Entries from: August 2007

More Subway Stories

August 15th, 2007, Comments (13)

More art for ya! These from yesterday. Seems like the day's art won't be getting up on the same day. Today started out slow for me. I felt all tired and slow, like I was wading through mud. But I did some work, did some yoga, took a shower, ran an errand and perked up a bit. I still feel a little heavy-headed, so I'm going to go rest and read shortly. Here's some art for ya. These are both 8"x10" pieces with acrylic over collage on cradled wood board. Below is Subway Stories: Blue Line and Silver Line.



August 14th, 2007, Comments (10)

I love Carl Kasell yellin' "Yeehaw!" on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me on NPR in the little intro to news about the presidential race. I've been listening to lots of podcasts as I'm knee-deep in a project that's drinking up all my time. But it's a fun project. Actually, I've got a few projects going (things tend to come in floods) and it feels good. I've been having crazy synchronicities throughout the last few days (which usually means I'm on the right track.) I should have been writing them down, but my hands have been full of paint and I've just laughed. I just had one...as I was writing the word flood above (which I thought was a random word choice for what I was trying to say), the woman talking on a podcast in the background said, "Where's the flood?" Ha! Just before that, I was thinking about intuition and I got a newsletter from a woman who writes about intuition. Heh. I was thinking about intuition because I got an email from the woman who won this month's Blue Tree newsletter's give-away (hello Carla!) and she had been thinking about me shortly before she got my email telling her she won. She had been reading a book in which a woman dreamed about a Blue Tree and was going to ask me if that's where the inspiration for the name of my business came from. How crazy is that? You know, these stories of synchronicity never sound as cool as when they're actually happening, but they're great fun. And that's just the start. I was painting late last night and a podcast had ended and I didn't put anything else on, so it was very quiet, just the sound of crickets and my paintbrush and my email chirped (it makes a chirping noise to let me know I have mail.) I didn't check the email right away, but I was thinking how nice the quiet was and then when I finished up, I checked my email which was the newsletter from Robert Genn with the subject of "Silence is Golden." Carla Kurt (a different Carla) actually mentioned this newsletter today in a post with some beautiful art.

Anyways, among other projects, I've also decided to attempt to create a piece of art every day for the next month. Now, I'm planning to be fairly relaxed about this because I've got a lot going on. And I've got Art Every Day Month coming up in November. It's going to be the 5th anniversary of Art Every Day Month!! (I'm going to create a page for Art Every Day Month soon, but you can see my albums from past years on the left and I always invite others to join in for a very relaxed creative challenge to create some art (which could be anything) every day for the month of November.) I like a good artsy challenge and wanted to join in with Karen and Jessie on this creative journey.

Anyways, this is from yesterday and there's more. This is a new piece in my "Subway Stories" series. Tammy Vitale owns the first creation that I actually made last year during Art Every Day Month. And this new series will be up at a show which I'll talk about later on. This piece is 10"x10" with collage and acrylic paint on cradled wood board. This series idea came about from riding on the subway and seeing people through the windows of subways passing in the other direction and wondering what their stories were, what their lives contained, their dreams and hopes, what was running through their heads. So many people we pass every day. So many stories!

I'm trying to decide about the name. I could name it after the Green Line (a subway line here) because of the hint of green to the left of the window in the collage (something like Subway Stories: Green Line) or I could name it in reference to the stories that are written within the figures in this piece (something like Subway Stories: Knit, Purl, News) or just give it a number (Subway Stories II). What do you think?

Freya’s Cloak

August 12th, 2007, Comments (14)

So, Freya has been coming up a lot on this blog and a lot in my life. I mentioned before that Pilar suggested imagining Freya's cloak around me protecting me. I liked that image and started doing even more reading about this goddess. It was said that Freya had a cloak made of falcon feathers that allowed her to fly in the shape of a falcon. She is associated with fertility, the moon, water, wealth, creativity, the rune Fehu, and sexuality. Freya had two sacred gray tabby cats (a girl after my own heart!). Later those same cats were seen to be related to witches (the priestesses of pagan religions).  Cats were thought to be shape shifters and guards of the gate to the underworld, where Freya was known to go. 

I got this image of Freya looking over her shoulder and was very excited to bring her to life. Working on a cradled wooden board, I applied the gesso , sketched her in, and then began to collage her cloak. I put one of her gray cats at her side and another within her cloak. I put maps with her cloak, the blues of water, and drew in feathers.

