year ago?”

One year ago, I was working as a nanny and studying muscular therapy and fitting art in in my spare time. Woohoo, what a difference a year makes, eh? :-)

Five snacks you enjoy:

Strawberries and blueberries
natural crunchy peanut butter on wheat toast
or same peanut butter on a banana
hot chocolate

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics (5 among many):

Both Hands (Ani Difranco)
Fresh Prince of Bell Air lyrics (DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince) ha! funny, but true.
Anna Begins (Counting Crows)
Wood Song (Indigo Girls)
Sweater Song (Weezer)

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:

-Buy a beautiful home for the fiansor and I, our kitties and our future family with a  gorgeous studio for me. :-)
-Get my parents the home of their dreams. And a condo for the future in-laws here in Massachusetts.
-Take all my family on vacations.
-Share loads of money with animal shelters.
-Take more art classes and creativity retreats.

Five bad habits:
Staying up too late. Ahem.
Letting anxiety build up.
Letting fear stop me in my tracks.
Thinking the worst.

Five things you like doing:

Making art!!
Snuggling kitties.
Laughing with the fiansor.
Taking long baths.

Five things you would never wear again:

Neon green anything.
Pants with stirrups
um, I can't think of anything else.

Five favorite toys:

My lovely macbook.
Bose noise-blocking headphones
palette knifesketchbook (it's a toy to me!)
cat toys (they amuse me and the cats simultaneously.) hehe.

Speaking of cat toys, I was brought a very unexpected gift this morning from my big orange cat, Tabbers. The fiansor was getting ready for work and he noticed a pair of birds on our second story porch. We keep the porch door a crack open so the cats can enjoy the fresh air and sunshine during the day since they're indoor cats. Well, one of the little birds decided to fly into our apartment. In the four years I've lived here and the 7 years the fiansor has lived here, a bird has never flown in. But today, one did and its birdy friend followed. They both quickly realized that they were no longer outside and did an about face...and maybe they saw the cats and panicked? I don't know. One bird flew out the way it came and the other smashed into the glass of our porch's door and fell dead to a waiting cat. Who batted him around a bit and then proudly brought him in his mouth back to our bedroom where he dropped it next to my side of the bed (thank god he didn't bring it into the bed!) I felt sort of bad for the bird, but it was dead and somehow it was unbearably cute seeing Tabbers trot in with this prize in his mouth. I felt like a proud mommy. Heh. Of course, we couldn't let him eat this bird in our apartment, so we distracted him with a greenie treat and got rid of the bird. Tabbers seemed a little upset at first that his prize was gone, but within a few minutes he was up on the bed purring away on my stomach, proud as a peacock. I've never seen Tabbers carry anything in his mouth before. Only Sadie carries her fake prey (in the form of stuffed animal cat toys) around the house and delivers them to us at all hours. So, it was so funny to see his instincts kick in and the fact that he brought the bird to me just cracks me up.

My other cats have caught mice before when we lived in older houses, but Tabs has never had the opportunity and none of the cats have had a chance at a bird, so it was quite an exciting morning at this cat residence. :-) Ok, really need to get to bed.

Oh, wait, one more thing. The first newsletter for my new art website is coming out tomorrow. You can sign up on the website, using the form in the lower left corner. Next month, I will have my first drawing from the members of my newsletter list for a free print!


June 18th, 2007, Comments (5)

I had written this whole post right before I left for the weekend and my browser suddenly quit on me and the whole thing was erased. Arg! So, I'll try to re-create most of it.

Firstly, some exciting news! I've been invited to submit a series of small pieces for the Enormous Tiny Art Show at Nahcotta in Portsmouth, NH this fall. I'm thrilled to be a part of this show with so many wonderful artists. (Nahcotta also has a blog!)

