Thursday, October 30, 2008


Work in Acrylic Paint, Photo Transfer, Wool, Silk and Thread

Yesterday turned out better than I had originally thought it would. By lunch time I was back in the studio finishing up "Whispered".

A few years ago we were in Cuba and I happened to snap this picture of my daughter on the beach. I have always loved this photo mostly because it was so natural and I felt it really captured her essence perfectly. She is such a free spirit and has this unique ability to not only look on the bright side of life but to also just flow through it. Don't know where she got that from........most have skipped a generation. Anyway, instead of painting her I decided I really wanted to just the photo just as it was. After some research on how to transfer my photo onto cotton/canvas I ended up working with a transparency and some acrylic medium. I loved the result as the photo isn't perfect and in places it looks a touch worn which appeals to me. I decided to only use her image and paint the areas around her rather than use the photo of sand and water. I then layered my wools and silks in every rich blue and green I could find and voila................

Here's a few closeups

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Brighter Days Ahead

First off I would like to thank everyone who commented and sent me emails regarding my being "sick". It was very kind and much appreciated. Today is the first day I've actually felt like posting to the blog so I figured I should strike while the iron is hot. Regarding what the hell was wrong with me is the condensed version for all who have asked.

Last week I wasn't feeling all that great. I thought I had a bladder infection. I had one about twelve years ago so I knew what it felt like.........painful. Went to the doctors and they told me my test was negative and that I was fine. Well, excuse me but I've lived with this body for 48 years (this Sundayis my B'day) and I know when something just isn't right. Besides I consider myself a bit of a hypocondriac and being that, know the symptoms to almost every illness know to womankind. So I went home and by the next day I had this excrutiating pain on my left side that started moving up my back. Another visit to the doctors and low and behold this test was positive and the infection had now spread up into my left kidney. So the last week I've been more or less in bed taking my antibiotics and Tylenol 3's.

On the bright side, because we always know there is a bright side, I got to catch up on some movies that I had taped but hadn't had time to watch like Blow with Johnny Depp. I love anything Johnny Depp has been in as he's amazing. In the Valley of Elah with Tommy Lee Jones is an exceptional film and is well worth watching. Both highly recommended. I've also started reading Patricia Bosworth's bio of Diane Arbus.

Today I do have things to do and will take it slow because I can't lay around forever feeling crappy. Our friends Bob and Marilyn head back to Africa in January and I must get some clothes, shoes, etc. together for them to take back with them. The need is so great in that part of the world that if I can do anything at all to help I will. Everyone in the village I live in has been enormously generous and I know we are all proud of the work Bob and Marilyn are doing in Africa. You can read more about their work at Livingstone Performing Arts Foundation .

Well, life does move on and today I'm feeling the need to get back on. Who knows I may even step into the studio. Ok, maybe tomorrow...............

Thursday, October 23, 2008

No posts today as I'm sick. Hope to be back at it on Monday.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow....oh no!

The view from my bedroom window this a.m. You'll notice I took it from inside the house as it was too damn cold to go out. So not ready for snow!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Diane Arbus

Forgive my lack of posts lately but to be quite honest with you I've had absolutely nothing to say. Last week I was reading one of Alyson Stanfield's posts on her blog ArtBiz in which she was discussing how to write a better blog post. She was saying in her experience people read a blog for three things, to be informed, to be entertained and to inspire. Lately I haven't felt I could do any of those things so I've been just keeping mum.

Last night I was surfing through the channels looking for a movie to watch and came across "Fur" with Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey Jr. (I love him). I read the info on it and because it was about the great American photographer Diane Arbus, I decided to give it a go. Diane Arbus was one of the most influencial artists of all time and known for her strange and at times disturbing images. Many of of photographic portraits were of people living on the fringe of society.........drawfs, giants, transvestites etc. etc.

Now this movie wasn't the bio pic I had originally thought it would be as it was more of a fairytale, bio, period piece and love story all rolled into one. There were a couple of moments during the film when I didn't know if I was going to continue to watch. Really bizarre in places but still interesting enough to keep me there. Afterward I read some of the reviews and found they weren't all that kind to either Nicole's portrayal of Diane or the film. I have to admit though that I liked it and I liked it well enough to find out a bit more about Diane Arbus and her life. Here's a clip from You Tube about the making of the film.

Hope your well.........have a great weekend

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Up Close & Personal

The Path
Work in Paint & Thread

A few days ago someone I consider to be a good friend and whose judgement I value, suggested that I take a few good closeup shots of my work. She thought it would be helpful for people to really see my stitches up close which would then give them a better understanding of how my art comes together and what it takes to make that happen. She's right of course (thanks Tracy)which then had me helplessly trying to figure out how to take a better photo when I'm much more of a "point and shoot" kinda girl.