I mentioned I used Maria's "Be Happy" necklace as a good luck charm on Thursday night. I was going to meet a potential customer and it went very well. I was anxious about it partly because of the creepy experience I'd had last week. I met this customer at a bookstore and when I pulled up to into the parking lot in front of it, a gentleman came out of the bookstore waving his arms, acting very strange and then pointed at me. I got spooked there for a moment thinking I'd been set up. But the guy left and I went in to meet this customer who was a real person and very kind. She was interested in the Memory Tree piece, which I made thinking about my grandmother's Alzheimer's disease. Her family also had experiences with this tragic illness. It was really touching that she found some connection to her family through this art piece. This is what I love about sharing my art. I love those connections that people can make. It doesn't need to be the connection I made. If I can find something universal that touches someone else's heart, it's the best feeling in the world. Maddie at Persisting Stars shared a beautiful passage from Nadeem Aslam's "Maps for Lost Lovers" and the last line struck me as what I hope for with my art.

All great artists know that part of their task is to light up the distance between two human beings.

I'm not claiming to be great here, but this is still the main reason I love to share my art. Isn't that beautifully said by Aslam? I think so.

I've been itching to make more works in encaustic (wax) and trying to find some class to get more instruction in the medium, but nothing has worked out. The timing has been off or not enough students to make a class run. Arg. I'm thinking I may just start with what I know thus far from an introduction I've had to the subject, which is enough to get started on a series I have in mind. I was concerned about the safety issues involved with working in this medium, but I do know the things not to do...I can't let the wax get too hot (or it can burst into flames...yikes!) or let it smoke (can be toxic). And I'd like to get started while I can still work on my porch with all the fresh air before it starts to get cold. It's still summer, but August is when you can really start to feel the turn. The days are getting noticeably shorter, there is a cool chill on some evenings. You can smell it.

Ok, and I'm off. Lots to do today and I got a late start. Ciao for now!

Fly By

August 10th, 2007, Comments (1)

Just zooming in to say:

  • I've got a new post up at the Blue Tree Blog. Go check it out!
  • The super sweet and wonderfully talented, Maria of Believe Street has her newly re-designed website up and running. Her necklace brought me much luck last night (more on that later).  Go see all the beautiful jewelry she makes!
  • The Inspire Me Thursday topic this week is SO cool! Go see!

I'll be back later with some brand new art and other stories. Imagine this to the tune of "I've been working on the railroad": I've been working on the website, all the live-long day. I've been working on the web-site just to pass the time away...

As Promised…

August 8th, 2007, Comments (22)

I created this piece in a fit of play and experimenting. I incorporated some journal type writing (which got mostly collaged over) to fit with the Inspire Me Thursday theme of "Dear Diary". It's 9"x12" on watercolor paper with collage and paint. I've named it "Forever Uplift" because of the old ad I used in it that proclaims their bra will "forever uplift." And I've added a bird flying upwards. While doing this piece, I was thinking about aging, numbers going up, the chaos of life, and endless lists.

Sweet Pilar mentioned imagining Freya's cloak protecting me (in regards to earlier creepy post). Since then Freya has been popping up again in random places and I did a bit more research that has led to some fascinating information about her. I'll go into more about it in a future post, as I have a piece of art in mind. I have other things to share here. Such as my finger... click to make larger if you want to.


This is my ring finger on my left hand where I would normally wear my engagement ring, but I had to move it to the other hand. It started up about a month ago when I was in Colorado. I saw that my finger was itchy and red with some kind of rash, so I moved my ring to the other hand. Weeks later, it seemed to be nearly gone and wasn't itching me, so I put the ring back on and the rash came back. Now, I've had this ring for over a year, so I don't think I'm allergic to the metal. After a month it hasn't spread anywhere else on my body (thank goodness), but it's still red (as you can see above) and itchy. Moisturizer hasn't helped and neither has occasional applications of neosporin. Any ideas? Is my body reacting to the wedding stress in a ridiculous way? ha! Anyways, I think I'll end up wearing my wedding band on my left hand and e-ring on my right, but I hope the rash goes away soon. In the meantime, I'll keep that finger ring-free. And last, but not least, a picture of my kitty companion of the day. The cats seem to take turns being my shadow. And today, Tabbers decided that one of my paper piles was a fine place for a nap. He sat in the bathroom when I showered and sat in my lap while I was on the computer purring away. I love how he winked for the picture. He's so adorable. :-)

Dark and Romantic

August 8th, 2007, Comments (9)

I've been making art, but not finding time to post it, which is frustrating. But I'm glad to be making it! This first piece, "Ulalume", was named for the poem by Edgar Allen Poe that I wrote lines from within the dress. I used a photo as the inspiration for the figure in this drawing and just playing with pencil which I haven't done in awhile. The poem is dark and romantic as is the drawing, I think. The drawing is 9"x12" on watercolor paper. I did this other piece below for Illustration Friday's theme, "Missing." It's another sort of dark and romantic piece. This time I did some transfers from photocopies of old photographs along with collaged paper, ribbon, and an old train token onto cradled wood board, 8"x8".