Secondly, a slight change in plans. Due to feedback on the timing of the Artist's Way workshop at The Wish Studio, we've bumped the workshop up to Spring 2008 (dates tbd). The summer is a tricky time for many due to vacations and such and this fall will be nutty for me with my wedding, so spring it is! It will be here before we know it.

Thirdly, Christine Kane has a great post entitled "13 Bodacious Ways to Be Nice to  Yourself." I know for myself, times when things are difficult, when I am most needing self-kindness, those are the times when self-care goes right out the window. Why is that? I think it has something to do with the feeling that there are more important things that need attending to and me, I can wait. But how else are we to maintain our energies when things are difficult? When I can remember that I need to put the air mask on my face first, and do something nice for myself, I usually find that I have more energy to tend to others and to just generally face what's in front of me. In Christine's comments, I posted some of my favorite ways to be nice to myself, including: "make a baby laugh (best feeling in the world and there are always cute babies in places like grocery store lines and out on walks with mom.), buy stickers (not sure why, but i love silly stickers. they’re fun to put on letters, or just to keep.) go to a garden shop (there’s something wonderful about breathing in the earthy smells of fresh turned dirt in a garden shop/nursery. it’s a wonderful treat.)" And I've got loads more ideas, such as: take an hour to browse in a big bookstore grabbing books that interest you and sitting down to flip through them in a comfy chair, have an art picnic, take a long bath or shower surrounded by delicious candles, play, journal, doodle, etc...

Ok, I need to get back to work, so that'll do for now. The wedding was wacky, wild, and much fun. More on that later on perhaps. In the meantime, it's nice to be home. :-)

Antevasin – Living at the Border

June 15th, 2007, Comments (18)

"Betwixt and Between" is 12"x12" with collaged elements and acrylic paint on cradled clayboard. I was up late last night working on this one because sometimes once I get started it's hard to stop. I even got up ridiculously early to finish it, varnish it and take a picture. I need to get into a better rhythm with art-making, so that I'm not always up in the middle of the night painting. Perhaps it has just been the feeling of the last few paintings that have made them want to come out at night. The fiansor calls the last three women (Winter Moon, The Lighthouse, and this one), Castlevania I, II, and III because the shape of the figure reminds him of a character on an old video game that he downloaded for his x-box awhile ago. Oy. But they're not at all related to that character.

I had a funny bit of synchronicity with this one. I was in bed sketching this image that kept popping into my head and then I opened up Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (which I finished this week. Great book.) And there I read about the word she had chosen for herself, "antevasin," a sanskrit word meaning "one who lives at the border." Apparently, in ancient times this was a person who left the bustling city life to live at the edge of the forest where the spiritual masters dwelled. Gilbert relates to this word as one who is between worlds. And I laughed thinking of how the woman in my sketch was there at the edge of the forest, in between worlds.

In a comment regarding "The Lighthouse", Tammy mentioned the divine feminine, which she relates to "having gone into dark places and brought back what you found." This made me think of the story of Demeter and Persephone and resonated for me as I looked at that painting. Here in this new painting, the feeling is similar, of a guide that leads the way through the dark forest. She is an in-between figure. The idea of being betwixt and between reminds me of a passage from Rumi:

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
    Don't go back to sleep.
    You must ask for what you really want.
    Don't go back to sleep.
    People are going back and forth across the doorsill
    where the two worlds touch.
    The door is round and open.
    Don't go back to sleep.

The crow appeared in later sketches, as I was thinking about Jessie's question regarding a crow that speaks to me and my response. The crow is also an in-between worlds sort of character. And because the crow gave me the world "trust" I included that word in the collage near him. Oh, and Tammigirl, I used some of your collage elements in this one! Thank you! :-)

Tonight, I'm off to NYC for the fiansor's brother's wedding. I'm feeling totally anxious about it for some odd reason. I'm nervous for them (it's going to be a really wild wedding) and then there's just the general anxiety around travel and family events with large groups. But I also know it will be lots of fun. I hope your weekend is a wonderfully creative one!