Lighting is a key issue in photograpy or so I've heard. The lighting in my bedroom is generally the best especially between 10:00a.m. to noon so I decided to start in there. Not direct sunlight but still nice and bright. So I set up my easel and my artwork and got down to it. The first little while things were rather frustrating but after a bit of time had passed my daughter walked in and clued me into the macro button which is meant to be used for closeups. Duh? Why I didn't read the damn manual when I bought the thing is beyond me. For a split second I considered going to find it but then decided I probably wouldn't undertstand it anyway. Best to take instruction from my fourteen year old who surprisingly enough seems to be smarter than me. So with the clock ticking and more time passing I think I got a few pretty good shots........for a beginner of course. I am and continue to be a work in progress.
So here is a closeup of the piece I posted entitled "The Path". I think it gives you a better understanding of how tiny the stitches are and how many of them it takes to complete a very small area.

Here's the piece Harvest Sky and below are two closeup shots. The ground cover is completed in both wool and silk which gives it a very textured look.

When I did the Purple Hills Tour last weekend I can't tell you how many people thought my work was a painting. It's not until you get up close that you realize the combination of paint and thread. I find the two mediums together quite exciting as texture is what I continue to explore in all of my work. The way in which the two fuse together keeps me in the studio day after day searching for new ways in which to play and to create. My boo hooing days are over and I'm back at work.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

And The Winner Is..............

Our Vanna White of the Moment

And The Winner Is.............Can you hear the drumroll?

Congratulations Jean, email me at with your address.
Tune in tomorrow for some upclose and personal photos

Friday, October 3, 2008

Who Doesn't Love Free Art?

Direction Unknown
Work in Paint, Thread, Wool & Silk

As promised today I'm posting the piece that will be randomly drawn for on Monday night. Unfortunately the frame doesn't come with the artwork but it will be double matted and ready to be put into an 8"x10" frame. So what are the rules? All you have to do is leave me a comment on this post by 6:00 p.m. Monday night. Simple huh? Then I'll put each person's name on a piece of paper, fold it up and drop it into a bowl. My daughter will randomly pick the winner who will be announced here on Tuesday morning.
Have yourself a brilliant weekend !

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Give Away Cause I'm Just Feelin So Damn Grateful Today

So after what was a low point yesterday I am now back in the studio. I was at the Silverbridge Gallery this a.m. to drop off some new work. They love my art, are very supportive and actually move quite a bit of it. Michelle the owner was telling me things are quite slow right now due to the economy and the only works that are moving are pieces priced under $150.00. Let's hope that changes soon.
Thanks to all who commented and emailed regarding my "little" meltdown yesterday. All of your kind words were so very appreciated. In that regard and just cause I'm feeling downright grateful today..........I'm going to have a little give away. That's right........something for free. Tomorrow I'm going to post a piece that will be up for grabs. All you have to do is leave a comment and if your name is drawn (my daughter will do the drawing, I'll do the drumroll) you win! I pay for shipping and handling too. You can't ask for more than that. Thanks for the inspiration Ellen.
Check in tomorrow with all the extra details.

There Were No Balloons or Cake at This Party (ok there was cake)

So yesterday when I was in my studio storing my art away I decided to have a little party for one.........a pity party. You know the "poor me" kind. Where you neglect to look at all the great things you have in your life and just concentrate on the crappy ones. The rain outside didn't help much as it has been a constant the last six days. So I'm organizing my art on shelves and thinking "why aren't I selling more?", why am I not the famous artist I think I am in my own mind?". Well all that pathetic whining does get tiresome after awhile so after getting some great advice and general cheering up from my "amazing" blog friend artists, I went and made some homemade chicken soup(really good) and then ate a big piece of banana cake (that wasn't so good, at least for the waistline).

I'm smart enough to realize the career path I've taken is not an easy one. Maybe I should have been a psychologist. I had seriously thought of that at one time but ruled it out in the middle of my Psych 101 class after I had drawn throughout my entire notebook as well as over some of my notes. Tracy said to me yesterday "Maybe you should just stop making art". I know what she was trying to do and I thank her for it. It made take a good hard, long look at what it would mean to "stop making art" and to realize that would not be a possibility. I'm driven to get into that studio everyday not because I think I'm going to get rich but because it is such an integral part of who I am. So...............I pick myself, dust myself off and get back at it. Then I started feeling really guilty about being so self absorbed when there are so many other tragic things going on in the world. I really am so very blessed. My life is a good one, a really good one and I'm grateful.

I've got this great guy who loves me (ok I know this is a line straight out of Jerry Maguire but it's still one of my fav movies. Long before Tom was jumping on couches and married "Free Me" Kate.) I've got great kids (granted they think I'm a little weird but hey, they are teenagers what do they 20 years they'll think I'm cool but I won't hold my breath). I live in an "arts" supporting community and I do get to work in my studio every day.

Sometimes you just have to venture into the dark side for a short period of time to realize how bright everything truly is. May sound corny but it's true.