In other news, the Full Moon piece below is now up in the store. More art is on the way. And a problem with my finger that I'm hoping you can help me with. And a cute picture of a kitty from my personal cat army. :-)


August 5th, 2007, Comments (5)

Ok, I have a ridiculous sense of humor. If you do too, you may enjoy this parody of the latest Harry Potter book. It's an overview of the entire book, so if you haven't read it and plan to, do not go there! However, if you have read it and are in need of a good laugh, do go check it out. It's super long, but so worth it. Many side-splitting laughs and great references to everything from Lord of the Rings to the Fresh Prince of Bel Aire to Transformers. O my. I'm still giggling. I think my favorite line was the one about the Big Mac. I won't spoil it for you though, go forth and laugh. :-)

Oh wait, and from the same blog...I saw this awhile back, but it's too funny. And there are no spoilers here:

Letting Go and Making Art

August 5th, 2007, Comments (11)

One of the things I try hard to do when making art, is to find the place where I let go. It doesn't always lead to great art, but it's still important because it's how I get in touch with that quiet inner well within me. When I can let go, I feel like I'm on a path with an unknown ending point. And me, the planner, the one with trouble letting go of all the ifs and buts, I finally feel at ease with not knowing. When I allow art to come through me without forcing, I'm often surprised, but that's half the fun, really. It's an adventure, an unplanned road trip, the only way to fly.

Carla at Zena Musings quoted Jennifer Louden in her blog saying, "Our job is simply to show up and let go." I totally agree. Seems funny how hard it can be yet how lovely it can feel to truly let go.

Today, I wanted to let myself be playful. I wanted to let go and release after a stressful evening. I gathered art materials around me, including little cups and straws (yes, straws!) and paint and paper. I used a method I learned last year of putting a little dish soap, water and paint in a cup and then using a straw to blow bubbles which I then dip the paper into or push the bubbles onto the paper to create cool patterns. I let my intuition guide me and saw shapes or figures in the way the paint landed, so I started to draw them in with pencil and then with ink and this is what resulted. I resisted it at first. A centaur? But that's what came, so here it is. It felt like the centaur was making some kind of offering or sending some kind of wordless message through the bubbles that floated up through the sky and blew the young woman's hair into a frenzy. "The Centaur's Message" is 9"x12" with acrylic and pen and ink on watercolor paper.

And then there's the moon piece that I mentioned awhile back. This was also a playful piece. This time I was playful with a new material, some Pearl Mica from Golden. So sparkly! It's a little hard to see the sparkle in a picture, but I think it comes across pretty well. I laid it on thick in the moon and then lightly around it for the stars. Little did I know as I painted it that I was painting a full moon on the night of the full moon. Funny how things happen like that. My cancer sensibilities must have been picking up on my favorite planet. "Full Moon" is 6"x6" on gallery wrapped canvas.

And lastly, a piece I posted earlier over at the Blue Tree Blog, "Fly Away", which is up at the store, here. Another improvisation that I'm loving; she's 6"x6" on cradled wood board with cut paper collage, acrylic and ink.

Ok, that's all the art I've got for you today. I hope the rest of your weekend is a creative one!

As I started to picture the trees in the storm, the answer began to dawn on me. The trees in the storm don't try to stand up straight and tall and erect. They allow themselves to bend and be blown with the wind. They understand the power of letting go. Those trees and those branches that try too hard to stand up strong and straight are the ones that break. Now is not the time for you to be strong, Julia, or you, too, will break. - Julia Butterfly Hill

All In One!

August 4th, 2007, Comments (6)


Beware of Attack Cat! Heh.

Ok, I need to properly size the art pics...coming soon. In the meantime, I've gotta catch up on some tags!

Rockingirlblogger First off, I was nominated for a Rockin' Girl Blogger Award from the super sweet Cheryl and the beautiful spirit Ruby and the lovely Paula. Thank you, ladies! You Rock! The last time one of these awards went around, I tagged 10 people instead of 5 and still felt guilty. I mean, I read a lot more than 10 blogs and obviously I think they all rock or I wouldn't read them...there are so many rockin' girls on that list. Some people will make a general, non-specific tag which I totally understand. I don't like feeling left out and I wouldn't want to make anyone else feel that way. At the same time, I've enjoyed reading other people's lists because sometimes it introduces me to blogs I've never read before that I end up loving! I hope the ladies that I love dearly, know how much I love them without a nomination. So, I'd like to pass this on to 5 rockin' girl blogs that are relatively new to me in the hopes that maybe I'll introduce you to someone new!

1. The Diary of Artist Shayla Perreault Newcomb: I believe I came upon her blog via one of these awards. I was fascinated by her use of used coffee filters in her art! And of course a sweet kitty pic or two is a sure way to win me over. :-)

2. Cherylol: Cheryl has been consistently cracking me up, inspiring me, and wowing me with her gorgeous creations. She's awesome. Go see and thank me later. ;-)

3. Anonyrrie: Ok, so Carla's blog isn't new to me, but she's got a brand new blog that looks just lovely and I love the amazing texture in her artwork, so I felt obliged to point you in the right dierction.

