Entries from: July 2008

be brave: gallery opening

July 19th, 2008, Comments (2)

lisa meet charlie
Originally uploaded by artstreamstudios

Yesterday I went to the art opening of Lisa Solomon & Lisa Congdon at Artstream Studios in New Hampshire. I saw some familiar faces, like Betsy, Jennifer, and Susan (owner of the gallery.) Met some new folks like Sarah. And I introduced myself to Lisa and Lisa, which took some bravery to walk up and do, but was glad I did. They were both so sweet, open, and gracious. It was a pleasure to meet them. And it was fabulous to see some artist friends too. The weather was wild and wooly on the drive up and back which wasn't so fun, but I was still glad I made the trip north. Susan's gallery space was freshly painted and totally gorgeous. In the picture above you can see the corner of my face on the far left, Lisa S., Lisa C. Charlie (Abby Glassenberg's husband), and Sarah. You can check out the show by clicking on the picture which will take you to the Artstream flickr account. The show was all about the history of pigments and was a fascinating and lovely exhibit.

Earlier in the day, I met my mom for some more b-day celebrating in the form of a pedicure and movie. My toes are so sparkly! Today was pretty quiet and very humid. It felt too hot to paint, although I'm itchin' to get back to Ophelia. Having a b-day lunch with my dad and step-mom tomorrow. Hopefully the afternoon will be a touch cooler and I can get back to the paint. Hope you're having a wonderfully creative weekend!

Birthday Fun

July 17th, 2008, Comments (26)

Today, I am 32. Well, not til 9 something in the evening CDT or 10 something in my time zone. Thanks for all the birthday wishes and thoughtful comments on my last post! Above is some birthday love. The super cool journal is from my bff (she also made that cute card) and I picked up that sweet little book as a b-day gift to myself. Part of my birthday fun today included popping into the library, a lovely walk and window shopping around in town, picking up the little book about a baby whale, eating an m&m cookie from my favorite bakery (yum) on a park bench, purchasing a little tube of paint, and painting with my headphones on. I also received some great email birthday wishes including this video from my brother-in-law and his wife:

The hilarious part about this video is that I don't know those people and neither does my brother-in-law. He just found the video on You Tube. Apparently it was made for an 8 year old named, Leah. Hehe.

Above is the beginnings of "Ophelia." I kind of liked just like this, but I need to follow through on the image I dreamed earlier. Below is the next stage in this work-in-progress. That yellow-ish orange sky is just a layer and won't be staying like it is now. And I haven't started the tattoo yet either! Lots more to do. But I thought you guys might enjoy some sneak peeks into the progression.

Tonight, the hubster is taking me out to my favorite restaurant and before that I may paint some more and/or read on the porch. I hope your day has been a lovely one!

Being Brave with Depression

July 15th, 2008, Comments (32)

Floating Over the Circus marker and ink on watercolor paper, 9"x12"

I've been feeling a bit quiet and tender around the edges this week so far. One thing that really helped brighten my mood was getting out the door and taking a long walk. I brought some things I needed to mail and a bag to get some groceries in and walked a couple miles into town. All the beautiful flowers along the way filled me up. And I need to be especially true to self-care right now as I'm on a journey that fits right in with my Be Brave theme of the month.

I wondered about whether or not to write about this here. It's a personal subject and can be a touchy one. I've talked about my experiences with depression here before. I think a lot of creative folks struggle with it, perhaps we're more sensitive and therefore more vulnerable to dark moods. 1 in 5 women in the U.S. is on anti-depressants, so I know I'm hardly alone. And while I'm not feeling like discussing my history with depression at the moment, I do want to say that I'm currently trying (with the assistance of a doctor) to slowly come off my anti-depressants. The first month of this process (that may take 6 months or more to complete) went amazingly well. I didn't feel a difference at all, in fact I felt better than usual. I'm now in the second month and I've felt the dip. I know I'll rebound though. It's sort of the feeling of when you jump into water. You dip down a bit before coming back to the surface.

