February 10, 2017

Hatching a New Series: Bees

What's the buzz?  Bees are, of course!

I'm diving into a new series, inspired by the words of Spanish poet Antonio Machado. His words were the impetus to my Aqueducts Rising series that debuted in November 2016. Here's a link where you can read the full poem.

My next series will focus on the second paragraph of the poem....where the golden bees are making honey and sweet combs from my failures.

My research on bees has led me down many fascinating trails. I have spent hours studying the anatomy of bees and doing my best to create a likeness with my X-acto knife and some card stock. These intricate cut outs become repeating images in my layered collages.

If we're paying attention, life gives us golden opportunities to make honey from failures.

January 23, 2017

Encouraging Words Shared

So, here's where kitchen table activism ends up: on the streets of our nation's capitol. I've just returned from the Women's March on Washington DC and am grateful to have shared Encouraging Words along the way.

After a lunch break at the National Portrait Gallery, I distributed over 80 written messages from my cohorts in Florida to many weary, but smiling faces in the courtyard. The group at the table next to me was from Minnesota, I believe ( I wish I had written it down).  And the woman standing with the banner is from Arizona. It was a melting pot of people.

Sharing words of encouragement to fellow marchers was my way of contributing to the greater good. I would much rather foster positive energy than throw stones at others or engage in futile arguments.

This event was a meaningful introduction to political activism and I have much to learn about civic engagement. For now, I am just happy to know that many people returned home with some encouraging words from Florida in their pockets. I do hope they will help us sustain energy for the work to be done ahead.

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson

January 19, 2017

Encouraging Words...on their way to DC

Kitchen table activism. Powerful stuff. In January 2017, many folks gathered around the table in my home to write down their encouraging words to send to the Women's March on Washington. I am honored to bring their words, their hopes and dreams to share with other marchers who are compelled to act on behalf of women's rights and others. 

Mother Theresa's words ring true for me: "I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples."

It is a shame that our differences on the political front tend to divide us. It doesn't have to be the case. We can and should learn how to disagree on principals without disrespecting one another, mongering hate and fear, or stooping to name-calling and bullying. 

In his farewell address, President Obama said "If you're tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try talking to them in person. If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and get busy." 

I'll be doing my part to make some ripples with these encouraging words. 

November 03, 2016

Aqueducts Rising opens 11.19.16

Words every artist loves to say....."my first solo show!" This aqueduct series has been incubating for 10 years right under my nose. My inspiration is a poem by Antonio Machado called Last Night as I was Sleeping. You can read it here.

A friend shared the poem with me in 2006 and I was captivated by the imagery: secret aqueducts, golden bees and sweet honey, fiery suns...all set in a dream like state. 

In 2014, I turned out my first aqueduct inspired by Machado's words. This became a triptych that shows the aqueduct disintegrating, as if in a disappearing dream. 

This year, the aqueducts have appeared in my waking life, tumbling out of their own secret spring in my heart. More than 20 at last count. 

You can see this inspired series at Rabbitfoot Record Store Cafe on November 19 during the Sanford Art Walk from 6 -9pm. The show will be up through December 11, 2016. 

July 10, 2016

So, how's that book coming?

u n s t o p p a b l e !

I like the sound of that. I am surprising myself at the progress on my altered book, Word Songs. It's very satisfying to see the completed pages mounting up. I set my timer to 15 minutes and see what happens. And those 15 minutes added to another 15 minutes and another....you get the picture. I have created over 200 pages! 

This book has some magic paper, in spite of its age. Publish date is 1900. I have treated this 116 year old book with care and am amazed at the quality of paper. It takes wet media very well and I do have to write gingerly when using certain kinds of pens. Only 2 epic fails so far, but I've made them part of the dance. 

A show and tell will be in order once it is all finished. Stay tuned. 

June 16, 2016

When Art Speaks to Your Heart

On June 12, I was visiting a friend in Washington DC when I learned of the Pulse nightclub shooting. News of the heartbreaking tragedy hung heavy in the air. At the Renwick Gallery, an installation by Gabriel Dawe gave my heart a much needed lift. His floating visage of embroidery thread (60 miles of it!) was a beautiful rainbow in the middle of the room. Check out this article for a description. 

The photo was taken by my friend, looking at me through the rainbow. The adoption of the rainbow by the gay community is fitting in so many ways. It's a symbol of beauty, a hope-filled promise, and a message that diversity enriches us all. 

If only the haters in our world could be outfitted with rainbow-colored glasses. 

May 09, 2016

Where is this coming from?!

Some kind of wonderful new art-titude has been unleashed! Getting my mojo going in the studio after April's workshop in the woods has been joyful and energetic and downright liberating! 

To borrow a line from my favorite poem, "...along which secret aqueduct, oh water, are you coming to me, water of a new life that I have never drunk?"

It feels like the tumblers of a stubborn lock have all just clicked into place. I'm going with it - I'm riding the beautiful wave of new water, new life, and new art! Can't wait to see what happens next.