Category Archives: Inspiration

Something pretty

IMG_3343Because I live in New England and it may never stop snowing, here is something pretty to look at to lift your spirits. It certainly lifted mine. A friend gave me this plant as a bulb for a Christmas gift. This weekend, during a four-day snow storm, it decided to bloom. Perfect timing for offering some winter cheer. Inspiration: bloom, no matter what.

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Fashion brooches

I love taking bits and pieces of things–paper, wood, anything–and putting them together in different ways. My late grandmother was an expert at this, whether it was putting together a meal, a quilt or a decorative wall covered in magazine pages.

My collage work stems from my earliest memories of that on some unconscious level. And, these recently created fashion brooches–created from bits and pieces of wood and sometimes mixed with other items–do, too. I’m honored to have some of them selected for sale in the Attleboro Museum of Art’s gift shop.

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Filed under Creative process, Honors, Inspiration, Jewelry making, Uncategorized

Finding my way

Map1Each year for Christmas, I like to “surprise” myself with art books as gifts. I order the books way ahead of time, wrap them and put them under the tree. I then forget what I ordered and when I open the gift with my name on it on Christmas morning–surprise!

One of my “surprises” this year was Personal Geographies: Explorations in Mixed-Media Mapmaking. I have always loved maps–the lines, the swirls, the shapes, the open invitation to imagine other places. So I love the idea of using the components of maps to make personal art.

The book has exercises in it to get you going on creating these maps. But when I sat down to work on this big piece of paper, using some squeeze bottle craft paints, I had no intention of making a map. However, the notion must have already seeped into my brain because this sure does look like a map.

I don’t think I’m finished with it, so it might not look anything like this when I’m done. I may even tear it up and use it in collages. I just find it fascinating what the brain takes in and what the Muse does with that information.

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Filed under acrylic painting, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Work in progress

Showing up to do the work

T-2Happy New Year! Happy new opportunity to create and to tap into the gifts that we have all been given–be it the gift to create art, to dance, to make someone smile, to love.

Coming to the end of a nice winter break, I finally, finally dragged/pushed myself into the studio to try to get done the work I had promised myself that I would be doing every single day of winter break because I would finally have the “time.”

Well, so funny, this “time” business. I seem to have much more of it than I fool myself into thinking that I don’t have. During break I had plenty of time to watch the “Twilight Zone” marathon; plenty of time to watch back-to-back episodes of “Will & Grace” and “Roseanne” reruns; plenty of time to eat too many portions of the potato salad I will spend the rest of winter working off;  but strangely, the “time” to get into the studio was not made.

Procrastination is a bitch. Luckily, I did make time enough to read a great book that showed me this very clearly: The War of Art. I highly recommend this book to any artist. The main point of the book is that we allow so much resistance (in many forms) to stop us from creating and using the talents that we have been given.

The best way to stop it is to just show up and do the work. So, today, that’s what I did. I just showed up at the crafting table, got out a piece of paper, poured some paint on it, and started swirling the paint around. It took great effort to fight off the resistance, the voice saying, “What the hell is this you are painting? It looks like crap!” But I did it. I just worked. No judgement. Just brushes and fingers, painting to the quiet music of the wind blown snow. The result is what you see here above, “Transcending.”

A new year. A new day of just showing up to do the work and letting what happens happen. And then tomorrow.

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Filed under acrylic painting, Creative process, Inspiration, Time, Uncategorized

Art workshop projects

What a weekend!

It was filled with art-brainstorming and art making. On Saturday, my art buddy and I went into Boston to a salvage store that has great items and inspiration for art projects. I’m blessed to have a friend who gets just as excited as I do imagining what we can do with the most mundane objects. No scrape of cloth, paper or metal is safe from our imaginations.

I spent today in the studio whipping through ideas for art projects. I’ve been given the opportunity to facilitate art workshops–for the first time ever. This is all new to me and came out of the blue, but it feels like I’ve been waiting for exactly this for a long time. I have always wanted the opportunity to do something truly meaningful with art.

I don’t have it all worked out yet, but I’m leaping and trusting that just the right ideas will come to me. I’m trying to design workshops for adults who don’t consider themselves “artist” (of course, we are all artists, aren’t we, in one way or another?). The projects need to be crafty, easy to do but not childish, interesting to both men and women.

These are challenging guidelines, but I feel so alive just thinking about all of this.  I love the rush of trying out these new projects! Can’t wait to share them with others.

I’m open to ideas. Please feel free to share anytime. And I’d be happy to share how I did the projects you see here. Speaking of sharing, a big thank you to a fellow artist who donated her fabric scraps to me. I used them to create the flowers on mat board that you see here.  Thanks, Molly. She’s a very talented fabric artist. Check out her blog.

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Filed under Art workshop projects, collage, Creative process, Drawing and sketching, Hope Lodge, Hope Rocks, Inspiration, Uncategorized

New greeting cards

It’s amazing how a little encouragement can get the artistic juices flowing. I recently made a birthday card for someone. She loved it so much that she wanted to see other cards, so I made her more of the same one and many others that I thought she might like. She told others about the cards and they love them, too. And so I’ve been a busy little studio bee creating cards this week. Here are just a few. I make each card one by one, but some of them are available to order as a reproduction on my RedBubble site.

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Filed under Creative Every Day, Greeting cards, Inspiration, Uncategorized

Living, drawing, honoring

Weekends slip by so quickly. And this one was no different. I saw “The Amazing Spiderman” with my 13-year-old son–13, still hard to say that. I like going to the movies with him. It’s the only time he allows me within his protective-bubble-personal space for long periods of time, now that he’s a teenager (of which he reminds me often).

I worked on some projects that I’ve long procrastinated over—finally created the necklaces that my friend has been waiting for. Hope she likes them. And I shortened a necklace for a client. It’s so nice to cross promised projects off my list.

I found time to do a quick pencil sketch (above). I may totally change this with some collage work. I haven’t decided yet. Well, I know the hands–my weakness–still need work. So I’ll have to revisit this one again.

I also made another necklace (below). The necklace is in honor of an in-law who died far too soon–although I think that could be said of any age when someone dies. I only spent time with her on two occasions because she lived in Africa. She only spoke the native language and French, and I only speak English, but each time she communicated well–though she was very shy–in smiles and laughter.

As I created this necklace, which is made from beads (stones) sent as a gift to me from her mother  directly from Africa, I thought of her and tried to reflect my vision of her as I designed—her earthiness, the beauty of her nature, the lasting impression she made with a will as strong as stone and a personality imbued with soft shades of loveliness that always managed to radiate the brightest joy.  The last two beads at the end of the necklace are two black beads–a reminder that everything comes to an end, fades to black. The toggle that closes the necklace is a flower–a reminder that more beauty awaits us in the afterlife. Rest, Dear One.

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Filed under Creative process, Drawing and sketching, Inspiration, Jewelry making, Uncategorized