I know that there will probably be some withdrawal symptoms involved in the future. Anyone who has done any reading about or had experience with coming off anti-depressants knows that the withdrawal can be harsh. However, I feel like I'm in a place in my life where I'd like to approach depression from a different angle and it feels like now is the time to go for it. Plus, I feel like I have a great doctor to work with who will help me do this safely and smartly. I'm not anti-medication by any means. I've been on some sort of anti-depressant for nearly 7 years and I would never judge anyone's choice to be on or off medication. Whatever keeps you healthy and safe is the way to go. And I'm not positive that I'll be able to come off anti-depressants completely, but I do want to try. If I can't do it safely, that's o.k. too. There are many reasons for making this decision and perhaps I'll go into that more later, but I felt like I wanted to share where I'm at at the moment as it is a big part of what's going on for me currently. Part of my brave action today is writing about this here.

I'm a bit behind on email, but if I owe you one, I'll get to it soon, promise! Tomorrow is a day for returning emails and errands and hopefully some art and then Thursday is my birthday and I plan to do whatever I feel like. Hehe. Friday, I'm planning to meet my mom for a pedicure and a movie and then drive up to Artstream for Lisa Solomon and Lisa Congdon's art opening. I feel totally introverted at art openings, but it should be fun, inspiring, and hopefully I'll see some familiar faces!

Creative Every Day: July 14th – July 20th, 2008

July 14th, 2008, Comments (19)

CED2008 participants! Feel free to leave a comment here with a link to post(s) about your creative activities during the week of 7/14/08 -7/20/08.

Happy creating!

Hugs and so much Love you’ll get a sugar rush

July 13th, 2008, Comments (7)

It's always nice to receive kind words from your peers and I'm so appreciative of the blog awards I've received lately from blogging friends. I received a couple in the form of the arte y pico award from Doreen, Julia, and Tammy and a Brilliante award from Chantal and Shayla. Thank you SO much ladies! I really appreciate it. I'm sending you each a warm kitty hug (that's Sadie in the back and our orange boy, Tabbers, taking a nap together on our kitty tree.) Or a dog hug if you'd prefer (that's me and my mom's dog "Corduroy" below). Or if you're allergic, a regular person hug. :-)

I totally appreciate the love and I'll continue to disperse it in the form of the regular linky love that I love to do. Oh, so much love! If you're reading this, know I'm sending some extra love your way. And now, it's time to don my art apron and get a bit of work done. TTFN, ta-ta for now!


Home of the Brave

July 12th, 2008, Comments (8)

Above is a work in progress, another in the series of "Subway Stories" pieces. This one happens to be a commissioned piece. Commissioned pieces always take longer than I expect that they will and I think this is partly out of fear. I'm afraid the buyer will be disappointed. Once I get started and do the piece, I always feel better and so far the folks who have purchased commissioned pieces from me have been happy. Yet, the same fear pops up each time, albeit less and less each time. This time wasn't too bad. But getting over the hump of fear was my small act of bravery for the day, as I've quietly started doing Jessie's Be Brave project. My brave act of the day is mentioning that I'm doing it here (because in sharing that I am in fact doing it, makes it quite clear to myself that I'm really doing it!)

Bebrave_2 Last year when Jessie started the Be Brave project, I was in the midst of wedding planning craziness (I got married in the same month that it started) and felt like it was too much to take on, but I really and truly admired what Jessie and others who joined her were doing and I could readily see the benefits of doing something brave each day. In the past year, I've had this in my mind, trying to do at least one small act, no matter how minuscule, that scared me.  Doing this gave me such a great feeling of accomplishment. The idea also fit in well with my word for the year, "now," as in the time is now, there's only now, do it now.

This month, when I saw Olivia re-visiting the project it re-sparked my interest and then when I saw Jessie re-newing her commitment to it, I decided that the time is now! Jessie is going to start later in the month, which I considered doing, but she also encourages any one interested, to make their own rules and make it work for them. So for me, this project will be my reminder to push my boundaries and perceived limitations, to be brave and bold. I give myself permission to make my daily act as small as I'd like or as big as I'd like. And I may take some days off of thinking about it (maybe weekends?) I will talk about my brave acts where I feel it's appropriate and some I will keep to myself. I'm shooting for a month (I started on the 10th) and then I'll decide where I want to go from there.

I've had some really fun synchronicities over the past few days and other things to share, but the porch is calling me and so it's time to kick my feet up with a good book which just happens to be titled, Synchronicity by Carl Jung. Have a wonderfully creative weekend!

p.s. Did you know Project Runway starts up again next week?? Yay!

small stones

July 11th, 2008, Comments (9)

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Fiona Robyn, author of small stones: a year of moments, on her blogging book tour.