4. Contemplating the Moon: I adore Bridgette's gorgeous encaustic work. It's rich and dreamy and I enjoy reading about her process.

5. Art Biz Blog: This is a great one for all you artists. Alyson Stanfield is a teacher, writer, blogger, and coach who focuses on art marketing. I've been taking an online class with her this summer about art promotion and it's been packed full of great info. Her blog is a great resource and I have her posts emailed to me, so I don't miss a word.

I hope I introduced you to a new blog that you'll enjoy! I've also been tagged by the business savy Mindy of Wish Studio, to share 8 random facts about myself. The challenge with these memes is trying to think of something I haven't shared that's semi-interesting. Ok, here we go:

  1. I'm not a fan of sugar cereals. I think this is because my dad is a doctor and in my early years sugar cereal was not allowed in the house. I was the oldest, but by the time child number 3 came around, somehow sugar cereals were suddenly allowed. I had no interest though and I never found a taste for them. I'd rather eat wheat chex.
  2. One day in third grade, my teacher announced, "Tomorrow will be catch-up day." I was all confused thinking she meant "Ketchup Day." I spent the whole day pondering what in the world that would entail. Would we be studying ketchup? Should we all dress in red? Well, much to my disappointment, catch-up day wasn't nearly as interesting as I had imagined. It's too bad. Perhaps I should designate a day as Ketchup Day. :-)
  3. In my baby book, my mom wrote that the first time I ever drank out of a glass, I was 5 and a half months and I reached for my dad's glass of coca-cola and took a few sips with a little help. I've been hooked on the stuff ever since. I can't drink diet soda as the fake sugar gives me a headache, so I drink the regular. I know it's not good for me, but man oh man do I love it. Slice of lemon and a cup of ice are like the cherry on top.
  4. I feel badly throwing things away. I feel bad for pieces of paper and old stuffed animals. It's a bit irrational. Sometimes, I can get up the courage and just start throwing things out. Moving usually helps this process, so I'm sure I'll unload a lot of crap when I move next.
  5. I don't like to play sports because I suck at them. Believe me, I've tried everything. As a kid I was put through all sorts of lessons for every sport imaginable. It's true that competition makes me super anxious and it's not a fun experience. But I think that if I was any good at sports, I'd like to play because I am rather competitive...or maybe it's just that I don't like losing. The fiansor found this out while watching me watch Red Sox games during the play offs. I get a little rowdy. Actually, I think he found this out by playing Connect 4 with me. Heh.
  6. I have a shoe box full of old cards given to me by family and friends. I know cards usually get tossed after they're read, but some of those birthday, graduation, Christmas, Valentine's, thinking of you cards carry messages I want to hold onto forever. I read through them sometimes when I need a lift. When my Grammy passed away years ago, I found out she had a similar shoe box with cards from us and from my dad and now those cards are in my shoe box too.
  7. I tend to wear more subdued colors...blues, greens, browns, grays, blacks. But every so often I like to throw in a splash of color like a bright red pocket book, an orange disc on a necklace, or bright orange flip flops. I think the quirkiness in me comes through in little bits and pieces like that.
  8. I have favorite paint brushes. I go through phases with certain brushes where I can use one brush for nearly the entire painting just because I'm liking it so much. I'll often have one or two brushes like this until I wear them into nothingness and have to move on.

Phew! That was not easy! If you'd like to try this meme out, feel free!


August 3rd, 2007, Comments (12)

Edited: Ok, I can't find a way to password protect individual posts with typepad, so in the meantime, I've deleted the post that was here and I'll repost if I can find a good way to do so. You can always ask me if you missed it.

I've had someone else contact me wanting to see my art in person before they make a purchase. And of course I would always do something like this safely, but now I'm especially suspicious/nervous, which sucks.

I am feeling loads better today even though I was woken up at the crack of dawn by a large banging noise directly outside my second story window followed by seeing someone climb a ladder past my window and start scraping loudly outside my bedroom walls. The landlord is having the house scraped for painting, which is great because it really needs it, but boy oh boy was it not a nice way to wake up on a Saturday morning when I was all cozy and sound asleep. So, I was up and puttered around and when they moved to another part of the house, I went back in for a nice nap. And later I got up and made some super playful art while listening to this cool podcast on the Creative Thursday blog, all about color. I love listening to podcasts while I work. When this podcast ended I put on NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" which I highly recommend.

So, I've got some art to share, something I finished last week and something I played with today and hopefully I'll get that up here this afternoon. Toodaloo for now!