Fionarobyn Fiona is a writer and blogger living in the UK with her partner, her cats Fatty and Silver, and her vegetable patch. Her new book, small stones, is based on the daily writing practice she's kept at her blog, a small stone, where she captures an ordinary/extraordinary moment from each day.

I can certainly relate to Fiona's need to have a daily creative practice and I love the way she captures these little treasures from her everyday moments. It's exactly this sort of thing that I've become more aware of in my own practice of being creative every day. Here are some questions that I put to Fiona about her book and writing practice:

L: How has writing these small stones daily changed you?

F: One important 'by-product' is that my commitment to small stone reminds me every day how important writing is to me.  Even if I don't touch my novel or work on any poems, at least I string 7 words together. I also hope that that the practice of noticing stones makes me more mindful, which I typed before I read your next question ; )

L: Do you think the practice has made you more mindful?

F: Yes!  For me, being mindful is easier said than done.  Again, at least I manage a moment of mindfulness a day, when I'm thinking about what I'm seeing or experiencing and translating that into words for my stones.

L: Are you continuing on with this project or have you moved on to other things?

F: www.asmallstone.com continues daily.  I did take a break a while ago, but I found myself missing the practice and so started again.  Who knows how long it will continue?

L: The moments in your book have such a quiet, peaceful feel to them. They make me think of small meditations. Do you have a meditation practice?

F: I do have an intermittent meditation practice of 20 minutes in the morning, first thing - before I can come up with any excuses!  I got interested in Buddhism and then more specifically Soto Zen a few years ago, and have done a lot of reading - Shunryu Suzuki is particularly important to me, and Natalie Goldberg's writings.

L: Have your small stones ever led to longer poems or stories?

F: I don't think they have - they appear as a 'snapshot', and poems usually come from an idea which is a little more substantial - maybe a whole scene, or two things that become linked together in my mind.  My fiction always comes from the central character of the book who 'turns up' in my head, and then waits for me to write down their story.  Us writers can be a little crazy - maybe we need to be!

Thanks so much, Fiona. I enjoyed reading your book and found your words to be a peaceful balm at the end of the day. If you're interested in picking up a copy of Fiona's book you can now find it at Amazon in the U.S. and Amazon in the U.K.

Coversmallstone_2 Here are some of my favorite stones from her book:

Pushing water behind me
my muscles (who didn't
know they were tight) let go.
And let go. And let go.

He doesn't like cats because they never do what you tell
them to do. I like cats because they never do what you tell
them to do.

the moon is so transparent you could slip a thumb-nail
under the edge and peel it from the sky

I wasn't paying attention when I pegged out the clothes, but
now it looks like someone spent hours deciding what should
go where: chocolate brown, jade green, navy blue, jade
green, aquamarine, pale green, chocolate

I have something to tell you:
while it was raining, the sun rose

blackbird on bare branches, his beak a chip of flame

Beetle Juice

July 11th, 2008, Comments (17)

Life is good and I'm feeling oh so grateful. One of the things I'm feeling grateful for is a healthy Sadie-cat. Thank you for all the kitty well wishes! Sadie went on antibiotics on Tuesday and by Wednesday evening she was 95% better. Thursday she was her regular crazy-kitty-self. I'm so happy about that.

It's late and I need to crash, so I'll have to save the rest of the post I was planning to write til later. Above is a spread from a moleskine I'm doing as part of a swap. On the right I drew a little pic of the necklace I purchased recently and on the left I wrote the message that's on the opposite side of necklace.

Oh wait, one last story before I go to bed because this whole thing made me laugh so hard. It started when I went into the bathroom where the hubster was brushing his teeth and I noticed something strange around his waist. Where a belt would normally be, he had a usb cable going through the loops of his shorts. I was confused and asked, "Um, what is that?"

Apparently he got to work and noticed his shorts were so loose and could fall down at any moment. He couldn't find a belt in his office, so he improvised, found a usb cable, took it into the bathroom, fastened it around himself like a belt and then pulled his shirt over it so no one would see. Too funny. I started cracking jokes about him being like a geeky MacGyver and then kicked him out so that I could use the bathroom. Well, I'm in there with my shorts down when I see this gigantic bug on the floor. I mean huge! I thought it was a cockroach at first. I yelled to the hubster to come quick and he told me it was a very large, but friendly looking beetle. Well, he may have been friendly, but I wanted him out of the bathroom immediately. So, I grabbed a plastic cup and a piece of paper, put the cup over the super-bug, the hubster slid a piece of paper under him, and I went ahead to open the porch door. The hubster came out of the bathroom with the gigantic bug in the cup and as he gets close to me he says, "Get out of the way, he's getting out!" Apparently, this clever beetle was trying to make an early escape. The hubster starts running towards the porch door just as his usb-belt-less pants fall down around his ankles. He practically trips and throws the cup, paper, and beetle out onto the porch all together and slams the porch door shut. I'm hysterically laughing at this point, yelling, "Oh my god. That was classic!" The two of us pant-less, trying to get a huge beetle out the door. Good times. Hehe.

I really hope that was a stray beetle though and that we don't see any more of those things inside. I'm not usually super spooked by bugs, but this one gave me the heebeegeebees!


July 8th, 2008, Comments (17)

1. Tully and Leah, 2. Spagetti, 3. Masconomet's grave, 4. Is blue orange?, 5. Matthew Fox 08, 6. The Real Thing, 7. The Blowhole, 8. chocolate ice cream, 9. Step by step… steadily ♫♫, 10. Smile :) , 11. Damrak - Amsterdam, 12. Be Creative Every Day

Above is a fun flickr meme that I've seen floating around the internets, most recently at the abode of bluepoppy. I was in need of a little distraction this morning after being up all night with a sick kitty and then waiting to take her to the vet first thing. Not sure what's wrong yet. Fingers and toes and everything else crossed that she's o.k. Anyways, here's the idea behind the meme:

  • Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr search.
  • Using only the first page, choose an image.
  • Copy and paste each of the URL’s into the mosaic maker over at FD's image maker.

The questions:
What is your first name?
What is your favorite food?
What high school did you attend?
What is your favorite color?
Who is your celebrity crush?
Favorite drink?
Dream vacation?
Favorite dessert?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
What do you love most in life?
One word to describe you.
Your Flickr name

Good fun with images and much less messy than collage making. Heh.


Yesterday I received this nifty neato award from Bee at Witchetty and Patti from Altered Attic. Thank you so much ladies! It was a much needed boost after all the tears I've been shedding about Sadie. I'm not feeling up to choosing people to pass the award on to. There are loads of great blogs in my sidebar and on the links page to check out though! With that, I'm heading to bed for a nap and a Sadie snuggle. Hopefully she'll feel better soon. Please send some good kitty healing vibes her way!

Collaging a Mystery

July 7th, 2008, Comments (13)

I think mixing it up with projects for pure pleasure is so important. So when I read about the 6x6 collage exchange on flickr, I decided to join in. I ended up pairing up with Shelley who was in a class with me at Artfest! The idea of the exchange is that you put together a packet of collage materials, ship it off to your partner, and then you make six 6"x6" collages with the materials you receive. You can check out what other folks have done with the challenge here. Above is "Cutting Line," the first of the collages I did with the materials that Shelley sent me. In this one I used two black and white photos, a strip of flim, and a piece of a dress pattern. It had a dark feeling to it which made me want to tell a story, a sort of murder mystery in images.

Although, I didn't flush out the story and I kind of let it come together intuitively, I sensed that it was a story about a model/actress who came to Hollywood to make it big. She does well, travels the world, and has quite a following, including an obsessed photographer/killer. Spooky!

Putting together these images, reminded me of something I used to love to do as a kid, write mysteries. I remember sitting inside on hot summer days and writing out spooky stories until I spooked myself. With the neighborhood kids, I used to also write plays, make up games, and make videos of mysteries that were a take off on the movie, Clue. I'd kind of forgotten about this interest until discussions with Julia brought up my love of Nancy Drew books as a kid.

Above is a detail of one of the 6 collages, "Her Dress was from Paris" and a detail of another piece, it was in the stars, is below.

It was fun cropping out some details and making some mini collage images out of them. And I enjoyed imagining this spooky story through images instead of words. You can check out all the final images and detail shots in my flickr photostream. Perhaps you'll see a different story in them! One more detail pic below from blindfolded.